Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Total Information Awareness, Disguised And Alive

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the state-of-the-state dept.

Privacy 439

unassimilatible writes "According to the AP, aspects of the controversial Total Information Awareness DARPA program, officially shut down by the U.S. Congress in September 2003 after a public outcry, seem to have survived. The article reports, 'Some projects from retired Adm. John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness effort were transferred to U.S. intelligence offices, congressional, federal and research officials told The Associated Press. In addition, Congress left undisturbed a separate but similar $64 million research program run by a little-known office called the Advanced Research and Development Activity, or ARDA, that has used some of the same researchers as Poindexter's program.'"

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

YOUR ALL FUCKERS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358823)


KERNEL RELEASED! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358999)

Linux Kernel 2.0.40 was RELEASED, why aren't you DOWNLOADING and COMPILING it?

Common practice (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358831)

in government, shoot for the moon and keep what you can if someone gets a nose on it. This happens all the time and is one of the reasons the federal budget is so large, departments ask for more than they really need and keep what they get.

Wack a mole... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359163)

When you have a crimial organization the size of the US Government, they will do as they please.

If it fails here, they'll wack it. Sure.

It will pop up there, and if uproar continues, they'll wack it there.

It will pop up over there, under security this time, and if it leaks and there's more uproar, they'll wack it again. With "feeling".

But, once told "no", only criminals will find another way. And the Feds have so very many options.

They'll move it into "private research" inside Lockheed.

Or, they'll bust it up into dozens of subject matter and time compartmentalized graduate projects in their Universities.

Or, or, or...

Seems real terrorists just won't allow themselves to be stopped.

Similar (4, Interesting)

noelo (661375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358833)

Isn't this somewhat similar to what the East German secret police did to their citizens during the cold war...

Re:Similar (1, Insightful)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358945)

Americans are free to leave (see Johnny Depp). I believe East Germans were shot in the back if they attempted to leave.

Re:Similar (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358961)

Americans are free to leave

Where? Which country is willing to take in a horde of ignorant lard-asses?

Re:Similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359001)

Canada, perhaps? To quote Robin Williams: "Canada is like a loft apartment above a really great party."

Re:Similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359045)

What's your country of residence? It appears they have no problem accepting them.

Re:Similar (-1, Flamebait)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359125)

What's your country of residence? It appears they have no problem accepting them.

USA, but I'm not American, I have a visa to work here. Ha ha ha!

Re:Similar (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359003)

Or blown up on the land mines, assuming they got past the ditch. Possibly sliced to bits by the razor wire.

Fear not, there were lots of horrible ways to die rather than being shot from a tower or on the patrol road.

Re:Similar (0, Flamebait)

bigberk (547360) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359018)

Americans are free to leave
Yeah right! And where are you going to go? To Canada? [] Yeah right, as if it's that easy [] for skilled workers! You think those gunless, granola-eating, sickeningly-tolerant communist terrorists (your politicians' words) are going to accept you with open arms?

They probably will actually, they're kinda weird like that.

Re:Similar (0, Flamebait)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359049)

Canada accepts anyone who makes it to Canada. This makes them a very hospitable destination for the persecuted...and for terrorists.

But if I were going to emigrate, Canada wouldn't be in my top 5. It's too much like the US but has shittier weather, a poor man's NYC (Toronto) and Friday Night Hockey.

I will not live in a country that has Friday Night Hockey.

Friday? (5, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359094)

I will not live in a country that has Friday Night Hockey.
Thats good, because I think knowing that 'Hockey Night in Canada' is usually on a saturday is one of the requirements for citizenship.

Re:Similar (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359165)

With our unprotected borders the US is a better place for terrorists.

Get real (5, Interesting)

binkless (131541) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358997)

It is in fact not at all like what the East German secret police (Stasi) did during the cold war. There was no legislative shell game to play because the legislature was a sham. The scope of individual liberty was so small that there was no comparable initiative from Stasi. There was no need to sift through large amounts of data about citizens to find out what they needed to know. Activities were all duly registered, and all records were available to them. Elaborate systems of informants kept tabs on any person of interest.

