System to Assess Risk (STAR)
System to Assess Risk or STAR, a "computer-profiling system that would enable investigators to target possible terror suspects," is being developed by the FBI's Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report submitted July 10, 2007, to Congress.
A prototype of the data mining program STAR, which "assigns risk scores to possible suspects based on a variety of information, similar to the way a credit bureau assigns a rating based on a consumer's spending behavior and debt" and "focuses on foreign suspects but also includes data about some U.S. residents", is "expected to be tested" in 2007.
"After STAR has received the names of persons of interest, it runs them through an FBI 'data mart' that includes classified and unclassified information from the government, airlines and commercial data brokers such as ChoicePoint. Then it runs them through the terrorist screening center database, which contains hundreds of thousands of names, as well as through a database containing information on non-citizens who enter the country. It also runs the names against information provided by data broker Accurint, which tracks addresses, phone numbers and driver's licenses.
"The report said access to STAR would be limited to trained users and that data would be obtained lawfully. Results would be kept within the FBI's terrorist task force, the report said."
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- Ellen Nakashima, "FBI Plans Initiative To Profile Terrorists. Potential Targets Get Risk Rating," Washington Post, July 11, 2007.
- Martin H. Bosworth, "FBI Uses Data Brokers, 'Risk Scores' To Hunt Terrorists," Consumer Affairs, July 11, 2007.
- Mike Kasper, "Two interesting stories," Able Danger Blog, July 11, 2007.
- Ryan Singel, "U.S. Details Some Data-Mining Programs, Hints at Others," WIRED, July 16, 2007.
- Lara Jakes Jordan, "FBI Discloses Databases of Collected Information," Associated Press (Enterprise Security Today), July 24, 2007.
- Anita Ramasastry, "The FBI STAR Terrorist Risk Assessment Program Should Raise Renewed Concerns about Private Sector Data Mining," FindLaw's Writ, July 24, 2007.
- Letter for transmission: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Affairs, to Sen. Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subject: report required by Section 126 of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-177, dated July 9, 2007. Posted online by Electronic Privacy Information Center.