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Counterterrorism Agency To Tap Citizen Database

SURVEILLANCE

December 14, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reports that rules signed into effect last March allow the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to access government files on citizens and analyze them for possible criminal behavior. The NCTC can now copy government databases, such as flight records and casino employee lists, and retain them for up to five years—a practice that was previously prohibited. Mary Ellen Callahan, CIPP/US, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security at the time, opposed the plan, calling it “a sea change in the way the government interacts with the general public.” Alexander Joel, CIPP/US, CIPP/G, of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says, “The guidelines provide rigorous oversight to protect the information.” (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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