ANOM: Using Tech to Catch the Bad Guys

5 July 2021| Post by Molly3 minutes


The secret FBI app catches out over eight hundred criminals worldwide.

When you’re on Netflix or scrolling through Facebook, you’re always wary of the FBI agent on the other side of your webcam. But worry not! The FBI are far too busy globally busting drug gangs and mafia links, to be paying any attention to you and your Netflix shenanigans.

What have they been up to?

The FBI have teamed up with a prisoner to develop an encrypted device network: ANOM. The prisoner saw a gap in the market, realising that his criminal connections needed a new and secure platform that they could communicate through. However, he’s agreed to hand over the app to the FBI in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. In short, it’s a sort of Catch Me if You Can situation, except the dude’s already been caught.

Devices with the app, ANOM, have been secretly distributed among the criminal networks. With this, the FBI have been able to track all the illegal goings on of the criminal underworld, through monitoring their online chats. One officer commented on how blasé the criminals were being about it, stating that they weren’t talking in ‘coded conversations’, it was all there in ‘black and white’. Criminals shared a bunch of incriminating information, such as photos of stashed drugs, weapons, and even conversations about murder hits. In monitoring these chats, the FBI prevented over 10 planned murders in Sweden alone. The app was found on phones that could only be sourced through the black market. It was used confidently by the big-gunned bad guys, which rippled a domino effect of trust throughout the gangs and criminal chains.

Criminals grew confident in the legitimacy of the app. There were over 12,000 devices being used by 300 criminal organisations in over 100 countries. Every one was using it. No one suspected a thing. Until an anonymous blogger, who goes by the username of ‘canyouguess67’, posted an article, warned criminals against the app for their ‘own safety’. We think a better username would have been ‘WhateverTheOppositeOfAVigilanteIs’. But que sera.

Bad Guys: Busted!

Working hand-in-hand with modern tech to bust the bad guys? Sounds like something out of a Bond film. But it’s reality! The three year undercover operation ultimately prevented an unthinkable amount of crime; preventing arranged hits on public spaces, on cafes and families, to seizing 160kg of cocaine – that’s £30m worth! The FBI worked diligently to lawfully take down criminal rings, and what a story it’s made!

Fancy reading more fun stuff? Check out our blog post about Clubhouse.


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