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Navy Database Tracks Civilians' Parking Tickets, Fender-Benders

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the great-now-you're-on-the-paranoid-list dept.

The Military 96

schwit1 (797399) writes with this excerpt from the Washington Examiner: "A parking ticket, traffic citation or involvement in a minor fender-bender are enough to get a person's name and other personal information logged into a massive, obscure federal database run by the U.S. military. The Law Enforcement Information Exchange, or LinX, has already amassed 506.3 million law enforcement records ranging from criminal histories and arrest reports to field information cards filled out by cops on the beat even when no crime has occurred."

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Navy Security Agency (-1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 9 months ago | (#46552471)

So that is what NSA means.

Re:Navy Security Agency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552719)

Naval bases must be protected from bad, or accident prone drivers! National security depends on it. /sarcasm
If the Navy is involved in monitoring of weapons and explosive smuggling and theft the story starts to make sense, but the ATF and ICE are still the ones making the arrests at least in the case of civilian offenders.

I guess it must be better than Stasi ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#46554705)

Naval bases must be protected from bad, or accident prone drivers!

Since its existence is to "protect" something, I guess this database of everything is better than what the German Stasi used to keep.

Re:Navy Security Agency (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 9 months ago | (#46552741)

Maybe they just wanted a database that was more accurate than the riffraff online investigation sites offer, it is public record anyway.

Re:Navy Security Agency (3, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46554571)

"Maybe they just wanted a database that was more accurate than the riffraff online investigation sites offer, it is public record anyway."

No, it isn't. Certainly not all of it, anyway.

In my state, even police are required to log a reason for looking up a license plate. Most data about the public is not a matter of public record.

Having said that: some things are, of course. The fact that someone has been arrested is temporarily public record, so that you can see whether your boyfriend needs to get bailed out again when he doesn't show up for a day. And so on. And conviction records are public. But not all arrest records remain public because not everyone who is arrested is convicted... it's a great way to discriminate against innocent people.

I think -- but I am not sure -- that convictions for traffic violations are also public. Which includes guilty pleas.

SCOTUS sold you out "for the children" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46555865)

Doesn't matter if it's public record or not. When the SCOTUS determined that being put on a list - specifically the sexual offender list - "wasn't punishment" and didn't even require a judicial order, and so could be done retroactively "without" being ex post facto, and everyone cheered "oh yes, save the children", the door opened wide to finding yourself on any kind of list you can imagine, landing on it for any reason any member of the state or federal governments deem sufficient at any level. Or even as a result of mistaken identity. The only way to turn this around now is to get the question back in front of the SCOTUS and have them come to their senses (and good luck with that. It's been tried multiple times, and no one has succeeded yet.)

Re:Navy Security Agency (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | about 9 months ago | (#46561929)

But not all arrest records remain public because not everyone who is arrested is convicted

Then why were they arrested, tell me that. Citizen?
Citizen, named ...?
I'm waiting.

I'm still waiting.

OK ; resisting arrest. Taze him and get him down to the station.

Relevant (5, Informative)

The Cat (19816) | about 9 months ago | (#46552501)

Re:Relevant (1, Insightful)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about 9 months ago | (#46552535)

Why is the parent being modded down. That is 100% relevant. This site is going down.

Re:Relevant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552567)

Because anyone who wants to limit government is a "libertard". Why are you pointing at all these ancient laws instead of listening to everyone else like a reasonable person?

Re:Relevant (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 9 months ago | (#46554109)

From the linked wikipedia page:

The Act, as modified in 1981...

It's not ancient, although I agree that it isn't especially relevant since it has more to do with federal versus state authority. It would have been very relevant to all the /. articles claiming Bush didn't deploy federal assistance to Louisiana quickly enough after Katrina though - because this law is exactly why he had to wait.

Re:Relevant (2)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about 9 months ago | (#46554315)

Oh look, "murder" was outlawed in 1200 B.C., those ideas are so antiquated.

Re:Relevant (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 9 months ago | (#46556745)

The Drone Ranger would agree with you 100%

Re:Relevant (1)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46557275)

There is so much wrong with that statement that I wouldn't even know where to begin.

Re:Relevant (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552713)

There's a bunch of NSA paid agents and just simply US military people (and incidentally, Russian security people too; have a look at some of the comments on articles about the Ukraine all over the internet). Just like with Microsoft's shills, since they are being paid and probably even have special automated notification systems when a new story comes up, they come straight in a the beginning and mod things they don't like to zero in the hope they never get noticed.

This means that if you have mod points then the first thing you should do is look for reasonable -1 or 0 rated comments against these organisations. They don't even have to be good; just reasonable - normal comments should end up around 1 or 2. Only after that mod up the good comments.

Re:Relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552749)

I'm sure the fed would claim that the database is being used for national security interests and that any information shared with state or local law enforcement is simply an unintended benefit. If people complain enough, they could simply stop sharing the information on a state/local level.

Re:Relevant (3, Informative)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 9 months ago | (#46553011)

How is it relevant? Posse Comitatus applies only to Military ENFORCEMENT of State Laws.
The Navy in collecting this data is not enforcing anything, they are merely conducting data mining.

