Shadowy Spy Group Building Dossiers On Internet Users For Feds
Project Vigilant: New Face of Total Information Awareness Goes Public
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, August 2, 2010
An organization that tracks 250 million IP addresses a day has been developing portfolios on Internet users and handing the information to U.S. federal agencies as the latest incarnation of the supposedly defunct Total Information Awareness spy program is revealed.
A group calling itself Project Vigilant went public at yesterday’s Defcon security conference in an effort to add more recruits to its 600 member strong cyber spy force. The outfit announced that it had been tracking “Internet villains” for no less than 14 years and handing the information to federal authorities as part of a massive intelligence gathering program.
However, the target of one such investigation did not fall into the category of cyber criminals – “terrorists, drug cartels, mobsters” – that the group claims to be fighting.
The organization “encouraged one of its “volunteers”, researcher Adrian Lamo, to inform the federal government about the alleged source of a controversial video of civilian deaths in Iraq leaked to whistle-blower site Wikileaks in April,” reports Forbes.
Project Vigilant director Chet Uber used Lamo’s friendship with Bradley Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who allegedly released the classified video, to out Manning, who now faces criminal charges. Uber told Lamo that it was his “patriotic duty” to inform on the man who was instrumental in bringing to light the war atrocities witnessed in the infamous “Collateral Murder” video, which shows U.S. troops slaughtering over a dozen innocent people and injuring others, including two children, Sajad Salah and his little sister Duaa Salah.
“According to Uber, one of Project Vigilant’s manifold methods for gathering intelligence includes collecting information from a dozen regional U.S. Internet service providers,” states the report. “Uber declined to name those ISPs, but said that because the companies included a provision allowing them to share users’ Internet activities with third parties in their end user license agreements (EULAs), Vigilant was able to legally able to gather data from the Internet carriers and use it to craft reports for federal agencies. A Vigilant press release says that the organization tracks more than 250 million IP addresses a day and can “develop portfolios on any name, screen name or IP address.”