Topsail

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When asked February 2, 2006, by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) during the Senate Intelligence Committee annual hearing on national security threats "whether the widely-criticized Total Information Awareness program was still active," John D. Negroponte -- selected in February 2005 by President George W. Bush to be America's first national intelligence director -- responded "I don’t know the answer to that question," Nico Pitney reported for Think Progress on February 3, 2006.

When Wyden asked "whether TIA had simply been 'moved to various intelligence agencies' after Congress tried to terminate it," Director of the National Security Agency Michael V. Hayden responded "Senator, I’d like to answer in closed session," Pitney wrote.

The internet surveillance TIA program was allegedly halted in 2003. Both it and the Information Awareness Office had been headed by John Poindexter, National Security Advisor during the Ronald Reagan Administration and chief architect of the Iran-Contra Affair.

On June 3, 2004, Democracy Now! reported that Reuters had "obtained a Congressional report that [showed] nine months after Congress shut down the controversial Pentagon computer-surveillance program called Total Information Awareness, the U.S. government continues to comb private records and databases to sniff out suspicious activity. Peter Swire, who served as the Clinton administration's top official said 'I believe that Total Information Awareness is continuing under other names.'"

Further confirmation of the continuation of TIA activities was reported February 8, 2006, by NEWSWEEK's Michael Hirsh, who wrote:

"Yet today, very quietly, the core of TIA survives with a new codename of Topsail (minus the futures market), two officials privy to the intelligence tell NEWSWEEK. It is in programs like these that real data mining is going on and—considering the furor over TIA—with fewer intrusions on civil liberties than occur under the NSA surveillance program. ... Poindexter, who lives just outside Washington in Rockville, Md., could not be reached for comment on whether he is still involved with Topsail."

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