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Pentagon Creating A Database Of Students

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the hi-there-timmy dept.

Privacy 1014

needacoolnickname writes "The Washington Post is reporting that the Pentagon is working with a marketing firm to create a database of students ages 16 through college to help them identify recruits. A little chuckle from the Pentagon in the article: '...anyone can opt out of the system by providing detailed personal information that will be kept in a separate suppression file. That file will be matched with the full database regularly to ensure that those who do not wish to be contacted are not, according to the Pentagon.'"

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Article Content (4, Informative)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890413)

Coral Cached Article [nyud.net]

Pentagon Creating Student Database
Recruiting Tool For Military Raises Privacy Concerns

By Jonathan Krim
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 23, 2005; A01

The Defense Department began working yesterday with a private marketing firm to create a database of high school students ages 16 to 18 and all college students to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches.

The program is provoking a furor among privacy advocates. The new database will include personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade-point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying.

The data will be managed by BeNow Inc. of Wakefield, Mass., one of many marketing firms that use computers to analyze large amounts of data to target potential customers based on their personal profiles and habits.

"The purpose of the system . . . is to provide a single central facility within the Department of Defense to compile, process and distribute files of individuals who meet age and minimum school requirements for military service," according to the official notice of the program.

Privacy advocates said the plan appeared to be an effort to circumvent laws that restrict the government's right to collect or hold citizen information by turning to private firms to do the work.

Some information on high school students already is given to military recruiters in a separate program under provisions of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. Recruiters have been using the information to contact students at home, angering some parents and school districts around the country.

School systems that fail to provide that information risk losing federal funds, although individual parents or students can withhold information that would be transferred to the military by their districts. John Moriarty, president of the PTA at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, said the issue has "generated a great deal of angst" among many parents participating in an e-mail discussion group.

Under the new system, additional data will be collected from commercial data brokers, state drivers' license records and other sources, including information already held by the military.

"Using multiple sources allows the compilation of a more complete list of eligible candidates to join the military," according to written statements provided by Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke in response to questions. "This program is important because it helps bolster the effectiveness of all the services' recruiting and retention efforts."

The Pentagon's statements added that anyone can "opt out" of the system by providing detailed personal information that will be kept in a separate "suppression file." That file will be matched with the full database regularly to ensure that those who do not wish to be contacted are not, according to the Pentagon.

But privacy advocates said using database marketers for military recruitment is inappropriate.

"We support the U.S. armed forces, and understand that DoD faces serious challenges in recruiting for the military," a coalition of privacy groups wrote to the Pentagon after notice of the program was published in the Federal Register a month ago. "But . . . the collection of this information is not consistent with the Privacy Act, which was passed by Congress to reduce the government's collection of personal information on Americans."

Chris Jay Hoofnagle, West Coast director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, called the system "an audacious plan to target-market kids, as young as 16, for military solicitation."

He added that collecting Social Security numbers was not only unnecessary but posed a needless risk of identity fraud. Theft of Social Security numbers and other personal information from data brokers, government agencies, financial institutions and other companies is rampant.

"What's ironic is that the private sector has ways of uniquely identifying individuals without using Social Security numbers for marketing," he said.

The Pentagon statements said the military is "acutely aware of the substantial security required to protect personal data," and that Social Security numbers will be used only to "provide a higher degree of accuracy in matching duplicate data records."

The Pentagon said it routinely monitors its vendors to ensure compliance with its security standards.

Krenke said she did not know how much the contract with BeNow was worth, or whether it was bid competitively.

Officials at BeNow did not return several messages seeking comment. The company's Web site does not have a published privacy policy, nor does it list either a chief privacy officer or security officer on its executive team.

According to the Federal Register notice, the data will be open to "those who require the records in the performance of their official duties." It said the data would be protected by passwords.

The system also gives the Pentagon the right, without notifying citizens, to share the data for numerous uses outside the military, including with law enforcement, state tax authorities and Congress.

Some see the program as part of a growing encroachment of government into private lives, particularly since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"It's just typical of how voracious government is when it comes to personal information," said James W. Harper, a privacy expert with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. "Defense is an area where government has a legitimate responsibility . . . but there are a lot of data fields they don't need and shouldn't be keeping. Ethnicity strikes me as particularly inappropriate."

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that the Social Security Administration relaxed its privacy policies and provided data on citizens to the FBI in connection with terrorism investigations.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

Not Meeting Recruiting Goals = Desperation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890546)

Apparently, the foul up in Iraq [phrusa.org] has scared aware most people who might have enrolled in the army, navy, air force, or the marines. Worse, politics prevents the use of the draft.

With so few people in the military, how can the United States carry out its obligations as a world power? One obligation is providing disaster relief like that in January of 2005 in Southeast Asia.

WARNING: The WP Will Sue Over Copyright... (1)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890572)

Re:WARNING: The WP Will Sue Over Copyright... (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890619)

I appreciate the heads up. But I HAve a retort.

And the coral cache network won't be sued? I did leave the copyright notice and a coral cache link to the page that holds the advertisements right on it.

