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The Good Ol' Information Awareness Boys

Spring 2003

The Pentagon's research division has renamed the program that it created for collecting and studying information about citizens. The project came off the drawing-board named "Total Information Awareness."

While no doubt good enough for engineers and, of course, fascist weirdos, this title kind of freaked out a few sensitive souls. Now it's being proposed as "Terrorist Information Awareness."

Ah, that's better, isn't it? Had me worried there for a bit, myself.

Issued under the generously comforting new title, a Pentagon report says that, among other objectives, "the proposed project concerns the design and development of a Web Site Misinformation Detection System for automatically reviewing web sites to identify intentionally misleading information. In the proposed approach, a relational ontology of web site categories and semantic entities is populated by autonomous agents capable of searching the web for documents of preselected domains and extracting semantic information from their content."

For my money, somebody needs to run some kind of text software agent on this bit; the f*cker seems deliberately hard to read. And, too, any use of the word ontology makes me suspicious — makes me think these bastards are the fox guarding the chicken coop, when it comes to "intentionally misleading information." What are they trying to say — or not say?

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