Picture/Poem Icon December 2002:                      
suggested links

Security vs. Privacy

A Picture/Poem collection
of links to contemporary voices
of protest

From nytimes.com . . .

You Are a Suspect [one-time registration required]
by William Safire

"WASHINGTON — If the Homeland Security Act is not amended before passage,
here is what will happen to you:

Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you
buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you
send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make,
every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions and
communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a virtual,
centralized grand database."

To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial sources,
add every piece of information that government has about you — passport
application, driver's license and bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records,
complaints from nosy neighbors to the F.B.I., your lifetime paper trail plus the
latest hidden camera surveillance — and you have the supersnoop's dream: a
"Total Information Awareness" about every U.S. citizen.

This is not some far-out Orwellian scenario. It is what will happen to your
personal freedom in the next few weeks if John Poindexter gets the unprecedented
power he seeks.

Remember Poindexter? Brilliant man, first in his class at the Naval Academy,
later earned a doctorate in physics, rose to national security adviser under President
Ronald Reagan. He had this brilliant idea of secretly selling missiles to Iran to
pay ransom for hostages, and with the illicit proceeds to illegally support contras
in Nicaragua." [...]

[...] "The Latin motto over Poindexter's new Pentagon office reads
"Scientia Est Potentia" — "knowledge is power." Exactly: the government's
infinite knowledge about you is its power over you. "We're just as concerned
as the next person with protecting privacy," this brilliant mind blandly assured
The Post. A jury found he spoke falsely before. " [...]

From The Progressive:

The New McCarthyism
by Matthew Rothschild

[...] "On November 1, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
(ABFFE) sent a disturbing letter to its members.

"Dear Bookseller," it begins. "Last week, President Bush signed into law an
antiterrorism bill that gives the federal government expanded authority to search
your business records, including the titles of the books purchased by your customers. . . .
There is no opportunity for you or your lawyer to object in court. You cannot object
publicly, either. The new law includes a gag order that prevents you from disclosing
'to any person' the fact that you have received an order to produce documents." [...]

From The Guardian:

How one of the two brains behind the Iran-Contra scandal
this week became one of America's most powerful men

by John Sutherland

[...] "The agency which Poindexter will run is called the Information Awareness
Office. You want to know what that is? Think, Big Brother is Watching You.
IAO will supply federal officials with "instant" analysis on what is being written
on email and said on phones all over the US. Domestic espionage. You want to
test it out? Text-message any American friend, "Bmb OK. Allah gr8".

The IAO is one of two new offshoots of the Pentagon-based Darpa -
the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (it's venerable ancestor,
Arpa, invented the internet)." [...]

From The Washington Post:

U.S. Hopes to Check Computers Globally
System Would Be Used to Hunt Terrorists

Source Documents . . .

From Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
by Dr. John Poindexter

"Remarks as prepared for delivery by Dr. John Poindexter, Director,
Information Awareness Office of DARPA, at DARPATech 2002
Conference, Anaheim, Calif., August 2, 2002


Good afternoon. Today I would like to tell you about the new Information
Awareness Office and the programs we are developing." [...]

Other offical pages:
[View the offical homepage of the Information Awareness Office,
with its remarkable slogan -- Scientia Est Potentia  -- and logo.]

[And: The summary drawing of the TIA Systems at darpa.mil.]

From Electronic Privacy Information Center:

New Total Information Awareness Details
"EPIC has obtained the system description (PDF, 4.5 MB) for the Total
Information Awareness (TIA) Program. The document describes an elaborate
system of human identification and surveillance. EPIC is pursuing a FOIA
lawsuit against the Department of Defense to obtain further information
about the TIA Program." [...] view PDF 4.5 MB

From CounterSpin:

Counterspin 3/8/02 [REQUIRES RealAudio]

[...] "And another veteran of the Reagan-Bush years is back. Admiral John
Poindexter is heading the Information Awareness Office, which will apparently
have the power to practice domestic espionage. Given Poindexter's Iran-Contra
history and the frightening notion of government snooping on Americans, you'd
think the story would be big news. Think again. CounterSpin will be joined by
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice to talk about
Poindexter's new assignment." [...]

    see also civil-rights.net:

For German readers:

Totale Überwachung

by Florian Rötzer

"Für das vom Information Awareness Office des Pentagon geplante
Data-Mining-System sollen im In- und Ausland alle verfügbaren
Informationsquellen erschlossen werden." [...]

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