Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Big Brother 101: Could your social networks brand you an enemy of the state?

By some counts, government snoops are sifting through data from a billion or more phone calls and online messages daily. What might they be looking for?

• WHO: The National Security Agency and other intelligence groups

• WHAT: Processing and connecting data from phone calls, e-mails, online postings and financial transactions

• HOW: Using social-network analysis (the study of how people interact) and data-mining techniques (such as pattern-recognition algorithms) first used for artificial intelligence and consumer marketing

• WHY: To help uncover the structure of potential terrorist groups—far too secretive and dispersed to locate with traditional detection techniques—and decode their intentions. more..


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