***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** From today's NY Times Barry Wellman _______________________________________________________________________ S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC NetLab Director Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto 455 Spadina Avenue Room 418 Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman fax:+1-416-978-7162 Updating history: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php Elvis wouldn't be singing "Return to Sender" these days _______________________________________________________________________ "F.B.I. Data Mining Reached Beyond Initial Targets" New York Times (09/09/07) P. 1; Lichtblau, Eric Newly obtained FBI documents show that the bureau's data mining efforts to find data on terrorism activities was more widespread than originally thought. The FBI relied on telecommunications companies to analyze phone-call patterns of the associates of Americans who had come under suspicion, creating a "community of interest" that could implicate innocent Americans in investigations. The bureau stopped using this practice early this year, partially because of broader questions on its aggressive use of the records demands, known as national security letters. The community of interest data is important to a data-mining technique known as link analysis, which uses communications patterns and other data to identify suspects who may not have any other known links to extremists. Supporters of the system say it is a vital tool in predicting and preventing attacks, but privacy advocates, civil rights leaders, and even some counterterrorism officials say link analysis can be misus ed to establish links to people who have no real connection with terrorism. The FBI declined to say exactly what data was examined, but a government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says the data was limited to people and phone numbers "once removed" from the central target. The FBI's Mike Kortan says that community of interest data is "no longer being used pending the development of an appropriate oversight and approval policy," and that the technique was used infrequently and was never used for email communications. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/washington/09fbi.html?em&ex=1189483200&en=48ef7b275 8c89e78&ei=5087%0A _____________________________________________________________________ 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.