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The Bad Penny — Why Now?
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The Bad Penny

… some things keep turning up.

Nukes & Spooks wonder What’s IARPA?.

The name, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, is apparently designed to make people think of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency [DARPA] which known for supporting wild and crazy research that results in things like, well, the Internet, but IARPA would seem to have a different purpose.

The guess is that this is the latest iteration of the Total Information Awareness project, the incredibly invasive and worthless project started under Rumsfeld by John Poindexter. Congress keeps thinking it has been killed and it keeps being resurrected by its faithful believers.

They don’t seem to be aware that psychohistory is from a piece of fiction, and wishing it were true won’t make it happen.


1 Kryten42 { 07.01.08 at 11:46 pm }

OH Geez! Yeah… I agree.

Oh.. and ROFL @ the psychohistory reference! *shaking head and grinning like a fool*! Ahhhh… I miss Asimov! 🙁 *sigh*

Hmmm. I just used Google… not laughing now. As you know Bryan, you can tell a LOT about what’s happening by the people being hired and the org’s want ads.

IARPA Employment Opportunities

Current Vacancies
Director, Office of Incisive Analysis
Director, Office of Safe and Secure Operations
Director, Office of Smart Collection

How does a good idea become a program at IARPA?
It all starts with the Heilmeier Questions

1. What are you trying to do?
2. How does this get done at present? Who does it? What are the limitations of the present approaches?
* Are you aware of the state-of-the-art and have you thoroughly thought through all the options?
3. What is new about your approach? Why do you think you can be successful at this time?
* Given that you’ve provided clear answers to 1 & 2, have you created a compelling option?
* What does first-order analysis of your approach reveal?
4. If you succeed, what difference will it make?
* Why should we care?
5. How long will it take? How much will it cost? What are your mid-term and final exams?
* What is your program plan? How will you measure progress? What are your milestones/metrics? What is your transition strategy?

Staff Reserve Appointment (1-5 years)

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) invests in high-risk/high-payoff research that has the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries.

IARPA will:

– Address cross-agency challenges
– Leverage expertise from across the community (both operational and R&D)
– Work transition strategies and plans with agency partners

IARPA is an independent ODNI organization that reports to the DDNI (Director of National Intelligence) for Acquisition through the DS&T.

IARPA and the Virtual Long Tail by Lewis Shepherd

There is something about the location, Prince George’s County, MD, that I can’t put my finger on! I’ll blame the codeine. Hmmm. Something is tugging at my memory strings…

IARPA’s First Director: Dr. Lisa Porter

Lisa Porter Has Her Head In The Sand

Oh yes! She’s a Bushite! What else? But nice to have some evidence. *sigh*

This will be fun.

2 Kryten42 { 07.01.08 at 11:50 pm }

Just found some more….

Congress requires all federal agencies to report on their data mining activities. The Federation of American Scientists has posted the report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The report details some of the research being conducted by the newly formed Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) which is responsible for technology for the intelligence community in the way that DARPA does for defense.

Some of the Data Mining research areas at IARPA include –

* Knowledge Discovery and Dissemination: seeking ways to coordinate access to and exploiting data from multiple sources across disparate intelligence agencies
* Tangram project: a terrorism threat surveillance and warning system
* Video Analysis and Content Extraction (VACE): ways to accelerate the tedious task of reviewing video content for potential intelligence value
* Proactive Intelligence Project (Paint):studies the dynamics of complex intelligence targets for nefarious activities
* Project Reynard: studying the emerging phenomenon of social (particularly terrorist) dynamics in virtual worlds and large-scale online games and their implications for the Intelligence Community.

Read the full report (PDF) at: FAS DNI Datamining Report

That’s a slam-dunk.

3 Bryan { 07.02.08 at 12:46 am }

I was thinking of a former posting I had in Anne Arundel County, MD at an Army installation named for a Civil War general.

Yep, TIA never dies, it just changes it’s initials.

This is such a total waste of time, like questioning people at random to solve a crime. You gather intelligence by targeting your efforts.

Since they don’t seem to be catching any real terrorists, how will they know if the system works? Realistically, there’s plenty of evidence that terrorists are from the upper-middle class and above with a good education. It is the children of the elite that we should be watching, not vegen Quakers.

4 Kryten42 { 07.02.08 at 1:17 am }

That of course that assumes that they want to catch *Terrorists* and not vegans (Quakers or not). This is all just part of their *Conformity with our view at any cost!* program.

STASI by any other name, still stinks!

5 Fallenmonk { 07.02.08 at 7:30 am }

It’s been a long time but isn’t Prince George’s where Ft. Meade is? The main headquarters of NSA and a whole bunch of other spook outfits. When I was there for a short time we were working on advanced intelligence gathering stuff. Besides maybe some of the underground stuff out west Fort Meade is one hell of a secure place.
As you say Bryan TIA just morphs its initials but it’s mission never changes.

