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1,600 Names Suggested Daily For FBI's Watch List 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the by-reading-this-article-you-have-been-added dept.
schwit1 writes with this excerpt from the Washington Post: "During a 12-month period ended in March this year... the US intelligence community suggested on a daily basis that 1,600 people qualified for the list because they presented a 'reasonable suspicion,' according to data provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the FBI in September and made public last week. ... The ever-churning list is said to contain more than 400,000 unique names and over 1 million entries. The committee was told that over that same period, officials asked each day that 600 names be removed and 4,800 records be modified. Fewer than 5 percent of the people on the list are US citizens or legal permanent residents. Nine percent of those on the terrorism list, the FBI said, are also on the government's 'no fly' list."
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1,600 Names Suggested Daily For FBI's Watch List

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  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:21PM (#29942508)

    How do they define "reasonable suspicion"? I couldn't find that information in the article.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by OzPeter (195038)

      How do they define "reasonable suspicion"? I couldn't find that information in the article.

      By asking that question I think you just became entitled to be placed on the list .. so perhaps you can do an FOI request and answer your own question?

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:27PM (#29942534) Homepage

      How do they define "reasonable suspicion"? I couldn't find that information in the article.

      I'm a reasonable guy. You look suspicious. And so do you. And in fact YOU are looking kinda odd today. I think I will stick you all on the list, just to be sure.

      I wonder if anyone over at the FBI understands the concept of signal to noise?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851)
        The answer to that is no, they don't understand the concept of SNR.

        Which is obvious since some of the names on the list are extremely common names in various parts of the world and all they list is the name. Which has been obvious for many years given that they haven't actually been able to analyze all of the information they've been given. It would be just as effective to just pull over or tap random people on the list. Possibly more so since they'd at least know if those particular people were or were n
      • What does everyone think those botnets are for? They're just raking in the names. Do a search for "Al-Queda.net" and the bot reports you. You only THOUGHT the botnets were all monitored by the criminal element, LOL

    • by goombah99 (560566) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @02:18PM (#29942820)

      Okay let's test the slashdot effect.
      monday: everyone reccomend sarah palin for the watch list
      tuesday: everyone reccomend Nancy Pelosi
      wednesday: Hannity
      thursaday: Harry reid
      friday: Lieberman.

      either we'll slashdot the service or do the nation a favor.

      • You have, what about 600 Congresmen+Senators, so in about 2 years you could do them all, then start over if the list isnt abolished yet ... LOL
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AHuxley (892839)
          http://mrl.nyu.edu/~dhowe/trackmenot/ [nyu.edu]
          'TrackMeNot runs in Firefox as a low-priority background process that periodically issues randomized search-queries to popular search engines"
          Now load that up with your 600 congresscritters and Senators and do your part to help warm up the NSA.
          • by tinkerton (199273)

            Woah. Imagine a beowulf cluster of those! You think the list should be combined with an echelon triggerwords list?

            • I [bin laden] don't think [pentagon] so. I'm using that [bomb] Firefox extension right now and [anthrax] do not notice any[uranium]thing out of the [wmd] ordinary.

      • Monday: everyone on slashdot recommends all their work collegues
        Tuesday: recommend all friends and family
        Wednesday: recommend random sample from phonebook
        Thursday: everyone who owns a black dog.
        Friday: Lieberman.

        That way we'll slashdot the service AND do the nation a favor.

    • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @02:19PM (#29942826) Homepage

      How do they define "reasonable suspicion"?

      That's their euphemism for "foreign."

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      They don't. It's modern-day McCarthyism, it's just that no one senator has stepped up to bat and get his name attached to this whole racket. At 1600 per day, either their criteria are completely wrong, or many of the government's policies are so out of whack with public opinion (although maybe admittedly a minority)that even discussing them gets you labeled as a "terrorist".

      BEGIN RANT: I mean really, that number should be closer to 2 or 3 per day, with most of them being false positives. Most peopl

      • Pretty much on target, with the two or three per day. Credible leads concerning subversives don't just materialize out of thin air. Those subversive types who have been publicized recently lived in neighborhoods where all the neighbors thought they were fine, upstanding young men. "Muhammed? He's always at church worshipping, and always has something nice to say when we meet. He played catch with my Junior just last week. He has even carried my groceries from the car a few times!"

