This Secret $35 Million FBI Unit Mixes Facial Recognition With Big Data To Investigate America’s Most Horrific Crimes
A previously unknown forensics division within the FBI called the Multimedia Exploitation Unit (MXU) sifts through and analyzes video footage connected to terrorist attacks. This can include CCTV footage, witness video, or social media clips. For example, when the Boston Marathon bombing occurred in 2013, the FBI tasked 120 analysts with with probing over 13,000 videos for clues on the suspects and motivations. The FBI is pointedly working on its ability to sort through massive amounts of video footage at major crime scenes, resulting in the MXU’s creation.
Forbes reports that the MXU has cost at least $35 million since 2016. The unit uses cutting edge expertise from Mitre Corporation as well, which is a non-profit government skunkworks. Mitre Corporation reportedly receives between $1 and $2 billion per year from the US government. Although there is very little information available on the MXU, the establishment allegedly seeks to process and exploit multimedia assets to narrow down bulk data into investigative leads.