|Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 08:32 am: ||
American Travelers to Get Secret 'Risk Assessment' Scores
EFF Fights Huge Data-Mining Program Set for Rollout on U.S. Borders
WASHINGTON - November 30 - An invasive and unprecedented data-mining system is set to be deployed on U.S. travelers Monday, despite substantial questions about Americans' privacy. In comments sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked the agency to delay the program's rollout until it makes more details available to the public and addresses critical privacy and due process concerns.
The Automated Targeting System (ATS) will create and assign "risk assessments" to tens of millions of citizens as they enter and leave the country. Individuals will have no way to access information about their "risk assessment" scores or to correct any false information about them. But once the assessment is made, the government will retain the information for 40 years -- as well as make it available to untold numbers of federal, state, local, and foreign agencies in addition to contractors, grantees, consultants, and others.
"The government is preparing to give millions of law-abiding citizens 'risk assessment' scores that will follow them throughout their lives," said EFF Senior Counsel David Sobel. "If that wasn't frightening enough, none of us will have the ability to know our own score, or to challenge it. Homeland Security needs to delay the deployment of this system and allow for an informed public debate on this dangerous proposal."
Earlier this month, EFF's FLAG Project submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to DHS seeking more details about the ATS data-mining program, but the agency has not yet disclosed the requested information.
|Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 09:39 am: ||
So Jen, how do you personaly feel about this "data mining project"?
Are you well enough informed about the details to have reached a rational conclusion; or are you like me just naturally suspicious of any big government projects to collect information on citizens? Do you consider as I do that forcing citizens to submit to a national head count including all the members of the family in residence, the average annual income and date of birth and gender and ethnic background and so on, is an unnecessary big government imposition?
Do you consider as do I that forcing citizens by rule of law to contribute a big chunck of their income to an insurance scheme that is fundamentaly unsound and can never meet its obligations without forcing citizens to contribute more and more of their earnings to support it?
Did it ever occur to you that all the fuss about some minor project was really a smoke screen to cover something a great deal more of an imposition on the privacy and property rights of citizens?
Child-- you are so focused on your conditioned hatred for one particular personality that you have no idea what is going on outside your hate blinders.
Just take a little time and research the "Free Trade Corridor", just one of the legislative bills quietly passed through the Senat and the house while voters were focused on the big public fights over mostly nonsense.
Born with the gift of laughter, aware that the world is mad. -- Jimbo
|Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 11:14 pm: ||
Leahy: Terror Screening Oversight a Must
By Michael J. Sniffen
The Associated Press
Friday 01 December 2006
"It is simply incredible that the Bush administration is willing to share this sensitive information with foreign governments and even private employers, while refusing to allow US citizens to see or challenge their own terror scores,"
- Senator Patrick Leahy.
Washington - The incoming Senate Judiciary chairman pledged greater scrutiny Friday of computerized government anti-terrorism screening after learning that millions of Americans who travel internationally have been assigned risk assessments over the last four years without their knowledge.
"Data banks like this are overdue for oversight," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who will take over Judiciary in January. "That is going to change in the new Congress."
The Associated Press reported Thursday that millions of Americans and foreigners crossing US borders in the past four years have been assessed by the computerized Automated Targeting System, or ATS, designed to help pick out terrorists or criminals.
The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments, which the government intends to keep on file for 40 years. Under specific circumstances, some or all data in the system can be shared with state, local and foreign governments and even some private contractors.
"It is simply incredible that the Bush administration is willing to share this sensitive information with foreign governments and even private employers, while refusing to allow US citizens to see or challenge their own terror scores," Leahy said. This system "highlights the danger of government use of technology to conduct widespread surveillance of our daily lives without proper safeguards for privacy."