Letter to Senators Lott and Daschle re: Total Information Awareness

November 18, 2002
Coalition Letter
to Senators Lott & Daschle
Regarding Total Information Awareness


November 18, 2002

Senator Tom Daschle
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Trent Lott
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Daschle and Lott:

We write to you as a nonpartisan coalition of organizations from across the country to urge you to adopt an amendment to the pending Homeland Security Act that would stop further development of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) system called "Total Information Awareness" (TIA).

According to DARPA’s own documents, TIA will collect and mine vast amounts of information on the American public, including telephone records, bank records, medical records, and educational and travel data. TIA also proposes to connect with a massive system of biometric identification.

There are no systems of oversight or accountability contemplated in the TIA project. DARPA itself has resisted lawful requests for information about the program pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

Newspapers across the country have blasted the Department of Defense surveillance system. The New York Times said today that "Congress should shut down the program pending a thorough investigation." Earlier the Washington Post wrote, "the defense secretary should appoint an outside committee to oversee it before it proceeds."

We urge you to act immediately to stop the development of this unconstitutional system of public surveillance.



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Marc Rotenberg
Executive Director
Electronic Privacy Information Center

Chris Hoofnagle
Legislative Counsel
Electronic Privacy Information Center

Lisa Dean
Center for Technology Policy
Free Congress Foundation

Ken McEldowney
Executive Director
Consumer Action

James Landrith
Editor & Publisher
The Multiracial Activist

Nihad Awad
Executive Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Kit Gage
First Amendment Foundation
National Committee Against Repressive Legislation

Kathryn Serkes
Square One Media Network
Beth Givens
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Steven Aftergood
Senior Research Analyst
Federation of American Scientists
Remar Sutton
Privacy Rights Now Coalition

J.C. Pierce
Consumer Task Force For Automotive Issues
Lee Tien
Senior Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Michael Shames
Executive Director
Utility Consumers’ Action Network
Jane M. Orient M.D.
Executive Director
Association of American Physicians & Surgeons

David A. Wallace
Assistant Professor
School of Information
University of Michigan

Katie Corrigan
Legislative Counsel
American Civil Liberties Union

Manon Ress
Research Associate
Consumer Project of Technology
Lynne Bradley
Deputy Director
Office of Government Relations
American Library Association Washington Office

Kelly Garrett
Doctoral Student
School of Information
University of Michigan
Dr. Charles N. Davis
Executive Director
Kathleen Edwards
Center Manager
Kristin Birks
Web Manager
Jennifer M. Schmidt
Financial Manager
Freedom of Information Center

Michael D. Cohen
William D. Hamilton Professor of Complex Systems, Information, and Public Policy
School of Information
University of Michigan

Kathy Williams
Managing editor
Herald Democrat (Sherman-Denison, Texas)

Margaret Fung
Executive Director
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Prudence S. Adler
Associate Executive Director
Association of Research Libraries

Stephanie Krueger-Blum
University of Michigan
Hannah Chua
Graduate Student
University of Michigan

Coralee Whitcomb
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Robert L. Oakley
Washington Affairs Representative
American Association of Law Libraries

Phyllis Schlafly
Eagle Forum
George Getz
Communications Director
Libertarian Party

Evan Hendricks
Editor and Publisher
Privacy Times

Dawn Richardson
Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education

Michael Arnold Glueck MD
Syndicated Columnist
The Medicine Men Column
Danielle Brian
Executive Director
Project On Government Oversight

Audrie Krause
Executive Director
Jean AbiNader
Managing Director
Arab American Institute

Richard Sobel
Cyber Privacy Project

Mary Day Kent
Executive Director
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section

Michael Scott
Center for Economic and Social Rights
Tom DeWeese
American Policy Center

Jason Catlett
Junkbusters Corp.

Jeff Chester
Executive Director
Center for Digital Democracy

Linda Foley
Executive Director
Identity Theft Resource Center

Maggie Bierwirth
Senior Legislative Counsel
People For the American Way

Deborah Pierce
Executive Director
J. Bradley Jansen
Adjunct Scholar
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Richard M. Smith
Internet Security and Privacy Consultant
James Plummer
Policy Analyst
Consumer Alert
Robert Bulmash
Private Citizen, Inc.

Sharifa Alkhateeb
The North American Council for Muslim Women

Susan K. Martin, Ph.D.
Program Officer for Scholarly Communication
Association of College and Research Libraries
Carole Doeppers
Privacy Consultant