On 20th August, Defense One carried an article saying that a Defense Intelligence Agency team is using artificial intelligence to map the shadowy production-and-distribution networks of synthetic drugs.  It is said that tracking fentanyl and other synthetic drugs, which can be made almost anywhere, is harder than tracking cocaine, which is processed by relatively few cartels in relatively few places in South America.  It says that a program, called SABLE SPEAR, ingests data from 43 million websites, 8 million of the cargo receipts dubbed “bills of lading,” a billion satellite images, and about 20 other data sources.  Algorithms help researchers to draw connections that would otherwise be invisible.

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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