*shrug*

You are expendable pawns. (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890424)


to create a database of students ages 16 through college to help them identify recruits.

It will start similar to "Student A has a rich family, pass. Ahh.. Student B is lower-middle class, offer Student B a scholarship attached to a term in the Reserves." and end with "Draft Student B."

Re:You are expendable pawns. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890528)

I doubt it, this is the pentagon recruiting. They want people they can trust to be loyal in the face of overwhelming opposition. In other words mindless "patriotic" zombies. Rich, poor, it doesn't matter. Likely candidates will be devoutly and unquestioningly religious, be a member of Future Business Leaders of America and also boy/girl scouts. They won't ask too many questions, and will do as they're told because it's the government asking. In other words, exactly the kinds of people we want getting shot at. This is a good thing folks. Darwin at work.

Re:You are expendable pawns. (0, Offtopic)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890556)

Mods on crack.

I hate to break it to the moderators, but this marking this flamebait is abuse of the mod system.

I'd also like to point out that this is a REAL TATIC used on people. For military or other purposes, it is QUITE REAL since stereotypically poor equates ignorance and not a whole lot of self governing thought of intelligence.

Wow, I'm surprised at this moderation. I thought the slashdot crowd was slightly more intelligent than that. No matter how unpopular.

My mistake.

Re:You are expendable pawns. (0, Troll)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890643)


For military or other purposes, it is QUITE REAL since stereotypically poor equates ignorance and not a whole lot of self governing thought of intelligence.

Dead on. And the poorer people eat it up. They see it as an avenue, perhaps the only one, from poverty. The government doesn't give two shits about them. They aren't likely to contribute much in taxes in their lifetime and they aren't likey to start a business which can help the economy. In short: they are a nuisance. The governments tell them how great they are and what a good thing it is to fight for your country. It's just glorified welfare with a bloody cost.

Re:You are expendable pawns. (3, Interesting)

KD5YPT (714783) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890558)

Well, like it or not, said Student B might actually welcome this scholarship if given the chance. It's not like they're going for mandatory enlistment, they just want to make more efficient recruitment system to raise the chance that they'll actually offer enlistment to people who might want them.

Of course, the extended amount of information they gather is worrying...

Re:You are expendable pawns. (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890588)

Student A has a rich family, pass.

What nonsense. Rich kids join the military all the time (although usually as officers). Military experience is seen as an asset if you're planning to become politically active. Notice how much of a hot-button the issue was in Clinton, Bush, and Kerry's respective campaigns. While it's difficult to project the value of a military career out into the next generation of politicians, it has certainly helped both past and present office-runners.

Re:You are expendable pawns. (0)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890733)


And how many rich kids officers are dying in Iraq right now? I'm not sure if he was an officer, but there was that one football player who died. But he was killed by friendly fire. The military is welfare painted as glorious.

the draft (4, Interesting)

udderly (890305) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890427)

When this fails to get enough recruits can the draft be far behind?

Re:the draft (5, Funny)

xnderxnder (626189) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890565)

> When this fails to get enough recruits can the draft be far behind?

Am I the only one thinking that the "suppression file" is also aliased as "the first to be drafted file"

evil evil evil..

Re:the draft (2, Informative)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890656)

When this fails to get enough recruits can the draft be far behind?

Given the kind of trouble they'd have with keeping draftees motivated, and the kind of skills they need, I doubt the military would want a draft.

It's easy to train somebody to be a WWII-level grunt. But most jobs in a modern military require a lot of intelligence, and it would be very easy for somebody to feign incompetence.

1992 Called.... (2, Insightful)

1992 Called (893858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890428)

Oh wait, I meant 1984. they want their opressive, rights-stripping government back.

New World Order (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890432)


Just when I think our society can't get any more Orwellian [wikipedia.org] , we see this:

  1. The Defense Department will compile and maintain a database of students, which will include such personal information as birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade-point averages, ethnicity and school subjects.
  2. Anyone who wants to opt out of this database will be kept in another database instead (most probably named something like 'potential dissidents').
  3. The Defense Department will share all this personal info with non-military organizations, such as law enforcement and state tax authorities.

It's a hat-trick of privacy violation.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, too...soon this will be expanded to all americans eligible for military service...then all americans, period. Refusing to submit your info for this database will automatically label you as a dissident, although what with the new national IDs coming out, you'll be in that database whether you like it or not.

Welcome to the New World Order.

(P.S.: Here's a link [epic.org] to the various privacy advocates' letter to the Pentagon referenced in the article.)

Re:New World Order (0, Troll)

Trip Mastur M0nkey (894218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890525)


Please note: Trip Master Monkey is a well known /. karma whore. He regurgitates the same crap rehased from the stories and tries to get marked "insightful".

He is not.

He is a shameless karam whore. Look at his posting history. Please mod parent post down as troll. Enough of these and he can't post.

I, and the rest of slashdot, thank you for your time.

Re:New World Order (-1, Offtopic)

DJPenguin (17736) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890595)

Wow, your life must truly suck!

