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  1. #261  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    I've done data analysis as well as pattern recognition (in genomics) for the past decade.
    And yet you don't understand what data mining is. Why is it not synonymous with "data analysis"? Come on, I know you can figure it out if you try. What's the distinction? What's special about data mining that database analysts created a special term for it to distinguish it from other types of data analysis? It's in the definition. And I've tried to explain it to you as well.
  2. #262  
    Quote Originally Posted by clairegrrl
    Why hasnt this died a natural death??
    Because chillig staked out a really dumb position, and I won't let it go.
  3. #263  
    Quote Originally Posted by clairegrrl
    Why hasnt this died a natural death?? The story was made up it appears.
    really? Just because some of the telecoms "denied" that they gave NSA their data? How about the fact that the court recently allowed some of the AT&T documents to be unsealed (albeit redacted) in the EFF lawsuit against AT&T?
    Preliminary injunction filed by EFF: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/PI-Redact.pdf

    Redacted AT&T documents: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/KleinDecl-Redact.pdf
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  4. #264  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    really? Just because some of the telecoms "denied" that they gave NSA their data? How about the fact that the court recently allowed some of the AT&T documents to be unsealed (albeit redacted) in the EFF lawsuit against AT&T?
    Preliminary injunction filed by EFF: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/PI-Redact.pdf

    Redacted AT&T documents: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/KleinDecl-Redact.pdf
    Ho-Hum...this "proves" absolutely nothing
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  5. #265  
    this is an opinion piece I just came across that offers some intelligent insights into intelligence (collection).

    ... In fact, little "vital intelligence" derives from phone monitoring. Nor do eavesdropping agencies seem to care about getting good intelligence. On September 10, 2001, for example, NSA experts encountered a seemingly juicy Arabic phone call. But they didn't translate the message, "tomorrow is zero hour," until September 12.

    "Real intelligence," Special Agent of the FBI Robert Scherrer told me in 1980, "comes from framing the right question and finding the person with the right answer; not the paid informant who tells you what he thinks you want to hear so he can keep getting paid."

    In 2002-2003, the "intelligence community" ignored such wisdom. Instead, CIA Case Officers posed loaded questions to dubious Iraqi exiles with hidden agendas. Schemers posed as "hot sources," like the infamous Curveball, a low-level and larcenous clerk in an Iraqi chemical factory who defected to Germany. Curveball assured eager-to-hear-it Bush officials that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear weapons. German intelligence said his information "lacked credibility," but Bush used his "information" in public speeches.

    Faced with this kind of spurious "human intelligence," some "intelligence pros" retreated into the data of signal intercepts. Ironically, as the high tech NSA super sleuths searched for mathematical formulas to track terrorists' phone calls, they failed to detect terrorists who "had set up shop literally under [NSA's] nose."

    The hijackers of American 77 plotted from Laurel, Maryland, NSA's neighbor. NSA employees and terrorists "exercised in some of the same health clubs and shopped in the same grocery stores." After the hijackers left their Motel to go to Dulles Airport to capture American 77, "they crossed paths with many of the electronic spies who were turning into Fort Meade, home of the NSA, to begin another day hunting for terrorists." (James Bamford, Washington Post, June 2, 2002)

    During the period just before 9/11, NSA workers might as well have gone on vacation, like the President who wasn't there. Absent before and immediately after the 9/11 attacks and on vacation when Hurricane Katrina struck, Bush still excels at distracting the public - with dramatic photo ops.

    His staff reached new depths when they set false contexts for discussing "leaks of intelligence" to obscure the fact that the government was illegally wiretapping citizens - instead of collecting meaningful intelligence.

    Indeed, General Michael Hayden, the NSA chief, did not convince Bush to postpone his pre 9/11 vacation. Subsequently, however, he advised W to approve a constitutionally questionable wiretapping plan. Technological fixation along with classifying millions of documents seems to absorb those charged with discovering threats.

    Rather than infiltrating hostile groups with declared intentions to attack, the $40 billion a year "intelligence community" eavesdropped on millions of civilians who had no violent intentions.

    Phone intercepts masquerading as "vital raw intelligence," became a political ruse. Congress now debates whether "war on terrorism" justifies warrant-less intercepts, which presumes that eavesdropping will provide terrorism "experts" with material to protect the nation. As if!

    No Member of Congress has asked: "Why doesn't the intelligence community [a term that debases both words] use its intelligence and ask people who know something?"

    Billions of dollars get spent on spy satellite photography and signal intercepts, but little effort goes into sharing with decision makers the views of scholars who actually know about Muslim terrorists. Instead of reading insightful articles and books on the subject, NSA and CIA mavens rely on technology and biased sources to pierce the nether world of terrorism....

