ekesis tips a story up at NewScientist about the development of a new surveillance system by German engineering conglomerate Siemens. The system is notable for its integration of many different types of automated data-gathering. It can scan "telephone calls, email and internet activity, bank transactions and insurance records." It uses advanced pattern-recognition software to pick out unusual activities and important pieces of data. So far, the system has been sold to 60 countries. "According to a document obtained by New Scientist, the system integrates tasks typically done by separate surveillance teams or machines... This software is trained on a large number of sample documents to pick out items such as names, phone numbers and places from generic text. This means it can spot names or numbers that crop up alongside anyone already of interest to the authorities, and then catalogue any documents that contain such associates."