AT&T invents programming language for mass surveillance
From the company that brought you the C programming language comes Hancock, a C variant developed by AT&T researchers to mine gigabytes of the company's telephone and internet records for surveillance purposes.
An AT&T research paper published in 2001 and unearthed today by Andrew Appel at Freedom to Tinker shows how the phone company uses Hancock-coded software to crunch through tens of millions of long distance phone records a night to draw up what AT&T calls "communities of interest" -- i.e., calling circles that show who is talking to whom.
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