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Government Privacy Security Science Technology

DHS Chief Wants Better Algorithms For Analyzing Intelligence Data 108

coondoggie writes "Better algorithms to spot patterns and trends within the mass of information the Department of Homeland Security sees everyday are key to national security. That was but one of the talking points DHS chief Janet Napolitano focused on in a lecture on the role of science and technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today. 'DHS is part of the nation's Intelligence Community, which receives more terabytes of data each day than the entire text holdings of the Library of Congress. The National Counterterrorism Center's 24-hour Operations Center receives 8,000 to 10,000 pieces of counterterrorist information every day. We receive data about all of this, and it is clearly too much to suggest that the simplistic "connect the dots" analogy accurately represents what an analyst must do. Very quickly, you can see that "Big Data" – more so than the lack of data – becomes the most pressing problem. At the same time, the threats implicated by the data are not static.'"
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DHS Chief Wants Better Algorithms For Analyzing Intelligence Data

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  • better agorithms (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theheadlessrabbit ( 1022587 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:39PM (#35487350) Homepage Journal

    Well, if the DHS Chief wants better algorithms for analyzing intelligence data, maybe he can have the department's funding cut, so more money can be put to use educating a generation of better students.

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:47PM (#35487390)

    Step One: cut down on the clutter. That means stop chasing after everyone in a turban or every angry blogger named Mohamed or Assad who criticizes your government or sticking GPS monitoring devices under their cars.

    There are two major reasons we've historically said NO to dragnets. They violate civil rights and they...surprise surprise!...clutter your intelligence channels with worthless drivel.

  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:50PM (#35487422)
    The DHS has far too much funding if they have too much data and can't analyze it with current algorithms. And really, why do they need all this data in the first place? Chances are the vast majority of it is unconstitutional and shouldn't be collected to begin with.
  • Re:Yeah right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @09:02AM (#35490128) Homepage

    That points to the heart of the matter. Incompetent political appointees want computers to do their job for them so that they can take the credit.

    Better algorithms to sort filter and collate the data, how stupid can they be. The bigger and more complex the database the easier it is to poison it with false data. Once that false data is in, it make all sorts of false connections, and more false connections based upon those.

    Intelligence services do no need better algorithms, they need to dump contractors who make a living out of creating false data, they need to get rid of political appointees and most of all they need to quality manage data entering the system.

    The insanity of working from the basis that everyone is guilty and, stupidly thinking that somehow computers will sort that planet full of evidence you have created with the idiot's assumption that everyone is guilty, well, it just really points to what kind of fuck up the DHS chief is as well as the DHS itself.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.