About

Trace Labs is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the family reunification of missing persons while training members in the trade craft of open source intelligence (OSINT).

Mission Statement

The missing persons issue is getting worse and requires modern and scalable solutions at various levels to help mitigate risk to society. Trace Labs is an online, open source intelligence platform that scales on demand through crowdsourcing while providing full transparency of verified public information. This allows all missing persons to receive the attention that is needed early in the search process and for family and concerned friends to see progress. It also allows the police authorities to have access to a centralized and current database of verified information on lost persons.

The Service

Trace Labs is a community service that provides the following benefits to the local society:

  1. Trace Labs provides OSINT training (both virtual and in person) to police authorities, search & rescue teams as well as  individuals with interest in online investigation and/or information security.
  2. A scalable, cost effective and  open source infrastructure that can provide timely online investigation for all missing persons.
  3. Missing Persons Awareness program that teaches communities the risk of not quickly acting on missing persons.

The Scope

In order to fulfill our goals, Trace Labs only focuses on the collection of publicly available, digital evidence. All data is confirmed public by referencing with a URL. The information is then provided directly to the respective authorities handling the case.

While first responders such as police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue members are very welcome on the site, please know that all data must be public with referencing URL. No first responder data is permitted until it is made public.

Trace Labs fills the gap in emergency response and provides a solution that scales. Unlike traditional efforts to find lost persons we are:

  • Virtual: While we meet a conferences and other events, for the most part, we exist in a world beyond the normal world.
  • Geographically Diverse: Our members exist everywhere and come from many different walks of life. We welcome you all.
  • We Never Close: Trace Labs is 24×7.
  • Scalable: Our efforts can be laser focused on a small town or immediately go global with international assistance.
  • Highly Skilled: Our rules are simple: public data only. We don’t need to know who you are just that the info you provide is legitimate. Therefore even those with very high privacy concerns can participate. This has allowed us to work with highly skilled and talented individuals.

OSINT Training

While our primary goal is to help locate lost persons, we are also supporting those who want to increase their OSINT skills. We provide OSINT enthusiasts a way to learn while providing a tremendously value skill to their local community. This takes place at events such as conference CTFs but also at an individual level during the operations. If you have interest in learning, teaching, running an OSINT CTF or just have some recommendations, please reach out to us.

What is OSINT?

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is a term used to refer to the data collected from publicly available sources to be used in an intelligence context. In the intelligence community, the term “open” refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or clandestine sources).

What qualifies as a Missing Person?

Trace Labs utilizes the public broadcasts that advertise missing persons. This official channel is the only way we can ensure those we search for are in fact in need of finding. These public broadcasts are verified and documented as the first step of any operation. An example of such a public broadcast could be a tweet by the respective authorities or another nonprofit which specializes in missing person awareness and registration.

For Canada, examples include:

  • http://www.canadasmissing.ca
  • http://www.wirelessamber.ca
  • http://missingpeople.ca
  • http://missing.report/

Membership

Due to the sensitive nature of what we do, registration is required to become a member. Remember, we are helping families on the worst day of their lives. We reserve the right to deny and/or revoke membership.

Get Involved

  • Want to participate? Sign up under Accounts.
  • Want to enhance your InfoSec conference? Allow Trace Labs to provide a CTF contest with real missing persons. Imagine if your conference helped to find a missing person?

Social Media

  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/TraceLabs
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tracelabs/
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/tracelabs/