USA: government violates travelers’ privacy

Bush's domestic spying, cartoon

By Joe Kay:

Secret US database on international travelers exposed

5 December 2006

Details have emerged of a US government program that collects information and creates a “risk profile” of all people entering and leaving the United States.

The program, secretly in place since 2002, is part of much broader system of government spying and attacks on privacy rights.

According to an Associated Press (AP) article from November 30, international travelers are given a score “after computers assess their travel records, including where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and what kind of meal they ordered.”

The program also accesses other federal and commercial databases. The assessment is stored for 40 years.

The program, called the Automated Targeting System (ATS), was disclosed only last month when an announcement was published in the Federal Register.

The government announcement gave the impression that the program would be launched a month after the notice was published, beginning on December 4.

However, according to the AP, the program has actually been in place for at least four years without any public announcement.

This is clear violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, which was passed after revelations of massive privacy abuses by the Nixon administration.

Bush´s spying: here.

Spying on vegans: here.

1 thought on “USA: government violates travelers’ privacy

  1. Posted by: “curtis_sampson”

    Intel Official: Say Goodbye to Privacy

    Nov 11, 11:39 AM (ET)


    (AP) Donald Kerr testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee
    hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington…

    WASHINGTON (AP) – A top intelligence official says it is time people
    in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

    Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal
    deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that
    government and businesses properly safeguards people’s private
    communications and financial information.

    Kerr’s comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the
    Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act.

    Lawmakers hastily changed the 1978 law last summer to allow the
    government to eavesdrop inside the United States without court
    permission, so long as one end of the conversation was reasonably
    believed to be located outside the U.S.

    The original law required a court order for any surveillance conducted
    on U.S. soil, to protect Americans’ privacy. The White House argued
    that the law was obstructing intelligence gathering.

    The most contentious issue in the new legislation is whether to shield
    telecommunications companies from civil lawsuits for allegedly giving
    the government access to people’s private e-mails and phone calls
    without a court order between 2001 and 2007.

    Some lawmakers, including members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
    appear reluctant to grant immunity. Suits might be the only way to
    determine how far the government has burrowed into people’s privacy
    without court permission.

    The committee is expected to decide this week whether its version of
    the bill will protect telecommunications companies.

    The central witness in a California lawsuit against AT&T says the
    government is vacuuming up billions of e-mails and phone calls as they
    pass through an AT&T switching station in San Francisco.

    Mark Klein, a retired AT&T technician, helped connect a device in 2003
    that he says diverted and copied onto a government supercomputer every
    call, e-mail, and Internet site access on AT&T lines.

    (This version CORRECTS Kerr’s title to ‘the principal deputy director’
    instead of ‘a deputy director.’)

    My Way News – Intel Official: Say Goodbye to Privacy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.