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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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  • by jdogalt ( 961241 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:04PM (#35487508) Journal

    +1, my gut reaction as well, with the addition that there is a multiplication effect as the added violation of rights increases terrorist recruitment and motivation, with a corresponding increase in the amount of drivel and non-drivel entering your intelligence channels.

    It's the prisoner's dilemna as clear as day. If you don't start with trust and have a system that encourages more trust/liberty/privacy and the benefits of such, you don't end up with anywhere near the optimal outcome.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:18PM (#35487566)

    We were working on some cool technology applicable to just this sort of problem back at a previous employer. Then 9/11 hit, management realized that the coming intelligence applications of this would put it on the ITAR list. Everything went into boxes and went offshore.

    The next time you wonder how credit card, telecom and various other marketing concerns can find you, find your friends and figure out who is likely to buy what, you'll know who to thank. There's more money in pushing junk at you than keeping you from being blown up.

  • by Weezul ( 52464 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @04:07AM (#35488810)

    If there's one fucking thing we've learned recently, it's that law enforcement types are god awful fucking gullible when they think they're listening to their own kind. We've hard proof that the Egyptian secret police carried out two major terrorists attacks inside Egypt and blamed their own country. And western intelligence services just blindly believed their lies. We understand how the evidence for chemical weapons in Iraq was entirely & purely focally fabricated by Iraqi ex-pat living in Germany. We even had some asshat put his wife on the no fly list when she was outside the country.

    We obviously cannot trust our law enforcement and intelligence services without serious judicial oversight. In particular, we cannot trust the buffoons hoping that 'better algorithm' will give them some pre-crime detector. Instead, they'll just harass more innocent people based upon imaginary plots and connections.

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