Michael Turley; March 27, 2013

Drone Technology: Who is developing it & What for?
MITRE's home page (screen shot below) gives a clear view of who and what they are:

MITRE's drone development is clearly intended for civilian surveillance. The information about drone technologies and development are given in "Homeland Security-Intelligence Surveillance" in their Mission Areas menu. Click the screen shot above to go to the home page and click through their "Mission Areas" menu. MITRE is a D.A.R.P.A Think Tank Lab.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
DARPA - The Militarized Government organization of so-called non-government Think Tanks and Laboratories devoted to a host of clandestine technologies for controlling mass populations as well as localized targets.  Some of the known DARPA think tanks include, but are not limited to MITRE and YERKES RESEARCH [Emory University and other labs with about 3,000 acres of land in Lawrenceville, GA.]  Take a look at the following DARPA research projects and the think tanks developing them:


Genoa/ Genoa II/ Topsail

Genoa and Genoa II focused on providing advanced decision-support and collaboration tools to rapidly deal with and adjust to dynamic crisis management and allow for inter-agency collaboration in real-time. Another function was to be able to make estimates of possible future scenarios to assist intelligence officials in deciding what to do, in a manner similar to the DARPA's Deep Green program which is designed to assist Army commanders in making battlefield decisions. [notice that it says "similar to," making it clear that this is intended for use in civilian settings [i.e. American Citizens - YOU & I].



Genisys aimed at developing technologies which would enable "ultra-large, all-source information repositories".[12] Vast amounts of information were going to be collected and analyzed, and the available database technology at the time was insufficient for storing and organizing such enormous quantities of data. So they developed techniques for virtual data aggregation in order to support effective analysis across heterogeneous databases, as well as unstructured public data sources, such as the World Wide Web. "Effective analysis across heterogenous databases" means the ability to take things from databases which are designed to store different types of data.


Evidence Extraction and Link Discovery

Evidence Extraction and Link Discovery (EELD) development of technologies and tools for automated discovery, extraction and linking of sparse evidence contained in large amounts of classified and unclassified data sources (such as phone call records from the NSA call database, internet histories, or bank records).


Human Identification at a Distance (HumanID)

The Human Identification at a Distance (HumanID) project developed automated biometric identification technologies to detect, recognize and identify humans at great distances for "force protection", crime prevention, and "homeland security/defense."

Scalable Social Network Analysis

Scalable Social Network Analysis (SSNA) aimed at developing techniques based on social network analysis for modeling the key characteristics of terrorist groups and discriminating these groups from other types of societal groups. 


Sean McGahan, of Northeastern University said the following in his study of SSNA:


"The purpose of the SSNA algorithms program is to extend techniques of social network analysis to assist with distinguishing potential terrorist cells from legitimate groups of people ... In order to be successful SSNA will require information on the social interactions of the majority of people around the globe. Since the Defense Department cannot easily distinguish between peaceful citizens and terrorists, it will be necessary for them to gather data on innocent civilians as well as on potential terrorists."


Futures Markets Applied to Prediction (FutureMAP)

Main article: Future Map
Further information: Policy Analysis Market
Futures Markets Applied to Prediction (FutureMAP) was intended to harness collective intelligence by researching prediction market techniques for avoiding surprise and predicting future events. The intent was to explore the feasibility of market-based trading mechanisms to predict political instability, threats to national security, and other major events in the near future.



Translingual Information Detection, Extraction and Summarization (TIDES) developing advanced language processing technology to enable English speakers to find and interpret critical information in multiple languages without requiring knowledge of those languages.


Wargaming the Asymmetric Environment (WAE)

Wargaming the Asymmetric Environment (WAE) focused on developing automated technology capable of identifying predictive indicators of terrorist [or civilian] activity or impending attacks by examining individual and group behavior in broad environmental context and examining the motivation of specific terrorists [or civilians].

Effective Affordable Reusable Speech-to-text (EARS) 

Effective Affordable Reusable Speech-to-text (EARS) to develop automatic speech-to-text transcription technology whose output is substantially richer and much more accurate than previously possible. EARS was to focus on everyday human-to-human speech from broadcasts and telephone conversations in multiple languages. It is expected to increase the speed with which speech can be processed by computers by 100 times or more. The intent is to create a core enabling technology (technology that is used as a component for future technologies) suitable for a wide range of future surveillance applications.


Babylon to develop rapid, two-way, natural language speech translation interfaces and platforms for the warfighter for use in field environments for force protection, refugee processing, and medical triage.[22]


Bio-Surveillance to develop the necessary information technologies and resulting prototype capable of detecting the covert release of a biological pathogen automatically, and significantly earlier than traditional approaches.[23]



Communicator was to develop "dialogue interaction" technology that enables warfighters to talk with computers, such that information will be accessible on the battlefield or in command centers without ever having to touch a keyboard. The Communicator Platform was to be both wireless and mobile, and to be designed to function in a networked environment.[24]  The dialogue interaction software was to interpret the context of the dialogue in order to improve performance, and to be capable of automatically adapting to new topics (because situations quickly change in war) so conversation is natural and efficient. The Communicator program emphasized task knowledge to compensate for natural language effects and noisy environments. Unlike automated translation of natural language speech, which is much more complex due to an essentially unlimited vocabulary and grammar, the Communicator program is directed task specific issues so that there are constrained vocabularies (the system only needs to be able to understand language related to war).

Research was also started to focus on foreign language computer interaction for use in supporting coalition operations.[24] Live exercises were conducted involving small unit logistics operations involving the United States Marines to test the technology in extreme environments.[24]


Components of TIA projects that continue to be developed

Despite the withdrawal of funding for the TIA and the closing of the IAO, the core of the project survived. Legislators included a classified annex to the Defense Appropriations Act that preserved funding for TIA's component technologies, if they were transferred to other government agencies. TIA projects continued to be funded under classified annexes to Defense and Intelligence appropriation bills. However, the act also stipulated that the technologies only be used for military or foreign intelligence purposes against foreigners.
TIA's two core projects are now operated by Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA) located among the 60-odd buildings of "Crypto City" at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, MD. ARDA itself has been shifted from the NSA to the Disruptive Technology Office (run by to the Director of National Intelligence). They are funded by National Foreign Intelligence Program for foreign counterterrorism intelligence purposes.
One technology, codenamed "Basketball" is the Information Awareness Prototype System, the core architecture to integrate all the TIA's information extraction, analysis, and dissemination tools. Work on this project is conducted by SAIC through its former Hicks & Associates consulting arm run by former Defense and military officials and which had originally been awarded US$19 million IAO contract to build the prototype system in late 2002.
The other project has been re-designated "TopSail" (formerly Genoa II) and would provide IT tools to help anticipate and preempt terrorist attacks. SAIC has also been contracted to work on Topsail, including a US$3.7 million contract in 2005.


Media coverage and criticism

The first mention of the IAO in the mainstream media came from The New York Times reporter John Markoff on February 13, 2002. Initial reports contained few details about the program. In the following months, as more information emerged about the scope of the TIA project, civil libertarians became concerned over what they saw as the potential for the development of an Orwellian mass surveillance system.
On November 14, 2002, The New York Times published a column by William Safire in which he claimed "[TIA] has been given a $200 million budget to create computer dossiers on 300 million Americans." Safire has been credited with triggering the anti-TIA movement.

See Also D.A.R.P.A & The Office of Information Awareness