The UK's spymasters are taking a leaf out of New Labour's book - three years on. Intelligence agency GCHQ is adopting the same software which played a vital role in winning the 1997 general election for Labour.
GCHQ analysts monitoring terrorists and unfriendly countries are using a data warehouse supplied by Excalibur Technologies to probe a massive 1.4 terabytes database (equivalent to 140,000 bibles). The data sources range from Reuters news feeds through to information provided by its own specialist network.
Excalibur claims its Retrieval Ware datawarehouse can search 15 million documents in five seconds. A data mining facility allows GCHQ's 450 analysts to search for relationships between seemingly unrelated data from, for example, Libya and Northern Ireland.
In the 1997 election Excalibur helped Labour refute detailed Tory claims that its polices would lead to tax rises. Both parties had Excalibur before the election. It was bought first by Labour, supposedly under an exclusive deal, but the Tories subsequently acquired it through another distributor.
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