When asked February 2, 2006, by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) during the Senate Intelligence Committee annual hearing on national security threats "whether the widely-criticized Total Information Awareness program was still active," John D. Negroponte -- selected in February 2005 by President George W. Bush to be America's first national intelligence director -- responded "I don’t know the answer to that question," Nico Pitney reported for Think Progress on February 3, 2006.
When Wyden asked "whether TIA had simply been 'moved to various intelligence agencies' after Congress tried to terminate it," Director of the National Security Agency Michael V. Hayden responded "Senator, I’d like to answer in closed session," Pitney wrote.
The internet surveillance TIA program was allegedly halted in 2003. Both it and the Information Awareness Office had been headed by John Poindexter, National Security Advisor during the Ronald Reagan Administration and chief architect of the Iran-Contra Affair.
On June 3, 2004, Democracy Now! reported that Reuters had "obtained a Congressional report that [showed] nine months after Congress shut down the controversial Pentagon computer-surveillance program called Total Information Awareness, the U.S. government continues to comb private records and databases to sniff out suspicious activity. Peter Swire, who served as the Clinton administration's top official said 'I believe that Total Information Awareness is continuing under other names.'"
Further confirmation of the continuation of TIA activities was reported February 8, 2006, by NEWSWEEK's Michael Hirsh, who wrote:
- "Yet today, very quietly, the core of TIA survives with a new codename of Topsail (minus the futures market), two officials privy to the intelligence tell NEWSWEEK. It is in programs like these that real data mining is going on and—considering the furor over TIA—with fewer intrusions on civil liberties than occur under the NSA surveillance program. ... Poindexter, who lives just outside Washington in Rockville, Md., could not be reached for comment on whether he is still involved with Topsail."
- data mining
- domestic spying
- George W. Bush's domestic spying
- Government Information Awareness (GIA)
- Information Awareness Office (IAO) at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
- Intelligence Community (IC)
- Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange Program (MATRIX)
- Novel Intelligence from Massive Data (NIMD)
- Office of Net Assessment
- personal surveillance
U.S. Government Documents
- "Privacy: Total Information Awareness Programs and Related Information Access, Collection, and Protection Laws" prepared by Gina Marie Stevens, Legislative Attorney, American Law Division, Congressional Research Service, March 21, 2003 (updated).
Articles & Commentary
- John Markoff, "Threats and Responses: Intelligence; Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans," New York Times, November 9, 2002: "'This could be the perfect storm for civil liberties in America,' said Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington 'The vehicle is the Homeland Security Act, the technology is Darpa and the agency is the F.B.I. The outcome is a system of national surveillance of the American public.'"
- Farhad Manjoo, "Total Information Awareness: Down, but not out. Congress may have put the brakes on the most ambitious government surveillance program ever. But for citizens worried about their privacy, TIA still means trouble," Salon, January 28, 2003: "But while Congress asks for reports, TIA is already steaming forward. According to people with knowledge of the program, TIA has now advanced to the point where it's much more than a mere 'research project.' There is a working prototype of the system, and federal agencies outside the Defense Department have expressed interest in it."
- Declan McCullagh, "Pentagon spy database funding revealed," C|Net News, February 27, 2003. Includes information on contractors and programs.
- "Total/Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA): Is It Truly Dead? EFF: It's Too Early to Tell," Electronic Privacy Information Center, October 2003.
- George Cahlink, "Security agency doubled procurement spending in four years," GovExec.com, June 1, 2004.
- Ted Rall, "The Return of Total Information Awareness - Bush Asserts Dictatorial 'Inherent' Powers," Ted Rall (Common Dreams), December 28, 2005.
- William A. Arkin, "NSA Expands, Centralizes Domestic Spying," Washington Post, January 30, 2006.
- Nico Pitney, "Intelligence Officials Refuse to Answer Critical Questions On Warrantless Domestic Spying," Think Progress, February 3, 2006.
- Michael Hirsh, "Wanted: Competent Big Brothers. As the Senate frets over whether the NSA has violated the outdated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, no one is paying attention to the real issue: proficiency," Newsweek (MSNBC), February 8, 2006.
- Nico Pitney, UPDATE: "Total Information Awareness Lives," Think Progress, February 11, 2006.