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Total Information Awareness still Running 337

gordm writes "National Journal reports that, instead of being shut down 2 years ago, the Total Information Awareness program is still datamining away. Must be effective. What else could explain Morrissey's latest adventure?" Just posting this story probably puts me on their radar.
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Total Information Awareness still Running

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  • Always watched..... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NiteShaed ( 315799 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:56AM (#14800071)
    Inch by inch, we're getting closer to living in a massive panopticon [wikipedia.org].
  • not surprised.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bananatree3 ( 872975 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:01AM (#14800084)
    If black projects cant get funding in public view, they work behind the scenes and find money elsewhere.
  • If they ask you anything, that answers the whole question...
  • by loserhead ( 941655 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:16AM (#14800119)
    the tinfoil hat was a GOOD idea!!!!
    • Re:I told you... (Score:3, Informative)

      by quanticle ( 843097 )
      /* the tinfoil hat was a GOOD idea!!!!*/

      Not really.  According to this study (http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/), certain radio frequencies are greatly amplified by tinfoil helmets, making it far easier for the government to spy on your thoughts.
  • by Proudrooster ( 580120 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:16AM (#14800125) Homepage
    President Eisenhower warned us the industrial military complex back in the 60's when technology started to take off. It is staggering how much of our annual budget that we spend on the military, even in so called peace time. It is even scarier how much of this budget is used for spying and profiling American citizens. To this day, we aren't even sure how people get on the "No Fly List". There must be a saner solution to this problem, other than report everything to the government and wait for some algorithm to report you match a specific profile and then send the black helicopters to come get you.

    I leave you with the wisdom of Mr. Eisenhower from 1961.

    A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

    Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

    Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

    Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present

    * and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

    It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.
    • by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:50AM (#14800236)
      Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

      Well, there we've got our problem.
    • Ike represented the USA that fought in the two World Wars; the USA that was admired by so many people and nations.

      Compare his brains, character, principles, and understanding of the world beyond US borders to every single US president since Ike. But if it makes you sad, don't show it. TIA is watching you.

    • It is staggering how much of our annual budget that we spend on the military, even in so called peace time. It is even scarier how much of this budget is used for spying and profiling American citizens.

      Yeah, I voted for GWB because he said some of the right things. He said it was wrong that the Federal Government, in a time of peace, was taking in as much of the GDP as it did in WWII. He also thought the Federal Government was too invasive and should be scaled back. How clever of him to have justified i

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:21AM (#14800140) Homepage Journal
    I wouldnt be suprised if at some point the government will start selling off 'de-classifed' data to the highest bidder. Such as what kind of socks you buy.. or your food habits..

    the rest of the data ( like your friends, or what street corner you stopped too long at last saturday at 12am ) wont be sold off. Instead it will be used against you when your turn to be directly invesigated comes. Remember, we are all criminals to 'the system'.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Oh, lord, this will probably bring out the polititrolls, but it's important to the topic.

      Recently, when it came to light that Scooter Libby the former chief of staff to the Vice President may have been cleared to participate in the leak of classified information by his superiors (IE the VP), Vice President Dick Cheney went on one of the cable news talk shows and said that he had the ability to declassify information at will. He says he was given this new ability by an unspecified executive order. He decli
      • by cluckshot ( 658931 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @01:21PM (#14800830)

        I know I risk being moderated into oblivion by partizans who just don't get it , but here goes. The political assassination of parties character by this means is not just a D vs R thing. The Republican Party leadership under President Bush has used this to conduct virtual political assassination of very nearly every Republican who stood up for anything. As such no farm club exists to run in the next election and the Republican party is politically neutered as a result. It threatens the very party existence. This sort of thing destroys all levels of political function. I am speaking as a witness from the inside so if you moderate this realize I am talking fact and not opinion.

    • I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that's all it's ultimately good for. Consider this (from the article):

      Devices developed under Genoa II's predecessor -- which Sharkey also managed when he worked for the Defense Department -- were used during the invasion of Afghanistan and as part of "the continuing war on terrorism,"

      As I recall, Bin Laden was captured only after a very long and expensive military effort. Oh wait...he wasn't captured. I think we can see just how effective these "intelligence" efforts will b
      • Do you realy belive the military WANTS to capture Bin Laden? Its an ethics question, simular to cancer research. If you are a cancer researcher, and this is all you have done for 15 years, and you discover a cure, but risk loosing all of your funding, and having to persue another medical problem, do you release it to the masses? Some people will, some people will not.


