Saturday, May 21, 2011

Baldacci fiction mimics the real ThinThread

Interestingly this week, the story of Thomas Drake's super-secret ThinThread Internet aggregation technology came out simultaneously with my finishing David Baldacci's 21st novel The Sixth Man. The full ThinThread story is well reported in the extensive 10-page New Yorker Magazine article by Jane Mayer. Baldacci's fiction is eerily similar to the actual ThinThread technology.

ThinThread can allegedly aggregate worldwide Internet traffic and find patterns of nefarious activity. It got killed not only because of supposedly illegal spying on U.S. citizens—Drake, who is under criminal indictment for breaking numerous secrecy laws, says that reading email from U.S. citizens could easily have been filtered out of the processes—but ThinThread was too cheap to sufficiently line the palms of all the "Beltway Bandits" who want big projects paid for by U.S. tax dollars. Baldacci's fictional E-Program relied on one super-intelligent individual to aggregate data feeds from every single intelligence agency. It was also too cheap and too effective for the competing D.C. power bases. Baldacci's super-intelligent individual was a savant without the idiot adjective preceding it. To help us suspend our disbelief of such super intellect, Baldacci's character can not only memorize the license plate numbers of every car they pass in a multiple-hour drive on the freeway, but he can describe each individual in those cars and total each state represented by the license plates. The key to his value, though, is that he can absorb everything he sees—forever—and then isolate patters from vastly unrelated data to infer unfolding events. Basically, ThinThread with skin and eyeballs.

The Sixth Man is a great read, worthy of Baldacci. And the ThinThread investigative journalism piece might garner Jane Mayer a prize or two were it not for the fact that she can achieve no corroboration from anyone in the intelligence community. Is the ThinThread accurate in what it reveals about the workings of the intelligence community? The answer is a possible "Yes," given what I've observed with H3 nano-ionic resonance technology and it's lack of adoption by the intelligence community. The H3 is just too cheap to make much money for the mega-billion dollar suppliers to the federal government. On the other hand, ThinThread may have been scrapped because we have something much better.

Golly Miss Molly, I hope it's the second scenario.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?