Connecting the Dots
Can the tools of graph theory and social-network studies unravel the next big plot?
In the five years since that wrenching Tuesday morning when hijacked aircraft sliced into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Americans have been living with a new undercurrent of worry and mistrust. Naturally, there's fear of further attacks. But there's also concern that measures taken to forestall such attacks could erode traditional rights and liberties. In recent months, controversy has erupted over reports that government agencies are monitoring Internet and telephone communications as well as financial transactions. Some of the surveillance programs are said to be sifting through gigantic data sets, scanning for patterns that might reveal criminal intent or activity....