R.I.P.: Total Information Awareness

By Deane Barker on September 26, 2003

Congress Shuts Pentagon Unit Over Privacy: The Total Information Awareness database project is dead.

“The Pentagon spending plan for 2004 adopted by the Senate says that the office, the Information Awareness Office, which had been headed by Adm. John M. Poindexter, should be ‘terminated immediately’ while a few projects under its control could be shifted elsewhere within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The House passed the measure on Wednesday.”

TIA had been a source of much handwringing in the privacy community:

“‘Total Informaion Awareness’ may be the closest thing to a true ‘Big Brother’ program that has ever been seriously contemplated in the United States. TIA is based on a vision of pulling together as much information as possible about as many people as possible into an ‘ultra-large-scale’ database, making that information available to government officials, and sorting through it to try to identify terrorists.”