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Massive new surveillance program uncovered by Wall Street Journal

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posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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The Wall Street Journal reported today that the little-known National Counterterrorism Center, based in an unmarked building in McLean, Va., has been granted sweeping new authority to store and monitor massive datasets about innocent Americans.

After internal wrangling over privacy and civil liberties issues, the Justice Department reportedly signed off on controversial new guidelines earlier this year. The guidelines allow the NCTC, for the first time, to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, using “predictive pattern-matching,” to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. The data the counterterrorism center has access to, according to the Journal, includes “entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others.”


Source: Mercury News

Other sources: Slate
Wallstreet Journal (original story, requires subscription.)
Wallstreet Journal - this one does not require a subscription evidently

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Related ATS topics (same story, different forum - searched but didn't find these. Thanks to alfa1 for informing me of them. Hopefully the historical context, etc. gives this topic some viability as an alternative, but if not, mods, just close it and I'll link to this one in one of those):

www.abovetopsecret.com...

www.abovetopsecret.com...

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If true, this is merely a recent example of an agenda that has been with us through multiple administrations, party power eras, and geopolitical environments. Below I attempt to provide some recent historical context for programs like this, of which there have been many, and the proliferation of which I have long watched with great concern.
edit on 12/16/2012 by AceWombat04 because: Added thoughts

edit on 12/16/2012 by AceWombat04 because: Added links and preexisting topics not seen before

edit on 12/16/2012 by AceWombat04 because: Typo




posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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I searched for this story on ATS, and did a text search of the first ten pages of both this and the breaking news forums, and couldn't find this story anywhere else. If it has already been posted, my apologies.

This is merely the latest incarnation and manifestation of the ongoing data mining and domestic surveillance apparatus that has been pushed with seemingly undeterred persistence in recent decades. We therefore need to place this in a (recent) historical context.

Most are likely familiar with some of the widely known examples of these programs, such as the more international in scope Echelon. (And before it, of McCarthy era surveillance, CIA programs directed at citizens as far back as the 1940s, etc.) But I want to just deal with recent history.

Although known about or suspected long prior to then, as early as 1999 there were credible news reports in the mainstream media of Echelon, among other similar domestic surveillance projects. In 2000 the CIA and NSA both very publicly refused to disavow the existence of Echelon. In 2001, the European Union parliament declared that Echelon does indeed exist, and that it is accessed and maintained by five countries including the United States. That year also brought us the PATRIOT Act, which greatly expanded the ability of the intelligence and national security agencies to conduct domestic surveillance under broadly interpretable circumstances.

In 2002, Operation TIPS became an international mainstream news concern. This program encouraged private employees like contractors, electricians, cable technicians, etc. to report any suspicious events, objects, or activity in citizens' homes to the program. This may sound incredibly draconian and unbelievable, but that's precisely what the program called for. Its increased visibility and controversy led to congress prohibiting the project later that year. However, DARPA's Total Information Awareness program also came to light the same year. TIA incorporated all manner of data mining, surveillance, and analysis disciplines and technologies into a comprehensive attempt to generate the most robust possible information awareness apparatus possible.

2003 brought us the MATRIX data mining program. This was an interstate program designed to combine data mining with pattern recognition and potential associations with terrorist plots to predict terrorist behavior before it took place. The same year year, TIA was defunded by congress, however offshoots and subsidiary projects within the program continued under different names for years, and may still persist. In 2004 states began to pull out of the MATRIX program, and it was shut down in 2005 due to public privacy concerns.

A similar program, but one focused solely on air travel, is known as CAPPS. Its more invasive successor, CAPPS II, would have used similar data mining techniques to examine citizens' travel habits, purchasing associations, and behaviors as trackable through commercial and government transactions and databases, to assign color coded terror threat assessments to travelers. CAPPS suffered from false positives, including, superficially amusingly, Ted Kennedy. The latter program was shut down in 2004, but was to be replaced by SecureFlight, a program less focused on data mining in theory, instead using government No Fly lists (which are themselves however derived from data mining and domestic surveillance in many instances.)

In 2005, the DoD's TALON surveillance database came under fire for including anti-war protesters and other non-terrorism related persons. The same year, the President admitted that NSA domestic surveillance was a reality, and stated his intent to continue to use these capabilities.

The list goes on and on. There has been and is a persistent, undeterred, concerted effort to establish ever greater data mining and surveillance of domestic citizens of both the U.S. and in many instances its allies, both unilaterally and in conjunction with other nations. It is one of the special areas of conspiracy theory where there is more fact than theory; where one cannot simply dismiss people's concerns as paranoia in my opinion. It seems to persist regardless of political party, regardless of the given administration in power at the time, and regardless of other branches of government seeking to defund, thwart, or shut down such programs.

All of the above information was reported by mainstream news sites, for which I can provide links, however the links are no longer active and thus lead nowhere.

It is important that we remain aware of such programs and, perhaps more alarmingly, the trend toward their expansion, persistence, and implementation in spite of all obstacles to the contrary.

Peace.
edit on 12/16/2012 by AceWombat04 because: Added info, typos.



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by AceWombat04
I searched for this story on ATS, and did a text search of the first ten pages of both this and the breaking news forums, and couldn't find this story anywhere else. If it has already been posted, my apologies.



U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens, even if there is no Just Cause
www.abovetopsecret.com...


U.S. Terrorism Agency can Tap a Vast Database of Citizens without probable cause
www.abovetopsecret.com...

edit on 16-12-2012 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by alfa1

Originally posted by AceWombat04
I searched for this story on ATS, and did a text search of the first ten pages of both this and the breaking news forums, and couldn't find this story anywhere else. If it has already been posted, my apologies.



U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens, even if there is no Just Cause
www.abovetopsecret.com...


U.S. Terrorism Agency can Tap a Vast Database of Citizens without probable cause
www.abovetopsecret.com...

edit on 16-12-2012 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)


Thanks for that. Different title and forum, so hopefully this isn't seen as a duplicate, but cheers for alerting to me the existence of another topic discussing this. I dutifully searched and found nothing lol. Figures. I'll add the WSJ link from it here though, and post that under related topics. Because the one I can link to says it requires a subscription.

Peace.
edit on 12/16/2012 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 12:56 PM
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Never mind. I'll just go join the other conversations.
edit on 16-12-2012 by ltdan08 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 01:02 PM
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You may want to check out TRAPWIRE its a good candidate for the list of intrusive survielance projects country wide....
cheers..well worth a look duplicate or not......



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by stirling
 


An interesting read, to be sure. The more I look into the topic, the more apparent it becomes that not only is this a concerted effort, but it's also rapidly becoming a viable industry all its own. There are so many examples of proprietary data mining and analysis software and services now that it's difficult to pin down which ones are currently in use, and by whom. It's an entirely new paradigm of the military-security-private industry cross pollination nexus.

Thanks. Peace.



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