TIA Lives On - Minus Abuse Protections
By Justin Rood - June 16, 2006, 2:36 PM
Your tax dollars at work: Congress attempted to kill the ill-conceived Terrorist Information Awareness program in 2003. But instead, the Rasputin-like program -- designed to somehow find terrorists from a sky-high pile of credit card bills, car rental receipts and travel records -- came back, bigger and stronger and arguably worse than ever, National Journal's Shane Harris reports today (article not available online -- yet, anyway).
How could a program designed to monitor the minute data of millions of innocent Americans be any worse? By stripping its privacy protections and abuse safeguards, and opening the database up to browsers all over the national security community. Have at it, boys -- there's only one Consitution, so you'll have to share the scissors:
As National Journal revealed in February, the NSA’s Advanced Research and Development Activity took over TIA and carried on the experimental network in late 2003. ARDA continued vetting new tools and even kept the aggressive experiment schedule. . . documents show.
But it discontinued some programs, most notably a multimillion-dollar effort to build privacy-protection technologies. ARDA also abandoned the effort to build audit trails in TIA, which would have permanently recorded any abuse by users.
The National Journal reports the program is now accessed by, among others: the NSA, the CIA, DIA, CENTCOM, the National Counterterorrism Center, the Guantanamo prison, and Special Operations Command (SOCOM).