FBI Shows Off Counterterrorism Database
FBI officials on Tuesday demonstrated the Investigative Data Warehouse, a database containing upward of 659 million records from more than 50 government agency sources. The warehouse, which has been up and running since early 2004, is a powerful law enforcement tool that helps the FBI “connect the dots” in terrorism investigations.
About 25 percent of the records in the database are culled from the FBI’s records and case files, while the rest comes from agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, State Department, Treasury Department, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The files from these agencies include data from no-fly lists, stolen and lost passport data, and suspicious financial activity reports. Officials on Tuesday demonstrated how the database is capable of responding to variants of names, up to 29 variants of birth dates, and queries like “flight training.”
By using the database, a search that took more than 32,000 hours in 2002 now takes no more than 30 minutes. FBI officials said that the database is in full compliance with privacy laws.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Washington Post (08/30/06) P. A6; Nakashima, Ellen .