November 22nd, 2014

Data Mining for Terrorists

A while ago Bruce Schneier posted an intersting article about how the data mining we’re doing to catch terrorists won’t be effective. He followed that up recently with another post that points to a more throrough analysis.

Floyd Rudmin, a professor at a Norwegian university, applies the mathematics of conditional probability, known as Bayes’ Theorem, to demonstrate that the NSA’s surveillance cannot successfully detect terrorists unless both the percentage of terrorists in the population and the accuracy rate of their identification are far higher than they are. He correctly concludes that “NSA’s surveillance system is useless for finding terrorists.”

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