Can any of you smarter-people-than-me verify this?

Apparently, it is a real article in Wired...

Pentagon Kills LifeLog Project

The Pentagon canceled its so-called LifeLog project, an ambitious effort to build a database tracking a person's entire existence. Run by Darpa, the Defense Department's research arm, LifeLog aimed to gather in a single place just about everything an individual says, sees or does: the phone calls made, the TV shows watched, the magazines read…
It is a real article in Wired, and a real screenshot from Wikipedia, the timing is creepy, and the guy behind it is even creepier, but synchrony is not the same as causality, or is it? As stated on Facebook's Wikipedia entry:

Zuckerberg wrote a program called "Facemash" in 2003 while attending Harvard University as a sophomore (second year student). According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not and used "photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine Houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the "hotter" person". Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online. The Facemash site was quickly forwarded to several campus group list-servers, but was shut down a few days later by the Harvard administration. Zuckerberg faced expulsion and was charged by the administration with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy. Ultimately, the charges were dropped.
In January 2004, Zuckerberg began writing code for a new website, known as "TheFacebook"
Membership was initially restricted to students of Harvard College; within the first month, more than half the undergraduates at Harvard were registered on the service. Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes joined Zuckerberg to help manage the growth of the website. In March 2004, Facebook expanded to the universities of Columbia, Stanford, and Yale. It later opened to all Ivy League colleges, Boston University, New York University, MIT, Washington and gradually most universities in the United States and Canada. [...] On September 26, 2006, Facebook was opened to everyone at least 13 years old with a valid email address.

In 2003/2004, Facemash/Facebook was a young guy's wet dream. It was opened to the public two and a half years later. The idea was certainly not new, a lot of companies worked on similar projects, according to a Tech Dirt article.

The concept of the "backup brain" - a device that you carry around that records everything going on around you for future use - has gotten a lot of attention over the past few years. Both Microsoft and Accenture announced plans to work on projects in the space, and no one really flipped out. However, as soon as the government suggested they were looking at a similar project, called LifeLog, people began to freak out about the privacy implications.

The fact that there was so much corporate interest may have helped Facebook gain such momentum at the time, though.

[emphases mine]
  últim editat: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 15:54:52 -0700  
Mark got a very substantial amount of seed money on 2004 when he moved to Silicon Valley. This is when I met him. I also created a theFacebook account as I still had a Stanford email address from my earlier employment there. I thought it was pretty lame (it was). A profile page and status updates and a buddylist. That was the entire app. (*) I didn't log back in until another friend joined 2-3 years later and sent me a friend request - I even forgot I had the account.

[Edit: Also an early version of groups. Each university was assigned a group and you automatically became a member of it.]

Anyway, the US intelligence agencies were closely aligning themselves with technology companies at the time. It's undisputed that Google got funding from In-Q-Tel (the government's not-very-secret "secret technology investment firm"). I knew about them from my time at Netscape/AOL. They were VCs who were throwing a lot of money around the valley to further their agenda. Direct funding in Facebook isn't proven, but we do know Mark got money from the Accel mob in the early venture rounds and they were kissing cousins with in-q-tel. The head of Accel went on to take a seat on their board. Silicon Valley is basically a single tech workforce who move around from project to project and company to company depending on who is throwing money around. It's an entire region of digital mercenaries. The VCs sit at the top and decide where the money should go.

Whether or not Facebook became the embodiment of the LifeLog project in 2004 doesn't really matter. What's important is that all these ideas were converging at the time and later became PRISM, so eventually it happened.