Cases / Human Rights
Human Rights

The Fight Against Illicit Networks

Defeating illicit networks that threaten global peace and security using market leading proxy network

Proxy Network
Non-Profit Organization
Human Rights
Center For Advanced Defense Studies C4ADS


C4ADS is a nonpartisan nonprofit with a mission to defeat the illicit networks that threaten global peace and security. Powered by their cutting-edge data and technological capabilities, they produce compelling analysis to target illicit networks that operate across borders to destabilize communities, prevent development, and devastate the environment. C4ADS grows their data-driven analysis into impact by building trusted partnerships with public, private, and civil society stakeholders and engaging with audiences around the globe. In doing so, they create unified, systemic responses to illicit networks and the underlying drivers of conflict, instability, environmental crime, and human rights abuses around the world. 

Project: The Afghan Map

The Afghan Witness Map independently collects, preserves and verifies information on the human rights, security and political situation in Afghanistan following the takeover by the Taliban in 2021. Created in collaboration with the Centre for Information Resilience, the project aims to strengthen the information landscape and provide a reliable source of information for international organizations, policymakers and the media, and to raise awareness of the reality of everyday life for Afghans living in the country. Using Bright Data’s Residential Proxy technology, the Afghan Map team collected all of the Afghan company registry public records just before it was shut down by the Taliban to assist in the investigation of human rights abuse.


With the power of public data, the map offers users a compelling platform for visualizing confirmed and verified evidence of human rights abuses committed by the Taliban across Afghanistan. Using geolocation or triangulation, the interactive map confirms evidence and uploads it to the platform so that users can easily filter, search, or sort by interests and needs.

Today, the map shows more than 1,300 verified data points that reveal the evolution of the Afghan women’s rights protest movement, attacks on members of the global and national media, and violence by militants and terrorist groups. It will be updated regularly.

Learn more about The Afghan Map

CNN: ‘No one feels safe’: The Taliban promised to provide security to Afghans. New data shows threat from ISIS is growing

Project: Fractured Veins

In their latest report, Fractured Veins, C4ADS collected publicly available data using the Residential Proxy Networks to link mines based in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) with their ultimate beneficial owners – subsequently mapping the complex ties between this industry, its long history of human rights abuses, and global networks of finance and trade. Their examination of gold extraction systems in the region highlights not only the safety infractions and environmental damage often caused by the industry, but considerable evidence of forced labor and other human rights violations taking place in XUAR mines. Ultimately, C4ADS found that hundreds of major Western-based companies are currently working with suppliers that source gold from XUAR-based mines. It was also discovered that a number of index funds and investment portfolios of several major asset management firms include companies that own mines in the region. 

The Bright Initiative partnership and Bright Data’s services were instrumental in aiding C4ADS in collecting mining and corporate data for Fractured Veins.

Xinjiang Mining Map

Read the full Fractured Veins here

Learn more about C4ADS

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