It's hard to believe that anyone old enough to remember the cold war would say something so ridiculous. American domestic intelligence activities take place in a society where individuals enjoy broad latitude of action outside of state control. Without that context, total information awareness or whatever it has become would not even be a dream in a spies mind.

Damn (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358834)

and here I just packed my tinfoil hat, again!

From the ARDA Page (5, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358839)

ARDA's mission is to sponsor high-risk high-payoff research designed to leverage leading edge technology in the solution of some of the most critical poblems facing the intelligence community (IC).

High Risk as in 'Public Backlash'?

Re:From the ARDA Page (2, Insightful)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358975)

High risk must mean "oops he's innocent"

Thank You, Slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358846)

I, to, am totally aware.

Hey, this act isn't so bad, afterall!

Re:Thank You, Slashdot (1)

Carthag (643047) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358861)

Dude, it totally is!</stoner voice>

Re:Thank You, Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

starwed (735423) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358863)

> I, to, am totally aware. Just not of spelling...

Re:Thank You, Slashdot (0, Offtopic)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358921)

Maybe he was just aware of a spelling troll coming around and kicking himself in the karmatic balls.

I saw that coming to.

Why ... (5, Insightful)

Vanieter (613996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358847)

am I not even remotely surprised by this announcement ?

Could anyone actually trust a government that passed the PATRIOT Act to actually can TIA ?

Re:Why ... (5, Insightful)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358952)

You should not be surprised - this is behavior that should be expected from any government no matter what benevolent face it puts on.

The only things that keep power hungry government officials in check is fear of retribution from the populace. When the country was small and the military little more than a couple boy scouts with prettier boots (a situation that persisted well into the 20th century to some degree), there was the potential for armed revolts. Even pockets could cause huge problems.

When the official forces were bulked up as a result of the world wars, there was still the ever hanging axe of the ballot box to keep politicians under control. When the media gained the power of radio and TV, any little foible could be broadcast within hours to a population that might actually care.

Now, armed revolt isn't a threat, the media is broadcasting sensationalist bullshit for ratings meaning people don't take it that seriously, and the typical voter turnout is so horribly anemic that I have a hard time believing people even realize that they have a vote sometimes.

Politicians are free to pursue whatever agenda they want now. Nobody is going to stop them. With a few exceptions like TIA, nobody speaks up against ridiculous, authoritarian programs coming out of D.C. anymore. When they do, you just see this - they get broken up and hidden in various budgets and departments in such a way that they look like harmless little pocket programs, but the same folks are still pulling the strings at the top.

I've got to wonder sometimes how much farther this can go. The technology will just keep evolving in favor of loss of privacy and big brother-esque data collection and monitoring. When will people step up to draw the line and, depending on how long it takes, what will it take to actually keep the government from crossing it?

Re:Why ... (1, Insightful)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358957)

Could someone please tell me who has been harmed by the patriot act? I may have missed the news reports.

Re:Why ... (1)

Bull999999 (652264) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358978)

I haven't been harmed but my friend's roommates's sister's ex-boyfriend's doctor's maid's father's dry cleaner's son read an article on /. about a guy how may have been hurt by it.

Re:Why ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359012)

Same goes for my father's brother's nephew's cousin's former-roommate.

Re:Why ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359016)

Methinks you've been watch too much Jerry Springer.

Re:Why ... (5, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359019)

How about that US CITIZEN that is currently being held with out trial and who has been denied a lawyer?

Re:Why ... (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359077)

If your refering to the Padilla case the supreme court will be reviewing the case to see if the government has overstepped its authority.

But, that is how the system is supposed to work. In new legal areas such as this the supreme court has the final say not the president.

By the way he is being held under the section of the Geneva Connection concerning enemy combatants which has nothing to do with the Patriot Act. Would you like to try again?

US CON says otherwise (4, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359107)


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Re:US CON says otherwise (1, Troll)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359148)

Now your on the right track. Thats why the Supreme Court is getting involved and I believe they should. It's all about the constitution.

