I heard the Stardock ceo say that there was a firm idea behind the "sins" of each empire. He gave a clue and said that one or more of the various sins in game paralleled what was going on in the world after 9-11.
You can go in a lot of directions with that but it may be corporate greed and governmental use of economic and military power could be the TEC's sin. Since they had earth events in mind, it seems plausible "earth" could be the source of TEC...maybe it was the Terran Economic Council at the start.
Guess it depends on whether or not the devs are predominately Glenn Beck or Michael Moore fans.
"Be kind, don't flame..only you can prevent forest fires."