Troll (1, Offtopic)

ArielMT (757715) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890640)

Take a friggin' hike, troll. I disagree with many of TMM's posts, but he presents arguments that make me at least think. What have you contributed to improve slashdot, troll? Name one thing. Just one.

I thought so.

Re:Troll (1)

ArielMT (757715) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890689)

Whoops, he got modded troll, making my post appear misplaced. This [slashdot.org] is who it was directed to. Sorry 'bout that.

It sounds like you disagree with this. (4, Funny)

khasim (1285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890567)

That will be recorded in the database.

It sounds like you are not happy with this.

Failure to be happy is treason.

In Soviet Amerika, our new Overlords welcome you.

Open letter to T/\/\/\/\ (0, Troll)

1992 Called (893858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890581)

Dear T/\/\/\/\,

It seems you have some skewed views about your posting methods.
I hope I can clarify a few things for you:

1) You appear to equate an early post filled with regurgitated article with something that deserves a +5 Insightful Mod - This is a poor assumption.
2) Your high early post rates are due to your *Subscriber status. This does not make them stunning revelations.
3)


Overuse of whitespace is goddamned annoying


4)It seems your over-inflated sense of self worth has resulted in a backlash. Nobody likes a know-it-all toolbox.
5) Familiarize yourself with YHBT. Rebutting a Troll in your own whiny defence adds one more nail to the door that keeps you locked in your parents basement.

6) You are a Karma Whore. Those unfamiliar with your posting tactics are the ones modding you up. This unknowingly makes them Karma Johns. Thats kinda like entrapment. That's not nice. Some of those folks have spouses and families and are just trying to let off some harmless Karma steam.

I find my thoughts drifting to the image of you sitting red-faced with rage reading this. I'm imagining you shakily typing a calm and composed reply through a haze of hate filled tears.

Let me know how that whole belltower/rifle thing works out for you.

1992 called...they want their holier-than-thou troll back.

Re:New World Order (2, Insightful)

8086ed (876715) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890591)

This is redicuolus.

To opt out, you give them all of the information they need. The 16-17 year olds don't even have much of a say on this. I just turned 18, so at least I can annoy my Rep and Senator about it.

This war on terror isn't going to end, even if the war on personal freedom succeeds.

Re:New World Order (2)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890600)

2. # Anyone who wants to opt out of this database will be kept in another database instead (most probably named something like 'potential dissidents').

This was my exact thought - "Oh, so you don't wantto be monitored... Don't worry, we won't use that against you. I'll just scribble all the same details in my little black book here, along with a picture of you..."

Re:New World Order (1)

egypt_jimbob (889197) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890712)

Sure. The database is "to help the military identify potential recruits." Of course it is.

Except that in another 50 years, or so, just about everyone who isn't in the database will have passed on or be too young to burn flags [usatoday.com] .

Gives a whole new meaning to "This is going on your permanent record!"

Re:New World Order (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890725)

This has been going on for decades. Its called the Selective Service. In the united states, all males between 18 and 30 something must register with the selective service. You must notify them when you move. I have had my college Financial Aid held up, because I had forgotten to tell the SS that I had moved. Once I faxed in my new address, I got my refund check. This is not orweilian, you dimwit, this is in case we need another draft!. Orewellian is usally a term to describe the effect of "Big brother is watching you" This is not the case. This is the case of "Big brother knows where you live, and who you are." Perhaps you could protest the IRS, wich carries much more information, as well as your states DMV, your medical insurance company, etc.

Not Fair (4, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890434)

16 through college. I am a recent graduate but I want to be tracked for recruitment. This is discrimination. It's unconstitutional!

Ummm... (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890494)

I realize this is supposed to be sarcastic..

but really... don't temp them.

Re:Not Fair (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890547)

In my new quest to be a helpful, productive member of society, I have submitted your name, phone number, favorite country harboring terrorists and your desire to become a recruit to my nearest recruiting office. I even took the interview and signed the papers for you.

Best of luck in your new career.

Remember, its like a gym, but they pay you!

Re:Not Fair (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890658)

I know you were trying to be funny, but let's be honest, you weren't. This is a very serious matter. There will be young 18 and 19 year old boys tricked by the military into dying in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran for years to come. They will have their limbs blown off by roadside bombs. Many will die. So please, do not joke about this matter.

Well, Duh. (4, Interesting)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890435)

Of course the Pentagon is going to do this kind of thing. They are in desperate need of recruits. They're caught between a rock and a hard place: they're trying to fight a war that is unpopular with the majority of Americans, and a good chunk of those that do support it think that somebody other than themselves and their loved ones should be doing the actual fighting and dying part.

What do you do? Recruit, recruit, recruit like there's no tomorrow. Use every tool you can get your hands on. Raise the "financial incentives" of joining up--even if you were to double a grunt's pay, they'd still be waaaay cheaper than hiring another mercenary. Make lists. Get aggressive. Be persistent. Get every person you can lay your hands on.

