Part of the alternate reality game "Prevent
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In the early 1990s, two graduate students, one working on his masters degree, and one working on his doctoral degree, had their research quietly and privately acquired by the military. The formerly academic research was continued as government research with a significantly more generous budget. The overall technology was developed to sift and scan through the Internet as it evolved into a more commercial product with expected ubiquitous usage.
Throughout the late 1990s, as the Internet dataset grew, interns through puppet companies controlled by these former students developed sophisticated algorithms, computer program code, that could identify and associate psychological profiles with any taggable user of the Internet. The algorithms also compared relationships, whether financial, strategic, or otherwise, between individual users. The day the PATRIOT Act was signed, any trace of this technology disappeared from the dataset.
For the decade beginning in 2001, the former students, known to the government as the "OTRs", or off-the-records, where granted effective doctorates within their primary field of study based on their contributions to national security. They had been commissioned on 9/11 to develop a counterterrorism emergency response blending vehicle set.