    ... In August 1998, bombers hit U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. In 2000, saboteurs hit the USS Cole in Persian Gulf waters. Didn't the "intelligence community" expect more violence? The FBI and CIA had also discovered that suspected violent agents had entered the United States and enrolled in jumbo jet flying school. These aspiring pilots, however, showed no interest in takeoffs and landings. On August 6, 2001, National Security Adviser Rice received a Presidential Daily Briefing citing FBI analysis indicating "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

    For her negligence, Bush promoted Rice to Secretary of State. So, why shouldn't the ineffective Hayden become head of another federal agency? At his confirmation hearings, Senators didn't ask Hayden why NSA failed to act promptly on the September 10 "tomorrow is zero hour" intercept. Senators praised Hayden as they had the hapless George Tenet and the incompetent Porter Goss, who made the CIA into an intelligence joke. Tenet promised Bush that finding WMD in Iraq would be a "slam dunk." Goss' behavior led some of the most experienced analysts to resign...
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  6. #266  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    And yet you don't understand what data mining is. Why is it not synonymous with "data analysis"? Come on, I know you can figure it out if you try. What's the distinction? What's special about data mining that database analysts created a special term for it to distinguish it from other types of data analysis? It's in the definition. And I've tried to explain it to you as well.
    Let me connect the dots for you since you insist on being dense....

    Here is what the USA article said (once again) with some key terms highlighted:
    The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.
    .....
    The agency today is considered expert in the practice of "data mining"sifting through reams of information in search of patterns.
    .....
    The agency told the companies that it wanted them to turn over their "call-detail records," a complete listing of the calling histories of their millions of customers. In addition, the NSA wanted the carriers to provide updates, which would enable the agency to keep tabs on the nation's calling habits.
    .....
    Under Section 222 of the Communications Act, first passed in 1934, telephone companies are prohibited from giving out information regarding their customers' calling habits: whom a person calls, how often and what routes those calls take to reach their final destination. Inbound calls, as well as wireless calls, also are covered.
    Once again - some definitions of data mining (which you agreed with) with key terms highlighted:
    To do this, data mining uses computational techniques from statistics and pattern recognition....

    ...by attempting to discover interesting patterns in sequences of events, sequential pattern extraction aims to efficiently sieve through large volumes of data...

    Data mining parameters include:
    > Association - looking for patterns where one event is connected to another event
    > Sequence or path analysis - looking for patterns where one event leads to another later event
    > Classification - looking for new patterns
    and another definition of data mining ..
    Data analysis without preconceived hypothesis to unearth unsuspected or unknown relationships, patterns or associations of data."
    Data analysis (in the narrow definition) is used for hypothesis testing - e.g. in the case of multivariate analysis, looking to fit data to a preconceived trend. And typically, in this kind of data analysis the data points have a mathematical relationship to one another (e.g. a monotonic or geometric progression of sales volume as a function of time).
    Phone numbers do not have mathematical relationships to one another or to other data (call time or length). The NSA is trying to analyze calling patterns to detect terrorist activity - not looking to fit the data to some kind of preconceived trend!!
    Of course, instead of giving specifics, the only thing you could come up with is dumb stuff like: "It's often just a guy analyzing data, maybe with a PC" or "You don't understand what data mining is" or evade the issue altogether with empty semantics by saying: "Data mining is not synonymous with "analyzing data."".
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  7. #267  
    Quote Originally Posted by clairegrrl
    Ho-Hum...this "proves" absolutely nothing
    You said the story was "made up" - has USA today retracted their story? Why is the EFF going ahead with their lawsuit? Why was AT&T trying to prevent the court from unsealing the documents?
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  8. #268  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35
    Of course, instead of giving specifics, the only thing you could come up with is dumb stuff like: "It's often just a guy analyzing data, maybe with a PC" or "You don't understand what data mining is" or evade the issue altogether with empty semantics by saying: "Data mining is not synonymous with "analyzing data."".
    I didn't give any more specifics because I already gave specifics. You gave specifics. You just needed to read and understand what was already said. I'm tired of having to repeat myself to you.

    Data mining involves the semi-automated analysis of a very large database using certain well-defined methods and tools. There's an entire profession built up around data mining. It's not just a casual, clever way of saying "digging for data."

    Yes, the NSA is expert at data mining, but there's nothing to indicate that they need to do data mining on this call database except for your assumption that they have to since the database is so large. You even posted an article explaining why data mining would be worthless. The author was right. Yet you cling to that assumption that the NSA has to do data mining.

