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The Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Office of Science and Technology's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has a portfolio of research projects, some of which include the exploration of techniques that could be applied to data mining. Its mission is to invest in high-risk/high payoff research projects that have the potential to provide the United States with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over its future adversaries.

IARPA's time horizon is measured in years, not months. It does not have an operational mission and it does not deploy technologies directly to the field. IARPA programs are by their nature highly experimental and pioneering and are designed to produce new capabilities not even imagined by the operational agencies it services. The end goal of an IARPA program is typically a proof-of-concept experiment or prototype of a never-before-seen capability.

Because IARPA programs are on the cutting-edge of research, they do not always achieve their end goals, but even when they do, further steps are required to transform the results into real world applications. Results from such research projects may in the future be incorporated into operational programs employing data mining technology within the ODNI, the Intelligence Community, or other parts of the United States government, subject to appropriate legal, privacy, civil liberties and policy safeguards. Because of the potential privacy and civil liberties impact of the development of these technologies, IARPA is also specifically researching the use of technology to better protect privacy in light of these challenges.

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