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21 May 2003. For 20 May 2003, Department of Defense report to Congress on the status of TIA, re-named Terrorism Information Awareness:

http://www.eff.org/Privacy/TIA/TIA-report.html

10 December 2002: Richard M. Smith writes:

It looks like members of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) development team at DARPA don't like the lime-light.  All of their bio's were removed from the Information Awareness Office Web site (http://www.darpa.mil/iao/) sometime during the past couple of weeks. However the Google cache still had all of the bio's cached, so I have put copies on my Web site at this URL:

http://www.computerbytesman.com/tia/index.htm

2 December 2002
Source of photos and maps: Mapquest.com



Eyeballing

Total
Information
Awareness

Subject: Total Information Awareness Demonstration for Poindexter

http://sfweekly.com/issues/2002-11-27/smith.html/1/index.html

The SF Weekly's column by Matt Smith in the Dec 3 issue points out that there may be some information that John M. and Linda Poindexter of 10 Barrington Fare, Rockville, MD, 20850, may be missing in their pursuit of total information awareness.  He suggests that people with information to offer should phone +1 301 424 6613 to speak with that corrupt official and his wife.  Neighbors Thomas E. Maxwell, 67, at 8 Barringon Fare (+1 301 251 1326), James F. Galvin, 56, at 12 (+1 301 424 0089), and Sherrill V. Stant (nee Knight) at 6, may also lack some information that would be valuable to them in making decisions -- decisions that could affect the basic civil rights of every American.

Some people are suspicious that the degenerate Poindexter's Total Information Awareness system will be used to harass and track the activities of people who some significant fraction of society disagree with.  They fear a replacement of today's general tolerance (and official blindness to one's Bill-of-Rights-protected activities such as speech and association), with specific harassment of those whose names pop up in the database.  Such harassment of people who are not reasonably suspected of criminal activity would destroy much of value in our society, such as the presumption of innocence and the "live and let live" philosophy that encourages diversity.  Offering dissidents "a death of a thousand cuts" by constantly harassing them and denying them the privileges of ordinary life would be far worse than charging them with a (bogus) crime, which they could clear up merely by demonstrating their innocence in court.

It would be good to have an early public demonstration of just how bad life could become for such targeted citizens.  While ratfink's system is probably not working yet, and a large part of it is classified, much of it can be manually simulated for demonstration purposes. Public records can be manually searched and then posted to the net by people who happen to be looking there for something else.  Many Internet public records search sites also exist; try searching for "People finder".  (Matt Smith at matt.smith@sfweekly.com has offered to "publish anything that readers can convincingly claim to have obtained legally".)  Photographs and videos of the target, their house, car, family, and associates, can be made and circulated to demonstrate facial recognition techniques.

Employees at various businesses and organizations such as airlines, credit card authorizers, rental-car agencies, shops, gyms, schools, tollbooths, garbage services, banks, taxis, honest civil servants and police officers, and restaurants could demonstrate denial of service to such targeted people.  A simple "We won't serve YOUR KIND OF PEOPLE" would do, as was practiced on black people for many decades. More subtle forms of denial of service are possible, such as "You've been 'randomly' selected as a security risk, I'll have to insist that [some degrading thing happen to you]".  Or merely, "I can't seem to get this credit card to work, sir, and those twenties certainly look counterfeit to me."

Those with access to DMV and criminal records databases, credit card records, telephone bills, tax records, birth and death and marriage records, medical records, and similar personally identifiable databases could combine their information publicly to assist in the demonstration.  This is how TIA is intended to work -- the government would get privileged access to all these databases, access that the rest of us do not normally have.  But some of us have access to various of these databases today, and can demonstrate how the TIA system might work.

People who associated closely with such a targeted individual, such as their families, relatives, friends, neighbors, protective secret service agents, and business associates, might find themselves swept up in the information dragnet.  Such a demonstration would graphically reveal the societal dangers of deploying such systems on a wide scale against a large number of citizens -- preferably early enough that such a deployment could be prevented, rather than reversed after major harm was caused.

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.  When this happens to innocents under classified or secret systems such as the No-Fly lists, the public seldom finds out about it.

All in all I think such a demonstration would be highly educational, as well as newsworthy and entertaining.

John Gilmore