But this still has nothing to do with the Patriot Act.

watch it! (1)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359091)

you're gonna hurt someone's feelings and they'll call you a liberal because they have nothing fruitful to add. Same people probably think USC in court means University of South Carolina. I pity the retaliation they'll post to you. And I'm glad you didn't post anything on how Ashcroft seeks to have all charges for everyone being charged with a crime maxed out for (yeehaw!) terrorist observation.

Re:watch it! (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359102)

I live in California. I'm used to it :)

Re:Why ... (4, Insightful)

zelurxunil (710061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359090)

Re:Why ... (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359122)

That was an abuse of power by an unidentified imigration agent. He was and idiot and should be punished. Stupid people will do stupid things with or without the Patriot Act.

As the article itself states there where no violations of the Patriot Act.

Re:Why ... (-1, Troll)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358958)

Tell me which portions of the Patriot Act that trouble you.

You are familiar with the legislation you are deriding, are you not? Or are you typical?

Re:Why ... (5, Insightful)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359181)

Tell me which portions of the Patriot Act that trouble you.

Blanket search warrents.

The real question is: (4, Insightful)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359170)

Could anyone actually trust the US government at all.

This just keeps happening (5, Insightful)

Bobdoer (727516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358848)

We tell them no, then they break it in to a bunch of pieces and do it anyway.
Why do we keep electing these people who keep misrepresenting us to represent us?

Re:This just keeps happening (1, Insightful)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358894)

Because people are, on the whole, stupid. They vote for things because their coworkers/bosses/churches/friends tell them to vote for someone or something, or they just vote based upon party affiliation without actually checking on any issues that apply to them.

Re:This just keeps happening (1)

KanshuShintai (694567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359137)

Also because politicians lie.

Re:This just keeps happening (5, Insightful)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358940)

We tell them no, then they break it in to a bunch of pieces and do it anyway. Why do we keep electing these people who keep misrepresenting us to represent us?

Because you can only elect from those people on the list that is essentially chosen for you. And you don't get much of a say in who goes on that list.

Those with Power (those who own and/or control this country's largest corporations) choose who get on that list and "sell" it to you via their mass media outlets.

And the end result is that the only people you can realistically choose from are people who will not represent you, but who will represent Those with Power. It's why the "democracy" part of the "democratic republic" title for the U.S. is a lie.

Re:This just keeps happening (4, Interesting)

whovian (107062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359067)

Very Insightful, +2.

Now how do Those with Power "sell" to the public? By voicing the standard fare benefit programs that lead to better healthcare, better education, defense, lowered taxes, creation of new jobs, consumer protections, etc.

After your post, I can't help but view these things as being dangling fishing lures baited with carrots.

Nothing stopping it now. (4, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358854)

Take a look at the bottom of any of the ARDA [] pages. See the little webmaster mail link? See the domain it goes to? [mailto] . I think that since the NSA has gotten a hold of it, there's not much you can do about it . . unless you want to disappear.

Re:Nothing stopping it now. (4, Informative)

Erwos (553607) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358985)

Yes, because we know an organization composed of crypto-geeks and engineers is completely equipped to make you disappear.

NSA's not in the business of making people disappear. The program is public. Do you think they make every concerned citizen disappear? Please. Don't take movies as documentaries.

In fact, NSA tends to be one of the more non-threatening agencies when it comes to dealing with protestors. Remember the infamous tea party, when they just met the protestors at the fence, gave them some tea, and asked them about any specific issues they had? They're not quite that loose anymore, but I'd really be more concerned with Homeland Security than NSA.


leaving the wet work for the big guys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359054)

fyi its not the Homeland Sec I worry about, not even the CIA, nor DIA, nor FBI. They're a little group tightly hidden from most called ONI, and they're the meanest mofsckers you never heard of. What you think CIA (television wise) is, ONI is that on steroids. Ooops did I make sure to use a planetlab revolving proxy +anonymous coward here?