One of the following things will most likely happen in the next few years:

  1. We'll pour huge amounts of money into hiring more mercenary forces to augment our armed forces;
  2. We'll reinstate the draft in one form or another;
  3. We'll claim victory, pull our troops out, and hope that the Iraqis can sort it out themselves;
  4. We'll claim victory, ensconce a substantial number of troops in hardened, remotely-located permanent bases, and hope that the Iraqis can sort it out themselves;
  5. We'll get a massive surge in recruitment and will be able to meet our military needs with a full-strength volunteer service.
  6. The insurgency will die and a stable Iraqi government will take hold.

The Pentagon would much rather have a healthy, full-strength, all-volunteer military force than an expensive, byzantine network of "independent contractors" doing more and more grunt work outside the scope of both military and civil law. To this end, they're gonna do everything in their power to meet their recruitment needs--and frankly, creating a database of students is pretty freakin' innocuous compared to some of the other recruiting shenanigans that have been going down lately...

Re: Well, Duh. (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890587)


> Of course the Pentagon is going to do this kind of thing. They are in desperate need of recruits.

I hear that the "Cannonfodder Wanted" ads didn't produce the desired results, nor the "It's sweet and proper to die for one's Cheny" ads either.

Probably option 3 (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890603)

Option 2 (reinstate the draft) won't happen. Because if it does, the people who "think that somebody other than themselves and their loved ones" should do the fighting will find their kids getting drafted, and they will all vote for the other guy come the next election.

The Republicans would rather destroy the Army and lose in Iraq than lose the next election.

Re:Well, Duh. (1)

WarPresident (754535) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890622)

And that's why you should only fight necessary wars, not those that are on a laundry list of "things to do once we're in power." One of those things to do, is to allow shit like this to happen. We're already pretty much tracked from cradle to grave, but do we really need to enable a vast network of government agencies to instantly access everything we read, buy, say, and do? Who we associate with, where we live, political views... hmmm?

Re:Well, Duh. (3, Interesting)

dedeman (726830) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890636)

I'll pick #1 and #4, here's why

#1 Offers an opportunity for the administration to funnel federal monies to private contracting "security" firms, allowing financial incentives for a great many civilians who are not bound by the same rules of military conduct that the soldiers are. It also allows for legal weapons testing. Is is any wonder why the current vice president was the former CEO of the largest conracting agency involved in the war effort?

#5 Even if we claim victory, or achieve victory, or some similar claim, it is (usually) habit to keep an occupying force in a conquered land. There are several bases in the south, Germany, Japan, and I believe we'll see more middle eastern strongholds, thus necessitating larger troop populations, contracting funtions, and *continuing larger military budgeting*. Yep.

The Pentagon would much rather have a healthy, full-strength, all-volunteer military force than an expensive, byzantine network of "independent contractors" doing more and more grunt work outside the scope of both military and civil law.

I don't know if I would necessarily agree with that, for reasons stated above, unless you mean specifically "the Pentagon", rather then the administration. You might be right about that, I'm not sure.

Re:Well, Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890681)

Of course the Pentagon is going to do this kind of thing. They are in desperate need of recruits. They're caught between a rock and a hard place: they're trying to fight a war that is unpopular with the majority of Americans, and a good chunk of those that do support it think that somebody other than themselves and their loved ones should be doing the actual fighting and dying part.

Then there's the whole "You leave when we tell you you can leave"^H "Stop loss" thing.

Hey Kids! Do you want to sign up for a job where you have little to no control of what you do, where you go, who you work with, and when you can quit? And get payed next to nothing for it? As an added bonus, you're likely to be shot at daily!

Wait! Where are you going? Don't you want a warm fuzzy for being a Patriotic American?

Re:Well, Duh. (1)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890695)

The Pentagon would much rather have a healthy, full-strength, all-volunteer military force than an expensive, byzantine network of "independent contractors" doing more and more grunt work outside the scope of both military and civil law.

No. On the contrary, I do believe that the Pentagon would be much more interested in an all-mercenary force. Sure, they are more expensive but consider the following advantages:
  • They are already trained. Preferably by some other country (West/East european countries, Russian, etc) so that the training cost has not been paid by US tax payers. Besides, it's often better to have 100+ dogs of war that are at the top of their game (ex-special forces, SAS, Foreign Legion, Spetznatz, etc) than 1000 US citizens fresh out of basic training.
  • Death of a foreign 'contractor' is just that: the death of a foreign contractor. That death, all of a sudden, becomes invisible to US tax payers.
  • Also, when a foreign 'contractor' dies, you don't have to pay anything special to the family and the next of kin. Same if said 'contractor' is maimed or severely wounded in combat. Also, contractors are not supposed to receive help and assistance from US forces if they are in difficult situation. No more expensive air support operations to help 15 guys locked in a bunker somewhere.
  • If said 'contractor' engage in torture, civilian massacres and/or other barbarous acts, the Pentagon can blame the contracting 'company' and shift its contracts to some other 'service provider'. Just like Abu Ghraib, really, where a few morons were prosecuted, while the generals, colonels, etc all escaped the consequence of their orders (or lack thereof).
  • And the best part: armored vehicles? Who said anything about providing armored vehicles to mercenaries?

