Please tell me why TIA is still operational? In case you didn't know about, TIA or Total Information Awareness is a government data mining program that was shut down 2 years ago by congress becasue it was (and still is) incredibly powerful datamining operation.. here is a description (lifted from The Total Information Awareness Resource Center)
Neoconservative New York Times columnist William Safire notes the potential of the TIA program as follows:
"Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a virtual, centralized grand database."
Here is how John Markoff of the New York Times describes the capability of the TIA program:
"...it will provide intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials with instant access to information from Internet mail and calling records to credit card and banking transactions and travel documents, without a search warrant. Historically, military and intelligence agencies have not been permitted to spy on Americans without extraordinary legal authorization. But Admiral Poindexter, the former national security adviser in the Reagan administration, has argued that the government needs broad new powers to process, store and mine billions of minute details of electronic life in the United States. Admiral Poindexter, who has described the plan in public documents and speeches but declined to be interviewed, has said that the government needs to 'break down the stovepipes' that separate commercial and government databases, allowing teams of intelligence agency analysts to hunt for hidden patterns of activity with powerful computers."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and numerous other privacy and civil libertarian groups have lined up in opposition to the TIA program.
Now I ask you.. if congress killed this orwellian terror of a program, why is it still in operation? Can't they do anything? Or did they know it was still alive and hoping that we wouldn't notice?