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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 04:10 PM
Original message
SAIC, electronic voting player, had hard drive and computers stolen
Edited on Sat Feb-12-05 04:14 PM by GettysbergII
This is one nasty company that's up to its armpits in the electronic voting machine fiasco, CIA shadow operations and lots of other very shady deals. We need to keep an eye on how this story plays out particularly with the war going on between Goss's goons and the historical CIA. Here's the story and some background on SAIC:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A17506-2005Feb11?language=printer

Some of the nation's most influential former military and intelligence officials have been informed in recent days that they are at risk of identity theft after a break-in at a major government contractor netted computers containing the Social Security numbers and other personal information about tens of thousands of past and present company employees.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050203/news_1b3saic.html

The break-in occurred early Jan. 25 at what police described as "administrative offices" in one of SAIC's buildings at 10100 Campus Point Drive. Three ground-floor windows were smashed and the doors to 13 offices were pried open by a big screwdriver or similar object, said Detective Gary Hassen, a San Diego Police Department spokesman.

A preliminary police report said a computer hard drive and at least five flat panel display screens were stolen in the burglary, which occurred between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. A patrolling security guard discovered the break-in and called police.

SAIC employees later determined that "several desktop computers" were missing, said Haddad, who declined to be more specific.

Haddad also declined to identify the building or the administrative offices, although SAIC employees indicated the break-in occurred at the offices of Bull Inc., the in-house brokerage and dealer that administers SAIC's employee stock program.

SAIC is one of the few companies in the United States with an internal mechanism for trading shares of its own stock, and Bull Inc.'s employees deal only with SAIC shares. Shares can only be bought and sold by the company's employees, consultants and directors.

http://www.rockrivertimes.com/index.pl?cmd=printstory&id=8564&cat=2

Major investors in ES&S, Diebold and Sequoia are defense contractors Northrup-Grumman, Lockheed-Martin, Electronic Data Systems and Accenture.

Diebold hired Scientific Applications International Inc., to create the software security for Diebolds voting machines. These are the ones we use in Winnebago County.

A majority of Scientifics board of directors are former members of the CIA or the Pentagon. They include: Army Gen. Wayne Downing, formerly of the National Security Council; Bobby Ray Inman, former CIA director; retired Adm. William Owens, ex-vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Robert Gates, another former CIA director. (commondreams.org)

http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/082003Landes/082003landes.html

In a related story, on August 6t Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) gave a contract to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to review the Diebold Election System's software in preparation for elections in Maryland. The report is due in four weeks.



SAIC is a behemoth military defense contractor with a shadowy, if not tarnished, reputation, while former SAIC executives also have ties to VoteHere. Why is that important? VoteHere is a growing company, which aspires to provide cryptography and computer software security for the electronic election industry.

Former president, chief operating officer, and vice chairman of SAIC is Admiral Bill Owens, who is now Chairman of the Board for VoteHere. Owens also served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was a senior military assistant to Secretaries of Defense Frank Carlucci and Dick Cheney. Carlucci's company is Carlyle Group, while Vice President Dick Cheney's former employer is Halliburton.

Another former SAIC board member, also on the board of VoteHere, is ex-CIA Director Robert Gates, a veteran of the Iran-Contra scandal.

VoteHere is already benefiting from the Diebold debacle, as it will be partnering with Sequoia Voting Systems, "to provide a new level of electronic ballot verification to customers of the AVC Edge touch screen voting system," according to the VoteHere website.

SAIC, which is supposed to vet Diebold's elections software, is itself in the elections business.


In a 1995 article in the Web Review, editor Stephen Pizzo paints a disturbing picture of SAIC. "In 1990 SAIC was indicted by the Justice Department on 10 felony counts for fraud in its management of a Superfund toxic cleanup site. (SAIC pleaded guilty.)

In 1993 the Justice Department sued SAIC, accusing it of civil fraud on an F15 fighter contract."

In May 1995, the same month SAIC purchased NSI (Network Solutions Inc.), the company settled a suit that charged it had lied about security system tests it conducted for a Treasury Department currency plant in Fort Worth, TX."

According to a January 1994 article in the highly regarded Crypt Newsletter, edited by George Smith, "In 1992 one of Scientific Applications (SAIC) government projects blew up in the firm's face when it was charged with fabricating environmental testing from toxic waste dumps. SAIC eventually conceded to false claims and paid $1.3 million in penalties, a small sum compared to the estimated $1.5 billion the firm is expected to earn in 1994.

The Los Angeles Times cites government officials declaring Science Applications (SAIC) guilty of the "largest environmental fraud . . . we've had here" and an example of "corporate greed."

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0309/S00234.htm

CIA-DOD Contractor Justifies MD. E-Voting System
Friday, 26 September 2003, 1:27 pm

Coverage Of The SAIC Diebold Report
MARYLAND USES HUGE CIA-DOD CONTRACTOR TO JUSTIFY E-VOTING SYSTEM

TOM STUCKEY ASSOCIATED PRESS - Maryland will go ahead with plans to buy $55.6 million worth of electronic voting machines, relying on a consultant's report that state officials say shows numerous potential security problems can be fixed before the presidential primary next March. "We remain very confident in this voting system," James "Chip" DiPaula, state budget secretary said Wednesday. He said Diebold Election Systems of North Canton, Ohio, has already incorporated three new security features to correct problems that critics of the touch-screen machines say made them vulnerable to massive election fraud. Other "vulnerabilities" cited by the consultant, Science Application International Corp., will be corrected by security procedures to be implemented by state and local election boards, DiPaula said. . . The report did not satisfy Avi Rubin, an associate professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University, whose study released in July prompted national debate over the security of electronic voting systems. Rubin, lead researcher on the report, said at the time that the Diebold system was so flawed it could be easily manipulated. . . David Dill, a Stanford University computer science professor, said he still has concerns about the machines, including the possibility that a malicious code could be inserted by a programmer at Diebold. . . Thomas W. Swidarski, president of Diebold Election Systems, said the SAIC study "verifies that the Diebold voting station provides an unprecedented level of election security."


http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=7889

Science Applications International Corp

SAIC's web of connections has haunted contracts to analyze electronic voting machines in Maryland and Ohio. In Maryland, legislators seek a review of SAIC's assessment of Diebold machines that Johns Hopkins researchers say might be vulnerable to hackers or vote-tampering. They mention several issues - SAIC and Diebold share a lobbyist, both companies are part of an industry group that is trying to improve the image of electronic voting, and a former SAIC
president, retired Adm. William A. Owens, serves on the board of a Diebold rival.

In Ohio, the secretary of state replaced SAIC as its contractor for studying Diebold machines after learning that SAIC had promised a $5 million investment to a company that owns part of a competing voting-machine maker.

SAIC officials say no one has produced evidence that such conflicts have distorted the company's work.

Mark V. Hughes, SAIC executive vice president and board member, says the company hires former government officials not for influence but for expertise. "We do a much better job for our customers if we have people in the company who really know the customers," he says.

In any case, Hughes says, the company scrupulously obeys laws designed to prevent conflicts of interest. It's a matter not only of ethics but of survival, he says.

"As a government contractor, just one or two violations could cause us to be suspended from government contracts," he says. "That would destroy our company."


http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=7892

Among the fruits of that vision are two of SAIC's most technically advanced products: TeraText and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). They're data-mining programs -- some of the most powerful in existence. Both are central to enabling intelligence agencies to sift the immense volumes of data they now collect. Beyster was right about the information explosion; the NSA alone intercepts millions of phone calls, faxes, e-mails, and other types of electronic communications every single hour.

TeraText is designed to help make sense of it all. Written texts -- books, magazines, intercepted messages -- in almost every language are digitized and loaded into a database linked to TeraText. The program can drill into that data at blinding speeds: It can process 2 billion documents every four seconds. It works by identifying patterns and connections between names, terms, and ideas that would take the human mind months to collate. For instance, an intelligence analyst might enter a request for all documents mentioning the name "Khalid," the word "sleeper," and the term "blind date," a possible code for a terror operation. The search could be tailored in innumerable ways -- by language, by time of day, and so on -- and would retrieve all records in which the terms appeared in, say, a single sentence. Finding such seemingly tenuous connections can produce the needle-in-the-haystack moment that unearths a terrorist plot.

LSI is even more esoteric. It looks for abstract relationships among intercepted texts and public documents, and can find even less distinct patterns. Say intelligence analysts learn that an al Qaeda subordinate refers to Osama bin Laden as "Blue Nose" and uses the code word "red" for the date of an attack. LSI will group all documents in any language that relate to "Blue Nose" and "red," even ones that don't contain those exact words. How can it do that? It's incredibly complicated. Suffice it to say that LSI processes language in much the same way the human mind does and contains a degree of artificial intelligence that allows it to make judgments about abstract connections. "That gives LSI a great power that, frankly, we've never seen before," says an intelligence agency consultant who uses the software.

However powerful, the current generation of SAIC data-mining software wasn't good enough to help prevent the 9/11 attacks; signals were missed. In an SAIC lab in Annapolis, Md., Steve Rizzi and his 150-person team are working on a highly classified program, called Trailblazer, designed to avoid a recurrence. Trailblazer, several intelligence sources say, may be the most important program for the entire future of U.S. intelligence efforts. It's currently in a development phase but will likely generate billions of dollars for contractors.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x1231715

http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2003/1110/pol-evote-11-10-03.asp

Holt introduced his bill as concern over so-called black box voting was building. In July, the Johns Hopkins team fanned the flames with the results of their analysis of Diebold AccuVote-TS code, obtained from an unofficial Web site. Maryland officials, who were close to finalizing a $55 million purchase of machines to use statewide, asked Science Applications International Corp. to perform a second analysis.

SAIC officials confirmed that the Hopkins researchers had analyzed the code properly, but said that many of the risks could be avoided or minimized by not connecting the machines to a network and by implementing security protocols and processes for election officials and poll workers.

SAIC's report, dated Sept. 2, echoed Diebold's criticism. "While many of the statements made by Mr. Rubin were technically correct, it is clear that Mr. Rubin did not have a complete understanding of the state of Maryland's implementation of the system and the election process controls or environment, reduce or eliminate many of the vulnerabilities identified in the Rubin report," the SAIC report states.

Ultimately, Maryland officials completed the purchase, accepting 12 of SAIC's 17 recommendations. Diebold officials agreed to make three software changes to increase security but only for machines sold in Maryland.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro&ddlC=51

Background
Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC as it is commonly known, is owned by its 40,000 or so employees. It is the country's largest employee-owned research and engineering company, chalking up revenue of $5.9 billion in 2002.
SAIC's largest customer by far is the U.S. government, which accounts for 69 percent of its business, according to its SEC filings. The company also derives a sizeable chunk of its revenue from state, local and foreign governments.
The company has worked on a large number of high-profile government projects. SAIC had engineers on the ground in New York the day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, deploying point-to-point microwave systems to restore communications to government offices. The company also built the security command center for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Other high-profile projects SAIC has been involved in include the 1993 World Trade Center bombing investigation, the cleanups after the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster and the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the first Gulf War, and space missions including the Voyager mission to Mars and the Hubble Space Telescope.
A lower profile, but potentially lucrative, project the company is working on for the Army is called the Future Combat Systems program. SAIC teamed up with Boeing to win the right to be lead system integrator on that project, which could have a total value of $4 billion. The program is supposed to completely retool and transform the entire Army to better respond to future threats, including everything from weapons systems to troop training.
SAIC recently had a management change. Founder and chairman Robert Beyster, who had run the company since its beginning in 1969, announced plans to retire in 2004. In October 2003, Kenneth Dahlberg, a vice president at General Dynamics, joined the company as CEO. There has also been speculation that, following Beyster's retirement, the company might go public.

http://www.washingtontechnology.com/top-100/2004/5.html

Top 100 Federal Prime Contractors -- 2004
#5: Science Applications International Corp.

In 2003, the company won more than $10 billion in contracts, of which about 80 percent came from the Defense Department and the rest from civilian agencies. Work continues to come to SAIC in familiar areas, such as command and control and nuclear science. Last year, SAIC also maintained its long-standing relationships with the intelligence community and with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, "where we continued to do both systems integration and basic science," Andrews said.

Among the company's 2003 contracts:
The $826 million Unified NASA Information Technology Services contract for the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center to perform IT management service functions agencywide, with IBM Corp. as a subcontractor
The $144 million Air Force Space Missile Systems Center space-based radar requirements definition and oversight award
A potentially lucrative contract with the Naval Oceanographic Office, where SAIC has been awarded $30 million of a $2 billion-ceiling contract to create a survivable location for data storage

The $200 million DISA Global Services contract to expand information grid bandwidth, with AT&T Corp. as a subcontractor.


http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/resources.aspx?act=contrib#51
Campaign Contributions of Post-war Contractors
From 1990 through fiscal year 2002
# 4 Science Applications International Corp. $4,704,909

http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/resources.aspx?act=history

Post-war Contractors Ranked by Total Government Earnings
All federal contracts from 1990 through fiscal year 2002
#3 Science Applications International Corp. $16,194,431,000

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?list=type&type=17

SAIC was given the contract to run the Occupational Authoritys Iraqi Media Network, including television stations, radio stations and newspapers. But even as propaganda goes, the network was such a flop no Iraqis would watch it that SAIC lost the contract this January.



But SAIC's biggest source of income is surveillance especially for the United States spy agencies: it is reportedly the largest recipient of contracts from the National Security Agency (NSA) and one of the top five contractors to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Some 5,000 employees (or one in eight employees) have security clearances. Beyster himself has one of the highest top-secret clearances of any civilian in the country. "We are a stealth company," Keith Nightingale, a former Army special ops officer, told a magazine named Business 2.0. "We're everywhere, but almost never seen."


http://www.tblog.com/templates/index.php?bid=mquinn02&static=378803

A new FBI computer program designed to help agents share information to ward off terrorist attacks may have to be scrapped, the agency has concluded, forcing a further delay in a four-year, half-billion-dollar overhaul of its antiquated computer system. Since the attacks, Congress has given the FBI a blank check, allocating billions of dollars in additional funding. So far the overhaul has cost $581 million, and the software problems are expected to set off a debate over how well the bureau has been spending those dollars.


The bureau recently commissioned a series of independent studies to determine whether any part of the Virtual Case File software could be salvaged. Any decision to proceed with new software would add tens of millions of dollars to the development costs and render worthless much of a current $170-million contract.

Requests for proposals for new software could be sought this spring, the officials said. The bureau is no longer saying when the project, originally scheduled for completion by the end of 2003, might be finished.


Apparently the program was also considered by the Justice Department, which deemed it unusable for them as well.

The designer of the program is Science Applications International Corp (whose programs are used by Halliburton and the U.S. Navy), which has gotten a number of government contracts in Iraq, including one to "rebuild Iraq's mass media".

So, the FBI is having problems with the SAIC program, the Justice Department nixed it, and lo and behold, the Defense Department also had some problems with another program SAIC was to develop.

http://www.govexec.com/features/0700/0700s3s1.htm

McMoneagle and five other Army psychics initially assigned to Project Stargate were trained in the art of technical remote viewing, a form of extrasensory perception, or ESP. The six were studied by scientists from the Stanford Research Institute and Science Applications International Corp.


http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/military/20050211-9999-1b11saic.html

WASHINGTON Years after San Diego-based SAIC won an environmental cleanup contract at San Antonio's Kelly Air Force Base, Michael D. Woodlee thought something was amiss.
Woodlee, who was SAIC's project manager on the job, alleges that his company was earning far more profit on the $24 million effort than what was spelled out in its fixed-price contract. Instead of making a 9.5 percent profit as set forth in one order, for example, Woodlee figured the profit at 40 percent.
After SAIC's ethics committee allegedly ignored his complaints, Woodlee filed a federal whistle-blower lawsuit against the company in Texas three years ago. His allegations were filed in secret, as required under the False Claims Act.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6948083/

Now, Science Applications International and the United States Investigative Services also are playing significant roles in training Iraqi police, BusinessWeek has learned.

http://www.saic.com/about/companies/telcordia.html
Telcordia Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAIC, has what it takes to solve tough problems and deliver solutions that bring our clients success. Our end-to-end information technology and networking solutions are designed to achieve client goals today and in the future. Telcordia Technologies is one of the world's largest telecommunications engineering and consulting companies and a leading provider of information networking software.

We offer a breadth of IT and telecommunications experience far surpassing most other firms. Telcordia Technologies brings its clients full, end-to-end solutions encompassing management consulting, engineering consulting, software, program management, systems integration, outsourcing, education and training, and many other discipline

http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3482341

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said it is confident that Telcordia Technologies, its choice to pick the next .net manager from a list of bidders, can render a fair decision.
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. This could get interesting.
We need to keep this post kicked. And watch for breaking info.
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burn the bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. hmmm generally speaking...burglers only break one window to get in
don't they?
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. Looks like a Criminal Factions Lover's Quarrel.
Which isn't necessarily bad...or good. :scared:
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Right! And it's hard to tell the teams much less the players without ...
Edited on Sat Feb-12-05 05:07 PM by GettysbergII
...a scorecard especially when the scorecard is Top Secret. But since I tend to doubt there's any actual 'good guys', certainly not SAIC, involved here then I'm hoping for a long nasty war of attrition between both factions. Or as Shakespeare use to say "A pox on both your houses"
:nuke:
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Well, don't be too sure.
Some with contacts inside the CIA say that the career types aren't too fond of the ideologues being brought in to cook up "intelligence," and then having that "intelligence" sent directly to the top without vetting, and THEN the CIA being blamed for bad intelligence when the stuff blows up (where WERE the WMDS....and the ROSES?!?!?!?).

I think Rumsfeld building an even bigger Defense Dept. "CIA" (called DIA), and the decrease of the old CIA's power, means Rumsfeld is building his power base, and the old CIA was a threat to the neocon gang.

Anyway, nice data dump here. You forgot one little known item:

Pentagon Sending a Team of Exiles to Help Run Iraq

by Douglas Jehl with Jane Perlez
NY Times
April 26, 2003
original link <http://bnfp.org/cgi-bin/articles/arclink.cgi?2003.04.26.10.10.08&orig> cached copy <http://bnfp.org/cgi-bin/articles/arclink.cgi?2003.04.26.10.10.08&cache>

"The Pentagon has begun sending a team of Iraqi exiles to Baghdad to be part of a temporary American-led government there, senior administration officials said today.

The team of Iraqi technocrats was selected by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz but is officially employed by a defense contractor, SAIC, the officials said.

'The idea is that you want to have a legitimate Iraqi interim authority in place because it makes all the issues move forward more quickly, including the pumping of oil,' a State Department official said."

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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. SO DO YOU THINK...
this an inside job by cia to out the * cabal??

now its the fbi that is taking the fall for 9/11 ..and the * cabal is most likely using the courts to out the classified papers from the report and blame the fbi for 9/11 failures..could this be a cia / fbi breakin to out these sob's??

fly
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. The problem I have with either side in this squabble is
....that neither seem to have a problem with rigging the vote in principle, only with who gets to rig it.

As to SAIC, they been a sleezeball outfit long before W came on the scene, so I'm not exactly sure where there allegiences lie other than to money and power. I will start checking into backgrounds on the major players in SAIC though just to see what stange animals might turn up.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. very imortant read!! kick!!!
:kick:

thank you this is incredible!!

fly:kick: :kick:
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zann725 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
9. I smell a major scandal or some blackmail re: stolen info
This wasn't a run-of-the-mill 'burglary' any more than Watergate was.
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 03:24 AM
Response to Original message
10. SAIC connection to Joseph J. Grano, Jr.
Edited on Mon Feb-14-05 03:25 AM by GettysbergII
SAIC's Content Analyst Product Division is basically their data mining products and they've sold them to a new 'privately (and apparently anonymously) funded' company named Content Analyst Company that has already named as Chairman of its Board of Directors Joseph J. Grano, Jr. who is currently Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council

http://www.saic.com/news/2005/jan/10.html
SAIC's Content Analyst Product Division Sold

New Company to Focus on Commercial Potential of the Content Analyst Technology

(MCLEAN, VA) - Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) today announced that it has sold its Content Analyst product division and all related intellectual property, including issued and pending patents on Latent Semantic Indexing, to Content Analyst Company, LLC, a newly-formed company based in Reston, Va.

SAIC has been developing this technology for six years, offering it to its federal customers. The new company will focus on further developing and improving this technology for the commercial market. The Content Analyst Company is being funded by a private investment group, and SAIC holds a minority interest in the new company. Content Analyst Company has appointed SAIC to serve as a reseller and preferred integrator of its products.


http://www.mysan.de/international/article32648.html

RESTON, Va., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Content Analyst Company, LLC today announced that Joseph J. Grano has joined the company as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Mr. Grano is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Centurion Holdings LLC, and was previously Chairman of UBS Financial Services Inc. (formerly UBS PaineWebber). He also serves as Chairman of the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In addition to being one of the financial service industry's leading executives, Mr. Grano is involved in a wide range of educational and philanthropic endeavors.
The other members of the Board of Directors of Content Analyst Company are Larry J. Peck, President of the Enterprise and Infrastructure Solutions Group of Science Applications International Corporation, Nasser J. Kazeminy, Chairman of NJK Holding Corporation, and John K. Ellingboe, President of Mergers and Acquisitions of NJK Holding Corporation.
Content Analyst Company was formed in December 2004 to acquire the Content Analyst product division of SAIC and all related intellectual property, including issued and pending patents on Latent Semantic Indexing. SAIC holds a minority interest in Content Analyst Company and will serve as a reseller and preferred, but not exclusive, integrator of the company's products.

For more information about Content Analyst Company, visit http://www.contentanalyst.com/.

More Info on Joseph J Grano

Joseph J. Grano
http://www.whitehouseforsale.org/ContributorsAndPaybacks/pioneer_profile.cfm?pioneer_ID=875
Ex-Green Berets Captain Joseph Grano worked 16 years at Merrill Lynch (see 1. Stanley ONeal) before becoming president of PaineWebber in 1994. After Switzerlands UBS Warburg acquired PaineWebber in 2000, it named Grano head of its new UBS Wealth Management USA arm (see James MacGilvray). UBS trans-Atlantic acquisition was made possible by then-Senate Banking Committee Chair Phil Gramm, who pushed through legislation to repeal a post-Depression ban on combining banking, brokerage and insurance operations. UBS then took care of Gramm, naming him a vice chair after he left the Senate in 2002. Gramm, who gave $612,000 of his Senate war chest to Texas Governor Rick Perry in 2002, has promoted a complex UBS deal in which the Texas state pension fund would take out life insurance policies on state workers. UBS relations with George W. Bush date back to 1987, when investment bank Stephens, Inc. (see Warren Stephens) convinced UBS to invest $25 million to keep Bushs Harken Energy afloat. UBS has weathered many recent corporate scandals. UBS broker Chung Wu was fired hours after he advised clients to sell Enron stock in August 2001, with management quickly notifying clients that, Mr. Wus statements are contrary to UBS PaineWebbers current recommendation concerning Enron. After Enron collapsed, UBS bought up its energy trading unit and twin skyscrapers. UBS and nine other big Wall Street firms agreed in 2002 to pay a record $1.4 billion to settle charges that their researchers promoted stocks of companies that kicked back lucrative underwriting contracts. UBS fired two brokers and disciplined nine others in 2003 for market-timing violations, when they allowed big investors to conduct rapid-fire mutual fund trades at the expense of regular investors. Congress is probing UBSs role at HealthSouth, which committed a $4.6 billion accounting fraud. UBS advised HealthSouth on $2 billion worth of deals and heavily promoted its stock after the accounting scandal broke. A lawsuit by HealthSouth investors alleged in 2004 that the company had told UBS bankers about its fraud as early as 1999. The U.S. Federal Reserve fined UBS $100 million in 2004 for violating a currency-exchange contract that prohibited providing U.S. currency to such U.S.-sanctioned countries as Cuba, Libya, and Iran. George W. Bushs administration reportedly considered Grano for a top economic post in 2002, when it axed Treasury Secretary Paul ONeill and Economic Advisor Lawrence Lindsey. President Bush appointed Grano in 2002 as chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (see Tom Ridge). Four other Pioneers (see Richard Davidson, Archie Dunham, Erle Nye and Steven Burd) sit on advisory councils for the Department of Homeland Security, which has a $30 billion budget. Grano was one of the investors who sold a majority stake in the Maryland Jockey Club racetrack in 2002. The terms of sale entitle Grano and other influential sellers to a cut of any future track earnings from slot machines, the Baltimore Sun reported, if Maryland legalizes slots.
http://www.neco.org/awards/recipients/jjgrano.html



http://www.the-catbird-seat.net/CITIGROUP.htm
One example is Joseph J. Grano, Jr., a top Bush fund-raiser and chairman of the 1. Homeland Security Advisory Council. Grano is the former chariman of an American subsidiary of the Swiss bank UBS AG and was one of the banks six executive board members. He now runs a consulting firm, Centurion Holdings LLC.
The bank paid a $14,750 penalty for permitting a 2001 funds transfer to Iraq. UBS also paid a $100 million fine to the Federal Reserve this year after regulators discovered that UBS workers in Zurich traded billions of dollars worth of U.S. currency with Iran, Libya, Cuba and Yugoslavia between 1996 and 2003.
Some of that cash ended up in Iraq, where U.S. troops seized hundreds of millions of dollars last year some still in wrappings from the New York Federal Reserve Bank....


Top U.S. contractors had run-ins with government
http://www.the-catbird-seat.net/HomelandSecurity.htm

Other members of the new company:




http://www.tpj.org/docs/pioneers/pioneers_view.jsp?id=875

1. Joseph J. Grano
Occupation: Chair & CEO
Employer: UBS Wealth Management USA
Home: New York, NY
Ex-Green Berets Captain Joseph Grano worked 16 years at Merrill Lynch (see Stanley ONeal) before becoming president of PaineWebber in 1994. After Switzerlands UBS Warburg acquired PaineWebber in 2000, it named Grano head of its new UBS Wealth Management USA arm (see James MacGilvray). UBS trans-Atlantic acquisition was made possible by then-Senate Banking Committee Chair Phil Gramm, who pushed through legislation to repeal a post-Depression ban on combining banking, brokerage and insurance operations. UBS then took care of Gramm, naming him a vice chair after he left the Senate in 2002. Gramm, who gave $612,000 of his Senate war chest to Texas Governor Rick Perry in 2002, has promoted a complex UBS deal in which the Texas state pension fund would take out life insurance policies on state workers. UBS relations with George W. Bush date back to 1987, when investment bank Stephens, Inc. (see Warren Stephens) convinced UBS to invest $25 million to keep Bushs Harken Energy afloat. UBS has weathered many recent corporate scandals. UBS broker Chung Wu was fired hours after he advised clients to sell Enron stock in August 2001, with management quickly notifying clients that, Mr. Wus statements are contrary to UBS PaineWebbers current recommendation concerning Enron. After Enron collapsed, UBS bought up its energy trading unit and twin skyscrapers. UBS and nine other big Wall Street firms agreed in 2002 to pay a record $1.4 billion to settle charges that their researchers promoted stocks of companies that kicked back lucrative underwriting contracts. UBS fired two brokers and disciplined nine others in 2003 for market-timing violations, when they allowed big investors to conduct rapid-fire mutual fund trades at the expense of regular investors. Congress is probing UBSs role at HealthSouth, which committed a $4.6 billion accounting fraud. UBS advised HealthSouth on $2 billion worth of deals and heavily promoted its stock after the accounting scandal broke. A lawsuit by HealthSouth investors alleged in 2004 that the company had told UBS bankers about its fraud as early as 1999. The U.S. Federal Reserve fined UBS $100 million in 2004 for violating a currency-exchange contract that prohibited providing U.S. currency to such U.S.-sanctioned countries as Cuba, Libya, and Iran. George W. Bushs administration reportedly considered Grano for a top economic post in 2002, when it axed Treasury Secretary Paul ONeill and Economic Advisor Lawrence Lindsey. President Bush appointed Grano in 2002 as chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (see Tom Ridge). Four other Pioneers (see Richard Davidson, Archie Dunham, Erle Nye and Steven Burd) sit on advisory councils for the Department of Homeland Security, which has a $30 billion budget. Grano was one of the investors who sold a majority stake in the Maryland Jockey Club racetrack in 2002. The terms of sale entitle Grano and other influential sellers to a cut of any future track earnings from slot machines, the Baltimore Sun reported, if Maryland legalizes slots.

Membership
2000 cycle; Minor League Pioneer
2000 cycle; Major League Pioneer
2004 cycle; Major League Pioneer
2004 cycle; Ranger
Of Special Interest
Bush Appointee
Corportate or Campaign Scandal
Corporate Welfare Recipient/Dispenser
Lobbyist
White House Sleepover Guest


http://www.public-i.org/bop2004/report.aspx?aid=220
Top Ten Donors to Bush During the Last Four Months and Their Connections to His Bundlers
$71,350 UBS AG Inc. UBS Wealth Management USA CEO Joseph J. Grano

http://bama.ua.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0501&L=content&T=0&F=&S=&P=59
EE Times
U.S. cyber-security official resigns
January 12, 2005
WASHINGTON The Homeland Security Department's top
cyber-security official has resigned, raising new
questions about the agency's commitment to computer
security as the number of cyber attacks grows.

The agency announced this week (Jan. 11) that Robert
Liscouski, assistant secretary for infrastructure, is
leaving in early February to return to the private
sector. He is expected to become CEO of Content
Analysis Co. LLC (Reston, Va.).



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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Shell companies, Crossing the lines setting up "Holding Companies, LLC's
all with tentacles into Wall St., US Government, Governments abroad...same names popping up over and over...Phil Gramm and his wife Wendy...who were in big trouble both vanish and Phil pops up being rewarded for this...how many other Senators/Congresspersons have interests in this...and how does the average American begin to understand this, since they couldn't even understand why Enron was a huge problem?

It's all out of control. Scanning what's posted here (and DU'ers have been onto this for years, now) just makes my head hurt. How does one ever sort this tangled web of influence out when we can't even get Enron prosecuted after all this time. Major Wall St. swindles and just "taps on the hand and fines." Major government contracts which have been let out under the "umbrella of privatization," where former Government Insiders rake in the dollars through their connections. And, it always comes back to the name "Bush" and the others from previous administrations going back to Nixon.

Our Government is now a Corporation and our Votes are Privatized and controlled. It just leads to depression if we can't figure out what can be done about this. And, how does an average person figure out how this can be investigated?

I think we will have to wait until this monster collapses under it's own weight of fraud and crookedness and hope that it doesn't take us all down with it. :grr:
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Think Patriot Act. What's particularly scary about this new company
Edited on Mon Feb-14-05 11:05 PM by GettysbergII
Bush Urges Renewal of Patriot Act
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=6&u=/ap/20050214/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush

is its main focus is data mining, it's very strongly linked to the Department of Homeland Security, it sounds like they cherry picked some SAIC personnel to come aboard, it has bigtime Bush pioneers and rangers running its board, and the CEO is going to be Robert Liscouski, the Homeland Security Department's top cyber-security official. I think the Bush Adm would like nothing better than to start intimidating and arresting internet activists. This company could be a major vehicle for that.

http://bama.ua.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0501&L=content&T=0&F=&S=&P=59

Other bigtime Bush fundraiser on the board besideds Grano is Nasser J. Kazeminy, Chairman of NJK Holding Corporation
http://www.motherjones.com/news/special_reports/mojo_400/mojo_400_detail.cgi?contrib=00000055645

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Lydia Guerra Donating Member (138 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
12. Good Work, Gettysburg II & kick
Thanks for staying on top of these issues. We must be ever vigilant and keep ourselves informed lest we become complacent. The revolution continues.
Gracias por todo,
Lydia
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
13. In Dun & Bradstreet's Million Dollar Directory, copyright 2004
they list Robert Urosevich as Pres. & COO of Diebold Election Systems.
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Did RObert Urosevich quit Diebold?
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Urosevich is President of Diebold Election Systems
Dkosopedia has Urosevich as president of Diebold Election Systems which is a division of Diebold, Inc, (as opposed to Urosevich being president of Diebold,Inc. I believe he's considered to be a VP of Diebold, Inc)
http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Diebold#Officers_and_contact_information

Officers and contact information

* Walden O'Dell - Chairman, C.E.O.
* Eric Evans - President, C.O.O.
* Gregory Geswein - Sr. V.P., C.F.O.
* David Bucci - Sr. V.P., Customer Solutions
* Thomas Swidarski - Sr. V.P., Strategic Development and Global Marketing

Walden O'Dell was appointed as C.E.O. of Diebold in 1999 and was made Chairman of the company in April of 2000. O'Dell had been an executive of Emerson Electric Co. which makes electronics products, tools, and industrial equipment. O'Dell was hired to help with international expansion of Diebold.

Diebold, Inc.
5995 Mayfair Road
North Canton, OH 44720-8077 U.S.A.
Phone: 330 490-4000
Fax: 330 588-3794

Diebold Election Systems

Diebold Election Systems, Inc. is a wholly owned operating subsidiary of Diebold, Inc. that manufactures and assembles electronic vote tabulating equipment. Its chief officers are

* Robert Urosevich - President
* Larry Dix - VP Operations
* Ian Piper - Manufacturing Manager
* Mike Rasmussen - Chief Financial Officer




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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Right --so these folks have it wrong
Coverage Of The SAIC Diebold Report
MARYLAND USES HUGE CIA-DOD CONTRACTOR TO JUSTIFY E-VOTING SYSTEM

TOM STUCKEY ASSOCIATED PRESS - Maryland will go ahead with plans to buy $55.6 million worth of electronic voting machines, relying on a consultant's report that state officials say shows numerous potential security problems

<snip>

Thomas W. Swidarski, president of Diebold Election Systems, said the SAIC study "verifies that the Diebold voting station provides an unprecedented level of election security."


http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=7889

In addition:
CFO- S. Micheal Rasmussen
CEO--Brian Courtney
VP--Talbot R. Iredale
Controller-M.E. Sokulski
Quality Control Manager--Barney Lucas

From the Million Dollar directory by D&B

Who is the Accounting firm for SCIA?
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. LMAO. Really bizarre. Diebold has press releases on their website
Edited on Tue Feb-15-05 11:09 PM by GettysbergII
in alternating months in 2003 quoting both Urosevich and SWidarski as president of Diebold Election Systems but the site itself does not name any officers of Diebold Election Systems.

http://www.diebold.com/news/newsdisp.asp?id=2943
March 17, 2003
DIEBOLD SELECTED AS SUPPLIER FOR E- VOTING TOUCH-SCREEN SYSTEM IN COLLIN COUNTY, TEXAS
Our touch-screen election technology was validated in November when more than 34,000 Diebold voting systems successfully tabulated millions of votes in jurisdictions throughout the country during the general election, said Robert J. Urosevich, president of Diebold Election Systems. Our unmatched stable of resources enables us to effectively implement the largest statewide and countywide deployments in the country.

http://www6.diebold.com/dieboldes/md.htm
September 24, 2003
Diebold Election Systems Moves Forward With Maryland Voting Machine Installation
We are pleased to be moving forward, said Thomas W. Swidarski, president of Diebold Election Systems. The thorough system assessment conducted by SAIC verifies that the Diebold voting station provides an unprecedented level of election security.



http://www.diebold.com/news/newsdisp.asp?id=3033
December 5, 2003
DIEBOLD ELECTION SYSTEMS SOFTWARE ENHANCEMENTS REQUIRED BY OHIO ALREADY IN USE IN MARYLAND

McKINNEY, Texas Diebold Election Systems, Inc. (NYSE: DBD), the nations largest manufacturer of electronic election technology, embraces the Ohio election system review process and its conclusions to further advance the growth and development of the electronic voting industry.

