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Newly Declassified FBI Docs Reveal Predictive Data System 185

Posted by timothy
from the like-a-creepy-ad-for-ibm dept.
An anonymous reader writes 'Newly declassified documents show that the FBI is developing a data-mining system to uncover terror sleeper cells. Among the 1.6 billion records in the National Security Analysis Center — tens of thousands of travel records, including hotel and airline records. Other revelations in the documents uncovered by a Wired.com FOIA request show that the feds want to expand the system for use in cyber-crime investigations, and it's already been used to scrutinize helicopter pilots and Philly cab drivers. The system has eerie resemblances to DARPA's once-banned Total Information Awareness program."
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Newly Declassified FBI Docs Reveal Predictive Data System

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  • I've got an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davidwr (791652) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @04:16PM (#29522127) Homepage Journal

    How about a data mining application to scour through political speeches and legislative records to identify politicians most- and least-likely to support such a scheme?

    • by rimugu (701444) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @04:40PM (#29522481)

      It wouldn't work. When have you heard about a political speech and reality having any connection?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jurily (900488)

        When have you heard about a political speech and reality having any connection?

        Oooh, I have one! It even has its own article in Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Marcika (1003625)

          When have you heard about a political speech and reality having any connection?

          Oooh, I have one! It even has its own article in Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

          Fixed that for you... (And yes, someone ought to tell the Slashcode monkeys that 7-bit ASCII is only sufficient for 5% of the world's population...)

          • by wellingj (1030460)
            I've never checked but does slashdot come in any other language than the one read by the 5%?
            • by Marcika (1003625)

              I've never checked but does slashdot come in any other language than the one read by the 5%?

              Yes, there are versions of Slashcode that can deal with unicode perfectly fine, but slashdot.org has chosen to filter out anything not in ASCII.

              I heard that this was apparently a "fix" for people playing around impersonating other users by using similar characters in their usernames and suchlike. One might think that it wouldn't be much effort to put in a whitelist for some frequently-used glyphs and alphabets, but then, I'm the guy with the 7-digit-uid...

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Tubal-Cain (1289912)
              Japanese [wikipedia.org]
            • by he-sk (103163) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:09PM (#29524663)

              Wow, what an ignorant statement. Slashdot frequently posts articles from countries where they don't speak English. Zensursula, HADOPI, Piratpartiet are just three examples at the top of my head.

              People post stuff in their native tongue all the time on Slashdot, and have complained about the broken Unicode support for ages.

              Slashdot sees itself as a major internet publication, but still lives in a 7-bit world. What is this, 1985?

              • by getuid() (1305889)

                Zensursula, HADOPI, Piratpartiet...

                What is this, 1985?

                Not yet. But don't you worry, we're getting there...

              • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

                by Seriousity (1441391)

                What is this, 1985?

                In light of the subject matter, I would say no, it is 1984.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by TheRaven64 (641858)

                Even those of us in English-speaking countries run into problems. Want to refer to Euros, Pounds Sterling, or Japanese Yen? Sorry, none of those characters are accepted. You can type them, but Slashcode will mangle them (after submission, not always after preview) unless you remember to use HTML entities. Want to mention the app-switching feature on OS X? I'm afraid you'll have to mangle the name to Expose, because this is what Slashdot displays if you type it correctly: Exposé.

                There were

            • by jonbryce (703250)

              Yes, English. If you want to express amounts of money in units other than dollars, you have to type the html code for the currency unit rather than the character on your keyboard.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mysidia (191772)

        Forget political speeches... how about campaign contributions [followthemoney.org] and votes?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Culture20 (968837)

      How about a data mining application to scour through political speeches and legislative records to identify politicians most- and least-likely to support such a scheme?

      You'll have faster I/O if you focus on searching for the ones that aren't likely.

    • by jcr (53032)

      There are only two congressmen who wouldn't support it. There are also a handful who would oppose it if and only if their party wasn't in power.

      -jcr

    • by Lesrahpem (687242)
      How about we go the whole nine yards, and impliment a full scale government, politician, and business/commerce data mining system that's open, p2p, and usable by anyone? You know, just to keep things fair. I'm sure they'd have no problem with us keeping the same tabs on them that they'd like to keep on us. We'll call the system Press, because afterall, the press doesn't do their job, but maybe a system like this would.
    • How about a data mining application to scour through political speeches and legislative records to identify politicians most- and least-likely to support such a scheme?

      "Such a scheme" meaning "terrorist cells", right? ;)

  • Reminds me of the crap the DHS is pulling with gathering travel information... [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @04:21PM (#29522197)

    You didn't really think TIA was going away, did you?

