FC: Pentagon wants a "Big Brother" supercomputer, from NYT

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Tue Nov 12 2002 - 20:59:52 PST

  • Next message: Declan McCullagh: "FC: Flap over FBI-bugs-library-computer claim in Hartford Courant"

    Previous Politech message:
    
    "U.S. creates (another) surveillance office run by J. Poindexter"
    http://www.politechbot.com/p-03153.html
    
    ---
    
    From: "Danny Yavuzkurt" <ayavuzkat_private>
    To: <declanat_private>
    Subject: Pentagon desires 'Big Brother' supercomputer
    Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 12:12:05 -0500
    
    Don't know if you've seen this article already, Declan (I assume you have,
    it's a couple of days old), but everyone on Slashdot was talking
    (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/11/09/2242250) about this article
    at the New York Times
    (http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html) that makes CopNet
    look like an Atari 2600.  Who's involved?  Are you not surprised to find out
    it's Vice Admiral John Poindexter, of Iran-Contra infamy (he was Reagan's
    National Security Director, and would've been convicted of felonies, if it
    hadn't been for Reagan's protection..).  Now, combine that with, oh my god,
    he's the director of the IAO (http://www.darpa.mil/iao/, have you ever seen
    a more disturbing logo - or mission statement?).. and you can see why we're
    worried.
    
    According to the article, the IAO is responsible - no surprise - for
    "developing new surveillance technologies in the wake of the Sept. 11
    attacks," and the supercomputer idea is reportedly being mulled over by
    Rumsfeld, who was seen having lunch with Poindexter.  It's all hush-hush,
    the administration won't comment on it, and civil liberties advocates aren't
    the only ones worried - hell, even the panel the Pentagon hired to review it
    is having second thoughts.  Here's a direct paragraph from the article:
    -----
    "A lot of my colleagues are uncomfortable about this and worry about the
    potential uses that this technology might be put, if not by this
    administration then by a future one," said Barbara Simon, a computer
    scientist who is past president of the Association of Computing Machinery.
    "Once you've got it in place you can't control it."
    -----
    
    Looks like the people who know the technology, at least, have their heads on
    straight about this.  Too bad the government pinheads and Poindexters think
    technology can solve all our security problems - and that we should go ahead
    and line up to be strip-searched of our rights to 'prevent terrorism'.  So,
    data mining of all Americans' credit card data, cross-referenced with
    traffic violations, Usenet posts, and medical records, will suppsedly detect
    terrorists?  It doesn't take a genius to see that this system will be far
    more useful for creating 'enemies lists' Nixon would have killed for,
    suppressing internal dissent, harrassing law-abiding citizens, and,
    eventually, turning this country into the police state the Pentagon - and,
    apparently, the Bush administration - wants.
    
    Danny
    
    ---
    
    Date: Sat, 09 Nov 2002 09:35:58 -0600
    To: declanat_private
    From: Scott Schram <scottat_private>
    Subject: NYTimes: Pentagon Plans "Total Information Awareness"
    
    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html
    
    (Registration required.)
    
    Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans
    By JOHN MARKOFF
    
    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.
    
    <snip>
    
    ---
    
    To: "Declan@Well. Com" <declanat_private>
    Subject: FW: Poindexter et al (was Surveillance ...)
    Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 12:50:55 -0800
    
    Declan,
    
    I posted this reply to an e-mail list that I'm on. You've probably seen the
    NYT lead in article at this point, and are much more aware of the political
    background. Personally, I'm dismayed by how many retreaded apparatchiks with
    what I'd view as unsavory backgorounds are being re-instated within the
    current government and administration.
    
    (no attribution thanks)
    
    
    XXXX wrote:
    That the issue is being reported by the NYT suggests the system already exists
    and may have existed for many years. Now it's just a matter of the extent to
    which it will be used by those with the authority to use it.
    
    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html?ex=1037509200&en=873ff5626a3c666e&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------
    
    Excerpt:
    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.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------
    
    Doesn't that name Poindexter sound familiar?
    
