• United States
News Editor

More snooping for terrorists

Feb 10, 20062 mins
Data Center

It’s getting to where you need a program just to keep track of all the government data-mining and surveillance operations. 

The latest to make headlines is called ADVISE — for analysis, dissemination, visualization, insight and semantic enhancement. According to this story in the Christian Science Monitor, its design is to sift through oceans of our personal data from every source imaginable in an effort to root out terrorists.

“What sets ADVISE apart is its scope,” this story says. “It would collect a vast array of corporate and public online information – from financial records to CNN news stories – and cross-reference it against US intelligence and law-enforcement records. The system would then store it as “entities” – linked data about people, places, things, organizations, and events, according to a report summarizing a 2004 DHS conference in Alexandria, Va. The storage requirements alone are huge – enough to retain information about 1 quadrillion entities, the report estimated. If each entity were a penny, they would collectively form a cube a half-mile high – roughly double the height of the Empire State Building.”

 With mistrust of government surveillance programs becoming a truly bipartisan movement, my guess is we’ll be hearing a lot more about ADVISE.

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at