The GPs comment is a Red Herring and SHOULD be modded down

Re:Relevant (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 9 months ago | (#46553581)

They share the data with local law enforcement and the FBI. Which makes it a clear violation. The less obvious violation is what they are using the data for... which is to help them prevent a terrorist act. Something they should not be involved in.

Re:Relevant (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46554649)

"The less obvious violation is what they are using the data for... which is to help them prevent a terrorist act. Something they should not be involved in."

What's even less obvious is that they are probably using it for other things, too. When have they not, given the chance?

It's like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau supplying information to the IRS. They weren't supposed to do that. But they did.

Re:Relevant (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46555059)

They share the data with local law enforcement and the FBI. Which makes it a clear violation. The less obvious violation is what they are using the data for... which is to help them prevent a terrorist act. Something they should not be involved in.

So the agency that we use to fight terrorists is never allowed to fight terrorists? You just contr5adicted yourself.

The problem is that, while you have read plenty of interpretation of the Act by gun-nuts, and may even have read the Act itself, you don't understand what it means. It means the Federal military can't use it's troops to enforce local laws without the permission of local authorities.
In particular you do not know what a "posse comitatus" is, and you seem to think that the phrase "search, seizure, arrest, or similar activity" applies to databases of publicly available information. A posse comitatus is a bunch of guys who have legal authority to enforce the law. A database has nothing to do with posses. The "search, etc." clause could apply to data gathering, but it only applies to gathering the kind of data you need a Fourth-Amendment-type warrant to get. It doe3s not apply to publicly available records. So the Navy has every right to view these records, which means it has every right to record those records, and it has every right to tell people about those records.

Now let's say your dreams comes true, and the judges who have granted warrants allowing big-data-databases change their minds. Posse comitatus still doesn't apply because the military is allowed to help law enforcement if asked by the right guy (generally a Mayor, Governor, or his designees), and anyone searching the database on behalf of law enforcement would count.

Re:Relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46554941)

The only business the a military organization has in possessing law enforcement records on Civilians is when they have already been tasked with acquiring and dispatching targets.

Last time I checked, your local Sheriffs office had the power to kick them out.

So, how much are they paying you to post bullshit like this?

Re: Relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46555109)

Well, no, that's not actually true. The navy's MAs are federal law enforcement officials, and so have the same reason to run license plates. Further, they do have a statutory requirement to protects he installation, and part of their job is the records check done when granting base passes to contractors and delivery drivers. But, that doesn't match the anti-government agenda, so ignore that.

Re:Relevant (3, Informative)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#46552661)

interesting point that, in addition to the problem of creepy govt mass surveillance, this also has creepy domestic military surveillance. double creeps.

Re:Relevant (3, Informative)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#46552777)

If it is authorized by congress then the military can legally do what it wants to civilians.

The loophole, unlike the eye of a needle is big enough to drive your camel through:
...said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress

And maybe this [wikipedia.org] is important:
The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other :means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it--
        (1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States
        within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, :privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and :the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that :right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
        (2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes :the course of justice under those laws...

Basically the Posse Comitatus Act is merely a paper tiger which basically asserts federal authority over the military. It does not prohibit them from being used against civilians. It only prohibits local authorities from deploying the troops.

Re:Relevant (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46554685)

"If it is authorized by congress then the military can legally do what it wants to civilians."

No. We have this thing called the Constitution. Congress does not have lawful authority to violate it.

Congress actually passed a lot of unconstitutional laws after 9/11. We are only now getting around to testing some of them in court... and they have been falling down, one by one. Slowly, but falling.

The Congress of the United States does not have legitimate power to do anything it wants.

Re:Relevant (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46555069)

Finally somebody who has actually understood the law.

Now if only somebody else on this thread, anybody else, would pay attention to the "abuses" it was supposed to stop and acknowledge that, in practical terms, this is the law that legitimized the greatest evil the American government has ever perpetrated on it's citizens I'll be very happy.

Re:Relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46553293)

Thank You Metropolitan Police Service! I could not (and still cannot) read the comment you refer to! This often happens on slashdot regarding fair comments critical of izreel, for example:

1. The UK police computer system has a backdoor built-in by the israelis
2. The Australian legislation criminalising riding a bicycle without a helmet (ontold lives saved in outback), cost (other than national security), 50 dollar fine and a pink-slip!

Re:Relevant (1)

Teun (17872) | about 9 months ago | (#46554015)

Hey dickhead, what does this have to do with the (UK) Metro police?

I'm reading it through a UK account just fine.

That's not to deny your Dave Camoron has installed a mighty fine firewall to keep you all safe...

Re:Relevant (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46554599)

"Relevant "

I was wondering about that myself. What about these drones that the military has "loaned" to local law enforcement at times, or when they hangar and fly local police drones from a military base? I've read about those happening at least several times. And I sure as hell was under the impression that it was illegal.

For that matter so, I think, is the inverse situation: how the hell did we end up with National Guard personnel going overseas? They are State employees, not Federal troops.

Re:Relevant (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46554625)

I meant to add: in my opinion, it has all been a deliberate attempt by the Bush and Obama administrations to muddle up the Separation of Powers.

Re:Relevant (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46555201)

I meant to add: in my opinion, it has all been a deliberate attempt by the Bush and Obama administrations to muddle up the Separation of Powers.