        I like how they attem

        • by Nazlfrag (1035012)

          I've often pondered the will behind that. I guess the simplest one, well if I were Machiavelli I would want to stir up fear of foreigners so I could use them as scapegoats when the domestic situation turned to shit. Plus the bonus fear for fears sake. Now to work out how or why it works in a nation that's 98%+ immigrant families...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by falconwolf (725481)

        They don't. It's modern-day McCarthyism, it's just that no one senator has stepped up to bat and get his name attached to this whole racket.

        Sen, Ed Kennedy was on the No Fly list [findarticles.com].

        Falcon

    • by Narnie (1349029)

      Suspicion: (n)
      If you read /. your name has been added.
      If you comment on /. your name has been double plus added.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AHuxley (892839)
        How many times do you have to post about the NSA and CIA before your phone starts having issues and your Mac, Windows or Linux box starts becoming extra unresponsive?
        • How many times do you have to post about the NSA and CIA before your phone starts having issues and your Mac, Windows or Linux box starts becoming extra unresponsive?

          How many tymes do you have to watch Enemy of the State [imdb.com] before you're put of the lists?

          Falcon

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @04:18PM (#29943840)

      How do they define "reasonable suspicion"? I couldn't find that information in the article.

      Judging by the numbers, I have a guess. If they arrest a terror suspect and search his house and find your contact information, you're on the list. Terrorists incidentally keep a LOT of contacts in things they call "Phone books," suprisingly well organized. Alphabetical and everything. Very neat handwriting as well. Business contacts are usually kept in books with yellowish pages, the significance of which is unknown. What's scary is that they have a number of contacts IN THE GOVERNMENT, on blue pages indicating they may be democrats.

    • by lennier (44736)

      Acting suspiciously reasonable?

  • by SSpade (549608) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:24PM (#29942522) Homepage

    If 9% of the list o' terrorists are also on the no-fly list, that means that the feds are happy with 91% of terrorists being on airplanes.

    • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:30PM (#29942558)

      If 9% of the list o' terrorists are also on the no-fly list, that means that the feds are happy with 91% of terrorists being on airplanes.

      Suspected terrorists. Let's not through due process out the window just yet. And I doubt that the Feds believe that those 9% are all actual terrorists, just people who may have links to some terrorist organization or other, and thereby deserve special attention. And of those, a few are considered bad enough to be kept out of the skies.

      • by sg_oneill (159032) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:40PM (#29942624)

        And those who consider it shouldn't have the power to decide it except in a court of law.

        Just because some paranoid mcarthyist hacks in the government think some guy seems a bit whack doesnt mean they should have a right to go around fucking people over with no fly lists unless its proven in a court.

        The system is entirely at odds with the concept of liberty and needs to be *urgently* scrapped and subject to a public enquiry to identify the decision makers behind it so that they might be prevented from having anything to do with policy ever again.

        • Just because some paranoid mcarthyist hacks in the government think some guy seems a bit whack doesnt mean they should have a right to go around fucking people over with no fly lists unless its proven in a court.

          No argument there. The whole system is a crock, that's for sure, and is about as naked a power grab as I've ever seen. It's bad enough that several thousand people had to die because of some people's religious intoxication, but what we did to ourselves since is even more obscene.

          It may have sounded like I was trying to excuse the Feds behavior, but I wasn't. I was objecting to the GP's presumption that everyone on some arbitrary list is a terrorist, just because someone in government says they are.

          And

        • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Sunday November 01, 2009 @04:36PM (#29943978) Homepage Journal

          Just because some paranoid mcarthyist hacks in the government think some guy seems a bit whack doesnt mean they should have a right to go around fucking people over with no fly lists unless its proven in a court.

          Actually, this has been to the supreme court, and so isn't going to change.

          You see, when the public backed the idea that people convicted of certain crimes (sexual, violent) should be publicly listed (on web sites, etc.), the courts decided to find a way to pretend that wasn't an ex post facto violation for the previously convicted (and those not convicted, because they put them on there as well, for instance those with adjudication withheld judgments.)