    Data mining may involve searching for patterns, but searching for patterns doesn't imply data mining. As I said earlier, you only need a brain to detect patterns. A simple "call pattern" might be a history of calls to or from multiple people on a list of known or suspected terrorists. You can do that without writing a complex analytical algorithm.
  9. #269  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    Data mining may involve searching for patterns, but searching for patterns doesn't imply data mining. As I said earlier, you only need a brain to detect patterns. A simple "call pattern" might be a history of calls to or from multiple people on a list of known or suspected terrorists. You can do that without writing a complex analytical algorithm.
    You're close, but I think you're selling the gov short. I wouldn't believe that they are looking for just any pattern. It would make sense that given certain conditions, they'd use predictive analysis to keep them from having to process everything. Once you use that type of analysis, it's data mining. I think data mining, warehousing, soa, grid, and all other current buzzwords are just new labels on techniques and technology that's been used for quite some time.

    I guess more importantly, why wouldn't believe that the data would be analyzed? At some point you've got to convert data to information. Otherwise, what's the point?
  10. #270  
    Quote Originally Posted by gaffa
    You're close, but I think you're selling the gov short. I wouldn't believe that they are looking for just any pattern. It would make sense that given certain conditions, they'd use predictive analysis to keep them from having to process everything. Once you use that type of analysis, it's data mining.
    Exactly what kind of "pattern" would you expect to find? Please give me an example.

    And specifically what data would you use to "predict" and what would you be trying to predict? Remember that we're talking about a call database. A list of phone numbers, dates, times, call durations, calling plan, and perhaps some other info.

    I think data mining, warehousing, soa, grid, and all other current buzzwords are just new labels on techniques and technology that's been used for quite some time.
    True, data mining is a buzzword. The techniques came from academia - computer science and math. It took off in the business world in the mid 90s only after many businesses started collecting vast amounts of data and the computing power became sufficient to analyze it. But it is a well-defined term.

    I guess more importantly, why wouldn't believe that the data would be analyzed? At some point you've got to convert data to information. Otherwise, what's the point?
    Of course the data will be analyzed. It's a call database. What do you do with a call database? You see who called whom.

    If you have a list of suspected terrorists, and you want to find other terrorists, do you analyze what times of day they like to use the phone to find other people who use the phone the same way, or do you just look at who they called?
  11. #271  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    If you have a list of suspected terrorists, and you want to find other terrorists, do you analyze what times of day they like to use the phone to find other people who use the phone the same way, or do you just look at who they called?
    This goes back to one of my original points. Start with that list. You don't need my phone number. If somehow my number comes up in a 6-degrees game, then get a court order to pursue the thread from my phone number. If you explain and justify to a judge, then I've no problem with you looking at my data. But if should be for limited use. If nothing pans out within a reasonable amount of time, then erase the data and move on.
  12. #272  
    Quote Originally Posted by gaffa
    This goes back to one of my original points. Start with that list. You don't need my phone number. If somehow my number comes up in a 6-degrees game, then get a court order to pursue the thread from my phone number. If you explain and justify to a judge, then I've no problem with you looking at my data. But if should be for limited use. If nothing pans out within a reasonable amount of time, then erase the data and move on.
    So I guess we're off the "data mining" thing then.

    As for the call database, if it's true that call records for landline phones only contain outgoing calls, how would the NSA get all the phone calls made to a specific phone number? I think you'd agree that getting 100 million court orders for each phone number they wanted to investigate would be impractical.
  13. #273  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    So I guess we're off the "data mining" thing then.

    As for the call database, if it's true that call records for landline phones only contain outgoing calls, how would the NSA get all the phone calls made to a specific phone number? I think you'd agree that getting 100 million court orders for each phone number they wanted to investigate would be impractical.
    I think you and I will just disagree on data mining. Also, it's not a point that I consider to be of great consequence. I think that I, and most people concerned about the phone db, consider the lack of justification and accountability to be the most disturbing piece of this action. If you justify gathering the data to a judge, and are held accountable for that data, then how you troll that data, and what you call the act doesn't matter.

    IMHO, if you need 100 million court orders, you're fishing. So you shouldn't be given those orders because you can't show cause for all 100 million.
  14. #274  
    Quote Originally Posted by gaffa
    I think you and I will just disagree on data mining. Also, it's not a point that I consider to be of great consequence.
    You didn't answer my question about an example of how data mining could even be used on this database, but I agree that's it's not the central issue, as I said earlier. We can move on.


    IMHO, if you need 100 million court orders, you're fishing. So you shouldn't be given those orders because you can't show cause for all 100 million.
    Well, it's not "fishing" if you're seeking something very specific: every phone call received by a phone number.

    1. Can you understand why law enforcement would want to find every phone call received by a phone number when investigating a terrorist network?

    2. Do you believe that it's legitimate for law enforcement to ask for every phone call received by a phone number when investigating a terrorist network?

    3. Do you believe that it's legitimate for law enforcement to ask for every phone call made from a phone number when investigating a terrorist network?
  15.    #275  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    2. Do you believe that it's legitimate for law enforcement to ask for every phone call received by a phone number when investigating a terrorist network?