That's designed into the system.

The theory is that the Executive will always be nibbling at Congressional authority, and Congress will always be nibbling at the President's authority. Nobody ever gets all the authority, therefore freedom is protected.

If Congress wants to make a huge deal about something it can by either a) refusing to fund the government, or b) impeaching him. If Obama wants to make a huge deal about something he can veto budget bills. Since they don't do that the Courts can't really intervene very much.

One of the better features of the system is that it allows the amount of authority the various players has to change based on the situation. Clearly during the middle of WW2 Congress should have given up a lot of it's power to the Executive because FDR was kinda busy. Equally clearly during the mid-90s Clinton didn't need that kind of authority. If the Courts were wont to intervene in Executive/Legislative disputes then WW2 would probably have died in Committee.

Re:Relevant (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46555153)

Separation of Powers can't mean separation of authority if the Power-holding-entities are also supposed to check and balance each-other. If the President had clear, 100% control of everything the military did and Congress had clear 100% control of everything the Department of the Interior did then they couldn't check each-other. Obama would be Army-King ant give a shit about Interior, and vice-versa. This leads to an extremely intricate, complicated, procedure up-top for doing everything because everyone has to be involved at some step in the operation. It requires a lot of intricate dancing between the various entities concerned to keep running, and a certain amount of legal bullshittery that can only be described as "hacking."

The National Guard is actually the perfect example. The Feds needed the state militias to all have the same equipment, training, etc. or they wouldn't be able to fight effectively as Army units; and Constitutionally they are supposed to be most of the Army. So in the early 20th the Feds started paying for the damn things on condition that they could use militia units whenever they felt like it. But the courts ruled that was wrong. If Sergeant Bob (Kentucky militia) does not want to help flood victims in Ohio then the President can't make him leave Kentucky.

So now all National Guard units are technically both the militias of their state AND Federal employees. If the Feds need Sergeant Bob of Kentucky to do something Sg. Bob (US Army) gets orders. If Kentucky needs him Sg. Bob (KY Militia) gets orders. Bob has two retirement plans based on State and Federal Active Duty days. Many states actually have a non-Federal component to their militias which is unarmed (states are too cheap to pay for insurance in case somebody gets accidentally shot at training, so they generally can't even bring their own personally-owned firearms to drill days), such as the Ohio Military Reserve or the Texas State Guard.

As for "lending" assets, that's perfectly legal. There's an exception to Posse Comitatus if the local cops ask for help in writing. It is actually intended to stop the US Army from coming in and forcing a state to prosecute crimes the state doesn't want to prosecute, not to allow an individual to escape prosecution by said state just because he's found a state that can't track his ass down without the Army's help. Specifically the law was intended to allow racist white southern states to oppress their black residents without fear of US Army retaliation, and since it can be made to sound like a very sensible limit on Federal power it has remained.

Re:Relevant (1)

markass530 (870112) | about 9 months ago | (#46554641)

have you ever heard of NCIS?

Re:Relevant (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46554963)

WTF? This is so wrong on so many levels that I can't believe it.

Number one, the Posse Comitatus Act is the reason we had Jim Crow. In 1876 local gun-owners throughout the South want'd to lynch their way to segregation but the Federal goddamn Army refused to let them. Between the passage of this Act, and Eisenhower sending the Federal goddamn Army into Little Rock Schools racist terrorists managed to drive the black population of every southern state down by 10 points. In several it was more like 30. South Carolina and Mississippi, for example, were roughly 60% black prior to Posse Comitatus. The Confederacy as a whole had been 40% black. If it was 40% black today no Conservative candidate would ever win. The whole incident is by far the most evil thing the US has ever done to it's citizens, and you are implying it is actually useful in protecting freedom.

Number two, it has nothing to do with the Feds ability to compile information. It stops the Army from enforcing local laws. But a) that doesn't mean they can't compile info on whose been breaking said laws, and b) it doesn't apply if the Executive authority of the local jurisdiction asks for help. So if an officer of the Mayor, for example a Police Officer, walks up to a Federal soldier and says "please tell me everything you know about the bad things this person has done," the under the Posse Comitatus Act the soldier has every right to comply. This was quite effective in ethnically cleansing the South because a) southerners could typically arrange it so that a Mayor/cop/etc. who would ask the Feds for help was no longer Mayor/cop/etc. (in Arkansas there was actually a coup d'tat against the Governor), and b) it showed all Army officers that stopping racist oppression was a bad career move.

Re:Relevant (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 9 months ago | (#46555133)

Mississippi is approximately 38% black, and routinely elects raging conservatives to every single national office. Some are Republicans, and some are Democrats, but every single one of them is nominally pro-life and anti-gay. The black ones much more so than the white ones, actually.

Re:Relevant (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46555377)

You're exaggerating the social conservatism of black pols. In the 43-strong black caucus there are three people who oppose gay marriage. As you get down to a more local level social conservatism gets stronger. It's probably exaggerated in Mississippi because the only way to get anything done is to get buy-in from extremely socially conservative whites, which means that a black pol who gets things done in the statehouse has to pander to them. Black pols in a more normal situation (ie: New York State) tend to be on the cutting edge of the gay rights movement because they need to build coalitions with secular white people.