So, for all these reasons, I do believe the Pentagon would love to have an all-mercenaries force. Sure, it's messy, but hey, it's war!

f comes first then comes the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890436)

p?

Re:f comes first then comes the (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890648)

When someone has time to coralize and copy the text into a comment a dozen posts before you, you need to learn the words.

Also, you suck. Who cares about fp except dysfunctional teenagers?

Here it comes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890439)

Here comes the draft! Grab your helmets.

In Soviet America... (sorry, couldn't resist) (4, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890444)

School studies YOU!

Re:In Soviet America... (sorry, couldn't resist) (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890489)

i hope you get cancer

Re:In Soviet America... (sorry, couldn't resist) (1)

saintp (595331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890550)

That's the best Soviet Russia joke I've read in a long time. Wish I had mod points.

Re:In Soviet America... (sorry, couldn't resist) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890655)

MOD PARENT UP!

Evil? (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890450)

is reporting that the Pentagon is working with a marketing firm

Remind me again which one is the evil one?

Re:Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890710)

You, unless you submit entirely.*

*Disclaimer: This is intended as humor

Interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890452)

Officer: How many girlfriends you had?

Candidate: Ummm... 2.

Officer: You liar. Your file says, you are gay. OUT

Re:Interview (5, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890501)

Officer: How many girlfriends have you had?

Candidate: None. I'm gay. A real faggot.

Officer: Nice try...your file says you are a confirmed hetero. Go pick up your uniform, maggot.

I want to Opt-Out! (2, Funny)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890453)

Name: Osama Bin Laden
Address: 5586 Ti..."Hey, wait a minute...!"

ALL YOUR KIDS (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890460)


are belong to us.

suppression file? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890462)

I'm thinking "opression" is they word they are looking for. They are running out of bodies to send to Iraq and fast. They can't get enough people recruited and they're going to have to consider a draft. But they won't call it that... they'll want to call it something else. I'm thinking that if you neglect to opt-out at some stage you may find yourself "volunteering by default."

Re:suppression file? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890571)

I'm not sure I'd want my name on a "suppression" file either. Isn't that what they're trying to do to the "terrorists"?
You're either with us or against us? Ready to be drafted or in need of suppression...

NoClue
--
If "Live Free or Die" was followed, I'd get into the funeral business.

Database of Non-Database Members (0, Redundant)

TheOzz (888649) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890477)

So...You can ask to be entered in the database to be exluded from the database. Hmmm?

My community's had experience with this issue... (1)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890482)

This is fairly interesting because my School District announced they wouldn't provide student-information to the Pentagon by default. Oh yeah, we're the only district in the nation to do this. Normally, it's opt-out, not opt-in. Needless to say, everything else school related is opt-out. And I haven't received any notice to opt-in.

Because our school is full of defiant jerks (read: they once refused to pass a budget as required by law) we stand to lose Federal Funding.

I don't have a problem with opt-out, does anyone?

Does this mean... (1)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890490)

I will targetted announcements and pop-up ads from the Gov't now. Won't Double-click be excited.

Marketing? During the election they said... (1, Offtopic)

Kohath (38547) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890493)

The armed forces are marketing now? How can that be?

John Kerry and the Democrats told me I was going to be drafted right after the election. I keep checking my mail. It's been 6 months now and no draft notice.

It must have been lost in the mail. Have any of you recieved your draft notices yet? When do you ship out?

Re:Marketing? During the election they said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890633)

you do realize you are going to get modded down to hell for posting something that is contrary to the slashbot way of thinking, don't you?

you never point out inconsistancies in democrat rhetoric, you just pretend like the words were never uttered by anyone.

personally, i agree with your post...

Re:Marketing? During the election they said... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890711)

No, but they told me I could go home 6 months ago. Maybe that got lost in the mail.

Surprised it didn't happen sooner (1)

mattkime (8466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890497)

I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner. Databases are necessary for any kind of serious sales targetting.

How many times should they talk with the kid about which branch of the service they'd be interested in?

In other words (4, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890499)

The Pentagon is making a database of the poorest and most underprivileged high school students in order to hook them in to military service.

At my high school, which was in a relatively wealthy county, there were almost never military recruiters, and very few students went into the military. Those that did would do so via the rather prestigious military colleges (U.S. Naval Academy, etc.).

Meanwhile, I have relatives that live in upstate New York. Their school district is in a relatively poor section of the country, and they have recruiters almost permanently stationed in the high schools, preying on the students. At this point, even if parents complain, the school can do nothing about the recruiters' presence due to the No Child Left Behind act.

Re:In other words (1)

tooley (63773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890687)

School 1 is in a wealthy neighborhood.
School 1 has few transient recruiters
School 2 is in a poor neighborhood.
School 2 has few permanent recruiters

Therefore Bush is evil.