    • Mi tio dijo que se iba.
  • This just in . . . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gabrill (556503) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @04:22PM (#29522229)

    The federal government (especially those under the executive branch) will do whatever the hell they please, and scandals only force them to whitewash and restart unpopular programs under different names. /rant

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @04:29PM (#29522317)
    Ignore that silly bit of domestic surveillance you see over there. Look over here at this funny video of a white kid pretending to be a pimp and getting tax advice!
  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @04:30PM (#29522339)
    Do something out of the ordinary, once or twice a day. Deviate from your normal routine in very absurd and unusual ways for no apparent reason.
    • Yesterday I absurdly did not post on slashdot.

      Today, for no reason, I actually used most of my mod points (for no reason).

      Do those count?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by lennier (44736)

      "Deviate from your normal routine in very absurd and unusual ways for no apparent reason."

      But I do that every day already!

    • by bertoelcon (1557907) <berto@el@con.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @05:22PM (#29523021)
      I actually did something like that on facebook by giving incorrect feedback on ads and becoming a "fan" of stuff I hate just to see how hard it was to screw up the recomendations.

      It is actually harder than you might think.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by martas (1439879)
      wouldn't help, unless you did something unusual regularly, i.e. usually did something unusual. for example, if a lot of people regularly acquired material necessary to build a bomb, created fake identities, got on a plane with said bomb and identity, and then didn't blow up the plane, now that would confuse them. your suggestion would just slightly increase noise in the data. hiding trends through noise is much harder than hiding trends through bias, i.e. things that look like threat in many ways, but aren'
  • False Positives (Score:2, Interesting)

    by codeAlDente (1643257)
    And how much does it ruin your life if you come up as a false positive?
  • by MikeRT (947531)

    Among the 1.6 billion records in the National Security Analysis Center â" tens of thousands of travel records, including hotel and airline records.

    It'll look something like this [youtube.com]...

  • that for years many of us took for granted that we would always live in a free society and left a trail behind us. Now its too late.

  • Last night the Vermont Attorney General spoke to a small group of good Democrats and me about his various ongoing efforts. He's the guy who was suing the phone companies a few years ago for cooperating with Bush on spying on us, so generally on the bright side of things. But he ended his talk by claiming that the same file sharing software his college-enrolled sons are likely using is also being used to spread "millions" of child porn images.

    I almost raised my hand to ask him if he was aware of the differen

    • by wes33 (698200)

      "But he ended his talk by claiming that the same file sharing software his college-enrolled sons are likely using is also being used to spread "millions" of child porn images."

      well, that's true of the wires and optic cable his sons use too ... so what?

  • it's already been used to scrutinize helicopter pilots and Philly cab drivers

    This sounds a lot like the plot of the movie Conspiracy Theory [imdb.com] where Mel Gibson plays a paranoid cab driver who publishes a newsletter of various conspiracy theories jumbled together from random public sources (this was before the age of blogs) and is chased by personnel from a shadowy government agency in black SUVs and helicopters (ala the USSS).

    • by russotto (537200) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @07:13PM (#29523989) Journal

      This sounds a lot like the plot of the movie Conspiracy Theory where Mel Gibson plays a paranoid cab driver who publishes a newsletter of various conspiracy theories jumbled together from random public sources (this was before the age of blogs) and is chased by personnel from a shadowy government agency in black SUVs and helicopters (ala the USSS).

      The real shadowy agencies are much smarter than that. If someone finds a bit of the truth, they don't chase him down (which would tend to give him credibility), they leak that truth along with a bunch of obviously bogus and silly information just to discredit him.

      Not posting anonymously because They will know who I am anyway.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by sincewhen (640526)
        Yes, that's exactly how they do it.
        Also, I have evidence that aliens control McDonalds.
        And Obama is really a woman.
  • Obligatory Minority Report goes here...

  • RAW (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ozlanthos (1172125) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:14PM (#29524341)
    Although I am sure many have said it, for me the most memorable instance of it was by Robert Anton Wilson: "Government organizations never die, they simply change names".

    -Oz
  • I remember hearing a comment back after the 9/11 attacks that the FBI database couldn't be searched like Google provides it's search queries. From that standpoint of modernization and capability, I say cheers to the FBI for making such a rebound (smells like Carnivore) 8 years later. Interestingly, or rather unsurprisingly, "The FBI declined to comment on the program."

    Now on to the AI accusations.

    "That could change if the FBI gets it hands on the data sources on its 2008 wish list. That list includes airl

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