believed by some to be the forefunner to the now infamous “Prism” program by
the National Security Agency (NSA). The “Prism” program was brought to
light by leaker Edward Snowden, yet it is now coming to light, that a program
has existed long before this new revelation. It was known as PROMIS.
also the name for a Department of Justice computer software program. In
the mid-1970s, Inslaw, Inc., a small Washington D.C. software development
company, created for the a highly efficient, people-tracking, computer program
known as Prosecutor’s Management Information System (Promis). Inslaw’s
principal owners, William Anthony Hamilton and his wife, Nancy Burke Hamilton,
later sued the United States Government (acting as principal to the Department
of Justice) for not complying with the terms of the Promis contract and for
refusing to pay for an enhanced version of Promis once delivered. This
allegation of software piracy led to three trials in separate federal courts
and two congressional hearings.
following article excerpt is used to best explain the program as connected to
the NSA – while the FOIA documents follow below.
PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner
The FOIA Documents
Department of Justice (DOJ)
of Special Counsel Nicholas J. Bua to the Attorney General of the United States
Regarding the Allegations of INSLAW, Inc., March 1993, and the 1994 DOJ Report
on INSLAW/PROMIS matter, released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of
Information Policy (OIP) [465 Pages, 11MB] – Special thanks to GovernmentAttic.org
for this record.
National Security Agency (NSA)
regarding the NSA use of the PROMIS System [4 Pages, 1.1MB] – The NSA did
find a considerable amount of documents, however, they are requiring a payment
of $440 for the release of the material. This is a bit too high for me to
afford, but if you are interested in sponsoring the release of these documents,
you can CONTACT
The Black Vault and let me know!
Please note: Additional
FOIA requests have been filed about PROMIS and will be added here.