Cubic continues campaign to distance itself from TrapWire ‘big brother’ surveillance company

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Federal government defense contractor Cubic Corporation is continuing its efforts to distance itself from TrapWire, amid allegations of Cubic’s close affiliation with the controversial domestic surveillance company.

Cubic’s ties to TrapWire — a federal national security and cybersecurity contractor specializing in pre-crime surveillance — were exposed after emails, allegedly between several employees of the private intelligence and geopolitical analysis firm Stratfor, mentioned a business relationship with TrapWire.

The Stratfor emails were part of a larger cache of 5 million internal emails stolen from the company by the hacktivist collective Anonymous in December 2011. The whistleblower site WikiLeaks and its media partners subsequently published the emails.

The Moscow-based, however, published an August 20 analysis consisting of independent journalist and renowned national security scholar John Stanton’s investigative results on Cubic’s history. A Cubic representative denied the TrapWire ties that Stanton and others uncovered, which had been published in a prior piece on August 14 in the left-wing publication CounterPunch. Information on the Cubic-TrapWire ties was also published on the Public Intelligence website.

Timothy Hall, Director of Cubic Corporate Communication TrapWire, emailed Stanton to paint reports connecting Cubic’s acquisition of Abraxas to TrapWire as “erroneous.”

“Good morning John,” said Hall. “[W]e have seen various erroneous stories connecting Cubic’s acquisition of Abraxas to TrapWire.”

“Below is a link to a story which was published in 2007 outlining the spin-off of Abraxas Applications which is now known as TrapWire Inc.,” Hall continued, referring to a 2007 Washington Business Journal article that reported the spin-off.

“Cubic purchased the Abraxas Corporation five years after the spin-off was conducted,” said Hall. “The sale did not include the TrapWire technology nor has there been any affiliation or association with the corporation. For credibility, you might want to note these facts.”

Stanton told The Daily Caller that Hall had sought him out to correct what he viewed as errors. Hall’s recitation of the facts, however, contradict the public record. Documents of the merger date back to 2010. Stanton noted that error in his report.

Cubic Corporation’s email is the latest in the company’s PR effort to distance itself from the controversial surveillance technology developed by its wholly-owned subsidiary. Stanton noted that the technology was developed to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics.

Cubic’s denials began last week after WikiLeaks published an email allegedly obtained from Stratfor, which revealed an alleged business relationship between Stratfor — already under fire from critics for its close ties to the U.S. national security and intelligence communty — and TrapWire.

In an August 13 statement, Cubic rejected attempts to tie its business practices to TrapWire, despite a massive paper trail documenting its own history with Abraxas.

Abraxas Applications later became TrapWire, Inc. The merger conditions between Cubic and Abraxas Corporation — which was founded in 2001, according to a 2006 US News & World Report story — prohibited Abraxas Applications from retaining the use of that name.

While the connection between Abraxas and TrapWire has not been a closely guarded secret, their new combination has gone largely unnoticed — much to the dismay of civil liberties activists like Project PM founder Barrett Brown.

Despite Brown’s disappointment with the media’s treatment of the story, he himself has been working to surface information about this newly discovered facet of the U.S. surveillance apparatus.

Project PM, an information-collection group focused on holding the U.S. national security and intelligence apparatus accountable, is part of Brown’s toolbox. He has seen the FBI target him in the past for his efforts and past associations with Anonymous.

Brown told The Daily Caller last week that he was personally overseeing the “doxing” — the gathering and publishing of personal information of high-profile individuals associated with the company.

That information, Brown states, has been posted on Project PM’s website.

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