from the bet-some-smart-guys-work-there dept.
mrogers writes "USA Today has a story describing how the NSA looks for suspicious calling patterns in the huge volumes of traffic data it collects. "Templates" such as a call from overseas followed by a flurry of domestic calls are used to identify leads, which are forwarded to the FBI for investigation. There have been complaints that low-quality leads are drawing agents away from other cases, and similar pattern-matching approaches have been found wanting in the past. Can data mining identify terrorists?"
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a
cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken