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Government Privacy United States Your Rights Online

U.S. Gov't To Keep Data On Non-Terrorist Citizens For 5 Years 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the innocent-until-eventually-suspected-of-something dept.
arnott writes with this excerpt from the Washington Post: "The Obama administration has approved guidelines that allow counterterrorism officials to lengthen the period of time they retain information about U.S. residents, even if they have no known connection to terrorism. The changes allow the National Counterterrorism Center, the intelligence community's clearinghouse for terrorism data, to keep information for up to five years. Previously, the center was required to promptly destroy — generally within 180 days — any information about U.S. citizens or residents unless a connection to terrorism was evident."
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U.S. Gov't To Keep Data On Non-Terrorist Citizens For 5 Years

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  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:20AM (#39452543)

    I'm surprised there is even a 5 year limit- figured they would keep that data indefinately. I'm sure they have loopholes to allow them to keep the data on anyone that they think is "interesting".

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:22AM (#39452565)

      Don't worry, in five years the limit will be raised to ten years...

      • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:26AM (#39452625)

        Don't worry, in five years the limit will be raised to ten years...

        A moving target ... just like extending copyrights so works don't end up in the public domain?

        • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:49AM (#39452963)

          According to the Supreme Court it could be 1000 years and still be constitutional. That is why Jefferson advised Madison to include a fixed number of years in the Bill of Rights -- that no monopoly should last longer than an author's lifetime.

          (And once again Jefferson demonstrated an uncanny ability to predict future events... that the monopoly for artists/media companies would be extended to insanely long terms.)

             

          • According to the Supreme Court it could be 1000 years and still be constitutional.

            Which is correct.

            It is a common misconception that the Supreme Court is all about "justice".

            It's not. It's about "Constitutional". If the Constitution says "Congress may do this", then by God, Congress is allowed to do this.

            If you think Copyright terms being effectively unlimited is a problem, start trying to convince Congress to amend the Constitution. It's not like Congress particularly cares one way or the other how l

        • The Zombie Bono Data Retention Act.
      • by mr1911 (1942298) on Friday March 23, 2012 @12:08PM (#39453197)
        Or, as the OP eluded to, they just define whatever it is you are doing as a potential terror indicator and then keep your data forever.

        Don't worry about being added to the list. You're probably there unless you live a very boring, very sheltered life and speak to no one.

        Don't be alarmed. This is all for safety and security. Just not yours.
    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:24AM (#39452595)

      no one here can prove that data EVER gets destroyed.

      that's all.

    • by TWX (665546) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:36AM (#39452775)

      I'm sure they have loopholes to allow them to keep the data on anyone that they think is "interesting".

      Yeah, it's called an FBI file...

      That we occasionally get a released FBI file on a long-dead political activist, or on an entertainer, or on a politician, or on a civil rights leader... draw your own conclusions.

      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        I'm sure they have loopholes to allow them to keep the data on anyone that they think is "interesting".

        Yeah, it's called an FBI file...

        That we occasionally get a released FBI file on a long-dead political activist, or on an entertainer, or on a politician, or on a civil rights leader... draw your own conclusions.

        Don't get your knickers in a twist. They've had an FBI file on me since the 70's. It was part of my background check for security clearance in the military. AFAIK, they still have it, though

        • You can request your FBI file from them- and if they have one they will send it.

          I'm sure there are some "top-secret" reasons they wouldn't- but supposedly they should.

          • by hoggoth (414195)

            But if you didn't have an FBI file, does requesting your FBI file cause them to open an FBI file on you?

            • Probably. So the trick is to request the file- and then request another file a few months later to see if requesting your file made them create one... if it didn't...

              But perhaps they only keep a file on you if you request it twice- so a few months after the second request- request it a third time...

          • by nschubach (922175)

            http://www.getmyfbifile.com/form.php [getmyfbifile.com]

            If anyone wanted a link. (I'm not affiliated with the site.)

      • Face Book Information...

    • Hosting all that data costs money. From a law enforcement point of view it's probably worthless after 5 years anyway.
      • Data that can be used against someone politically never becomes worthless while that person is alive and not in prison yet.

        "$X years ago you were involved with $political_movement therefor you are an America hating democracy killing $name_of_currently_disliked_group."

