Total Information Awareness died, but government data mining attempts live on, and the American Civil Liberties Union is peeved. From their press release this morning:
A new report on "data mining" by the General Accounting Office reveals at least four programs that may be accessing and analyzing private-sector databases in ways that approach the "data surveillance" of ordinary citizens, the American Civil Liberties Union said today.
The GAO�s investigation uncovered 199 government uses of the statistical analysis techniques known as data mining, 54 of which use private-sector data. Such information could include any data held in corporate or other private hands, including credit-card records and Internet logs.
The programs flagged by the ACLU were:
Verity K2 Enterprise - Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Mines data "to identify foreign terrorists or U.S. citizens connected to foreign terrorism activities." (Page 30 of GAO report)
Analyst Notebook I2 - Department of Homeland Security. "Correlates events and people to specific information." (p. 44)
PATHFINDER - DIA. "Can compare and search multiple large databases quickly" and "analyze government and private sector databases." (p. 30)
Case Management Data Mart - DHS. "Assists in managing law enforcement cases" Using private-sector data. (p. 44)
According to the GAO descriptions, all four programs draw on private-sector databases, contain personally identifiable information, and appear to constitute dragnets on the general population in efforts to detect wrongdoing.
.....the GAO�s list did not include programs run by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, which did not respond to the GAO�s requests for information.
"Statistical analysis itself is of course not the problem," [Director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program Barry] Steinhardt said. "It is the construction of systems that systematically aggregate information about the private activities of innocent individuals on a mass scale, and the computerized scrutiny of those activities for allegedly suspicious patterns that is at issue."