Biometrics, I. D. Tracking & Other ‘New’ Rules in the U.S.A, Pt. 4

posted by Dr. Jael Ever @ 9:22 AM
March 27, 2012

 One more item on international biometrics: Last week, without much fanfare, the United States followed the European model and extended the time that data collected on Americans is to be kept for five years.  Formerly, the government could only keep such information on file in electronic archives for six months.

 According to CBS News, “the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder have approved new rules and guidelines.  These rules involve the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC.)”  And there was no public hearing.

 An official tells CBS,  the new rule “does not broaden the data collected . . . [but] does affect how the data is accessed and analyzed.”  James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (DNI), said the new guidelines are ‘vital:’

 “The ability to search against these data-sets for up to five years on a continuing basis. . .  will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively than the 2008 Guidelines allowed,” Clapper insisted.

 But wary Americans absolutely don’t agree.  Kate Martin, Director of the Center for National Security Studies, tells The New York Times: “We’re all in the dark, and for all we know it could be a rerun of Total Information Awareness, which would have allowed the government to make a computerized database of everything on everybody.”  Total Information Awareness refers to a “security” program proposed by the George W. Bush administration.

 In a televised report, “Are We Safer?” Dana Priest of PBS News, uncovered:  “ . . . many states have yet to use their vast and growing anti-terror apparatus to capture any terrorists; instead the government has built a massive database that collects, stores and analyzes information on thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.”

 To illustrate, Priest cites a case where shared files from the federal government enabled the Maryland State Police to investigate 53 activists––i.e. “anti-death penalty, environmental, racial justice and anti-war groups, including several Catholic nuns”––for 14 months.
 
 The Associated Press (AP) also reported similar treatment by the New York Police Department.  NYPD officers “kept intelligence files on activists in liberal political organizations opposed to U.S. immigration policy, labor laws and racial profiling.”  Thus, using terrorism as a cover, NYPD police kept tract of innocent Americans because “the state” disagreed with their political views.

 Such misuse of biometric identification is exactly what European critics of Sweden’s new laws point out.  And, by the way, obviously embedded within these NCTC, DNI, etc. laws, is the right to share the same information with governments around the world.  In Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout, Nero quotes a Greek philosopher who said when too many laws exist, there is no law or freedom.   The LORD Jesus, Who said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth will make you free (John 8:32)” would agree.  But we must preserve the freedom “to know the truth!”

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