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FBI Set To Turn Up Advanced Security Search Engine

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the wonder-what-that-cost dept.

Crime 56

coondoggie writes "The FBI says it is set to roll out is N-DEx search engine and information sharing program to a wider swath of the federal, state and local law enforcement community. The FBI has been developing N-DEx since 2008 and says that once this latest round of development is complete, law enforcement agencies will be able to search, link, analyze, and share information such as case reports on a national basis to a degree never before possible, the agency stated."

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56 comments

detailed spec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35073272)

Basically, the system links search for information on pedophiles to the "Catholic Church Who is Who"

Finally? (2)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073284)

Shouldn't something like this have existed 10 years ago? I understand it takes time to collect the data that goes into it but the engine itself? Be interesting to see if it turns any isolated murder cases into serial killer cases.

Re:Finally? (2)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073352)

Well in fairness to the FBI they had a huge project failure under SAIC called the Virtual Case File project. That failure most likely impacted this roll out significantly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Case_File [wikipedia.org]

Re:Finally? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073778)

what's wrong with PROMIS or main core ? not enough bloody prok involved?!!

Slow Down Cowboy!

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goddamit /. , you're gonna get my throat slit in a bathtub for making joking about the wrong stupid sheet
let my people post as AC!

Re:Finally? (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079132)

If you mean pork yeah you nailed it. DC is all about the next project. I worked for 3 years on a project only to see it get rolled out and then the next administration heads came in and immediately wanted it replaced by their own vision. Who benefited most? The contractors who build systems of course. It's a never ending dance where these same people that give these companies work retire from the government and go get a cushy job with them as a kickback.

If people knew how DC really worked they'd be much more ticked off than they already are.

Re:Finally? (2)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073368)

Shouldn't something like this have existed 10 years ago? I understand it takes time to collect the data that goes into it but the engine itself? Be interesting to see if it turns any isolated murder cases into serial killer cases.

...Or that arrest that you had at age 19 when you were living across the US and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. A crowd goes rowdy, the cops arrest everyone, and you can't get a job because you were arrested. Makes it kind of hard for those who have made a few mistakes here and there to ever leave something in the past.

Also, as I understand it, this information was more or less available to begin with. Now the FBI makes it a lot easier for LE to hassle you for nothing or to do a mass witch hunt.

You don't tend to think about these things until you've actually been in LE...

Re:Finally? (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073392)

Don't most employers ask if you've ever been arrested before anyway? And I doubt employers will have access to this information.

Re:Finally? (1)

Whomp-Ass (135351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073472)

Don't most employers ask if you've ever been arrested before anyway?

Negative. You are asked if you have ever been convicted of a felony, in most cases.

And I doubt employers will have access to this information.

Unless your employer is a LEO, or you require a security clearance, or NASA, or you want to work for any other government agency, or...well, you get the idea.

Re:Finally? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078752)

In theory the same applies to the UK, but unfortunately paranoia over child sex offenders has created a situation where rumour and speculation can be disclosed. Not just to employers either, but to friends and family.

Any job where an adult can be in charge of children requires a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. Individuals can also request them if someone has access to their kids, e.g. a mother who starts a relationship with a man. In fact even the mother's family can request the checks.

The CRB check not only takes into account criminal convictions, it also includes arrests without charge, associations, unsubstantiated reports or complaints and social services notes. The person who is the subject of a check does not have to be told about it in all instances and is not allowed to see the evidence against them.

A couple of years ago a woman was denied a job as a cleaner at a school because of a CRB check. It was on the BBC PM program. They wouldn't tell her why she failed it, but the only reason she could think of is that she once lived in a house with someone who was later convicted of a sex offence. This was years previously and she was never accused or suspected of any wrong-doing.

More recently there has been controversy over plans to require parents giving their children's friends a lift to school to have a CRB check. The new coalition government cancelled it, fortunately.

Re:Finally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081854)

And I doubt employers will have access to this information.

Unless your employer is a LEO, or you require a security clearance, or NASA, or you want to work for any other government agency, or...well, you get the idea.

GP is correct: my sister's new employer (a large Internet company) gave her a copy of her pre-employment background check results, which showed that she once had been cited during a traffic stop for forgetting to carry her driver's license. This is a mere traffic violation in her state — not a misdemeanor.

