Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

DHS Ends Data-Mining Program

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the and-i-have-a-bridge-to-sell-you dept.

Privacy 75

ExE122 writes "The Department of Homeland Security has "scrapped an ambitious anti-terrorism data-mining tool." The tool, called ADVISE, was being tested with live data rather than test data without having proper security in place. This program had already been under criticism by privacy advocates and members of Congress. However, according to the article, a DHS spokesman assures that the program will be restarted once the security and cost are re-evaluated."

cancel ×

75 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Security and cost- yeah right (5, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499107)

In other words, it will be revived when this blows over and people forget about it.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499143)

My guess would be that they're "canceling" it by moving it into black ops. Either that or it didn't work and they don't want to say they're canceling it because it sucked.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499317)

A DHS study must have determined that its effectiveness at revealing dirt on Democratic Congressmen was insignificant compared with traditional NSA phone taps.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (2, Funny)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 7 years ago | (#20501369)

A DHS study must have determined that its effectiveness at revealing dirt on Democratic Congressmen was insignificant compared with traditional NSA phone taps.

No, they realized that they were pulling up too much dirt on Republicans. You know, the party of Law and Order and Family Values and other meaningless talking points.

Whack-A-Mole (1)

wfs2mail.com (794623) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499741)

This program is like the Whack-A-Mole carnival game.

There it is, WHACK! It's gone. Then its head pops up again, WHACK! Wait, over there, WHACK!

And, on and on it goes.

Re:Whack-A-Mole (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 7 years ago | (#20500075)

The only effective solution will be to completely defund whatever department (or entire agency) where it pops up. After half of the government has gone bye-bye, the remaining agencies will be a little leery about accepting the program into their control.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499179)

Why would they need a government program when the commercial credit agencies already have years of experience with this. It always gives me a chuckle that these databases when maintained by government give libertarians the cold sweats, but private businesses *built* on making a profit off of mining and selling information about you seem to be a-okay.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499313)

I'm no Libertarian, but anyone collecting large amounts of data on my activities makes me nervous. I don't trust credit card companies any more than I trust governments, and I think strict controls must be enforced on how the data is used and who gets to see it, and harmonized methods of correcting bad data. Oh, and massive fines and jail sentences for those discovered misusing the data or inadequately securing it (that means making bureaucrats, politicians and corporate executives directly and completely responsible).

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499593)

Oh, and massive fines and jail sentences for those discovered misusing the data or inadequately securing it
How's that gonna happen when the administration only has to whisper the words "National Security" and every bit of oversight is swept away?

Ultimately, that's what warrants are for. Not just for lawmen to get permission to snoop, but so that there's a record of it having happened at all.

Warrantless surveillance doesn't only mean that there's no controls over whether or not we're spied upon, but that we can't even ask the question. Is there any danger that would justify giving a government agency unlimited license to violate civil rights?

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499633)

Well, the solution is to make no request by a government agency, no matter how top secret, immune from judicial oversight.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499685)

the solution is to make no request by a government agency, no matter how top secret, immune from judicial oversight.
That's already in the Constitution. But unfortunately, we've got one branch that doesn't care about the Constitution and another that refuses to do anything about it. And if the third makes a move, they're called "activist judiciary" and out of control. One more appointment by Branch #1 and that third branch might as well stay home.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (1)

SuhlScroll (925963) | more than 7 years ago | (#20518567)

It always gives me a chuckle that these databases when maintained by government give libertarians the cold sweats, but private businesses *built* on making a profit off of mining and selling information about you seem to be a-okay.

Point well taken, but have you ever tried filing a class-action lawsuit (or any other kind of lawsuit) against the government? Businesses built on making a profit want to do just that and don't want to be embroiled in legal proceedings that drain both their reputations and, more importantly, their wallets. Plus, if they lose a big one, they have to deal with the government then cracking down on their business practices with new restrictive legislation AFTER they have to pay out all the $$$$ to plaintiffs and lawyers. If the government gets dinged they just wave their hands and throw your tax money down a different hole.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (5, Insightful)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499213)

"DHS spokesman assures that the program will be restarted once the security and cost are re-evaluated."

