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DHS Creating Database of Secret Watchlists

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the veracity-is-optional dept.

Government 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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158 comments

I wonder how many times... (0)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038622)

I'll need to tell them I'm not the one on their watchlist, considering I'm not an American.

Re:I wonder how many times... (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038770)

It seems like 1776 had been a wasted effort.

Rum go, old chap.

Re:I wonder how many times... (3, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038974)

It seems like 1776 had been a wasted effort.

Rum go, old chap.

Your freedom and privacy are secure. All you need to do is register for the DoNotWatchList and they are not allowed to watch you. I hear it's a $10,000 fine if you sign up for the do-not-watch-list and you catch them watching you anyway.

Re:I wonder how many times... (1)

cavefrog (1015175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040502)

Your freedom and privacy are secure. All you need to do is register for the DoNotWatchList and they are not allowed to watch you. I hear it's a $10,000 fine if you sign up for the do-not-watch-list and you catch them watching you anyway.

So... you mean they fine you $10,000 if you catch them watching you?

Re:I wonder how many times... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039308)

It seems like 1776 had been a wasted effort.

Don't go hyperbolic on us. We got to elect our own government. It was presumed that we would maintain our freedoms ourselves through representatives better than the Brits were doing. Probably true. Could be doing better, we should worry less about terrorism and more about our rights, but please, keep some perspective. This is the INTERNET after all. We have standards.

Re:I wonder how many times... (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039798)

And then they invented television and mass-media. 1/3 of the world gets their news from Mr. Rupert Murdoch. We, collectively, don't have a choice. Oprah fucking Winfrey got Obama elected and Rush fucking Limbaugh did the job for Bush. HELLO!?!?!?

The players from both parties profit from everything that happens. It's like WWF. It's a circus show. The only losers are the 99.99% of us who are spectators.

Re:I wonder how many times... (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040416)

Yep. And the other 2/3 of the world get their news from the in-the-bag willing accomplices in the press of the corruptocracies, plutocracies, and power-mad overlords.

Re:I wonder how many times... (4, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

"Creating" (0)

trunicated (1272370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038650)

Because there sure aren't any of these kinds of databases around that nobody knows about or anything. I honestly think I'd be disappointed in the government for not already having something that can do this that the general public doesn't know about.

on the plus side (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038666)

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

Re:on the plus side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37038890)

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

welcome to fascism

Re:on the plus side (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039236)

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

IF you'll be able to access it.

From direct experience, I can tell that the moment institutions concerned with "the state security" like STASI [wikipedia.org] , KGB [wikipedia.org] , Securitate [wikipedia.org] start dealing in secret and unchecked by the civil society, funny things happen: even listening to radio stations like"Voice of America" or BBC used to land you in prison.

Remember the PROTECT-IP? How long 'til will be extended beyond "Intellectual Property" and possibly merged with the PATRIOT act? How long until circumventing it will be considered a crime?

Re:on the plus side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37040140)

Listening to VOA shouldn't be punishable for the act in itself is ample punishment.

Re:on the plus side (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040354)

Listening to VOA shouldn't be punishable for the act in itself is ample punishment.

I can assure you it wasn't like this when one was living in the communist block about more than 20 years ago.

For the present, I wouldn't know, I have no reasons to listen to it anymore.
But I tend to trust you on this: as the attitude of the population, USA took quite a nasty turn from the civil movements of 1970 [wikipedia.org] to what it is now. Mind you, this is not necessarily attributable to the govts: the period have had govts at least as ugly as they are now.

Ok, well I'm doing one better... (1)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038672)

I'm creating a watchlist of databases of watchlists!
Take That DHS!

Re:Ok, well I'm doing one better... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038914)

"I would like to subscribe to your list of database watchlists!"

And so goeth the Internets, communication is SO much faster than 1975.

we need to dissolve DHS (5, Insightful)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038682)

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

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038740)

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

It makes it easier for government to abuse citizens. It makes it slightly harder for terrorists and drug-runners to do their stuff.

