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HomeSec Blacklist to be Available to Private Companies

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the but-not-to-you dept.

Privacy 315

unassimilatible writes "The Washington Times reports that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are developing a database that will allow private companies to submit lists of individuals to be screened for a connection to terrorism. The database will eventually allow private-sector entities, such as operators of critical infrastructure facilities or organizers of large events, to submit a list of persons associated with those events to the U.S. government to be screened for any nexus to terrorism. All of this won't be cheap either; total terror-related IT spending by US federal and state governments will run past $100 billion in 2004. But don't feel left out Europeans, since the EU is considering a terror database as well, although France and UK are reluctant to share intel."

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Easy to abuse.. but not a new list anyway. (5, Insightful)

some2 (563218) | more than 10 years ago | (#8684985)

The issue with allowing this is that terrorist organizations, who are generally well funded, may be able to check associates against the list and verify they are not listed. They can also get creative and monitor the list to find the leaks of information, such as when a new person in their organization is introduced to one of their existing associates (the leak), and then the new member suddenly shows up on the list. People don't have to be terrorists when they join organizations either (initial screening), they can choose to go that way after they have joined.

Besides, this list has been around for ages, and has been circulated among financial institutions for years. It's not really anything new, it's just more public now.

Re:Easy to abuse.. but not a new list anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685088)

It would be a good idea to submit your own name for screening. That way you know whether you are on their list!

Re:Easy to abuse.. but not a new list anyway. (4, Interesting)

Ralph JH Nader (765522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685300)

I doubt they will tell you that they're on the list. The FBI handles investigation into terrorists just like they investigate drug operations. They're not just interested in causing a single person to stop their plans, as a terrorist would do if they found they're on the list. They're interested in following the person around, finding out as much as they can, and then taking down the entire operation.

What this all means is they can't tell terrorists that they're on the list. As such, they would probably have to give false reports of innocence to people who were on the list and did a background check on themselves.

You'll never know you're on their list. It's difficult to find out if you're being watched now, anyways. For example, if your phone was being tapped, the phone company and law enforcement won't let you know you're being watched. And they don't tell you that you're not being watched. They just won't tell you anything. Just the same, you would never be able to find out if you're on the list or you're not.

Re:Easy to abuse.. but not a new list anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685136)

As an American, I, for one, am happy they are doing this. This means it will be easier for me to get a job since I won't have to compete with those with a superior education. There are some things they can't outsource to India, you know.

Re:Easy to abuse.. but not a new list anyway. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685165)

such as dumb white guys like yourself

Re:Easy to abuse.. but not a new list anyway. (2, Interesting)

ehack (115197) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685182)

I wonder what the blacklist equivalent of a googlebomb is ?
How much do you have to pay to get your favorite "friend " listed ?

Re:Easy to abuse.. but not a new list anyway. (4, Funny)

Ralph JH Nader (765522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685253)

Somehow, I think if you're on the list, the FBI will be a little more discrete than just return the list to the company and tell the company which people are suspected of being terrorsts. I would expect, instead, that the FBI would probably handle it in a more discrete way. They might do further investigation on suspected terrorists that are attending the event, and might even attend the event and follow them around. I'll leave it up to you to decide if the FBI's secrecy is for reasons of common sense or for evil, but I'd bet that's how they handle it.

Do You Remember? (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8684987)

Remember that off-the-cuff troll you fired off on some blog or newsgroup years ago?

The one where you joked about blowing something up, poisoning the town watersupply or leaving a flaming bag of poop on the mayor's doorstep? It was just a youthful indiscretion, which anyone could make after a few beers or a blunt. It wasn't meant to be taken seriously. There were not pipe bombs under your bed or fatigues and a gun in your closet. You'd rather be shooting the shit with friends at the mall than shooting people from the trunk of a parked car. Years pass and you have met that special someone and settled down to a mortgage, a couple auto loans, putting some money away for college funds and that sporty little red "mid-life crisis" Then one day you're called into the Human Resources department. There are a couple serious looking men in suits waiting there to meet you. It seems on a routine check your name came up. You had started or participated in a thread that someone else did. That someone else just blew up a bus in Tel Aviv.