You're closer on the number then I thought (it's 37.3% black, and I thought it was about a third), but Mississippi is a bit of an insane example. They keep their elections from being a lot closer by having an extremely high incarceration rate, particularly for blacks, and making it virtually impossible to regain your right to vote after being imprisoned. Everybody else is 25-30% or so black, and a 10-15% gain in the black population nets to about 8 points for Democrats, which makes most southern states go from impossible wins to Ohio.

Re:Relevant (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 9 months ago | (#46560135)

I'm not talking about the pols, I'm talking about the population. Black society is very anti-gay, for example.

Re:Relevant (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 9 months ago | (#46555609)

Decidedly not relevant. The NCIS (which is what actually collects said data, not the Navy proper) is a civilian organization (according to their website, 98% of their agents are civilians, and 90% of the agency overall is civilian) which is specifically authorized by Congress to engage in law enforcement. Law enforcement is, in fact, it's whole reason for existence. Posse Commitus does not apply.

Public record (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 9 months ago | (#46552597)

Isn't this all public record, anyway? It sounds like the Navy wants to know if they'll be helping anyone escape justice by moving ships around.

Two Rules for Surveillence/Privacy Discussions (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#46552789)

Most of it is public information, but what is egregious is that some of it, including a name on a police report (when you weren't even charged w/ a crime, let alone convicted) is enough to get a Red Flag.

**that's the problem**

It's not just a database of criminal convictions...it's any name every connected to any crime anywhere that they can scan & put in their database...

Two Rules for understanding INFOSEC news:

1. Expect officials to want to have the ability to access anything.

2. Identify the appropriate supervisory agency. Every part of the US government has a boss...if you want to understand *why* look at who is setting the policy, and under what administration the policy originated.

Rule 1 can help avoid 1,000s of pointless trolling discussions b/c it is logical if you understand networking or telecommunications. Ask yourself, "Is there any data or message that I would *never* want authorities to have access to no matter what, warrants, court orders, nothing?" That can't be.

Which of course logically leads us to Rule 2

Rule 2 answers the question "Who decides what data they have access to and under what circumstances can they access it?"

These two rules cannot **guarantee** constructive discussion...but IMHO it will surely help

Good (0)

itwasgreektome (785639) | about 9 months ago | (#46552613)

This is data that has been available, sounds like they are just doing a better job of networking said data. This should be viewed as a good thing, when law enforcement has access to information it can help solve crimes easier. Information is king. People are so paranoid of a police state, this is not indicative of that. This is indicative of intelligent networking and data sharing.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552711)

Why does the federal government need to maintain a database about parking tickets? This is yet another program that should not exist because there is very little (if any) value that could come from this that warrants the need to keep over 500 million records.

Re:Good (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 9 months ago | (#46554127)

Because after 911 most of the criticism was that various agencies knew parts of the puzzle but weren't sharing that information. The pendulum has swung the other way, perhaps too far. It will swing back again until another few thousand people are killed, again.

Re: Good (1)

itwasgreektome (785639) | about 9 months ago | (#46555195)

The hard drive space to keep this information is negligible. It's text files. This kind of data has been used to solve murders, robberies, rapes, etc. If they have this database police can search for license plates that keep popping up around crime areas and correlate the bits of info. Let's be clear all agencies already retain this info, and all other LE agencies can request this info. What's happening now is they're just making the information more readily accessible to those who can make use of it.

Free Credit Report (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 9 months ago | (#46555021)

Participating agencies must feed their information into the federal data warehouse and electronically update it daily in return for access.

Doesn't sound like anyone I'd trust.

!Good - GIGO (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 9 months ago | (#46555605)

Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO).

Collecting, storing and distributing trivial data is a waste of time and resources.

The money could be better spent employing more Bobbies on the Beat doing real police work. The redundant databases only aids the large tech companies like IBM, Cisco, Microsoft and Oracle. It does sweet blue all for actual security and safety.

Re:!Good - GIGO (1)

leuk_he (194174) | about 9 months ago | (#46556665)

It is not the traffic violation that is so important. The fact is also recorded where you were at the time of the violation. That information could me more valuable. Some terrorist originating from pakistan has no history at all and could be a false indentity. Have some minor traffic violations validates taht you exists.... ;)

Keeping "personal information" without authority (2)

davecb (6526) | about 9 months ago | (#46552645)

There is a principle in law (but not in all jurisdictions) that one can only keep personal information about one's customers during the time one is doing business with them. Libraries, one of the original examples, only keep "who has book X" records until the book is returned.

What business relationship does the Navy have with random people, and what are they doing with copies of their parking tickets? Personal information, and especially personally identifying information should be closely held. Therefor it should not be collected by businesses, police or the military except where the law specifically allows.

To make it a little harsher, is not possession of someone else's social security number in the U.S. prima facie evidence of an attempt to impersonate them? Of "identity theft"?

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 9 months ago | (#46552691)

There is a principle in law (but not in all jurisdictions) that one can only keep personal information about one's customers during the time one is doing business with them.

That's nice. Talk to me when it is a legal statute and a constitutional ammendment.

