By looking for patterns in email traffic, a new technique can quickly identify online communities and the key people in them. The approach could
mean terrorists or criminal gangs give themselves away, even if they are communicating in code or only discussing the weather.
Finding communities in email
"If the CIA or another intelligence agency has a lot of intercepted email from people suspected of being part of a criminal network, they could use
the technique to figure out who the leaders of the network might be," says Joshua Tyler of Hewlett-Packard's labs in Palo Alto, California. At the
very least, it would help them prioritise investigations, he says.
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