    3. Do you believe that it's legitimate for law enforcement to ask for every phone call made from a phone number when investigating a terrorist network?
    First of all, law enforcement did not ask, they ommitted the courts all together and took not just phone records recieved by a phone number, or phone numbers made from a terrorists phone number, but every phone call from all of us!

    That's what the rest of us are upset about.

    And nobody cares about your silly standard / non-standard data mining diatribe.
  16. #276  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    ..That's what the rest of us are upset about. And nobody cares about your silly standard / non-standard data mining diatribe.
    If ya didnt spend so much time wackin' on some 1-900 number you might be able to figure out if you were upset, or didnt care
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  17. #277  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    First of all, law enforcement did not ask, they ommitted the courts all together and took not just phone records recieved by a phone number, or phone numbers made from a terrorists phone number, but every phone call from all of us!
    I don't know if it was in the form of a question, but it was a request to the phone companies. They certainly didn't raid the phone company data centers and confiscate data. At least one phone company claims to have declined the request.

    As for being upset about their not going to the courts, yes we know. That's what we've been talking about.

    And nobody cares about your silly standard / non-standard data mining diatribe.
    You're very confused. That was you who repeatedly posted about "non-standard data mining." But that's okay. They were mostly ignored.
  18. #278  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim
    Well, it's not "fishing" if you're seeking something very specific: every phone call received by a phone number.

    1. Can you understand why law enforcement would want to find every phone call received by a phone number when investigating a terrorist network?

    2. Do you believe that it's legitimate for law enforcement to ask for every phone call received by a phone number when investigating a terrorist network?

    3. Do you believe that it's legitimate for law enforcement to ask for every phone call made from a phone number when investigating a terrorist network?
    It's my understanding that they requested everything, not something specific.

    1. If you have a number, I'm sure the phone company can give you a list. Provided you have a court order.

    2. If it's a specific number, and you have a court order. Go for it!

    3. If you have probable cause.

    The point I will continue to drive is, authorities must prove that they have probable cause to request and recieve private information. They must be accountable. Right now, they don't have to justify their requests and don't appear to be accountable to any independent organization.

    I don't care if you need to create a domestic version of FISA. Do it, and put an end to this.
  19. #279  
    Okay, so you agree that it's legitimate to ask for every call made to a phone number

    1. I don't think there is a way of getting that information without having to go to every phone company. You believe that since your company retains incoming call data for 45 days, then the phone companies must also. Even if they did, that wouldn't help if the gov't needed 2 years of records.

    2. You demand that the courts get involved without considering the costs or the risks. The cost in time would be considerable if they have to get the data from many phone companies for a single phone number. And we talked about the considerable risk you create when you insert bureaucracy into a terror investigation.
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    #280  
    I thought some folks might find this interesting. I was rooting around on the internets for a bit and I thought this might be relevant to the discussion at hand.


    Source: Judicial Watch

    For Immediate Release
    Apr 20, 2005 Contact: Press Office
    202-646-5172


    FBI PROTECTS OSAMA BIN LADEN’S “RIGHT TO PRIVACY” IN DOCUMENT RELEASE

    Judicial Watch Investigation Uncovers FBI Documents Concerning Bin Laden Family and Post-9/11 Flights


    (Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that fights government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) has invoked privacy right protections on behalf of al Qaeda terror leader Osama bin Laden. In a September 24, 2003 declassified “Secret” FBI report obtained by Judicial Watch, the FBI invoked Exemption 6 under FOIA law on behalf of bin Laden, which permits the government to withhold all information about U.S. persons in “personnel and medical files and similar files” when the disclosure of such information “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6) (2000))



    Before invoking privacy protections for Osama bin Laden under Exemption 6, the FBI should have conducted a balancing “test” of the public's right to disclosure against the individual's right to privacy. Many of the references in the redacted documents cite publicly available news articles from sources such as The Washington Post and Associated Press. Based on its analysis of the news stories cited in the FBI report, Judicial Watch was able to determine that bin Laden’s name was redacted from the document, including newspaper headlines in the footnoted citations.



    “It is dumbfounding that the United States government has placed a higher priority on the supposed privacy rights of Osama bin Laden than the public’s right to know what happened in the days following the September 11 terrorist attacks,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is difficult for me to imagine a greater insult to the American people, especially those whose loved ones were murdered by bin Laden on that day.”



    The redacted documents were obtained by Judicial Watch under the provisions of the FOIA and through ongoing litigation (Judicial Watch v. Department of Homeland Security & Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 04-1643 (RWR)). Among the documents was a declassified “Secret” FBI report, dated September 24, 2003, entitled: “Response to October 2003 Vanity Fair Article (Re: [Redacted] Family Departures After 9/11/2001).” Judicial Watch filed its original FOIA request on October 7, 2003. The full text of the report and related documents are available on the Internet by clicking here (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).
    Last edited by NRG; 06/07/2006 at 11:23 PM.

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