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Government Information Awareness 211

Posted by michael
from the sauce-for-the-gander dept.
gbjbaanb writes "Wired News is reporting about the GIA, software inspired by the TIA program. 'Researchers at the MIT Media Lab unveiled the Government Information Awareness, or GIA, website Friday. Using applications developed at the Media Lab, GIA collects and collates information about government programs, plans and politicians from the general public and numerous online sources. Currently the database contains information on more than 3,000 public figures. The premise of GIA is that if the government has a right to know personal details about citizens, then citizens have a right to similar information about the government.'"
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Government Information Awareness

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  • The Name (Score:3, Informative)

    by Valen0 (325388) <valen@esDEBIANcom.us minus distro> on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:26PM (#6368929)
    The name and concept is supposed to be a spin of the Government's TIA (Terrorist Information Awareness) program that spys on citizens for terrorist activity. More information on TIA is available at DARPA [darpa.mil] and a story [wired.com] that Wired ran.
  • Cryptome.org (Score:3, Informative)

    by ManDude (231569) on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:37PM (#6368979)
    cryptome.org [cryptome.org] is a good site as well. It isn't the easiest site to get around, but its comprehensive. Maybe there can be a marriage of the two. It would be beautiful.
  • by shivianzealot (621339) on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:39PM (#6368989)
    I must say, this site is rather tame. Age, place of birth, religion... its all really only information one might find in an encyclopedia. This is hardly intrusive, though a happy step forward. Perhaps my fellow commenters would care to post some ideas regarding new "features?"
  • Not Very Deep (Score:4, Informative)

    by ipour (177686) * on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:48PM (#6369027)
    I like the premise, but this is a very superficial first effort. The site is slow, and you can get just about all of the same information at www.firstgov.gov. Knowing several public officials, I tried to use the site to see just what dirt I could dig up. I have to say I was pretty disappointed. I couldn't even get an official bio on all but the most prominent elected officials.

    If TIA does nothing more than this, then we have very little to worry about.
  • Re:Coincidence? (Score:3, Informative)

    by plover (150551) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:09PM (#6369105) Homepage Journal
    Apparently it doesn't scale to the size of your typical slashdotting...

    :-(

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Informative)

    by kaltkalt (620110) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:14PM (#6369118)
    exactly. http://www.usflag.org/us.code36.html#176 [usflag.org]. Although I'm sure you knew that.
  • Re:Excellent. (Score:4, Informative)

    by plover (150551) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:28PM (#6369178) Homepage Journal
    If you have a local Boy Scout troop or perhaps a veterans association such as an American Legion or VFW nearby, they would probably accept the flag for a proper disposal. My son's troop gets a couple of flags from local businesses every year, including a local Perkins' restaurant (yes those 40' flags wear out.) They cut them up, keeping the blue canton whole, and pass out pieces around a campfire and silently drop them in it. The scoutmaster reads a paragraph about the history of the flag, asks us to remember the people who have died defending it, then places the canton on top of the flames. (The huge canton from the Perkins' flag almost extinguished the fire one year.)

    It's a dignified end. The boys all take it very seriously. If you want to dispose of it yourself, a campfire works well. Respect is the key.

    A Molotov cocktail on national TV is not considered an appropriate end; many otherwise rational people will react most unfavorably towards you if you try. Personally I consider it free speech to burn a flag in protest; but I also am free to consider that sort of speech to be hateful and I will hold someone who does it in contempt.

  • by AlienSexist (686923) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:37PM (#6369222)
    I encourage you to also check out InfoWars [infowars.com] as well as Prison Planet [prisonplanet.com], or any number of related sites. Most of these things that come up in YRO segments here on slashdot have been predicted or commented on weeks or months in advance by these folks.

    A healthy dose of paranoia or cold hard facts, you be the judge. But at any rate, they do their best to avoid speculation and point directly to the house & senate bills and underscore text of scary things like the Patriot Act. Much like Slashdot they are always linking to supporting stories from AP, Reuters, Washington post, etc.

    But in the words of Reading Rainbow's beloved host LeVar Burton: "You don't have to take my word for it."

    *Dons his Ring of Protection from Flame and wields the Troll Cleaver*
  • Re:Coincidence? (Score:3, Informative)

    by RobotWisdom (25776) on Friday July 04, 2003 @05:17PM (#6369419) Homepage
    There's a Wiki-style Disinfopedia [disinfopedia.org] that's a lot farther along.

    Also, the MIT site should put the dang searchbox on the dang frontpage, dang it.

  • by lommer (566164) on Friday July 04, 2003 @05:26PM (#6369467)
    taken from this page: http://opengov.media.mit.edu/GIA/data.jsp [mit.edu]

    If you look at the flowchart they have, it actually takes quite a bit of effort to get information onto the system, as two of the possible four results of the system lead to the information being discarded. Check out the flowchart, and read the page - It covers a lot of important stuff.
  • Re:The Name (Score:4, Informative)

    by illuvata (677144) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:34PM (#6370675)
    they renamed it when some members of congress asked if spying on citisens might create a few problems. so, the name was changed to terrorist information awareness, and all was dandy again

    story about it [washingtonpost.com]

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