Monday, June 23, 2003
Advisory Committee on Total Information Awareness
Surveillance System Holds Rare Public Hearing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Contact: Gabe Rottman
WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today told a committee of
outside advisors on the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness surveillance
system that the program should be shut down and said that recent
alterations of the spy program's public profile, such as changing its name
to "Terrorism Information Awareness," are little more than cosmetic.
"The Pentagon's recent push to tone down the Orwellian overtones of this
highly troubling program is nothing but spin," said Jay Stanley,
Communications Director for the ACLU Technology and Liberty Project, who
testified today. "Don't be fooled - this program would dramatically
undercut our privacy and civil liberties. We are confident that the
members of this committee will reach the same conclusion."
Advocates ranging in political persuasion from the Eagle Forum and the
American Conservative Union to the ACLU have roundly criticized the system,
which is intended to allow federal agencies to divine terrorism before it
happens by mining the electronic records of Americans' credit card
purchases, medical, educational and financial transactions, travel
itineraries and other daily behavior.