There’s been plenty of public debate about allowing the government to seek patterns in disparate databases-to “connect the dots”-to thwart terror attacks. One problem for investigators is that many of these databases, which store information such as private phone records and credit card statements, are closed to routine government scrutiny. The Information Awareness Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is attempting to demonstrate that private databases can safely be plumbed if the day comes when privacy laws are changed to allow access to them (see “Total Information Overload,” TR July/August 2003). If one DARPA-funded project at the Palo Alto Research Center in California is successful, it could result in technology that lets government intelligence analysts find patterns in data while forbidding access to details about individuals.
Our best illustrations of 2022
Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.
How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier
These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.
The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.