U.S. surveillance system shopped to national security agencies

August 16, 2012 - 

New e-mail correspondence released by WikiLeaks reveals that TrapWire, supplier of a controversial U.S. security surveillance system, intended to sign up major law enforcement and national security agencies throughout the contiguous United States and Canada.

Fred Burton, vice-president of intelligence at Strategic Forecasting Inc., purportedly stated in e-mail conservations that: “TrapWire may be the most successful invention on the GWOT (Global War on Terrorism) since 9-11” and that the system should be sold to law enforcement agencies with major counter-terrorism operations such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Los Angeles Police Department and the New York Police Department. An e-mail thread also stated that TrapWire would be used in the State of Texas.

Subsequent e-mails also note that Strategic Forecasting Inc., known as Stratfor, which charges up to $20,000 annually for its intelligence gathering services, was promoting the TrapWire service to clients without mentioning it was getting a commission.

As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, TrapWire is a subsidiary of Abraxas Corp., a Virginia-based company that is staffed by the elite former members of the U.S. intelligence community. A patent application by Abraxas described the TrapWire software as a system that merges digital data, surveillance cameras and security information to detect terrorist “pre-attack preparations.”

The TrapWire software system is designed to provide a simple yet powerful means of collecting and recording suspicious activity reports. Once a suspicious activity is entered into the TrapWire system, it is analyzed and compared with data entered from other areas within a network for the purpose of identifying patterns of behavior that are indicative of pre-attack planning.

While details about Abraxas are scarce because of the sensitive nature of the service and technology, information has been leaking out about the surveillance system from a cache of five million e-mail messages that were stolen from Stratfor by computer hackers with the collective called Anonymous, which WikiLeaks began releasing in February. Stratfor said it is possible that some of the e-mail messages are authentic, and denounced the theft as a threat to homeland security.

Both Stratfor and Abraxas Corp. are business units of Cubic Corporation, a firm that specializes in customized products, systems, and services for government and commercial customers in the defense, transportation, and RFID markets. Cubic supplied transit cards for the London 2012 Olympic Games, creating speculation that its transit card and transit surveillance systems might be integrated into the TrapWire system.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.