You Can Stop the OIA1984 arrives in 2002 with the inauguration of the Information Awareness Office, soon to be incorporating information about your personal behavior into a gigantic, government-operated database. But don't worry your pretty little head none -- this is all being done for your security.
"Scientia ist Potentia." In English, "Knowledge is Power." This is the motto of the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness program. TIA brings Big Brother home, spying on ordinary Americans. The military plans to collect citizens' personal information in a central database. According to the TIA website, this information includes financial, educational, communication, medical, travel, housing and yes, even VETERINARY records. A computer will use this information to identify "dangerous" citizens and engage in "pre-emptive" action. Who among us will be classified as enemies of the state? What will be the nature of TIA's pre-emptive action?
We agree that Knowledge is Power. No matter how well intentioned efforts like TIA may be, we know all too well from history that total and centralized surveillance engenders intimidation and invites horrific abuse. So long as we have the power as citizens of this nation to determine what happens in our government, and so long as knowledge regarding plans like TIA is available, we will continue to stand against this skip towards a totalitarian state.
Don't just believe our hype -- for goodness' sake, don't believe anybody's hype. Follow up and read the government's own documents on the Information Awareness Office and its subsidiary projects:
- TIA: Total Information Awareness: plans for collection of your "financial, educational, travel, medical, veterinary [yes, they want to know about little Toto too], country entry..., transportation, housing...and communications" records into a gigantic centralized government database.
- Genoa: John "Convicted-Felon" Poindexter's data-mining operation to computer-scan your records and "provide focused warnings within an hour" about your unpatriotic activities.
- HID: Human ID at a Distance: biometric tracking of individuals using surveillance cameras across the nation.
But wait, there's more! We've assembled source material from the IAO website, from recent speeches by John Poindexter at military industry events, and from press briefings at the Department of Defense. Read on; we trust you to connect the dots yourself.
OK, read enough? Riled up? Well, don't just sit there -- it's time to take action against this Orwellian monstrosity.
Here are five things you can do, right now.
- Register Your Opposition: Sign the Petition against the OIA.
- Contact your representatives in Washington and raise holy hell. Visit congress.org and enter your zip code to get contact information for the two Senators and one member of the House who are supposed be carrying out your wishes. Don't let them off the hook -- tell one of their staff members that you'll be calling every day until they act to tear the OIA apart. Then do it -- call every day.
- Send a free fax (courtesy of the ACLU) to George W. Bush letting him know how strongly you oppose the activities of the IAO.
- Spit in Big Brother's Eye. Here's one way to get directly in touch with the architects of the IAO:
- Visit the DARPA e-mail communications page.
- Click on the link entitled "Information Awareness Office (IAO)." A drop-down list of staff members should appear.
- Check all the boxes next to staff members' names.
- Drop down to the bottom of the page and click on the "Continue" button.
- An automated e-mail form should appear. Leave your contact information if you are bold (our choice). Make up a pseudonym if you aren't itching to be bugged. If you really want to be careful, do all this at a public library and not at home.
- Tell 'em exactly how you feel about this cockamamie scheme, and click "submit" to fill that mailbox with your note of dissent.
- Better yet, get in touch with John Poindexter, the architect of this nonsense, directly. We have recovered his phone number and e-mail addresses from Powerpoint addresses someone didn't scrub thoroughly enough. Call Herr Poindexter at (703) 248-1533. Send him an e-mail directly at email@example.com.
If we want to preserve our rights to free speech and assembly in the face of efforts the likes of Poindexter, we must exercise them. Total Information Awareness must be totally, immediately, publicly, and irrevocably dismantled. It is up to all of us. It is up to you.
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