Poindexter is an Agent
November 10, 2003 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Why We Should Fear The Matrix. No, not the movie, the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange program. It's a new version of the Total Information Awareness program for participating states which is run by a private corporation, Seisint Inc. Needless to say, privacy advocates are concerned.
posted by homunculus (12 comments total)
I can't believe they actually refer to this system as "the Matrix." Is everyone in their marketing and PR departments completely insane? But it gets even creepier. From the last link:
Florida was the first to broker a deal with Seisint, Inc., the private computer systems company based in Boca Raton that built the database and its software. Seisint was founded by Hank Asher, a drug smuggler-cum-information security expert. Asher also designed Autotrack, a powerful system that law-enforcement officials -- and journalists -- use to locate driving records, addresses and tax information.

It was Asher, too, who removed thousands of African Americans from voter-registration lists shortly before the 2000 election in Florida. His other company, Database Technologies, used similar databases to assess -- in error -- that they were felons.

Hours after the Sept. 11 attacks, Asher brought his idea for Matrix to the Florida State Police, offering to build the system for free, Ramer says. Florida accepted, still baffled at how terrorists had been moving around the state undetected as they planned the attacks.

Police later learned of Asher's background and he has since left Seisint. Asher was not available for comment.
posted by homunculus at 5:49 PM on November 10, 2003

*presses palms to temples. head explodes anyway*
posted by quonsar at 6:03 PM on November 10, 2003

/reports quonsar for detonating explosive material in a public forum.
posted by rushmc at 6:11 PM on November 10, 2003

*gives rushmc a junior prosecutor badge*
posted by homunculus at 6:42 PM on November 10, 2003

Holy freaking mother of god... You know, I really liked it when I was the weird conspiracy nut in the corner. I wasn't supposed to be right.
posted by dejah420 at 8:15 PM on November 10, 2003

One way or another, they'll just keep trying.

Call it the work of the Dominatrix
posted by troutfishing at 9:02 PM on November 10, 2003

I was the weird conspiracy nut in the corner. I wasn't supposed to be right.

i know zackly how ya feel, dejah...
posted by quonsar at 11:32 PM on November 10, 2003

Hmmm. While musing about the issue, it occurs to me the credit card companies may wish to consider their stake in the matter. All this is fantastic encouragement to pay cash and resist plastic. The marketing people might consider that this is also motivation to forego loyalty cards and never respond to surveys. The technologically inclined should consider what this does to encourage luddism. I am sure there are other groups for whom this has a specific negative impact.

"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, it makes you so sick at heart, that...you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon wheels...and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all." (Mario Savio, Berkeley Free speech movement, 1964)
posted by Goofyy at 12:14 AM on November 11, 2003

I wonder what the Patriot Act thinks about the Matrix.
posted by homunculus at 1:32 AM on November 11, 2003

Is everyone in their marketing and PR departments completely insane?

Brought to you by the same firm that introduced the smash hit TIA logo, the All-Seeing Eye of the Illuminati!
posted by moonbiter at 7:31 PM on November 11, 2003

Clarification of the above: No, not really the same firm. As far as I know.
posted by moonbiter at 7:33 PM on November 11, 2003

A Blip in the MATRIX
posted by homunculus at 10:36 PM on November 11, 2003

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