Someone, please hand me the logic wrench so I can go in for a tuneup.

www.fallacyfiles.org

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890704)

i love cornell. it's a beautiful campus :D but you're right. sadly. I grew up in the CNY area but never had recruiters, and when they did show up on the rare occation - usually avoided like the plague and looked at like a bunch of psychos.

though i have teh greatest respect for many people who fought, for doing something I wouldn't consider doing on a non-compulsory basis (as in we aren't in a declared war or being invaded) - I can't make a lifestyle out of it.

And here's the code that processes the data: (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890724)

if subject.father in {politician,oilman}
then goto alabama
else goto iraq
Note that there have been a few minor changes since the Vietnam era.

Join the club (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890508)

Everybody else has you in their database.
Why do you think you get so much junk mail?

To opt out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890509)

...send an email with the subject line "Unsubscribe" to slavemaster@unclesam.gov. Include in the body your name, address, blood type, and your RealID non-government citizen identifier number.

your infosec on file (4, Interesting)

null etc. (524767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890515)

A little chuckle from the Pentagon in the article: '...anyone can opt out of the system by providing detailed personal information that will be kept in a separate suppression file. That file will be matched with the full database regularly to ensure that those who do not wish to be contacted are not, according to the Pentagon.

For anyone who wonders why this would be necessary, let me give an example.

CapitalOne got it into their heads that they should send me a credit card application every week. After spending an hour trying to track down a telephone number that would let me speak with a CSR without having an account number, I asked them to stop mailing me. The CSR rep replied that the system takes 12 to 16 weeks to fully honor a request to not receive offers! Which is pretty funny, because I asked the rep "so if I sign up for the credit card today, you can take my name off the list, but if I just want you to stop sending me junk that someone can use to steal my identity, it takes 4 months?!?!" He didn't have a good answer.

Anyways, as soon as I move to a new address three months later, I started receiving two offers from CapitalOne every week! They obvious match solely on name and address.

I just don't feel like going through the same bollux again to get my address off the list. Sheesh.

Bonuses (1)

jcdick1 (254644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890522)

If I agree to be in their database, do I get a little card that can get scanned at military surplus stores, and maybe some handy coupons printed on the back?

Opt out (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890539)

Opt-out isn't as easy as it seems. You can't just delete somebody from the database, because then you have no record of them opting-out the next time you do a data load from your source. The only way to properly do opt-out is to put them in a separate opt-out DB.

dom

This is different from Selective Service ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890559)

... Registration how? Except the 16 and 17 year olds it's not much different.

1984- not exactly (1)

cdavis4000 (894492) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890560)

First, let me say that I agree with the general feeling of creepitude here. It's sad that our society is involved in so many battles that it can't find the soldiers through traditional recruitment. But the fact that this database is being proposed means that the government can't get the answers with traditional means. I realize that, as the X-Files says, The Truth Is Out There in some government database, but that doesn't mean that the Pentagon can get at it. They can't seem to get the answers they want from Social Security or the IRS, despite the ominous quality of those databases. Perhaps it's easier to slip through the cracks than it appears. This is further proof that the layers of bureaucracy don't actually solve things. They just slow things down even more. So while I continue to worry about 1984, I'm going to cross my fingers and hope that this is a good indication that the database culture of the government is failing.

I'm refusing to register for Selective Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890561)

Hey, they are doing this because they NEED people. And they're not going to get them, so that means it's draft time for all of us without wealthy families.

I don't know about you, but I'm 16 and I have NO plans to register for selective service. NONE. Fight the system, people. Die free.

Re:I'm refusing to register for Selective Service (1)

KD5YPT (714783) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890638)

I'm just going to reply because I find your view offensive.
I believe the purpose they're doing this is to postpone or eliminate the need to draft people. If they can find enough willing participants, then they won't draft people. And you are contributing to the problem by not registering.

P.S. When you say Fight the system and die free, HOW DO YOU THINK WE WERE FREE IN THE FIRST PLACE? It's because those people who entered the military services and fought for it. Fine, the current war by Bush is a big screw-up, but don't take it out on the military.

Sounds like selective service (1)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890570)

Maybe the real anger here should be aimed at the waste of government resources. This data is already tracked under the mantel of 'Selective Service'. Currently, all males in this rough age group need to remain registered so they can be selected as 'recruits' (if the draft counts as active recruiting).

Why not just modify the existing system instead of creating an expensive, possibly error prone new system that'll draw the ire of privacy advocates?

This costs money... I don't want to pay for it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890574)

I have no interest in paying for this troop shortage. Maybe we can have an American lapel-pin flag tax on all the cheap patriotism out there so that they can get what they want.

Maybe the government could get more recruits if they didn't sound like such a fascist organization:

"You believe in America. Strength. Integrity. Dedication. Making a difference for the nation. ... You are the one our warfighters depend on. You are Intelligence. Be DIA."

This is from a job posting for the DIA. The kind of people that would be attracted to this are the kind of sheeple that would ignore the non-existance of WMDs in official reports.

