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In late 2002 the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ("DARPA") launched an ill-named, if not entirely ill-advised, data-mining initiative as part of its response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Under the direction of Vice Admiral John M. Poindexter, infamous for his role in Iran-Contra, DARPA dubbed the program "Total Information Awareness" ("TIA). The goal was to amalgamate a mammoth database of existing commercial and governmental information, from Internet mail and calling records to banking transactions and travel documents, which would be analyzed by a to-be developed computer system capable of spotting suspicious behavior