ASHCROFT LIFTS FBI DATABASE LIMITS

"The Justice Department lifted a requirement Monday that the FBI ensure the accuracy and timeliness of information about criminals and crime victims before adding it to the country's most comprehensive law enforcement database," the Associated Press reports.

The system, run by the FBI's National Crime Information Center, includes data about terrorists, fugitives, warrants, people missing, gang members and stolen vehicles, guns or boats. The records -- inaccessible to the public -- are queried increasingly by the nation's law enforcement agencies to help decide whether to monitor, detain or arrest someone...Critics have noted complaints for years about wrong information in the computer files that disrupted the lives of innocent citizens, and the FBI has acknowledged problems. In one case, a Phoenix resident was arrested for minor traffic violations that had been quashed weeks earlier; in another, a civilian was misidentified as a Navy deserter.
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