DHS plans new information fusion program
| 09.12.2006 | 06:48:38 | Views: 2892 | ID:
September 12 '06: In a new initiative just released by the Department of Homeland Security, a new intelligence program will use data-mining and other new technologies to track terror threats against the US, Washington Technology reported this week.
WashTech reported that the goal of the new program will be to integrate information and intelligence capabilities to process, tag, classify and organize and analyze information to help combat potential threats.Specifically, the department said, "Some key goals of data mining are: to understand behaviors; to forecast trends and demands; to track performance; and, to transform seemingly unrelated data into meaningful information. ... Under the strategic goal of awareness, it is the Department's duty to identify and understand threats, assess vulnerabilities, determine potential impacts and disseminate timely information to its homeland security partners and the public." The Information Fusion system, or I2F, "is in early development," WashTech reported, however it will provide "an integrated intelligence and information capability." "The report does not mention political controversies about data mining," WashTech continued. "Several previous counter-terrorism data mining programs initiated by the government, including Total Information Awareness sponsored by the Pentagon and the Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II sponsored by DHS, were discontinued over privacy concerns." Similarly, on a local level. In Colorado, state counterterrorism officials working with regional law enforcement are planning on launching an internet-based system "that lets ordinary people electronically report 'suspicious activity" - ferreting out possibly terrorist bombers or plotters in their midst," the Denver Post reported. Civil libertarians "immediately denounced the move as deeply destructive" to liberties however officials said the system was important in helping law enforcement track potential terrorist cases. State Patrol Chief Mark Tostel said on Monday, "One person can make a difference in thwarting terrorism." "The system lets anybody with Internet access send a report and photos (via www.ciac.co.gov) documenting anything that strikes them as suspicious," the Post continued. Several agencies inside DHS will use the I2F program which will supplement an already-existing 12 data mining programs which are being developed or are in place around the Department, WashTech reported.
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