U.S. To Keep Data On Americans With No Terror Ties

U.S. To Keep Data On Americans With No Terror Ties

Tags: intelligence, information, terrorism, privacy, guidelines, rotenberg, community, americans, national, government

The U.S. intelligence community will now be able to store information about Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to five years under new Obama administration guidelines.

Until now, the National Counterterrorism Center had to immediately destroy information about Americans that was already stored in other government databases when there were no clear ties to terrorism.

Giving the NCTC expanded record-retention authority had been called for by members of Congress who said the intelligence community did not connect strands of intelligence held by multiple agencies leading up to the failed bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

"Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday. "The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively."

The new rules replace guidelines issued in 2008 and have privacy advocates concerned about the potential for data-mining information on innocent Americans.

"It is a vast expansion of the government's surveillance authority," Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said of the five-year retention period.

The government put in strong safeguards at the NCTC for the data that would be collected on U.S. citizens for intelligence purposes, Rotenberg said. These new guidelines undercut the Federal Privacy Act, he said.

"The fact that this data can be retained for five years on U.S. citizens for whom there's no evidence of criminal conduct is very disturbing," Rotenberg said.

"Total Information Awareness appears to be reconstructing itself," Rotenberg said, referring to the Defense Department's post-9/11 data-mining research program that was killed in 2003 because of privacy concerns.

The Washington Post first reported the new rules Thursday.

The Obama administration said the new rules come with strong safeguards for privacy and civil liberties as well. Before the NCTC may obtain data held by another government agency, there is a high-level review to assure that the data "is likely to contain significant terrorism information," Alexander Joel, the civil liberties protection officer at national intelligence directorate, said in a news release Thursday.

The NCTC was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to be the central U.S.organization to analyze and integrate intelligence regarding terrorism.

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Salam said... Rating: 0   Vote +   Vote -  

Your words… “Wretchedness and gloriousness. They go togteher indeed.” struck such a surreal chord in me.I was finally appointed guardian of my 18 year old last Friday.It has been a six month pursuit. My husband would say it was a wretched experience. Not for the faint hearted or a pro-se friendly journey. I attempted this legal feat pro-se and despite three workshops, books, advise, guidance from professionals and friends… I couldn’t take it to an outcome. Last month, five months after I had originally filed, I obtained a lawyer. This attorney moved mountains and within thirty days of legal representation I got my guardianship.She had to file motions for amendments, had me get brand new assents from all my other children and husband, had me get an updated clinical TEAM report (which required my daughter getting in front of a psychologist, an MD, and LSW… again!) and added a needed Rogers Petition. And Snap! I am a guardian. For my husband this legal process was wretched.For me it was a royal aggravation, and beyond the scope of my capabilitiesFor me the wretchedness was that thing just below the surface… the fact that she needed this legal thing at all. My dreams for my daughter’s maximum independence for the past 18 years never included guardianship. Having a court allow me too basically take control of all legal, financial and medical decisions felt like I was stripping her of her civil rights. It felt wretched.I know that given her intellectual, medical, educational, legal and protection needs, it was necessary. But it felt wretched. I will capitulate that this guardianship now allows our school district to send referral packets to new schools. They needed a legal guardian to have the authority to sign off on a new placement, which we all agreed she desperately needs. A new placement that can better meet her needs is glorious thing! Over the next few months we will be interviewing new placements, and preparing ourselves for the next chapter of skill building- pre-independence acquisitions for the future. (post 22 possibilities.)Truly, a glorious thing.Your words nailed my cumulative journey of the past six months.“Wretchedness and gloriousness. They go togteher indeed.” Thank you so very much! I Love this blog and look forward to each and every post.Lauri

3/29/2012 6:17:09 PM