TrapWire investigation links transit systems and Anonymizer in global surveillance network

Posted on August 13, 2012


The facts behind TrapWire continue to surface in the days since WikiLeaks exposed the

Security camera at London (Heathrow) Airport. ... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

state-of-the-art surveillance system, but minute-by-minute more is being revealed about not just the scary intelligence infrastructure but its questionable ties.

Last week, WikiLeaks published their latest addition to trove of the so-called Global Intelligence Files — emails uncovered from Texas-based Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) by Anonymous late last year — in turn revealing a widespread surveillance system blanketing much of the United States and abroad. The project, TrapWire, is the brainchild of Abraxas, a Northern Virginia corporation that has cut countless deals with the federal government and is staffed by former agents out of not just the Pentagon but practically every leading intelligence agency in the country. As those connections are examined under a magnifying glass by researchers and hacktivists alike, though, more and more is being brought to light about the correlations that exist between the biggest of brothers and an entire industry that profits from pulverizing what is left of privacy.

In addition to Abraxas overseeing perhaps the most-secret and advanced surveillance system in the world, other entities directly connected to the company have a monopoly in America’s mass-transit system and have also advertised themselves as the purveyors behind a tool designed to protect the privacy of US citizens.

Much remains unknown about the actual technology behind TrapWire, but Abraxas founder Richard Helms explained it in a 2005 interview as being “more accurate than facial recognition.” A system of surveillance cameras in select locales across the world are connected to analysis centers that aggregate other data, which can be combined to examine suspicious activity reports and routinely monitor every move across vast areas of public space. Publically available information links the TrapWire system to projects in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, among others, but the ties beyond just that one Abraxas endeavor open the operation up to an infinite number of possibilities.

San Diego-based Cubic Corporation acquired Abraxas in 2010 for only $124 million in cash, close to the same amount that the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense awarded the contractor during just the last 11 months. Within the vast Cubic empire exist other facets, though, ones that could very well be working hand-in-hand with what is quickly unfolding as one of the best-kept law enforcement operation secrets ever.


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