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Online Hackers Hunt Down Missing People

The latest hacker game: solving missing persons cases for points. It’s the brainchild of Rob Sell, founder of Trace Labs. Sell is a professional search and rescue tracker who has also worked in computer security. Frustrated at the enormous number of missing persons with nobody searching for them, he began crowdsourcing hackers’ skills in computer forensics to follow the digital footprints of cold cases from the missing persons database.

This is the first video in Freethink’s new series Digital Detectives. In it, we meet Nathalie St-Louis, a French Canadian woman whose father disappeared 30 years ago. She heard about Trace Labs and is hoping they can provide her information or hope on his whereabouts. We then follow Rob Sell as he sets up shop at hacking conference BSides in Vancouver and turns tracing Nathalie’s father and other cold cases into a “capture the flag” game. Can they find her dad?

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