More interesting links... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358998)
Telep hone numbers, sorted by project:

Points of Contact

ARDA Telephone Numbers (301) 688-7092 (comm)
992-3000 (NSTS)

Thrust Managers
Information Exploitation (IE) - (443) 479-8006 / 992-7228
Quantum Information Science (QIS) - (443) 479-8008 / 992-7230
Glodal[SIC-"Global"? ed.] Infosystems Access (GIA) - (443) 479-8009 / 992-7231
Novel Intelligence from Massive Data (NIMD) - (443) 479-8010 / 992-7232
Information Assurance (IA) - (443) 479-8012 / 992-7234

Program Managers
Resource Enhancement Program (REP) - (443) 479-8005 / 992-7228
Exploratory Investigations (EI) - (443) 479-8011 / 992-7233
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) - (443) 479-8011 / 992-7233

and from the "Contact Us" page:
If you are interested in learning more about ARDA or have questions, please contact ARDA via:
(fax) 301-688-7410

STE 6644
9800 Savage Road
Fort George G. Meade, MD

send your thanks to these people (4, Informative)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359033)

You can thank them for your liberties being bled from you.

Mark Maybury, MITRE (Chair),

Karen Sparck Jones, University of Cambridge,

Ellen Voorhees, NIST,

Sanda Harabagiu, University of Texas at Austin,

Liz Liddy, University of Syracuse,

John Prange, ARDA,

ARDA workshops [] . And for your non Americans, if you think it's limited to us... Have I got news for you [] ! They'll be snooping around the mountains when you come... They'll be snooping around the mountains... they'll be snooping around the mountains...

No surprise (4, Insightful)

shamir_k (222154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358855)

"The whole congressional action looks like a shell game," said Steve Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, which tracks work by U.S. intelligence agencies. "There may be enough of a difference for them to claim TIA was terminated while for all practical purposes the identical work is continuing."

So most of the projects continue, but under a different name. And this time I am sure they will be much better hidden from the public eye. 1984 anybody?

Re:No surprise (4, Funny)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358916)

So most of the projects continue, but under a different name.

Except for the Adm. John Poindexter project. From Wikipedia [] :

Poindexter was convicted on multiple felony counts on April 7, 1990 for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, lying to Congress, defrauding the government, and the alteration and destruction of evidence pertaining to the Iran-Contra Affair.

However, in spite of being a convicted criminal, he hasn't changed his name. Duh -- what a fucking amateur!

Re:No surprise (1)

zelurxunil (710061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359044)

Wonder what conclusion his projects would make of him?

"1984 anybody?" (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358931)

No, 2004; we're a lot more smooth and professional than those orwellian clowns...

Re:No surprise (1)

Bull999999 (652264) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359017)

They are so well hidden that AP wrote about it and we are discussing it on /.

Government (3, Funny)

rholliday (754515) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358860)

That's the government for you. Did you expect anything less?

On a lighter note, I find it endlessly humerous that this psuedo-top secret department, causing all this controversy, that "sponsors high risk, high payoff research designed to produce new technology to address some of the most important and challenging IT problems faced by the intelligence community" has an Upcoming ARDA Calendar of Events!! [] that it so gleefully links to on its target="_blank">home page [] . :)

Hey, let's have a beer! (0, Offtopic)

GoMMiX (748510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358862)

We'll break out the beer and guns then talk about overthrowing the government!!!


Shit, living in Arkansas is starting to get to me.

History (3, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359025)

Crazy as it sounds with our current culture, history tells us that is exactly what we have to do.

Having democratic elections creates the illusion of that process, but unless the organisations that operate under the government get shuffled as well, then nothing much actually changes. Something tells me that overthrowing the CIA, NSA, FBI, Army, Navy, Airforce, etc, etc isn't going to be easy...

lessons learnt (4, Insightful)

maliabu (665176) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358867)

will this (public outcry) also pushes more privacy-invading systems being developed and used in the dark?

now that they knew public doesn't like the idea of such thing, why bother asking in the future? just go ahead and do it.

Not smart... (5, Insightful)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358872)

It said, for the time being, products of this research could only be used overseas or against non-U.S. citizens in this country, not against Americans on U.S. soil.

I don't think treating americans diffrently based on where they are in the world is a good precident to set....

Re:Not smart... (1)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358968)

Sure it is.

If you're chillin' in a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan or residing in a country where travel is forbidden (Cuba) or where we do not have diplomatic relations (Iran), it might be wise to know where you hang your hat.

