Blue Pills, Red Pills, Rabbitholes..

My quest for more information on defense technology continues to move through odd paths and unexpected troves of information. Today I followed a single link from Wikipedia to the Federation of American Scientists and discovered a whole set of pages on current military technology, some we know is true and other we can only speculate about There’s stuff on space, smart weapons, ballistic missile defense, etc.

I’ve been a subscriber to Stephen Aftergood’s Secrecy News email for some time and it appears he’s now publishing similar information at the Secrecy News Weblog. There’s even this Congressional Research Service report “Data Mining and Homeland Security” that basically revealed the recent NSA phone monitoring program in January, if you read between the lines. Take a look at this quote:

The Novel Intelligence from Massive Data (NIMD) program focuses on the

development of data mining and analysis tools to be used in working with massive

data.74 Novel intelligence refers to “actionable information not previously known.”

Massive data refers to data that has characteristics that are especially challenging to

common data analysis tools and methods. These characteristics can include unusual

volume, breadth (heterogeneity), and complexity. Data sets that are one petabyte

(one quadrillion bytes) or larger are considered to be “massive.” Smaller data sets

that contain items in a wide variety of formats, or are very heterogeneous (i.e., unstructured text, spoken text, audio, video, graphs, diagrams, images, maps,

equations, chemical formulas, tables, etc.) can also be considered “massive.”

According to ARDA’s website (no longer available)75 “some intelligence data

sources grow at a rate of four petabytes per month now, and the rate of growth is

increasing.” With the continued proliferation of both the means and volume of

electronic communications, it is expected that the need for more sophisticated tools

will intensify. Whereas NSA once predicted it was in danger of becoming

proverbially deaf due to the spreading use of encrypted communications, it appears

that NSA may now be at greater risk of being “drowned” in information.