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DHS Creating Database of Secret Watchlists 158

schwit1 writes "Homeland Security plans to operate a massive new database of names, photos, birthdays and biometrics called Watchlist Service, duplicated from the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database, which has proven not to be accurate many times in the past. DHS wants to exempt the Watchlist Service from Privacy Act provisions, meaning you will never know if you are wrongfully listed. Privacy groups worried about inaccurate info and mission creep have filed a protest, arguing the Privacy Act says DHS must notify subject of government surveillance. DHS has admitted that it 'does not control the accuracy of the information in system of records' and that 'individuals do not have an opportunity to decline to provide information.' Additionally, the DHS Watchlist Service attempts to circumvent privacy protections established by the Privacy Act. Who's watching the watchers?"
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DHS Creating Database of Secret Watchlists

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  • on the plus side (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @07:41PM (#37038666)

    We'll probably eventually find out who's on it when all our personal info ends up leaked on a torrent somewhere.

  • by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @07:42PM (#37038682) Journal

    DHS has failed to make the country safer; if anything it made it easier for government to abuse the citizens.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @07:54PM (#37038770) Homepage Journal

    It seems like 1776 had been a wasted effort.

    Rum go, old chap.

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @08:21PM (#37038944)

    Until September 11, 2001, cooperating with a hijacking generally resulted in everyone on a plane surviving and being released in hours or a day. It was a moderate inconvenience. Also, generally terrorist attacks, be they bombings like in Oklahoma City, the original World Trade Center basement parking garage attacks, church bombings, or the killing of doctors resulted in small scale hurt that didn't cascade us into financial ruin.

    If anything, the odds of dying in a terrorist attack are so remote in a given year that things really haven't changed. Mundane reasons for death, like car accidents, medical problems, even run-of-the-mill personal homicide massively dwarf terrorism. Additionally, anyone who attempts to hijack a plane is as good as dead, as the passengers will kill them if they can't apprehend them. That pretty much just leaves bombers like Richard Reid or the underwear bomber. Work on ways to detect the components of explosives like these people tried to use that detect in non-invasive ways, and stop confiscating nail clippers. Anyone who could take over a plane with a set of nail clippers can probably take over a plane without the nail clippers.

  • by Totenglocke ( 1291680 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @11:52PM (#37040380)

    We got to elect our own government

    Eh, partially true. We have no say in who runs in primaries and even then, the party can overrule the decision for who runs for office, then we have a whopping two choices (which are usually 98% the same) for who to vote for. It's pretty much a big con job to provide the masses with a sense of control so that they don't rebel.

  • by c0lo ( 1497653 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @04:57AM (#37041548)

    Do you remember the "fun" we had when those files were opened after 1989?

    Yes, I do and I confirm this is how it goes. I can't however stress enough that, as innacurate as they were, they were just accurate enough for their purpose: no matter what, the purpose ends in not being the security of the citizens, but the "security" of a totally screwed up and nightmarish status-quo!

    My fellow Americans, for your own sake, do not go there!!

    By my feeling the correct expression should be: stop going there (before it's too late).

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