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« Pioneering the Future of Personal Data | Main | There Is No Such Thing As A Single Version of Truth »

March 12, 2006


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Jim Harper

I think "predicate triage" is a misnomer. You mean "suspect triage" - you're trying to pick which among many suspects to pursue, not which among many predicates to pursue, aren't you? If they're suspects, then you can do whatever you want as far as picking 'em up - go alphabetically, at random, or using data mining. It doesn't matter in terms of civil liberties if you're legally authorized to nab 'em.

Stephen Taylor

Democratic senators want agency data-mining reports
By Winter Casey, National Journal's Technology Daily

The government's mining of information from public- and private-sector databases for clues to terrorism and crime is widespread and federal agencies should regularly report to Congress on such activities, lawmakers said Wednesday.

"The overwhelming majority of these data-mining programs use, collect, and analyze personal information about ordinary American citizens," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said during a hearing on balancing privacy and security. "We need look no further than the government's own terrorist watch list, which now contains the names of more than 300,000 individuals -- including infants, nuns and even members of Congress-- to understand the inefficiencies that can result from data mining and government dragnets."

Leahy said that "at least 52 different federal agencies are currently using data-mining technology," adding that there are "at least 199 different government data-mining programs operating or planned throughout the federal government." Despite its widespread use, Leahy said questions remain about how effective data mining is in preventing terrorism.

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