Remember that off-the-cuff troll you fired off on some blog or newsgroup years ago? Someone did.

Re:Do You Remember? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685105)

Umm.. bomb threats are felonies. It's been that way for decades.

Re:Do You Remember? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685114)

shit! you had me on the edge of my seat.

that would make a great movie.

we'll call it "brother of mein"

Re:Do You Remember? (4, Interesting)

mantera (685223) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685278)

you're not kidding... this stuff is for real... i know someone whose step-daughter is a 16 year old mtv-styled greenpeace-enthausiast white kid with a website... and on account of this he's been put on some list and it showed up when he failed to get clearance from the government for a job he was applying to...

It gets worse (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685321)

Company security guard with nothing to do at 4am spots a screensaver dumping the Zippy the Pinhead fortune file to my CRT. Something to the effect of "I want to blow everyone up with a cute, colorful hydrogen bomb!" He writes it up, 24 hours later they call me into a 9am meeting (I have to drive 85 miles to get there) and start treating me like a mental patient "Is there something bothering you?" I explain to them that the screensaver was from a corporate approved Linux Distro installed and configured by their corporate IT guy, and I never touched it. They start screaming at me, accusing me of not cooperating, and saying things like "It was on your computer, therefore you are responsible! You are creating a hostile workplace!" as if their screaming at me doesn't create a hostile workplace. They then confiscate my badge, suspend me and send me back home again. Gee thanks, for making me drive 3 hours just so you could yell at me! Sound too ridiculous to be true? No, this actually happened to me as a contractor at HP!

Woah, dude, relax! (1)

JeanPaulBob (585149) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685354)

I mean, seriously, man--why get worked up about politics when you're throwing a party [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Do You Remember? (4, Insightful)

Liselle (684663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685384)

Time for a Karma-flush. On the one side, we have people scaring the hell out of everyone talking about terrorists, making you paranoid about your next-door neighbor, frightened to take public transportation, nervous in broad daylight.

On the other side, we have people wielding Orwell. Big Brother is watching you, the government is evil and corrupt, you can't take a piss off-center without a dozen people knowing about it. Here's a hypothetical story I made up, complete with a series of lottery-scale unlikely events, leading to a conclusion that mostly just serves make you scared of your own shadow. That's my evidence.

It really sucks to be caught in the middle of those camps. One of these days I'm just going to tear off into the woods and live Thoreau-style, because it seems like the radicals are the only people having fun these days.

What I am really afraid of...... (5, Insightful)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685007)

I am not that worried about companies being able to find out who may be a terror threat. I don't think that the government will give them a dossier on whomever they ask for.

What I am worried about is the government collecting and keeping this data. They may just be using this program as a honeypot to get companies to give them data. They get to know your location on a precise time and date. They also may be able to do some basic hypothesising based on this data. For instance, people who are often found at the same events could be grouped together, and rudimentary sosical networks could be strung together. You could end up under investigation if you turn up at too many events that have "terrorist suspects" at them. Maybe even if they started collecting names of those at political rallies, and started adding those to the databases. Maybe the cities will say: You can have your protest, if you supply a list of names of people who will be there. And BAM! You have lost your privacy and freedom to associate.

Re:What I am really afraid of...... (5, Insightful)

Ralph JH Nader (765522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685156)

Maybe the cities will say: You can have your protest, if you supply a list of names of people who will be there.

Perhaps, although doing so would be a clear violation of the first amendment's freedom of assembly. I know people will cite the Patriot Act as an example that the government doesn't give a damn about the Constitution. On the other hand, I don't recall any real limitations on freedom of speech (okay, not giving expert advice to terrorists, but the courts struck that part of the Patriot Act down). They've been unwilling so far to touch the first amendment.

They get to know your location on a precise time and date.

Don't forget while you're there to only pay in plain cash. If you use a credit card or a check, then they'll know you were there either. Since this seems to only be used for events, many of the people will probably be buying things with their credit cards. In other words, I don't know that for most people, they'll be getting tracked more than they already are.

