Welcome privacy news

if true. Probably cannot go back to the olden days, but Congressional oversight is a step in the right direction. I don't trust federal agencies that are allowed to act with impunity, especially in the name of national security.

crime plus 8 mailbox

Daylight Sought For Data Mining - washingtonpost.com Key senators introduced legislation yesterday that would require the government to disclose data-mining programs to Congress in an effort to protect Americans' privacy and prevent misuse of personal information.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and John E. Sununu (R-N.H.) requires federal agencies to report the development and use of data-analysis technologies to “discover predictive or anomalous patterns indicating criminal or terrorist activity.”...

The new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), vowed that Congress would take a much more active role in the oversight of government surveillance and data-collection programs.
Leahy said at least 52 federal agencies use data-mining technologies and at least 199 data-mining programs are operating or planned throughout the government, including 14 within the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and Health and Human Services. Those do not include programs run by the National Security Agency. According to Leahy's staff, the NSA has not disclosed to the committee what, if any, data-mining programs it is conducting. An NSA spokesman declined to comment.

Leahy said that the government's terrorist watch list includes names of more than 300,000 people -- including infants and members of Congress. “We also need to understand that a mistake in a government database could cost a person his or her job, sacrifice their liberty and wreak havoc on their life and reputation,” he said.

As I've probably mentioned before, in 2002, I suspected I was on some watch list, was pulled aside for special searching something like 9 straight times. Hasn't happened recently, but then I'm also not flying as much, for business or pleasure. The hassles outweigh the rewards in most instances.

I remain skeptical that federal agencies are clever in the usage of the “No Fly” list; from what I've read, the entire concept is mostly a joke. When Osama bin Laden flies into Virginia to meet Karl Rove, I'm sure he doesn't use his real name.

and the conflicted Libertarian, Bob Barr weighs in:

Robert L. Barr Jr., a former Republican member of the House from Georgia and also a former federal prosecutor, said the issue is not errors but an administration that he believes is thumbing “its nose at the Congress” and using data mining in a way that potentially “everybody is a suspect.”

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 12, 2007 10:19 AM.

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