We are fully committed to meet each of the system design recommendations and to work with the Secretary of State to address election processes and procedural issues, said Bob Urosevich, president, Diebold Election Systems, Inc. With our 144-year history of providing secure, accurate solutions for our customers, we look forward to providing these proven enhancements for voters within our home state of Ohio.

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rigel99 Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #13
23. Diebold's Shady Family Tree...
This was a fun little project.. follow the connections....
check out my Diebold Shady Family Tree....
http://www.countpaperballots.com/diebold-shady-family-tree.htm

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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. Cool! Is that your website? (nm)
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rigel99 Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 09:15 PM
Original message
yes...
www.countpaperballots.com

the official site of election Fraud in GA, with all it's glory.. it's ugly but it's my baby... hee hee...
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
34. That's a very powerful powerpoint on your site.
Are you the author of that too? Really got me up to speed on Georgia. How much popular support is there in Georgia for a fraud investigation? Is it getting any play in local media?

I noticed the reference to Bilderburg on the Diebold Shady Family Tree page. There's still alot of resistance to the idea that such widespread stealth organizations really are pulling alot of the strings in all this. Unfortunately regardless of the validity of the idea, its probably not the best way to go about mobilizing popular support at this moment for the vote fraud issue in the USA.

However there just couldn't be the kind of media lockdown we've seen without a lot of 'bipartisan' pressure from the overall ruling class. And the big 'bipartisan' organization in this country is the Council on Foreign Relations. I think the CFR would like to keep the vote fraud mess as an matter to be deal with internally and away from rabble if at all possible. But I doubt they will have the werewithal to reign in the right wing extremists in and outside the CFR that are orchestrating this rather sloppy mess without breaking a whole bunch of eggs.

ANyway I think Laurence Shoup has done the best analytic work on the CFR and in fact the validity of Shoup's work is recognised by the CFR itself. In the For Further Reading section of the Council on Foreign Relation's own website (http://www.cfr.org), Peter Grosse, managing editor and then executive editor of Foreign Affairs from 1984 to 1993, writes:

The most important critical analysis of the Council is: Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977)

Fortunately Shoup has written two recent articles for Z Magazine on the Councils role in promoting the Iraq War and on the 2004 Election. The former, Behind the Bipartisan Drive Toward War , is available to everybody on line at:

http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Mar2003/shoup0303.html

The latter, Bush, Kerry, and the CFR is available only to subscribers for one more month until it goes to archives and is available to all. Nevertheless it can be found at:

http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Oct2004/Oct04TOC.html

I'd be happy to email a copy of the article to anybody interested in reading it if you let me know your email address

Finally, I composed the following outline on the Council of Foreign Relations based on the work of Lawrence Shoup:

* Mr. Shoup gave the names of Harris and Blackwell in a phone conversation and the rest are from his two recent articles in Z magazine. Mr. Shoup agreed with me that Vote Fraud would be in the CFR bailiwick as they have a lot of experience with that from their work in other countries.)

Council of Foreign Relations

A. CFR Members involved with Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 elections

1.Katherine Harris

2.J. Kenneth Blackwell

B.Members of CFR involved candidates or members of current administration

1.John Kerry

2.Dick Chaney

3.Colin Powell

4.Condolezza Rice

5.Paul Wolfowitz

6.John Negroponte

C.Other significant political figures that are CFR members

Presidents: George H.W. Bush (former member), James Earl Carter, Bill Clinton, Gerald R. Ford

Vice Presidents: Richard B. Cheney, Walter F. Mondale

Secretaries of State: Madeleine Albright, James A. Baker III, Warren Christopher, Alexander M. Haig Jr., Henry A. Kissinger, Colin L. Powell, William D. Rogers, George P. Shultz

National Security Advisors: Richard V. Allen, Samuel Berger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry A. Kissinger, W. Anthony Lake, Robert C. McFarlane, Condoleezza Rice, W.W. Rostow, Brent Scowcroft

Secretaries of Defense: Harold Brown, Frank C. Carlucci, Richard B. Cheney, William S. Cohen, Robert S. McNamara, Casper W. Weinberger

CIA Directors: Richard Helms, George Tenet, Stansfield Turner, William Webster, Frank G. Wisner II, R. James Woolsey

U.S. Senators and Congresspersons: Howard H. Baker Jr., Alfonse M. D'Mato, William H. Danforth, Christopher J. Dodd, Richard A. Gephardt, Newton L. Gingrich, Barney Frank, Peter H.B. Frelinghuysen, Geraldine A. Ferraro, Bob Graham, Chuck Hagel, Jane Harman, Gary Hart, Bob Kerrey, John F. Kerry, Joseph I. Lieberman, George S. McGovern, Daniel P. Moynihan, Claiborne Pell, Charles H. Percy, Warren B. Rudman, Charles E. Schumer, Steven J. Solarz, Adlai E. Stevenson, Robert G. Torricelli, John William Warner

D. Corporate Directors on CFR

American Insurance Group and Citigroup: Eight directors

J.P. Morgan Chase, Boeing: Six directors

The Blackstone Group, Conoco, Disney/ABC: Five directors

Kissinger-McLarty Associates, IBM, Exxon Mobil, Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, Viacom/CBS, Time Warner: Four directors

The Carlyle Group, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse First Boston. Washington Post/Newsweek, Chevron Texaco, Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Alliance Capital: Three directors

E. The CFR and the Ruling Class

1.Prime characteristic of the U.S. upper class is its high level of organization.

2.Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is a central organization of the ruling class

3.CFR is the most influential of all private policy planning groups.

4.Greatest strength is mainly exercised behind the scenes

5.Unique position among policy groups: both a think tank for foreign and economic policy and also has a large membership comprising some of the most important individuals in U.S. economic, intellectual, and political life.

6.The Council has a yearly budget of about $30 million and a staff of over 200.

7.CFR's goals are to continuously work out the general framework for American foreign policy and to keep public debate within respectable bounds acceptable to the corporate power structure and the wealthy upper class it serves.

F. CFR Overlapping Think Tank Activities

1.Influential Forums

a) mainly held in New York and Washington, DC

b) senior government, corporate leaders, prominent intellectuals, and foreign dignitaries meet with Council members to discuss and debate the U.S. role in the world and the strategy and tactics required to accomplish U.S. Goals.

2.Organizing and implementing a wide-ranging studies program

a) CFR fellows draw on members and others to collectively study a foreign policy issue.

b) result of this work is then reported and often presented to government officials as policy recommendations.

3. Occupy positions in government

a) Council employees and members are often tapped to serve in the federal government in appointed positions,

b) number also serve as elected officials, especially at the higher levels.

4. CFR publishes Foreign Affairs magazine

a) prints study group recommendations written by a prominent CFR fellow or member and in this way shapes policy debates as they emerge.

b) published recommendation are widely and correctly understood to result largely from the efforts and thinking of the entire group

G. Council's second key source of power

1)Membership function

a) more informal, involving a network of almost 4,200 members from many backgrounds and professions

b) membership in the Council is by invitation only and is bipartisan

c)member must be a U.S. citizen who has been nominated and seconded by other CFR members and elected by the Board of Directors.

ci)two-thirds live in the New York and Washington, DC areas.

d)31% (1,299 individuals) are from the corporate business sector

di)25% (1,071 individuals) coming from varied academic settings
(professors, university administrators, researchers, fellows).

dii)15% nonprofits (640)

diii)13% government (541)

div)8% law (319)

dv) 6% media (248),

dvi)2% other� (74).

dvii) Members pay a yearly fee on a sliding scale, depending on age, occupation, and residence

e) sample of membership includes:

David Rockefeller

Henry Kissinger

Peter G. Peterson

George Soros

Maurice Greenberg

Robert Rubin

George P. Shultz

Alan Greenspan

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Richard Cheney

George Tenet

John Sweeney

Jessie Jackson

Jimmy Carter

Bill Clinton

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Richard J. Barnet

Daniel Schorr.

2)Corporate membership:

a) executives from 200 搇eading international companies representing a range of sectors� participate in special CFR programs.

b) corporations representing capital in its most abstract forms梩he financial sector, the largest commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, and strategic planning corporations梐re most heavily represented in the Council.

c) Petroleum, military, and media companies also have fairly close connections




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BamaBecky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
18. The folks behind the "break-in" are looking at "stock holdings"
perhaps?.......trying to track the 29 million "Five Star Trust" money....follow the money....somebody is trying to follow the money....or so it would appear to me??
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. I'm hoping its part of a growing war among factions of the ruling class..
Edited on Tue Feb-15-05 11:08 PM by GettysbergII
...but it could just be the SAIC destroying incriminating evidence before the Patriot Act and other secret and unconstitutional abuses of our civil rights allow for hooking up all public and corporate databases for datamining by the SAIC/Homeland Security run Content Analyst Company. Or maybe I'm just unusually paranoid today and the break in was justdone by a lone gunman. :shrug:
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. kick
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BamaBecky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. Who knows, you are probably more right than I am, sure is INTERESTING! n/t
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rigel99 Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
22. some SAIC background...
I used to work for Telcordia and indirectly, SAIC.... turned down a VP position once... good for me.... gnarly unethical company...
Dr. Bob Beyster hated women so much would make them sit in chairs
behind the row of chairs around the board table, even when those women were closing million dollar buyout deals... sad sad misogynist man....

of course my information could be dated, it's not the same company since Dr. Bob Beyster left the company, but SAIC is a huge monster that encourages competition within divisions...so while there could be a pro-diebold writing the security software for Diebold division, there is probably also another division working with Sec. of States offices to analyze or point out flaws in Diebold.. so bottom line, SAIC is a snake with venom on both ends....not to be trusted as both sides are willing to bite....

when I worked for them, they ran their VCC Venture Capital Corporation out of Vegas to avoid taxes and for other nefarious reasons... they had accidentally made $2BN on the Verisign lucky IPO during the dotcom revolution and were buying companies like mad... even the Bear stearns guys admired our purchases (as I was working as a ventures person for SAIC thru Telcordia), as we did what is called in the industry 0 risk investing.. the thing I learned is that EX-CIA folks get whatever they want, literally, in government, in corporations, whatever because they have the tools and network to do anything...

now this breakin is interesting for 2 reasons. #1 I felt there was going to be a CIA vs. DOD war as soon as Rumsfeld starting hoarding budget and power... and this is apparently what is happening and this break-in may just be part of that larger war (meaning we think in our myopic world that election fraud is everything, but these guys are fighting for trillion dollar budgets and control of the unfree world).... so while SAIC may have some folks hired in Iraq, clearly the old guard CIA folks are feeling egotistically like their turf has been usurped by old rummy, in a weird way, I want this snake eating snake to play out because, again, what I learned is that SAIC employeees, were always the quiet ones on the meetings who you knew at some point killed people for a living, so they usually got what they want because of their network of expert information gurus and international killing machine... heard the tale of an SAIC guy nabbing a 9/11 terrorist off a train in Chicago shortly after the event..

Bull, Inc. was always a joke, they had their own little fake Nasdaq and set the stock price very month on a whim (pretended it was formulaic) but still just another Bob Beyster scheme to keep more of his employee's money (even though the stock did well if you got it early, it performed less admirably in later years, as few of his universe of acquisitions did anything but stay fee for services and never took off as a recurring revenue stream...), that this happened at Bull is interesting because every employee would be listed at Bull and that may lead to some interesting connections....

