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<strike>Total</strike> "Terrorism" Information Awareness (TIA)
Electronic Privacy Information Center ^ | EPIC

Posted on 05/14/2006 5:50:59 AM PDT by NMC EXP

Latest News

--EPIC Urges Scrutiny of Proposed Federal Profiling Agency.
In a letter (pdf) to a House subcommittee, EPIC urged careful scrutiny of the Department of Homeland Security's proposed Office of Screening Coordination and Operations. This office would oversee vast databases of digital fingerprints and photographs, eye scans and personal information from millions of American citizens and lawful foreign visitors. Homeland Security has announced that the office's operations would be conducted in a manner that safeguards civil liberties, but the agency has not yet explained how it proposes to protect privacy rights or ensure accountability. For more information, visit EPIC's U.S. Domestic Spending on Surveillance Page. (Mar. 1, 2005)

--Docs Show Meetings Between Clark, Poindexter.
New documents (pdf) show that General Wesley Clark, a lobbyist for commercial data company Acxiom, met with former Total Information Awareness developer, Admiral John Poindexter in May and June 2002. Previously obtained documents from the same time period indicate that Acxiom was considered as a source of personal information for a government "mega-scale database." For more information, see the EPIC Total Information Awareness Page. (Sept. 13, 2004)

--Study Finds Extensive Data Mining in Federal Agencies.
The General Accounting Office has issued a report (pdf) that identifies almost 200 data mining projects throughout the federal government that are either operational or in the planning stage. Many of them make use of personally identifiable data obtained from private sector databases. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who requested the study, released a statement and said, "It is time that we review agency practices and existing law to ensure that the privacy rights of individuals are not violated through the development of new technology." (May 27)

--Committee Calls for Data Mining Privacy Protections.
The Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee has issued a report (3.5 MB pdf) recommending that Congress pass laws to protect civil liberties when the government sifts through computer databases containing personal information. The committee, established to review the Defense Department data mining initiatives after the Total Information Awareness fiasco, also proposed that federal agencies be required to obtain authorization from a special federal court "before engaging in data mining with personally identifiable information concerning U.S. persons." For more information, see the EPIC Total Information Awareness Page. (May 17, 2004)

--DARPA Discussed Acxiom As TIA Data Source.
A document (pdf) obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act shows internal communications among Defense Advanced Research Project Agency employees considering data broker Acxiom as a supplier of personal information for Total Information Awareness. A senior Acxiom official offered to help the agency with TIA, and suggested methods to avoid public scrutiny of the transfer of data from the company to the government. For more information, see the EPIC TIA Page. (Feb. 5, 2004)

--EPIC Year in Review.
EPIC's survey of the 2003 Privacy Year in Review notes the collapse of Total Information Awareness, surveillance cameras in schools, a Supreme Court victory for privacy, legal battles over the Do Not Call list, busted luggage locks, anti-terrorism laws used for routine criminal investigations, and a conservative radio commentator asking for privacy. (Dec. 31, 2003)


In November 2002, the New York Times reported that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was developing a tracking system called "Total Information Awareness" (TIA), which was intended to detect terrorists through analyzing troves of information. The system, developed under the direction of John Poindexter, then-director of DARPA's Information Awareness Office, was envisioned to give law enforcement access to private data without suspicion of wrongdoing or a warrant.

TIA purported to capture the "information signature" of people so that the government could track potential terrorists and criminals involved in "low-intensity/low-density" forms of warfare and crime. The goal was to track individuals through collecting as much information about them as possible and using computer algorithms and human analysis to detect potential activity.

The project called for the development of "revolutionary technology for ultra-large all-source information repositories," which would contain information from multiple sources to create a "virtual, centralized, grand database." This database would be populated by transaction data contained in current databases such as financial records, medical records, communication records, and travel records as well as new sources of information. Also fed into the database would be intelligence data.

A key component of the TIA project was to develop data-mining or knowledge discovery tools that would sort through the massive amounts of information to find patterns and associations. TIA would also develop search tools such as Project Genoa, which Admiral Poindexter's former employer Syntek Technologies assisted in developing. TIA aimed to fund the development of more such tools and data-mining technology to help analysts understand and even "preempt" future action.

A further crucial component was the development of biometric technology to enable the identification and tracking of individuals. DARPA had already funded its "Human ID at a Distance" program, which aimed to positively identify people from a distance through technologies such as face recognition or gait recognition. A nationwide identification system would have been of great assistance to such a project by providing an easy means to track individuals across multiple information sources.

DARPA's Broad Agency Announcement 02-08 soliciting proposals from industry stated that the initial plan was for a five year research project into these various technologies. The interim goal was to build "leave-behind prototypes with a limited number of proof-of-concept demonstrations in extremely high risk, high payoff areas."

In September 2003, Congress eliminated funding for the controversial project and closed the Pentagon's Information Awareness Office, which had developed TIA. This does not, however, necessarily signal the end of other government data-mining initiatives that are similar to TIA. Projects such as the Novel Intelligence from Massive Data within the Intelligence Community Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA) will apparently move forward. The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration are also working on data-mining projects that will fuse commercial databases, public databases, and intelligence data and had meetings with TIA developers.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: datamining; nsa; privacy; tia

They told us Total Information Awareness was dead.

Now we have a national ID card.

Now we have the revelation that the fedgov is paying private companies to provide surveillance data on citizens.

You don't reckon the fedgov simply changed the name and funding source of TIA and proceeded on its way do you?

And the apparent incestous relationships between Poindexter and Clark and their respective private employers and the fedgov, it don't mean nothing.

1 posted on 05/14/2006 5:51:01 AM PDT by NMC EXP
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definitely a double edged sword, i'm a bit wary of this level of surveillance myself
2 posted on 05/14/2006 6:24:12 AM PDT by kinoxi
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To: kinoxi

You should be wary.

Consider how little data goes into the "no fly list".

Then consider the dismal job the feds do of managing that program.

Multiply that amount of data by several million times and you have a sense of how badly things will go with TIA.

And when the govt screws up TIA it will result in consequences much worse than missing a flight.

3 posted on 05/14/2006 6:49:21 AM PDT by NMC EXP (Choose one: [a] party [b] principle.)
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yeah, a government employee does a typo... they could freeze your bank account, seize your property, and imprison you(secretly if it's for national security). my 'wariness' was a bit of an understatement...
4 posted on 05/14/2006 6:56:54 AM PDT by kinoxi
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To: NMC EXP; FairOpinion

You are an alarmist....

5 posted on 05/15/2006 10:27:18 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
You are an alarmist....

Nope. I am merely objective. You really should try critical analysis. Its a real eye opener.

6 posted on 05/15/2006 3:58:40 PM PDT by NMC EXP (Choose one: [a] party [b] principle.)
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