        War drives our economy. Without Bin Laden, we are loose jobs at weapons plants, the reserves come back, and either return to their old job
        • Very interesting point.
        • someone that replaced them is going to have to leave

          That someone who replaced them and has to leave is likely to be an illegal immigrant. The US has a history of opening the floodgates to let in illegals whenever we have decided to go to war. After WWII, Operation Wetback [wikipedia.org] removed nearly a million illegal Mexican immigrants from the US.

          One of the, surely foreseen, benefits of TIA and national ID cards is that the Pentagon now has the ability to replace American workers at the drop of a hat to send them to
        • by Fulcrum of Evil ( 560260 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @08:01PM (#14802152)

          If you are a cancer researcher, and this is all you have done for 15 years, and you discover a cure, but risk loosing all of your funding, and having to persue another medical problem, do you release it to the masses? Some people will, some people will not.

          Holy shit, of course you do! Then you go get funding for the next thing by saying 'My team cured Cancer, fuck you'. Do you really think Bruce Willis auditions anymore?

  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:23AM (#14800150)
    come on now... something this "good" was never gonna die
  • by Garry Anderson ( 194949 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:24AM (#14800154) Homepage
    I have wrote on subject of the Surveillance Society many times - including here on Slashdot.

    e.g. this is snippet from one post:

    Quote from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency: "The goal of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program is to revolutionize the ability of the United States to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists -- and decipher their plans -- and thereby enable the U.S. to take timely action to successfully preempt and defeat terrorist acts."

    The declared GOAL is to, quote: "identify foreign terrorists" - what rubbish. They know you are American citizen, not even a suspect foreigner - yet want to know what you buy, where you travel - everything. They want to profile you, like a criminal. I find it hard to believe that U.S. politicians are that dumb to go along with this violation of the American Peoples Rights. Looks like TIA initials stand for Totally Ignorant Acceptance (for their propaganda).

    http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=100317&cid =8554109 [slashdot.org]
    • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @11:58AM (#14800493) Journal
      I'm going to quote an old post [slashdot.org] from the "DMCA Abuse Widespread" [slashdot.org] article:
      Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're lying . They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible.
      A true Republican would not sponsor or encourage this type of invasive program.
    • The declared GOAL is to, quote: "identify foreign terrorists" - what rubbish. They know you are American citizen, not even a suspect foreigner - yet want to know what you buy, where you travel - everything. ... I find it hard to believe that U.S. politicians are that dumb to go along with this violation of the American Peoples Rights.

      "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself."
      - Mark Twain
  • Morrissey is involved with this, too?? How does he find time between cutting albums?
    • How depressing a song Morrissey will write about the experience.

      I'm soaking my cutting blades in alcohol right now...
    • Ah, but didn't you know that Morrissey is a terrrorist ?

      I mean, read some of his lyrics [lyricsfreak.com]:

      This is the coastal town
      That they forgot to close down
      Armageddon - come armageddon!
      Come, armageddon! come!


      In the seaside town ...that they forgot to bomb
      Come, come, come - nuclear bomb


      This man is calling for nuclear terrorism against the west. He must be stopped, and stopped quickly.

      And as if that wasn't bad enough, he's got 10,000 maniacs following his every word. [utterlyrics.com]
  • this is the company (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    GITI - Global Infotek - is the company still in control of a lot of this tech.
    http://www.globalinfotek.com/ [globalinfotek.com]

    when I was working there a few years ago they had a half dozen projects that they specifically told me were the next iteration of TIA, and that TIA had not been shut down, but simply renamed and split up.

    I didn't have a security clearance, and nothing they said was confidential, but they threatened my job if I told anyone about it while I was there. Needless to say, I left fairly quickly.
  • Over a period of decades, the U.S. government paid to kill Arabs [futurepower.org] and interfere with their politics. The U.S. government also paid to train Arabs in terrorism to fight in Afghanistan.

    Is it surprising that a small percentage of Arabs eventually decided to react to violence with more violence? Is it surprising that Arabs don't like being killed?

    Now, those who wanted violence have what they want. They can claim that there is a threat, and can make billions in largely hidden contracts for weapons and contracts for war.