Maybe even if they started collecting names of those at political rallies, and started adding those to the databases.

For the most part, I don't see this happening. Both parties have been involved with the Patriot Act and with taking your rights away. Quite frankly, I think they don't want the election system associated with blacklists. It could quite easily backfire, and I'm sure that the opponents of the people in office who passed the Patriot Act would spin it as an attempt to scare voters into voting the incumbent back in.

Re:What I am really afraid of...... (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685263)

Don't forget while you're there to only pay in plain cash. If you use a credit card or a check, then they'll know you were there either. Since this seems to only be used for events, many of the people will probably be buying things with their credit cards. In other words, I don't know that for most people, they'll be getting tracked more than they already are.

Yeah, but I think that the people who would be allowed to participate in the program will want to cooperate (for the most part). Thus, they will make a push to collect as much data as possible, as transparently as possible (like using your CC info instead of directly asking you). In addition, things like air travel require you to disclose your identity, and I wouldn't be surprised if they add to the list of things you are required to give up data for.

You have a good point, and it will probably not be totally trackable, but the technology is about to be in place to track everything you do. If the government manages to find a way to get information to store (through this program or others), there could be a huge threat to privacy.

Re:What I am really afraid of...... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685201)

Maybe even if they started collecting names of those at political rallies, and started adding those to the databases.

I don't think you have to worry about that, unless you live a country that's been known to do that sort of thing in the past.

KFG

I need your hacking expertise: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685009)

If I implement the HomeSec Blacklist in the driver for my Fleshlight, will that keep Osama bin Laden from fucking my goatbot?!!!

I hope they give us similar rights as with credit (2, Interesting)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685012)

A free terrorist report any time you're turned down for a job? Perhaps some states will require one free terrorist report per year for anyone who asks?

I hate the idea, but I am curious to see what they have on file for me.

Re:I hope they give us similar rights as with cred (1, Interesting)

setzman (541053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685053)

You think they'd give you your terrorist report? Perhaps they would, while you're sitting in a animal cage in Cuba.

Re:I hope they give us similar rights as with cred (1)

TexasDex (709519) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685113)

That is unlikely. They wouldn't want the terrorists to know that we are on to them. They couldn't give out the info because the info itself may very well be sensitive (and imagine if they made a mistake and put some highly sensitive info in your file). Remember that this list has already been compiled--the only change now is that companies in possible target industries will be able to submit your name to the FBI for a "terrorist background check" And the fact that seeing your own "terrorist rating" is unlikely to impossible makes me worry. Credit ratings can be, and often are, very wrong. What if somebody does something evil in your name somehow? Steals your identity and buys paramilitary supplies with it, perhaps? Overall, I don't like this idea either.

Re:I hope they give us similar rights as with cred (2, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685120)

Good lord. Does this mean I'll be spammed with Get your "free" terrorism assment report now!!! to complement the Credit Report ones? =b

Re:I hope they give us similar rights as with cred (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685175)

I am curious to see what they have on file for me.

Nothing.

But they just started one.

KFG

Re:I hope they give us similar rights as with cred (1)

Phurd Phlegm (241627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685273)

A free terrorist report any time you're turned down for a job?

I've been turned down for jobs before, but I've never even considered reporting the interviewer as a terrorist. Very innovative. The hard question is, do you use your one free report on the hiring manager or the H. R. manager?

Maybe we should get two free reports each time we're turned down?

Here's a Jumpstart (-1, Troll)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685017)

Well, I know how they could get a bunch of names easily, just get info on anybody who has a Slashdot ID number lower than 100,000.

Oh, you just know there's something up with them. Just look at them.

This is great news! (0, Troll)

Dana P'Simer (530866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685022)

The private sector needs a way to efficiently screen event participants and/or job applicants. I think there should be a way to appeal your being listed in the terrorism database.

Re:This is great news! (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685050)

Of course, then you get pegged for being a troublemaker...

Skynet, here we come!

Operatives? (1)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685023)

Hmm.. makes me wonder how many operatives would show up in a db? eg: France's spies in england.

More RAM anyone? (0, Redundant)

pholower (739868) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685028)

More crosschecking databases. These things are going to be huge. I guess we can start to see more RAM purchases from the government.

Re:More RAM anyone? (1)

pholower (739868) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685093)

What I meant to say was... More crosschecking databases. These things are going to be huge. I guess we can start to see more RAM [slashdot.org] purchases from the government.

Re:More RAM anyone? (1)

some2 (563218) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685096)

It really is brilliant to get into the SSD market right now, as you mention. The government isn't buying terabytes of ram, they're buying terabytes of expensive SSD disk arrays. It is sort of similar to selling retina scanners and fingerprint detectors. In this market, the only way you can loose in any of those markets is to have the most expensive product, as fortunately, the government still uses RFPs to obtain the cheapest prices, thus, the cheapest product (even if lower in quality) may win.

Wow, that's a surprise. (1)

James A. M. Joyce (764379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685041)

Why don't they just put the list up on the fucking Internet so everyone can use it? Oh, of course, I forgot about the money. Makes me glad I'm in the UK, despite the large number of CCTV cameras we have lying around.

Re:Wow, that's a surprise. (1, Flamebait)

some2 (563218) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685137)

I'd be more worried in the UK. In the US, we do not typically have cameras mounted on the freeways capable of tracking license plate numbers (to my knowledge). In the UK, I keep hearing about people receiving speeding citations after speeding ~~ 100+ mph down the freeways. We have them all over the place here to give red light tickets, but that is about it, and to my knowledge, those are (hopefully) not tracking individual motorists.

That being said, the possibility of either is quite concerning...

Got it backwards, chief (2, Informative)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685046)

Private companies will make their lists available to the department of homeland security! Even your own writeup says this!

It's not like Coca-coka is gonna be getting dirt from you by calling up the feds.

Re:Got it backwards, chief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685299)

FIRST REPLY.

Not 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, infinit. FIRST.

PROPS TO ALL DEAD HOMIZE

Re:Got it backwards, chief (3, Funny)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685361)

>It's not like Coca-co[l]a is gonna be getting dirt [on] you by calling up the feds.

You're right, Coca-Cola mostly deals with the CIA.

Re:Got it backwards, chief (1)

DrVomact (726065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685368)

Actually, it's not clear what information is going which way. The article says that private organizations can submit names "for screening", but it doesn't say what is done with the results of the screening. Does the government report back to the private company about who passes and who is associated with a "terrorist nexus"? Or maybe--yikes!--the names that are submitted get added to the government black list? Truly, obfuscatory language is the first refuge of the scoundrel.

movie industry "Reds" (5, Insightful)

planckscale (579258) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685048)

Didn't they already try this in the 60's with the movie industry and its blacklists? Me thinks this stinks.

Re:movie industry "Reds" (4, Informative)

dogfart (601976) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685247)

It was the late 1940's/early 1950's. A lot of very talented folks ended up in janitorial jobs for years as a result. You didn't have to be a flaming "I love Joe Stalin" Commie either - briefly joining an organization while in college during the 1930's could come back to haunt you 15 apolitical years later. See Article in Salon [salon.com]

Re:movie industry "Reds" (5, Informative)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685285)

The Hollywood blacklist was started in the late 1940's and continued roughly until the late 1950's.
It basically started when the president of the Screen Actor's Guild at the time, an over-the-hill actor named Ronald Reagan, decided to get on the good side of the House Committee on Un-American Activies by volunteering to turn over to them the names of all the people that he suspected of having Communist tendencies in the film industry.
The willingness of this actor to be a total asshole and his enthusiasm in destroying the lives of the other actors that he was supposed to be defending as SAG president caught the attention of the dormant conservative Republicans, who financed his California governor's race in the mid 1960's.