      • by BlueStrat (756137)

        Hosting all that data costs money. From a law enforcement point of view it's probably worthless after 5 years anyway.

        But you're missing the point. Politically and citizen-control-wise, it can be worth far, far more than gold. Absolutely worth it, to them, to spend our money (not theirs) on it. Just another tax and tick on the debt clock that will never cost *them* a dime.

        They have to take our money to retain the data, so that when we get angry because they take our money to retain the data, they can use the data they retained to protect themselves from the citizens who are angry that they're retaining the data.

        It's turtle

      • by bryan1945 (301828)

        Who says you have to continually host it? Pull out the archive drives and store them. Still costs some money, but how many TBs could you stuff into a moderately sized broom closet? Besides, knowledge is power, and when you know more about them than they know about you...

    • by bryan1945 (301828)

      Here's a question- How do you prove that they did get rid of your data after 5 years? Somehow I doubt that security files ever get truly destroyed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:22AM (#39452561)

    I Hope we Change our President this year

    • Re:Hope and Change (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mhajicek (1582795) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:30AM (#39452691)
      You mean for yet another one that's just the same?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Your own fault if you keep voting for/limiting yourself to only two, and usually lousy, choices! Expand your options is all I can say...

    • And replace him with an even more draconian one ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      And replace him with what....Romney? Gingrich?! Santorum??!!

      Let's face it. Whomever wins the next presidential election, the citizens will lose.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Xenkar (580240)

        Ron Paul

        • Re:Hope and Change (Score:5, Insightful)

          by forkfail (228161) on Friday March 23, 2012 @12:33PM (#39453517)

          The problem with Ron Paul is that while he's on the mark about 30-40% of things, he's bat shit crazy about another 50% or so. The remaining 10-20% falls into the "meh" category.

          • Re:Hope and Change (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday March 23, 2012 @12:54PM (#39453861) Homepage
            While I agree he has his wacky side (a rather large one at that) it seems he would be much more constitutionally minded than any of the others running. The president's power is in the ability to sign or veto legislation, as commander and chief of the armed services, and who he appoints as judges. If Congressman Paul were elected as president what would be the worst that would happen. We probably wouldn't be starting any wars unless we were attacked. We would stand a better chance of bring all of our troops home. The federal government might shut down like it did in the 90s because congress can't get its shit together and produce a balanced budget because I highly doubt a President Paul would sign one that wasn't balanced. The biggest issue might be anyone who he would appoint to the US Supreme Court, and even there I think I would be willing to pick people who would support individual freedoms and liberties. Problem he comes with a lot of baggage as a large number of established Republicans would rather he didn't run as a R because they are rather embarrassed by his libertarian and dovish sides and the rest of the population is well aware of his more wacky beliefs (note there is probably a fair amount of overlap between these 2 groups). This is why he doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting the republican nomination let alone winning the presidency.
            • After reading Ron Paul's book 'Liberty Defined', the very name of which is nothing but spin, I am more convinced than ever that he is just one more right wing politician who has found a way to more or less disassociate himself from the rest of the right wing politicians by marketing his 'small government' line of bullshit.

              He will shrink government by killing democratic programs, nothing more, nothing less.

              To those of you haven't read his publications, I suggest you do so - and please try and read a bit beyo

          • Isn't it better to attempt to radically change something, even if it upsets the system, instead of hoping that more of the same will be an improvement?

          • Re:Hope and Change (Score:5, Interesting)

            by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday March 23, 2012 @02:32PM (#39455147) Homepage Journal

            The problem with Ron Paul is that while he's on the mark about 30-40% of things, he's bat shit crazy about another 50% or so.

            50% bat-shit crazy beats 100% crook any day in my book.

          • by Chris Burke (6130)

            Sure, that's the problem with supporting him.

            The problem with electing him is that regardless of whether he's on the mark or bat-shit crazy he will stick to his principles and not compromise.

            This is why he will never be elected president, and shouldn't be elected president. Being the President of a country is about politics. Politics requires compromising in the face of reality. I've already had enough of a leader who sticks to their ideology against reality.

      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        And replace him with what....Romney? Gingrich?! Santorum??!!

        Let's face it. Whomever wins the next presidential election, the citizens will lose.

