~e; Total Information Awareness

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sat, 9 Nov 2002 10:58:38 -0600

// one aspect of dismantling "the stovepipes" separating information
// may be, as in a real building, connected to the real possibility of
// asphyxiating whatever it is that is supposed to be protected. the
// magical transformation of more and more information through a type
// of alchemic engineering of knowledge is, need it be said, absurd.

Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of 


http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html (full article)

The Pentagon is constructing a computer system that could create a vast 
electronic dragnet, searching for personal information as part of the 
hunt for terrorists around the globe — including the United States.

As the director of the effort, Vice Adm. John M. Poindexter, has 
described the system in Pentagon documents and in speeches, it will 
provide intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials with 
instant access to information from Internet mail and calling records to 
credit card and banking transactions and travel documents, without a 
search warrant.

"This could be the perfect storm for civil liberties in America," said 
Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center 
in Washington "The vehicle is the Homeland Security Act, the technology 
is Darpa and the agency is the F.B.I. The outcome is a system of 
national surveillance of the American public."

The system would permit a team of intelligence analysts to gather and 
view information from databases, pursue links between individuals and 
groups, respond to automatic alerts, and share information efficiently, 
all from their individual computers.

The system is one of a number of projects now under way inside the 
government to lash together both commercial and government data to hunt 
for patterns of terrorist activities.

Admiral Poindexter,.. was convicted in 1990 for his role in the 
Iran-contra affair, had worked as a contractor on one of the projects 
he now controls. Admiral Poindexter's conviction was reversed in 1991 
by a federal appeals court because he had been granted immunity for his 
testimony before Congress about the case."

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