TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Taking Spying to Higher Level, Agencies Look for More Ways to

Taking Spying to Higher Level, Agencies Look for More Ways to

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 26 Feb 2006 01:14:19 -0500

Taking Spying to Higher Level, Agencies Look for More Ways to Mine Data

The New York Times
February 25, 2006

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 23 - A small group of National Security Agency
officials slipped into Silicon Valley on one of the agency's periodic
technology shopping expeditions this month.

On the wish list, according to several venture capitalists who met
with the officials, were an array of technologies that underlie the
fierce debate over the Bush administration's anti-terrorist
eavesdropping program: computerized systems that reveal connections
between seemingly innocuous and unrelated pieces of information.

The tools they were looking for are new, but their application would
fall under the well-established practice of data mining: using
mathematical and statistical techniques to scan for hidden
relationships in streams of digital data or large databases.

Supercomputer companies looking for commercial markets have used the
practice for decades. Now intelligence agencies, hardly newcomers to
data mining, are using new technologies to take the practice to
another level.

But by fundamentally changing the nature of surveillance, high-tech
data mining raises privacy concerns that are only beginning to be
debated widely. That is because to find illicit activities it is
necessary to turn loose software sentinels to examine all digital
behavior whether it is innocent or not.


Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Monty Solomon: "Wi-Fi to Go: The Hot Spot in a Box"
Go to Previous message: Patrick Townson: "TELECOM Digest: Pat _was_ in the Hospital"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page