United States Senator
Contact: Jill Kozeny, 202/224-1308
Beth Pellett, 202/224-6197
Dustin Vande Hoef, 202/224-0484
For Immediate Release
Friday, Nov. 22, 2002
Grassley Requests Information on Defense Total Information Awareness ProgramWASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Grassley today asked the Department of Defense Inspector General to conduct a complete review of the new Total Information Awareness program at the Defense Department.
Grassley expressed concern that the Defense Department did not consult with the Justice Department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation before creating the new program. The "Total Information Awareness" program is intended to research certain aspects of domestic law enforcement.
Here is Grassley's letter to Inspector General Joseph Schmitz.
__________November 22, 2002
The Honorable Joseph E. Schmitz
Department of Defense
The Department of Defense (DoD) recently provided information regarding a research program entitled "Total Information Awareness" (TIA). Unfortunately, DoD's comments only provide few answers and invite many more questions.
TIA is a research program that would review a vast amount of information including credit card purchases, driver's license and car rentals for the benefit of law enforcement officials. In addition, news reports state that neither the Department of Justice or the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been consulted on TIA.
I am at a loss to understand why DoD resources are being spent on research for domestic law enforcement. In addition, to develop such a program in a vacuum from federal law enforcement seems to be asking for taxpayer dollars to be sent down the drain.
As I assume the responsibility of Chairman of the Finance Committee, which has oversight of certain financial reporting, I would ask that your office conduct a complete and thorough review of the TIA program.
This review should include:
1) What is the statutory authorization for TIA?I ask that you meet with Mr. Dean Zerbe, Chief Investigative Counsel, of the Senate Finance Committee to discuss further this important matter at (202)224-5315. Thank you for your time and courtesy.
2) What are the parameters and scope of TIA?
3) How was TIA selected to be funded?
4) How was Admiral Poindexter selected to head TIA?
In addition please review the awarding of the consultant contract for Admiral Poindexter.
5) What coordination has the program had with federal law enforcement officials?
This should included details of what input was received prior to funding.
6) What protections are in place to ensure civil liberties are not violated?
Charles E. Grassley