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

davecb (6526) | about 9 months ago | (#46552743)

It's the law, you just don't live in the right place (;-))

Seriously, though, it's consistent with the U.S. constitution's protection of privacy, and is claimed to be the law in some states. It wasn't Minnesota law back when I lived in Minneapolis, but that was a while ago ...

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1, Troll)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 9 months ago | (#46552881)

What business relationship does the Navy have with random people, and what are they doing with copies of their parking tickets?

The Navu has relationships with the ruling Ascendacy/Elite, and is amassing information on citizens in case the ruling class might ever have need of it.

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

davecb (6526) | about 9 months ago | (#46553095)

Which would be something one wouldn't want to admit in front of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (:-))
She's an officer of Parliament, and doesn't answer to the party in power*.

--dave
[* Which causes parties in power to worry about being called out near an election. Note the current push to geld theenforcement branch of Elections Canada, after they publicly chastized the party in power breaking the funding law]

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (2)

EvilSS (557649) | about 9 months ago | (#46554193)

There is a principle in law (but not in all jurisdictions) that one can only keep personal information about one's customers during the time one is doing business with them. Libraries, one of the original examples, only keep "who has book X" records until the book is returned.

What business relationship does the Navy have with random people, and what are they doing with copies of their parking tickets? Personal information, and especially personally identifying information should be closely held. Therefor it should not be collected by businesses, police or the military except where the law specifically allows.

To make it a little harsher, is not possession of someone else's social security number in the U.S. prima facie evidence of an attempt to impersonate them? Of "identity theft"?

None of which applies to a federal law enforcement agency, which NCIS is.

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

davecb (6526) | about 9 months ago | (#46556863)

Even King John was subject to the law (although he certainly didn't want to be), and policing agencies in the US are subject to the constitution.

A policing agency in most jurisdictions can keep records about persons they are investigating, and about their own investigations, but generally require a court order to get anyone else's information. A military policing organization is much more restricted. For example, QR Army granted the Canadian Provost Corps unusual powers over soldiers, but because of that strongly restricted their powers over civilians outside of the field of battle.

Sharing information between security services, policing agencies and private businesses is now a subject of debate, with the Canadian government forbidding CSE (our NSA equivalent, a military establishment like NCIS) from getting information about Canadians from foreign security services without a warrant. Other jurisdictions allow differing degrees of sharing without warrants.

Failing to share has also come into question: the NSA and the FBI have earned criticism for failing to share warnings of "imminent danger".

And, just to make it more exciting, in certain* jurisdictions, police are allowed to break the law. This blows up the Magna Carta and takes us back to square one!

--dave
[* In Hawaii, police can have sex with prostitutes. Source: google news, yesterday]

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 9 months ago | (#46559445)

Subject to the constitution yes, subject to local laws on business data collection, no.

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46555239)

The government is not a business. It has different rights then businesses. For example, a business can get away with all kinds of discrimination that a governmental unit could not -- prayer at meetings, mandatory hours on Saturday, etc. The government can't do those things. OTOH the government can arrest you as long as they file the right paperwork (mostly warrants).

Which means that unless there's a specific Constitutional clause, or Congressional statute on data retention in play here the Navy can keep whatever data it wants.

It probably should have some statute restricting the time it keeps info on some of this stuff, but if that law hasn't already been passed then it isn't currently in effect.

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

davecb (6526) | about 9 months ago | (#46556875)

I'd hope the constitution still applies to them, and that they get warrants to collect information form other policing agencies. [See the other comment, too, re limited powers of the military in peacetime]

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46557397)

I'd hope the constitution still applies to them, and that they get warrants to collect information form other policing agencies. [See the other comment, too, re limited powers of the military in peacetime]

And which Constitutional clause says the government can't retain data?

The Fourth stops certain kinds of searches, but has nothing to do with retention. "Search" in legal terms only applies to things that aren't public, so if the Navy is compiling publicly available police reports the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply.

As for their limited police powers, the limit is they can't be local/state cops unless the local cops ask for help using a set procedure. If the local cops query the Navy database then they are (by definition) asking for help. They actually can't be totally limited from law enforcement because they have Constitutional authority over their personnel and their military bases.

The bill reads like it's a lot more, but (like pretty much all broad-sounding limits on US Law Enforcement), it includes multiple innocuous-sounding "buts" that make it useless to protect anybody who isn't running a private militia enforcing white supremacy with the connivance of the local government.

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

davecb (6526) | about 9 months ago | (#46557603)

US courts have held that there are privacy rights and limitations on the military, in part based on a constitutional prohibition on quartering soldiers in private homes (?!). The extent of rights to retain private data varies from state to stare, and is, IMHO, weaker than in Canada and much weaker in the EU. Thus my comment about jurisdictions not honouring rights, including ones their constitutions seem to enumerate.

The big consideration is what private data is kept. If the material is, for example, public court reports, then they're absolutely fine to retain and distribute them. If they're material seized under a court order, they can keep them until all appeals have been exhausted and the parties have been dead for some years, or for a stated period of years. If they're material that they don't have a lawful reason to retain, then they need to clean it out. If it's material they are prohibited from having (e.g., social insurance numbers of non-criminals) they they need to delete them forthwith, or be prosecuted.

The same logic applied to retaining copies of another police force's information, and applies to requests as well: if my police force wants material they need a reason to make the request, it has to be one the courts have previously approved, and they have to enforce the same limitations on other who want copies from them.