Naturally, she still got the job, but this gives you an idea of how far gone the situation is in the US.

Re:Finally? (4, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073406)

You don't tend to think about these things until you've actually been in LE..

I don't know why, but I feel worried when someone who has been in law enforcement picks the username "TrisexualPuppy"

Re:Finally? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073992)

You mean, like when you can't get a job anymore just because they found a few dead hookers in your basement? Man, I HATE it when that happens!

Re:Finally? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078276)

It is classic lazy policing, much like we had back in the 60s/70s when coppers would just round up the "likely suspects". The only difference now is that the computer spits out names based on some pseudo-science process that legitimises them.

Re:Finally? (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079582)

How is a searchable and shared database lazy policing any more then using a computer spreadsheet instead of pencil and paper lazy accounting or SVN/eclipse instead of floppy disks and VI lazy programming?

Re:Finally? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081488)

Instead of bothering to investigate properly they just pull up a list of people who might be connected to the crime and lean on them. The police in the UK already do that regularly with DNA evidence. It changes the default assumption of innocence too because if they find a bit of your DNA at a crime scene then you have to prove you are not connected to the misdeed.

Re:Finally? (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35074424)

Shouldn't something like this have existed 10 years ago? I understand it takes time to collect the data that goes into it but the engine itself? Be interesting to see if it turns any isolated murder cases into serial killer cases.

More like it'll be interesting to see how many isolated murders turn into serial killings.

Re:Finally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35074562)

The FBI was using Carnivore up until 2005 or so (allegedly of course)
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/carnivore.htm

Re:Finally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35074674)

Shouldn't something like this have existed 10 years ago?

It did. You don't actually believe that they thought of gathering the information to link all of your Slashdot and IRC posts and pseudonyms just this past week, did you?

Re:Finally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35076260)

Have you ever seen what gov. software engineering jobs pay? I can wait tables and make more money. They don't have anyone good.

Re:Finally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35077760)

Shouldn't something like this have existed 10 years ago? I understand it takes time to collect the data that goes into it but the engine itself? Be interesting to see if it turns any isolated murder cases into serial killer cases.

Not at all. It's designed to churn out reports to Wikileaks.

And not to be outdone in Redmond... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35073292)

...the Bing team announced they would copy the results...

Re:And not to be outdone in Redmond... (1)

cyberfr0g (2812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35075856)

google this

openssh download

now bing it

who wins?

lazy? it's bing. and i HATE bing. google is not doing the right things in presenting data to their users. "easiest path to the data" used to be ok but now i care more about a site's trust than it's usability.

content creators should always have higher priority in search results.

Re:And not to be outdone in Redmond... (1)

Caetel (1057316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078988)

Search for 'download openssh' - you know, the order which makes more sense in English - and the results from Google and Bing are almost identical with openssh.com at the top.

Ability Greater Than Zero (3, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073432)

>search, link, analyze, and share information such as case reports on a national basis to a degree never before possible

Since their current ability is essentially zero, this goal should not be too tough to achieve. Although given past failures, they could still manage to screw it up.

Re:Ability Greater Than Zero (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35074052)

Since their current ability is essentially zero, this goal should not be too tough to achieve. Although given past failures, they could still manage to screw it up.

Wait... I'm pretty sure they have my shoe prints in the National Shoe Print Database since I visited a US Forest recently.
Why do they need to build such a thing, can't they just Call Horatio Caine and get this info?

Remember how a Gov Data Base used to Scare peeps? (1)

unil_1005 (1790334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073466)

Anybody?

Anybody?

Anybody?

Re:Remember how a Gov Data Base used to Scare peep (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35074062)

Sorry, the many people whom it still scares can't hear you, what with their tinfoil hats covering their ears and all...

Prevent wikileaks (2)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073470)

One would hope that with such a powerful system in place, there would be safety measures to prevent a Wikileaks type incident with the investigation information. I would also hope extensive background checks are done on the people that have access to this information. With police corruption at hand and perhaps organized crime paying its way into departments, this seems like an ample opportunity for org. crime to influence the local PD to see if they have an FBI file or find out what's in their rival's FBI files.

