Slack Alice

Job title:
Columnist, Infosecurity

Areas of expertise:
News bites, gossip, naming and shaming, humour.

'Slack Alice' is best known by her Slack Space column which is published in every issue of Infosecurity. The information security industry's equivalent of 'Gossip Girl', Slack Alice keeps you up to date with all of the latest news, gossip and scandal in the industry. 'Slack Alice' always welcomes your comments...

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False Positives and the Disposition Matrix

The bane of databases is the false positive – the inclusion of an entry that shouldn’t be there. For anti-malware databases, false positives are inconvenient: good software is blocked because it is believed to be bad. For human databases it can be equally inconvenient: a false positive in the no-fly database means you will be held for investigation, not allowed to fly, possibly strip-searched, and will almost certainly miss your business appointment.

But one false-positive you really want to avoid is the disposition matrix described by the Washington Post. “Over the past two years”, it reported, “the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the ‘disposition matrix’.” It is nothing short of a locational, drone-targeted kill-list database for terrorists: it combines names with locations and times.

“We can’t possibly kill everyone who wants to harm us”, an unnamed senior administration official told the Post. “It’s a necessary part of what we do... We’re not going to wind up in 10 years in a world of everybody holding hands and saying, ‘We love America’.” But perhaps the disposition matrix is bound to help.

Posted 20/12/2012 by Slack Alice

Tagged under: disposition matrix , terrorism

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