"Fishing expeditions" are strongly disapproved by the courts, and this kind of fish-factory-like collection has been treated harshly in Canada. I'll be interested in seeing what happens in the the U.S!

I'm interested in the bill, as I've not seen a trackable reference to it previously. Could you post a link?

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46557755)

Privacy rights in US Federal law basically boil down to how much the Court is willing to BS itself because the Constitution doesn't have an Amendment directly (and clearly) intended to address the issue. This is largely because when those Amendments were written in the 1790s privacy rights weren't something that governments had figured out how to abuse, and since then the Courts have managed to stretch other Amendments to cover a lot of the gap. The Fourth is usually mentioned, but all it explicitly bans are "unreasonable searches" without warrants. The Third is almost never referred to in US law. States can be better, but they can also be worse.

The bill I'm talking about, and I thought you were talking about, is the Posse Comitatus Act [wikipedia.org] . It is intended to stop the Army from enforcing US Laws. This sounds really good on paper, because who would want that? But in practice it was basically a response to the post-Civil War Republicans attempts to force the South to treat black people like people. The local authorities did not want to treat black people like people, so they resisted, and eventually they were able to a) get the troops withdrawn, and b) get a law saying that the Army could only be used in aiding law enforcement under certain very strict conditions. One of those conditions is "if the Governor asks for it." And if South Carolina has decided to join the system then it follows the Governor (or one of his lawfully appointed representatives) asked for that shit.

Note that the Posse Comitatus Act is a perfect example of why it's very complicated to protect freedom in the US. Keeping the big bad Army from arresting people sounds like a pro-freedom position, but IRL the Act's major effect was to show everyone that Reconstruction was truly over, and Southern states could no longer be forced to treat black people like people.

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

davecb (6526) | about 9 months ago | (#46559963)

Ah, sorry, I thought there was a new law I didn't know about. Thanks! --dave

Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (1)

davecb (6526) | about 9 months ago | (#46559945)

Whoops, fish factories just came up on slashdot, at http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org] , including discussion of general warrants

America... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552669)

...doing dumb fucking things since inception.

The Army is spying on people too (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 9 months ago | (#46552707)

The problem is not the database, the problem is who's running it. The military has zero business spying on civilians. The CiA doesn't like the competition.

Re:The Army is spying on people too (2)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about 9 months ago | (#46552767)

While the fact the Navy is compiling the data is concerning, the information they're collecting is public record. Newsflash: if you get arrested, everyone can know.

Re:The Army is spying on people too (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 9 months ago | (#46552953)

Did you even read the summary?

and arrest reports to field information cards filled out by cops on the beat even when no crime has occurred.

AFAIK those are not public records.

Re:The Army is spying on people too (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about 9 months ago | (#46553237)

They are, actually.

Re:The Army is spying on people too (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46555255)

Police reports are public record. They have to be, otherwise journalists could never find out whether the young man bitching he's being unfairly targeted because he's black is actually being targeted because he's black.

1996 (5, Informative)

Jaktar (975138) | about 9 months ago | (#46552725)

When I enlisted in '96, I was asked why I didn't inform anyone that I was pulled over in 1995. I was questioned as to why I was pulled over and what happened. I didn't think anything of it.

I was not issued any citation for being pulled over as it was a case of mistaken identity. Still, the Navy had a record of it.

Re:1996 (1)

Atomic Fro (150394) | about 9 months ago | (#46552889)

Ya, I am pretty sure they use this information to weed out unsavories during the enlistment process. When my friend enlisted a couple years ago, he got pretty far into the process before the issue of a bankruptcy came up. He had to talk to someone pretty high up, pretty sure it was the commander of the base they were going to ship him to, and the commander had to sign off on it.

Re:1996 (3, Insightful)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 9 months ago | (#46553027)

Ya, I am pretty sure they use this information to weed out unsavories during the enlistment process.

Um, what? So they're concerned you might not be Navy material because of speeding tickets, and unfit to join the ranks that commit sexual assault?

Sounds a bit like Alice's Restaurant.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice%27s_restaurant

Re:1996 (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 9 months ago | (#46553973)

Actually... yes... If you have a security clearance you are required to report traffic violations resulting in large fines. Until recently the limit was $150, but in the last couple of years they upped it to $300. Apparently the US government thinks that if you routinely drive 90 in a 50 you are irresponsible or something.

Re:1996 (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46555271)

Actually... yes... If you have a security clearance you are required to report traffic violations resulting in large fines. Until recently the limit was $150, but in the last couple of years they upped it to $300. Apparently the US government thinks that if you routinely drive 90 in a 50 you are irresponsible or something.

My best guess is that in 1952 some low-level Federal Agent in a jurisdiction where drunk driving was a fine squished some lady, the media found out he'd kept his job despite multiple tickets, and there was a massive controversy in which several of his bossed were Named in the Paper (the Civil Servants motto: "Don't get your name in the Paper.") and now they're paranoid it'll happen again.

Re:1996 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46556131)

They just don't want any pre-established crooks in the armed forces. It would make it too obvious to call a kettle black.

Re:1996 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46558981)

It's a good thing that every law is enforced exactly as equally as every other then, right?