    The U.S. government is more corrupt now than ever before. Here are some short reviews of books about the corruption. The article is old and needs revision and additions, but gives a small view of a very extensive subject: Unprecedented Corruption: A guide to conflict of interest in the U.S. government [futurepower.org].

    Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in World War Two and former U.S. President General Dwight D. Eisenhower said in a famous speech [yale.edu] that we should beware of the "military-industrial complex". Here's a quote:

    "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    "We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."

    Another quote:

    "The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present - and is gravely to be regarded."

    --
    Before, Saddam got Iraq oil profits & paid part to kill Iraqis. Now a few Americans share Iraq oil profits, & U.S. citizens pay to kill Iraqis. Improvement?
  • by tengu1sd ( 797240 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:32AM (#14800181)
    I wonder if Alberto Gonzales had a hand in naming Total Information Awareness. In the small town where I grew up, Tias knew everything going on, the comings and goings, motivations, credit balances and who was seeing who.
    • Bear with me for a moment

      TIA - Spanish for Aunt & Tias knew everything going on

      Now... where's the closest large scale repository of Tias?
      If you said Mexico, you'd be right!

      Guess who Bush wants to allow easy access to in the U.S. of A.?
      If you said Mexicans, you'd be right!

      His immigration and naturalization drive for illegal Mexicans is merely a secret attempt to bring in more Tias, so that he can increase the U.S.'s human intelligence gathering powers.

      Importing Mexican Aunts to spy on American citizens..
    • Actually, TIA as the name of an intelligence agency is even funnier for Spaniards. One of the most popular comic strips in Spain, Mortadelo y Filemón [wikipedia.org], features two incompetent secret agents who work for an equally incompetent intelligence agency called... you guessed, TIA.

      When I hear about the real TIA, I always wonder if they have a real version of Professor Bacterio working for them. That would be explain so many things about it.

  • by Woldry ( 928749 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:43AM (#14800212) Journal
    The danger with TIA, as with any collection of information with or without the consent of the subjects of the information, is that the power will eventually fall into the hands of someone who will abuse it. Not "might", not "will unless we're careful" -- WILL, as inevitably and certainly as death. The failure to understand this certainty is what enables this kind of creeping infringement of power. Every generation thinks that it has the savvy and the tools to prevent the abuses -- when in reality prevention of abuse is impossible.

    Eisenhower's words, quoted by several other /.'ers -- The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist -- apply to more than just the "military-industrial complex". Any power will be "misplaced" as soon as just one unethical person gets his hands on it.

    The only way to limit (not prevent) abuses is to severely curtail the amount of power out there to be abused.
    • KBR just received a contract to build emergency detention centers across the US. The contract was for either 350 or 380 million dollars.
    • By that logic, we should fire all prosecutors (and there are PLENTY of cases where they abuse their power), get rid of all police forces, and disband the Department of Defense.

      Of course these powers can be abused! Do you know of any governmental powers that cannot?

      The simple assertion that powers can be abused is not of value in determining whether the powers should or should not exist. The question is more nuanced than that. Even so, the argument is canonical on Slashdot and appears to be completely suffic
    • by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @03:32PM (#14801341) Homepage
      I'm in a small Vermont town recently featured on the front page of the Washington Post because the police chief got an earmark grant to spend $100,000 putting 19 surveillance cameras throughout the 1.2 square mile village of 3,000. He said, "Trust me, we'd never abuse this. Heck, you're not that interesting to watch!" When the public rose up about 5 to 1 against the proposal, the village trustees voted to have the cops buy digital radios instead of the cameras. The cops immediately began issuing traffic tickets to everyone going 2 or 3 mph over the 15 mph speed limit through downtown, while working to intimidate people into signing their new petition to revert to the camera plan.

      On the one hand, I've never heard so many great speechs from citizens about bedrock American values as occurred in the village trustees' meeting that focused on the chief's camera plan. On the other hand, I haven't seen on a local level such a total willingness to abuse power on the part of the cops, over what in the scheme of things should be but a minor disappointment to them (they still get shiney new radios!), and so soon after the chief's claim that they'd never abuse power.
  • The best explanation is that he needed some press, and figured that "I'm being hassled by The Man" was a good tack for his audience.

