Data Mining and Data Analysis for Counterterrorism
March 1, 2004
Defeating terrorism requires a nimble intelligence apparatus that operates actively within the United States and makes use of advanced information technology. Data-mining and automated data-analysis techniques are powerful tools for intelligence and law enforcement officials fighting terrorism. But these tools also generate controversy and concern. They make analysis of data--including private data--easier and more powerful, and this can make private data more useful and attractive to the government. Data mining and data analysis are simply too valuable to prohibit, but they should not be embraced without guidelines and controls for their use. Policymakers must acquire an understanding of data-mining and automated data-analysis tools so that they can craft policy that encourages responsible use and sets parameters for that use. This report makes practical recommendation for such guidelines and controls.
Mary DeRosa is a senior fellow in the CSIS Technology and Public Policy Program. Previously, she served on the National Security Council staff as special adviser to the president.