Here are two very telling diagrams about the U.S. government’s desire to conduct large-scale surveillance and data-mining by combining private and public personal information to “profile” suspected terrorists. Notice that the second diagram eliminates information about the data sources so that Americans will remain unaware of what information is being collected and how it is being used. Both diagrams were downloaded from: http://www.darpa.mil/iao/TIASystems.htm. The ACLU has an excellent report on the growing surveillance policies enacted since Sept. 11th entitled, Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society.

Two additional links with related stories from CNET.com:

  1. Moratorium on TIA proposed Jan 2003
  2. The incredible shrinking DARPA TIA site – Dec 2003

Before: This is the diagram from the DARPA Pentagon site before the Total Information Awareness Program was exposed in the mainstream media. It was downloaded in November 2002. Notice the information that will be collected under the “transactional data” heading; it includes your financial, educational, travel, medical and veterinary information.

After: Here is the revised diagram after the public outcry against Total Information Awareness Program. Notice that all of the real information about the content of surveillance data has been deleted. A reasonable conclusion is that the government does not want you to know what they are collecting and how they are using the data. The heading “transactional data” has been replaced with “commercial collectors (bottom right) and we now have no idea how or when this information will be turned over to law enforcement authorities. This diagram shows big brother at work to obfuscate the truth about intelligence gathering. Those little red faucets are supposed to insure that your privacy is protected, but without control over the release of said information, citizens really have no control over what is collected and shared.

TIA Diagram Dec 2003

Corporate Data Collectors:


Here’s a timeline list of recent data breaches from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in which private data was compromised. The list is overwhelming and these are only the breaches that companies will admit they’ve suffered. There are probably millions more records in jeopardy on any given day.


Talk Outline for March 5th, 2008

Here’s a link to the PDF for my AIP presentation.