When Congress was debating the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the House of Representatives voted to specifically exclude from its protection atheists and communists. So it was okay to discriminate against atheists or communists, or at least that's what they wanted. The Senate took out at least the atheist part.

I suppose my point is just that we've never been Utopia. But yes, we all knew DHS would be a threat to civil liberties. I was honestly shocked, when they named it that--could you pick a more 1984-ish name?

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038818)

The people who complain that things were better in the past are the ones who don't remember the past very well.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

mestar (121800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039066)

"If anything, the odds of dying in a terrorist attack are so remote in a given year that things really haven't changed"

tell that to the 250000 people that work in the DHS.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039338)

run-of-the-mill personal homicide massively dwarf terrorism

Oh god! Now there are MURDEROUS MIDGET TERRORISTS!!! We'll never be able to stop them! All our scanners are for people of normal heights!

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038846)

Note that this also includes TSA's Secure Flight [tsa.gov] database, you know, the one where you have to notify the government 72 hours in advance of any planned domestic travel. So this will also have all your comings-and-goings in it as well.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038882)

They could have named it the Ministry of Love...

At this point, Department of War would probably be more accurate than Department of Defense. We haven't been overwhelmingly defensive in about a decade now.

If Homeland Security wanted to really do it right, they should actually screen all incoming cargo and use tariffs on that incoming cargo to pay for cost of the screening. That in turn would make the goods coming in more expensive, which might make domestic options more profitable for consumers, which might also help us retain our manufacturing base.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038922)

Been there, done exactly that [wikipedia.org] (Smoot-Hawley), at approximately the same point in the previous Great Depression.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (2)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039866)

Totally different. Parent suggested raising tariffs for the purpose of covering the costs incurred in scanning them - likely a very small increase. The other results he indicated as possible side-effects. Smoot-Hawley raised tariffs for the express purpose of shutting out foreign imports, and raised them sky-high. Even then, the actual negative effects weren't caused by the high tariffs, but by the inevitable international response to them.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37038930)

If Homeland Security wanted to really do it right, they should actually screen all incoming cargo and use tariffs on that incoming cargo to pay for cost of the screening. That in turn would make the goods coming in more expensive, which might make domestic options more profitable for consumers, which might also help us retain our manufacturing base.

think about the markets.... the markets want to be free!!!

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040426)

You know, for how much people on Slashdot want to proclaim that they're so vastly more intelligent, it's shocking how few people on here have ever studied Economics. Yes, goods coming in would be more expensive due to tariffs - which means that we'd have fewer goods coming in, which means less selection as well as higher prices due to decreased competition (meaning that you'll be able to buy less on top of having fewer items to pick from). It's NOT complicated - compare the selection at stores and price as a percentage of income for most goods and you'll see that back when we had less trade (like you desire) people had a vastly lower quality of life than we have now.

You may want to turn society back to a more primitive time, but those of us who bother to learn the slightest thing about what we're talking about have no desire to go back to the not-as-good-as-you-want-to-pretend old days.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040518)

I don't want to revert society to a more primitive time, but I do want to combat artificially set exchange rates with our biggest trading partner in China, and I am legitimately worried that the extreme lack of oversight at our ports is a big danger. A shipping container is massive, and it would be possible to construct an incredibly powerful device, equip a container with GPS, send the container with the device on a route that runs through an area like the refinery area through Boston, and set the thing off right in the middle. All from overseas.

Inspect the containers better. Better scanning, more physical opening and looking. Since businesses want to off-shore, this should be a cost in off-shoring. I'm not saying a massive tariff, I'm saying a tariff that pays for the cost to inspect, to make the import process as safe as manufacturing domestically.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

wrook (134116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040460)

We haven't been overwhelmingly defensive in about a decade now.

