Originally called NORA, short for Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness, the technology was originally developed by a Las Vegas-based company called Systems Research & Development (SRD). The program, used by casinos in Las Vegas, combined large databases with network analysis to identify cheaters, as well as people connected with known cheaters. “The version of the software used by casinos can use face recognition to quickly match a surveillance-camera image with a database of known cheaters,” a 2002 article about the program in Computer World said. “It also uses fuzzy logic to help detect less obvious relationships between casino personnel and known cheaters who appear on the Nevada Gaming Commission’s blacklist, by comparing and cross-checking employee data on resumes and company applications.” The company attracted attention in 2002, when In-Q-Tel, the venture capital firm founded by the CIA, announced that it was investing in the company. IBM purchased the company in 2005, and renamed NORA, calling it Identity and Relationship Resolution. The technology is now part of IBM’s Entity Analytic Solutions.
Analyst’s Notebook software allows users to visualize connections in a network and has become one of the most popular link analysis tools among law enforcement and military agencies. The company has touted the use of Analyst’s Notebook to help battle the insurgency in Afghanistan and says that “36 out of 44 countries involved in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)” in Afghanistan use i2’s products for intelligence gathering. That includes the militaries of the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. “Within the United States of America, every unified Combatant Command, all agencies in the Intelligence Community, all Military Law Enforcement and Force Protection Elements use i2 technology on a daily basis for intelligence gathering and analysis,” according to company literature. The software was developed by the U.K.-company, i2 Limited, which was bought by IBM in 2011.