The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is building a new terrorist profiling system, called Tangram. What's wrong with the old profiling systems, you might ask? Well, according to an unclassified document describing Tangram, they're not all that good at catching terrorists.The document, which is a description of the Tangram program for potential contractors, describes other, existing profiling and detection systems that haven't moved beyond so-called "guilt-by-association models," which link suspected terrorists to potential associates, but apparently don't tell analysts much about why those links are significant. Tangram wants to improve upon these methods, as well as investigate the effectiveness of other detection links such as "collective inferencing," which attempt to create suspicion scores of entire networks of people simultaneously.Tangram's pedigree also is familiar. It is apparently the next generation of DARPA's Total Information Awareness system, which has been conducted in secret since Congress pulled public funding on the project in 2003. TIA programs form the foundation for Tangram, the document describing the system shows. (With one big difference: no privacy protections.)Read the full story on Tangram in National Journal here.-- Shane Harris
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