Statement of the Information Awareness Office
regarding the meaning and use of the IAO logo



Source: Question 15 in the IAO Frequently Asked Questions
document dated February, 2003 which can be accessed

IAO FAQ -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question 15: What does the IAO logo mean? Why has it disappeared from the web site?

Answer; DARPA offices have traditionally designed and adopted logos. However. because the IAO logo has become a lightning rod and is needlessly diverting time and attention from the critical tasks of executing that office's mission effectively and openly, we have decided to discontinue the use of the original logo.

For the record, the IAO logo was designed to convey the mission of that office; i.e., to imagine, develop, apply, integrate, demonstrate, and transition information technologies, components, and prototype, closed-loop information systems that will counter asymmetric threats by achieving total information awareness useful for preemption, national security warning, and national security decision making. On an elemental level, the logo is the representation of the office acronym (IAO) the eye above the pyramid represents "I" the pyramid represents "A," and the globe represents "O." In the detail, the eye scans the globe for evidence of terrorist planning and is focused on the part of the world that was the source of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "Scientia est polentia" means "Knowledge is power." With the enabling technologies being developed by the office, the United States will be empowered to implement operational systems to thwart terrorist attacks like those of September 11, 2001.

The unfinished pyramid and the eye depicted in the logo were taken directly from the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States of America (for a history of the seal, see Both sides of the seal also appear on the back of the U.S. $1 bill.