Further to my post on the Choicepoint database identity fraud, comes this Vanity Fair article on the author of the MATRIX data mining system (via Ernie the Attorney).
It’s a great read about a self-taught programmer who wrote a program to identify the 9/11 terrorists:
"MATRIX, for Multi-state Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange. The list was forwarded through Asher’s law-enforcement contacts to Brian Stafford, head of the U.S. Secret Service, and to a senior F.B.I. agent. The feds were stunned.
According to Asher, five of the names on his list were under investigation by the F.B.I., and
one was on those passenger manifests—Marwan al-Shehhi, pilot of the second jet that hit the World Trade Center. Asher had current and prior addresses for al-Shehhi and the rest of those 419 names. He had bank records, motor-vehicle records, and driver’s licenses, complete with digital photographs. He had aviation licenses. He had credit histories. He had the names of neighbors and landlords, along with their digital pictures."
Is he a hero or a villain?