Sharing Intel is like sharing needles! (2, Funny)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685051)

although France and UK are reluctant to share intel

I know how that is! I'm an AMD guy myself, and "Friends don't let friends use Intel." :)

Re:Sharing Intel is like sharing needles! (2, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685115)

> > although France and UK are reluctant to share intel
>
> I know how that is! I'm an AMD guy myself, and "Friends don't let friends use Intel." :)

"When you run SETI@Home on an Athlon, you hunt for aliens with Osama! Only the paranoid survive!"
- Andy Grove

Anti-globalisation peeps are next. (5, Insightful)

TempusMagus (723668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685058)

This really scares me. I am confident that such technologies, as soon as they are entrenched, will start being used against anti-corp, anti free-trade groups rather quickly. Once they run out of Arab's with H-1 visas they are going to go after people with subscriptions to ADBUSTERS. What's the criteria for 'connection' or proximity to a "nexus of terrorism"?

Look at it this way: they are going to rate people the same way good spam-filters rate incoming email to determine if they are spam. They'll probably be more right than wrong - but heaven help you if you fall through the cracks. No ability to fly. No ability to attend large gatherings. The ability to literally clip the wings of dissenting voices becomes a heck of lot easier.

Lets look at who gets access:
operators of critical infrastructure facilities - with the right lobbyist this could mean just about any large corporation. Microsoft would certainly qualify. Would about Coke? Ford motor company? Nike? They keep America financially strong - and what's good for Microsoft is good for American by golly!

organizers of large events - such as political conventions? Concerts with bands whose message may contain material not suitable for fundamentalist ears?

Re:Anti-globalisation peeps are next. (1)

Loosewire (628916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685089)

This really scares me. I am confident that such technologies, as soon as they are entrenched, will start being used against anti-corp, anti free-trade groups rather quickly. Once they run out of Arab's with H-1 visas they are going to go after people with subscriptions to ADBUSTERS.
and you just made the list ;-)

Re:Anti-globalisation peeps are next. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685221)

Lets look at who gets access:
operators of critical infrastructure facilities - with the right lobbyist this could mean just about any large corporation. Microsoft would certainly qualify. Would about Coke? Ford motor company? Nike? They keep America financially strong - and what's good for Microsoft is good for American by golly!


Whoa, they will denounce RMS. If he is not a Red, Stalin was a capitalist...

Re:Anti-globalisation peeps are next. (0, Flamebait)

ENOENT (25325) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685307)

They'll just put all the registered Democrats in the list, to be rounded up and put into concentration camps for opposing our Republican overlords.

Oh yeah, and anybody who buys generic pharmaceuticals or imported automobiles.

Can we say McCarthyism? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685066)

Wow, a little bit of history repeating [schoolnet.co.uk] .

Re:Can we say McCarthyism? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685108)

Hey, don't be knocking my man McCarthy. He was a true American patriot whose only concern was the safety of our country.

Re:Can we say McCarthyism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685163)

No. He wasn't. He was a paranoiac afraid to accept having to share the country with people who didn't think like him. Thats not a patriot. McCarthy added NOTHING positive to american politics, until his departure from it.

Re:Can we say McCarthyism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685169)

Truely an American icon.

Re:Can we say McCarthyism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685347)

That was what I was thinking by the time I even got to the second post. This is really scary. This is halfway between McCarthyism and having numbers tatooed on our forearms.

Meh. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685067)

Credit checks, terrorism checks, reference checks, drug checks, DNA checks, resume screening...

And still HR drones can't hire competant people.

Vicious circle: (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685167)

"And still HR drones can't hire competant people."

And who hires those HR people?

"Quis cusotdiet ipsos custodes"

Re:Meh. (4, Insightful)

Roger Keith Barrett (712843) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685271)

When you look to get people that have no "problems" in their past, you are looking for people that haven't really done anything. People who have made mistakes are people who have actually learned something.

that and "keywording" resumes pretty much makes the whole H.R. system crap.

Britain (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685069)

Is the U.K. in the E.U.? I thought they weren't, but then they were considering it, but then... I dunno, the U.K.'s stance on the E.U. confuses me.

The U.K. and France have cooperated in recent years, though, for instance on the U.N. security council (they're 2 of the 5 permanant members with veto power, with the U.S., Russia, and China, I believe), and they usually vote together (for instance, recent decision to issue a statement about Israel's assassination of Palestenian HAMAS leaders - I believe the vote was 12 for, 1 (the U.S.) against (veto), and France and the U.K. not voting.

