Information Awareness Office

The Information Awareness Office (IAO ) was a project that was founded by DARPA, an agency of the Ministry of Defense of the United States. The task of the ILO was to search within a database all available features of the citizens of the state and to analyze later on suspicious patterns. This should be done mainly to protect against terrorism.


The ILO was established by President Bush under the name of Total Information Awareness into being in early 2002. Later the name was changed to Terrorist Information Awareness. John Poindexter, who is known among other things, by the Iran - Contra affair, was appointed to head the authority.

The first public information was read on 13 February 2002 in the New York Times. At this time was still very little known about the objectives of the newly created authority. But the very fact that you would need hard drives in petabyte - size, made ​​for strong surprise and monitoring fears. Civil rights organizations such as the EFF protested, because of the Orwellian intentions and because of the past of Poindexter against this authority.

On 16 January 2003 a law was convened by Senator Russ Feingold, which should cause the Congress to an examination of the activities of the ILO. After a similar input of another senator, the ILO should not be allowed to operate in the U.S.. The end of February, an arrangement was then adopted by the ILO should stop all activity.

The DARPA changed on 20 May 2003 in the name of Terrorist Information Awareness, to make clear here that you did not want to make dossiers on U.S. citizens. Instead, the authority should serve only to combat terrorism. Despite this, two months later, it was decided not to provide any more funds to the Authority. Initially, this meant the end for the ILO. However, a program called ADVISE (Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement ) some time later was initiated, which pursues identical objectives and from the TTVA portfolio ( Threat and Vulnerability Testing and Assessment ) is financed.

Research programs

The listed research programs should be taken into account that according to experts, templates, large parts of these technologies already in principle; at least it is expected in the case of the secret NSA of it, since this closely followed the same programmatic objectives for decades. The impossibility of the use of those technologies may be derived from the specific nature of the secret service.


This program should ensure communication in the war effort. This should be the soldiers able to communicate with the opposing side or injured. A program called Rapid Multilingual Support (RMS ) was used in Afghanistan.

Bio - Surveillance ( BSS)

The task of BSS was to develop techniques that detect early use of biochemical weapons. This should be done through the monitoring of animal tracks or specific disease symptoms.

Effective, Affordable, Reusable Speech -to-Text (EARS )

EARS should automatically translate voice to text. Planned use of the area were primarily phone calls. This would be much faster to extract information from the interviews and process.

Evidence Extraction and Link Discovery ( EELD )

The program should develop tools for automatic discovery and processing of suspicions public and secret data sources. It was all about to uncover relationships between persons and / or organizations through the message traffic.


The FutureMap is probably the best known and most criticized development of the ILO. It should be a kind of exchange, are traded on the security policy -relevant information. In a first step you could put money to terrorist attacks. Especially the moral aspect was strongly criticized by the public. This eventually led to the project was quickly duplicated.


Is the name of a database that can handle very large data to. Here, the paradigms from 1980 proved to be outdated. Instead, they wanted to start the following developments:

This program allows for the identification of individuals who are at some distance from the optical monitoring unit based on the gait or face shape.

Total Information Awareness ( TIA) [ set ]

After the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, the U.S. government initiated this project for Total Information note to life. This is the perfect detailed electronic surveillance of the population was justified in the context of fighting terrorism. Despite the support of the President, the U.S. Congress prohibited further funding of the project in late 2003.