          In order to pull that bit of conceptual legerdemain off, they said that the government has the right to list the citizens, because such listing is (get ready now) "not punitive" because the government isn't the agent causing the listee problems. It's the other citizens, businesses, etc. doing it, you see. That whole... can't get a job, a place to live, credit, being the targets of posters on telephone poles, the occasional outright mugging or murder, and of course, being driven to suicide. Not the government's problem or responsibility.

          Since, the justices said, while giving each other dancing hip shots on the head of this particular pin, such listing (cough) isn't punitive, it doesn't violate ex post facto, which explicitly forbids [usconstitution.net] either the states or the feds from changing a punishment by adding to it after it has already been set at sentencing (among other things.)

          Of course this concept -- the idea that such listing isn't punitive -- is utterly nonsensical, but the thing is, it is nonsensical at the level of the supreme court, which makes it a formidable thing to overturn (practically, it makes it almost impossible, actually.)

          What falls out of it, though, is a magical government right to put citizens on all kinds of lists without their consent, and without any judicial process whatsoever, regardless of the consequences that fall out of such listing in trying to pursue one's life.

          From this, we get no-fly lists, where the government isn't stopping you from flying, it's the airline; the no-buy lists, where the government isn't stopping you from buying, it's the car dealer or other dealer; the terrorist list, where the government isn't stopping you from getting a job, it's the employer, and so forth.

          This is just one of many fine examples of why we should not tolerate the "re-interpretation" of constitutional issues by the people in the courts. The constitution obviously means exactly what it says; it is the literally the constituting authority for the government; therefore, the government does not have the authority to do anything that is outright forbidden in the constitution, not directly, and not by invoking this kind of legalistic bullshittery. If the people want to change something in the constitution, that's what article five is for.

          So while the argument that the government "should" go through judicial process to commit these harms to the citizens and others within our borders is sound, sensible, and constitutionally obvious, the supreme court has made it a non-starter.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by benjamindees (441808)

            the government has the right to list the citizens, because such listing is (get ready now) "not punitive" because the government isn't the agent causing the listee problems. It's the other citizens, businesses, etc. doing it, you see.

            I'm as much of a Laissez-Faire, free-market guy as anyone, but by now most Americans who are paying attention should be thoroughly convinced that corporations are now an arm of the government. It's time someone brought that fact to the attention of the courts.

            • by HiThere (15173)

              It's not that the corporations are an arm of the government, and it's not that the government is an arm of the corporations. It's more like Mussolini style fascism, where the government and the corporations agree to work together against the citizenry. (Mussolini didn't believe that it would be "against the citizenry", but that's the way its turned out when the idea has been tried. True, there haven't been a statistically significant number of cases, but there's currently a 100% correlation.)

        • by lennier (44736)

          "Just because some paranoid mcarthyist hacks in the government think some guy seems a bit whack doesnt mean they should have a right to go around fucking people over with no fly lists unless its proven in a court."

          It's the "no breathe lists" which worry me more.

      • Totally off topic.

        You do it too.

        I've resorted to spelling throw as through for some damn reason and I can't figure it out.
      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Suspected terrorists. Let's not throw due process out the window just yet.

        Why are you bringing up due process?
        Are you suggesting that there's due process when you get put on either list?
        Because if there is, it isn't something the public has been informed of.

      • Suspected terrorists. Let's not through due process out the window just yet.

        Dur process was already thrown out the window. It was thrown out as soon as the first name of someone who had not been convicted of a terrorist action was put on a no fly list. Sen Ed Kennedy [wsws.org] may of been a danger to liberty but he wasn't going to blow up a plane. And Cat Stevens [wikipedia.org] wasn't about to force you to listen to him singing, as if that would kill you.

        Falcon

      • by mpe (36238)
        Let's not through due process out the window just yet. And I doubt that the Feds believe that those 9% are all actual terrorists, just people who may have links to some terrorist organization or other, and thereby deserve special attention.

        Most likely connections with terrorist orgs the US Government considers to be "enemy". If you added terrorists groups the US Government supports (as well as those they are indifferent to) you'd have virtually 100% of US Citizens and residents having "links to terrorism"
    • Aren't considered a possible threat to aviation.

      • by mpe (36238)
        Aren't considered a possible threat to aviation.