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/nsaebb2.htm
    
    Manuel Noriega
    In June, 1986, the New York Times published articles detailing years of
    Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's collaboration with Colombian drug
    traffickers. Reporter Seymour Hersh wrote that Noriega "is extensively involved
    in illicit money laundering and drug activities," and that an unnamed White
    House official "said the most significant drug running in Panama was being
    directed by General Noriega." In August, Noriega, a long-standing U.S.
    intelligence asset, sent an emissary to Washington to seek assistance from the
    Reagan administration in rehabilitating his drug-stained reputation.
      Oliver North, who met with Noriega's representative, described the meeting in
    an August 23, 1986 e-mail message to Reagan national security advisor John
    Poindexter. "You will recall that over the years Manuel Noriega in Panama and I
    have developed a fairly good relationship," North writes before explaining
    Noriega's proposal. If U.S. officials can "help clean up his image" and lift
    the ban on arms sales to the Panamanian Defense Force, Noriega will "'take care
    of' the Sandinista leadership for us."
    
    North tells Poindexter that Noriega can assist with sabotage against the
    Sandinistas, and suggests paying Noriega a million dollars -- from "Project
    Democracy" funds raised from the sale of U.S. arms to Iran -- for the
    Panamanian leader's help in destroying Nicaraguan economic installations.
    
      The same day Poindexter responds with an e-mail message authorizing North to
    meet secretly with Noriega. "I have nothing against him other than his illegal
    activities," Poindexter writes.
    
      On the following day, August 24, North's notebook records a meeting with CIA
    official Duane "Dewey" Clarridge on Noriega's overture. They decided, according
    to this entry, to "send word back to Noriega to meet in Europe or Israel."
    
      The CIA's Alan Fiers later recalls North's involvement with the Noriega
    sabotage proposal. In testimony at the 1992 trial of former CIA official Clair
    George, Fiers describes North's plan as it was discussed at a meeting of the
    Reagan administration's Restricted Interagency Group: "[North] made a very
    strong suggestion that . . . there needed to be a resistance presence in the
    western part of Nicaragua, where the resistance did not operate. And he said,
    'I can arrange to have General Noriega execute some insurgent -- some
    operations there -- sabotage operations in that area. It will cost us about $1
    million. Do we want to do it?' And there was significant silence at the table.
    And then I recall I said, 'No. We don't want to do that.'"
    
      Senior officials ignored Fiers' opinion. On September 20, North informed
    Poindexter via e-mail that "Noriega wants to meet me in London" and that both
    Elliott Abrams and Secretary of State George Shultz support the initiative. Two
    days later, Poindexter authorized the North/Noriega meeting.
    
      North's notebook lists details of his meeting with Noriega, which took place
    in a London hotel on September 22. According to the notes, the two discussed
    developing a commando training program in Panama, with Israeli support, for the
    contras and Afghani rebels. They also spoke of sabotaging major economic
    targets in the Managua area, including an airport, an oil refinery, and
    electric and telephone systems. (These plans were apparently aborted when the
    Iran-Contra scandal broke in November 1986.)
    
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------
    
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/DOCUMENT/940411.htm
    
    [...]
    There's something about the White House electronic mail that seems to bring out
    the worst tendencies among government officials, whoever's in the White House:
    
    
    Oliver North and national security adviser John Poindexter electronically
    shredded thousands of their E-mail messages on their way out of the NSC in
    November 1986 (but the system's back-up tapes allowed investigators to recover
    these messages and use them as legal evidence).
    The Reagan Administration, with the acquiescence of the National Archives,
    planned to blip out all the E-mail memory and backup tapes on its way out of
    office in January 1989, only to be stopped by our lawsuit.
    After we won court rulings establishing that the records laws apply to e-mail,
    the Bush Administration staged a midnight ride on Inauguration Eve 1993 to
    round up the computer tapes and put them beyond the law, under a secret
    agreement which purported to give Mr. Bush control of the tapes, contrary to
    the post-Watergate Presidential Records Act.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------
    
