« Home

Afraid to blog?

You should be.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

US plans massive data sweep:
The US government is developing a massive computer system that can collect huge amounts of data and, by linking far-flung information from blogs and e-mail to government records and intelligence reports, search for patterns of terrorist activity....

The core of this effort is a little-known system called Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement (ADVISE)....

A major part of ADVISE involves data-mining - or "dataveillance," as some call it. It means sifting through data to look for patterns....

What sets ADVISE apart is its scope. It would collect a vast array of corporate and public online information - from financial records to CNN news stories - and cross-reference it against US intelligence and law-enforcement records. The system would then store it as "entities" - linked data about people, places, things, organizations, and events....

The key is not merely to identify terrorists, or sift for key words, but to identify critical patterns in data that illumine their motives and intentions....

For example: Is a burst of Internet traffic between a few people the plotting of terrorists, or just bloggers arguing? ADVISE algorithms would try to determine that before flagging the data pattern for a human analyst's review.

This program seems rather scary to me, especially the part about ‘patterns of terrorist activity’. Does this mean all because someone attended an anti-war rally, gave money to a Pakistani charity to help earthquake victims, called their sister whose attending school in India, blogged about how fed up they are with the President’s shenanigans, withdrew cash to buy the new Xbox 360, and ‘googled’ the words ‘Bush’ and ‘domestic spying’, this ADVISE software will flag this as ‘patterns of terrorist activity’. And check out the example they cited: terrorists plotting or bloggers arguing. In the eyes of the Bush administration, I don’t think there is a difference.

Links to this post

Create a Link