        Yet ironically people who have attacked other passengers and/or aircrew members don't get an automatic place on the list.
  • Inefficient System (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cabriel (803429) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:29PM (#29942544)
    It only requires a few unscrupulous groups to voluntarily suggest names of innocent people to inflate the list, increasing the likelihood of false-positives on any given search and reducing the likelihood of being matched themselves within a meaningful time frame.
    • by NFN_NLN (633283) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:50PM (#29942670)

      It only requires a few unscrupulous groups to voluntarily suggest names of innocent people to inflate the list, increasing the likelihood of false-positives on any given search and reducing the likelihood of being matched themselves within a meaningful time frame.

      Then that's exactly how you defeat the system. If everyone suggested someone for the list, then in no time the list would include everyone, thereby making it useless.

      • Then that's exactly how you defeat the system. If everyone suggested someone for the list, then in no time the list would include everyone, thereby making it useless.

        With as many people are on the list now, its already useless.
        Unless the real intention is something else, like kingdom building.

        See what the NSA is doing to handle this list and others like it:

        http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_12744661 [sltrib.com]

  • by MarkvW (1037596) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:36PM (#29942596)

    The STASI (East German Secret Police) got awesome participation from its citizens when it asked them to help them spy on their fellow citizens.

    There is a scary lesson in that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NFN_NLN (633283)

      The STASI (East German Secret Police) got awesome participation from its citizens when it asked them to help them spy on their fellow citizens.

      There is a scary lesson in that.

      http://www.fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/government/homeland_security_patriot_act_fema/news.php?q=1255711589 [fourwinds10.com]

      They don't need STASI, they already have the Boy Scouts:

      "...military and police indoctrination of Boy Scouts at the Boy Scouts Of America Great Lakes Centennial Jamboree, held on September 25, 26, and 27 at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

      “I thought it would be a great adventure with thousands of scouts from all over the Midwest,” an assistant Scout Master writes in an email. “The official count

    • by relguj9 (1313593)

      The STASI (East German Secret Police) got awesome participation from its citizens when it asked them to help them spy on their fellow citizens.

      There is a scary lesson in that.

      Yea... and the FBI is trying to find terrorists who plan on killing American citizens and people who plan on raping children. Big fucking difference. Increasing their effectiveness and ability to find actual criminals through citizen participation over patriot-act-esque big brothering is a good thing.

  • bummer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tommeke100 (755660) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:42PM (#29942628)
    a socialist (caucasian) Belgian politician got on that list because the immigration officer thought he had too much South American stamps on his passport. So after taking him into a small office, they googled his name and found his articles to be too "left wing" to their taste and he was refused access and said that if he wanted to come to the US he had to apply for a visa. He did just that and of course it was refused. Lately, he took the plane to Brazil (a direct flight), and they had to detour the whole plane for hundreds of miles, because he was on it and they weren't allowed to fly over US territory (the crew told him afterwards) . And of course, there is no way to get off that list.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by billybob_jcv (967047)

      I don't trust anyone from a country where they put mayonnaise on french fries.
       

      • by denzacar (181829) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @02:00PM (#29942726) Journal

        When you invent [wikipedia.org] something - you get to do what you want with it. Even put mayonnaise on top.

      • Can I move to where you live? I'm black, so it goes without saying that mayonaise to me is like garlic to a vampire. If those people in gated communities were really serious about keeping us out they would spray paint their house with the shit.
        • Re:Fucking-a. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Hatta (162192) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @03:17PM (#29943262) Journal

          Try making your own, it's a quality condiment. It's just the stuff in stores that they call mayonnaise that's disgusting. It's just some egg yolks and a bit of lemon juice in a blender, and you slowly drizzle oil in until it's stiff. You can add some flavor too, a bit of nice mustard and black pepper is good. Sometimes I'll add garlic, capers, or a touch of cayenne. Whatever I have on hand really, it's fun to play around with. Of course, everyone's tastes vary, but I'm of the opinion that you shouldn't decide you don't like something until you've tasted it done right.

        • I'm black, so it goes without saying that mayonaise to me is like garlic to a vampire.

          What? :S

          There's whole areas of food related racism I just don't get.

          • by HiThere (15173)

            He's wrong, but *SOME* black's are lactose intolerant. It depends on which area your ancestors are from. And commercial mayonnaise may contain milk products. (It doesn't all, but it all looks like it does.)