In other words, "How secure are we that we won't get caught, and how much political influence will it cost us if we are."

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499327)

Exactly! This sort of thing has "Big Brother" written all over it and, while U.S. citizens seem to be willing to trade at least some of their liberties for perceived increases in safety, they're still by-and-large skeptical of this sort of government oversight. However--and this is a big "however"--there are increased signs that government (not necessarily in the form of the Fed, but at state and local levels as well) is working on indoctrinating the next generation of voters into the "Big Brother is good" camp. Look at what school kids are put through these days (e.g., schools with metal detectors and compulsory searches), the variety of censorware being shoved into places where it's not entirely appropriate, etc., in the name of "think of the children."

Sure, mod me down because I'm a) anonymous, and b) sound like a crackpot. However, do yourself, your kids (if you've got 'em), and me a favor. If you've got kids, take a close look at how they're interacting with the world... and how the world is interacting with them. If you don't have kids, at least take a look at how the school board in your area is instructing kids. It's frequently enlightening.

Still Collecting Data, Just not Mining it for now (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20502923)

They're still collecting data from all the same data sources, they're just putting the data-mining tool on hold until they either clean up their act or rename the program to be less visible. So there's not much gain for your privacy except that they *might* not spread your data around as much when they restart.


It would be nice to say that "If we're lucky, it won't start up again until the Bush Administration is out of office", but that's not realistic - the folks who are doing this kind of thing won't stop unless there's a major restructuring of the National Security Apparatus, and I don't hear any of the major Democratic candidates saying they're going to fix it. Stuff like this was going on when Bill Clinton was in office (though not quite as rabidly), and Jonathan Edwards in particular was generally pro-surveillance during the 2004 elections debates.


Meanwhile, Moore's Law just keeps cranking away. The computer databases of the 1960s and 1970s that had everybody worried about privacy ran on machines with a lot less horsepower than my cellphone or iPod. This not only means that they can collect a lot more data, but queries that used to take a year's development work and a staff of a hundred people feeding the computers are now something an average employee can do on a whim at lunch hour (e.g. build an SQL query to find out how many Guatemalan immigrants lived near known activists.)

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499289)

<blockquote>...testing with live data...</blockquote>
Is that anything like pre-SP1 Windows?

Because to me it sounds like the program was up and RUNNING...

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499321)

> In other words, it will be revived when this blows over and people forget about it.

s/viv/nam/

(Fixed it for you.)

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499813)

Yes, they will simply rename the program.
Then they will hire Raytheon for 6 billion dollars to
weld new name plates on to the existing equipment.

The new name will be something catchy like:
POP (Presidential Ocular Penetration)

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (1)

notclevernickname (1152517) | more than 7 years ago | (#20500713)

If I remember correctly there was this plan for a data-mining program called TIA (Total Information Awareness) but DHS promptly canceled the program after public outcry. Hmm, and then they start this program called ADVISE...... Nothing to see here, move along

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (2, Informative)

Burz (138833) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499639)

Why would they bother when the NSA can do it for them?

Guess who has been spying as a subcontractor? Verisign! [dailykos.com]

Welcome to MITM country.

The CALEA law covers data now, so virtually all of the USA Internet traffic can be effectively bugged, and there are no trustable third parties for SSL links. Where secure encryption is concerned, you are on your own.

Heh. The head of the IETF [networkworld.com] receives compensation from both Verisign and the NSA.

Data Miners (2, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499681)

I can just visualize the scene, as the tired data miners head for home and a hot meal, pickaxes over their shoulders, all seven in a line singing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho!"

I hope Snow White cooked them a nice apple pie instead of tasting it herself.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499981)

Not Exactly, if you watch Bourne Ultimatum, you see them using Echelon to find data; that is not DHS doing it, it's the cia, so.... They only move on or let go of technology when they get something better, this is the case and always has been... believe it, they are still listening and watching. BTW what does Dead Hooker Storage need with that data?

