TIA meets GIA


In response to public outcry over the formation of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) System in January 2003, the Bush administration tinkered with the project's name (now the Terrorist Information Awareness System) and hoped everything would be OK. Maybe this PR gesture was enough for some, but not for Ryan McKinley, a researcher at the MIT Media Lab. He decided to follow the old adage: don't get mad, get even. On July 4, 2003, McKinley launched his own initiative, the Government Information Awareness (GIA) in an effort to close the widening gap between a citizen's ability to monitor his or her government and the government's ability to monitor its citizens. His suite of software tools allows users to data mine individuals, organizations, and corporations related to the government and submit intelligence about government-related issues, while maintaining their anonymity. Now this is approaching something more like Total Information. -Brooke Singer