Names of Godly Programs

The Guardian mentioned recently the effective existence of an FBI program called “Server in the Sky” that seeks to foster police exchange of biometric data (“FBI Wants Instant Access to British Identity Data”, The Guardian, January 15 2008). Some readers may have thought “oh, this sounds familiar, probably connected to this other Total Information Awareness program that the US Department of Defense established in January 2002”. They err. If they check the website of the IAO (the Information Awareness Office, not to be confused with other same-name diabolic tunes), they will be able to verify that the “Total Information Awareness” program does not exist anymore in the visible world. That is the fate of US security programs with godly names.


  1. Could this signify a change in bedtime reading?

    “What has become of critique when DARPA uses for its Total Information Awareness project the Baconian slogan Scientia est potentia? Didn’t I read that somewhere in Michel Foucault? Has knowledge-slash-power been co-opted of late by the National Security Agency? Has Discipline and Punish become the bedtime reading of Mr. Ridge?” (p. 228)

    Latour, B. (2004). “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern.” Critical Inquiry 30(2): 225-48.

  2. Peter,

    Gosh, it might.




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