        That's been the problem for the last several election cycles. I haven't seen a real candidate since, well, hell, I don't think I've ever seen a real candidate, and I'm pushing 60!

    • by x0d (2506794)
      there's your politics http://i.imgur.com/mSTMD.jpg [imgur.com]
  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:23AM (#39452577)

    We need to take down these terrorists, and if that means ignoring the Bill of Rights and throwing Americans into concentration camps, like we did in WW2, then so be it. As Santorum said, "We must be united in this war. We cannot allow any criticism."

    /end sarcasm

    • As Santorum said, "We must be united in this war. We cannot allow any criticism."

      When did he say that? I would in no way be surprised if he did say that, but a google search didn't return anything.

    • Older folks in Russia always like to say how they felt safer in the old Soviet Union. They didn't get the opinion of the people who went to the gulags though.

    • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday March 23, 2012 @12:10PM (#39453215) Homepage

      We need to take down these terrorists, and if that means ignoring the Bill of Rights and throwing Americans into concentration camps, like we did in WW2, then so be it.

      That's a great idea, and I know just where to start! There's a guy who organized the illegal killing of several Americans in Yemen with a large explosion. He currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC. He has many of accomplices working elsewhere in Washington as well as nearby Arlington, VA.

      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        We need to take down these terrorists, and if that means ignoring the Bill of Rights and throwing Americans into concentration camps, like we did in WW2, then so be it.

        That's a great idea, and I know just where to start! There's a guy who organized the illegal killing of several Americans in Yemen with a large explosion. He currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC. He has many of accomplices working elsewhere in Washington as well as nearby Arlington, VA.

        Don't forget their running buddies o

        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          Oh, sure, I'm just figuring you start with the guy we know was involved in this particular plot (he bragged about it in public) and know exactly where he is (our security agencies make a big effort to track his every movement quite closely). Once you've picked up him, the next step is clearly to waterboard him until he tells us all about his accomplices.

      • God damn I wish I had mod points.
    • by sconeu (64226)

      My former sig seems appropriate here:

      Only through obedience and faith can we preserve our way of life against authoritarian fanaticism"

    • From the joint DNI/DOJ statement [dni.gov]:

      "The updated Guidelines do not provide any new authorities for the U.S. Government to collect information, nor do they authorize acquisition of data from entities outside the federal government. All information that would be accessed by NCTC under the Guidelines is already in the lawful custody and control of other federal agencies. The Guidelines merely provide the NCTC with a more effective means of accessing and analyzing datasets in the government’s possession th

    • You misquoted Santorum, he actually said: "Strength through Unity. Unity through Faith"
  • by Jack Malmostoso (899729) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:25AM (#39452611)

    I really fail to understand how this data is used and if anyone actually checks it or if it is kept in order to incriminate you later. See what happened in Toulouse last week: a man who went in and out Afghanistan and Pakistan, was known to the police, went in and out of jail a couple of times, was known to frequent an extremist group, still managed to kill children in a school and keep the police busy for two days under siege.
    Shouldn't he have been stopped before?

    I don't understand, really.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:28AM (#39452659)

      Stopped for doing what? Traveling? Is that now illegal too? (Oh yes of course it is; you can't fly domestically without the SA's permission.)

    • by Niedi (1335165)

      still managed to kill children in a school

      Just a couple of days after he went out to kill a soldier.
      Twice.

    • The NSA claims to have some super-secret data-mining operation going on... but a lot of people are doubtful about how effective such a thing could be.
      • The NSA claims to have some super-secret data-mining operation going on... but a lot of people are doubtful about how effective such a thing could be.

        Don't worry, the NSA knows who these doubters are and they will use it against them at sometime in the future.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:39AM (#39452807)
      Keep in mind that it's security theater, not real security. They do these things to increase their budget and power, and justify the increase in budget and power itself and future increases, not to actually do anything to increase safety.

      It would be a liability were the public to actually care. The government had good indications that this guy was bad apples, had all these increased powers and ability to suspend our rights, and obviously it failed. But rather than say "Okay, then this isn't working, you guys utterly failed in your stated mission, you guys are fired and we're throwing out all these suspensions of our rights and increased government powers," the public says "TAKE MORE OF OUR RIGHTS! SPEND MORE OF OUR TAXES!!! HAVE MORE POWER!!! JUST PROTECT US FROM ALL THESE BAD GUYS!!!"
  • ...that the biggest Terrorist organization and biggest threat to American's rights is the US government...
  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:36AM (#39452773)

    If it were Bush it would be 10 years!