    • Are you calling Morrissey a liar?
    • Re:Morrissey? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MindStalker ( 22827 )
      What doesn't make sense is how this is tied to "Total Information Awareness". It sounds from the link that the only information they had was his public statements, not any information gained from spying of any type. Oh sorry forgot that facts arn't supposed to get in the way of any good scare stories.
  • Will be the last of the famous international detainees?
    • Yeah, what a Bona fide Drag. Truly, September Spawned a Monster. We're all Disappointed, to be sure.
    • Granted, it's been twenty years, but this guy did release an album (with the Smiths) titled "The Queen is Dead". Contained a number of amusing lyrics such as "Her very lowness with her head in a sling.." and so on. Good record, btw.

      Then of course, he's not only a homosexual but a vegetarian as well - strikes two and three, as it were.

  • God is good (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:49AM (#14800232)
    bomb bomb allah president kill bush cheney islam iraq bomb nuke nuclear batmobile taliban saddam osama afghanistan nuke china nuke bomb allah terrorist wtc
  • When I hear stories about stuff like TIA and Echelon, I start to worry that the gubment is going to be all-seeing and all-knowing. Then, I hear a news story about how our leaders didn't even know a Arab country had bought an entire US port, then I relax a little bit. Incompetence trumps diabolical planning every time.
    • Incompetence trumps diabolical planning every time

      Which is just as it should be :)

      Hail Eris ! All hail Discordia !!!
    • Yes, but, nothing trumps incompetent diabolical planning.
    • Just to clarify for you. The reviews supposedly happened and everything was kosher. Bush just found out "a few days ago" when the story broke, but supports the aquisition. Where basically everyone else that it blindsided (including the Port Authority in NY) has screamed bloody murder and is trying to stop the aquisition because they didn't know. So to say the gubment didn't know may be a little innacurate. They may have known, they may have not known. The only accurate statement is that they said they
  • Real democarcy (Score:2, Interesting)

    Looking into the US from a long way off, articles like this consistently give the impression that the US is out of control; at least out of the control or ordinary hard working citizens. What has happened to accountability? How does the average citizen take a stand and agitate for real change if it takes umpteen million dollars or ownership of a great chunk of popular media to get elected to office?

    How far from the ideal can you go and still call it a democracy? Maybe you still get to vote (If you are wi
    • Re:Real democarcy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cheapy ( 809643 )
      You can go as far away from democracy as you want, as long as you can yell the loudest, and can come up with the most insidious plots to undermine your 'terror loving opponents.'
    • Re:Real democarcy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @12:24PM (#14800604) Homepage
      It is not only information that is manipulated by the establishment, it is the candidates, too. They give you candidtates of their selection groomed in the nagivation of their power structures and achievement of their ends, present a benign and homogenized view of the candidate pool by controlling all information flow through deep event/program secrecy, fearmongering, and exceptional press control, then take care to ensure that if you have somehow managed to keep your own head through all the propaganda, you are unable to run for office yourself or to cast a vote when you turn up at the polls anyway.

      In short, the United States is FINISHED. Democracy has been lost and the policy infrastructure has lapsed into the same "Evil Empire" nature that Reagan attributed to the Soviet Union. As it turns out, it's not that communism is bad and capitalism is good, it's that (as we have always known), absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      In a world in which institutions are given the force of legal identity as individuals, and they form the backbone, heart, and soul of superpowers (read: absolute powers), such institutions are doomed to be corrupted absolutely and to tyrranize their citizens so completely that revolution is inevitable after a many-decades-long period of corruption, deceit, global exploitation, death, and suffering.

      The former Soviet Union continues to attempt to emerge from this darkness. The United States has teetered on its edge since Vietnam, and thanks to Bush and Company, has now entered the darkness wholesale and with gusto, not to emerge for decades or even centuries, if ever.

      The laiety can't see it yet... But they will. Give U.S. citizens a decade and they will suddenly realize that they are living inside their worst nightmare--a totalitarian military-industrial state--and they will wonder just how they got there, and just how they are going to get out, never realizing that their own voting choices and support for capitalist democracy and the military-industrial complex are what led them to the slaughter.

