Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Eavesdropping and the Information Awareness Office

Govt. Must Reveal Some Eavesdropping Info
By ELIZABETH LeSURE (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
May 31, 2006 6:11 AM EDT

NEW YORK - Justice Department employees involved in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Sept. 11 detainees must disclose whether they know of any government monitoring of conversations between the detainees and their attorneys, a judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Gold ruled in response to a motion by the Center for Constitutional Rights, a human rights group representing the detainees. It filed the motion after the public disclosure in December of a secret government program that allowed investigators to eavesdrop on international communications between Americans and people suspected of terrorist ties.

The class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York in 2002 on behalf of hundreds of Arab and Muslim men who were detained and deported as part of the government's investigation into the 2001 terrorist attacks.

At about the same time period, the Information Awarenness Office was being formed by DARPA

New York Times

November 9, 2002


Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans.


The Pentagon is constructing a computer system that could create a vast electronic dragnet, searching for personal information as part of the hunt for terrorists around the globe — including the United States.

As the director of the effort, Vice Adm. John M. Poindexter, has described the system in Pentagon documents and in speeches, it will provide intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials with instant access to information from Internet mail and calling records to credit card and banking transactions and travel documents, without a search warrant.

Historically, military and intelligence agencies have not been permitted to spy on Americans without extraordinary legal authorization. But Admiral Poindexter, the former national security adviser in the Reagan administration, has argued that the government needs broad new powers to process, store and mine billions of minute details of electronic life in the United States.

Admiral Poindexter, who has described the plan in public documents and speeches but declined to be interviewed, has said that the government needs to "break down the stovepipes" that separate commercial and government databases, allowing teams of intelligence agency analysts to hunt for hidden patterns of activity with powerful computers.

"We must become much more efficient and more clever in the ways we find new sources of data, mine information from the new and old, generate information, make it available for analysis, convert it to knowledge, and create actionable options," he said in a speech in California earlier this year.

Admiral Poindexter quietly returned to the government in January to take charge of the Office of Information Awareness at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as Darpa. The office is responsible for developing new surveillance technologies in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

And this from The Memory Hole....

The government's Information Awareness Office--you know, the Defense agency that's running the Total Information Awareness Program, the huge database that will track everything about everyone in the US and beyond, helmed by convicted felon John Poindexter--keeps getting more shy. First, the IAO took down the biographies of its senior staff. (The Memory Hole has mirrored them here.)

More on Information Awareness Office

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