By Larry Barrett  |  Posted 2004-04-04 Email Print this article Print

Non-obvious relationship awareness" (NORA) software probes databases in any language, searching for obscure matches between relevant information. Anonymized data (ANNA) software uses the same technology to investigate data that has been encrypted.

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All this technology and surveillance hasn't stopped hundreds of thousands of leisure gamblers from visiting Las Vegas casinos every week.

Sure, they most likely have no inkling how much information on their behavior and movements is being recorded. But there is no organized movement that shows they care. They recognize the stakes, financially speaking, are high. Surveillance is either accepted or ignored.

"There are cameras and people watching everything that happens on a casino property," says Nevada homeland security chairman Bussell. "No place has the dedication and technology to police its people and property like a casino. But that doesn't stop people from coming here in droves. That's the beauty of it and that's what the [DHS] at all levels is just starting to see."

With the coordinated train blasts in Madrid following the destruction of the twin towers by 911 days, there's a lesson to Tom Ridge and other domestic-security chief executives: Public places remain appealing targets for terrorists, and these same technologies and processes can be applied throughout the country without necessarily impeding commerce or the freedom to move about that make public places appealing in the first place.

Senior Writer
Larry, of San Carlos, Calif., was a senior writer and editor at CNet, writing analysis, breaking news and opinion stories. He was technology reporter at the San Jose Business Journal from 1996-1997. He graduated with a B.A. from San Jose State University where he was also executive editor of the daily student newspaper.

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