Money Laundering, Terrorism and Financial Institutions - USA Patriot Act Monitor

News Releases

5/1/2007 Homeland Security’s Data Mining Project Carries Privacy Risks

To see how financial activity data is integrated by the government into an overall analysis of a potential terrorist operation or organization, one should look at the ADVISE technology of the Department of Homeland Security. ADVISE (standing for Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement), currently in development, will allow DHS (or any other agency or sub-agency with access) to search for patterns in data, including relationships among people, organizations, and events, and to produce a visual representation of such a pattern, called a semantic graph. Such a graphic depiction can look something like the following figure, with the “person of interest” in the center being connected to various individuals, countries, organizations, events, and financial activities, details of which can be found by an analyst drilling down through layers of information.

One concern about the collection of such massive amounts of data, and the detection of interconnections between pieces of information, is that individuals can be associated with terrorist activities who are actually innocent of any connection. The Government Accountability Office has released a report concerning these dangers, and DHS itself has issued several reports on privacy issues arising with increasingly sophisticated technology. The ADVISE system and other data mining projects will be the subject of an article in the July issue of the Monitor.

USA PATRIOT ACT MONITOR is published by Civic Research Institute, Inc., 4478 U.S. Route 27, P.O. Box 585, Kingston, NJ 08528, 609-683-4450,, as an update service for Money Laundering, Terrorism and Financial Institutions: Law · Regulation · Compliance · USA PATRIOT Act Monitor © 2004 Civic Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying expressly prohibited. The information in this publication is not intended to replace the services of a trained legal professional. Neither the editors, nor the contributors, nor Civic Research Institute, Inc. are by this publication engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. The editors, contributors, and Civic Research Institute, Inc., specifically disclaim any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use or application of the contents of this publication.

<< News Releases Main Page