3,375. 2/13/2002

“In February [13] 2002, the New York Times revealed to the public that a branch of the Defense Department headed by John Poindexter–a former National Security Advisor to [President] Ronald Reagan…was working on a secret program known as ‘Total Information Awareness [TIA].’ This program, under the motto ‘Knowledge is Power,’ aimed to design a gargantuan database that would collect information from both government and corporate databases on all of Americans’ ‘transactions’ and then create algorithms and systems to mine that data to try to discover terrorist patterns. The covered ‘transactions’ would have included ‘Financial, Education, Travel, Medical, Veterinary, Country Entry, Place/Event Entry, Transportation, Housing, Critical Resources, Government, [and] Communications’ information. …As public outrage about this Orwellian vision continued to simmer, Congress delayed and ultimately decided to defund the program. This was something of a pyrrhic victory for privacy. The TIA program was not actually abolished, but driven underground.”

 – Susan Herman, Taking Liberties, Pages 95-96

Categorised in:

Comments are closed here.