Re:Prevent wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35074036)

Most of that information does not effect national security and I doubt they will require the police to have a TS clearance to operate it. The physical servers themselves will be sensitive and require a TS to get access, but if they put a secret or top secret requirement it reduces the effectiveness because many police officers cannot pass an SSBI

Re:Prevent wikileaks (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35074074)

I suspect Wikileaks is the least of your problems.
I would be more worried about the *cough* legal uses of the data.

Re:Prevent wikileaks (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35074658)

The only data security is to have only trustworthy people securing the data. The mechanisms involved are irrelevant once that second person gets involved. It also helps if, while you are trusting them, they know they can trust you to use the system to secure the right information.

Cops stalking ex-girlfriends, etc. (2)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35074858)

There's already so much misuse of existing police databases that gets reported in the press, and presumably a lot more that doesn't. Some of it's cops stalking ex-lovers, or cops doing a "favor" for somebody to help them stalk somebody (with or without bribes attached to the favor), in ways that are blatantly illegal. Some of it's cops helping their friends in more-or-less-organized crime find out who's after them, or find business partners who are snitching or otherwise about to become ex-partners. Some of it's motor vehicle clerks helping people get their papers in order after driving while intoxicated or driving while speaking Spanish. Some of it's politicians trying to find out about other politicians, or trying to find out what other politicians can find out about them.

Lots of opportunity for Bad Stuff to happen here.

Re:Cops stalking ex-girlfriends, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35075370)

Think about the female dispatchers in small towns. It will be the ultimate facebook stalking. OMG drama!

Compensate for incompetence with technology. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35073506)

This would be illegal some time ago in US.
Now we think that giving away our liberties for illusion of safety is a better way.
It is ironic, every time law enforcement fails to do their job, due to incompetency, we
end up giving them more power and money?

Re:Compensate for incompetence with technology. (2)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35074500)

Illegal? [citation needed]. This is a shared database for law enforcement, you tinfoil twit. It's to allow federal to local agencies to share data, which means a lot less digging and waiting around for records when the cops are trying to catch a serial killer. Do you even THINK about this sort of thing or do you just kneejerk the moment you see "federal" and "database" in the same story?

Seems roundabout (0, Troll)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073588)

Why build a search engine and database? Just plug in a name and it should just give you a live stream from the person's phone, GPS location and nearby surveillance cameras. Can add a checkbox for promising to follow up with a warrant later in case some civil rights namby-pambys get in office. No sign of any at the moment

Article title makes for an unfortunate acronym (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35073604)

(A)dvanced (S)ecurity (S)earch Engine. Thankfully the FBI went a different route with N-DEx.

Am I the only one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35073702)

who is disappointed that the handcuff icon doesn't mean this is a story about bondage?

Re:Am I the only one (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35073920)

Hey, you're free to submit stories yourself.

We haven't had any really juicy geek gossip since Stefan Eriksson [wikipedia.org] and Hans Reiser [wikipedia.org] are out of circulation. (That's not entirely true, Julian Assange is working hard at keeping things interesting...)

Re:Am I the only one (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35074008)

Exactly what part of the complete lack of connection between "news for nerds" and "bondage" are you unclear on?

Ok, FBI change M to N then call it your own? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35074720)

So I work in the enterprise search space and I know for a fact that the FBI has been using Endeca Search and Navigation for years. The funny thing is the engine that powers Endeca is known as the MDEX engine.

It sounds to me very much like the FBI and just rolling that out to other agencies and are swapping the 'M' for an 'N' just so everything thinks that the FBI wrote the software.

Sigh?

Carmen Sandiego (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35076144)

law enforcement officers will be able to search databases for information on everything from tattoos to cars

this sounds like Carmen Sandiego crime computer

But... (1)

ieatcookies (1490517) | more than 3 years ago | (#35077196)

Is it called the intersect?

Re:But... (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35077480)

Is it called the intersect?

No, its going to be bought out by a certain search company and renamed Google Crime

Scanning is illegal in most countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35077286)

THIS isn't a search engine its a scanner.
violates sovereignty

Homeland Security (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078842)

Does this mean we can get rid of Homeland Security which was initially purported to have been created simply to bridge the gap between all the agencies that already existed?

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