Re:Not smart... (1)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359082)

I have no problem with them keeping an eye on cuba or terrorist training camps. I have a problem with them spying on people chillin in london or paris, and that's what they're doing.

Civil War (4, Interesting)

MacFury (659201) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358889)

I seriously wonder how long before we have another civil war. There is already civil unrest. We have it too good right now to take up arms...but I wonder if it will happen within my lifetime.

Mass protests have done nothing to stop the war in Iraq...what would it take?

The protests were pretty small (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358911)

Mass protests have done nothing to stop the war in Iraq...what would it take?

The protests were pretty small, compared to those who did not protest. Besides, listening to ignorant idiots just because they march and SCREAM REAL LOUD is not very responsible. The pro-Saddam protesters were rightfully ignored.

Re:Civil War (1)

mellon101 (730405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358926)

Thank god for the 2nd ammendment

You'll see it starting in 2005, (4, Interesting)

pb (1020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358992)

If you believe your friendly neighborhood time traveler [] ...

Mass Protests...Not. (1)

Donut (128871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359188)

Your "Mass Protests" were not. During the run up to the war, the majority of Americans supported the use of military force against Iraq.

Read here [] .

While the protests in the big cities were blanket-covered by the media, they represented a incredibly small portion of the voting population. And those were people who were not going to vote Republican anyway, so Congress and the President lost nothing by ignoring them.

Sorry to bring reality in, but those protests were not significant.


I think not (4, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358891)

ARDA said its software would have to deal with "typically a petabyte or more" of data. It noted that some intelligence data sources "grow at the rate of four petabytes per month."

So, the bastards think they can keep track of my porn collection, do they?

Re:I think not (1)

rholliday (754515) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358917)

Heh. I wonder what the safe search filters for their engines look like ... or do they just use Google, like sensible people? Maybe Google Labs has an for them ...

not suprised at all (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358895)

i am not suprised at all by this article.

i'm definately not voting for bush (not like i did) because the terror color code thing has my little cousin scared of clifford the big red dog because he thinks he's a severe terror threat.

Re:not suprised at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359142)

So you've got a retarded cousin, and it's the President's fault?

In Government... (4, Insightful)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358900)

No bad idea ever goes away.

America... (2, Insightful)

rsklnkv (532866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358910) about twenty years overdue for revolution.
From the article:
"to help the nation avoid strategic surprise ... events critical to national security ... such as those of Sept. 11, 2001,"

This kind of reasoning to destroy rights is sick. What does that mean, "such as those"? Where are all these 'terrorists' (sick of THAT word) who wait to waylay me and bugger me bloody?
Ooooh, that's right! The New & Imroved ARDA is protecting me from them. Thanks for that.

BTW. Not believing privacy is my right
MEANS NOTHING TO ME. I'll still claim I have that right, and fight for every inch of it.

Intelligence !? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358912)

Sure, our intelligence agencies may not have seen Pearl Harbor coming (and never mind all those shiny dots on the radar screen), or September 11th (and didn't the INS even approve a visa application of one of the terrorists a few months after the attacks!?).

But it sure is PATRIOTic to give them new fancy tools so that folks like Mr. Ashcroft and this other Dick can screw their fellow countrymen in the ass just a tad bit harder, at his convenience. Cheers!

Re:Intelligence !? (1)

Bobdoer (727516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359028)

Erm, we knew Pearl Harbor was coming a very short time (less than a day if I recall) in advance, but due to bureaucratic nonsense, the message never made it to the people who needed it.
It must be pointed out that one of our most hated enemies (The NSA, well, a precursor to them) provided this intel, through cracking the "purple" cypher.

Big government (4, Insightful)

MrScary (39957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358924)

It just amazes me that the repulicans are all about government staying out of our lives but they produce so much legislation the interferes with our lives. I think that it is time for king George the second to reread the bill of rights or maybe its time for us to fight the revolutionary war again.

My favorite quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358956)

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants."

