FBI Plans (Yet Another) Initiative To Profile Terrorists - UPDATE
Ellen Nakashima writes in The Washington Post:
The Federal Bureau of Investigations is developing a computer-profiling system that would enable investigators to target possible terror suspects, according to a Justice Department report submitted to Congress yesterday.More here.
The System to Assess Risk, or STAR, assigns risk scores to possible suspects based on a variety of information, similar to the way a credit bureau assigns a rating based on a consumer's spending behavior and debt. The program focuses on foreign suspects but also includes data about some U.S. residents. A prototype is expected to be tested this year.
Justice Department officials said the system offers analysts a powerful new tool for finding possible terrorists. They said it is an effort to automate what analysts have been doing manually.
"STAR does not label anyone a terrorist," the report said. "Only individuals considered emergent foreign threats (as opposed to other criminal activity such as U.S. bank robbery threats) will be analyzed."
Some lawmakers said, however, that the report raises new questions about the government's power to use personal information and intelligence without accountability.
UPDATE: 00:16 11 July 2007: An AP newswire article, via MSNBC, with additional details can be found here.