Senate seeks TIA halt

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The Senate is seeking to halt the Defense Department's controversial Terrorism Information Awareness program.

The Senate version of the Defense appropriations bill includes an amendment, proposed by Sen. Ron. Wyden (D-Ore.), preventing the Defense Department from spending additional money on research and development of TIA.

The controversial project is being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and involves collecting myriad data on individuals for storage. The system then mines that data in search of suspicious patterns or activities that might relate to terrorism.

The program has spawned both Congressional and public controversy.

Wyden proposed the amendment to the Defense appropriations bill in May. The Bush administration opposed the amendment, saying it strips the government of "an important potential tool in the war on terrorism."

The amendment, however, was passed July 17 as part of the fiscal 2004 spending bill.

Privacy advocates are monitoring the bill as it goes to conference committee to see whether the amendment remains in the final version. The House appropriations bill for DOD, which passed on July 8 with little debate, carried no such provision.

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