WMR's past reporting on the NSA's revised TIA:
June 17, 2006 (UPDATED) -- What's behind all the personal data thefts? Populating the surveillance databases specified by John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness (TIA) system? WMR has learned that the thefts of personal data from corporations and government agencies, most of which were accomplished by stealing computer hard drive devices, is more than coincidental. Intelligence sources report that many of the large scale thefts are part of a well-planned covert intelligence operation to obtain data on hundreds of millions of people in order to accomplish what former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) official John Poindexter was not able to bring about through his defunct (but secretly restored) Total Information Awareness (TIA) system -- the population of intelligence and surveillance databases with files on the financial, medical, employment, telecommunications, and other sensitive data of Americans and foreigners. Much of the new TIA work is being conducted under the umbrella of the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency.
A number of computer security experts have said the recent rash of data thefts is unprecedented in scope, method, and frequency. Some claim that the thefts appear to be coordinated and targeted at specific data types.
The Wall Street Journal Journal is reporting that NSA is collecting transactional data from other government agencies and private companies. However, it quotes former and current NSA sources as stating that the NSA personal data collection system "ties into data from an ad-hoc collection of so-called "black programs" whose existence is undisclosed." Those "black programs" have been reported by WMR to be "black bag" collection tactics authorized by the Bush administration. These "black bag" operations include the theft of targeted personal data from government agencies and private companies.
March 26, 2007 -- WMR has been reporting for some time on the massive thefts of personal data by a covert U.S. intelligence "black bag" program to populate a renewed secret Total Information Awareness System series of databases. Since being cut off from funding by Congress in 2003, the TIA has continued secretly under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. WMR's sources in the Intelligence Community have told us on background that many of the so-called data thefts are being carried out by U.S. intelligence black bag teams operating outside of legal authority.
TIA's former program director, Iran-contra felon Admiral John Poindexter, resigned in August 2003 from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Total Information Awareness Office (IAO) after details of the project emerged. After Congress cut funding, the IAO was closed and its logo, featuring a Masonic 'all seeing eye' atop a pyramid scanning the earth, was retired.
TIA was an offshoot of Poindexter's Genoa project, a deep data mining system developed by SYNTEK, Inc., a company for which he served as Senior Vice President. Poindexter has also worked for other companies engaged in mass data surveillance, including Saffron Technology, Inc. and Presearch, Inc.
The Wall Street Journal also reports that the NSA collection program is being conducted with the assistance of the FBI.
On June 26, 2006, WMR reported: "WMR has received further confirmation from government sources that the ongoing thefts are part of an off-the-books and illegal U.S. intelligence operation and the FBI has been ordered to 'stand down' on any criminal investigations."
May 22, 2007 -- After reporting for a year and a half that the pandemic of large scale personal data thefts are coordinated attempts to populate a covert and illegal Total Information Awareness (TIA) system database, one newspaper, the Newark Star Ledger, has picked up on the story. At the present time, there is hardly an American whose personal data has not been stolen for 'TIA II.'"
The Wall Street Journal also reports on the interest of NSA in the Detroit area: "An intelligence official described more of a rapid-response effect: If a person suspected of terrorist connections is believed to be in a U.S. city -- for instance, Detroit, a community with a high concentration of Muslim Americans -- the government's spy systems may be directed to collect and analyze all electronic communications into and out of the city."
The following WMR report is germane:
"Aug. 25, 2006 -- There has been yet another theft of personal data as the Bush administration continues its covert program of stealing data from public and private institutions to populate its Total Information Awareness surveillance databases and the FBI remains prostrate in stopping the unprecedented thefts. The latest theft involved personal data on 28,473 Metro Detroit home health care patients of William Beaumont Hospital. The data was on a laptop computer stolen along with a car belonging to a hospital nurse. The data includes Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, and medical information."