- Thomas Jefferson

Re:Big government (5, Insightful)

mellon101 (730405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359010)

Both sides read the founding documents the way they want. Dem's are all about freedom of speech until it comes to something like campaign finance reform, which is a blatant violation of freedom of speech. They crap on our right to bear arms. Neutering it every chance they get. The republicans are giving the finger to our rights to privacy with all this patriot act and other such bullshit. Denying US citizens the right to legal representation and a fair trial by classifying them as POW's (or whatever they are calling them this week). There are so many more examples on both sides. The government is seriously getting out of hand. It has grown into something it was never intended to be. Things went wrong when power was taken away from the states and sent to D.C.

Re:Big government (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359041)

Yes, it's time to dust off your Che pin and get the tie dye t-shirt dry cleaned.

One of the cornerstones of the republican party is to provide for a strong national defence and this project supports that. Providing for national defence is one of the few roles for the government enumerated in the constitution.

Since your so familiar with the bill of rights could you please tell me where the right to privacy exists? You'll find that it doesn't.

There is no privacy for public records.

Re:Big government (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359149)

Since your so familiar with the bill of rights could you please tell me where the right to anal sex exists? You'll find that it doesn't.

There is no privacy for public sex.

Re:Big government (4, Informative)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359153)

could you please tell me where the right to privacy exists?

Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Is this a surprise? (5, Insightful)

cluge (114877) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358930)

Many government agencies have been struggling to pay catch up when it comes to the "Information Revolution". Now a decade after the revolution began some are starting to realize the potential. It's been pretty embarassing to sit at your desk in the CIA and not be able to do a Google Search [] . I believe that the "total information awareness" program is simply a way to try and rectify this.

The tools are only going to get better, and the more laws and policies that allow the "leakage" of personal information will only make "privacy" a state of mind as opposed to something you actually have. If congress was so concerned about privacy perhaps they would rethink the Patriot Act, or other invasive police policies that have been en vogue for the last decade.

I like this (3, Insightful)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358943)

I know this is probably an unpopular opinion on slashdot, but I hope the government does go ahead with this plan.

The government isn't really spying on you, per se. They are taking all the public information out there, and data mining it to potentially flag and catch criminals and terrorists.

The crowd here turn into luddites as soon as technology is used by the government, but I think this is a great use for it. The 9/11 hijackers were in plain view, but because of the different agencies and bureaucracies, they fell through. This could be a tool to find the next 9/11 and I am all for it.

No sir, I don't like it! (1, Insightful)

speedfreak_5 (546044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359042)

Of course everyone is going to be weary of the government doing stuff like this. Mostly because the government has abused power like this in the past for political gains. Who's to say the people running the government won't (or haven't) do it again with this kind of information.

This could be a tool to find the next 9/11 and I am all for it.

If you really want to see the next 9/11 stopped, start with foreign policy.

Re:I like this (4, Interesting)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359071)

'Ya know, that's wonderful, but let's be rational about this. 3,000 deaths... a staggering number, right? However, it is hardly the most tragic thing ever to happen: "In 2002, an estimated 17,419 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes--an average of one every 30 minutes. These deaths constitute 41 percent of the 42,815 total traffic fatalities. (NHTSA, 2003)" [from MADD [] .] Don't get me wrong... 9/11 was no doubt a significant event. I just mean to say that the threat posed by it pales in comparison to so many of the threats that surround us every day and which go largely unnoticed.

Even if we assume that 9/11 represented such a grave threat as to cause us to consider the radical restructuring of the very nature of our rights, then we must ask if that is a productive course of action. Remember when TIME magazine ran the cover article [] claiming that not enough was done to prevent 9/11, even with the Phoenix memo and other warnings? So, please, remind me again how TIA will prevent a "second 9/11?"

While you may be ready to give up your rights in response to a vauge threat (color scale of doom, anyone?) and to passively take hook, line and sinker, there remain those of us who still value the lives lost back in the late 1700s... the lives which won us this freedom in the first place.

I realize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359080)

That I'm proably a right wing nutjob but I sure that does not show though in my post, or surely not my sig.

Just beacuse the goverment wants to spy on you that does not mean it's a bad thing. I mean remember, if you arn't guilty you should have nothing to hide!

Don't forget 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! It's the reason I should be able to get a peek in your underwear drawer every night just to make sure your not a homosexual. Or some other sort of dangerous free thinking hippy. Remember we have camps for people like you.

unreasonable search (4, Insightful)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359121)

Just as it's illegal for the feds to go through every home in america looking for a criminal, it should be (is?) illegal for them to search through private information about me without reasonable cause to suspect me.