I'm watching this with great excitement, considering my friend said, 'Don't work for SAIC, they are the ones at the parties in DC that start drinking the martinis at 6pm, and are still drinking them at 3 am in the morning'

this whole thing makes me want a few more martinis....
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. What exactly does Telcordia do, Rigel?
Great story by the way! There's nothing like first hand experience. Thanks for sharing it.

One last thing, do you know if SAIC was directly involved with the elections in Iraq and if not who was?
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rigel99 Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Telcordia
was the old Bellcore that at one time was Bell Labs or AT&T / Bellcore and Lucent all in one company, but Bell Labs got split up and they became 3 sep. enttities.. AT&T took the 'services' Lucent took the hardware and Bellcore took the software..

Bellcore / specifically my division invented some cool things, Pete invented/wrote AIN specs which became the foundation of GSM / wireless networks worldwide... my buddy Stan, invented caller ID, and the never successful but still cool ADSI screen phones (too bad they never made it to market)... I invented in 94 the concept of unified messaging (another never brought to market technology, but nonetheless cool, check out www.webley.com).. who else.. Steve Walters invented ATM and others at Bellcore invented VOIP voice over IP...

they were bought by SAIC when the RBOCs stopped giving them money to do R&D for them and Telcordia could not really ever figure out how to market it's awesome technology.. when I left there were over a 100 patents on the shelf ... shame really, there really still is a role for a govt' funded or industry funded pure R&D shop.... but it has to be protected because the cost for marketing are in conflict with the costs of pure research.. I wonder how the US will survive without a pure R&D group or govt' funding to drive new telecomms technology to market, while europe and Japan continue to widen the gap of wireless connectivity to the US.... our rural areas are a sham, no connectivity at all, and in Japan, you can buy a WIFI / VOIP phone that gives you unlimited everything for $35/month...

anyway... I'm a telco head in case you haven't noticed.....

RE: the Iraq govt' piece... I'll make some calls.... someone I know should know....
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. Thanks! And an interesting history lesson to boot.
I had an old buddy that recently passed away that went to work for Bell Tel right out of HS in the 60s and worked his way up. I remember him telling me (on one of those evening we had a few too many 'for the ditch') around the time they started to break Bell up that Bell had so many inventions just sitting on the shelf that it would take decades to implement them all. He be pissed to think SAIC ended up owning alot of them.
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rigel99 Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. don't worry...
saic doesn't know what to do with them either....
they pretty much left Telcordia alone to die a slow death....
and the RBOCs will have their revenues continue to decline with cablecos beating them up, and all the consolidation in the world, they have to do WIFI or risk losing any profit they have...
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 04:33 AM
Response to Original message
24. kick n/t
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. consider that the CIA Owns an unknown # of corps. CACI may be owned
by the CIA--for instance. So they can turn a profit and use the money for anything--Some say the real Budget --official appropriations and profits may be in the 50 to 80 billion area. The Official intel budget is ---ah I forget--- 40-45 billion
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. That "CIA Black Budget" stuff is...well, spooky. n/t
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #26
46. Richard Armitage was a board member of both CACI and Choice Point
Edited on Sat Feb-19-05 02:34 AM by GettysbergII
Also a bd member of General Dynamics and a member of PNAC

http://counterpunch.org/palmer06152004.html

May 1999: CACI adds a new member to its board, Richard Armitage, who will later be Deputy Sec. of State in the administration of President George W. Bush. <6>

http://www.nndb.com/people/416/000024344/

Richard Armitage

Richard ArmitageAKA Richard Lee Armitage

Born: 26-Apr-1945
Birthplace: Boston, MA

Gender: Male
Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Government

Level of fame: Niche
Executive summary: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

Military service: US Navy (1967-73)

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State under George W. Bush. Principal, Armitage Associates.

University: US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD (1967)

U.S. Ambassador
Defense Policy Board Secretary
Raytheon Special Advisory Board
Member of the Board of CACI International
Member of the Board of Choicepoint
Member of the Board of General Dynamics
Project for the New American Century
Iran-Contra Scandal



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BamaBecky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
28. Today on NPR, I heard that "Cross Point" had been "hacked into"
First SAIC, now Cross Point? Does anybody else wonder if there is a connection?
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Interesting company. Got a llink to the story?
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demo dutch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #30
38. Not Cross Point in the Netherlands, "Choice Point" in GA
Edited on Thu Feb-17-05 01:55 PM by demo dutch
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BamaBecky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Thank you for setting me straight - my memory leaves a lot to be desired..
thank you!
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DU GrovelBot  Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
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rigel99 Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
36. BIG NEWS...
just heard on GA evening news tonite...

Choicepoint had 700 identities stolen from their databases in offices in GA.... this seems connected timing wise with the SAIC theft...

what if someone is looking for something to take down the Bush administration... what if it's that big.... either way, it should be an interesting series of news to watch....
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-18-05 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #36
42. Choice Point and SAIC both major right wing data mining outfits involved
Edited on Fri Feb-18-05 08:02 PM by GettysbergII
in election shananigans.....

Choice Point first came to prominence as the outfit that 'mined' the bogus Election 2000 felony list that ended up being 90% African Americans with misdemeaners, parking tickets, or totally clean records unjustly prevented from voting. Doesn't quite have the decade long pedigree is treasonous larceny that SAIC does but its catching up fast


http://www.sptimes.ru/archive/times/904/opinion/o_10419.htm
Meanwhile, the shadowy defense contractor SAIC has jumped into the vote-counting game, both directly and through spin-offs by its top brass, including Admiral Bill Owens - former military aide to Dick Cheney and Carlyle honcho Frank Carlucci - and ex-CIA chief Robert Gates.

The mad rush to install unverifiable computer voting is driven by the Help America Vote Act, signed by Bush last year. The chief lobbying group pushing for HAVA was a consortium of arms dealers - those disinterested corporate citizens - including Northup-Grumman and Lockheed-Martin. The bill also mandates that all states adopt the computerized "ineligible voter purge" system which Jeb used to eliminate 91,000 eligible black voters from the Florida rolls in 2000. The Republican-run private company that accomplished this electoral miracle, Choice Point, is bagging the lion's share of the new Bush-ordered purge contracts.


Here's some snapshots of the Choice Point data mining operation that sounds fully as dangerous as SAIC's. Something is definiting smelling like shit in Demark. Either the Rightwing is purging any incriminating files in the two companies before the national Big Brother database goes online through the Patriot Act, Homeland Security and Negroponte or left of fascism faction of the CIA/DoD/State Dept has picked up the gauntlet would be my best bets and probably in that order.


http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2002/02march/march02corp3.html

Electoral Purges and Personal Data Rifling
Any national ID card system would have at its core a massive inter-linked database replete with personal details of U.S. citizens. The information in the databases would likely be used to determine the eligibility of U.S. citizens for a number of privileges, including the right to vote. But databases often contain errors, and the consequences can be catastrophic. The problem of erroneous information was never more evident than in the 2000 Florida presidential election.
In 1998, Floridas Secretary of State Katherine Harris undertook to cleanse the states electoral rolls of unqualified voters. The $4 million job of sifting through the rolls and purging them went to DBT Online (now known as Database Technologies), the Boca Raton, Florida-based subsidiary of Choice Point, Inc. Choice Point had originally spun off from the giant credit data firm Equifax. Using the massive criminal history, credit, motorist, insurance and other personal files amassed by its parent Choice Point and CDB Infotek, another Choice Point subsidiary, DBT determined that a number of Florida voters, mainly African-Americans, were not qualified to vote when, in fact, they were. Those ruled ineligible to vote included 8,000 Floridians listed as felons in a Texas database. However, many of the individuals were guilty of only misdemeanors and therefore should not have been stripped of their voting rights under Florida rules.
Choice Point later admitted that it made a mistake when it provided the erroneous list from Texas to Florida. If even a small percentage of the disenfranchised African Americans had been able to vote, both the Florida election and the electoral college could have been tipped in favor of Vice President Al Gore.
While Choice Point got egg on its face with the Florida election, it definitely sees a new lease on life in providing personal data to hungry government law enforcement and intelligence agencies, especially if the data is used to verify information contained in a gigantic national ID card database.
That prospect has already triggered a legal complaint filed with the U.S. Departments of Justice and Treasury by EPIC. The privacy group alleges that the governments use of personal information enables agencies like the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, and Secret Service to obtain confidential information on citizens in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974. According to a travel security industry insider, if the TSA adopts the ICTS passenger profiling system, computer terminals at airport check-in points would link directly to government databases containing information from public sources like the FBI and private sources like Choice Point. If Choice Point repeats the Florida fiasco and makes erroneous information available to the federal government for passenger screening purposes, innocent passengers could find themselves denied permission to board flights.

Data Miners Abound
Choice Point, along with Oracle, Microsoft, Booz, Allen and Hamilton, and a rival of Choice Point, Information Builders, were front and center at a Homeland Security seminar and exhibition held in Washington this past December. The homeland security gathering saw hundreds of government officials with procurement authority eagerly approaching the security vendors to seek information on their offerings and products.
And it has not just been contractors and procurement officials eager to feed at the homeland security budget trough. Representative Curt Weldon, R-Pennsylvania, is pushing the Bush administration and Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge to establish a National Operations and Analysis Hub (NOAH), a supercomputer-based Internet data mining system that would assist the military and intelligence community in pulling information of interest from the world wide web. For years, Weldon has maneuvered to win Congressional support for a supercomputer project led by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a major defense and intelligence contractor. The project, called HUBS (Hospitals, Universities, Businesses and Schools), links computer systems in Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. HUBS was the brainchild of Dr. Da Hsuan Feng, Weldons former technical adviser on the House Subcommittee on Military Research and Development, which Weldon chairs. Dr. Feng is now a vice president of SAIC at the firms King of Prussia facility, also situated in Weldons district. SAIC not only manages HUBS, which has received more than $25 million in federal financing, but stands to profit from NOAH, which Weldon proposes be headquartered in his district.
For its part, the FBI, by trying to amass even greater amounts of personal data, is whittling away at federal and state privacy laws. FBI Director Robert Mueller told a January meeting of U.S. mayors in Washington that his bureau required a new communication system to digitize information and share information more quickly and widely. One of the stumbling blocks in sharing information contained in the FBI-run National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer is that current federal statutes prevent it from being expanded to include information from states and local governments without prior Congressional approval. Also, state privacy laws limit the types of personal information that can be collected and with whom it can be shared. Bills recently submitted in Congress will remedy this situation by providing state and local police access to FBI-held information, including contents of wiretapped phone calls and e-mail, bugged conversations, raw evidence collected by grand juries, and information derived from the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies.


http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/08/07/1427223
A Florida law enforcement data-sharing network is about to go national. In the name of counterterrorism, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are pouring millions of dollars into the system to expand it to local law enforcement agencies across the nation. It's called Matrix, which stands for Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange. According to the Washington Post, the computer network accesses information that has always been available to investigators but brings it together and enables police to access it with extraordinary speed. Civil liberties and privacy groups say the Matrix system dramatically increases the ability of local police to snoop on individuals.
The Florida company that built the database was founded by the man behind ChoicePoint and Database Technologies. The companies administered the contract that stripped thousands of African Americans from the Florida voter roles before the 2000 election

http://www.gregpalast.com/printerfriendly.cfm?artid=219
B: The big question is, obviously you touch on how Choice Point was going out an pitching to other states, and even Senators pushing as well, to make the Florida method the standard.

GP: Yes, well two things have happened. Number one, Choice Point after I outed them announced they were getting out of the voter purge business. But, they picked their president and now their president has picked them. According to Forbes, they are the winners of the War on Terror. They're getting the big contracts that they bid on for the War on Terror. They've moved on.

B: When you talk about the centralized voter database, that really becomes a reality when you consider Total Information Awareness and some of the programs under the US Patriot Act.

