This appears to be something different from using public databases to profile passengers, which was in the news a couple days ago. Big Brother seems to be alive, well and prospering in the Amerikan Stasi: NextGov: Tool will help TSA connect the dots among scattered pieces of digital evidence The Transportation Security Administration has awarded a contract for technology to mine digital evidence scattered across emails, the cloud, hard drives and digital files stored in the agency’s internal network, according to the system developer. The tool digests huge volumes of disorganized information, known as big data, according to officials from software firm Nuix. The company was not authorized to speak to the types of investigations that the technology will help TSA pursue. TSA’s Focused Operations Branch expects to use the technology for after-the-fact investigations, not screening would-be hijackers -- although agency officials recently said that is a big data effort TSA might pursue. This type of forensics investigation involves sorting hard facts already collected, and strewn across incongruent data sources, to build solid cases. “Hypothetically, if they have an individual they have profiled in the past digitally or digital information on previously profiled individuals, Nuix could provide visibility into additional connections to other people,” said Peter Morse, U.S. public sector director for Nuix. TSA officials could not comment in time for publication. Generally, investigators use evidence synthesized by such software to convict criminals, or to piece together proof of ongoing criminal activity, Morse said. Investigators for the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation division, Health and Human Services Department inspector general, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for example, cull evidence of fraud with the software.