      And then, like the Soviets did for decades before them, they will languish in anguish indefinitely in a grey and gun-laden world, waiting for any ray of sunlight while the rest of the world is terrified of them all, not realizing that they are every bit as trapped inside the complex as the rest of humanity feels trapped under its thumb.
  • by jasonditz ( 597385 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @11:17AM (#14800332) Homepage
    With all the other stories that've been breaking in the past few months of the NSA wholesale spying on American civilians, the real news here isn't just that the TIA is around. It's that the Senate ordered it shut down, and it wasn't.

    Lets look at the past couple of years. The Executive branch has claimed the powers to: declare people including American citizens "enemy combatants" and hold them incommunicado overseas for however long they wish with no access to the US court system, wiretap American citizens within the United States without a court order or indeed any judicial review. Recently the Vice President has also claimed to power to unilaterally declassify anything that he wants.

    The CIA has been caught running torture flights through allied countries without their apparent knowledge, running secret prisons in EU member states without EU knowledge, and to top it off, they were caught kidnapping people on the streets of Milan without the knowledge of the Italian government.

    The Pentagon, the FBI and the California National Guard have all been caught spying on peaceful protesters on American soil, in spite of a law that specifically forbids this.

    A few months ago... Congress passed a law banning torture. The President grudgingly signed this into law, but reiterated his belief that he wasn't personally bound by the ban.

    Now we find out that while the Senate ordered a domestic surveillance operation shut down years ago because it was a threat to the privacy of the average American... the Executive branch has decided to keep it going anyhow, without anyone's knowledge.

    What's the point of even having a Legislative or Judicial branch anymore? They have no real powers at this point.

    The Executive branch can just arbitrarily declare people outside the judicial branch's jurisdiction to keep them out of the courts, and the whole notion of getting a court order for federal law enforcement action is now considered "obsolete".

    The Legislature still theoretically gets to pass laws, but the executive branch can basically break them at will... and since the power of enforcing those laws falls within the executive branch's domain, is it any wonder that all these overt violations of the laws of Congress never amount to any meaningful charges?

    In fact, we don't even know how far the executive branch's power goes at this point... nobody new the President had the power to wiretap without warrants. The Constitution never mentions it... in fact, federal law specifically prohibits it. Indeed, when the press first found out about this power, they were pressured to keep it a secret (which they did for over a year), and when the existance of this power was revealed to thew general public, members of the executive branch denounced the revelation of the power itself as unlawful.
    • Recently the Vice President has also claimed to power to unilaterally declassify anything that he wants.

      That apparently, is a legitimate authority he has.

      I made that point in this Domestic Spying thread [slashdot.org] and received this rebuttal [slashdot.org]

      The rebuttal actually includes a reference to Executive Order 12958 - Classified National Security Information, as Amended [archives.gov] which I didn't read (it's a bit lengthy).

      However, I did do a keyword search and it seems like section 3.5 (b) is where the gold is. The Order also says that the

    • Lets look at the past couple of years. The Executive branch has claimed the powers to: declare people including American citizens "enemy combatants" and hold them incommunicado overseas for however long they wish with no access to the US court system, wiretap American citizens within the United States without a court order or indeed any judicial review. Recently the Vice President has also claimed to power to unilaterally declassify anything that he wants.

      This actually started during WWII and I've heard ref
      • This actually started during WWII and I've heard references to precidents existing even before. So, clearly you would need to look back some 6-decades or more...not just the last couple of years.
        True enough... all these have been issues in the last couple of years, but they didn't all start then.

        So has just about every significant world power (in one form or another) in the last century. What's you're point?
        That it's a bad idea and in many cases a violation of the law as well as human decency? I'm n
    • NSA wholesale spying on American civilians

      Do you believe everything you read in the main stream media?

      If the NSA is doing "wholesale spying on American civilians," it hasn't yet been revealed. What has been revealed is a program which "spies" on international phone calls, some of which have one party in the united states, and all of which have a suspected terrorist on the international end.

      Now you may object to that, but to describe it as you (and too many in the MSM do) as "wholesale spyhing on American ci
    • Do you suppose that it might not be that Congress is powerless to stop the abuses, but has no desire to do so? Consider the serious ethical lapses in the Republican leadership recently, and that they have been described as "absolutely drunk with power."

