What is data mining? What is link analysis? They are processes whereby computer algorithms sort through huge amounts of electronic data. The systems can be programmed to look for and make links among a variety of different characteristics. For example, if investigators at a fusion center in Boston wanted to know everyone I've ever associated with on the internet, they would be able to quickly do so using link analysis or data mining software. The possibilities are endless.
A company called i2 solutions makes COPLINK software, which is incredibly popular with law enforcement. We know that police at the Commonwealth Fusion Center and the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, the two fusion centers in Massachusetts, use COPLINK. The technology allows for the pooling and fast analysis of information about suspects and people of interest to law enforcement in departments nationwide. With one click of the mouse, police can see all kinds of information about people including known associates, photographs, motor vehicle registration, criminal and lots of other non-criminal data.
Some products, like Riverglass Recon, compile open source information from the internet and can track people as they move about the web.