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TIPS down, but what about TIA? (Insider Report).

The Operation TIPS program envisioned a vast human intelligence program utilizing millions of citizen spies. The Total Information Awareness program, TIA, opts for governmental omnipresence and omniscience through more hi-tech means. Under development in the Defense Department, the TIA program proposes employing a vast computer system to collect "total" information for the Total State. This includes all electronic transactions and communications: credit card purchases; video rentals; drug prescriptions; magazine subscriptions; car rentals; ATM activity; telephone conversations; fax transmissions; e-mail; etc. It also includes a program called Human Identification at a Distance (HID) that is developing advanced facial identification capabilities using biometrics and long-distance optical and imaging technology. HID also is working on a computerized gait identification program that can identify people by the way they walk or run.

The TIA program has been developing silently at the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), under the direction of Rear Admiral John Poindexter. Admiral Poindexter was national security adviser to President Reagan and oversaw the arms-for-hostages fiasco that became known as the "Iran-Contra" scandal.

After initially denying that the program would deeply intrude into citizens' lives, the Defense Department acknowledged that many of the above-mentioned areas of surveillance and data collection are under study. "The bottom line is this is an important research project to determine the feasibility of using certain transactions and events to discover and respond to terrorists before they act," Defense Department spokesman Edward Aldridge explained.
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Publication:The New American
Date:Dec 30, 2002
Words:238
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