It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
A Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute computer science professor hopes to develop mathematical models that can uncover structure within the scattershot traffic of online public forums.
Trying to monitor the sea of traffic on all the chat channels would be like assigning a police officer to listen in on every conversation on the sidewalk — virtually impossible.
Instead of rummaging through megabytes of messages, RPI professor Bulent Yener will use mathematical models in search of patterns in the chatter. Downloading data from selected chat rooms, Yener will track the times that messages were sent, creating a statistical profile of the traffic.
If, for instance, RatBoi and bowler1 consistently send messages within seconds of each other in a crowded chat room, you could infer that they were speaking to one another amid the "noise" of the chat room.
"For us, the challenge is to be able to determine, without reading the messages, who is talking to whom," Yener said.
In search of "hidden communities," Yener also wants to check messages for certain keywords that could reveal something about what's being discussed in groups.
Security officials know al-Qaida and other terrorist groups use the Internet for everything from propaganda to offering tips on kidnapping. But it's not clear if terrorists rely much on chat rooms for planning and coordination.
Michael Vatis, founding director of the National Infrastructure Protection Center and now a consultant, said he had heard of terrorists using chat rooms, which he said offer some security as long as code phrases are used. Other cybersecurity experts doubted chat rooms' usefulness to terrorists given the other current options, from Web mail to hiding messages on designated Web pages that can only be seen by those who know where to look.
It in all likelyhood is an offshoot of the Echelon program they use with email
I can't imagine the computing power necessary to start pulling all text from all chat rooms and channels everywhere. And when you do, the power necessary to look through all that and find something relevant?
Originally posted by Djarums
As far back as 8-10 years ago AOL was using bots to log some private chat rooms in which people were conducting illegal activities. When you have resources like AOL does I'm sure it's not a big deal but they were only dealing with AOL private rooms. I can't imagine the computing power necessary to start pulling all text from all chat rooms and channels everywhere. And when you do, the power necessary to look through all that and find something relevant? Damn, the only way that's gonna happen is if the agency responsible forces their employees to run something like seti@home from their houses too, completing tasks of scanning chats from their home PCs as well as work.
Actually AOL tracks all of thier chat rooms, you can get a log of any chat room on thier servers
I have been in chat rooms where there have been people very vocal about agreeing with the terrorists. I have to wonder if these people would be put on a list or monitored based on what they say in chat, though they are obviously not terrorists and are just expressing their opinions.
Is this currently in use?
Originally posted by worldwatcher
my problem with this chat room monitoring, if "keywords" are going to be the trigger, is that it doesn't account for "foreign languages"
Will the monitors be able to catch stuff spoken in different languages???
I don't think Al-Qaeda will be discussing their plans in English while in chat rooms. So is this new monitoring really for terrorism or for something more sinister?