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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 03:13 PM
Original message
Homeland Security revives supersnoop
Homeland Security officials are testing a supersnoop computer system that sifts through personal information on U.S. citizens to detect possible terrorist attacks, prompting concerns from lawmakers who have called for investigations.

The system uses the same data-mining process that was developed by the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness (TIA) project that was banned by Congress in 2003 because of vast privacy violations.

The ADVISE and TIA data-mining projects rely on personal data to track individual behavior and consumer transactions to develop computer algorithms that create a pattern that some behavioral scientists say can predict terrorist behavior.

Data can include credit-card purchases, telephone or Internet details, medical records, travel and banking information.

The technology is expected to analyze more than 3 million "relationships" or connections per hour, says the report, which included an example of how friends, family members, locations and workplaces can be linked by pinging the data.

http://washingtontimes.com/national/20070308-124323-4382r.htm
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. How come no one is following this thread? Are we burned out?
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 12:16 AM by higher class
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Duane Behrens Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-20-07 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Related Article
"The main threat perceived by the political establishment, including both
the Democrats and the Republicans, is not Al Qaeda, but the broad mass of
American working people, which is coming increasingly into conflict with
the right-wing and militarist policies of the American ruling elite."

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/may2007/come-m18.shtml

World Socialist Web Site -- 18 May 2007
By Joe Kay

Former Justice Department official's testimony raises question:
HOW EXTENSIVE IS POLICE STATE SPYING IN THE US?

(excerpts below)

"Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey's testimony before a Senate
panel May 15 raises a number of important questions about the extent of
domestic spying in the United States. Comey's testimony gives further
credence to reports that the monitoring programs set up by the American
government to spy on telephone calls and e-mails are far more expansive
than anything that has been officially acknowledged."

"The rationale favored by Gonzales, Cheney and top Justice Department aids
in power following the attacks of September 11--figures such as John Yoo
and Jay Bybee--was that the President has virtually unlimited powers as
commander in chief to carry out the 'war on terror.'"

"In 2006, a former technician at AT&T, Mark Klein, produced documents
showing that the telecommunications giant was routing large amounts of
internet communications directly to the NSA 'Based on my understanding of
the connections and equipment at issue,' Klein said at the time, 'it
appears the NSA is capable of conducting what amounts to vacuum-cleaner
surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet--whether that be
people's e-mail, Web surfing or other data.'"

These programs constitute the framework of a police state in the United
States. They provide the government with information that can be used to
intimidate, undermine or blackmail any individual or group it chooses,
including political opponents.

The expansion of spying powers is part of a much broader attack on the
most fundamental democratic rights of the population in the US and
internationally. The "war on terror" has been used to justify torture, the
denial of habeas corpus, the creation of drumhead military commissions and
the imprisonment of "enemy combatants"--including US
citizens--indefinitely and without charge.

All of this has been justified as a response to September 11, an event
that has never been seriously investigated. These attacks, for which there
is substantial evidence of some level of government involvement, have
become the pretext not only for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also
for a frontal attack on the constitutional order in the United States.

The spying programs continue to this day. Whatever changes may have been
made when Comey raised objections, they most likely involved shifting
certain operations from one program to another. Russel Tice, a former NSA
employee, has said that the agency has been authorized to engage in much
broader spying than the government has admitted as part of a top-secret
"special access program."

"As for those officials who raised objections, most have been pushed out of
the Justice Department in one way or another. Gonzales meanwhile has
become the attorney general.

"The methods of criminality and gangsterism--including the revelation that
Gonzales and Card went to the hospital bed of the ailing Ashcroft in order
to pressure him to override Comey and endorse the program--reflect the
nature of the regime and the aims it is pursuing. The firing of the US
attorneys is part of this. The principal aim of these firings was to push
an attack on voting rights in order to manipulate the 2006 elections.

"Five years after the spying programs were initiated, and a year and a half
after hints of their existence were revealed in the American media, the
public still has no knowledge of what information the government is
collecting and what it is being used for. The Bush administration has
refused to provide any details, citing "national security."

"What is perhaps most striking is the way in which all of this has produced
no serious opposition from the Democratic Party or mass media. Aside from
a few revelations, the media has not pursued the issue. It is worth
recalling that the Times sat on the initial story on the NSA program for
over a year at the request of the White House, helping to ensure that it
did not come up as an issue in the 2004 elections. The Times editorial on
Thursday ends merely with the hope that Congress will conduct a "vigorous
investigation."

"The Democratic Party has also made very little of the spying programs and
has not pursued the issue since gaining control of Congress in January.
No leading Democrat has called for an end to the programs, and there has
yet been no call for the impeachment and prosecution of those who have
clearly violated the law on an unprecedented scale.

"The reaction of the Democrats to this massive assault on the constitution
has been characterized by both cowardice and complicity. They are
unwilling to explain to the population what is really taking place and why
these domestic spying programs have been implemented. The entire political
establishment accepts the lie of the "war on terror," and, to the extent
that there are criticisms, they proceed from the premise that the Bush
administration has "overreached" in prosecuting this war.

"In fact, these measures have nothing to do with combating terrorism. Laws
such as FISA were put in place following revelations of spying on
political opponents of government police. These laws are now being
repudiated, and an even more expansive database of information is being
collected, primarily for use in countering the inevitable explosion of
social tensions and mass political opposition in the United States."
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