Total Information Awareness is Back
Resurgence of the mother of all surveillance programs
Infowars.net | March 8, 2007
The Pentagon's super snoop "Total Information Awareness" program is back in business, just as we predicted it would be.
Congress attempted to kill the ill-conceived DARPA program in 2003. But instead, the program, designed to somehow find terrorists from documenting everyone's credit card bills, car rental receipts and travel records, went underground and has now returned, bigger and stronger and worse than ever.
The Washington Times is reporting:
Homeland Security officials are testing a supersnoop computer system that sifts through personal information on U.S. citizens to detect possible terrorist attacks, prompting concerns from lawmakers who have called for investigations.
The system uses the same data-mining process that was developed by the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness (TIA) project that was banned by Congress in 2003 because of vast privacy violations.
In an Infowars.net article on domestic surveillance from December 2005, I wrote:
Shortly after the announcement of TIA, the Pentagon backtracked and told us that TIA was shutting down, but the tools are there waiting to be used, They'll just rename it and start it up again at any given time. The Tools of TIA include " LifeLog " which is described as "a multimedia, digital record of everywhere you go and everything you see, hear, read, say and touch". Another tool is the MATRIX database , A federally funded crime database run by multiple states at once.
The AP had reported this in September 2003, in an article entitled Pentagon office creating surveillance system to close , stating "But they left open the possibility that some or all of the high-powered software tools under development might be used by different government offices to gather foreign intelligence from foreigners, U.S. citizens abroad or foreigners in the United States." So it was not hard to predict the return of the all seeing all knowing surveillance agenda program.
It has been revealed that a project called ADVISE -- Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight and Semantic Enhancement -- was initiated in 2003 following the demise of the TIA project. Data mined by ADVISE can include credit-card purchases, telephone or Internet details, medical records, travel and banking information.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation of the project was requested by Rep. David R. Obey, Wisconsin Democrat and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
This is the latest in a number of examples that indicated that TIA never really went away. In 2004 it was reported that TIA was alive and well in Arlington County. Capitol Hill Blue reported:
Despite Congressional action cutting funding, and the resignation of the program's controversial director, retired admiral John Poindexter, DARPA's TIA program is alive and well and prying into the personal business of Americans 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“When Congress cut the funding, the Pentagon – with administration approval – simply moved the program into a ‘black bag' account,” says a security consultant who worked on the DARPA project. “Black bag programs don't require Congressional approval and are exempt from traditional oversight.”
DARPA also hired private contractors to fill many of the roles in the program, which helped evade detection by Congressional auditors. Using a private security firm like Cantwell, instead of the Federal Protective Service, helped keep TIA off the radar screen.
DARPA moved into the Arlington County building shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and established the TIA project under the USA Patriot Act and a number of executive orders from President George W. Bush.
In 2006 the National Journal revealed that the NSA's Advanced Research and Development Activity took over TIA and carried on the experimental network in late 2003. ARDA continued vetting new tools and even kept the aggressive experiment schedule.
The National Journal reported that the program is now accessed by, among others: the NSA, the CIA, DIA, CENTCOM, the National Counterterorrism Center, the Guantanamo prison, and Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
Big Brother is most definitely still watching. Enjoy watching your tax dollars at work watching you.