Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

The Tag Challenge: 5 Thieves, 5 Cities, 12 Hours on March 31

March 12th, 2012 / in research horizons, resources / by Erwin Gianchandani

The Tag Challenge [image courtesy].The U.S. Department of State has unveiled the Tag Challenge, a “social gaming competition” in which participants will attempt to find five “suspects” as part of a simulated law enforcement search spanning five cities throughout North American and Europe on March 31st. The winning entrant — the first participant or team to successfully locate and photograph all five suspects — will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

According to the contest website:

Jewel thieves have stolen a prized diamond. Help find them. Win $5,000.


The infamous Panther Five has pulled an audacious new heist: they’ve stolen the world’s 3rd most expensive jewel, the Adly Diamond, from the Overholt Showroom in Washington, DC. Now they’ve split up and fled — dispersed to five different cities [Washington, DC, U.S.; New York City, U.S.; London, England; Stockholm, Sweden; and Bratislava, Slovakia]. We’re offering a reward to help find them. We’ll release their mugshots here on game day: March 31, 2012 [more following the link].


A photograph or “mugshot” of each suspect will be posted to the contest website on the day of the event. Each suspect will be wearing a shirt bearing the event logo. The suspect’s face, dress, and the contest logo will be clearly visible in each of the mugshots. Contestants may use only this photograph and any other information provided on the event website to identify each suspect.


The winning strategy will likely involve building a network of spotters and teammates through social media in each of the five cities. The suspects and their back-stories are, of course, entirely fictional. But we’re offering a real “reward” if you can find them: $5,000.

The contest is the brainchild of George Washington University graduate student J.R. deLara, who hopes to build upon the DARPA Network (“Red Balloon”) Challenge and others like it — and further advance our knowledge about using social media strategies “to find a person of interest, a vehicle of interest, or some actionable intelligence.”

A bit more about how the contest will work:

The Contest begins at 8:00am, local time, in each of the respective cities. The contest will begin in Bratislava and Stockholm at 8:00am Central European Time, or 2:00am US Eastern Time, on March 31, 2012. Suspects will remain in public locations in each city until 8:00 pm, local time. The suspect-location portion of the contest will end at 8:00 pm EST on March 31, 2012. Contest submissions must be received by noon, 12:00 pm, US EST on April 1, 2012.

To read all about it, check out the Tag Challenge website, as well as press coverage in Wired and Government Computer News. And be sure to start lining up your teammates and hashing plans today!

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

The Tag Challenge: 5 Thieves, 5 Cities, 12 Hours on March 31

Comments are closed.