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CRS: Data Mining and Homeland Security: An Overview

Author: Jeffrey W. Seifert
January 27, 2006

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This report considers data mining in the context of homeland security. Data mining can be a potential means to identify terrorist activities, such as money transfers and communications, and to identify and track individual terrorists themselves, such as through travel and immigration records. It examines the degree to which government agencies should use and mix commercial data with government data, whether data sources are being used for purposes other than those for which they were originally designed, and possible application of the Privacy Act to these initiatives. It is anticipated that congressional oversight of data mining projects will grow as data mining efforts continue to evolve.

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