Furthermore, the government's paranoia about terrorists will make it illegal to look like a terrorist to this list. If you refuse to give your SS#, you look bad to the list. If you refuse to show ID, you look bad to the list. It doesn't matter that your SS# is supposed to be privately used only for purposes of social security, and it doesn't matter that you can't be forced to show ID unless you are suspected of a crime. What looks bad to the list will become a crime.

I hate this idea because it will imiplicate and punish innocent people for matching the trends of guilty ones. Furthermore, the people said "NO!" to this once, and it's disgusting that our government forces its will over that of the people.

Re:I like this (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359162)

What about the post-9/11 legislation such as the PATRIOT act that allows your civil rights to be suspended if you appear to be a terrorist? Couple this with a system that allows the goverment to look at every (digitized) aspect of your life & reading subversive websites slashdot AND being educated puts you in a good position to disappear.

Didn't a government investigator know about 9/11? (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359169)

Wasn't there this FBI agent who had custody of Mussaoui (sic), who had spilled the beans about the 19 other guys, but was weighted down by red tape and superiors?

Or am I just making all of this up? But if I'm not, then why do we need such drastic measures? Won't a little go a long way?

btw imho lol (4, Informative)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358949)

See what acronyms can do to you. MWEAC [] , OSIS [] , MISSI [] , hell some of their own [] don't even know what exists or even what they do. Again, I thank John Asscroft and his Patriot Act [] , all under the gimmick of the pork barrel Department of Homeland Insignificance. Now, obviously this sound trollish but it is not, most people here click by things without looking into things. Sort of like the way stories are read here, a quick glimpse, and that's that.

For those interested in what is going on in government behind the scenes, don't always think people who post the kinds of things I post are all conspiratorial stories aimed at bringing down government through chaos. Hell look at sites like FAS [] , Cryptome [] , Arms Control [] , and the multitude of others. Many people point things out but too many are concerned with menial things such as Janet's boobs, Sex and the Shitty, etc., to notice the rug being pulled from under them. Hell most Americans think CNN and Fox are the holy grail of news. Get out there and read, know what's happening in your country. Check out BBC, Observer, Greg Palast, AntiWar [] , Chomsky. These people aren't being controlled via advertisers, not political pressure. I write sometimes too kooky assed documents [] , that some might say aren't worth a pot to piss in [] . Maybe so, but there is a reason for me rambling on like a madman sometimes. I care about my privacy and liberty. I don't want my friends or family growing up in something out of "Escape from Alcatraz"

My recent experience (5, Interesting)

pegr (46683) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358973)

I just recently applied for a mortgage loan. The loan guy was happy to share my credit report with me. I looked it over, and found a section I couldn't make sense of. I asked the loan guy what that section meant. He said "That's whether or not you're a terrorist. Congrats, you're not." So as far as the credit reporting agencies go, yes, they track that stuff. Scarier still, that little tidbit, accurate or not, is available to every person capable of pulling a credit rating...

I asked the loan guy what he would do if the report said I was a terrorist... He said "I'd excuse myself to the restroom, get in my car, drive at least five miles away, then call my boss!" ;)

FREE FMR. REP TRAFFICANT! (-1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8358980)

Futile Waste of Money? (4, Insightful)

polv0 (596583) | more than 10 years ago | (#8358991)

As a data-mining professional I find myself using the term data-mining less frequently in my interactions with clients and colleagues. That is because data-mining is going the way of artificial intelligence: over hyped and under delivered. The ARDA Novel Intelligence from Massive Data [] web-site summarizes the principle failures of data-mining.
"The techniques fail to acquire or to use the prior knowledge - the "thread of logic" - that analysts bring to their tasks. As a result, discoveries made by machines prove to be trivial, well-known, irrelevant, implausible, or logically inexplicable"
95% of what is "discovered" in data-mining falls into one of the above categories. The value is provided by leveraging the data to quantify the "well-known" effects, and is obtained by using modern applied statistics to tackle specific problems such as:

Use these 100,000 measurements of 10 known varibles and outcomes to build a model to predict unkown outcomes for new variables.