Selective Service (1)

rbrindle (624965) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890586)

I thought we already had the Selective Service with requires compulsory registration... What happened to that database?

Re:Selective Service (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890731)

Ha! One government program sharing data with another government program, differently named but obviously similar (or identical) in purpose and even in the same department?

Come on people, this isn't Star Trek. We can't expect instantaneous communication between the light years that seperate various government offices. I'm sure that once the Selective Service office hears about this after the message has enough time to travel through that new electronic mail they are using, they'll quit duplicating and decide to save money by just using the database already in place.

But seriously, chances are:
1) the home state of the company to host the new database has a powerful Senator/Representative
2) the new database will create X more jobs at the Pentagon
3) they really think that calling it a "voluntary recruitment" database or something will keep everyone from using the "d" word ("draft") since everyone knows that's what the SSS is for. TFA did say they are working with a marketing firm.

you are soooooo going to get drafted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890590)

and soon!

if you're not worrying, start now!

Surprised they haven't done it before (1)

big-giant-head (148077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890605)

Nothing to see here keep moving along.

I decided not to waste any time (1)

manifestcommunisto (641699) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890611)

anyone can opt out of the system by providing detailed personal information that will be kept in a separate suppression file. I wanted to opt out, and decided to do it as soon as possible before they close this loophole -- suckers. Unfortunately the article did not mention to which marketing firm I should send my info. I assumed it's the one mentioned in the article below this one -- DoubleClick. You guys should waste any time either... P.S.: Do any of you guys know why they asked for my credit card number?

In Germany such Database wouldn't be possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12890613)

We have something called "Datenschutzgesetz" (Law to protect Data) which says that:
-data may not be collected without the approval of every person (opt-in)
-if a person demands it, the databaseentry concerning him has to be given to him AT NO CHARGE (for free)
-the data may not be shared with another company without the approval of every person (opt-in)
-one can demand the deletion of the data

If you don'T comply with these rules, you face fines and prison (up to 5 years)

Every company has to appoint a person responsible for compliance with the law and train it's employees every 2 years.
--
So much for "the land of the free"...

Draft needed for upcoming Iran invasion. (4, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890617)

A draft will be needed for the upcoming invasion of Iran, which Scott Ritter (former UN weapons inspector in Iraq) says has already covertly started.

Indeed, Iran is not like Iraq. Iraq was a very splintered social and religious community, while Iran is far more coherent. Iran is well armed. Considering how poorly the Americans have fared in Iraq, Iran is out of the question for anyone with half a mind. Unfortunately, such people are not at the helm of the United States.

I'm praying for all the American youth who may get mislead into dying in some desert battlefields in third-world nations.

Remember! (5, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890620)

Service guarantees citizenship!

Do your part!

Would you like to know more?

Supression file? (1)

raider_red (156642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890623)

So what exactly do we do with the kids in the "supression file"? Or maybe a better question: what do we do with their parents after their kids are hauled off?

No story here.... (1)

jarich (733129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890624)

1) It's not news for nerds, it's a political piece

2) The government knows who you are... hmmm... that's not news either

3) The government is getting more saavy and is kicking into some targetting recruitment. Just like every advertising firm on the planet.

(humor tag) How did this get posted on /. ? Is it because they used a database?

its ok. (1)

hosecoat (877680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890626)

'...anyone can opt out of the system by providing detailed personal information that will be kept in a separate suppression file.

its ok, because you can opt out of being included in that suppression file. It will kept in another suppression file.

Data ready for purchase (1)

RayMarron (657336) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890629)

To me, the scary part isn't that the Pentagon wants to aggressively market to potential recruits, it's that all this data is already compiled and available on these kids, ready to purchase. A great many of them are still minors. Do schools sell this information? How did the marketing company/ies get all of it? It seems the moment you're born you're in the database... Yuk.

Age of recruitment (1)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890646)

Just slightly off topic, but I have never understood the logic in the U.S. as to how someone can have the maturity to make the decision to give his or her life for their country and yet lack the same capacity to make decisions regarding the use of alcohol.

The same arugments that are used to justify restricting alcohol sales to those under 21 can be used to justify restricting enlistment in the armed services. Does any 18 year old really understand the life and death decision they're making?

It's obvious to me that Pentagon officials understand this and exploit the naivite of young people in their drive for recruits.

Selective Service? (1)

TripleE78 (883800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890659)

Don't we already have the selective service system for this? I remember those "it's the law" commercials making damn sure you filled out that card when you turned 18.

Do we really need yet another system for this? Privacy issues aside (and there are *tons* of those), this seems redundant.

I guess it does start earlier, but do we need to be tracking 16 year olds while they're still in highschool? Ridiculous.

~EEE~

Re:Selective Service? (1)

KD5YPT (714783) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890720)

I think they're trying to find out who's most likely to accept an enlistment offer.

Think about this, students that does extremely well in academics (minus sports) might be more willing to accept an analytical position in the military. Tracking what classes students take can allow the military to decide what's the best offer for said student, provided he/she is willing to join the military.

