2007/06/14

Audited and Still Asking For More

In a report that garnered very little attention save a few posts in Blogtopia, The Blotter reported the other day that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are skeptical of an initiative by the FBI to beef up their data collection capabilities. According to the report, plans are to bring together a huge assortment of databases compiled by the FBI and other federal agencies. There is also talk of using what is being called "predictive" analysis, whereby a template for what could be a terrorist's activities is cross referenced with those in the amalgamated database. You may recall that similar templates were said to have been used by the NSA.

Civil liberties groups are rightly concerned about the potential for abuse of this new program. And their concerns are not without merit when you consider that the Bureau hasn't exactly been completely meticulous in following guidelines put in place to help safeguard those liberties.
An internal FBI audit has found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years, far more than was documented in a Justice Department report in March that ignited bipartisan congressional criticism.

The new audit covers just 10 percent of the bureau's national security investigations since 2002, and so the mistakes in the FBI's domestic surveillance efforts probably number several thousand, bureau officials said in interviews.
I am often struck by the sheer audacity of the Bushies to lobby Congress to expand their authority in a given area at the same time we learn that they can't seem to follow the rules under the authority they do have. And they expect us to believe they'll do a better job with more?

(X-posted at The Xsociate Files and State of the Day)

1 Comments:

Moreover, I read that the database is approaching half a million people. That would make 1 in every 600 of us a potential terrorist!

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