Monday, August 27, 2007

DHS Shuts ADVISE Data-Mining System Citing Privacy


According to the Christian Science Monitor, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Data Mining project called ADVISE (Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight and Semantic Enhancement - WHEW!) had been in effect for over 18 months before it was killed by privacy assessment requirements from their own "Office of the Inspector General" (OIG) While at first blush it appears that we've got sufficient oversight in place with the OIG of DHS, I think it more likely that they simply chose to avoid informing that office of the status and scope of the project - or that OIG got involved only after a muckracking journalist or whistleblowing staffer got involved.

The interesting thing here is that DHS launched this project after two similar projects were killed - Total Information Awareness from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA) and the TALON Terrorism database program headed by the Pentagon - were shut down for the same reasons, although oversight for those agencies comes from the GAO (Government Accountability Office).

So the question becomes which government agency is currently working on a similar program and do they all share their data and findings with each other as each project is killed for privacy concerns. These data mining spooks are bound to come up with a fully operational system that stays out of the privacy spotlight by the time a fifth or sixth agency has built their system and input all the data from each of the other programs.

Each agency in turn develops new advances and seeks more ways to stay out of the crosshairs of privacy advocates, then shuts down operations and passes it to the next agency when they are found out.

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posted by RealitySEO at 12:39 PM

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