John Poindexter’s ill-fated Total Information Awareness program, a database designed to allow citizens to fight the war on terrorism by reporting the suspicious activities of their fellow citizens, has left one good legacy. Coming soon to a URL near you, the Government Information Awareness (GIA) program. Debuting later this year, GIA will be an online database to which the public can feed information about government activities, government officials and political figures—including data on their business affiliations and campaign donations. “It will be a sort of citizens’ intelligence agency,” Chris Csiks
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.