For the January 2002 issue of DM Review, I wrote a column titled "We Can" (available in the resource library at or the archives of The column spoke to the need for a massive data integration project to prevent future terrorist attacks: "More than any war that has gone before, this is an information war. Information is so critically valuable because our enemies are hiding in open and available information. By integrating and exposing this information to secure access, analysis, data mining and real-time alerts, we can expose and eliminate our terrorist enemies."

The column spoke to the tracks that our enemies leave in the available information: "At this very moment, it is more than likely that additional cells of terrorists are doing the same thing ­ buying, traveling and living in our society ­ generating transactions in open and available data. In addition, each of these people generates transactions and data points in the various systems of government agencies. From visas to ports of entry, to watch lists, to voice and data surveillance systems, they all leave tracks."

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