U.S. citizens are the enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552807)

What's apparent is all this leads to the fact that all citizens are enemy's of our own nation! How did we go from We The People to suspects... The experiment in freedom is over! We are absolutely not free any longer, sad... I'm glad my two WW2 vet grandfathers dident live to see it!

Re:U.S. citizens are the enemy (1)

Nehmo (757404) | about 9 months ago | (#46553925)

... We are absolutely not free any longer, sad... !

You act as though the realization that we (in the US) are not free is a surprise to you. If it is, then you're a victim of the American propaganda machine, which constantly tells us we are the "land of the free", our enemies are "jealous of our freedoms", etc. These beliefs are so entrenched, even people doing time in prison religiously defend them.

And that brings me to the real consequence of unbridled government, locking people up. The US government and its state subordinate sections lock up more of its own people than any country in the world.

Data sharing applications (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552809)

LiNX is one of a number of data sharing systems in use today. It works with local law enforcement agencies to warehouse data across different jurisdictions so that they can see each other's data. What's strange is it's under the Navy. The FBI runs another system called the National Data Exhange (n-DEx) which does the same thing but more generally. LiNX is used more for port cities. Commercial vendors like IBM provide their CopLink product to states and local jurisdictions to share data as well (see MODEX project in state of Colorado). Some states like Ohio have their statewide data sharing system that serves to aggregate data for NDEX. These are all systems operated by state/federal law enforcement agnecies that capture when you've done something wrong. This is different from the surveillance activities of the NSA that capture information indiscriminately.

Data sharing applications (3, Informative)

Rehan Chawdry (3588543) | about 9 months ago | (#46552815)

LiNX is one of a number of data sharing systems in use today. It works with local law enforcement agencies to warehouse data across different jurisdictions so that they can see each other's data. What's strange is it's under the Navy. The FBI runs another system called the National Data Exhange (n-DEx) which does the same thing but more generally. LiNX is used more for port cities whereas FBI is much more broad. Commercial vendors like IBM provide their CopLink product to states and local jurisdictions to share data as well (see MODEX project in state of Colorado). Some states like Ohio have their own statewide data sharing system that serves to aggregate data for NDEX. These are all systems operated by state/federal law enforcement agnecies that capture when you've done something wrong. This is different from the surveillance activities of the NSA that capture information indiscriminately.

Re:Data sharing applications (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46553031)

These are all systems operated by state/federal law enforcement agnecies that capture when you've done something wrong.

No. That would be a system containing judicial records. Cops just collect records on people they don't like.

Seriously, the quality of law enforcement intelligence data varies greatly. Some of the more ethical police departments take pains to share only data for which there is probable cause to conduct investigations. In the next town over, you'll get your name on a list if you piss off the mayor. On the other hand, staying off the list also can depend on one's social connections. A few years ago, our local city cops were bumped off of a child molestation case (which was turned over to the county sheriff) because the suspect was a minister in the church of some political big-shots and no progress was made.

I wouldn't count on the police to keep accurate records for this sort of thing. And by extension, the Navy's database.

Re:Data sharing applications (3, Insightful)

careysub (976506) | about 9 months ago | (#46553465)

And this business of "field information cards" is especially worrisome. A cop can write down anything on a card he likes, and since no action is taken on a card, its very existence would be unknown to you - unless he/she choses to show it you. There is no way of knowing what (mis)information is being generated about you by any random cop. One wonders whether this data, once "in the system" is ever completely, totally purged.

Re:Data sharing applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46555277)

Such cards would be stored in a system classed as a law enforcement intelligence database. It has to be purged after 5 years as per 28 CFR Part 23: https://it.ojp.gov/documents/2... [ojp.gov]

Re:Data sharing applications (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46555511)

From 28 CFR Part 23

(5) The regulation provides that information retained in the system must be reviewed and validated for continuing compliance with system submission criteria within a 5-year retention period. Any information not validated within that period must be purged from the system (28 CFR 23.20(h)).

So all someone needs to do is to repeatedly validate the entry and it stays in the system. Loopholes. Gotta have them.

Re:Data sharing applications (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46555529)

and since no action is taken on a card, its very existence would be unknown to you - unless he/she choses to show it you.

Police departments are some of the leakiest organizations in this country. It's pretty easy to find a cop who will search their database for you.

Re: Data sharing applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46555509)

Listen to the old Dragnet radio shows sometime. They were doing the same record-keeping, even of field reports, back in the 50's, just on index cards. The R & I dept had an IBM that would filter on modus operandi or aliases or description - a database, just with moving parts. And they shared info when requested by other depts or the federal government. None of this is new. Really, someone should do an article on recordkeeping strategies in Dragnet: it might be illuminating.

Abby? (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about 9 months ago | (#46552841)

Is that you?

Re:Abby? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46553329)

BB is a war-criminal, and his regime are violating various UN charters, international norms, and basically have a monopoly on nsa/cia/usn(ask pollard`s supporters) data, also FB-via-akamai, most of the worlds telephone bills, and they are an apartheid state.

Don't Have A Car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552969)

And not a care in the world.

