Terror Database Has Quadrupled In Four Years

Who’s scared of these idiots? They have piles of information, and still zero knowlege or wisdom. Can you imagine what a comedy it would be watching these goofballs even try to implement half of the police state power they’ve set up for themselves? It would probably end up setting us free.

Anyway, here’s the Post

Each day, thousands of pieces of intelligence information from around the world — field reports, captured documents, news from foreign allies and sometimes idle gossip — arrive in a computer-filled office in McLean, where analysts feed them into the nation’s central list of terrorists and terrorism suspects.

Called TIDE, for Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, the list is a storehouse for data about individuals that the intelligence community believes might harm the United States. It is the wellspring for watch lists distributed to airlines, law enforcement, border posts and U.S. consulates, created to close one of the key intelligence gaps revealed after Sept. 11, 2001: the failure of federal agencies to share what they knew about al-Qaeda operatives.

But in addressing one problem, TIDE has spawned others. Ballooning from fewer than 100,000 files in 2003 to about 435,000, the growing database threatens to overwhelm the people who manage it. “The single biggest worry that I have is long-term quality control,” said Russ Travers, in charge of TIDE at the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean. “Where am I going to be, where is my successor going to be, five years down the road?”

TIDE has also created concerns about secrecy, errors and privacy. The list marks the first time foreigners and U.S. citizens are combined in an intelligence database. The bar for inclusion is low, and once someone is on the list, it is virtually impossible to get off it. At any stage, the process can lead to “horror stories” of mixed-up names and unconfirmed information, Travers acknowledged.

The watch lists fed by TIDE, used to monitor everyone entering the country or having even a casual encounter with federal, state and local law enforcement, have a higher bar. But they have become a source of irritation — and potentially more serious consequences — for many U.S. citizens and visitors.

In 2004 and 2005, misidentifications accounted for about half of the tens of thousands of times a traveler’s name triggered a watch-list hit, the Government Accountability Office reported in September. Congressional committees have criticized the process, some charging that it collects too much information about Americans, others saying it is ineffective against terrorists. Civil rights and privacy groups have called for increased transparency.

5 thoughts on “Terror Database Has Quadrupled In Four Years

  1. vineyardsaker

    When I entered the USA to live here (for the second time in my life) I had to pass a driving license again (even though I had been driving – including professionally – for over 20 years) and my license was sent to the state capital to the FBI to check whether I was a terrorist or not ;-)

    There are two types of organizations (or individuals): result oriented and activity oriented. The US “security” organizations are, alas, all fully activity oriented. So this is why they do what they do: its ALL they know how to do. So homeland security does databases, the FBI arrests people, the CIA kidnaps and monitors, etc. Its not because it makes sense, its just because they are trained to do that. If the USA was run by gastroenterologists, they would make colonoscopies mandatory for the entire population and especially for immigrants who – God knows – my hide something (secret messages?) in their colons…

    The really scary thing is that this type of activity-oriented organizations will inevitably do more and more and more of what they know how to do and report that as ‘progress’, thus getting more money. To use my example of gastroenterologists, if they were running homeland security they would make colonoscopies mandatory for all once a year and, before anyone really notices, they would make them mandatory on a daily basis. In their minds, that would also be ‘progress’.

    Anyway – how is the move of the KAOS reports coming? Did you succeed in asking your sysadmin/webmaster computer guy to open an ‘anonymous FTP access’ on the server they are stored on now?

    (-: I will pester yo over and over again on this one :-)

    Kind regards,

    VS

  2. Oscar Goldman

    I think we all ought to get our names on that list. It would be kind of cool, in a way.

    …not necessarily by doing anything subversive even…do something cool like be an expert in the sciences, learn Arabic, Farsi, or Russian…take lots of pictures of big federal buildings and complexes (off property of course)…and of the license plates parked there…run a kickass blog that is critical of the government and the welfare-warfare state :) … then interview people who are genuine thorns in the side of very powerful interests, and broadcast their story to thousands :)

  3. Mace Price

    …Speaking of music, their playing the Deguello for Alberto “Stungun” Gonzales right now. Hell even some of the Senate Republicans want him gone…I don’t see how he can last. That and now the notorious “anti-Semite” Jimma Carter’s on his ass…Just publicly called for his resignation on NBC News. As for The Decider? You’ll recall he swore that he’d stand by Don Guantanamo Rumsfeld. Bottom line: Too late for them to lie their way out of it now. They’ve told one lie too many.

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