            He may well have ancestors from an area of Africa that is largely lactose intolerant. (I think that's most of it, but not all. I'm not sure, because I never investigated in detail.) But lactose tolerance evolved independently in three groups of people, and one of those was in Africa. But the people

      • Re:bummer (Score:5, Informative)

        by tommeke100 (755660) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @02:15PM (#29942798)
        I don't know why I get modded down for what I wrote, maybe because I didn't give any references. So here is an official question asked to the Belgian minister of Foreign Affairs in the Belgian Senate about it. I was wrong about the destination though (but it doesn't matter in this context), it was to Mexico. Also, he isn't merely a left wing politician, he's actually a member of the European Parliament.
        http://senat.be/www/?MIval=/Vragen/SchriftelijkeVraag&LEG=4&NR=4398&LANG=nl [senat.be]
        It's in Dutch though, here's the google translation in english:
        http://translate.google.com/translate?prev=hp&hl=nl&js=y&u=http%3A%2F%2Fsenat.be%2Fwww%2F%3FMIval%3D%2FVragen%2FSchriftelijkeVraag%26LEG%3D4%26NR%3D4398%26LANG%3Dnl&sl=nl&tl=en&history_state0= [google.com]
        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          Interesting that the questions were asked on 11 Sept 2009... the anniversary of the 911 attacks.

          Your link indicates that answer has been received on 29 Oct, however electronic text not available yet, so unfortunately we can not read the answer of the minister.

          Besides I didn't realise that South America was a major source of terrorism, I always thought that was mainly around the Middle East and Afghanistan. That terrorism witch hunt really seems to get worse still!

      • Says someone who eats chilli cheese fries and blueberry pancake and sausage on a stick, dipped in baconnaise and barbecue sauce (just as disgusting). :P

        We* invented it, we decide how it's meant to be eaten. ^^

        We promise we won't tell you how to make those meatballs with sweet tomato jam and starch sponges around them that you call hamburgers. Deal? :)

        (Now we're equal.)

        ___
        * I'm from Luxemburg, which is right next to Belgium, where you get the best fries in the world, because they invented them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Fly_List [wikipedia.org]

      In an article in The Atlantic[11], security expert Bruce Schneier described a simple way for people to defeat the No Fly List:

      Use a stolen credit card to buy a ticket under a fake name. Print a fake boarding pass with your real name on it and go to the airport. You give your real ID, and the fake boarding pass with your real name on it, to security. They’re checking the documents against each other. They’re not checking your name against the no-fly list—that was done on the airline’s computers. Once you’re through security, you rip up the fake boarding pass, and use the real boarding pass that has the name from the stolen credit card. Then you board the plane, because they’re not checking your name against your ID at boarding.

      Among other problems, it is unknown
      - who is on the list,
      - what criteria are used to get on the list
      - how you can get off the list

      Effectively, it is a reversal of the presumption of innocence. Terrorists should be treated as criminals, we should not forget that they are human. The situation is truly Kafkaesque, with the public being happy to not be on the list.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Well if only terrorists would be treated as criminals it would solve many problems... supsected criminals are arrested, charged, and put in front of a court of law. Even the worst criminals (serial killers, rapists, bankers) are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

      • The wikipage on the no fly list has an interesting take on false positives. They're people who have the same name as someone on the list. The guy who wrote that apparently can't conceive of the possibility that someone may be on the list for no reason at all, let alone the possibility that the list scores about the same as a list consisting of a random sample of the population.

  • Watch list? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:43PM (#29942634)

    I'd be more interested in knowing what the average length of time a person remains on the list, and a demographic breakdown. The problem with compiling lists like this is the same as with sex offender registries: Even after people are removed from it (sometimes winding up on it for petty reasons in the first place), they continue to be linked to it. Computers don't forget, and there's always some bureaucrat who wants to keep a list of everyone that's ever been on the list available and searchable. There is a point at which even justice becomes injust.

    So what are the numbers, Big Brother?

