The LAPD has purchased controversial mass surveillance software that allows police to track individuals using geolocation data.

The company that provides the software, called WebLoc, is Cobwebs Technologies. The Israeli company was founded by three IDF veterans in 2015 and has previously sold contracts to the IRS and the Texas State Police. Each contract costs around $200,000 per year.

The LAPD’s contract with Cobwebs Technology was revealed in a report from Knock LA, which obtained documents via freedom of information requests.


According to the outlet, the LAPD contracted with the Israeli firm in October 2022 and plans to use its technology for a full year before auditing its use and compiling a report.

Cobwebs’ system has two main platforms. The first is Tangles, which the company previously described in a now-deleted press release as a web intelligence platform that allows users to search the open web, social media, dark web, and deep web.

Tangles can be AI-enabled with “image recognition, face recognition, OCR [optical character recognition] capabilities, NLP [natural language processing] and more,” the press release stated.

The second is WebLoc, which another now-deleted webpage on Cobwebs’ site described as a location intelligence system. WebLoc “provides access to vast amounts of location-based data in any specified geographic location.”

This allows users—law enforcement, in the case of the Texas State Police or the LAPD—to track individuals’ geolocation data. WebLoc offers “deep analysis of geofences and threat actors, location history and detailed data discovery,” as well as “live data updates” and “real-time alerts” about changes in an individual’s location.

According to Cobwebs’ website copy, WebLoc “compiles and enriches different types of large datasets of location-based data points, to be used for deep geolocation analysis.

The information is displayed “on a simple and map-centric interface which allows users to conduct a map-based and visual investigation, integrated with our industry-leading web intelligence solution.”

Previous reporting has indicated that WebLoc’s vast troves of information were likely obtained from mobile data brokers, companies that gather information on an individual’s online footprint to be sold to businesses, often for advertising purposes.

The use of information from data brokers has allowed law enforcement to bypass the requirement to obtain a warrant.