5th > June > 2004 Archive

FBI's terror trawl and Emergent computer goofs

LettersOur story analyzing why technology let the FBI down - Emergent cheese-sandwich detector enlisted in War on Terror - with catastrophic results, drew an impressive mailbag. If you recall, the Spanish authorities found a fingerprinted bag full of explosives a week before the Madrid bombings, and the FBI was convinced it had their Man. They had the wrong man - but a combination of faith in their"social software" and poor quality digital fingerprint led them to the wrong conclusion.
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jun 2004

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