Old Profiling Program Under New Name Raises Privacy Concerns
As if there were proof needed to find the big brother story about MRI brain activity scanning scary, the Washington Post from Wednesday, February 28, 2007; has the following news on it’s Page D03:
“The Department of Homeland Security is testing a data-mining program that would attempt to spot terrorists by combing vast amounts of information about average Americans, such as flight and hotel reservations. Similar to a Pentagon program killed by Congress in 2003 over concerns about civil liberties, the new program could take effect as soon as next year.”
ADVISE: a new name for an old dream of the U.S. government – Total Information Awareness. Under the pretext of anti-terror protection the goal is still the same: data veillance with edge technology, combing through diverse sources of private data building patterns and recognising motivations and themes.
Data the system can mine include credit card records, telephone and usage of online shops, new groups or browsers (Google) as well as private homepages, blogs or E-mails, medical records and travel and banking information.
The newspaper said the system employs the same data-mining techniques developed by the Department of Defense’s Total Information Awareness project banned by Congress in 2003 because of privacy violations. ADVISE — for Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight and Semantic Enhancement — system, is part of the Threat and Vulnerability, Testing and Assessment portfolio within the Department of Homeland Security.
Beyond all concerns of lawmakers and civil right’s activists, Jim Thomas, National Visualization Analytics Center – Richland, Wash., who contributed to the development of the gigantic data amount visualisation software has nothing but praise for his work: “There’s no question that the technology we’ve invented here at the lab has been used to protect our freedoms – and that’s pretty cool”.
I’d say rather:”… that’s pretty hot!”