GP: You got it. Remember, in Patriot Act the "T" stands for "Tools." And that is all about using databases. The very day that George W. Bush decided that we cannot give medical care to women on Medicaid is the same day that he announced a billion dollar increase to expand the DNA database of the FBI. They want your blood. Who is the biggest supplier to the FBI of the DNA info? Choice Point. There she blows, they picked the president and he picked them. They do the intake on airport profiling. When data is mined, it's their data.

http://talkleft.com/new_archives/004021.html
U.S. Data-Mining of Latin American Citizens
Last April, we wrote about Choice Point, a company hired by the U.S. to collect data on hundreds of millions of citizens of Latin American countries.
During the past 18 months, the U.S. government has bought access to data on hundreds of millions of residents of 10 Latin American countries --apparently without their consent or knowledge --allowing myriad federal agencies to track foreigners entering and living in the United States.
A suburban Atlanta company, ChoicePoint Inc., collects the information abroad and sells it to U.S. government officials in three dozen agencies, including immigration investigators who've used it to arrest illegal immigrants


Meet Derek V Smith, Choice Point CEO, and one scary mo'hucker:

http://www.xposed.com/gadgets/terrorism_-_terror_and_how_derek_v_smith_can_stop_it.aspx

Terrorism - Terror And How Derek V. Smith Can Stop It
Xposed, May 2004
By BRIAN BERGSTEIN

NEW YORK - Derek V. Smith sees bad people lurking everywhere: terrorists, sexual predators, quack doctors, identity thieves. And yet Smith colors himself an optimist, insisting that society can protect itself from such dicey characters, using information as a shield.


In Smith's view, if we did more to examine each other's digital footprints _ addresses, employment records, credit data, lawsuits, criminal files, professional licenses, vehicle registrations _ the world would be safer.

Not surprisingly, Smith can supply much of that information _ he heads ChoicePoint Inc., a leading electronic data warehouse regularly mined by companies and the government. ChoicePoint does 8 million background checks a year, serving more than half of the Fortune 500.

Database aggregators like ChoicePoint have quietly become powerful arbiters, whirring in the background when people seek jobs, get on airplanes, apply for insurance, commit a crime or fall victim to one. ChoicePoint's computers are packed with 19 billion public records.

That wide reach has made privacy activists suspicious. They worry that the ChoicePoints of the world don't do enough to safeguard information that, while often technically public, has never before been so efficiently and completely gathered in one place.

Smith, however, is here to tell you that database companies and privacy advocates need not be so adversarial.

He's on a charm offensive of sorts this spring, releasing two books about fighting risks in the information age and talking up a sure-to-be-controversial plan for a high-tech ID card.

Smith's goal is to provoke a debate that he hopes will lead to a consensus _ and possibly new federal laws _ governing how database technologies can be used to improve national security without destroying individual privacy.

"If Mr. Smith calls for a debate, I welcome it," said Jerry Berman, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology. "We haven't had a coherent way to discuss these issues. We haven't had a 9/11 commission on privacy, and we won't have one until something goes off the rails. And then, it's too late."

With his plainspoken style and an accent tinged by a childhood on Long Island, Smith, 49, says 21st-century data mining can restore feelings of security that permeated America's small-town past.

"We knew the people who coached our children. We knew the people that were our physicians. We had an insight into the people that influenced our lives," Smith said in an interview. "Now today, people influence our lives who live geographically far, in a diverse way, yet we need to know more about those people."

That may sound like an awfully romantic spin on database technology, which is, after all, big business.

Since being spun off in 1997 from credit giant Equifax Inc., Alpharetta, Ga.-based ChoicePoint has become an $800 million institution that acquires a company _ along with its data trove _ every two months. ChoicePoint owns a DNA analysis lab, facilitates drug testing for employers and recently began selling background-checking CD-ROMs at Sam's Club.

But Smith says ChoicePoint is careful in its choices. For example, he says he opposes three data-mining projects that have alarmed civil libertarians: the Pentagon's now-quashed Total Information Awareness system, the CAPPS II airline passenger screening system and the Matrix multistate crime and terrorism network. CAPPS and Matrix get data from ChoicePoint rivals.

To Smith, each follows a flawed model: assembling a huge pool of data on people and then mining it to look for suspicious patterns or evidence that might be relevant to a case.

Instead, Smith believes disparate collections of data should remain separate until an investigator has probable cause to put the pieces together.

"So instead of starting with 281 million Americans ... you start with one or a very small number, and then you see what kind of connectivity you can build," he said. "That, typically, is not threatening."

To be sure, Smith knows from experience about database technologies seeming threatening.

Last year, a furor erupted in Latin American countries when The Associated Press reported that ChoicePoint had sold their citizens' home addresses, unlisted phone numbers and other personal information to the U.S. government. U.S. agencies used the data to track immigration violators and crime suspects.

ChoicePoint responded by deleting many of the files.

The company also took heat after a firm it had acquired, DBT Online Inc., supplied Florida elections officials with an inaccurate list of felons _ the roster included some people with misdemeanors. Those names were purged from voter rolls before the 2000 elections.

Smith says that mess convinced him to keep ChoicePoint out of "any procedure that involved an individual's privilege in society being revoked" unless people snared in the process could appeal to a nonpartisan panel.

In the same vein, he says he won't allow arrest records to be included in background-screening reports that ChoicePoint sells to employers.

As Smith displays these democratic, sometimes altruistic credentials (he's donating his book profits to charity), it's striking to hear of his newest project _ an optional high-tech card that would give pre-screened people the opportunity to enter office buildings, sporting events and other secure areas more quickly.

Think of it as a fast lane for people willing to proclaim that they are trustworthy and have nothing to hide _ while everyone else has to go through more rigorous checks.

ChoicePoint is providing the background-screening data to the project, which is known as Verified Identity Pass and was launched by media entrepreneur Steven Brill.

Plans call for the system to debut in as-yet undisclosed places within a few months, with the cards costing about $40 each, plus $3 a month. People whose employers adopt the system, such as hospitals or chemical plants, would be allowed personal use of the card for much less money.

The cards would include a thumbprint biometric, and would be given only to people who agreed to have key aspects of their background checked and monitored. Anyone who has a serious felony in their past or appears on a terrorist watch list, for example, would be rejected.

Might the system play into the hands of terrorists who are careful not to do anything suspicious for years, then sign up for a card? Smith doubts it.

"Cause guess what? We've got your biometric, we now have your picture, we got data that we verify about where you were or where you lived," he said. "You've now given us, in essence, your individual passport to find you."

However, Brill promises not to record when and where card holders use the system.

"We don't want to have the information, so no one can ask us for it," he said. He also says he has arranged for a civil liberties group to choose an ombudsman who will monitor the system and issue public reports.

Still, Brill expects the project to provoke tough questions.

"I think it should be controversial," he said. "There should be a debate about this."

That fits with Smith's call for a civilized discussion about privacy and technology, a debate that civil liberties groups say failed to materialize as Congress imposed the Patriot Act and other post-Sept. 11 security measures.

A full-fledged debate could, of course, lead to suggestions that companies like ChoicePoint make it easier for people to examine information stored about them.

But Smith says he's willing to accept wherever society wants to go.

"This isn't me telling you, `This is my view on where data should be used,'" Smith said. "It's me saying, `Let's create a framework, and then you decide.' Because I have enough faith in the American people and in the legitimacy of data, that there's enough business opportunities, there's enough places we can make a difference in the world."



Finally, for general info here's a link to an online encyclopedia entry on Choice Point

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/ChoicePoint
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-18-05 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. Meet MATRIX, son of Choice Point /Database Technologies (DBT Online)
A second generation creation of the ex-cocaine smuggling founder of DBT Online, Hank Asher

A picture is indeed worth a thousand words. One peak and it all becomes perfectly clear.

http://www.matrix-at.org/


ACLU website dedicated to exposing MATRIX:
http://www.aclu.org/Privacy/Privacy.cfm?ID=14894&c=130

MATRIX: Myths and Reality

Through a series of state Freedom of Information Act requests, the ACLU has begun to learn more about the secretive program known as the Multi-State Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX).

Documents obtained by the ACLU make it clear that there is a great deal of misinformation being spread about the program by the programs law enforcement boosters as well as the private company that runs it.

A lot remains unknown about this secretive program for example, what type of commercial data it contains, how it is being used to monitor Americans, and how much it will cost. But documents from state and federal authorities and the officials that run the program enable us to separate myth from reality. Especially instructive were the minutes of the state and corporate officials overseeing the MATRIX program.



Myth: The MATRIX is about fighting terrorism.

Reality: The MATRIX has little to do with terrorism.

Like so many surveillance programs today, MATRIX is being pitched as a means of stopping terrorists (for example, the Total Information Awareness program suddenly became Terrorism Information Awareness in the face of growing public and Congressional opposition). But it seems clear that the real aim and utility of the program is in everyday law enforcement. For example, a promotional pamphlet obtained by the ACLU from Florida describes 15 different examples of how the MATRIX can be used, but only one has any relationship to terrorism; the rest are everyday law enforcement activities.<1> A 12-page memorandum governing the sharing of information between MATRIX and the state of Pennsylvania never once mentions terrorism or terrorist activities.<2>



Myth: MATRIX does not utilize data mining.

Reality: Data mining has always been one of the most important components of the MATRIX program.

MATRIX officials have claimed that the program does not include the highly controversial practice of law enforcement data mining, in which an automated computer program scans through the records of everyone criminal and innocent alike in a search for patterns that are thought to suggest wrongdoing. But the documents obtained by the ACLU contain numerous explicit references to data mining, including meeting minutes of the MATRIX board,<3> presentations by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement<4> and in FDLE budget documents.<5> In the application by the Institute for Intergovernmental Research for the original $4 million Department of Justice grant that funded MATRIX, for example, one of the four objectives of the program that were listed was to develop and pilot test a model data mining and integration system for terrorist and other intelligence information.<6>



Myth: MATRIX contains information that has always been routinely available to law enforcement.

Reality: MATRIX gives law enforcement unprecedented access to enormous stores of commercially available information.

MATRIX appears to include a mix of corporate data, court records and other data compiled by private industry, and records provided directly by the states. This information includes property ownership, address history (including all the people an individual has ever lived with), business and corporate information, marine vessels, U.S. directory assistance, public utility services connections, bankruptcies, liens and judgments, UCC filings, FCC pilot information, hunting and fishing licenses, gun licenses, professional licenses, voter registrations, and U.S. domain names. The MATRIX also includes drivers license data from 15 states, criminal offender information from 35 states and court data from parts of 15 states including felony, misdemeanor and traffic violations going back decades.<7>

Those records are apparently only the tip of the iceberg. MATRIX records obtained from Connecticut, Florida and Michigan, claim the ability to access billions of records. This is in addition to all the other government data available from other states such as drivers license information and criminal offender records.<8>

The federal government has paid more than $9 million to a private company,<9> Seisint, Inc., the sole business of which is to sell and manipulate commercial data. It is impossible to know how much data it has received on private citizens for its money.



Myth: MATRIX is run by states.

Reality: MATRIX is almost completely funded by the federal government.

Documents make clear the substantial role of the federal government in this program, which raises the question of whether the MATRIX is at least in part an attempt by federal authorities to cultivate a data mining system that will not attract the attention or oversight of a program like Total Information Awareness, the Pentagon program shut down by Congress.

According to documents obtained from Connecticut, MATRIX has received $12 million in federal funding $4 million from the Department of Justice and $8 million from the Department of Homeland Security.<10> The DHS intelligence analysis center has access to its records.<11> And documents obtained by the ACLU reveal that not only were federal officials present at organizational meetings<12>, but that a data mining application, called FCIC Plus was developed with the help of the FBI, INS, DEA, and the U.S. Secret Service.<13>

The only contributions by the states so far have been the unknown costs of compiling their own data. However, MATRIX will eventually cost states large sums to maintain their presence in the system. When Texas withdrew from the system they estimated the cost as more than $1.7 million annually.<14>



Myth: The accuracy of data in MATRIX is checked before law enforcement takes action.

