Shadowy Spy Group Building Dossiers On Internet Users For Feds
An organization that tracks 250 million IP addresses a day has been developing portfolios on Internet users and handing the information to U.S. federal agencies as the latest incarnation of the supposedly defunct Total Information Awareness spy program is revealed.
A group calling itself Project Vigilant went public at yesterday’s Defcon security conference in an effort to add more recruits to its 600 member strong cyber spy force. The outfit announced that it had been tracking “Internet villains” for no less than 14 years and handing the information to federal authorities as part of a massive intelligence gathering program.
However, the target of one such investigation did not fall into the category of cyber criminals – “terrorists, drug cartels, mobsters” – that the group claims to be fighting.
The organization “encouraged one of its “volunteers”, researcher Adrian Lamo, to inform the federal government about the alleged source of a controversial video of civilian deaths in Iraq leaked to whistle-blower site Wikileaks in April,” reports Forbes.
Project Vigilant director Chet Uber used Lamo’s friendship with Bradley Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who allegedly released the classified video, to out Manning, who now faces criminal charges. Uber told Lamo that it was his “patriotic duty” to inform on the man who was instrumental in bringing to light the war atrocities witnessed in the infamous “Collateral Murder” video, which shows U.S. troops slaughtering over a dozen innocent people and injuring others, including two children, Sajad Salah and his little sister Duaa Salah.
“According to Uber, one of Project Vigilant’s manifold methods for gathering intelligence includes collecting information from a dozen regional U.S. Internet service providers,” states the report. “Uber declined to name those ISPs, but said that because the companies included a provision allowing them to share users’ Internet activities with third parties in their end user license agreements (EULAs), Vigilant was able to legally able to gather data from the Internet carriers and use it to craft reports for federal agencies. A Vigilant press release says that the organization tracks more than 250 million IP addresses a day and can “develop portfolios on any name, screen name or IP address.”
Uber also founded InfraGard, the ominous FBI-affiliated public-private partnership that is a key component of the unfolding implementation of martial law in the United States. InfraGard made its intentions to act as a political police force clear in March 2009 when the group announced that questions surrounding Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility were “potentially harmful to civil order and national security”.
Uber’s organization poses as a volunteer orientated crime-fighting private outfit, and yet it is nothing more than a tentacle of the military-industrial complex’s sprawling unconstitutional internal spy apparatus.
Project Vigilant is an offshoot of the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Total Information Awareness, a program designed to catalogue, “Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend,” as the New York Times’ William Safire wrote in November 2002.
TIA, symbolized by its logo of an all-seeing eye atop a pyramid shining upon the globe, was supposedly nixed by Congress shortly after it became public, but the program merely went underground and continued as a part of the Pentagon’s “black budget” and in conjunction with a plethora of private contractors in the same mould as Project Vigilant.
As Capitol Hill Blue reported back in 2004, “Despite Congressional action cutting funding, and the resignation of the program’s controversial director, retired admiral John Poindexter, DARPA’s TIA program is alive and well and prying into the personal business of Americans 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
DARPA has hired private contractors to perform the exact same duties set out in Total Information Awareness, and Project Vigilant is undoubtedly one of them. By hiring private companies to do the dirty work of spying on the American people, Congressional audits can be avoided and legal barriers can be sidestepped.
Project Vigilant is clearly nothing less than a government controlled attack dog fulfilling its role to implement the cybersecurity agenda, which as we have exhaustively documented has nothing to do with security and everything to do with political oppression, Chinese style Internet censorship, and the total evisceration of free speech on the world wide web.