Data Mining

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An Important Review of Big Data

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:41am
Yesterday John Podesta, the president’s senior adviser, released a highly anticipated report addressing how the administration should tackle the challenges of big data in coming years. So how’d he do? Pretty well, actually. The report recognizes some important new realities and recommends some positive policy solutions for “a world of near-ubiquitous data collection where that data is being crunched at a speed increasingly approaching real-time.”
Vast New Spying Program Was Started in Secret on a Bogus Pretext

Vast New Spying Program Was Started in Secret on a Bogus Pretext

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:25am

The Wall Street Journal today published (alternate link) an in-depth review of a new, relatively unknown program run by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Although we have been warning about the dangers of the program for months, and I testified…

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:18pm

Update: Since this piece was posted, the ACLU has filed FOIA requests seeking more information on data-mining by the NCTC. Read more »

What if a government spy agency had power to copy and data mine information about ordinary Americans…

Will We Mold Ourselves To Match Our Data?

Will We Mold Ourselves To Match Our Data?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:42pm

I recently came across a very nice essay on “The Stupidity of Computers” by David Auerbach, which is really much more interesting than that truism of a headline might suggest.

Auerbach starts with the observation that computers…

Big Data, George Orwell, and Tanks

Big Data, George Orwell, and Tanks

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:33am

I recently came across an interesting passage by George Orwell. It made me think about Big Data.

It is a commonplace that the history of civilization is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery…

Senate Homeland Security Committee Misses the Mark with Statement on DHS “Fusion Center” Program

Senate Homeland Security Committee Misses the Mark with Statement on DHS “Fusion Center” Program

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:35pm

Last week, the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations issued a report criticizing the Department of Homeland Security for its failure to ensure proper oversight over state and local “fusion centers.” …

Step One in Data-Mining America: Build a Big Database

Step One in Data-Mining America: Build a Big Database

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 5:14pm

A few days ago, we highlighted the drastic privacy implications of new guidelines issued to govern data-mining by the National Counterterrorism Center (“NCTC”). Yesterday, we testified to Congress about the problems with the guidelines,…

Big Data: Revolution or Overhyped Fad?

Big Data: Revolution or Overhyped Fad?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 8:43am

In a prior post I alluded to the fact that the buzzword “Big Data” is just a new term for “data mining.” The potential for big data analytics to discover new things about us is frightening from a privacy perspective, as I discussed. But, it…

Burying the Needle

Burying the Needle

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 2:54pm

Back in 2007, Reps. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) and James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress's watchdog over the federal government. As the two top members of the Subcommittee on Investigations and…

Not Just the NSA: Data Brokers Amass Detailed Profiles on Everyone Online

Not Just the NSA: Data Brokers Amass Detailed Profiles on Everyone Online

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:11pm

This month, a strongly worded Washington Post op-ed by Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill calling for transparency in the business practices of the online data broker industry provoked a heated response. While the ACLU and other privacy advocates…

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