DHS Proposes Secret Watchlist Database, Privacy Groups Protest

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Daily Tech: DHS Proposes Secret Watchlist Database, Privacy Groups Protest

    So they're going to take the FBI's bad, poorly implement idea & make it worse. :td:

    Be afraid, be very afraid.
    Lisa Simeone and KrazyKat like this.
  2. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    I am speechless. No, on second thought, I guess I'm not at all surprised.
  3. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    What do you want to bet that one of the data collection points will be TSA Behavior Detection voodoo practitioners chatting people up and asking for business cards? :eek:
    barbell and Lisa Simeone like this.
  4. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Pure tyranny.
    To have no redress is totalitarian. You could--theoretically of course-- piss off local good ol' boys or a mayor whose police work with the FBI and be on this list. I find it interesting that if a credit-granting, insuring, or collection entity does this it is considered rational, but for TSA it is out-of-bounds. No matter that they both work with bad information that the target/listed has no access too. The evil beauty is now all of that "information" can come together at DHS. As EPIC states:
    Who benefits from this?
  5. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    (or, as Mike would put it, cui bono? :))

    I think two groups, both heavily invested in the Terror! business: "security" contractors and the increasingly authoritarian U.S. government. They work hand in glove.

    J. Edgar Hoover could only have dreamed about this.
    AngryMiller likes this.
  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    J. Edgar Beria got his hands slapped rather badly for domestic intelligence in the 60s & 70s to the point that the FBI got out of domestic intelligence efforts.

    Richard Marcinko (founder of the original Red Team & Seal Team Six) alludes to this in a number of his books (mostly novels, so you have to be careful to read between the lines). He had to be very careful not to allow his guys to collect intelligence on any civilian subjects.

    Today, unfortunately, domestic intelligence seems to be business as usual. The next step will be to revive COINTELPRO. If you're too young to rememvber COINTELPRO, read the Wikipedia write-up. It was real. It happened.

    Oh wait, they did revive COINTELPRO by planting informants who were also instigators in the efforts to protest the Republican convention .... It's here, back, now. :(
    AngryMiller likes this.
  7. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    But after FOIA you could at least get your file (or have one opened on account of the request;)). If DHS gets their way you could never access your file--they wouldn't even need to keep an investigation open to prevent that.
  8. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I've always been skeptical of FOIA anyway, much as I applaud its existence. There's still somebody, some person, in authority who decides what and how much is redacted, in anybody's file. You still have no way of knowing if what you've been sent is actually your entire file (using the editorial "you" here).
    N965VJ likes this.
  9. FetePerfection

    FetePerfection Founding Member Coach

    I think every member of every anti-TSA group would be included...
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  10. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Oh, heck, I made an FOIA request and was told that I had requested "too much" information. I was told I needed to specify exactly which database, system, and department I believed to have my information. Seriously? How is anyone supposed to know this information? It's not like DHS is going to publish a list of their databases, systems, and departments. It is seriously an uphill battle.
  11. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Looking into one darkened corner (of synchronized difficulties I've had in the last year), I made a FOIA request to Social Security. They told me I had to prove my son was my son. These are the people that issue the Social Security numbers. LOL.
  12. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    That's why a lot of serious FOIA requests end up as lawsuits where discovery can ferret out all those petty details.
    AngryMiller likes this.
  13. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Unconstitutional at best-most likely criminal. Time for some folks to trade in $2000 suits for $10 orange jump suits.
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  14. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    In my former life as an intelligence officer, we had to contend with the issue of databases throughout my entire career. We could file away names of US persons, but we had a whole bunch of oversight rules and regulations. We had to justify keeping the names every 90 days. Some of my colleagues considered this as an impediment to operational effectiveness because it was a huge administrative burden. But woe be to the unlucky SOB who violated these oversight regulations: the "one aw-shucks wipes out a whole bunch of attaboys!" rule certainly applied here. I saw it as a good check-and-balance, even though I admit that I had a few operations go on administrative hold until we cleared up all the oversight issues. (This only affected operations that involved US citizens. Operations against foreigners had no restrictions, and we were a whole lot more aggressive....and effective...in those instances.)

    What I've learned from all this is that TSA ought to rely on one database and one database only: the NCIC. The National Crime Information Center is universally used by law enforcement agencies at all levels and basically lists wanted felons, whether they're convicted felons or have outstanding felony warrants. Of course, it's more than just that, but the point is the NCIC is a good, workable database for pointing someone to the right agency for details. There are many reasons why I advocate this, but top of the list is the classified nature of other databases. Once those lists are compromised, there is a whole lot of damage, including revealing sources and methods, that can occur. The NCIC is designed to be public. It is a national-level all-points bulletin.

    Leave the spooky stuff to spooks. Keep It Simple, Stupid. (The KISS Principle)
    AngryMiller likes this.
  15. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Bart I agree with you on this one. Unfortunately TSA does a lot of NIH (not invented here) with equipment (i.e. Japanese liquid detectors) and operations. DHS/TSA should get out of the intel business entirely and the FBI/CIA/NSA should be required by law to share pertinent information with DHS/TSA. Mind you I said pertinent, not all.
    KrazyKat likes this.
  16. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    I agree with Bart. Aside from the obvious inefficiency in this duplication of effort, redundant databases of sensitive information just create more security risks by increasing the chance of accidental or malicious release of this information.

    Just this week a hacking group breached the BART database in San Francisco and obtained thousands of customer records including credit card and Social Security numbers. While this was a criminal act, BART will be held responsible since it was their database. They will have to pay for credit monitoring for several years for everyone in their system whether their information was accessed or not. While a few IT folks may get canned, the riders and taxpayers in the area will ultimately bear the brunt of this breach.

    One shared database could be better protected would help prevent the silo mentality that caused the 9/11 tragedy. The 9/11 Commission concluded that the failure of the FBI, CIA and other agencies to share information was the primary cause of the security breakdown. Now DHS wants to return to the same failed practices that resulted in the idiotic decision to create the department in the first place.
  17. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Much like finding out the phone number for the FSD at an airport. TSA won't give it to you.
  18. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Only problem is this: NCIC, and a related system, LEDS show only stateside arrest warrants and criminal records. Neither would have stopped the 9/11 attackers, Tim McVeigh, or the Norway shooter. It's completely useless for preventing terrorist attacks, unless your terrorist is stupid enough to have an arrest warrant issued for him or her. Of course, if TSA's real purpose is to build up statistics so to appear to be doing something about aircraft safety, TSA can use it to arrest a variety of minor felons, absconded parolees, child support scofflaws, and so forth.

    USCIS / USICE also have a variety of databases, most of these are not in general use by law enforcement and typically are hedged about with greater confidentiality requirements. Again, it's quite unlike that any of these would have stopped 9/11, although it does seem that there is a bit greater possibility because of the nature of the student visas held by the perpetrators.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.

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