Terror Database Has Quadrupled in Four Years

“TIDE, for Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment … is a storehouse for data about individuals that the intelligence community believes might harm the United States,” reports the Washington Post. “It is the wellspring for watch lists distributed to airlines, law enforcement, border posts and U.S. consulates … Ballooning from fewer than 100,000 files in 2003 to about 435,000, the growing database threatens to overwhelm the people who manage it.… TIDE has also created concerns about secrecy, errors and privacy. The list marks the first time foreigners and U.S. citizens are combined in an intelligence database. The bar for inclusion is low, and once someone is on the list, it is virtually impossible to get off it.… U.S. agencies at home and abroad now send everything they collect to TIDE.… The 80 TIDE analysts get ‘thousands of messages a day,’ [TIDE chief Russ] Travers said, much of the data ‘fragmentary,’ ‘inconsistent’ and ‘sometimes just flat-out wrong.’… The FBI adds data about U.S. suspects with no international ties for a combined daily total of 1,000 to 1,500 new names.… A unit at the screening center [that] responds to complaints … will not remove a name if it is shared by a terrorism suspect.” Only “31 names were removed in 2005.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/24/AR2007032400944.html

About Tim McDowell

Colorado ACFEI Member's Homeland Security Weblog
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