Abraxas' TrapWire Not Offered by Cubic

by John Stanton

"Cubic Media Analysis Center (CMAC): C-MAC provides clients an operational focus on local, regional and international media reporting to help determine impact on goals or objectives. Our team monitors the full spectrum of open-source media reporting (data collection); integrate and analyze appropriate reports and media themes (information); assess media trends, tone and objectivity, and provide recommendations (knowledge). Resident Media Specialists (RMS) residing in countries of specific interest help us better monitor foreign-language local newspapers, television, radio and Internet sites, and interpret "cultural" implications of media coverage that would otherwise be missed by U.S.-trained linguists."

According to Timothy Hall, Director of Cubic Corporate Communication TrapWire, the application, is not part of Cubic's product offerings even though Abraxas was purchased in December of 2010. "Good morning John, we 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. Cubic purchased the Abraxas Corporation five years after the spin-off was conducted. 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. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions."

So noted. But then there is this: http://cryptome.org/2012/08/abraxas-trapwire-false.htm .

The response to Hall was this: "Well, as a PR person you know that this is a very muddled story.. Here in Washington DC Metro, as you know, there is a lot of, well, not conspiracy minded journalists, but rather those that know that in our nation;s political and military center that narratives from PR/PAO folks really have to be watched closely along with comments cited as being from government officials. .

So yes, there are transaction details that show Abraxas App was, ostensibly, spun off along with the TrapWire brand name. Around here we have heard many stories about spin offs from defense contractors (think of the Bell System as one of them...they seem to be back together again). Ultimately, no acquiring company is going to sell off innovative technology particularly when it meshes so well with the functions of a large and savvy organization like Cubic. Spin off, sure, but sacrifice the programming capabilities of Abraxas App and their significant contacts in areas that Cubic seeks business just does not make any balance sheet sense. The business synergies are too compelling.

Even your comment below indicates that Cubic purchased Abraxas 5 years after the spin off, in 2007, but that would make the purchase in 2012 not 2010 when it was recorded by the US government and trade press in Washington, DC: '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. Cubic purchased the Abraxas Corporation five years after the spin-off was conducted.'

As I stated in my piece, the purchase of Abraxas made sense..A severe weakness in our homeland defense are bus stations and train stations (and their transport vehicles) that are very difficult to monitor. Cubic's synergy with transport, security paycards makes it suited to address this gap. Tracking technologies are part of life in these times..You might consult the novel WE by Yevgeny Zamyatin written prior to 1984 that is relevant to the USA in my view.

My statement, as you read, is more about accountability. Power and influence and esteem are addicting for all of us. There is little accountability here in DC Metro for our federal officials and the many companies that populate our nation's seat of power..And when your home is about a kilometer from the Pentagon you get kinda pissed that a trillion dollar a year political and security apparatus--which I worked for and still believe in and teach about--really screwed up and in the end not one person lost a job. The theater here in DC post 911 was rather disgusting..So the facts, at least around here, are never as they seem."

"Cubic is the world's leading provider of automated payment and fare collection systems and services for the transportation industry."  One also wonders how closely Cubic, through its press monitoring services, works with the US government to monitor and shape environments around the globe, something that the US military and Corporations are keen to do. And with the battlefield everywhere, that means leakage into the US domestic scene.

Once again, the synergies, as Cubic put it in one of its press releases, from purchasing Abraxas were going to get it well placed in the national security and cybersecutiy markets. The capability to monitor media (open source) just adds to the murky nature of Cubic's synergies. From media analysis, to pay cards, to RFIDs, to maritime port security, to defense and intelligence contracting, Cubic is a turn key security operation with global reach.

Cubic's purchase of Abraxas in 2010 for $124 million (US) in cash made sense looking at where the $1.2 billion dollar Cubic Company does business. A large portion of that money comes from its Defense Systems and Mission Support Operations segments (where Abraxas is apparently operating). Roughly $415 million comes from its Transportation division.

Cubic's acquisition of Abraxas and its magic bag full of electronic tracking/snooping tools-apparently devoid of TrapWire, was made two years prior to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In 2011 The transit authority there had recently installed video cameras on all of its 191 buses.

According to a report in the London Free Press, "Big Brother is watching passengers on London buses. All 191 vehicles in the London Transit fleet have been fitted with surveillance cameras. Buses are equipped with three cameras recording the interior of the bus --above the driver, at the front entrance and at the rear exit --and one camera recording the vehicle's exterior. Following the lead of other big-city transit systems, the $730,800 project started in September as a way to make buses safer for both passengers and drivers."It creates a sense of safety and security," said London Transit manager Larry Ducharme . A sign on the entrance to buses tells passengers they're being recorded."

Enter Cubic's Abraxas

Cubic's 2011 Annual Report notes the following:"For the London 2012 Olympic Games, our contactless payment solution will be widely deployed onboard the massive London bus fleet. Transport riders in the capital city will be able to use their credit or debit cards in the same way as the Oystercard. Ultimately, we will be providing similar capability in the United States, Europe, and Australia."

Is a more advanced form of TrapWire integrated as part of Cubic's  rider payment system or as an additional contract add-on?

Back here in the USA Cubic has been very busy. "Cubic and PATCO have partnered to provide the Philadelphia/New Jersey region commuters with the world's first prepaid transit branded Visa card."

And probably have your picture taken too and then matched with travel patterns, purchases and life style portfolios.

Cubic also has a large presence in RFID markets around the globe. Its purchase of Safe Harbor Holdings back in June of 2010 gave it a stronger presence in the cybersecurity market. Cubic has made itself a one stop national security business. It is not Abraxas or the jettisoned TrapWire which should be the focus of concern for all of we "little people." Rather attention should be turned to giants like Cubic that have a hand in nearly every aspect of daily life that are truly frightening. They make little distinction between civilian and national security practices and, in fact ,merge both as part of their business model. Then again its the same with the US government. Cubic donates 77 percent of its political cash to Republicans and defense related political action committees. Of course, the Democrats and Republicans are nearly one in the same.

Cubic like many of its corporate comrades have all the power bases covered. They have extraordinary powers bestowed upon them by the three branches of the US government.. And it all filters down to the state and local levels through fusion centers and who knows what other "classified" groups..

There is no end in sight as long as the War on Terror continues which means that there is no light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

The struggle is not to get off the grid. The fight is to somehow remain ambiguous on it since there is no escape.

John Stanton

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Author`s name John Stanton