Friday, January 06, 2006

DIY data-mining

Want to do your part for God and Country? Curious if there are subversives in your neighbourhood that need rooting out? In the old days you had to guess who was with us and who was against us, and then go through the annoying leg-work of rooting through garbage for suspicious sales slips, opening peoples mail for subversive literature, or installing wiretaps to monitor their conversations.

No longer. The strategy for the new millenium is to identify subversive ideas and topics, and then prowl databases for information connecting these ideas to individuals. But why let the NSA have all the fun? With a set of simple scripts, Tom at Applefritter describes how you can be a junior G-man and prowl the publically available Amazon wishlist database to find out what people are reading, then use Google maps to track them down. Send your results to the Department of homeland security (202-282-8000 or through their webpage contact), open a brewski, and relax in the knowledge that you have done your part! Hunting the terrorists has never been easier!