Monday, December 19, 2005

About TIA

Total Information Awareness "was" a program based out of the Information Awareness Office. The DARPA site has been pulled since the program was officially discontinued, but you can find the archived site at In one of the iterations of the site, they discuss what TIA consists of:

  • Collaboration and sharing over TCP/IP networks across agency boundaries

  • Large, distributed repositories with dynamic schemas that can be changed interactively by users

  • Foreign language machine translation and speech recognition

  • Biometric signatures of humans

  • Real time learning, pattern matching and anomalous pattern detection

  • Entity extraction from natural language text

  • Human network analysis and behavior model building engines

  • Event prediction and capability development model building engines

  • Structured argumentation and evidential reasoning

  • Story telling, change detection, and truth maintenance

  • Business rules sub-systems for access control and process management

  • Biologically inspired algorithms for agent control

  • Other aids for human cognition and human reasoning

Of specific interest in regards to the NSA leak and FISA would be "Human network analysis and behavior model building engines". Think of human network analysis as something like monitoring LiveJournal. If you were trying to model a social network, you could do so by checking a friends list. You could check the link density and comments to model how "close" of a relationship two LiveJournal users have. The human network analysis does not need to monitor the contents of the links, nor the contents of any comments between users. In order to analyze the human network, you just need to see the where and how often.

Applying the same network analysis to suspected terrorist communications, you can create a list of targets for further scrutiny. If this is what the NSA is doing, do FISA regulations really apply?


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