Letter from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) to Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Date: January 21, 2003.
Re: Total Information Awareness.
Source: Office of Sen. Grassley.

January 21, 2002

Attorney General John Ashcroft
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.

Dear General Ashcroft:

I am writing to you regarding the Total Information Awareness (TIA) Program funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) at the Department of Defense (DoD).

It is my understanding that TIA is a program that has been initiated to assist in processing and analyzing information, including financial information, that is received from outside the U.S.  Many have expressed concern about TIA being applied to U.S. citizens and its chilling impact on civil liberties.

These concerns are only heightened when it is difficult to reconcile the following two facts:

“The Justice Department has not gotten any information about the [TIA] project from the Pentagon and thus cannot comment, spokesman Bryan Sierra said. The FBI had no official comment on the project either.”

Newsday, November 21, 2002.

Q.  What coordination has the program [TIA] had with Federal law enforcement officials?  This should include details of what input was received prior to funding.

A.  “Dr. Tether [Director of DARPA] has advised of contacts with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Foreign Terrorist Tracking Tas Force, Department of Justice and components of the Department of Homeland Security.  DARPA officials note it is their understanding that the FBI is working on an MOU with DARPA for possible experimentation with TIA technology in the future.”

Letter from Joseph E. Schmitz to Senator Grassley.  January 17th 2002.

I am very concerned that DoJ and the FBI may have been less than forthright to the press and the American people about their involvement with TIA.  Please provide a complete accounting, including timeline, of DoJ and FBI’s actions regarding TIA as well as the draft MOU.   Please provide this information by February 10, 2002.  If your staff have any questions, please contact Mr. Dean Zerbe at 224-5315.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Cordially yours,

Charles E. Grassley

cc: Director Mueller
Federal Bureau of Investigation