Traveling Americans Get Terrorism Score

Do you know your official terrorism score? U.S. Customs agents will with a new database system that uses algorithms to figure out which international travellers warrant closer search.The system, announced in the Federal Register today, is called the Automated Targeting System, which will use the Treasury's watchlist (.pdf), data provided to it by the airlines, your I-94 form and other data sources to compute your terrorism risk when you cross the border.Here's what I had to say over at 27B/6:

The data -- which includes all the information you give to an airline such as medical conditions, frequent flier number, special meal requests, home and email addresses, payment information and your travel agent's names -- will be held for up to 40 years. The data can be shared with any government agency or local law enforcement agency for civil or criminal matters, and can even be shared with foreign governments as data to test other data-mining programs, even ones not related to border security.What happens if you have a name that's similar to a suspected terrorist or drug smuggler? Conceivably, you could have your car torn apart every time you drive to Canada or have a blue-gloved agent checking your anus for dope every time you go to Cancun.But surely, you'll be able to remedy such mistakes using the Privacy Act, which prevents secret databases? Actually, no.
Full story and links to other bloggers here.Hat Tip: JQPOn another note: This post concludes my week-long takeover of DefenseTech. Thanks for humoring me over here at Noah's house. It's been quite fun and I'm jealous of his great readers, tippers and commenters. He'll return soon, but feel free to stop by my blog-house occasionally.- Ryan Singel
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