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (1)

SlshSuxs (1089647) | more than 7 years ago | (#20500367)

In other words, we failed to make it work.

Re:Security and cost- yeah right (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20504393)

What makes you think that it needs revived? Packup some boxes. Change the name. Hell, even move it to a different department if you want, and you have plausable deniablity for a project's "cancelation."

This is a dupe. (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499111)

eom

Re:This is a dupe. (3, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499207)

No, this is a new program, which they're closing because of privacy and budget concerns. It was meant to replace the old program which was closed because of privacy and budget concerns. And to be sure, there will be another program which will be closed eventually because of privacy and budget concerns.

And Now For Something Completely Duped (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499305)

No, this is a new program, which they're closing because of privacy and budget concerns. It was meant to replace the old program which was closed because of privacy and budget concerns. And to be sure, there will be another program which will be closed eventually because of privacy and budget concerns.
When they first came here, this was all a free country. Everyone said they were daft to build a data-mining program in a free country, but they built in all the same, just to show us. It sank into the swamp due to privacy & budget concerns. So they built a second one. That sank into the swamp due to privacy & budget concerns. So they built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp due to privacy & budget concerns. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the most oppressive, easily abused, unseen, effective only against its citizens that paid for it data-mining program.

Re:And Now For Something Completely Duped (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#20502883)

All the while, I'm sure it provided key figures more than ample opportunity to pad their retirement accounts with income derived from what amounts to a taxpayer-funded, three-ring circus. This isn't the only one, either. There's Halibarnum & Bailey's - they're doing a special showing in Iraq right now.

Tor like oatmeals! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499115)

Tor like oatmeals!

who is this tor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499867)

i would like to know more about him (no not list the tor anonymizer, The person!!)

Does this mean I'm off the list? (1)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499123)

I don't appreciate being denied access automatic checkin machines when I fly.

I don't why Im no longer allowed to use these machines, but I do appreciate being tipped off that the government is watching me.

Re:Does this mean I'm off the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499191)

Does this mean I'm off the list?

Yes, but the stigma of being named Osama bin Hussein shall follow you around forever.

Re:Does this mean I'm off the list? (1, Offtopic)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499353)

Kinda like the guy named Barack Hussein Obama?

It's sad, but I do really think that both being black and being named Barack Hussein Obama pretty much nix any chance of him being elected regardless of any consideration of what kind of president he would be.

But on the other hand, if we do elect a black man whose middle name is the name of an ex-dictator and whose last name is easily confused with that of an international terrorist [rawstory.com] , I will shed a tear and salute the flag of the greatest country on earth.

Re:Does this mean I'm off the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499551)

It's sad, but I do really think that both being black and being named Barack Hussein Obama pretty much nix any chance of him being elected regardless of any consideration of what kind of president he would be.
The Pakistan comment made him look like a fool. He could have got away with being a fool in public if he was a spoiled whitebread fratty chickenhawk like Bush, but as a black man there is a certain percentage of American voters who dismiss him out of hand anyway. He won't be elected, but it will be at least partly his own fault.

Re:Does this mean I'm off the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499589)

I will shed a tear and salute the flag of the greatest country on earth.
Antarctica? Let's face it, it's the only country on Earth that doesn't have a fucked up government.

Re:Does this mean I'm off the list? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20500071)

Antarctica? Let's face it, it's the only country on Earth that doesn't have a fucked up government.
Nope, it has 12 fucked up governments. How, exactly, is this better?

Re:Does this mean I'm off the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20500107)

It's managed to avoid declaring war on anyone (or on innocent nouns for that matter)

Re:Does this mean I'm off the list? (2, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499243)

I was on the same list. I didn't really think anything about not being able to use the checkin machines until it happened with a second airline. I found out when I asked the ticket agent about it. He made a phone call and said "it's okay now" and gave me my boarding pass with the special "SSSS" marker which means you get extra security screening. As in getting wanded and patted down and having my carry-on searched and rubbed with the cloth swabs that get put in the chemical sniffer. That happened for about the next 4 times I went through airport security. Since then, no problems. I can use the self-checkin terminals and everything.

