Facial Recognition for the Masses

Facial recognition software

Enter a photo at  http://developers.face.com/tools/#faces/detect and locate all photos of the same individual on Facebook.  This is limited to your friends at this point, but some developers are putting this on iphone apps. You can snap a photo on the street and get all their info through Facebook and other services this way.  In May 2010 they state that their Facebook apps have scanned over 7 billion photos in total and identified no less than 52 million faces.

This is something to watch as it has some interesting applications for the Investigator.  Of course some people will think the sky is falling due to the  mere existence of this app, but the technological genie was let out of the bottle a long time ago.

Division of Powers – Vital Statistics

Vital Statistics – Birth, Death, and Marriage certificates

These bits of paper define our identity in today’s society.

The Solemnization of Marriage is a provincial matter according to S 92(12) of The Constitution Act of 1867. Birth and Death records are generally held to be a provincial matter under S.92(16) which reads, “Generally all Matters of a merely local or private Nature in the Province.” For the purposes of proper administration, the territories have been granted the power to record vital statistics.

One must be an authorised person to request these records, and most provinces, in most cases, are very careful to ensure that a person requesting such documentation is entitled to receive the document.  The Investigator will require a letter authorising such a search for these records from the person or estate involved.

Division of Powers — Divorce Actions

Divorce Registry

The Divorce Registry maintained by the Federal government was designed to prevent both spouses from proceeding with separate divorce actions in separate jurisdictions.

The divorce actions recorded in the Registry cover all of  Canada and go back to 1978.

Division of Powers – Criminal Law

Under the division of powers, the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over criminal law and procedure (section 91(27) of the Constition Act of 1867) the provinces have jurisdiction over the administration of justice, including criminal matters (section 92(14)) and penal matters (section 92(15)) regarding any laws made within provincial jurisdiction. Thus Canada has a single Criminal Code but many provincial laws that can result in incarceration or penalty.

Criminal and Civil Courts

This means that the Administration of Justice in the Province, including the Constitution, Maintenance, and Organization of Provincial Courts, both of Civil and of Criminal Jurisdiction, and including Procedure in Civil Matters in those Courts are matters handled by the Province. It also means that the Province handles the Imposition of Punishment by Fine, Penalty, or Imprisonment for enforcing any Law of the Province made in relation to any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in  Section 92 of the Constitution Act of 1867.

For the Investigator, this means that the majority of the criminal prosecutions occur in courts administered by the provinces and that most civil actions are issued in provincial courts.

Belize Corporate Filings

Here is my advice on researching Belize corporations.

International Business Company (IBC)

First, check the IBC struck-off list at:


The International Business Companies Registry is located in the Marina Towers building in Belize City. A competent  & experienced staff is available to help you.

Marina Towers, Suite 201
Newtown Barracks
Belize City, Belize
Central America

Telephone numbers: 501-223-5108 / 223-5120 / 224-4701
Fax number: 501-223-5124
E-mail address: ibc@btl.net
Contact Person: Ms. Katherine Haylock, Deputy Registrar

Other Company Types

Normally you must travel to Belmopan, the capital, to visit the Companies’ Registry and request a computerized name search of all existing Belizean company names, which takes a few minutes to complete. however, a request can also be done by telephone or fax at a fee of BZE 50

The contact information is as follows:

Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry
Ground Floor Garden City Hotel
Mountain View Boulevard
Belmopan City, Cayo District
Belize Central America

TEL: 822- 0421/ 822-0531
FAX: 822- 0422

Belizean laws allow for the following categories of business ownership:

* Private Companies
* Limited Liability Partnership
* Limited Life Companies
* Joint Ventures and Cooperatives
* Partnership
* Sole Proprietor
* Public Investment Companies
* International Business Companies
* Trust Funds

The Most Common Off-Shore Business Structure in Belize

Almost all offshore or foreign businesses use the International Business Company or Trust forms, sometimes in combination.

Google-Free Wednesday


Previously, I wrote about file searches using OSUN.ORG.

findthatfile.com provides a file search  encompassing Web, FTP, Usenet, Metalink and P2P resources (ed2k/emule) including 47 file types and 554+ file extensions including over 167 file upload services. It also offers an alert service sent to your email.

However, not all information in the search database has every property you might be searching for, therefore, you have to explore the different ways to search for the file in the advanced search screen.

In my experience, this is not a good search engine to use to search by a person’s name or a company name. The files are not well indexed in this fashion.  One must also be careful to select the “All Files” button in the “Adult Filter” to be sure all the files found appear in the search results.

I usually search by a file name for other versions of a file that I already know about. In some cases, findthatfile.com will give me an understanding of how widely circulated a file may be, or turn-up different versions of the same file.

FaceBook and Investigations

Facebook: The truth is out there

… Facebook is a good source for data mining.

