Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Counterterrorist Data Mining Needs Privacy Protection - UPDATE

Thomas Claburn writes on InformationWeek:

In a sweeping new report that examines the balance between security and privacy, The National Research Council (NRC) recommends that the U.S. government re-think its approach to counterterrorism in light of the privacy risks posed by unchecked data mining and behavioral surveillance.

The NRC report, "Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists," is the culmination of three years of discussions and research aimed at providing the government with a framework for thinking about existing and future information-based counterterrorism programs. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry co-chaired the study committee.

The proposed framework represents an attempt to address privacy concerns that have dogged past counter-terrorist data mining programs like Total Information Awareness.

The report acknowledges the utility of a variety of technologies in the context of security, but cautions that counterterrorism programs need to be operated lawfully, with oversight, and with some recognition of the limits of technology.

More here.

UPDATE: 10:34 PDT: Declan McCullagh writes on C|Net News that the report also says something else: Data mining doesn't actually work. -ferg


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