The RAND Corp. of Santa Monica, Calif., on Wednesday proposed a multifaceted system of networks and electronic databases to sift through huge volumes of information – including information about people, places, events and financial transactions already obtained by the government – in order to discover the most relevant signals of a planned attack.
“An information search that could take dozens of intelligence analysts days to complete could be carried out within hours” by the system, which RAND calls Atypical Signal Analysis and Processing , said John Hollywood, the lead researcher. “This is like giving someone who is looking for a needle in a haystack an incredibly powerful magnet.”
If the ASAP system sounds familiar, that’s only because it is:
The concept for the new intelligence system will likely strike some observers as similar to one proposed almost three years ago by the Defense Department, known as Total Information Awareness. Run by officials at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the TIA research program aimed to find technologies that could be used to help analysts predict future attacks, namely by looking for telling signals in vast quantities of electronic data.
The former head of the TIA program said the ASAP system looked familiar. “The technology required to implement the RAND proposal seems to be a subset of what was being developed by the Total Information Awareness program at DARPA,” said John Poindexter, who resigned as the head of the project in August 2003.
Despite a Congressional ban on funding for the TIA program, it’s believed the IAO (Information Awareness Office) shifted its source of funding to an intelligence “black budget”, allowing it to continue operations without congressional oversight.
For reference, here is an archived copy of the IAO’s original website, featuring its creepy Masonic/Illuminati logo:
Scientia est potentia – “Knowledge is power”
The logo and use of IAO (one of the false gods cited in Aleister Crowley’s satanic gnostic mass) as an acronym are so blatantly designed to raise the hackles of conspiracy theorists that one wonders whether someone inside DARPA has a sense of humor.
In any case, it appears to me that the RAND announcement is intended to “mainstream” a data mining system that’s already being employed by the government, so that the outrage will be blunted when the program finally goes public.