Revealed – FBI Law Enforcement National Data Exchange Contains 223 Million Records

Public Intelligence

The Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx) run by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division now contains approximately 223 million records on nearly two billion entities.  An FBI CJIS presentation from February 2014 posted on the website of the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute includes detailed information on state and local data contributors including a tally of the total number of records contributed by state.

The FBI describes N-DEx as “a mechanism for sharing, searching, linking, and analyzing information across jurisdictional boundaries” including “incident and case reports, booking and incarceration data, and parole/probation information.”  Sypherlink, contractor involved in implementing N-DEx data sharing around the country, describes the system as being able to detect “relationships between people, vehicle/property, location, and/or crime characteristics.”  Slides from the February 2014 N-DEx presentation indicate that at least 34 states are contributing data to the system with Texas, Arkansas, California, Virginia and Tennessee each providing at least ten million records.  Texas has contributed more than any other state, adding more than 68 million records to the system, nearly three times its nearest competitor.  Federal agencies have added another 23 million records to the system.  According to an updated listing of N-DEx data contributors listed in the presentation, federal and state contributions amount to more than 191 million records in total.  However, other slides in the presentation brag that their are “approximately 223 million records” on “nearly 2 billion entities” stored in N-DEx.  It is unclear where the more than 30 million records not contributed by states and federal agencies listed in the presentation are obtained from.

A privacy impact assessment issued by the FBI in January 2007 stated that “during initial deployment” it was “estimated that the number of records in the N-DEx may be approximately 30-35 million records.”  In an article for Police Chief Magazine, a N-DEx “outreach liaison” stated that the system had “more than 145 million records” in November 2012 and “one billion searchable entities.”  N-DEx program manager Michael Haas stated in a October 2013 interview with Computer World that he hoped future developments will make the system a “gateway for access to other CJIS databases, including the division’s Next Generation Identification system, an updated version of its Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System database that contains wanted lists and arrest warrants, criminal histories, fingerprints, palm prints, facial images and other biometric data used for identification purposes.”  The FBI Next Generation Identification system, which has been in development for several years, promises to offer law enforcement around the country the ability to use facial recognition software and other tools to automatically search through vast troves of biometric data to identify suspects and conduct investigations.  Haas also said that the growth of the system has been expanding because CJIS has encouraged “states to submit records from prosecutions, court records, corrections, probation and other related areas” so that in addition to the “incident information” already added to the system, N-DEx will begin to obtain more data over time on “pretrial investigations, warrants, supervised release details, citations, field interviews and incarceration information.”

N-DEx Data Contributors Listed By State

Alabama 1,420,223 Maine 12,497 Pennsylvania 513,349
Alaska Maryland 226,110 Rhode Island
Arizona 126,165 Massachusetts South Carolina
Arkansas 24,153,042 Michigan 2,393,851 South Dakota 133,794
California 20,393,280 Minnesota 18 Tennessee 10,971,501
Colorado 184,338 Mississippi  44,830 Texas 68,793,268
Connecticut Missouri 141,658 Utah 16,654
D.C. 962,356 Montana Vermont
Delaware 1,085,708 Nebraska 173,877 Virginia 10,342,356
Florida Nevada  276 Washington 8,520,754
Georgia 1,020,907 New Hampshire West Virginia 34,578
Hawaii New Jersey Wisconsin 154,401
Idaho 578,174 New Mexico 35,076 Wyoming
Illinois 4,515,553 New York 1,189,118
Indiana 108,715 North Carolina State 168,569,227
Iowa North Dakota Federal 23,005,381
Kansas 2,108,188 Ohio 5,564,883
Kentucky 1,637,232 Oklahoma
Louisiana Oregon 1,012,497 Total 191,574,608

FBI-NDex-Overview_Page_31