Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Data mining to prevent terrorism?

Today, Arlen Specter has accused the Pentagon of stonewalling the inquiry to determine what military intel knew about four of the accused 9/11 hijackers.

The method for having acquired this knowledge? Data mining. It was part of a now-defunct program known as "Able Danger."

The data is out there. Noodling around in it is, by some accounts (e.g., Prof. Turow's), the wave of the niche-driven, direct marketing future.

Of course, police and/or intel agents can use data mining to flag citizens and hound them as dangerously deviant--whatever that means. In some cases (e.g., this one), it may be the case that data mining worked out. In total, though (e.g., if used to lengthen the "no fly list"), it is quite a threat to civil liberties. Is this what we pay our government for--to sort through our digital trash in a national effort of cyber-surveillance?

Thanks (again) to Rummy, we ordinary citizens will never know just how much this method has been utilized by our government in an effort to keep us all--uh, I mean, terrorists--in check.


At 2:46 PM, Blogger Josh said...

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