The Automated Targeting System, the US government's record-keeping system on travelers
September 22, 2007 8:45 AM Subscribe
Today's Washington Post:
posted by ibmcginty (81 comments total)
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"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials."
"John Gilmore, a civil liberties activist in San Francisco whose records were requested by the Identity Project... [had an Automated Targeting System file], which he provided to The Washington Post, included a note from a Customs and Border Patrol officer that he carried the marijuana-related book 'Drugs and Your Rights.' 'My first reaction was I kind of expected it,' Gilmore said. 'My second reaction was, that's illegal.'"
The program, disclosed in the Federal Register
in November and reported on at the time
, has been criticized by civil liberties groups(many links at that page)
as illegal under the Privacy Act, and by security experts as "a waste of money
" (many links at that page too)
. The reach of the program was unknown until the Post article. Here's the DHS's Privacy Impact Statement
(pdf) on the program from last November.