I hate to break it to you, but the US hasn't been overly defensive for a lot longer than a decade. Korea, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Persian Gulf, Bosnia and Herzegovina. At least Korea and Bosnia and Herzegovina were part of a larger effort, so I suppose we can give a few brownie points. Of course these are only direct military interventions from 1950 to 2000 and don't include the dozens of countries where the US has funded uprisings, overthow of the government, etc, etc. Hell, the US pays Pakistan with weapons to allow it to bomb Pakistani cities in hopes of killing terrorists. These weapons are used to continue Pakistan's war with India. Things like this just make my head spin.

It appears from my perspective that US foreign defensive policy is to get actively stuck in and compel other nations to follow it's world view, using force if necessary. It is not the only country in the world to be doing this, but as the most powerful nation in the world (economically and militarily) I personally feel that its international reputation of being a bully is well deserved. That the US population feels comfortable with the idea of the US as the "police of the world" is truly frightening for a lot of non-Americans.

A system that does harm doesn't protect. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37038906)

It makes it easier for government to abuse citizens. It makes it slightly harder for terrorists and drug-runners to do their stuff.

Or innocent people from living their lives normally because they've been mistakenly put on a double secret list.

When innocent people start being treated like criminals, then you have a corrupt system that doesn't protect - it harms.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040214)

It's not a 1984-ish name. It's worse.

KGB stood for "Ministry for State Security".

We don't have "Ministries", we have "Departments". Given the name parallels, I'm truly shocked that Congress actually named it that.

Take your pick, DoEd or DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37038806)

Which will the Republicans support, and which will they oppose? What about Democrats?

Results don't matter, only attitudes.

But they won't get rid of either, it's a good scapegoat for not fixing problems.

See, they don't want that.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039350)

The cynic in me asks, "What did you think it was created for?"

Terrorism was just an excuse, same as Communism was the excuse back in the '50s.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039402)

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

This is thoughtcrime! How dare you object to MiniLuv!?... Errr, or was it KGB? Maybe STASI or Securitate? No? Gestapo then?

What are you saying, is still just the Department of Homeland Security? Not for long, my friend, not for long - we've always been at war with Eastasia - the PROTECT-IP makes sure we are always right (because everything wrong does not exist) and the PATRIOT act is essential for maintaining the peace.

That was the intent all along! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37039686)

There was never a propsed purpose aside from making better use of intelligence. Any 'feel good' derived from talking points, posited benefit, extc. is unofficial byproduct. Read: propaganda.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039962)

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

They do what there were supposed to do, and you still *can* leave the country very easily. So far.

Re:we need to dissolve DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37040436)

Well DUH, that was the point. I'm glad somebody figured it out ten years later.

On the bright side (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038734)

At least the DHS is finally doing something remotely related to terrorism, instead of playing enforcer for the RIAA. The downside to this is that they're doing something related to terrorism again.

God watches the watchers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37038742)

The world is just. Relax.

God says...
WooHoo I_forgot hypocrite don't_count_on_it thats_laughable
sports funny spunky BRB joyful jobs pride

Re:God watches the watchers (1)

xevioso (598654) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038972)

I was re-watching Silence of the Lambs today. We are shown a scene of Buffalo Bill's house, filled with home-raised moths and butterflies, unusual costumes and other assorted oddities, followed by a panned shot of Buffalo Bill sitting, typing naked, while his latest victim is languishing in a well. The above writer somehow reminds me of such a person. Not quite sure why.

Not a new database.... (4, Interesting)

TimeOut42 (314783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038746)

While I don't like the Terrorist Screening Database operated by the FBI, this story is off the mark by making it sound like DHS is setting up a new list; which they are not. They are looking to improving how they get the information from the TSD. Read the abstract here:

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy/privacy_pia_dhs_wls.pdf [dhs.gov]

Re:Not a new database.... (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039530)

While I don't like the Terrorist Screening Database operated by the FBI, this story is off the mark by making it sound like DHS is setting up a new list; which they are not. They are looking to improving how they get the information from the TSD. Read the abstract here:

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy/privacy_pia_dhs_wls.pdf [dhs.gov]

Thanks for the link, but I think it is you that are way off the mark: the uttermost important thing to the matter is not how accurate the information is, but the fact that nobody from the civil society will know if they are or are not included in that database, much less how accurate the information is.