      Under Republican control, this Congress has shown itself to be a patsy of the Bush administration. They quietly kill all investigations into it's questionable activities: Lying about Iraq, the Valery Plame incident, massive no-bid contracts to Cheney's fri
  • by smchris ( 464899 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @11:34AM (#14800406)
    What the heck. Ridicule or not, I'll take /. as the forum to say that I'm an outspoken person against the current government on blogs and reveal that I have had the "Philip K. Dick experience".

    As a large percentage of /.ers probably know, PKD wasn't in a good state when he died. He said that his house was ransacked and, although he said he didn't know who did it, he suspected the FBI or local sheriff. Some people think he might have done it himself at that point in his life.

    You have to visualize my apartment storage. Since I hoard books and some amateur radio equipment, it is much like a solid 8x8x6 cube of heavy boxes. One night I got broken into and _every_ box inspected. Other building occupants were coming down over the HOURS I was repacking and marveling how my stuff had exploded into the aisles of the space.

    Yet, here's the thing. As far as I can tell, NOTHING and I emphasize NOTHING was taken. Screw the amateur radio equipment -- where are you going to hock an old HF transceiver quietly? But it seems to me if I were some young punk(s) who went to that much trouble I would have either taken something like the window air conditioner, the few 1950s comic books, or the like for slight compensation of the night or maybe just destroyed some stuff out of anger and frustration.

    The local police station told me, "Nothing stolen or destroyed, no crime." So who has that discipline? Maybe info thieves looking for cancelled checks and credit cards (_old_ ones in my storage space?) or someone else who wanted to know who I was and what I was holding. You give me your guess who you think that would be.

    If nothing else, when a government demonstrates that it thinks it can make and break the law and work in the dark, paranoia is going to rise. That's not necessarily a bad attitude for a citizen either but, then, when is enough enough? The first casualty of a lawless government is peace of mind.

    • But that is the point of the Panopticon isn't it? You have or have not been visited by "the Man". Since you can't tell for sure, you want to lay low so they go away. You don't want them talking to your boss, wife, mother-in-law, etc.

      The calculus that you use to decide how to act is now modified isn't it? Good boy.

      They target Morrissey for speaking publicly, but honestly, what is he going to do? Do they not have access to google to know who he is? The point was to visit him to let people know that ever
  • The article, a troll, was posted to Slashdot, as others are to other forums, to elicit responses that can be added to the secret data bases and correlated with the user's email, other postings, cell phone calls, etc. with the idea of fingering anyone who is disloyal (to the present regime at least). If it's determined that the person is not a security threat he or she can be picked up for questioning (intimidation) or other intimidating actions taken. Or if there might, possibly, be a threat sterner method
    • The article, a troll, was posted to Slashdot, as others are to other forums, to elicit responses that can be added to the secret data bases and correlated with the user's email, other postings, cell phone calls, etc. with the idea of fingering anyone who is disloyal (to the present regime at least).

      They don't need to do all that B.S. to find out where I stand. I think George W. Bush is a terrorist, a war-criminal, a fascist and a wannabe dictator. I think that the average American has far more to fear from
  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @12:03PM (#14800513) Homepage
    Unaware of the 4th Amendment
  • When Total Information Awareness was first let out of the skunkworks, it had a logo: An Illuminati pyramid bathing the earth with a glowing searchlight:

    http://www.cafepress.com/buy/total%20information%2 0awareness [cafepress.com]

    (I have absolutely no association with the Cafepress "store" linked to above. Just pointing it out because I had the link and knew there was a picture of the old logo there.)

    I miss that logo. It really laid things on the table. The fact that they not only chose that design, but put it on their web
  • I mean those people who made a documentary on the supposed culpability of those in power with regard to the current state of alarm in the US: Loose Change 2nd Edition [google.com] (412 MB download...) or more of the same on infowars.com. [infowars.com]

    As someone who lives in far-away, safe and quiet Sweden it also makes me wonder what these people are at. Are they diligently uncovering evidence for some sort of super-Watergate or are they the usual fringe mob of conspiracy theorists? Any Yanks out there who care to comment on this? I

  • Yes, it's still running.
    There is a federal program, budget dollars authorized against the project, and it would be a black eye for all of the contracting and management people, not to mention a severe hardship on the actual project staff, if they didn't strive to meet 100% of the goals of the project.
    Whether or not this is a variation of the Nuremberg defense is left up to the Court of /. Opinion.
  • Effective at what? Poindexter's 1980s project, Iran/Contra, wasn't effective at deposing the Communist Nicaraguan government - that happened years after Iran/Contra folded, a result of other covert ops run by different spooks. It was effective in arming Iran, robbing Savings and Loans, arming cocaine gangs, funding arms dealers, pumping cocaine into America, killing thousands of people, and violating all kinds of laws. And putting traitor^WOliver North on TV.