6 Kryten42 { 07.02.08 at 9:41 am }

Ahhh yes! Of course… Thanks Fallenmonk! 😀 I was about to do some more research into that, I’ve been busy the past several hours with other things. 🙂

Of course, now that I’ve just reread the article Bryan posted:

One of the agencies that absorbed the work was the Advanced Research and Development Activity, affiliated with eavesdropping National Security Agency, and like NSA, located at Fort Meade, Maryland. ARDA was later renamed, given the ominous-sounding moniker, Disruptive Technology Office.

Hopefully, you’ve kept with us through all the name changes and acronyms. (Do intel agencies do this on purpose to confuse, or is it just bureaucracy at work?) The point is that IARPA, according to Signal, the magazine of the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association, was formed by combining the Disruptive Technology Office with research programs underway at the CIA and other agencies.

However… that wasn’t what was tugging at my memory. It was this:

IARPA Will Locate at UM’s Research Park

M-Square, the *respectable face* (front) for a a lot bad things. I remember now learning about things that eventually passed through UMD, or has some connection to it somewhere along the torturous thread during my own “data-mining” foray into the USA. 😉 🙂

And it becomes obvious now why the Dem’s caved on FISA:

IARPA consolidates the National Security Agency’s Disruptive Technology Office (previously called the Advanced Research and Development Activity); the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s National Technology Alliance; and the Central Intelligence Agency’s Intelligence Technology Innovation Center.

The Maryland congressional delegation, led by Senator Barbara Mikulski, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, announced the decision. As members of the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence, Mikulski and Ruppersberger, along with Hoyer, have worked for months to secure a permanent home for IARPA in Maryland.

Democrats… Republicans… what was the difference again? I’m confused. They look the same to me.

7 Kryten42 { 07.02.08 at 10:43 am }

I see Hoyer has been getting a lot of IT & Telco related contracts in his district since 2006. (I sorted the results by Product/Services Look for: ‘Automatic data processing and telecom. services’).

Contracts Performed in Maryland 5 (Steny H. Hoyer)

8 Kryten42 { 07.02.08 at 10:57 am }

I like this site! LOL

This was fascinating!
Federal Assistance by Recipient Congressional District

Seems Florida got the biggest chunk of that pie! Almost $2trillion all up, most of it in unknown districts. Hmmm.

9 Bryan { 07.02.08 at 1:20 pm }

NAS Pensacola, NAS Whiting Field, NAS Key West, Eglin AFB, Tyndall AFB, McDill AFB are all in Florida.

They include Naval, Air Force, & Ranger training, weapons development and testing, HQ Central Command, HQ Special Operation Command, two fighter wings, etc.

“Shock and Awe” is brought to you with a serving of orange juice.

Fort Meade is in Anne Arundel County, but there are “annexes” in other areas.

All politics is local, and Congresscritters have no problem throwing away any scruples they might have left if it means more Federal money for their district.

BTW, with all that spending, overall Florida doesn’t get back all of the money it pays in Federal taxes.

10 Steve Bates { 07.02.08 at 4:10 pm }

Could we rename Steny “Unge,” so that he becomes Unge Hoyer? (Ungeheuer…)

11 Bryan { 07.02.08 at 5:44 pm }

Now that you mention it, he does look a bit like Shrek.

12 Lewis Shepherd { 07.03.08 at 10:32 am }

Hmmm, you guys seem a little over-caffeinated. Since when did “disruptive technology” go from being a bad thing – when the US Government decided it could be used not only to sell ads & mp3s, but to find the people who’ve declared war on our country?

IARPA is not “TIA renamed.” Elements of TIA were badly misguided, and killed for a reason.

13 Bryan { 07.03.08 at 2:17 pm }

Welcome, Lewis.

You know Lewis, the military, intel people, cops, and computer geeks all seem to be attracted to caffeine. Since the people commenting on this, with the possible exception of you, are all computer geeks, and the majority are also veterans from one or more of the other groups, there is a major chance of a lot of caffeine involved, and a solid understanding of what’s going on.

The problem is that it is unConstitutional for the government to do it without a warrant. We remember what happened during the Hoover years at the FBI, and the Nixon years. We don’t like it.

The separate problem is that it doesn’t work. What is the pattern of a terrorist? Without a pattern it doesn’t do you any good to gather the information. When you are selling something you can discover who your customers are and target similar people, but there is no pattern for a terrorist.

What you may not understand is that the best and most dangerous operatives make damn sure they don’t settle into a pattern. It’s the same with encryption which why random number generation is so important – to prevent a pattern that can be exploited from developing.

Rather than wasting time, money, and resources on something is isn’t legal or effective, we would rather they started to actually use those resources to do something that is proven to be effective – following the evidence collected back to the people responsible.