Not very different from the files gathered and stored by every secret police (or "State Security" organisation, like STASI and KGB) used to. And I can guarantee you: the STASI/Securitate/KGB/Gestapo files were accurate enough for the purpose.

That terrorism thing must be under control (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038760)

Because DHS has so much time and money to spend on other projects. Otherwise, they're a massively over-funded, bloated bureaucracy sticking their nose into places it doesn't belong.

It's one or the other.

OMFG !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37038794)

What is this ?? What in the world will we ever do now ?? How can we go on ??

/. is watching the watchers! (1)

mark_elf (2009518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038812)

And thank God for you guys, really, you're doing a great job! Without you these big government types would run roughshod over our civil rights! Keep submitting stuff like this!

Names to add ASAP (1)

thegreatbob (693104) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038816)

Get these name on the watchlist ASAP.. John Smith, James Smith, Michael Smith, Robert Smith, John Johnson, James Johnson, Michael Johnson, Robert Johnson, John Williams, James Williams, Robert Williams, Michael Williams... surely one of those guys must be a bad guy, given the prevalence of the names... better safe than sorry!

Re:Names to add ASAP (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040024)

Get these name on the watchlist ASAP.. John Smith, James Smith, Michael Smith, Robert Smith, John Johnson, James Johnson, Michael Johnson, Robert Johnson, John Williams, James Williams, Robert Williams, Michael Williams... surely one of those guys must be a bad guy, given the prevalence of the names... better safe than sorry!

In fact it's all very simple. Just ground all airplanes forever and tell everyone to stay home at all times every day. Everything will be perfectly safe.

Re:Names to add ASAP (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040462)

Actually, we could easily get rid of the TSA (and make inroads on the DHS) if people just flat out refused to fly until they were gone. The air travel industry would collapse in no time since they're already heavily in debt and would demand that the government cut the shit or they'd implode and have to be bailed out (which citizens would bring out the torches and pitchforks on anyone who supported bailing them out when the government caused the boycott that lead to their collapse).

Re:Names to add ASAP (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040448)

If they truly wanted to catch evil doers and people hellbent on destroying our way of life, they'd put every politician in the country on their watchlist.

Keeping this lists secret is stupid (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038830)

If the goal is to deter terrorists then they ought to publish the lists far and wide - if a some bad guy knows he's on the list then (a) he won't bother trying anything and (b) no other terrorists will go anywhere near the guy, thus reducing their ability to organise.

Unless there is an actual active investigation in process that would be jeopardised, keeping the list a secret is just silly - it's a list of people so dangerous they can't be allowed on an airplane or do other things normal people do but too harmless to arrest.

Re:Keeping this lists secret is stupid (1)

black soap (2201626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040540)

And being falsely persecuted by the government wouldn't make you bitter enough to consider the government your enemy. That would just be proof that they knew you were a threat before you did.

Re:Keeping this lists secret is stupid (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040598)

We forget that other than for "race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability" workers are discriminated against for everything ELSE, which certainly fits nicely with things such as "being in a government watchlist" --especially if it is public information!

When you're a frequent business traveller for a company, no matter how accurate the list is it will have name collisions (just do a facebook search for most people you'd like to hook up with and try to actually find the one hit that is the correct person!). Unlike certain embassies who publish national ID numbers of all people naturalized to their country, public lists in the US cannot include your state ID or Social Security Number.

Your boss would be too lazy to give you the benefit of the doubt, anyway. Employment in most of the US is "at will" by law, and they can discriminate and fire you the second your name is linked to bad publicity, no reasons given --Relevant exhibit #1: Facebook posts.

