Stories by Elsa Wenzel

FBI computers enter the 21st century

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), hoping to shred its paper-swamped reputation and maximize its crime fighting, has unveiled the biggest change in its workflow in 50 years: a US$600 million computer network called Trilogy that will help the agency sift the massive amounts of data it collects.
A new database already used by 300 FBI agents and analysts will draw relationships between 26 million agency records, according to Wilson Lowery, an executive assistant director with the FBI. The agency aims to make its Virtual Case File, which tracks terrorists and other criminals, available to all appropriate employees by December. The database is expected to store 100 terabytes of information drawn from state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies as well as the news media. The system also accommodates multimedia elements such as audio, video, and 3D mapping.

Written by Elsa Wenzel20 Oct. 03 21:00

Do antispam measures block mail you want?

Some approaches to fighting spam may paint with too broad a brush and stain the First Amendment, some legal and Internet experts say.
Anyone who receives an unsolicited mass-mailed message can report it to one of about 400 so-called blacklists. These Web sites police spam by identifying "bad" and "good" e-mailers. Some work with ISPs to block mailings from accused spammers, and others provide the information for software products that maintain lists of senders to block. Others publicize senders' names in a sort of digital gallows.

Written by Elsa Wenzel15 June 03 22:00

Spam: America's unwelcome export

America: The land of herbal Viagra pitches, offers for graphic teen pornography, and low-interest-mortgage hard sells? That's the global face of the United States, thanks to spam, say Web experts from around the world.

Written by Elsa Wenzel05 May 03 12:05