European TRACE project develops AI solutions to ‘disrupt illicit money flows’

The European Union is funding the project TRACE that aims to develop AI solutions to assist governments and companies with preventing and detecting crime [1].

On their homepage they suggest that their activities do not have consequences for decent citizens:

Developing AI solutions to disrupt illicit money flows
TRACE solutions enable Law Enforcement Agencies to detect and combat money-laundering operations and financing of organised crime and terrorism by increasing the efficiency of information sharing.

On another page they refer to themselves as:

TRACE is a three-year project that will perform intensive cross-disciplinary research to develop technological and socio-legal tools for tracking illicit money flows in Europe. By drawing information from the dark web and using machine learning and AI to make connections, TRACE will be able to visualise illicit money flows for use by LEAs. The €7 million project began in July 2021, has 16 partners from 8 countries and is co-ordinated by Coventry University (CU).

The words ‘socio-legal tools‘ make me curious. What would that mean?

Behind TRACE there is a consortium including Tax Justice Network, responsible for the SWIFT report I recently wrote about, and some governmental agencies. Further several providers of compliance services that have a commercial interest [2] in the tools developed by TRACE are partner of the project.

Recent news items of the project are:

LEA cluster
The TRACE project is one of many projects funded by the EU in the area of supporting law enforcement against organised crime and terrorism. In a newsletter the TRACE  management mentions they have formed a ‘LEA cluster’ together with other EU-funded projects with beautiful code names like CCDriver, COPKIT, CYCLOPES, DARLENE, INSPECTr, LOCARD, PREVISION, PROTAX, RAYUELA and ROXANNE.

On the TRACE site these associated projects are introduced,

CC-DRIVER “project investigating the drivers of cybercrime and, especially, how young people can be turned away from cybercrime to use their talents in more socially productive ways”

COPKIT “analysing, preventing and investigating the use of ICTs by organised crime and terrorist groups”

DARLENE “is a three-year project that will offer European law enforcement agencies an augmented reality ecosystem with powerful deep learning algorithms that will improve situational awareness and effectiveness in all security verticals”

INSPECTr “a shared intelligent platform and novel process for gathering, analysing, prioritising and presenting key data to help in the prediction, detection and management of crime in support of multiple agencies at the local, national and international level”

LOCARD “automate the collection of digital evidence in any electronic format and medium by providing a unique platform for exchanging this evidence”

PREVISION “tools and solutions to handle and capitalise on the massive heterogeneous data streams that must be processed during complex crime investigations and threat risk assessments”

PROTAX “project that aims to generate, in close co-operation with practitioners, policy guidelines and toolkits to harmonise the treatment of tax crime and enhance information sharing across different European jurisdictions”

RAYUELA “to develop an interactive story-like game that, on the one side, will allow minors to learn good practices on the use of the Internet and associated technology by playing, and, on the other side, will allow modelling, in a friendly and non-invasive manner, online habits and potential risk profiles related to cybersecurity and cybercriminality, providing Law Enforcement Agencies with scientifically sound foundations to define appropriate policies”

ROXANNE “a platform that will increase agencies’ capabilities via voice recognition, language and video technologies”

For more projects look at the cluster-page of CC-DRIVER.

Connection to the AML Package and AMLA
On the TRACE site I saw no connection to the AML Package (intro) that is discussed in Europe and that will introduce a authoritarian centralized system of crime prevention and crime control [3].

Building tools for a surveillance society?
Seeing these initiatives I am wondering if Europe is building the tools for a surveillance society. It is worrying that there is no public discussion about these projects that have good intentions but risk violating fundamental rights, as is already happening in the current systems against money laundering and terrorist financing (discrimination, de-risking, etcetera).



[1] Crime here means money laundering and terrorist financing, though some prefer to use ‘corruption’. Practically, these activities covers all types of crime that bring financial gain, so this project covers just about any crime.

[2] An example is Finopz that on it’s site says: “An award winning, real-time, risk driven lifecycle management platform with full ownership of policy automation – increasing operational efficiencies and redefining business relationship outreach“. It offers a KYC portal.

[3] Read EU’s Iron Fist – Europe authoritarianly steamrolls over national supervisors and obliged entities. Related: The torrents of AML-CFT guidance pouring down on ‘obliged entities’ and Violation of data protection principles and discrimination | part 1 of Horrors of European legislation against crime (AML/CFT).

Over Ellen Timmer

Weblog: ||| Microblog: ||| Motto: goede bedoelingen rechtvaardigen geen slechte regels
Dit bericht werd geplaatst in English - posts in English on this blog, Europa, Financieel recht, onder meer Wft, Wtt, Fraude, witwasbestrijding, Wwft, Grondrechten, ICT, privacy, e-commerce en getagged met , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Maak dit favoriet permalink.

Geef een reactie

Vul je gegevens in of klik op een icoon om in te loggen. logo

Je reageert onder je account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Facebook foto

Je reageert onder je Facebook account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Verbinden met %s