So it's better to create a new "problem waiting to happen" and instead force it to remain "contained" to your first airport visit. There, you can discretely provide proof to the government that you're NOT the terrorist whose name clashes with yours. That's much better than finding out the hard way just because closed curtains and your boss' lack of due diligence make things easier for negligent action against innocent citizens.

Re:Keeping this lists secret is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37040684)

Clarification about my last paragraph:

if the list is private, nobody knows --even you. If they don't want you travelling, YOU'll know it and the problem will clear itself up (hopefully you're not travelling with your boss that day, or have all the proof the DHS needs handy to make a good impression out of the flight delays.)
if the list is private, but you get some kinda mailed warning when you're added (wouldn't be a terrorist watchlist then, would it?) then you'd have a chance of saving time prior to your next trip --or stay off their planes anyway. Especially the terrorists (though they'd try to find some way of entering)
if the list is public, then your ex-wife, your estranged kids and your boss and ex-boss can all find you there. It's just as bad as those public voting record lists where you can dig up dirt you didn't know your local congressmen have voted FOR / AGAINST. The result is they'll never even see your dropping them like a lead brick, because you'ld just avoid them. Now, think of the same list but for a percentage of citizens.

I failed to clarify in my Facebook allusion that the government list will not likely have pictures; pictures are the only thing on FB that help people to avoid ambiguous matches --and even with pictures, you sometimes can't tell unless you know the person well AND have stayed in touch since highschool.

I'm wondering when the first lawsuit... (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038836)

...charging that the existence of the list in secret is a form of conviction without due process of law for the person who finds themselves on the list.

EVERY form of ruling or decision against a person should have an appeals process. That doesn't mean the process should be easy, or that someone should even have the right to know about their presence on the list until an activity of theirs comes into conflict with the enforcers of the list, but once one has found themselves k-lined they should have the right to appeal that ruling, and the regulating body or the courts should have the capability to ensure that a decision to deem someone on the list as not a risk should have a way of decisively enforcing that ruling. Obviously people who are real threats are not likely to go through the procedural channels to appeal such a listing, as that could result in their actual arrest, so it should be safe to allow people to appeal.

There was an example awhile ago of a man who worked for DHS or TSA or something listing his foreign-born wife on the terrorist watchlist so he could get rid of her. This one example of an official using such a list for his own petty abuse should be enough to require an appeals process, and on top of that, any official found, through malice or negligence, to put the wrong people on a list of this importance should face criminal charges and jail time for their actions. This is NOT something to be screwing around with.

It's funny- on the episode of the first season of the modern Doctor Who series, "Bad Wolf", the Doctor, Jack, and Lynda are arrested and judged guilty by a fairly low-level station security person who tells them that there is no appeal. That felt like science fiction but is looking more like a reflection of society now.

Of course, I don't really understand why there needs to be two lists anyway. Direct those officials in the various agencies that they are going to use the same list on the same actual database system and they ARE going to get the data right, and then fire anyone who attempts to stymie the system or drags their feet.

Re:I'm wondering when the first lawsuit... (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038902)

Lawsuits have been filed, and they've been dismissed on the basis of national security. The government and its civilian "agencies" are adept at circumventing the spirit of the law while following it *technically* to the letter (or blanketing it with national security when they can't find a legal workaround).

Re:I'm wondering when the first lawsuit... (1)

black soap (2201626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040546)

So now there are parts of the Government that are not subject to redress by the people? Didn't someone start a war over that? Tried to start their own country, with a government that answers to the people? How did that turn out?

Guaranteed this list will be used for political... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37038852)

Guaranteed this list will be used for political purposes and also against those opposing the interests of big business.

Better get ready to raise the debt ceiling...again (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038874)

Not only does DHS want to "copy and paste" a database that has been proven to be inaccurate from another organization and call it "good", but I'm certain that We the Taxpayers will be shown a $100-million dollar budget estimate, for that "little" project that will likely take 5 years to complete, with a final cost of $300 million.