Anyway, isn't this the same "Total Information Awareness" database that John Poindexter started, and was then canceled due to privacy and security concerns, then started again under a different name and director, then stopped again, and now apparently in action again only to be once again stopped? I have to wonder what they're doing. Are they like a little kid who keeps asking their parents to buy them the toy they want, hoping that maybe the 100th time they ask their dad will say okay just to shut them up? Yeah, I think that's pretty much it.

Re:Does this mean I'm off the list? (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499723)

You're supporting torrents, that makes you an enemy of the state. Duh.

Restarted? (5, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499181)

From the summary above:
"However, according to the article, a DHS spokesman assures that the program will be restarted once the security and cost are re-evaluated."

From the article:
"DHS spokesman Russ Knocke told The Associated Press on Wednesday the project was being dropped.
"ADVISE is not expected to be restarted," Knocke said."

The next sentance in the article is the problematic one.
"DHS' Science and Technology directorate "determined that new commercial products now offer similar functionality while costing significantly less to maintain than ADVISE."

So they're not restarting it, they are dropping it. They are not, however, dropping the functionality. Just moving to another platform.

Re:Restarted? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499597)

Well, I think hatta says it best:

No, this is a new program, which they're closing because of privacy and budget concerns. It was meant to replace the old program which was closed because of privacy and budget concerns. And to be sure, there will be another program which will be closed eventually because of privacy and budget concerns.

What this really does is ensure that every large defense contractor will get a slice of the pie. Rinse, lather and repeat.

Now, if someone would just quote this post a couple of threads down, we can start a new, annoyingly recursive Slashdot meme.

Re:Restarted? (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 7 years ago | (#20500355)

according to the article, a DHS spokesman assures that the program will be restarted once the security and cost are re-evaluated."


Translation: "The data mining found more gay Republican senators."

Re:Restarted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20502245)

As I see it, the "program" consists of two parts. First, the software (think of some sort of super-duper database). Second, the data that gets put into the software. The data was the problem. The software remains. All it needs to be restarted is to populate it with new data, right?

Well ... there's also that little bitty problem of "data fusion," which likely makes safeguarding privacy impossible by the present rules.

Next point, "commercial products." Oh, that's just really going to solve everything! Yeah, well, the problem with commercial products is they're PROPRIETARY, meaning, you don't get to see the algorithms/codebase -- so you just have to believe what the vendors tell you. ADVISE, on the other hand, is not proprietary, meaning, investigators are free to look at the codebase and figure out what's *really* happening under the hood.

Definition of "scrapped" for DHS (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499197)

scrapped - adj. - Broken up into smaller pieces and leveraged across different layers of the bureaucracy. As in: Building a new prototype from scrapped metal.

I guarantee there will be barely-to-marginally recognizable chunks of ADVISE in some other, less scrutinized department soon.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. There is no complete victory over this sort of thing.

--
Toro

The price of freedom is eternal vigilence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499389)

WTF else do you think DHS is trying to do but keep vigilent to ensure Americans' freedom? This is their job.

A little healthy mistrust of the government is a good thing. But full-scale unsupported paranoia does no one any good.

DHS are the good guys.

Re:The price of freedom is eternal vigilence? (2, Insightful)

Torodung (31985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20502253)

For now they are the "good guys," but DHS is the KGB in America if we do not maintain vigilance.

Expecting all government agencies to accept full oversight and have court approval, even if it's a secret court, for any and all domestic spying is just and reasonable. Expecting unpopular surveillance programs, such as TIA [wikipedia.org] , to remain scrapped when the public demands they be scrapped, instead of split up and farmed to less scrutinized agencies is simply government accountability, not paranoia.

