Intelligence agencies are developing a 'terrorist Facebook' to find links between individuals they suspect or know to be involved in terrorist activity.
They are building up a social network-style database that will help highlight any links between international terrorists and suspects.
Officials will feed information they hold on people into a complex program that will use algorithms to make connections and links which might be missed by a human.
The information will include telecommunications data and information from interviews. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent in the US on developing the data mining techniques, and military funding is increasingly being earmarked for research into this kind of social network analysis.
Critics argue that the approach can lead to innocent people in places like Iraq and Afghanistan being arrested and interrogated in the hope of getting information that can be fed into a social network algorithm.