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[infowar.de] Spammer oder Geheimdienste : Datamining der Geheimdienste
Following is the text of the press release:
National Science Foundation
July 25, 2002
NSF, INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY TO COOPERATE ON "DATA MINING" RESEARCH
The intelligence community will provide as much as $8 million to
supplement existing National Science Foundation (NSF) research into
methods of extracting underlying patterns -- and even developing
predictive abilities -- from enormous sets of data such as television
broadcasts and Web pages. The funding will come from the Intelligence
Technology Innovation Center (ITIC), which falls administratively under
the Central Intelligence Agency but is funded separately.
The researchers who will receive the ITIC funding already were tackling
aspects of those problems. But last September's terrorist attacks have
lent their work much greater immediacy, noted Peter Freeman, assistant
director for NSF's Directorate for Computer & Information Sciences and
Engineering (CISE) and the agency's coordinator of national security.
CISE program officer Gary Strong said the agreement would give the
intelligence community access to some of the finest minds in the fields
computer science -- including some it would not otherwise encounter --
while the researchers gain access to large databases that will
The research will be as freely available to scientists as any other
NSF-supported findings, he added.
The partnership also reflects an aspect of NSF's charter: to support
science and engineering research related to national security.
"NSF's priority remains keeping the United States at the cutting edge of
development in all scientific fields, including computer and information
sciences," said NSF Director Rita Colwell. "That the agency can, at the
same time, contribute materially to the nation's security is beneficial
Strong said that in a world awash in data -- from Web pages to e-mail to
television broadcasts in all languages -- information scientists seek to
"mine" that data for underlying patterns and trends and to flag changes
established patterns. The task is made more difficult by the
nature of databases -- for example, television news broadcasts which are
constantly in flux.
Not all of those applications have national security aspects, however.
Uses could range from natural disaster response to bioinformatics.
Currently, efforts to use the enormous datasets belonging to the federal
government in a coordinated way is difficult for a variety of reasons,
ranging from incompatibility of databases to privacy restrictions.
Developing data mining techniques within these constraints is a major
challenge regardless of national security implications, Strong said.
"These are very interesting public policy and technology data problems,"
Strong said. "It's a very complicated problem and it's being approached
right now in an ad hoc way."
The arrangements with ITAC and the CIA were made through the interagency
Knowledge Discovery and Dissemination (KDD) program. Through KDD, NSF
identifies projects and programs in which research might be related to
national security and then calls on the research community to focus its
efforts, where appropriate, in that direction.
An NSF-sponsored workshop was held in December to identify projects,
programs and new research directions. From an initial pool of more than
40 potential projects of interest to the intelligence community a dozen
were chosen to receive supplementary funding over the next three years
part of the cooperative venture.
Among the projects funded under the initiative:
a. SRI International will investigate how to enable machines to
individuals by the way they talk, a sophisticated capability well beyond
existing voice-recognition algorithms.
b. Researchers at Columbia University will develop a system to track
patterns in a variety of data types -- such as news programs, online
rooms, e-mail and voice mail -- and automatically generate a summary of
information on a specific event.
c. Scientists at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center hope to devise a
of detecting new or significant developments from a multilingual stream
NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research
and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an
budget of nearly $5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through
to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives
about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000
funding awards. NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and
service contracts yearly.
HSFK Hessische Stiftung für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
PRIF Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
Leimenrode 29 60322 Frankfurt a/M Germany
Tel +49 (0)69 9591 0422 Fax +49 (0)69 5584 81
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