Pentagon’s Threat-System Would Scan Emails, Texts
By Daniel Tencer
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
In an effort to prevent the next Fort Hood-style shooting before it happens, the Pentagon has launched a program to scan massive amounts of communications and detect anomalies in behavior that could predict “insider threats” to the military.
While the Pentagon’s advanced research arm describes the project as being designed to detect threats to the military from within its own ranks, critics say such a system would inevitably invade the privacy of millions of people and could be the thin end of the wedge towards a “police state.”
Earlier this month, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency posted a notice announcing the project. The agency has set aside $35 million for the effort, which has been dubbed ADAMS, or “Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales.”
If successful, the project would “detect ‘anomalies’ in a person’s behavior by sifting through billions of e-mail and text messages prior to such a homicidal or suicidal outburst,” reports Government Security News.
“The focus is on malevolent insiders that started out as ‘good guys.’ The specific goal of ADAMS is to detect anomalous behaviors before or shortly after they turn,” the agency states.