~e; Total Information Awareness
human being <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
By JOHN MARKOFF
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
"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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