Tuesday, September 18, 2007

House Committee Chair Wants Info on Cancelled DHS Data-Mining Programs

Jaikumar Vijayan writes on ComputerWorld:

Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, has asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to provide a detailed listing of all IT programs that have been canceled, discontinued or modified because of privacy concerns.

He also asked for details on the amount of money the DHS spent on each program, the names of contractors who were awarded the projects, and information about the measures being taken to address privacy issues.

Thompson's demand was prompted by the recent cancellation of the agency's Analysis Dissemination Visualization Insight and Semantic Insight (ADVISE) data-mining program, which was shelved because of privacy concerns after $42 million had been poured into it. In a letter to Chertoff yesterday, Thompson expressed concern about the "apparent litany" of DHS programs that have been canceled or otherwise modified after millions of dollars have been spent because of a failure to assess their privacy ramifications early on.

DHS officials could not be reached for comment.

More here.


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