[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[infowar.de] Poindexter wird Chef des Information Awareness Office (DARPA)
John Poindexter (Sicherheitsberater unter Reagan) wird Chef des
Information Awareness Office in der DARPA.
Chief Takes Over New Agency to Thwart Attacks on U.S.
By John Markoff
New York Times, February 13, 2002
John M. Poindexter, the retired Navy admiral who was President Ronald
Reagan's national security adviser, has returned to the Pentagon to
direct a new agency that is developing technologies to give federal
officials instant access to vast new surveillance and information-
The Information Awareness Office, which Mr. Poindexter took over last
month, is one of two new agencies that the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency, or Darpa, created in recent months as part of the Bush
administration's effort to grapple with new kinds of military threats
after the attacks of Sept. 11.
The other new agency is the Information Exploitation Office and is
intended to develop advanced computerized battlefield sensor networks to
shorten the time between when an enemy target is located and when it is
The Information Awareness Office will focus on what the agency refers to
as "asymmetric threats," or nonconventional military targets like
potential terrorist organizations.
The administration has called for a sharp increase in Darpa's budget in
the fiscal year 2003, and the agency is being reshaped to focus on a
variety of new technologies, including biological warfare threats as
well as new computer "data mining" technologies.
Over the years, Darpa has financed research that led to the creation of
the Internet and stealth aircraft.
Mr. Poindexter, who is 65, was a controversial figure both for his role
in the Iran-contra scandals and for his efforts to assert military
influence over commercial computer security technologies.
With Oliver L. North, a former National Security Council aide, Mr.
Poindexter was convicted in 1986 as part of the guns-for-hostages deal
that provoked a Congressional investigation. The conviction was
overturned in 1991 on grounds that the men had been granted immunity
from prosecution as a result of their testimony before Congress.
Since leaving government in the 1980's, Mr. Poindexter has worked as a
military technology consultant, most recently for Syntek Technologies, a
military and intelligence- agency consulting firm in Arlington, Va.
Since 1995, he has consulted with Darpa on new technologies intended to
give military and civil crisis managers access to battlefield and
Mr. Poindexter, who declined a request for an interview on his new
position, became closely involved as a contractor in 1995 on a Darpa
development project code-named Genoa intended to give national security
managers advanced personal computer networks with access to large
databases of relevant information.
In recent weeks, Mr. Poindexter has contacted a number of Silicon Valley
researchers looking for information on specific technologies.
Several scientists who are close to the agency said he had returned to
government service because he had a passionate concern about assuring
that the nation's crisis managers had better computerized systems for
communication and data analysis.
"After 9/11, there is clearly a sense you have to present information to
decision makers in a coherent fashion," said Shankar Sastry, a former
Darpa manager who is now chairman of the electrical engineering and
computer sciences department at the University of California.
Mr. Poindexter also consulted on another Darpa project called Command
Post of the Future, Dr. Sastry said. The project designed a series of
high-technology rooms that surrounded military planners with electronic
communication, decision- making and mapping aids.
One component of the new computer information systems that is being
emphasized by Mr. Poindexter's new office are "data mining" techniques
intended to scan through vast collections of computer data, which may
include text, images, sound and other computer data, and find
"We now have so many sensors that we need new ways of making sense of
the information we collect," said Steven Wallach, who is vice president
of Chiaro Networks and a member of the president's Information
Technology Advisory Committee. "How do you associate a name with a
picture taken in Malaysia, a cellphone call in Frankfurt, Germany, and a
bank transfer from Pakistan to Chicago? There aren't any perfect answers
The development of such advanced surveillance and data-mining techniques
has raised new concerns among civil liberties groups in the United
States, and Mr. Poindexter was involved in disputes about the
government's role in computer security during the 1980's.
"Mr. Poindexter was responsible for several computer policy mistakes in
the computer security realm in the 1980's," said Marc Rotenberg, a
former counsel with Senate Judiciary Committee, referring to Mr.
Poindexter's policies that shifted control of computer security to the
military. "It took three administrations and both political parties over
a decade to correct those mistakes."
As national security adviser, Mr. Poindexter was involved with a Reagan
administration initiative in 1984 known as National Security Decision
Directive, N.S.D.D.-145, which gave intelligence agencies broad
authority to examine computer databases for "sensitive but unclassified
In a later memorandum, Mr. Poindexter expanded this authority to give
the military responsibility for all computer and communications security
for the federal government and private industry.
Mr. Poindexter, who received a doctorate in physics from the California
Institute of Technology, has a deep interest and an advanced
understanding of computers and other information technologies, said
Victoria Stavridou, a Darpa contractor and director of the Systems
Laboratory at SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif.
"John is very well respected technically," she said. "He understands
these issues, and that makes him extremely valuable."
Mail an infowar -
- infopeace -
de mit "unsubscribe" im Text.