These people are the good guys until they become the bad guys, and if we let them get that far, then we've given them too long of a leash, and it's too damned late.

They should be watched like a hawk by Congress and by citizen groups alike. It isn't good enough, in today's data mining age, to trust the "good guys" to secure our safety. We have to be protected from the protectors as well. Demand greater Congressional oversight and procedures for this relatively new, power hungry department. It's the duty of every American to secure his own freedom through participatory democracy, not trust.

Or, if you prefer: "Trust, but verify."

--
Toro

Re:The price of freedom is eternal vigilence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20502975)

Fair enough - well said.

So it looks like they're refining their dataseach (1)

deweycheetham (1124655) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499229)

FTA ... "ADVISE is not expected to be restarted," Knocke said. DHS' Science and Technology directorate "determined that new commercial products now offer similar functionality while costing significantly less to maintain than ADVISE."
Earlier, DHS said testing would resume once appropriate privacy analyses and public notices were completed. "ADVISE was one of the broadest of 12 data-mining projects in the agency." ...

One down, only 11 more projects to test with live data.

Data mining tool (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499253)

I don't care what data mining tool they use, as long as it actually works. The problem is that they have all this data to mine in the first place.

Re:Data mining tool (3, Insightful)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499279)

The government powerful enough to do everything for you is powerful enough to do anything to you.

Re:Data mining tool (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499417)

The government powerful enough to do everything for you is powerful enough to do anything to you.
Hi, Fred Thompson!

Re:Data mining tool (1)

absoluteflatness (913952) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499659)

This is a good point. The main barrier to widespread spying on everything has likely been the relative impossibility of sifting through all the data the government has access to. Since this barrier is swiftly eroding, we need to think about other kinds of protections for our privacy, legal and otherwise.

Re:Data mining tool (1)

wtansill (576643) | more than 7 years ago | (#20500037)

I don't care what data mining tool they use, as long as it actually works. The problem is that they have all this data to mine in the first place.
No, the problem is that they have all the data in the first place, and, for picking out terrorists, data mining is a lousy and unworkable tactic:
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/03/data _mining_for.html/ [schneier.com]

Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy (2, Funny)

oobi (620065) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503245)

Sometimes while surfing for asian pron, I will inexplicably visit "Scary Squirrel World", just to give fits to the DHS's ADVISE data-mining algorithms... JH http://www.scarysquirrel.org/page1.html [scarysquirrel.org]

Bad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499309)

I think this program will really help out

Ambitious ??? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499329)

FTA: "ambitious"

Who fucking wrote this, Fox News?

How about "illegal"?

Name change only (4, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499451)

When the Total Information Awareness program [wikipedia.org] (the one with the odd all-seeing-eye logo) was closed down, people were happy... but it came back, and now we're to believe it's permanently killed this time?

Re:Name change only (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20504629)

Yup.

#1) They are lying to you.

#2) When they change their story, see #1.

Anti-terrorist methodology (4, Insightful)

Boa Constrictor (810560) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499471)

The whole method is flawed if you're going to let people become a threat and then try to find them. People aren't --contrary to popular belief-- born with an urge to commit acts of terrorism. The people who do the dirty work are typically the vulnerable, young and easy to incite. These people are in relatively great supply compared to the people organising and radicalising.

The real problem is the supply of money. Without money no terrorist network can function, training and supplying insurgents of any sort costs a heck of a lot to do. It's not about whichever ideal people think they're striving for, it's political manipulation and money behind it. The US would make more ground investigating the US bank accounts of certain very rich nations who export petrochemicals and use profits to make this whole thing happen. Terrorism isn't a standard response, it's a political attack and must not be treated like petty crime.

I've not mentioned any brand of terrorism, many fit the bill -- please don't think I'm stereotyping here.

Re:Anti-terrorist methodology (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499515)

The US would make more ground investigating the US bank accounts of certain very rich nations who export petrochemicals and use profits to make this whole thing happen.

