- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 24, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sen. Charles E. Grassley is asking the Pentagon's inspector general to review a program designed to hunt down domestic terrorists by developing a huge database to profile potential suspects through personal data.
The Iowa Republican's target is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency enterprise known as Total Information Awareness, which critics liken to a domestic spy operation targeting ordinary citizens.
With the help of high-technology innovations, the project is intended to test whether an individual's transactions produce clues that a terrorist act might be in the offing.
Mr. Grassley, who will become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in January, outlined his objections in a letter to the Pentagon's inspector general, Joseph Schmitz.
He cited news reports that neither the Justice Department nor the FBI has been consulted about the project.
"I am at a loss to understand why DoD resources are being spent on research for domestic law enforcement," Mr. Grassley wrote.
"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."
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency normally focuses on military applications of new technologies.
Peter Aldridge, the Pentagon's chief of technology, said Wednesday the agency was an appropriate place for the anti-terror research because it is part of the war on terrorism.
"It is absurd to think that DARPA is somehow trying to become another police agency," he said.


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