    Back in 1996, a Mercury News reporter, Webb, published a series titled "Dark
    Alliance" which drew links between the surge in crack cocaine usage in LA's
    black neighborhoods (which remains a big probelem today) with the possible CIA
    link to the Contras. The author subsequently wrote a book of teh same name, and
    most of the original article seems to be printed here:
    
    http://home.attbi.com/~gary.webb/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html
    
    
    Here's a review of the media over-reaction against the article (it has links to
    some related reading):
    
    http://www.parascope.com/articles/1196/media.htm
    
    And another "Dark Alliance" page:
    
    http://www.lycaeum.org/drugwar/DARKALLIANCE/
    
    
    ---
    
    
    Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 16:00:01 -0800
    From: "Da'ud X Mohammed" <webmasterat_private>
    Reply-To: webmasterat_private
    Organization: Oregon Coast News Signal
    
    Hullo Declan,
    
    Two stories:
    
    1. Besides what Poindexter is back to do...
    
    2. He's back!
    
    First the two e-mails you sent, then the following.
    
    Is there a trend here??
    
    Thanks.
    
    With peace
    
    dxm
    
    **********
    
    source: http://cryptome.org/tia-queeg.htm
    
    The New York Times, November 9, 2002
    
    INTELLIGENCE
    
    Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans
    
    By JOHN MARKOFF
    
    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.
    
    [SNIP]
    
    Declan McCullagh wrote:
    
    >---
    >Subject: Prisoners of K Street
    >Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 12:36:54 -0500
    >From: "James V. Delong" <JDeLongat_private>
    >To: "Declan McCullagh (E-mail)" <declanat_private>
    >  Declan -
    >Re your piece this morning.
    >Best,
    >Jim
    >  http://www.cei.org/utils/printer.cfm?AID=1923
    >---
    >    Prisoners of K Street
    >    UpDates
    >    by James V. DeLong
    >    November 1, 2000
    >                             From the October/November issue of CEI UpDate
    >    Recently I was talking with Roger Cochetti, VP of Network Solutions
    >    and experienced observer of the high tech scene. "The Internet is at a
    >    fork," he said. "Over the next couple of years it could be confirmed
    >    in its existence as a free-market, free-wheeling, chaotic, fount of
    >    imaginative innovation and multiplying value. Or it could go down the
    >    road taken by broadcasting and telephone, becoming regulated, stodgy,
    >    hostile to technical progress, and lawyer-driven."
    
    
    [SNIP]
    
    Declan McCullagh wrote:
    
     >
     > http://news.com.com/2010-1071-965160.html
     >
     >    Perspective: Don't get mad, get even
     >    By Declan McCullagh
     >    November 11, 2002, 4:00 AM PT
     >
     >    WASHINGTON -- The National Rifle Association rates politicians on
     >    whether they support the Second Amendment.
     >
     >    Emily's List gives campaign cash to pro-choice Democratic women. The
     >    Club for Growth supports politicos who pledge to lower taxes and limit
     >    government, while aiming to defeat tax-and-spenders.
     >
     >    Is it time for the technology industry to come up with a similar way
     >    to reward friends and punish enemies?
    
    [SNIP]
    
    ---
    
    From: "alex kananaskis"
    To: declanat_private
    Cc: politechat_private
    Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 03:19:02 -0500
    Subject: 'total information awareness' from darpa
    
    hi declan,
    
    [please hide my address]
    hope you've seen this from the nytimes, about what vice adm. poindexter's 
    orwellian-sounding 'office of information awareness' is up to behind the 
    scenes at darpa. a plan is afoot to implement a system for mining and 
    monitoring vast quantities of electronic data- way past echelon, and 
    similar to rissnet in terms of cross-referencing ability- about people 
    around the world, including in the usa. as the piece notes, this would 
    require dismembering the enshrined privacy act of 1974.
    
    epic's marc rotenberg: "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."
    
    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html?ex=1037854354&ei=1&en=2c953778a582ee6b
    
    ever vigilant,
    alex
    
    ps- how do you libertarians respond when people like acm's barbara simon 
    warn "Once you've got it in place you can't control it"?  the state does 
    enforce its monopoly after all...
    
    
    
    
    
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