~Will

Re:Britain (2, Informative)

Operating Thetan (754308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685123)

Is the U.K. in the E.U.?

In the EU, but not using the Euro.

homesec blacklist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685076)

Guys, some colleagues and I researched the homesec blacklist a few months ago. In sum, there are more powerful and yet cheaper solutions hitting the market soon.

Basically, I was unimpressed with the Homesec Blaclist and would advise against it at this time.

Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! Pick Me!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685094)

Please, please, please, please please put me on the list! I want to feel like I belong to something.

You'd be amazed at how loose procedures are (3, Interesting)

Operating Thetan (754308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685099)

I've got political friends who've had their closed email lists monitored by police after the heinous crimes of organising benefit gigs and leafletting GAP. They've been stopped by police photographers in London who knew their names, the group they were with, the colleges they went to and the pub they'd be going to after the demonstration. Don't think you have to be a terrorist to get on a state list and be monitored-ANY kind of attention will get you on there, and once you're on, you'll stay on.

Abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685106)

This can easily be abused by companies to achieve business ends not previously legally permitted. All one has to do is submit, say, Steve Jobs name, or any corporate leaders name, and watch the havoc play out.

Your department of homeland security daily becomes more and more like the old german SS, the old russian KGB. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Israel has... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685145)

Israel has put entire arab population in their terror database. I wonder, how useful that is. This is not a criticism of Israel, it is a criticism of such large database in cost vs effectiveness. Eventually the database would be so large, each one of us would be on the list and everyone (including government official) will ignore such list except for taking political revenge.

Happy, happy, joy, joy (3, Funny)

Supp0rtLinux (594509) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685152)

So now I can sit at work and tell the FBI and HS guys that all the co-workers and annoying sales people I don't like are suspected terrorists. Yaaaay!

Re:Happy, happy, joy, joy (2, Insightful)

Roger Keith Barrett (712843) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685392)

supposed to be funny, but I worry about this exact problem.

Organizations don't always get along like happy families. I can easily see people getting put on a list because they pissed someone off or they rub someone the wrong way. Anyone that has a huge ego (including CEOs) might use it as a way to get people on their own personal enemy list in trouble.

History Repeating Itself (5, Insightful)

osobear (761394) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685155)

I read this kind of hoping that it was all a joke or someone being a little excited in their summing up of a news story, but now, it's true.
I can't believe something like this could come to existance so soon after the whole McCarthy communism scandal. People will be able to submit lists of people and find out if any of them are Filthy Reds ...er, I mean, terrorists. This is just the newest and latest in state-supported prejudice.

Woody Allen's The Front just become recommended viewing for the entire nation.

EU Terror List (1)

Operating Thetan (754308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685161)

Will this include the IRA, or will Blair call for it to be left off the appease Bush?(who still hasn't declared it a terrorist organisation in the US. I guess East Coast votes are more important than preventing funding for bombs and drugs)

George Orwell (4, Interesting)

igrp (732252) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685171)

I just finished reading a book on George Orwell [levity.com] 's life. Here are some things Orwell is quoted to have said and written, more than half a decade ago.

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

"In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink."

"The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history."

and, probably my favorite one,
"Winston Churchill could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war."

Just thought I'd share...

Re:George Orwell (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685289)

"Winston Churchill could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war."

Are you sure you didn't mean Winston Smith?

(I assume you're referring to the novel 1984 [newspeak.com] , and not the former UK politician. I mean, Sir Churchill was quite a smart man and would probably be able to remember the time between the wars he served in and the wars he led :)

Re:George Orwell (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685329)

Here are some things Orwell is quoted to have said and written, more than half a decade ago.

Orwell died in 1950. Afterward, he gave fewer and fewer interviews.

David Nelsons (4, Interesting)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685180)

Sucks even more to be a David Nelson soon, I'll bet. Link. [californiaaviation.org]

Re:David Nelsons (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685260)

I am Spart ^H^H err..., DAVID NELSON!

