DHS funds research targeting anonymity and blogs

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

The United States Department of Homeland Security has announced the awarding of a $3 million grant to Rutgers University to lead a consortium researching advanced information analysis and computational technologies to protect the United States.

Under the agreement, Rutgers will also coordinate a team of four university-based centers at the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Pittsburgh. Plans call for a total of $10.2 million in funding over three years for Rutgers and these institutions to advance efforts aimed at identifying common patterns from numerous sources of information.

According to Fred Roberts, director of Rutgers' Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), the efforts will "develop real-time streaming algorithms to find patterns and relationships in communications, such as among writers who may be hiding their identities, and to rate information sources for their reliability and trustworthiness." The computer applications developed by the program will focus on analyzing data from public sources, including news stories, open-source web logs, and other accessible information, to quickly identify emerging indicators of possible terrorist activity.