The Department of Homeland Security is conducting massive spying on Internet users through a program called "Avatar Identity." The existence of the program was disclosed to WMR by a source who stated that the development of avatars for every user of the Internet had its beginnings with the U.S. Air Force and the Advance Research Projects Agency (ARPANET) at the outset of the fielding of World Wide Web (WWW) technology in the early 1990s.
At the core of Homeland Security's Avatar Identity Program is the reliance on genetic algorithms developed for the analysis of the stock market to come up with prime investment strategies. The program was developed through the aegis of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), which inherited many of the invasive Internet surveillance programs from its Pentagon cousin, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), after its programs, including the proposed Total Information Awareness program, were defunded by Congress
The Avatar Identity Program appears to coincide with another Air Force project to solicit "persona management software" to create virtual users on the Internet in order to conduct perception management campaigns to inundate chat rooms, letter to the editor, and on-line polls to sway public opinion on key issues.
It was also recently revealed that the computer security firm HB Gary Federal worked in a program to create and manage "sock puppet" Internet users to infiltrate websites to create confusion and propagate disinformation. The program was to be used to attack WikiLeaks and apparently was linked to the US Chamber of Commerce, the Bank of America, the bank's chief law firm Hunton & Williams, and two other technology firms that later withdrew from participation: Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies. More ominous is the report that it was the Department of Justice recommended the use of HB Gary Federal, Palantir, and Berico (known as Team Themis, which would operate a Corporate Information Reconnaissance Cell [CIRC]) to the Chamber, the Bank of America, and Hunton & Williams to engage in the sock puppet management operation. The program matches recommendations from White House Office of Information Regulatory Affairs chief Dr. Cass Sunstein, who has referred to such operations as "cognitive infiltration."
However, Homeland Security's Avatar Identity program involves the creation of an avatar for every Internet user that pulls information from the actual user's Google searches, Twitter messages, Facebook postings, on-line commerce activities, and other web interactions and feeds the transactions to the avatar program. Intelligence analysts then query the avatar for details of the user's activities.
Your Internet avatar is watching you and snitching on you.
WMR was informed that the Avatar Identity Program was first developed for every known terrorist in the world. However, it has now expanded to include every Internet user and it is being aggressively used to identify and track down members of the hacktivist group "Anonymous," which has attacked the computer systems of HB Gary Federal, Bank of America, and other firms seen as waging a war against Internet freedom.
As an example of its practical use, the Avatar Identity Program records all on-line letters to President Obama sent via the White House web site, as well as any searches for Obama on the Internet.
Our source explained the avatar program by saying, "Every Internet user has a life on the Internet," adding, "but with the avatar, every user has a second life on the web." In the case of the avatar, every Internet user has a virtual "snitch" that reports their every action and movement on the web to the government.
The solicitation for the Air Force's Persona Management program: