Thursday, July 20, 2006

Feds sharpen secret tools for data mining


At least five of the data-mining programs were developed under a Pentagon program, called Total Information Awareness (TIA), that Congress disbanded nearly three years ago because of concerns that it threatened personal privacy, according to government records and participants in the projects.
Data-mining systems used by intelligence agencies include:

• Hardware and software from NCR subsidiary Teradata that is capable of storing and searching databases as large as 4 million gigabytes, or twice as much information as is held in all research libraries in the USA. Teradata executive Bill Cooper won't say what's in the Teradata systems that intelligence agencies use, but he says their applications include searching financial transactions for signs of money laundering.

• A program designed to identify members of terrorist networks and determine the most important members of those networks. Cogito Inc., of Draper, Utah, sold the program to the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies, company executive William Donahoo says.

• Software from Verity Inc. used by the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. A 2004 congressional report says DIA's Verity system includes personally identifiable information about Americans from other agencies and commercial sources.

Add to that NVAC and ARDA (specifically Aquaint, VACE and ENVIE). The EFF lawsuit has made it through the first round, hopefully it will get to discovery.


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