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'Terrorism Information Awareness' (TIA) Program formerly known as 'Total Information Awareness'


Program Objective:

The Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) program is a FY03 new-start program. The goal of the Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) program is to revolutionize the ability of the United States to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists – and decipher their plans – and thereby enable the U.S. to take timely action to successfully preempt and defeat terrorist acts. To that end, the TIA program objective is to create a counter-terrorism information system that: (1) increases information coverage by an order of magnitude, and affords easy future scaling; (2) provides focused warnings within an hour after a triggering event occurs or an evidence threshold is passed; (3) can automatically queue analysts based on partial pattern matches and has patterns that cover 90% of all previously known foreign terrorist attacks; and, (4) supports collaboration, analytical reasoning and information sharing so that analysts can hypothesize, test and propose theories and mitigating strategies about possible futures, so decision-makers can effectively evaluate the impact of current or future policies and prospective courses of action.

Program Strategy:

The TIA program strategy is to integrate technologies developed by DARPA (and elsewhere as appropriate) into a series of increasingly powerful prototype systems that can be stress-tested in operationally relevant environments, using real-time feedback to refine concepts of operation and performance requirements down to the component level. The TIA program will develop and integrate information technologies into fully functional, leave-behind prototypes that are reliable, easy to install, and packaged with documentation and source code (though not necessarily complete in terms of desired features) that will enable the intelligence community to evaluate new technologies through experimentation, and rapidly transition it to operational use, as appropriate. Accordingly, the TIA program will work in close collaboration with one or more U.S. intelligence agencies that will provide operational guidance and technology evaluation, and act as TIA system transition partners.

Technically, the TIA program is focusing on the development of: 1) architectures for a large-scale counter-terrorism database, for system elements associated with database population, and for integrating algorithms and mixed-initiative analytical tools; 2) novel methods for populating the database from existing sources, create innovative new sources, and invent new algorithms for mining, combining, and refining information for subsequent inclusion into the database; and, 3) revolutionary new models, algorithms, methods, tools, and techniques for analyzing and correlating information in the database to derive actionable intelligence.

Planned Accomplishments:


(Source DARPA)


Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) Terminated, September 24, 2003

Poindexter Resignation Letter, August 12, 2003

DARPA - FutureMAP Program - Policy Analysis Market (PAM) Cancelled, July 29, 2003

Congressional Record: July 14, 2003 (Senate)

Comments Of Sen. Patrick Leahy On The TIA Data Mining Program Report To Congress
, 05-20-03

Report to Congress
: Subsection 111(b) of division M of the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003 (Public Law 108-7) required the submission of a report concerning the Terrorism (formerly “Total”) Information Awareness program. The report was jointly submitted to Congress by the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General and the Director of Central Intelligence, 05-20-03.

DARPA Information Paper, March 11, 2003

TIA Frequently Asked Questions, February 5, 2003

Grassley Amendment to Protect Americans' Privacy in Omnibus, Friday, February 14, 2003

Transcript of DoD news briefing of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge discussing acquisition issues and the Terrorism Information Awareness program, 02-07-03

Total Information Awareness (TIA) Update, 02-07-03

Senator Harkin Letter Requesting Poindexter Hearing, 01-13-03

Senators Pose Data Mining Questions to Ashcroft, 01-10-03

Excerpt from September 11th and the Imperative of Reform in the U.S. Intelligence Community, Additional Views of Senator Richard C. Shelby, December 2002

DARPA Security with Privacy study, December 2002

DARPA Combating Information Overload by Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service
Sept. 9, 2002

TIA System Description, 4.5 MB, July 2002




MIT Government Information Awareness web site - To empower citizens by providing a single, comprehensive, easy-to-use repository of information on individuals, organizations, and corporations related to the government of the United States of America. To allow citizens to submit intelligence about government-related issues, while maintaining their anonymity. To allow members of the government a chance to participate in the process.