Saturday, January 30, 2016


Issue 12 describes how Deep Data Mining is used to hunt terrorists
     The 1/29/16 Issue 12 of Spy AgencyHappenings! is all about the use of deep data mining to fight terrorism. Interestingly, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report on deep data mining and its privacy implications for Americans. It discusses data mining activities currently deployed or under development in DHS and we used this as a compass to hand-select relevant articles for Issue 12. Here’s 5 data mining systems currently used in America:      

(1) The Automated Targeting System (ATS), which is administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and includes modules for inbound (ATS-N) and outbound (ATS-AT) cargo, land border crossings (ATS-L), and passengers (ATS-UPAX);
(2) The Analytical Framework for Intelligence (AFI), which is administered by CBP;

(3) The Data Analysis and Research for Trade Transparency System (DARTTS), which is administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE);

(4) The FALCON-Roadrunner system, which is administered by ICE; and

(5) The DHS Data Framework, which is a DHS-wide initiative.

      The 1/29/16 Issue 12 Spy AgencyHappenings! contains articles going back to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 when DHS was authorized to use data mining in the programs listed above. The DHS adheres to a set of eight Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) that are rooted in the tenets of the Privacy Act. It is hoped that DHS currently, and in the future, applies the FIPPs fully in its data mining activities.
     Fortunately, there is a human aspect to DHS data mining activities. While the DHS uses the data mining programs listed above, it does not make decisions about individuals solely on the basis of data mining results. DHS employees, as in human beings, conduct investigations to verify (or disprove) any suspicious results of data mining, and then bring their own judgment and experience to bear in making determinations about individuals initially identified through data mining activities.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is an adjunct professor, a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and authors the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". His views are his own and do not represent those of any organization he is a member of.

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