Reality: There is no guarantee that the accuracy of the data will be checked and every reason to believe that it wont be.

Time after time, both government and private databases have been revealed to be riddled with errors, and MATRIX will be no different. In fact, the contract between MATRIX and Seisint (the private company supplying MATRIX with data) states that it cannot guarantee the correctness or completeness of data in the system.<15> States that utilize the system are responsible for assuring that any information relied upon is accurate, current, valid, and complete.<16> However, MATRIX Success Stories consistently describes law enforcement taking action based solely upon the information contained in MATRIX.<17>



Myth: MATRIX has adequate security measures in place.

Reality: State agencies have raised serious concerns about the safety of data in MATRIX.

When a system like MATRIX brings various sources of information together to create detailed dossiers on individuals, security must be a top concern. But apparently issues remain; the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety raised a number of concerns regarding the security of the MATRIX system.<18> As of the fall of 2003, Seisint seems to have no procedure to change passwords for access to the MATRIX system.<19> , In addition, because the MATRIX database has to be refreshed with a complete copy of state records, a full copy of a states drivers license data or other confidential data must be sent to MATRIX every month, leaving it very vulnerable to theft.<20>



Myth: Information in MATRIX is only available to employees of law enforcement organizations.

Reality: A number of private individuals have access to the MATRIX.

At least 15 Seisint employees have access to the MATRIX database.<21> Hank Asher, Seisints founder, had access to this system before court records revealed that he was an unindicted co-conspirator in a group responsible for bringing more than $150-million worth of cocaine into Florida in a single year.<22> Further, it was Ashers former company that administered the contract that stripped thousands of African Americans from the Florida voter rolls before the 2000 election, erroneously contending that they were felons.<23> It was a full year after the program began before Seisint Inc. performed background checks on employees involved with MATRIX.<24>



Myth: MATRIX is controlled by the state of Florida.

Reality: A private company, Seisint, Inc., has complete control over the MATRIX system.

Hank Asher, Seisints founder, first conceived the MATRIX system,<25> and all the information in the MATRIX is housed in the companys computers.<26> MATRIX utilizes the companys private commercial databases<27> and Seisints employees provide all technical support for the system.<28> For all practical purposes Seisint controls everything in the MATRIX and every application it performs.



Myth: MATRIX is different from the Total Information Awareness system (TIA).

Reality: MATRIX shares almost every characteristic of the federal effort to monitor private citizens.
Like John Poindexters infamous Total Information Awareness system that was shut down by Congress, MATRIX brings together information on individuals from diverse sources various government records as well as more than 20 billion commercial records<29> and uses a computer data mining tool to scan those records in a search for signs of wrongdoing.<30> It is paid for almost completely by the federal government.<31> Most importantly, it wipes out privacy by making the ever-increasing list of individuals activities that are recorded by private or public entities subject ever after to scrutiny by the authorities.<32> What the government couldnt sell through a Pentagon program, it is now trying to accomplish at arms length through the states.


Meet Hank Asher, the founder
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Hank_Asher

According to the August 3, 2003, AP article "State contracts with company founded by man linked to smuggling," Hank Asher was "implicated two decades ago in a Bahamian drug smuggling ring." Asher was "hired by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to help create a 13-state anti-terrorism network (Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange Program) being launched with $4 million in Justice Department funding."

"Millionaire Hank Asher of Boca Raton, a friend of recently retired FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) director James 'Tim' Moore and a major political contributor, was never charged with drug smuggling. He served as an informant and witness in several trials, and was identified by other FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) informants as someone who provided police protection for smuggling operations."

"Asher's first company, DBT Online, Inc., bought him out for $147 million in 1999 after the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration suspended its contracts (http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread1907.shtml) over Asher's past and concerns that the company could potentially monitor targets of investigations.

"Asher has not charged FDLE for many of his services, McLaughlin said. Seisint, Inc. technology has been demonstrated for Vice President Dick Cheney and Gov. Jeb Bush.

"Documents filed by prosecutors in Chicago identified Asher as a pilot and former smuggler who lived in the Bahamas near a small airport once used by smugglers."
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. Archer's Seisent alliance with Accenture
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2001_Feb_28/ai_70924764

Business Editors

NEW YORK & BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 28, 2001

Accenture, a global management and technology consulting organization, and Seisint Inc., a global information management and technology company, today announced a strategic alliance to develop solutions for Global 1000 companies to help them to dramatically improve business performance by using data at a speed, scale and cost effectiveness that was previously unattainable.


Follow the bouncing ball now. Cocaine smuggler Hank Asher started DBT Online, which created the Florida felon lists that disenfranchised about 100,000 African American men. About the same time DBT Online was merged with Choice Point who have a strategic alliance with SAIC to provide data mining services for the U.S. and worldwide and where Richard Armitage was a board member before becoming Powell's deputy Sec. of State. Archer then starts Seisint that created and has access to MATRIX, the Big Brother police and Anti-terrorist data mining company, and Seisint is now allied with Accenture, part of the Old corrupt Anderson Consulting, to provide data mining for Corporations.
That sure makes me sleep better at night.

http://www.aclu.org/Privacy/Privacy.cfm?ID=14894&c=130

Myth: Information in MATRIX is only available to employees of law enforcement organizations.

Reality: A number of private individuals have access to the MATRIX.

At least 15 Seisint employees have access to the MATRIX database.<21> Hank Asher, Seisint�s founder, had access to this system before court records revealed that he was an unindicted co-conspirator in a group responsible for bringing more than $150-million worth of cocaine into Florida in a single year.<22> Further, it was Asher�s former company that administered the contract that stripped thousands of African Americans from the Florida voter rolls before the 2000 election, erroneously contending that they were felons.<23> It was a full year after the program began before Seisint Inc. performed background checks on employees involved with MATRIX.<24>
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. Choice Point connections to SAIC and Asst. Sec of State Richard Armitage
A little something to sleep on until I can get better confirmation of this.

The following article contends that "Prior to his appointment to the State Department, Armitage was a board member of Database Technologies (DBT)/ChoicePoint Inc. ChoicePoint is a partner of the vast data mining company Science Applications International Corp. The SAIC web site proclaims it has developed a strategic alliance with ChoicePoint Incorporated to provide our clients with quick and effortless information retrieval from public records data. ChoicePoint Incorporated maintains thousands of gigabytes of public records data."


http://www.questionsquestions.net/docs04/khashoggi-911_2.html

PART 9: KILLER PIMP IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT

"I have, for better or worse, a track record..." - Richard Armitage, Senate Confirmation Hearing, March 15, 2001.

Meanwhile, back at the Iran-contra ranch, on February 24, 1986, 4:44 pm, a furious military intelligence agent contracted by the CIA, DIA and ISA dialed (202) 695-4351, the desk of Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage, to inquire about his alleged involvement in a house of prostitution for senior military officers, intelligence agents, and informants in Southeast Asia. Scott Barnes, the interrogator, also wanted to know about his work with Vang Pao and drug money laundering.1 Barnes had discovered these connections while on assignment in South Vietnam searching for POWs. He didnt find POWs, exactly. What he found in Vietnam was American pilots with CIA connections imprisoned on charges of attempting to smuggle opium out of the country AFTER the war.

Four days later, he was on the phone with Dave Hall, assistant special agent in charge of the Inspector Generals office, to discuss Armitages connection with drugs and prostitution in Southeast Asia and his continued involvement with Mr. ORourke running guns. The IG inspector said that he had heard of a possible connection, and put up, former Ambassador Phil Habib was also involved. An Army major general had written the IG to expose Armitages and Habibs alleged involvement in prostitution in a Da Nang house of prostitution and in laundering out of Southeast Asia to the Philippines and to Sidney, Australia, using Air America, Vang Pao connections and secret airlines.1

Drugs? Hookers? Secret airlines? Karen Hughes wouldnt approve. The pimp climbed the geopolitical step-ladder of power...

1978: Armitage joins the staff of Senator Robert Dole of Kansas.

1980-81: He joins the presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan, is appointed as senior advisor to the new presidents Interim Foreign Policy Advisory Board.

1985: Ferdinand Marcos is making a mess of it in the Philippines. The embattled dictator is toying with the notion of reinstating General Fabian Ver as armed forces chief of staff. The General has been fingered by the Agrava Commission for complicity in the 1983 murder of President Begnino S. Aquino at an airstrip by gun-slinging terrorists. Nonetheless, Marcos refuses stubbornly to appoint anyone but General Ver to the post, an interim chief of staff is installed, Reagan wrings his hands and sweats it out.

There are plans to dismantle Marcos and his dictatorship. In January, a well-dressed wing formation of American officials swoop into Manila. It is Paul Wolfowitz, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, Richard Childress of the NSC, Richard Armitage, assistant secretary of defense for international affairs. Theyve come to whip Marcos into line, insisting that he reform his military forces to crush the scattered but rising Communist backlash - that is, starving peasants pushing against unemployment, death squad rule, crony capitalism and general squalor - without provoking further scandals that could return to haunt the Reagan administration...2

Since, Armitage has been a familiar face in government - as a spook, he never really leaves it. Amongst positions held by him since leaving public service in 1993, according to an Internet profile, count a member of the Board of Directors of the General Dynamics Electric Systems, Inc.; a member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Naval Academy; holder of the Brig.Gen. H. L. Oppenheimer Chair of Warfighting Strategy at the Marine Corps University; a member of the National Defense Panel; a member of the Board of Directors of the Roy F. Weston, Inc., and of the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the National Defense University, a member of the Secretary Navy Committee on Women in the Navy and Marine Corps; a member of the Board of Visitors of the Naval War College and of the Advisory Board of the ManTech International Corporation... He has received numerous military decorations from the Governments of Thailand, Republic of Korea, Bahrain, and Pakistan. He has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service four times...

Hes been a puffy-chested diplomat, military strategist, drug runner, money launderer and solicitor. The rewards can be enormous ... And a good counter-terrorist who knows the ropes, with the right connections ...

He was one of the signatories of the notorious Project for the New American Century (PNAC) letter to President Clinton in 1998. Armitage was a board member for CACI, a private military contractor (with revenues of $1.5 billion in 2004), headquartered in Arlington Virginia. CICI employed four of the salacious, murderous interrogators at Abu Ghraib prison.

In 1989, the year Marcos died of kidney failure in Hawaii, Bush was in the White House and Armitage returned to the Philippines to negotiate military bases. He would negotiate military bases for the next three years.

A voice whispers, what was he really doing over there? The Independence web site offerws a peek at his secret life: Richard Armitage became Deputy Secretary of State in March 2001. A few months after George W. Bush was selected president, Armitage moved over to agent in place status. And a well-qualified one: He was a professional ASSASSIN in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam war. He led ASSASSIN teams similar to the PHOENIX program that killed and tortured tens of thousands of Asians.

Thats right. COUNTER-terrorist.

After Vietnam he worked for the Defense Department on arms sales in Iran and other countries.... He was an intimate insider in the Iran/Contra illegalities. He has been accused of links to illicit gambling, drug smuggling and expansion of organized crime in Russia, Central Asia and the Far East...3

This is the man who would play a leading role in Middle East security policies under G.W. Bush.

Prior to his appointment to the State Department, Armitage was a board member of Database Technologies (DBT)/ChoicePoint Inc. ChoicePoint is a partner of the vast data mining company Science Applications International Corp. The SAIC web site proclaims it has developed a strategic alliance with ChoicePoint Incorporated to provide our clients with quick and effortless information retrieval from public records data. ChoicePoint Incorporated maintains thousands of gigabytes of public records data."

Picture, for a moment, a secret strategic alliance between Science Applications International Corp., in San Diego, the penultimate, classified military-industrial-intelligence contractor, and mass-murderer Armitage, in control of all those gigabytes.