FU ha ha :-D

How else can you blackmail people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46553025)

See all those US 'news' stories about famous people going down for 'faults' in their personal behaviour. Why exactly do you think the mass media focuses so much time and energy ruining the lives of certain famous people? You betas are told by your masters that you betas get the forms of journalism you betas choose to read, and being betas you actually believe this laughable lie. Many betas LOVE to feel guilty, and indulge in self-hate, so a 'blame yourself' ploy is perfect.

The NSA, now without a doubt, collects every possible piece of information about every possible individual. Every alpha understands EXACTLY why such a strategy is useful to evil alphas. But betas must imagine ANY explanation but the true one.

"why would they waste their time spying on little me" is the chant betas are taught from the earliest age. And for a beta living in the USA, where betas are told (with a large degree of truth) that anyone might make it big in America, the adherence to this laughable lie is most puzzling.

The NUMBER ONE function of the NSA is to gain intelligence that can be used to coerce people. Coercion is the number one method by the people in power to maintain and magnify their power. In the case like Libya and Syria, coercion means Team Obama having targets for 'conversion' (key people in those nations 'persuaded to work on behalf of America) promised significant rewards AND shown video of previous targets who FAILED to co-operate watching as members of their family are tortured to death before their eyes, before they themselves are murdered.

Such 'persuasion' cannot be used in the USA against American 'targets'. When someone like Obama needs, for instance, to persuade certain people to support one of his new wars, it is going to require proving to the target that Obama's people have access to significant reputation damaging material. And this material is collect in bulk by the NSA.

US Naval Intelligence, for strictly historical reasons, was one of the first US departments to engage in large scale activities that later became, more commonly, the purview of the NSA.

Aaaah, now I see! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46553233)

Silly me. NSA must mean Navel Scrutiny Authority. They're just a bunch of Buddhist monks. Nothing to see here - move along, friend.

Is this a map of teabager counties? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 9 months ago | (#46554141)

I think the areas involved tells a story of its own. Check out the map of participants [navy.mil] at the bottom.

Re:Is this a map of teabager counties? (1)

dlgeek (1065796) | about 9 months ago | (#46555061)

Costal states that have large Navy ports?

Re:Is this a map of teabager counties? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 9 months ago | (#46555627)

Where is the large Navy port in Texas? Where is there water deep enough for a ship in New Mexico.

Re:Is this a map of teabager counties? (2)

dlgeek (1065796) | about 9 months ago | (#46555677)

Texas:
  • Naval Station Ingleside (Planned to house a battlegroup, but was closed in 2010)
  • Naval Air Station Corpus Christi
  • Naval Air Station Ft. Worth
  • Naval Air Station Kingsville

Re:Is this a map of teabager counties? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 9 months ago | (#46555301)

It's not that surprising. All the states involved are coastal states except New Mexico. The Counties shaded dark blue are almost all in areas with a lot of Naval activity (ie: SoCal includes San Diego). A lot of very red states don't even have a County participating. Wyoming, the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma aren't in it.

Data Sharing Initiatives (2)

Ronin Developer (67677) | about 9 months ago | (#46555403)

This is nothing new - I have written about it my responses for years. I worked for a company that developed a system that was being considered by Homeland Security when I left in 2009.

In the early 2ks, there were a multitude of records management systems in use by public safety. Our system was designed for small and medium size departments- large cities were not our forte.

There was a lot of data and no way to correlate it among departments in the same counties, let alone state or federal levels. The system we devised worked seemlessly with our customer's and it allowed them to decide what information they desired to share. And, more importantly, they could just as easily shutdown that access. We adapted our system to be able to pull dta from other vendor systems. And, it was noticed. Every incident, ticket, arrest was instantly searchable...from a national level in under seven seconds. It didn't use links.

Our system wasn't the first, just one that worked...welll..really well. States were receiving grants from the Feds and a lot was funneled into academic research. GJXDM and subsequent NIEM models were built. The FBI also was looking at a system of their own design.

States such as Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, PA, NJ and others all had systems...they just werent unified. I would suspect that, if the article is true and NCIS became the keepers, it was for national security reasons.

None of this is new. How many of you knew that most departments couldnt communicate with those in other counties by radio because of lack of standards? Legislation was passed to help them all be able to communicate in the interest of national security. We were in two wars and fighting an unseen one. Yet, a cop who pulled someone over in one county might not know that when the same vehicle was pulled over again...five minutes away.

Our system alerted an officer to one such routine stop. First time, there was no probable cause to search the vehicle. A few minutes later, the vehicle was pulled over again. But, the last stop was in the system and the officer approached the car with caution. Shots were fired as the officer approached and he was hit - but, not before neutralizing the threat. He had a vest and lived.

NCIC would not have had the realtime data. Our system did. I suspect the system in question is also near-realtime.

Is it spying? Perhaps at some level. But, it is a database of public safety info. Yes, your tattoos and tramp stamps are in the system if you were arrested. They help identify gangs or indicate when a rival gang is moving into a new territory, believe it or not.

Is the system here collecting more information about ongoing investigations or public information or information pertinent to law enforcement doing their duty?

And, FYI, a cop doesn't need permission to run your plates - that rule varies state by state. Often, it is a hit against a state run DMV or parking authority that gives the probable cause to run a full check. Do some abuse this power? Maybe. Most cops I knew

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