My how things have changed (3, Insightful)

shoppa (464619) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890661)

When I was in high school:
  • I didn't have a social security number
  • I didn't have a driver's license
  • I certainly didn't have any credit cards
But I did have a:
  • Savings account. Paper passbook. I imagine that all the numbers were in some computer somewhere but it sure wasn't networked with anything else.
  • Student info folder at school. All the grades etc. were kept track of by secretaries and typewriter.
  • Selective Service registration (I turned 18 my senior year).
The place where I did finally interface with some national databases was when I took the PSAT's. All of a sudden a bazillion colleges were sending me mail. (No, not E-mail!)

Of course, now all my kids got Social Security numbers at birth. If you don't get them one, you can't use them as a deduction...!

pentagon cereal prize inside? (1)

ohzero (525786) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890670)

"is reporting that the Pentagon is working with a marketing firm ..."

Try new missile defense sugar crisps?
Drive a tank, win a car?
You'll never get a rush like the crushing sound of a little dictators neck?

I am truly frightened.

Banning (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890674)

Arent we trying to block businesses from doing this? Do not call lists and stuff like that? But who is going to put through legislation to stop the pentagon from spamming and calling us all?

Every Army Recruiter Already Has A Database (3, Insightful)

jac1962 (822171) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890692)

It's called (or was called ca 1993 - 1997) a "P-card" (Prospect card)

A P-card is what that poor bastard uses when he calls you or your slacker kid every freakin' night of the week, trying to get the two "sits" (appointments) his staion commander told him he had to get before he could go home for the night.

P-card databases are built from a variety of automated and non-automated sources. The armed forces have bought mailing lists targeting the male 18-24 year group for years. Recruiters also use high school year books, phone books, mailing lists provided by schools, and the ASVAB test you took to get out of PE for the day, and other students to build their P-card database.

The Penatagon building another database is redundant as any recruiter will tell you. Most of the leads it will generate will likely be useless, but recuriters will be forced to refine them, adding more work to an already never-ending day on the bag.

I imagine many army recruiters are wishing they were in Iraq right now instead of cold-calling people with little to no interest in volunteering to serve in the military.

At least in Iraq they get to shoot back at the bastards.

This is not new . (4, Insightful)

hirschma (187820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890697)

A couple of stories that may add a historical perspective:

Plastic Army Men
----------------

Remember the great deals on plastic Army men that you could get on the back covers of comic books? This was back in the early '70's. My friend and his brother weren't satisified with their "one per customer" offer, so they made up a bunch of fake siblings with silly names and sent orders it their name.

About 10 years later, the brothers were getting a ton of military recruiting junk mail. As were their fake siblings...

Riflery Team
------------

I was a member of the Riflery team in high school, circa 1981. I lived in a pretty liberal place at the time.

At on practice, I looked down at the bucket of spent .22 casings, and wondered: who was paying for the bullets? I couldn't imagine that the left-wing PTA would ever budget for them.

I asked the teacher-coach. He looked at me funny, and said: "The Army pays for the bullets".

It took me a second to absorb this, and I asked what the Army was getting back in return. The teacher-coach said: "Your target scores".

Now, my parents hadn't agreed to that, and neither did I. I quit that day, not wanting to be "special need" drafted as a sniper.

jh

Mr. President... (1)

super_ogg (620337) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890703)

Prepare the golden probe.
ogg

If One Was To Say No... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890705)

If someone decided to "opt out" by providing their name, social security, and pictures of their hairy butt, should they expect a visit from the FBI?

The FBI was looking for my brother in the early 1970s after he pissed on a recruiter. Eventually, he did go into the Navy but they kicked him back out after training. I think he pissed off too many people.

They should just contact India. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890715)

If they're desperately in need of such information, they could always just give a call over to India to obtain such private data [slashdot.org] . Indeed, they could probably arrange a bulk purchase deal discount.

Suppression DB is standard practice in marketting (1)

SupremeChalupa (547765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890722)

Anyone that has a widespread marketting audience imports lists every other week. So a suppression list is required given that if I "delete" you today instead of move you to a suppresion list and I import you tomorrow because I bought a new list from marketting agency "We Sell Stuff". Then I'm not respecting your "Do Not Mail" request. This "keep a seperate list" is what every marketting DB manager worth his salt will do to avoid complaints.

So take off your tinfoil hats and move along.

Prior Art (1)

harvey_peterson (658039) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890723)

Haven't they (the military) been doing this for years now?

When I was ten or eleven, my mom filled out some survey and instead of using my name, she used the alias "John".

When I turned 18, we got all sorts of phone calls from the Army/Marines/Navy/Air Force/Coast Guard asking to speak with John. We tried to tell the recruiters that he was fictional, but they didn't believe us, instead choosing to believe the name on their call sheets.

that's not an opt-out... (1)

meldir (571781) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890730)

It's a 'do not contact'-flag, it's not an opt-out. Even with the 'do not contact'-flag, they will keep all your information (grade points etc.), continue to gather new information, and even pass it on for purposes outside the military.
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