December 20, 2002 10:46 AM PST

Federal database spy site fading away

Call it the incredibly shrinking government Web site.

As controversy grows over the Defense Department's shadowy Total Information Awareness (TIA) project, the project's virtual presence is steadily decreasing. If fully implemented, TIA would link databases from sources such as credit card companies, medical insurers, and motor vehicle databases for police convenience in hopes of snaring terrorists.

First, biographical information about the TIA project leaders, including retired Adm. John Poindexter, disappeared from the Defense Department's site last month. A mirror that one activist created from Google's cache shows the deleted information included four resumes listing past work experience but no addresses or contact information.

Then, sometime in the last week, the TIA site shrank still more and some links ceased to work. The logo for the TIA project--a Masonic pyramid eyeballing the globe--vanished, a highly unusual step for a government agency. So did the TIA's Latin "scientia est potentia" slogan, which means "knowledge is power."

A spokeswoman for the Information Awareness Office, which runs the TIA project at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), said she had no details on the deletions.

The disappearing documents come as the TIA has become a lighting rod for criticism and as online activists have been turning the tables on Poindexter by reposting his personal information and home telephone number as widely as possible.

The process started with a column in SF Weekly, a San Francisco alternative newspaper, by Matt Smith. He reported Poindexter's home address and telephone number and recounted a brief telephone conversation he had with Poindexter's wife, Linda.

Then John Gilmore, the co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, replied with a widely read essay that urged a broader effort to surveil Poindexter. "Even if some of the information that people end up revealing or using about such targeted scumbags is incorrect, such a public demonstration would highlight the damaging effects that incorrect database information can have on innocent peoples' lives, when used to target them for harassment without due process of law," Gilmore wrote.

The TIA project became public early this year Special Report
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when President Bush chose Poindexter, who was embroiled in the Iran-Contra scandal, to run the Information Awareness Office. But criticism of the project from privacy advocates and newspaper editorial pages has spiked in the last month, and the Web deletions appear to have been in response to the increased public scrutiny.

In November, Defense Department Undersecretary Pete Aldridge defended the TIA program to reporters, saying "there are no privacy issues" at stake with a prototype under development. "The purpose of TIA would be to determine the feasibility of searching vast quantities of data to determine links and patterns indicative of terrorist activities," Aldridge said. "This is an important research project to determine the feasibility of using certain transactions and events to discover and respond to terrorists before they act."


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+Big Brother is Watching
Because "WE" elected him via our trusted voting system with the chits of indiscretion in a state bordering on conflict of interest.
How & why has this tyrant been allowed to truly represent our free & peaceful country? Has it been our desire to show the world that we are dumb like a fox & to hope in some meaningful way that we need understanding for our crazy actions!
I can see no other reason for these excuses to continue unless those responsible can show all that they can take the heat.
It has been said, " if you want you catch a thief you must think like one", not act like one!
Posted by JayLanger (1 comment )
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The New World Order is when the insane debt US has been ruling the world with for the last many years should be paid back because the about 100 corporations involved as the inner circle require so as written in the script.

Not 30% of the world population will starve to death but 80% and only the elite will be left back.

And why?

Because the world population has been put to sleep by politicians - and school children are being brain washed for just as many years to believe the only thing in the world that could make them happy was dead things and use eat and work... but who are they really work for?
Posted by 111-937 (1 comment )
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