This is good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685188)

Who do you think will be in charge of searching the database in search of suspects?

IT staff.

Remember that girl you love, that has this idiot boyfriend, which is a lawyer and has lots of money?...Well, blacklist him and forget him?

11:05 am and you won't serve me breakfast? (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685194)

"The counter guy at McDonalds is a terrorist. He advocates the overthrow of Western Civilization. Which one? The blond one with the mood ring."

From the other end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685195)

Will there also be a company blacklist that traces the money and/or weapons that are supplied and blacklists them and their associates? For instance, I believe that McDonalds used to donate to Noraid, who provided funds for the IRA. (Of course, these facts haven't been checked!) But even if not, there must be terrorist funds flowing through banks, the guns and explosives - even the fertilizer and diesel for homemade stuff - must come from somewhere, so shouldn't these suspect companies also be blacklisted?

Doesn't the CIA mix with terrorists?

Re:From the other end (0, Redundant)

Operating Thetan (754308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685200)

Under American law, the IRA are not a terrorist organisation. What are a few British lives compared to the Boston vote?

Re:From the other end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685363)

Under American law, the IRA are not a terrorist organisation.

Would you please point to that law?

told ya so! (1)

luigi6699 (695295) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685215)

I'd just like to say that I predicted [newsforge.com]
this ages ago. This is another TIA project, under a different name. "Terrorism database" indeed.

A whole lotta cash (1)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685229)

All of this won't be cheap either; total terror-related IT spending by US federal and state governments will run past $100 billion in 2004
Sounds like Bush is trying to undo a little damage and create some tech jobs in time for the vote. :)

Re:A whole lotta cash (2, Funny)

Roger Keith Barrett (712843) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685296)

The only growth industry in the U.S.A.!!

It's hard to outsource it overseas, too.

From Bad Debt to Terrorism: You are the loser (5, Insightful)

amigoro (761348) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685234)

It's pretty easy to get a bad credit score. One phone company falsely accusing you of not paying the bill on time is enough. And it takes so much time and effort to correct that error on your credit file.

Imagine a similar scenario with your terror file. You neighbour gets pissed off with you and goes and complains about you. She says you have been hanging out with a bearded people. You have made a business trip to Saudi Arabia.

And that's all it takes. Now you are are terrorist on the FBI terror list. You will never get clearance. You will never get a government job other than cleaning public toilets.

If this measure goes through, you will never get clearance to get a job at a private company either.

One mistake, by someone else, and you are out.

Thank god I am not in the land of the free!

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YAY (0, Flamebait)

alexborges (313924) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685240)

Georgie is really really trying to go back to texas... Good.

I love hearing HomeSec... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685243)

It just fills me with a feeling of... what's it called again? Oh, yes, FEAR.

Worse than probation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685255)

Let's see:

- You get on this list, and you are on it forever
- There is no public method of removing yourself from the list

With probation at least you have a certain time limit before you are off probation.

This looks like a convenient way of circumventing the judicial system. This kind of system looks completely illegal to me. I really hope this isn't accepted just because it's got the buzzword of the day, "terrorism," in it.

let's start on it for them (2, Funny)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685256)

INSERT into peepstowatch (fname,lname,occupation,nukearea) VALUES ('Darl','McBride','Scumbag','Mormonia');

Holy freaking *censored*!! (1)

eclectic4 (665330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685284)

So, if the gov decides it doesn't like my politics, it will make it so I can't get hired anywhere? And this is good?

Here's the SQL... (0, Troll)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685287)

Select evildoers, democrats, COUNT(*) FROM eurotrash O, illegales C WHERE O.eurotrash = C.illegales AND implied_intent = 'mal' GROUP BY evildoers, democrats

ndiCk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685294)

Can no longer be For 7he state of

Foot Calluses - Where They Come From, What You Do (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685297)

Foot calluses are caused by not washing properly. The bacteria buildup causes them. For best results, use a vegetable oil soap, but be sure to ask the manufacturer first what their vegetable oil is made of.

This already exists (1, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685302)

This IT infrastructure to identify and ennumerate the terrorist threat to the United States already exists. It's even available on a website.

