Thursday, September 6, 2007

HSD "Terrorist" Screening, Warrantless Wiretapping

The ACLU has rightly called for the end to the Department of Homeland Securities screening program that allocates terror risk scores to US travelers. Do you know yours? United Press International reports:

Congress has banned this type of program with good reason: It rates the potential for terrorism of every traveler and violates every American’s right to privacy,” said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU Technology and Liberty Program. “The judgments about Americans calculated by ATS-P will be stored for years, and we have no idea how they may be used in the future. The benefit to the government is extremely questionable, but the consequences for Americans are simply dangerous.”
A federal judge scolded the Bush administration Wednesday for its continued refusal to release records related to its warrantless wiretapping program. Apparently to the White House, the Freedom of Information Act - as with the Geneva Conventions - has been rendered "quaint". The New York Times reports:

''While the court is certainly sensitive to the government's need to protect classified information and its deliberative processes, essentially declaring 'because we say so' is an inadequate'' defense, Kennedy wrote.


The FBI, Kennedy said, has not explained what type of documents were being withheld, how many records it had and why each document is exempt from public records laws. ''Instead, FBI relies on vague, broad, wholesale claims of exempt status,'' Kennedy wrote.

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