But one problem is that information gathered is not verified independently.

“These are not facts, just hearsay,” the former Criminal Investigation Department trainer said. “For digital photos, you can’t prove they are original as photos can be manipulated and put on the Web. You can’t authenticate them unless you get the original files from the photographer.”

He added: “This way of getting information is more trendy…but the information should be verified by conducting a proper investigation.”

Only when it is backed up will it be admissible as court evidence, he said.

… [it is] not inconceivable for someone to falsify their whereabouts on such sites.

“There really is no way of proving who was at the computer, which is the problem with any Internet-based investigation,” he said. “Today, one can update Facebook status or tweet Twitter from any device at any location.”

This is an excellent article on the value of searching  social sites.

Internet Detective School

Internet Tracking

Mantracker hunts people by following their spoor for a popular TV show.

On the Internet, Investigators have to do the same thing. However, the digital spoor may be on a computer in Singapore while your prey is in Corner Brook Newfoundland.

For this series of articles, the terms tracking, monitoring, and alerts  all mean the same thing. These terms are applied to methods of collecting new information as it appears in a variety of searches of many sources throughout the Internet.  This is a systematic way of locating information about a subject as it becomes available. These are sources and methods that monitor news reports, social media, blogs, or other open sources of information relevant to your investigation. I will illustrate how to construct the search statement and get the results in your hands on an ongoing basis.

I will start with the large search engines and move onto the lesser know sources and methods.

Real-time Search Engine


Collecta claims to provide results in real-time from the Web. Your search results will appear in a constantly-reloading stream — everything from Twitter updates to news and blog articles, and even  Flickr photos.

However, Twitter usually deluges the results. The “Search Options” to the left of the results allows you to select the type of updates you want to see. Leaving the Twitter updates unchecked makes it easier to see the other real-time search results.


Like all Meta search engines, it is hard to create a search statement because you’re searching 140-character Tweets, full-text news, and Blog entries. I don’t use this as a starting point. However, it searches a wide variety of places, which makes it good for tracking breaking news.

The 15 Biggest Wikipedia Blunders

Wikipedia’s just announced plans to restrict the editing of some of its articles. Under the new system, any changes made to pages of still-living people will have to be approved by an “experienced volunteer” before going online.

The 15 biggest  Wikipedia blunders is a must read for anybody interested in reputation management.

Where did this email come from?

Tracking down the origin of email messages has become a staple of many Private Investigators. Without getting into  mind-numbing technical details, here are the steps I take to find the origin of anonymous email missives.

  1. Search the sender’s email address using Google, Bing, and other search engines to see if it appears. Next search using Intelius’ reverse email lookup.  If the email appears registered to a name, you can pay a fee of $4.95.
  2. Even when a misleading email address is the origin, read the IP addresses in the header from bottom to  top. The IP address in square brackets is the origin IP.  Or, use IP tool to track the IP address. Copy the headers into the box and select your email system.
  3. Go to What Is My IP Address and enter the IP address to see where it originates.
  4. Search the email address using Spokeo.
  5. Try ReadNotify.com and email the anonymous correspondent. If he opens your message, then it will notify you and send back the reader’s IP address, the date and time the message was opened, location of recipient, map of location, apparent email address of opening (if available), referrer details (ie; if accessed via web mail etc), URL clicks, how long the email was read for, how many times your email was opened and if your email was forwarded, or opened on a different computer. If he opens your message in his office, then you will know where he works. However, this seems to only work with HTML enabled email programs. Remember, the header data from the original message will probably tell you what email program sent the message. NOTE: This does not work if the recipient opens the email in the Web version of Gmail. If he receives it in a desktop client that polls Gmail, then it will work.



CIA World Factbook

The CIA announced that their World Factbook Web site had been redesigned. I’m not the only person who constantly relies on this — over 3 million visitors access the online Factbook monthly. That’s not surprising as the World Factbook provides information about the background, geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 countries and other entities.

I really like the new features of reporting world rankings for data like life expectancy. Another new feature is the “Field Listing” icon that gives you an alphabetical listing of countries for that field so that you can do your own comparison of data that can’t be ranked.

This is a timely resource — it is updated every two weeks and the updates are logged on a special page. Though I wish either the country entries or data fields indicated the last update, but that might be asking too much.

If you want to avoid all the Flash content use the text-only version. I’m not a big fan of Flash, but this is a very well executed use of it that makes the World Factbook more useful.


I recently read a news article that mentioned Chickipedia.  I immediately began searching this site. I found porn stars, actresses, athletes, and many more.  If a local paper can find a drunk driver in this thing, maybe I could find the subject of an investigation. I searched using names, city names, and occupations. Every search returned valid results.  Too bad there are only 9,177 ladies profiled on the site. Too bad I didn’t find the subject of an investigation.