See the database of people who seek to dismantle our democracy [wikipedia.org] for yourself. They've even got a picture of a bunch of them standing in a room together.

Great (2, Interesting)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685309)

Another opportunity for false positives and political agendas to wreak havoc on the American citizen.

"Well Ms. Jones, you're a very strong candidate and we'd like to hire you, but Homeland Security says you gave money to Earth First! at a fundraiser in 1992. We've offered the position to somebody else. Good luck."

Worse than that (3, Interesting)

dogfart (601976) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685386)

You would just be turned down for the job. They wouldn't (and wouldn't be permitted) to tell you it was because you were on the homeland security hit list. The reason you were put on the list would be unknown to all be a few individuals in the department of homeland security.

Corporate power (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685325)

Remember, kids, fascism IS corporatism, and this is cementing neofeudalist corporate power.

Good. (4, Insightful)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685332)

I think the federal government, in cooperation with Microsoft, should put together a database of all known information about every single person in the world, not limited to terror information. This database would be used by governments, as well as public and private companies, to deny services to persons for a variety of reasons. For example, you might find yourself unable to eat at any restaurant in the entire world because you are not a good tipper. Or you might be denied access to all gas stations because you were once seen smoking within 1000 feet of one. Or the government might suddenly burst into your home in the middle of the night, because you thought the president's neck tie was kind of funny in a speech he gave.

Yes, it looks like the world is becoming a better place every day.

If terror = schoolbooks (3, Insightful)

manganese4 (726568) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685335)

At $100 billion/yr they could easily provide a college education for everyone. But it would be better to give to the money to companies so they can hire more H1-B visa holders since they cannot find enough skilled americans (or so they claim).

No Child left behind simply means everyone is left behind since it is easier hobble the quick than train the slow

Another inch closer to the predicted war (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685337)

www.johntitor.com [johntitor.com]

John Titor, a supposed Time Traveller from 2036 predicted in 2000 (before 9/11/01) that the US would undergo massive eradication of civil rights and highhandedness of the government and bad foreign policy - which would eventually lead to an internal war and world war.

The patriot act, DMCA, DRM, HomeSec, Iraq war, are all pointing in the predicted direction.

PS : not associated with the website in any way.

Korean Text Display? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685371)

Why does mozilla prompt to install "Korean Text Display Support" when I load that washtimes page?

Well, that's comforting... (4, Insightful)

tyler_larson (558763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8685382)

I was worried that the government would abuse such an all-inclusive database. Or that perhaps false information that found its way into the this storehouse could tarnish an innocent person's reputation and prevent him from getting the access to important resources (like a job or a house).

It's nice to know that much of the querying will be done by private organizations, and not just the government. Non-government organizations are so much more trustworthy and reliable. Phew. What a relief.

And if you didn't catch the sarcasm, think of the damage that people can currently cause with our existing system in the form of identity theft. Now immagine a parallel system being used to determine how much of a threat you pose to society. Now when you apply for housing in an appartment, they not only call your references, but check this database to see if they should worry about you bombing the place or something absurd like that. Great.

That's a lot of power, by the way. And claims that it will be accurate and reliable only worsen the situation. People wouldn't take such a database seriously if it contained a lot of mistakes. The only reason why you can correct your credit report at all is because there are so many publicised inaccuracies. But if such a database managed to be some 99.95% accurate, or something like that... boy does it suck to be one of the thousands of people who got got an undeserved "black mark" on your record. No one would ever believe you, it would be completely impossible for you to correct it--not because you can't prove you're innocent, but because there's no one you can go to to get it fixed. Everyone believes the database because it's always right. You get turned down for loans, housing, jobs, and can't even travel. Such a database may even wind up admissable in court.

Now immagine the position of those who can anonymously input information into that database (and there will be many). That's too much power, with no accountability. A recipe for a silent disaster. Of course, you'll never hear about it, that's the nature of the thing. The only ones who will know are the abusers and the victims. Wow.

This can only mean one thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8685393)

The terrorists and the bureaucrats have won. Kiss your freedoms goodbye.
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