August 12th, 2002, 05:07 AM
Carnivore on sterioids... A Must Read!
News from Wired.Com
Had Winston Churchill been alive in the months subsequent to Sept. 11 he might well have described U.S. intelligence agencies' performance prior to the attack thusly: Never have so many known so much and done so little.
On Wednesday, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will begin awarding contracts for the design and implementation of a Total Information Awareness (TIA) system.
It's a system which, it hopes, will ferret out terrorists' information signatures -- clues available before an attack, but usually not correctly interpreted until afterwards -- and decode them prior to an assault. It's a task, the Information Awareness Office (IAO) says, that is beyond "our current intelligent infrastructure and other government agencies."
TIA program directors make it clear they also believe the task to be beyond current technology, noting that they are primarily interested in revolutionary advances in science, technology or systems and "development of collaboration, automation and cognitive aids technologies that allow humans and machines to think together about complicated and complex problems."
So insistent are they on building a better mousetrap -- or, more accurately, a brand new terrorist trap -- that they have officially warned potential contractors that not a dime will be invested in "research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to existing technology."
According to the IAO's blueprint, TIA's five-year goal is the "total reinvention of technologies for storing and accessing information ... although database size will no longer be measured in the traditional sense, the amounts of data that will need to be stored and accessed will be unprecedented, measured in petabytes."
It is precisely the thought of petabytes of raw data being under the control of an agency with limited public accountability that troubles civil liberties activists like Lee Tien, senior staff attorney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"We should resist the expansion of any 'data-veillance' program that doesn't have adequate safeguards and accountability," Tien says. "This program sounds like a counterpart of the movement toward requiring a national ID card. People like to think of that as an identification system, but it's actually a tracking system.
"The Total Information Awareness program, with its ability to provide persistent storage of everything from credit card, to employment, to medical, to ISP records, is a recipe for civil liberties disaster unless there are provisions for citizens to find out who is looking at their records and to see and correct those records."
"What I don't want to see is a system that's the worst of both worlds, unable to predict acts of terrorism in a timely manner because of the sheer mass of mostly irrelevant information clogging its channels, but perfectly attuned for intimate spying on regular citizens and activists like Martin Luther King."
Even in these early days, Tien's concerns have some resonance. Among the topics DARPA spokespersons would not discuss in connection with this article were the program's budget, whether the technology was being developed for deployment by an existing intelligence department or a new "super spy" agency, and which program elements the contracts being issued this month cover.
"This DARPA project sounds a lot like Spielberg's Minority Report premise of 'PreCrime,'" said security consultant and author Richard Forno, referring to the fictional law enforcement office that arrests folks before they commit a crime.
"I mean, I'm a geek, but my two degrees are in international relations. Does that mean if all of a sudden I start buying books on terrorism, bio-war or current affairs, I'm going to be labeled a potential bad guy?"
Can anyone say Minority Report?
August 12th, 2002, 06:08 AM
it seems every time i hear someone argue why we don't need to fear techno-tyranny, someone else comes along to disprove it!
Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”
August 12th, 2002, 01:34 PM
1] And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.
August 12th, 2002, 02:37 PM
pre-crime unit man, thats scary!!!
*the wise do sooner what the fools do later.
August 12th, 2002, 05:27 PM
i think alot of these agency are under employed even if they collect all this information
they still need people to analyse the data, this could have been the reason 9/11 took place even though the info was know, not enough people to process the data!
just my two cent
August 12th, 2002, 07:06 PM
I tend to believe I am a very pragmatic person, not given to rabble rousing or chicken little warnings about the sky falling. However, I am fearful that the true legacy of 911 will not be the tragic deaths of thousands of people, the heroic sacrifice of hundreds of heros, or the heinous acts misguided fanatics. I believe that the legacy could easily be that it was the start of the largest shift away from personal freedom this country has ever seen.
Should we be trading our rights and privacy for a mythical promise of safety. I do not think so. I do not think that Governments have the ability to watch dog themselves to prevent the abuse of power. I point to several easy to see cases in point: The implementation of the Wetlands Protection Act, IRS (or worse here in CA is the Franchise Tax Board), Branch Dividians, Ruby Ridge, and on and on. These agencies have shown themselves more concerned with the legalities than with the rights the individual. Yet none of these agencies have had the broad (and poorly defined) powers that the Homeland Security seems to be gathering. If I were a terrorist I believe that right now I would consider 911 a total success, not because people died but because a nation has learned to fear and is reacting from that fear and not from their beliefs and mores.
/me Steps down off soapbox, kneels and says a prayer for the nation I love so well.
\"We are pressing through the sphincter of assholiness\"