***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** _____________________________________________________________________ Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director wellman at chass.utoronto.ca http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto 455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162 You're invited to visit -- and contribute to -- my new fun website "Updating Cybertimes: It's Time to Bring Our Culture into Cyberspace" http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php _____________________________________________________________________ NSA Using Social Network Analysis Wired News Report 09:15 AM May, 12, 2006 If the National Security Agency is indeed amassing a colossal database of Americans' phone records, one way to use all that information is in "social network analysis," a data-mining method that aims to expose previously invisible connections among people. Social network analysis has gained prominence in business and intelligence circles under the belief that it can yield extraordinary insights, such as the fact that people in disparate organizations have common acquaintances. So it did not surprise many security analysts to learn Thursday from USA Today that the NSA is applying the technology to billions of phone records. Computer security experts say it is often more important who is talking to who than what is being said. The NSA declined to comment. But several experts said it seemed likely the agency would want to assemble a picture from more than just landline phone records. Other forms of communication, including cell phone calls, e-mails and instant messages, likely are trackable targets as well, at least on international networks if not inside the U.S. USA Today reported that the NSA has collected call logs from the three largest U.S. phone companies, BellSouth, AT&T and Verizon. It remains unclear whether other communications providers have been asked for their call logs or billing records. Verizon Wireless has denied involvement in the program, while Cingular — an AT&T/BellSouth joint venture — and Sprint Nextel have not denied participation. - - - _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.