  • Didn't terrorism end after they killed Bin Laden?

  • "Oh say does that start spangled banner yet wave....
      o'er the land of the free, or the home of the slave?"

  • by anonieuweling (536832) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:51AM (#39452993)
    That info is about USA citizens.
    So the situation for foreigners must be much worse...
    • Absolutely. Basically US agencies have the cart blanche for spying on any non-US citizens in any way they like. I wouldn't be surprised if they already have built a giant database with all information about any non-US person they can gather just because they can.

    • I'd be curious about how long they store those fingerprints they collect at border crossings, actually (God, what a hassle!). Also, what they do to them if the person crossed becomes a citizen later on.

  • aside from the obvious reasons, my end users will read it and expect me to be able to archive 5 years of their data and email. We just don't have the storage capacity or funds to buy more for that kind of archival, the state is in a world of financial hurt. Must be nice to be the Fed.
  • Thanks to the US govt people can stop worrying about the trilateral commission and smoking old men in dark back rooms. Who needs conspiracy theories are theorists when the govt. can do anything it wants right out in the open. We're all criminals and pirates. Well except for white collar criminals, their just good capitalists.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday March 23, 2012 @12:17PM (#39453315) Homepage
    the united states government is pursuing terrorists so voraciously, it is not because they have your safety as a primary concern. Natural disasters are easily shrugged off, for example little effort was put into katrina and many lives lost due to government neglegence but no real repercussions arose from the incident, just a smooth shuffling of deck chairs so to speak.

    the occupy protests, while they included violent police crackdowns on citizens and journalists alike, also received no real repercussions that couldnt be easily dismissed by the government as the rantings of kids and slackers with "no clear message" and "subversive" tendencies.

    terrorism on the other hand brings results. it undermines a government in ways that are unchallengeable as it is an amorphous concept. theres no real enemy, despite how badly america wanted it to be osama, or sadam, or al-awlaki. Terrorism is an ideology, and every troop from the legions of rome to the english military officer who stood guard against the irish menace during the troubles understands that no weapon will ever purge it from the earth. terrorism is determination with absolutely nothing to lose; the last resort of a broken people.

    you dont disarm terrorists by spying on everyone, because anyone can be a terrorist at any time it simply is not efficient. the only way to stop terrorism is to recognize the demands of the terrorist and try to understand what it is thats driven them to it. so long as we continue to fight, we will meet the immovable object to our unstoppable force each time with no ground gained or lost on either side.
    • by Jawnn (445279)
      +1 Insightful
      Now, cue the retards who will try to skewer you for being "soft" on terrorists. Never mind the fact that more people die in auto accidents every few weeks than died at the hands of terrorists on 9/11/2001. A healthy perspective is not something that fearful people usually have. That's why it is doubly shameful for our leaders to still fanning the flames of that fear, rather than helping us to collectively regain our perspective.
    • by steelfood (895457)

      you dont disarm terrorists by spying on everyone, because anyone can be a terrorist at any time it simply is not efficient. the only way to stop terrorism is to recognize the demands of the terrorist and try to understand what it is thats driven them to it. so long as we continue to fight, we will meet the immovable object to our unstoppable force each time with no ground gained or lost on either side.

      You make two assumptions here that history has proven to more or less be invalid:

      1) The government is actually, genuinely interested in stopping terrorism.
      2) Stopping terrorism is more important than say, making money.

  • I feel SO much safer now, this is the change he was hoping to provide.
  • One wonders if hard drive manufacturers had some influence on this decision :P
  • The US is currently pressuring various European countries to open their police databases to automated queries by US authorities. This kind of stuff is the reason that the smarter European countries are refusing. The US has no concept of privacy laws - once data is released to one agency, you can pretty much assume that they will share it willy nilly with other agencies. The data retention laws are incredibly lax. In the end, you have zero assurance what happens to personal data, once the government has it.

    P

  • They need legislation to somehow make this legal.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1 [wired.com] ...and the other posters are right...in 5 years they'll make it 10. In 10 years, 15. In 15 years they'll just stop pretending and enslave us all.

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