Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Strip-mining for data

The Wall Street Journal reported on 10 March that NSA is conducting massive data mining of U.S. communications and other transactions in its attempts to identify possible terrorists, sifting through transactional data related to cellphone and landline telephone calls, e-mail, internet use, travel, and financial transactions, among other information (Siobhan Gorman, "NSA's Domestic Spying Grows As Agency Sweeps Up Data," Wall Street Journal, 10 March 2008). Looks like earlier reports and speculations (see here and here) were pretty much on the mark.

The NSA picture is gradually becoming clear(er), but we have yet to find out exactly what CSE—can't make myself call it CSEC—is doing in its own data mining efforts. Maybe a little transactional analysis of its own? Chief Adams certainly seemed interested in the subject in his 30 April 2007 testimony to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (relevant bit quoted in this post).

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