FBI finally goes digital, stops using paper

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have finally ditched paper files for a new computer system, an effort that took 12 years and cost more than $600 million.

The system, called Sentinel, includes elements resembling Web browsers, with tabs and movable windows, and forms that are filled out in a question-and-answer format similar to consumer tax software.

An FBI special agent demonstrated the system, which went live July 1, to reporters Tuesday. Agents can share files electronically and can track changes made by others. RSS feeds, commonly used in Web browsers to aggregate news topics, can be used to track updates on files.

Agents can also use a search feature, entering a phone number, for instance, to see if it occurs in other active cases or leads.

One of the biggest hurdles to getting agents to accept the system, Mr. Johnson said, has been their reluctance to believe it’s really happening.

 

Source: The Wall Street Journal –¬†FBI Files Go Digital, After Years of Delays

 

 

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Researchers explore Chinese censors – find 13% of posts blocked but not those criticizing government

The 500m people who use the internet in China have long been aware of the presence of the censors who watch their movements online and delete their more inflammatory posts. Now those monitors may have to get used to someone watching over their shoulders.

Teams at Harvard and the University of Hong Kong have been using new software that allows them to watch the censoring of posts on Chinese social-media sites more closely than before. And now they have started to release some of their key findings.

  • Found that 13% of all social-media posts in China were censored.
  • Posts critical of the government are not rigorously censored.
  • But, posts that have the purpose of getting people to assemble, potentially in protest, are swept from the internet within a matter of hours.
  • Censoring of topics, days before the news broke.

Keep reading to learn how this data is allowing researchers to challenge the censorsThe Economist: Monitoring the monitors

 

 

Continue reading Researchers explore Chinese censors – find 13% of posts blocked but not those criticizing government