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“Seeing is knowing, though merely seeing is not enough. When you understand what you see, seeing becomes believing.”
~Pak Chung Wong, PNNL Scientist
The U.S. government is developing a massive computer system that can collect huge amounts of data and, by linking far-flung information from blogs and e-mail to government records and intelligence reports, search for patterns of terrorist activity.
The system — parts of which are operational, parts of which are still under development — is already credited with helping to foil some plots. It is the federal government's latest attempt to use broad data-collection and powerful analysis in the fight against terrorism. But by delving deeply into the digital minutiae of American life, the program is also raising concerns that the government is intruding too deeply into citizens' privacy
Yet the scope of ADVISE — its stage of development, cost, and most other details — is so obscure that critics say it poses a major privacy challenge.
"We just don't know enough about this technology, how it works, or what it is used for," says Marcia Hofmann of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. "It matters to a lot of people that these programs and software exist. We don't really know to what extent the government is mining personal data."
Even congressmen with direct oversight of DHS, who favor data mining, say they don't know enough about the program.
"I am not fully briefed on ADVISE," wrote Rep. Curt Weldon (R) of Pennsylvania, vice chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, in an e-mail. "I'll get briefed this week."
The DARPA (changed from total) Information Awareness Office (IAO) will imagine, develop, apply, integrate, demonstrate and transition information technologies, components and prototype, closed-loop, information systems that will counter asymmetric threats by achieving total information awareness useful for preemption; national security warning; and national security decision making.
NVAC fulfills a fundamental need to provide leadership, coordination, and advanced analytical tools to make progress in effectively understanding and addressing the threat environment in the United States.
The unique partnerships created under NVAC between national laboratories, university research centers, scholars, and other government agencies represents an on-going commitment to collaboration in the discipline of visual analytics.
NVAC provides stewardship for the Research and Development Agenda, ensuring that a continual stream of advanced analytical tools for information discovery are developed and implemented for stakeholders.
The controversial Identity Cards Bill [official PDF text] narrowly passed its critical second reading in the British House of Commons Monday evening despite efforts by opposition parties and rebellious backbenchers from British Prime Minister Tony Blair's [official profile] own Labour Party to stop it. In two years, anyone applying for travel or immigration documents in the United Kingdom will be required to register for a national identification card [JURIST archive]. The cards will include biometric information that will also be kept in a central government database with the goal of combating terrorism and illegal immigration.
Local governments across Japan began inputting data into a new nationwide central database on Aug. 5, despite complaints from several quarters. Some complaints, such as those from privacy advocates, were expected, but things really began to heat up when several local governments said they wouldn't participate in the system until promised privacy laws were enacted
The new machine-readable passport with enhanced security features and a new look will be ready to be issued by mid February, according to foreign ministry officials …
In its latest effort to outwit forgers ICAO has specified member countries to adopt a chip called the radio frequency identification chip which will contain the personal bio-data, a digitized version of the photo, and biometrics with facial and fingerprints details. Bhutan, however, is not opting for the chip. “We are new to all this and only affluent countries like the US and European countries are going for the sophisticated facilities,” said Tshewang Dorji.
The photo and personal data are then printed onto the PVC card. Visitors also have to give fingerprints which are stored in a database for the duration of the Games.
From that point onwards, each time visitors want to enter the Deutsches Haus, they must have their cards read in a verification station at the entrance and have their live fingerprints taken. The live data is compared with the data stored. If they match, the visitor is admitted.
Proponents and vendors of biometric ID however have noted that the general public seems to have some kind of privacy issue with the term "RFID", for some reason fearing that RFID ID documents involve them becoming tagged and monitored crates in the homeland security industry's supply chain. So, as Wired explained last year, the strangely RFID-like chips in biometric ID are instead to be called contactless or proximity chips.
Originally posted by skywatcher7
making secret projects, using our money to fund them.
Originally posted by Ralph_The_Wonder_LlamaThese are all devices that feed your search results to private companies. What if a government agency does the same, but innocently hides a data-tracking program for government use instead of business use?
You may never have heard the term "data mining," but it's at the core of the argument that's raging over government eavesdropping on Americans. It's also how commercial companies learn about who you are, where you go, what you eat, what you like, what you buy.
Data mining is the process of using computer technology to extract the knowledge that's buried in enormous volumes of undigested information. Trillions of bits of raw data are culled from telephone calls, e-mails, the Internet, airlines, car rentals, stores, credit card records and myriad other sources spawned by the information age.
"Every single search you've ever conducted - ever - is stored on a database somewhere," said Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School in New York. "There's probably nothing more embarrassing than the searches we've made."