In the meantime, damn near every other law-enforcement organization in the world simply uses Facebook...for free...and it's a hundred times more accurate.

And we wonder why we throw around words like "trillion" as if we're talking about the spare change found in the cupholder...

Re:Better get ready to raise the debt ceiling...ag (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040542)

Not only does DHS want to "copy and paste" a database that has been proven to be inaccurate from another organization and call it "good", but I'm certain that We the Taxpayers will be shown a $100-million dollar budget estimate, for that "little" project that will likely take 5 years to complete, with a final cost of $300 million.

At least they'd have negotiated down from the "$400 billion" drag and drop that ends up costing $2 trillion.

Hint: (1)

batquux (323697) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038886)

If you want to know if you are on the watch list: You are.

There's an easeir way (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039022)

just merge the social security data base with this watch list, and they'll never have to worry if they're missing anyone.

Re:Hint: (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040352)

Isn't that basically the same as the "if you've nothing to hide..." argument? We all know by now (or should) why that one's a non-starter.

Ron Paul 2012 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37038910)

Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are the only candidates who have indicated any desire to roll back the unconstitutional powers of the DHS.

Re:Ron Paul 2012 (0)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039036)

DITTO! Please donate and vote in the primary!

http://www.ronpaul2012.com/

Re:Ron Paul 2012 (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039388)

I'd say pester the media for coverage on these two and explain their platform. Ron Paul himself doesn't matter, and is never going to get elected. It's the issue that needs to get attention.

Can someone explain this logic? (1)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038926)

I honestly have no opinion either way right now because I consider myself uninformed, especially in this instance, but can someone explain this logic? > arguing the Privacy Act says DHS must notify subject of government surveillance. Surely this is silly... If you notify everyone you are conducting surveillance against, you would never stop any crime at all, right?

Re:Can someone explain this logic? (1)

cusco (717999) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039460)

It's not like they stop any appreciable amount of crime now, they're less efficient than the Hazzard County sheriff department.

ethical and above board? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37038934)

Seriously, if they were doing this in an ethical and above board manner, it would withstand any investigation, by anyone, and prove its value to ensuring safety through vigilance.
The mere fact that they want to avoid scrutiny means it's not ethical, not trustworthy, not reliable.
It just sounds like another way to screw over taxpayers. I want my share.

Re:ethical and above board? (3, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039100)

I just want to know which government supercontractor stands to gain most from it. That is who is behind it.

Over-heard in the corner of some bar... (1, Troll)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#37038992)

"It's all BUSH's fault!!"

"Yeah! Bush is spying on us! IMPEACH BUSH!!"

"oh wait..."

I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37039122)

How long before the DHS declares all persons in the world to be "potentially harmful to the state"?

In a way this is exactly what the DHS is for, because it's there to "combat (abstract) badness" and lists-of-lists-of-possible-baddies excels in meeting the requirements: It's abstract, it's got (declared yet unproven) badness in it, and it's highly ineffective so therefore, obviously, they'll need more of it. And that last bit is good because it self-perpetuates their (stolen) lease on life.

In some ways it's inevitable that such a thing would come to pass as it's rooted deeply in American[tm] culture. To see how, just consider all the government rhetoric about "good guys" vs "bad guys". Ten to one that if you're an American[tm] reading about anything with good-vs-bad in it would stir something patriottic. For of course being American[tm] implies being a Good Guy[tm][r], no?

Well, I'm from yurp (that place close to france; I'm not french though, we used to fight those guys) so while we've got a lot to thank America[tm] for, I'm not blind to its failings and I have to say, it's got its fair share of goof-ups and bad calls and a lot of direct and indirect blood on its hands. Just like everyone else, though some more than others.

To me, nobody is automatically a Good Guy[tm], and in fact that concept doesn't really exist. Good Deeds and Bad Deeds, however, do exist, and currently the tally of American Deeds[tm] is in the red. A tad, a bit, somewhat, you know. Bottom line, this is just more of the same contemporary popular pattern and it's up to American Citizens[tm] to force their American Government[tm] back in the black. And good luck with that.

Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37039136)

It's like they are making the argument for a diaspora of their own citizens.

Come to the US, now with failed USSR policies*! Proof that Americans CAN'T learn from history.

Land of the free(ly watched, by its government, for their own safety), home of the (Atlanta) Brave(s)!

4 More Years! Yes, We Can!...lol.

It's Probably Irrelevant Because... (1)

Zamphatta (1760346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039222)

Don't know if the new DHS listing really matters though. Wasn't there an article posted here on /. a month or two or three ago, detailing how the US gov't has some sort of internet listening ability at key points on the information superhighway's servers or routers or something? That'll catch anything about all of us anyway. Man I wish I could remember where that article was. I should've bookmarked it. Some guy who used to work for the FBI was coding the thing back around 9/11 and the gov't put it into action a year or two after that.

Re:It's Probably Irrelevant Because... (1)

cusco (717999) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039508)

May 16. If you put 'site:slashdot.org' at the end of the search term you can generally limit it to a few thousand results.

"http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/05/16/2316240/NSA-CS-Man-My-Tracking-Algorithm-Was-Twisted-By-the-Government"

are you violating the Espionage Act, (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039344)

by merely discussing this program?

i mean, arent you really allowing the terrorists to win? shouldnt we strip you naked and stick you in solitary confinement for several months and tell everyone its for your own good?

True Religion usa (0)

xinyuan (2369332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37039384)

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So.... (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040092)

How's that hopey changey stuff working out for ya? You got enough hope yet? Enough change? No? Bet you can't wait to vote Obama in for another four years of more hope and change.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37040494)

Although I'm still "hoping he changes," are you honestly suggesting that another major candidate would have been any better?

DHS Contagion Needs Eradication (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37040126)

The Contagion affecting employees of DHS needs eradication.

The "putting down" of all DHS employees especially the DHS Sec is authorized by the Centers of Disease Control.

CDC urges use of caution in handling DHS dead flesh as contamination can result. All DHS dead flesh must be burned to ensure the containment of the contagion.

DoD has authorized a surgical neutron warhead nuclear strike on DHS buildings in the DC area.

Other Federal government employees in particular Congress are urged by DoD to congregate around DHS buildings prior to the surgical military actions.

Have a wonderful life ... before it ends ... DHS.

--//++

Whats the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37040300)

This is all being done under the watchful eye of the graceful Lord Obama, perfection incarnate, who can do no wrong. Why would you doubt his heavenly wrought designs could possibly have any nefarious purpose. His Almightynous couldn't ever conceive anything that should concern a lowly peasant like you, being ungraced by heavens blessings like our beloved glorious leader. What an abomination you are for even thinking such a thing!

If you haven't done anything wrong... (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040360)

You don't have anything to worry about... unless, of course, your name is the same as someone else who *has* done something wrong... or maybe look a little like someone who has done something wrong... or look like someone who might be doing something wrong.. or....

Re:If you haven't done anything wrong... (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040382)

They've already dealt with this problem. Haven't you seen how well they deal with this with the Airoport Screening?

Why are we still calling these people DHS? (1)

Stormbringer (3643) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040412)

We should call them 'Stasi' and have done, as that's obviously what they're trying to be.

I am an american... (2)

tryptogryphic (1985608) | more than 2 years ago | (#37040444)

...and I live abroad for a large portion of the year. Whenever I come home, I make it a point, to enter the country illegally because of this absolute rubbish. The government, can kiss my American ass, I often hope to be arrested or apprehended by immigration so I can whip out my American passport and be like 'Fuck Off'. To be honest folks, at this point...only protesting and more protesting and more protesting is going to make this nonsense stop.

Sitting here and talking about it, and writing blogs isn't going to do anything; throw your bodies onto the machine so the gears can't move.
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