Inslaw and the PROMIS of the 1990s

When the Internet, in its Second Form, was rolling in the mid-90s, an MIT Professor, J. Orlin Grabbe found himself a star—if only because he had content on interesting subjects written from an Againstist perspective.  He likely drove Jim Norman, then a Forbes editor, mad, as Norman flamed out with a delirious tale about why Vince Foster met an early demise. 

Anyway, no child of that time period failed to learn about Inslaw, PROMIS, and the dark entity, Echelon,that was already watching us on the Internet–Danny Casolaro and the Octopus–right?One just ceased to care.

Nevertheless, it is important to recall that the case of Inslaw and its stolen PROMIS software reached the floor of Congress when murder was alleged.  Wired does a decent write up, with a little less drama.

In the aftermath of 9/11, it was reported by Fox News and the Washington Times, that Al-Qaeda had used blackmarket PROMIS to move funds.


Glenn Greenwald seems to have a need for conflict.  His last act as a lawyer was to represent Matt Hale, head of World Church of the Creator, in Hale’s defense against charges of conspiracy to murder a federal judge. I have always had my doubts about Greenwald’s climb, but taking a credit for the leak of the PRISM program makes those points moot.  While nothing was learned—really, a shock, the gubmint is tracking communication?—there is now a moment of promotion.

 Questions will continue as to what is the purpose—national defense of course, watching the bad guys.

 This misses the point entirely.  The purpose is retroactive—to have the potential to form a case after the threat produces itself.  The misdirection suggests future crime, when really, the government only looks backwards and trusts it has the tools to produce enough ‘damning’ things to neutralize potential threats.

And BTW, watch the movie, (streaming on Netflix) The Lives of Others.

At the present, an older set of sleuths are looking for a connection between PROMIS and PRISM—hint look-up VT-PRISM.

1998 article from Govtech: The Letter and the Spirit 

“Com Squared’s UNISearch is a customized solution for data-intensive problems. The solution had to work hand-in-glove with the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS), the city’s ongoing data warehousing project comprised of VT-Prism and Inslaw software on an IBM mainframe.”

Hey, it’s a start of inquiry.

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