[FoRK] Why We Are Losing The War on Terrorism (fwd from andrew at ceruleansystems.com)
camera_lumina at hotmail.com
Tue May 4 07:37:49 PDT 2004
"The volume of data they collect has reached the point where good
analysis is no longer tractable in a theoretical algorithmic sense with
the best tools they currently have at their disposal, particularly when
you have a data space as broad and diffuse as "terrorism" to sift. "
This is also going to get increasingly difficult in the US, as the entire
world begins to view us as a rogue nation. In other words, within a few
years a search of potential terrorists is likely to spit out 95% of the
world's population! (Unless, of course, we can convince everyone that
torture is a necessary tool for freedom.)
>From: Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org>
>To: transhumantech at yahoogroups.com, cypherpunks at al-qaeda.net
>Subject: Re: [FoRK] Why We Are Losing The War on Terrorism (fwd from
>andrew at ceruleansystems.com)
>Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 10:56:42 +0200
>----- Forwarded message from "J. Andrew Rogers"
><andrew at ceruleansystems.com> -----
>From: J.Andrew Rogers <andrew at ceruleansystems.com>
>Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 22:08:30 -0700
>To: fork at xent.com
>Subject: Re: [FoRK] Why We Are Losing The War on Terrorism
>X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.613)
>On May 3, 2004, at 9:14 AM, Contempt for Meatheads forwarded:
> >We desperately need adult supervision and high quality minds in the
> >intelligence business! I am growing more convince that the security
> >clearance process, the government hiring/promotion process, and
> >information silos are overwhelming our ability to get even a
> >marginally adequate level of intelligence needed to fight terrorism.
> >Wow, this is depressing.
> >My confident belief (100%): we will continue to lose the war on
> >terrorism until we fix our intelligence system.
>I think this analysis is correct, but also a bit too shallow to be
>really insightful. While there are some significant institutional
>problems and byzantine self-defeating regulations, these things are
>masking a much bigger technical problem that desperately needs to be
>tackled from their perspective.
>The volume of data they collect has reached the point where good
>analysis is no longer tractable in a theoretical algorithmic sense with
>the best tools they currently have at their disposal, particularly when
>you have a data space as broad and diffuse as "terrorism" to sift.
>Institutional procedures and problems aggravate this, but the
>underlying issues are deeper.
>One of the ways I keep track of what the US DoD is up to is by analysis
>of the open research programs, contracts, and grants that they publish.
> By threading the many, many programs together over time, you can see
>how fast different technologies are progressing and you can chain
>inferences to make an intelligent estimate as to when specific
>capabilities (which may require the intersection of multiple research
>tracks) could theoretically be available to the DoD. Furthermore, the
>program managers have a habit of mildly editorializing their program
>descriptions in response to some of the proposals they have received
>and the success of the proposals they have actually funded, which also
>gives some added insight.
>One thing that I have noticed for several years is that the advanced
>data mining and automated intelligence analysis research programs have
>been essentially stalled for many years now despite aggressive
>marketing and a large number of agencies willing to liberally fund
>proposals. And the editorializing of the program managers on this
>research track makes it clear that they are quite frustrated both with
>the lack of progress in this area and with the fact that research
>proposals keep trying to beat the same dead horse over and over.
>Furthermore, while most programs have a shelf-life after which they are
>either closed (both on good progress or no progress), these particular
>programs keep getting extended and re-funded over and over, sometimes
>under a different name but always with roughly the same parameters.
>As long as this program track is stuck in neutral, the intelligence
>agencies will have serious problems that will be all but
>insurmountable. The US intelligence service is a victim of its own
>ability to acquire data. This isn't a problem that they can simply
>throw money at in the sense that it requires pretty substantial
>algorithm breakthroughs to even be tractable for high-quality analysis.
> To date, private research organizations have clearly been unable to
>solve this problem in any meaningful way, and there is substantial
>evidence of this fact. In the mean time, they are left using narrow
>brittle algorithms to sift and analyze the data, with holes you could
>drive a truck (bomb) through.
>Someone who fully understood the theoretical limitations and likely
>implementation parameters of the current state-of-the-art could likely
>defeat the automated analysis. Fortunately for the intelligence
>agencies, few people have those skills and they get by on a pretty
>broken system hampered further by institutional problems.
>j. andrew rogers
>FoRK mailing list
>----- End forwarded message -----
>Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
>ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144 http://www.leitl.org
>8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A 7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
><< attach3 >>
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