Provisions Of Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act And The Patriot Act

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a U.S. federal law that prescribes procedures for physical, electronic surveillance and collection of foreign intelligence information among foreign powers and agents of foreign powers. While on the other hand, the USA Patriot Act is an Act of Congress that got signed into law by the then President George W. Bush. The titles stand for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, (Elsea, 2003).

So far, FISA, as amended, establishes methods for the authorization of electronic surveillance, use of pen registers and trace devices, physical searches, and business records for use on gathering foreign intelligence.

The Patriot Act increases the government’s surveillance powers in records searches, secret searches, intelligence searches and Trap and Trace searches, (Ewing, 2002).

Data Mining As Used By Department Of Homeland Security

Data mining is one of the technologies used by DHS agencies where searches of large stores of data to discover patterns and trends that go beyond simple analysis get done. It uses sophisticated mathematical algorithms to separate the data and evaluate the possibility of future events.

Some of its key properties are theautomatic discovery of patterns, focus on large data sets and databases, thecreation of actionable information and prediction of likely outcomes.In extensive research and development of a new drug, it can help find drugs that have desirable activity, predict who will be a beneficiary of the drug, regulate drugs testing, identify trends and examine consumer behavior regarding prescription renewal and product purchases.

Although data mining as a process is a very powerful tool, it cannot be standalone application. For it to be successful, it needs askilled user who will supply the correct dataspecialiststo make objective conclusions out of the output created. Output can be affected, and forecast will not be credible in case the user supplies incorrect or minimal amount of information, (Adriaans, et al.,1996).

Moreover, while data mining helps a user discover patterns and relationships in data, it cannot provide perfect results, and cannot correct problems in the data. The challenge is to be able to control and utilize the power of technology in designing data mining application for use by DHS agencies in more reliable, easy to use, and supports decision-making process.

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