  • by nuckfuts (690967) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:46PM (#29942652)
    Does the FBI actually have the manpower and /or systems to effectively monitor the activities of 400,000 people? If not, they are are watering down their list and reducing its usefulness.
  • i'm on the list (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 01, 2009 @01:52PM (#29942680)

    One family friend is a military lawyer; another works in sigint. Two things I learnt:

    (1) Since I wrote a bunch of anti-war articles a few years ago, I am at least documented - although nothing much is said, I guess since most of what I co-wrote with my partner was published only under their name.

    (2) It's worryingly trivial to obtain a list of recent peers of any particular US IP. IOW, even a routine background check will include a list of regular web sites visited.

    What is needed is for any as many as possible to be on such lists: it is only by getting as many people as possible inconvenienced, while making the amount of data too great to focus too hard on harassing any one individual or small group, that such methods lose their efficacy.

  • I am still waiting for the list to be released into the wild. It would prove to be an interesting read. Much like the lists of 'evil' web sites.
    • by ekhben (628371)

      A list of names doesn't seem to have much potential to be interesting. The phone book is pretty dull to read, and that has addresses and phone numbers as well as names!

  • by Lemming Mark (849014) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @02:18PM (#29942818) Homepage

    Dear US Authorities,

    I have heard so much about your big list of suspicious people; with so many other people being included I am beginning to feel left out. I'm not a very naughty person but sometimes I wave subversively at CCTV cameras. If it would help, I could also wear a long trenchcoat and shades and carry a briefcase. I've been practicing looking at things through narrowed eyes a lot, so I would probably be quite good at being suspicious.

    If you will put me on your special suspicious list, I will return the favour by putting you on my list of suspicious countries. It currently includes every other country in the world, ever - but I'm sure it's still not as long and impressive as your list is.

    Love and hugs,
    Lemming Mark

  • The crap list (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thammoud (193905) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @02:20PM (#29942840)

    My son, 12 now, with a middle eastern name but born in the US. We travel a lot and they always flag his name for a second check. Ever since he was a toddler. You would think that after the first or second time, they will somehow amend the records with my name, his mom's name and DOB. But no, we go through the process every time we fly. It is a minor irritant at his age now, but I am very worried about him when he is an adult. We are seriously thinking about changing his name but I am not sure that it will make a difference.

    • It's much easier to change a name before 18. Once they go to college, start working, and start buying things... it's a major pain in the ass to redo that trail of documents and papers. If you're serious, I would do it sooner rather than later.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Alomex (148003)

      It's all security theater. If they really cared about the security of the country they would whittle down the list as fast as they can, so that they can concentrate on the true potential threats.

      For nearly five years I was on some form of list and an analyst back in Washington DC had to waste an hour looking at my file every time I crossed the border just to confirm that, as in the previous n-1 times, I still pose no threat to the USA. Eventually I did get off the list (no reason given) and for the last tw

    • My son, 12 now, with a middle eastern name but born in the US. We travel a lot and they always flag his name for a second check. [...] It is a minor irritant at his age now, but I am very worried about him when he is an adult. We are seriously thinking about changing his name but I am not sure that it will make a difference.

      Change his name? He's gotten a first-rate education in what government really is and does. Not many kids have this opportunity.

  • Unfortunately I suspect that the story of all of this, that has happened since 9/11, will one day be a disgusting, cautionary tale about how an open and free society was slowly transitioned into an authoritarian fascist nightmare...I'm not sayuig we're completely there yet, but there is a progression - and once these rights, civiliberties, freedoms (whatever you call them) are taken, they never get given back without a severe upheaval or revolution or some sort. Once the security apparatus gets used to bein

  • If they don't have a second, smaller list, restricted to say no more than 1,000 names that would actually be likely to be used, then they are idiots.
  • Due Diligence (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mindbrane (1548037) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @02:34PM (#29942944) Journal

    Recently, in Vancouver, RCMP officers were publicly challenged for stopping known protesters to the upcoming Olympic winter games and asking them why they were against the games. I don't know the ins and outs of the whole episode but the criticism of the RCMP in the media seemed to centre on their stopping people in public places and questioning the reasons for their political opinions. A news broadcast carried the response from an RCMP public relations officer who used the term "due diligence" in defense of the RCMP's actions. Due diligence as I was schooled in the subject matter had to do only with commercial dealings wherein a party to a contract was expected to have scrutinized the terms of a pending contract to ensure they understood the value they would receive for their part in the contract. It may be that in law the term "due diligence" has a wider meaning, but, I think, the RCMP's use of the term is symptomatic of the use of law suits to resolve many issues in terms of monetary damages and contractual obligations that tacitly put aside principles that should invest more fundamental laws addressing vital issues like freedom of speech. There seems to be developing an adversarial, highly litigious approach to addressing issues that rightly belong to more sober venues.

