A Pentagon research office is designing a computer-surveillance system to allow the US to snoop across the world.
According to The Washington Post newspaper the Information Awareness Office, run by former national security advisor John Poindexter, is designing technologies to crack into ultra-large data warehouses and networked computers in the hunt for terrorists.
The sifting technology will search for threatening patterns among everyday credit card purchases and travel reservations.
The system will bypass the current sniffing technology, which requires court approval in the US or laborious diplomatic and intelligence efforts overseas.
Poindexter admitted to the newspaper that foreign policy and privacy hurdles remain, and said the ssytem would take years to build, although the office is already providing some technology to government agencies.
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