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[infowar.de] Groove Networks, TIA, MS, Intel
Drei Artikel aus NYT und theReg zu Groove Networks. Im übrigen hat MS in
den letzen Tagen sein Engagement bei GN noch einmal aufgestockt, Intel ist
auch an Bord. (Vgl. heise online, 6.3.03,
March 11, 2003
Software Pioneer Quits Board of Groove
By JOHN MARKOFF
AN FRANCISCO, March 10 ? Mitchell D. Kapor, a personal computer industry
software pioneer and a civil liberties activist, has resigned from the
board of Groove Networks after learning that the company's software was
being used by the Pentagon as part of its development of a domestic
Mr. Kapor would say publicly only that it was a "delicate subject" and
that he had resigned to pursue his interests in open source software.
The company acknowledged the resignation last week when it announced that
it had received $38 million in additional financing.
"Mr. Kapor resigned from the board to focus 100 percent of his time on
nonprofit activities," said a spokesman for Groove Networks, whose
software has been used to permit intelligence analysts and law enforcement
officials to share data in tests of the surveillance system, Total
However, a person close to Mr. Kapor said that he was uncomfortable with
the fact that Groove Networks' desktop collaboration software was a
crucial component of the antiterrorist surveillance software being tested
at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Information Awareness
Office, an office directed by Vice Adm. John M. Poindexter.
The project has generated controversy since it was started early last year
by Admiral Poindexter, the former national security adviser for President
Ronald Reagan, whose felony conviction as part of the Iran-contra scandal
was reversed because of a Congressional grant of immunity.
The project has been trying to build a prototype computer system that
would permit the scanning of hundreds or thousands of databases to look
for information patterns that might alert the authorities to the
activities of potential terrorists.
Civil liberties activists have argued that such a system, if deployed,
could easily be misused in ways that would undercut traditional American
"Mitch cares very much about the social impact of technology," said Shari
Steele, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil
liberties group that was co-founded by Mr. Kapor in 1990.
"It's the reason he founded E.F.F.," she said.
Several privacy and security experts said that Mr. Kapor's decision was
significant and was indicative of the kinds of clashes between security
and privacy that could become increasingly common.
"With the dramatic change of funding availability in the high-tech sector,
it's become difficult for companies to turn down the funding opportunities
presented by the federal government," said Marc Rotenberg, director of the
Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. "It does show that
some people in the high-tech community, including some of the founders,
are not happy with what's happening."
The debate echoes an earlier one that placed scientists at odds with
advancing technologies. The war on terror is raising ever more difficult
civil liberties issues.
"Computer scientists are going to have the same kinds of battles that
physicists did amidst the fallout of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," said Michael
Schrage, a senior adviser to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Security Studies Program.
On Feb. 11, House and Senate negotiators agreed that the Total Information
Awareness project could not be used against Americans. Congress also
agreed to restrict additional research on the program without extensive
consultation with Congress.
Congressional negotiators gave the Defense Department 90 days to provide a
report to Congress detailing its costs, impact on privacy and civil
liberties and likelihood of success against terrorists. All further
research on the project would have to stop immediately if the report is
not filed by the deadline.
But President Bush can keep the research alive by certifying to Congress
that a halt "would endanger the national security of the United States."
Kapor quits Groove
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Posted: 11/03/2003 at 23:21 GMT
Mitch Kapor has left Groove Networks, and according to friends cited in
the New York Times, it's because of his concern about the company's role
in the fast-developing surveillance infrastructure.
Groove was an early beneficiary of Panopticon Pork. The peer-to-peer
company, founded by Lotus Notes inventor Ray Ozzie, has been working with
DARPA's Total Information Awareness Office, which develops research
projects principally designed to mine information on US citizens.
Kapor declined to comment on his departure from the board. In 1990, the
founder of Lotus helped set up the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and in
recent months has been increasingly involved in digital rights.
At a benefit dinner during the CodeCon 2003 convention, Kapor was asked
why he was increasingly involved in civil rights and the open source
software movement, and less on the commercial side.
"I lost my taste for it," he said.
Total Poindexter Awareness tech spooks - a Who's Who
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Posted: 28/02/2003 at 19:34 GMT
INSECURITY LEVEL: PINK
One of the great post-War technology trends has been reversed since 9/11,
almost without any noticing.
For many years now technology that was developed for military use, or with
the help of military funding, has found a commercial civilian use. Think
of the Internet, or CDMA.
But what we're seeing now - and this mirrors the militarization of so much
of civilian life - is the reverse. Apparently civilian technologies such
as Groove's Peer to Peer system are being repurposed as surveillance
technologies. And as the spooks welcome the technology companies, the
technology companies reciprocate: welcoming them onto their boards.
What can foreign policy maven Richard Perle [bio - lives on in Google
cache] add to Autonomy? A hitherto unnoted expertise on Bayesian
modelling? Somehow, I think not.
This cosy relationship doesn't always help the vendor.
The presence of veteran spook Brent Scowcroft on the Qualcomm board can't
help too much when your staff are being arrested overseas on espionage
charges. (Qualcomm denied the charge, and adding to the murk, the
founder's own laptop was subsequently mysteriously swiped, prompting a
hilarious apology from the Wall Street Journal about failing to protect
information. However, we digress.
The Electronic Information Privacy Center has obtained a list of
contractors and what they're working on. You can read a summary here and
EPIC's more detailed correspondence here. And fascinating it is too.
One thought that occurred to us as we were watching these shadowy
organisations blinking in daylight was they really would rather we didn't
know precisely what they're up to.
We shall be ringing Ms. Michelle Tavares of Hicks & Assoc. Inc. of
Arlington, VA in an attempt to understand what Threat-based Adaptive Red
Teaming and Experimentation really is.
That's the trouble with Total Poindexter Awareness.
It's bi-directional. ?
Many thanks to Jorn Barger for drawing our attention to so many of these
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