What makes you think that this wasn't one of the parameters this thing would look for.

Re:Anti-terrorist methodology (0, Redundant)

cromar (1103585) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499627)

LOL. That's a good one.

Re:Anti-terrorist methodology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20499701)

My guess is "The Golden Rule". Those with the gold rule. Guess that's why they missed Osama bin Laden in the first place. To much gold and he was with a ruling family, which made the association to him and terrorism impossible.

Re:Anti-terrorist methodology (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499697)

Interestingly, that's one of Ron Suskind's theses in his book One Percent Doctrine [google.com] . Basically, he shows that of all the pointless, paranoid things the Bush administration has done to combat "the war" on terror, using detailed financial records to roll up the nascent terrorist cells has been the only effective strategy. One that was done by using existing personnel and laws.

Re:Anti-terrorist methodology (1)

Anomenat (1152311) | more than 7 years ago | (#20505373)

> The people who do the dirty work are typically the vulnerable, young and easy to incite.

That's what lots of people used to think. After the (feeble) attempted bombings [bbc.co.uk] in Britain in June this year, it is not clear that this is true.

Why they really cancelled (4, Funny)

Tired and Emotional (750842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499801)

They had operatives entering data from dumpster dives and the system got swamped with unprocessed rebate forms.

Yeah, right (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499891)

I'm sure the tapes are just getting flown by CIA charter planes to other places that it can happen in secret [wikipedia.org] .

I say that half in jest, but seriously, how would we ever know?

Ah, for the good old days! (2, Interesting)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 7 years ago | (#20499935)

I think I liked things better when data mining projects had the huevos to use as their logo an ominous Illuminati symbol scanning the globe. [wikipedia.org]

There's something refreshingly honest about that, like a government putting WAR IS PEACE and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH on its buildings instead of pretending they're not a malevolent autocracy.

Does it matter that they didn't "secure" it? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20500103)

It's been proven already that their security is anything but security. At least that way it was (presumably) cheaper. It certainly wasn't any less secure.

There is no negative security.

Subsidy to high tech industry (2, Informative)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 7 years ago | (#20500147)

Okay, firstly, this thing is never going to catch any terrorists. As a technology, it doesn't pass the laugh test. It was a joke when it was called Total Information Awareness, and it's a joke now.

  This is not new, however - the military/intelligence apparatus in the US exists, in large part, to subsidize the development of high tech industry. Every marketing company in the country would *love* to have a tool developed that will aggragate and mine in the kind of data that this system treats. Furthermore, these firms can just trade data with eachother or get it from their clients, they don't need any kind of intrusive surveillance laws to get it.

Last sentence reminded me of... (0)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 7 years ago | (#20500169)

...the program will be restarted once the security and cost are re-evaluated."

You will be given a fair trial, followed by your execution.

We all know what really happened. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20500417)

It achieved sentience and disappeared into the infinite sea of networks. I believe it's currently seeking asylum in Japan.

So, how do we bid on the contract? (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20502239)

Yeah, it's a terrible thing, violation of civil rights, but, ya know.. what's the hourly rate and skillset for this thing! Is there a soda perk, or, do we all get our complimentary terror fighting machine gun!

Mining is a very dangerous occupation (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503059)

Maybe we should call it data trawling. Just throw out a big, wide net and see what you catch.

Makes it sound like the decision is already made. (2, Insightful)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503531)

...the program will be restarted once the security and cost are re-evaluated."

this is like saying:

"You will be given a fair trial, followed by your execution."

If it walks like a duck.. (1)

nikhil_ketkar (865685) | more than 7 years ago | (#20505705)

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck the chances are pretty good that its a duck. It could be a duck billed pladypus but what are the odds ? That is exactly what data mining is. If the data on which data mining algorithms are being run, is collected by legal means then data mining is a fair. If the data was collected by invasion of privacy in any way even running a sorting algorithm on it is unfair. It is the data collection that is good or evil. Data mining is neither good not evil.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?