    I expect Poindexter's TIA is effective in finding
  • Morrissey got the title of his last album wrong. It should have been 'I Am The Quarry'.
  • Matrix of Evil (Score:4, Informative)

    by danratherfoe ( 915756 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @12:37PM (#14800651)
    Did you really believe that they would ever voluntarily slow the march toward a complete surveillance society where everything that you buy, everywhere you go and even every conversation that you have is ruthlessly cataloged by the state. This is why they are pushing the RFID chips in products, the RFID chips in people, the cashless society, the national ID card (see HR418, the "Real ID" act http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.418 [loc.gov]: ), the NSA domestic spying, and the patriot act. Did you know that under the PATRIOT act (HR3162 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.0 3162 [loc.gov]: ) all of your property can be seized and the burden will be on you to prove that you are not a terrorist so that you can get your property back. What is the definition of a terrorist? Under section 802 of the PATRIOT act, a terrorist is anyone who is involved in "dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State" is a terrorist. So literally if you jay-walk you are a terrorist. Any one of us is in danger of being declared a terrorist at any time. When the government considers its entire population to be the enemy there is a term for that -- a police state. None of this stuff is a coincidence. Start getting informed about this stuff so that you know how to protect yourself.
  • We're not watching you, so don't even talk about it.

    ... and stop picking your nose!

  • I don't care if the Fed is running a project to profile terrorists based off financial transactions, purchases, telecommunications, all that jazz. Many private industries like choicepoint already gathered information close to that previously, not to mention the phone records etc.

    What is scary though, is that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Able_Danger [wikipedia.org] identified members of the 9-11 terrorist group prior to their attack, yet the wall of seperation between the military and law enforcement created by Jamie Gorel
    • Roe Vs Wade affirmed a right to privacy in our constitution. Maybe we should stand up for our right to privacy before Roe Vs Wade gets overturned.
  • by happymedium ( 861907 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @01:14PM (#14800792)
    FTA:

    We will be describing this new effort as "Basketball"

    Basketball??? Does this remind anyone else of Rumsfeld's assertion that we should no longer refer to the insurgents as "insurgents?" And the subsequent joke that W. would rename the deficit "cake." Because, really, who doesn't like cake?

    It's as though Orwell suddenly took an absurd turn... next, we'll see the Department of Tennis, the Department of Impressionist Paintings, &c. &c.; the former will run Guantanamo Bay, the latter, Abu Ghraib.
    • a genoa jib is a headail that extends beyond the mast, (the rigid structure that holds the sails up) and and now it's topsail? a sail that is above the mast.

      am I reaching too far to see the mast as a metaphor for law?
  • "Just posting this story probably puts me on their radar."

    You're missing the point - with TIA, everyone is always on the radar.
  • That the US government could possibly be the perpetrators of public lies and secret spying?
  • I just looked through all the comments rated 4 and above...

    Every single one of them contained what has become the Slashdot canonical response to any action the government takes on the war on terror... the paranoid cry...

    'they're spying on me'

    'they're evil'

    'they are sending evil rays to control my thoughts'

    (alright - I made up the last one)

    While there may be something to criticise in this program (part of which was able to spot the 9-11 terrorists before the act, but was prohibited from using the information
    • "While there may be something to criticise in this program (part of which was able to spot the 9-11 terrorists before the act, but was prohibited from using the information), the response on /. is so automatic as to make it painful."

      There was already a report in the White House containing all necessary information. It was ignored because there was already too much information through which to sift. Slashdot is frequented by a lot of well educated people who understand technology. They are aware of how
    • Does anyone out there ever consider that there might be people in government that might actually be trying to protect us?

      No, not really. Having worked for government I'd say I have a better chance of winning the lottery than for your (rhetorical) question to ever be answered in the affirmative.

      Ben Franklin's quote about protection and liberty is absolutist, and he himself, by being involved in a government which provided protection at the cost of liberty proved that, so please don't raise that old quote a

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