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Date: 2003-09-11

TIA: Poindexter mault noch einmal

Wie es die hartleibigsten Lemuren so an sich haben - selbst wenn sie gefeuert sind, eine Ruh ist deshalb nicht. Neben den Antlitzen von provinziellen Religionsfanatikern, Ideologen, heiligen Kriegern und anderen Lunatics in der gegenwärtigen Administration, zeigte eine große Nation mit John M. Poindexter der Welt ihr Arschgesicht.
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postscrypt: Was diesen Figuren aus europäischer Sicht am meisten vorzuhalten ist: In Europa haben sie das Aufleben der dumpfesten Ressentiments und Pauschalurteile gegen die USA per se provoziert. Das *andere* Amerika - weltoffen, liberal, fremden/freundlich, individualistisch, freiheitsliebend - wurde so ein zweitesmal gedemütigt, was so recht eigentlich zum Kotzen ist.
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The New York Times, 10 September 2003
Finding the Face of Terror in Data

NNAPOLIS, Md. - The amount of data available to the federal government far
exceeds the human capacity to analyze it. This has long been the case, but
since 9/11 the need for better tools to help America fight the war against
terror has become more urgent. Unfortunately, the Senate appears set to
cancel financing for a promising and innovative set of technology programs
that would help make America safe.

In January 2002 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is
part of the Defense Department, established an Information Awareness Office
to focus on technologies to help counter terrorism. We established a new
research and development program, now called the Terrorism Information
Awareness program, to test ways to find information faster, share
information across agencies, aid in conducting analysis and enable better
decision-making. The goal is to help the government "connect the dots" and
prevent foreign terrorist attacks.

These are exactly the tasks Congress has called upon the executive branch
to perform. And in the past 20 months, we have made significant progress.
In the last few months, however, several myths have arisen in the public
debate surrounding not just the Information Awareness Office but Darpa
itself. In order for Congress to consider the terrorism information program
objectively, these myths need to be exposed.

The most damaging myth concerns the role of Darpa, which has conducted
high-risk, high-payoff research and development since its founding in 1958.
Darpa builds tools; it does not use them. It develops technology and tests
it; the technology either works or it doesn't.

It is up to the government agencies and Congress, through the normal
authorization and appropriations process, to decide whether the technology
will be used and under what conditions. At this early stage, we don't know
whether the technology will work. Agencies participating in the
experiments, however, believe the technology shows great promise.

In the research and development process Darpa routinely works with the
Defense Department and the intelligence community (more than half of which
is under the supervision of the Pentagon) to test its proposals. Since it
is charged with fighting the war on terrorism abroad, the Defense
Department uses foreign, not domestic, intelligence. It is far preferable
to pre-empt terrorist threats overseas, before they reach the United States.

The war on terrorism is being fought both at home and abroad, of course.
Victory will come only with the active participation and cooperation of not
only the military, but also the intelligence, counterintelligence and
policy communities. The Terrorism Information Awareness vision involves all
these groups. It is entirely appropriate for Darpa to be conducting this

But it is a myth that the Information Awareness Office intends to develop
some kind of system to spy on Americans. The terrorism information program
is not and never has been intended for use in surveillance against
Americans. The program's research is aimed at detecting foreign terrorist
planning. The experiments have used only data from foreign sources, data
that is legally available to all agencies that participated. There is no
use of credit-card, banking or other data on United States citizens.

Yet if the Terrorism Information Awareness program is not going to be used
to conduct surveillance on Americans, critics ask, then why is it doing
research on technologies to protect personal privacy? This is a fair question.

In the longer term the data that the program is using today may not be
sufficient to "connect the dots." Today most database searches are
performed on a person who is a suspect in some kind of crime. One of the
purposes of the program, however, is to identify possible terrorists before
they act. We will often not know the identities of the terrorists. The only
way to detect these terrorists is to look for patterns of activity that are
based on observations from past terrorist attacks as well as estimates
about how terrorists will adapt to our measures to avoid detection.


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edited by Harkank
published on: 2003-09-11
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