    Law enforcement agencies wield what should be illegal force. Force that necessarily must be used for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the infantile need among a high proportion of people to make the world in their image, but, if we take the core principles of democracy and subject them to remedies that belong in commercial enterprises then, I think, we run the risk of debasing those principles and turning democracy into a commercial venture wherein all principles and actions are arbitrated by monetary awards, and, the duties and responsibilites of persons with extraordinary powers are also simply monetized.

    I'm a strong backer of the military and the police, the more so because I believe the current state of affairs places them collectively and individually in conflicts both individual and collective that subject them to more stress than their pay warrants and, perhaps, more stress than can be expected to be suffered without considerable negative consequences, but, I sure, this being /. many will disagree.

  • something that is very important in these uncertain times, no one wants to loose their job. ''Hey Joe - I have a new batch of names for our list''
  • How *ever* do we intend to qualify everyone in the U.S. populace as a terrorist if we can't even keep up with the rate of population growth?

    Slackers!

    At this rate, I'll take nearly 5 centuries to burn our current citizenry at the stake. I'm sure we'll have many more people by then...
  • by Maltheus (248271) on Sunday November 01, 2009 @04:33PM (#29943950)

    1600 suspected terrorists a day? If even 1% of that was real then we'd be dealing with 58,000 people a year intending to commit terrorist acts a year? Are we suppose to believe that the FBI has managed to stop them all in every case??? It's not that hard to blow a bus up or derail a train, so why aren't they doing it? Oh I know, because it's all bullshit.

    The only terrorists I see are in the government and the media. They're the only ones using terror to get us to change our way of life. Ooh, Iran is gonna nuke the world, global warming/cooling is going to put our cities underwater/put us in a deep freeze, swine/bird flu/monkey pox/SARS is going to be the next plague that kills us all, main street will starve to death if we don't give your money to these bankers over here, Islamofascism seeks to establish a dictatorship over the world. Eurasia is our friend, Eastasia is our enemy. Eastasia is our friend, Eurasia is our enemy. It's gone well beyond the little boy who cried wolf at this point and has become more akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. And in each case, the cry is the same: "We can protect you from all these horrors if only you give us more power. We all have to sacrifice to do what is necessary."

    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." -- William Pitt

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      57,000 academics, students, citizen journalists and press who have published or are under review.
      The watch list just slows them down a bit.
      Extra searches, harder to get promoted, no security clearance later in life ect.
      Pulling a critic out of a random line and cloning their laptop is chilling.
      Hinting to their family/friends with them that it is routine for a 'single person on holidays' ect.
    • by yivi (236776)

      1600 suspected terrorists a day? If even 1% of that was real then we'd be dealing with 58,000 people a year intending to commit terrorist acts a year? Are we suppose to believe that the FBI has managed to stop them all in every case??? It's not that hard to blow a bus up or derail a train, so why aren't they doing it? Oh I know, because it's all bullshit.

      Sorry to nitpick since it doesn't have anything to do with your point, but if 1% of the suspected people were real terrorists the actual number would be ov

  • Number of names on terrorist watch list at 400,000, agency says

    And how many slashdotters are on the lists? A bunch I bet. First those who criticized Bush were put on the lists, and now those criticizing Obama are being added.

    So some of us were put on the lists twice.

    Falcon

  • "In the past few weeks, through our national hotline, we have collected hundreds of names of suspected terrorists, and I'm proud to say that most of the calls have come from high school and college students nationwide. In fact, we received over 475 calls alone regarding this man: M'Balz Es-Hari."
  • Hey he changed his name to Mohammad something or other and became a Muslim... Get 'em!

    I mean seriously Cat Stevens? If ever there was anybody that wasn't going to hurt anyone...

    Having a "no fly list" may sound like a good idea, just not a particularity well thought out one.

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