The emerging world as Armitage saw it during his Senate confirmation hearing in March 2001: American leadership will be the central reality of the international system for as far as the eye can see...

And he meant it.

----------------------

NOTES

1) Scott Barnes with Melva Libb, BOHICA, Scott Barnes, Bohica Corp., 1987. Phil Habit was known as Mr. Foreign Service to his subordinates. Babib was raised in Brooklyn and joined the service after WW II. Habib was at the forefront in negotiations to end the Vietnam War, ambassador to East Asia under President Gerald Ford. From 1981-83, he was Reagans special envoy to the Middle East. Raymond Bonner of the New York Times writes, Some of the missions he undertook in his career are still not known about publicly. Nor will they be, at least not from Habib.

2) Raymond Bonner, Waltzing with a Dictator, New York Times Books, 1987.

3) http://www.independence.net/armitage/
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #44
45. Choice Point strategic partership with SAIC from SAIC website
http://www.saic.com/datamining/partners.html

Partners and Sample Data Sources

SAIC's Automated Data Analysis and Mining (ADAM) service integrates innovative data mining technology with data warehouses to provide customized queries and reports. ADAM employs a suite of information management tools developed by SAIC to maximize the utility and value of data pulled from electronic data warehouses. ADAM provides clients with the ability to obtain and analyze enormous amounts of data, and to create explicit profiles of target groups and collect critical data on each of the individual members of that group.

The ADAM service is provided based on an alliance with ChoicePoint Incorporated. ChoicePoint Inc. is the leading provider of decision-making intelligence to Fortune 1000 corporations, individuals and government agencies. Many of the databases described below are proprietary to ChoicePoint.

Below are examples of ChoicePoint's data stores:

* Address Inspector©
* Business Directory
* Corporations & Limited Partnerships
* Death Locator
* Enhanced Creditheader
* FAA Aircraft Ownership
* FAA Airmen Directory
* FEIN



* Financial Data
* OSHA
* Physician Reports
* Real Property Ownership
* Significant Shareholder
* Telephone/Consumer Directory
* UCC Searches
* Watercraft


<snip>
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
40. SAIC owns Network Solutions Inc where most websites register their names
Also in charge of a lot of domain name servers, backbone of the Internet.
Comforting, ain't it.
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-18-05 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. its terrorists I tell ya---LOL
Edited on Fri Feb-18-05 10:51 AM by FogerRox
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
48. Choice Point possible identity theft victims up to 500,000
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/tech/news/3047380
Feb. 19, 2005, 8:45AM
Scandal grows in identity theft case
More oversight urged after data illegally obtained
By RACHEL KONRAD
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - When word first emerged this week that scammers had illegally obtained detailed dossiers on 35,000 people by posing as legitimate customers of ChoicePoint, the data-brokering company portrayed it as a relatively minor criminal case, limited to California.
ADVERTISEMENT

But by week's end, it was shaping up to be a full-blown scandal with as many as a half million people nationwide potentially vulnerable to identity theft.

Outraged, attorneys general from 38 states demanded that ChoicePoint warn any victims in their states as well, and politicians, consumer advocates and security experts called for more federal oversight of a lightly regulated industry that gathers and sells personal data about nearly every adult American.

On Friday, the Los Angeles task force in charge of the criminal investigation confirmed that at least 700 people had their identities stolen during the yearlong scam by still unknown con artists who had signed up as clients of ChoicePoint.

The task force leader, Sheriff's Lt. Robert Costa, said the number of people vulnerable to identity theft in the case could reach 500,000.

That's a much higher number than the latest estimate acknowledged by ChoicePoint, which belatedly sent warning letters to a total of 145,000 people in various states after a chorus of complaints.

The volume of data compromised was so huge that deputies are almost certain that a 41-year-old Nigerian man sentenced Thursday to 16 months in jail in the scam did not act alone.

The man, Olatunji Oluwatosin, was arrested on Oct. 27 when ChoicePoint faxed him some paperwork at a Kinko's store in a sting operation. He pleaded no contest and did not agree to help authorities in the probe.

"We were victimized by some extremely well organized criminals," ChoicePoint spokesman Chuck Jones said.

An Alpharetta, Ga.-based spinoff from the credit-reporting giant Equifax, ChoicePoint maintains databases that hold 19 billion Social Security numbers, credit and medical histories, motor vehicle registrations, job applications, lawsuits, criminal files, professional licenses and other sensitive information. ChoicePoint also owns a DNA analysis lab and facilitates drug testing for employers.

But ChoicePoint and other privately owned aggregators of personal information operate with virtually no federal oversight, and critics say the companies haven't done enough to safeguard their information-rich databases.

"There's a serious problem that we as a nation don't seem to grasp � that the public is at risk whenever organizations collect massive amounts of information about us and they don't take extraordinary precautions to ensure that that information is protected," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, who runs a research firm in Tucson, Ariz., dedicated to privacy management in business and government. "People ought to be standing in lines protesting this."

Word of the identity theft case got out after ChoicePoint sent warning letters last week to people in California � the only state with a law requiring disclosure of such security breaches to people whose identities are threatened. But ChoicePoint said it discovered the breach in October, when the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department began investigating one case of identity theft.

Jones initially told the Associated Press on Tuesday that ChoicePoint had not alerted the FBI or other federal law enforcement agencies, and that "we don't have any evidence to indicate at this point that the situation has spread beyond California."

But security experts scoffed at that idea, and other states' politicians quickly demanded the same consideration for their residents that Californians were getting.

ChoicePoint eventually decided to send letters to 110,000 more people around the country � an unprecedented move for the company, but "the right thing to do" in this case, Jones said.

Victims should receive letters within a few weeks, Jones said, and immediately check credit histories for suspicious activity. The company also plans to release a list of states affected in the next several days.

Costa, who runs Southern California's High Tech Task Force Identity Theft Detail, said the estimate that as many as 500,000 people may be threatened is based on records his department subpoenaed from ChoicePoint.

Costa also said that the FBI, the Secret Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement � part of the Department of Homeland Security � have now contacted his department to join the probe.
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
49. Kitetoa exposes ChoicePoint corporate archive as viewable by anyone
http://wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,49893,00.html

Data Firm Exposes Records Online

By Brian McWilliams | Also by this reporter Page 1 of 1

01:40 PM Jan. 22, 2002 PT

Choicepoint, a database firm that sells information about individuals and companies to clients, including the FBI and insurance firms, left an internal corporate database viewable to anyone with a Web browser, the company confirmed.

A Choicepoint spokesman characterized the exposed databases as "administrative" and said that data gathered on behalf of Choicepoint's clients -- such as background screens, pre-employment drug tests, military history checks and insurance fraud investigations -- were never exposed during the security gaffe.

Choicepoint has two kinds of databases. One type is administrative, internal corporate data such as any company has. The other type is data that it sells to customers. Choicepoint spokesman James Lee said that only the administrative data was exposed.

"There are no privacy implications here, but from a corporate security standpoint we take this very seriously," Lee said. He said that the company was conducting a thorough security review.

The improperly secured corporate archive, which may have been exposed for several weeks, was discovered earlier this month and reported to Choicepoint of Atlanta, Georgia, by a group of security enthusiasts in France named Kitetoa.

A catalog of Choicepoint's internal documents, housed in an IBM Lotus Domino database, was publicly accessible from the company's website, according to independent confirmation. By drilling down into the catalog, any visitor to the site could retrieve an array of proprietary corporate information.

As of Monday evening, the database catalog was inaccessible and documents within it were password-protected.

Prior to being locked down, a quick perusal of the insecure database turned up, for example, medical facility inspection reports used in Medicaid fraud investigations. A database containing customer leads was also accessible.

"If reaching this information is so simple, imagine what a true cracker would do with it," said a member of Kitetoa in an e-mail interview, noting that the front door of Choicepoint's site brandishes a seal indicating the company is a licensee of the Truste privacy program.

Lee said Choicepoint, which had year 2000 sales of $593.5 million, was still investigating how long the database had been improperly secured. But he said a security audit at the beginning of the year revealed no such vulnerabilities.

While security holes in Web servers and operating systems may grab more headlines, customized Web applications such as Domino are often riddled with administrator-inflicted security vulnerabilities, according to Greg Shipley, chief technology officer for Neohapsis, an information security firm based in Chicago, Illinois.

"We see this all the time in corporations. It's a big threat," Shipley said. "The operating system administrator may have the box locked down tight, but the Lotus admin may not be as security conscious. You screw up your Lotus security modeling, and its a fiasco for the entire site."

Lee said Choicepoint, the biggest supplier of data to law enforcement, primarily hosts its information products in Oracle databases on "totally separate systems" with limited Web access. One of Choicepoint's sites, for example, enables government clients to log in to an information system using telnet.

Choicepoint is not the first high-profile database company to have its security practices exposed by Kitetoa. In March 2001, online ad giant DoubleClick confirmed Kitetoa's report that attackers had placed a back-door program on the company's Web server and had viewed files on another server hosting its Abacus Online database.

After Choicepoint signed a contract in 2000 to provide the FBI with dossiers on individuals, the big data aggregator was embarrassed when privacy expert Richard M. Smith ordered a copy of his Choicepoint file and discovered several glaring errors, including that he had died 25 years earlier.

Kitetoa said it first notified Choicepoint about the database vulnerability by e-mail on Jan. 15, but got no response. According to Lee, the company has no record of receiving any e-mails from Kitetoa, although he confirmed that three @choicepoint.net e-mail addresses used in the group's message -- webmaster, postmaster and privacy -- all were functional and regularly read by Choicepoint staff.

End of story
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GettysbergII Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
50.  SAIC break in: "We still haven't learned"
http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/local/10919535.htm
We still haven't learned

When we hear "federal contract," many of us immediately think about $600 screwdrivers and $800 toilet seats, and all manner of questionable contracts and awards.

That's exactly what came to mind with the revelation of the recent break-in at Science Applications International Corp., during which computers -- containing the personal information of thousands of people who have government security clearances -- were taken.

According to published reports, SAIC has a reputation for hiring some of Washington, D.C.'s most powerful, including former secretaries of defense, CIA directors and White House advisers. Yet thieves were able to get their hands on computers with priceless databases -- names, addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers and records of financial transactions -- and we've yet to hear an explanation that explains anything.

There might be no need for the rest of us to concern ourselves with any of these big-shot, double-dipping, quid pro quo dealings, except for the fact that it is a major example of how vulnerable we really are.

After the terrorist attacks, we supposedly went on the defensive in this country. We have the U.S. Patriot Act and Homeland Security to gnaw at our rights as citizens, yet we have such a blatant lack of security in the SAIC incident.

Also, with the omnipresent risk of identity theft, how could this kind of information be taken by simply breaking some windows?

The real reason may surface if we ever learn the whole story. Until then, we might find some partial answers by looking at the way we do business in this country.

After we down-sized our companies to near-anemia, we found that outsourcing could further increase the bottom line. In the process, however, some companies learned the hard way they couldn't depend on contractors not to also cut corners to maximize their own bottom line.

For example, after the terrorist attacks, a closer look was taken at airport security personnel, their backgrounds and the training they were given. According to reports, however, some airport security contractors had made a practice of hiring people and sending them directly to work with little more than directions to the airports they were being paid to make safe.

Fast-forward to the SAIC break-in, and it's the same kind of laxity. In published reports a spokesperson said though surveillance cameras were in place, he did not know whether the perpetrators were caught on film. He also did not know if the information on the stolen computers was encrypted.

Initially, many of us believed terrorists were able to attack this country because we didn't think anyone would attack us. Over time we've been told differently:

We were ill-informed; we didn't act on information; we ignored red-flag incidents. Simply put, we didn't do things we knew we should have been doing.

And it's still going on.
Contact Kaffie Sledge at (706) 571-8585 or [email protected]
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