DARPA and ARDA's goal of predicting terrorist behavior, or
"spotting the telltale signs of strategic surprise in massive data sources"
will fail due to a paucity of observed terrorist behavior, an inability to precisely define the objective and an enormous amount of poorly collected, noisy and irrelevant data.

I think data mining is scary (4, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359144)

I cannot agree that US government data mining is necessarily ineffective.

US gov TLAs with access to certain types of data alone have phenomenally clean and good data to use for data mining. For starters:

* Phone calls. Forget *contents* of phone calls -- a cop doesn't even need a warrant to get a list of phone calls. Plug all phone calls into a nice big database, and you have an excellent association network -- I can build up a list of all the people you know.

Now, suppose I want to detect flow of causuality. I look for some degree of correlation between a phone call from entity A to entity B and entity B to entity C. If a phone call of the second type follows a phone call of the first type within a day or two more than, say, 25% of the time, there's an interesting link to explore. Maybe entity B is passing on instructions to entity C. I'm not sure what the status of past location data is -- whether a warrant is required for telcos to turn over the data they've logged on your movements. Given a couple of years of accurate movement data, it's probably really interesting when a phone call from entity A to entity B is frequently followed by a physical visit from entity B to entity C.

* Purchasing-related data. Movements can be tracked via ATM withdrawals, credit-card use, phone card use, store purchasing card use. You ever let a friend use your store grocery card? That's a great source of determining who knows who -- a store card associated with two credit cards.

When you get a driver's license, most states fingerprint you (or at least thumbprint). I didn't even know that I *could* opt out of the thumbprint until afterwards.

I agree that mining is probably less useful to find terrorists (frankly, unless a terrorist is just incredibly stupid, he's going to avoid the above), but it *is* useful to track all kinds of other people.

Any person with a cell phone should have no expectation of privacy. They're carrying around a portable tracking device with a microphone that can be turned on remotely. End of story.

2025.. not too unlike 1984 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359002)

The year is 2025, White people HAVE become a MINORITY in America. On our streets hang Aryan men who refused to accept the "New Way," or perhaps they just looked too White. Perhaps they never thought MUD RULE would really come.

White girls who refuse the advances of Negroids, are publicly gang-raped so as to serve as examples to other shuddering Aryan females. Children are now taken from their houses, by force, to be brought up in a "Multi-Cultural" home of Negroids, Arabs, Muslims and Gooks, all in the name of "brotherhood and love"...
And yet, some fight back! Alone or in small cells, and boys...but most of all women who stand the most to lose, since the decline of real men among the White Folk, strike night and with any weapon near at hand.

How often do the hunted Whites think back to the "old days," when action and dedicated work, might have Reached, Educated and Organized enough of our folk, to have averted what now seems like a hopeless Hell. All the old excuses for not working for the Movement...My Job...My Money...My Friends...My Fun...My Beer, all gone. All the boasting, but never REALLY sacrificing for what they knew was coming, now it's too late, too late, TOO LATE. Are YOU a TALKER or do YOU make a difference now?
If so, you can contact us at:

P.O. Box 85942
Westland, MI 48185 []

Very telling quote (3, Insightful)

extrarice (212683) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359004)

If you only read a few sentences from this article, read these:

Ted Senator, who managed that research for Poindexter, told government contractors that mining data to identify terrorists "is much harder than simply finding needles in a haystack."

"Our task is akin to finding dangerous groups of needles hidden in stacks of needle pieces," he said. "We must track all the needle pieces all of the time."

This would be where the "Total" part of "Toal Information Awareness" comes in.

there is also MATRIX (1)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 10 years ago | (#8359015)

Multi-agency anti-terrorism information exchange; this ia a state-level program, outside of congress' control, and it is growing every day.

The man with a presidential pardon on his resume (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359062)

What is Pointdexter doing running government programs anyway. He and North both ought to be in jail.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359152)

It's probably the crappiest UI eva.

New name for TIA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8359172)

It's now known as Yahoo.

Ha ha, only serious [] .
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>