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What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Dec 31, 2010

December 31, 2010 3 comments

I saw this post on Slashdot today-

One Tip Enough To Put Name On Terrorist Watch List

It references an article from the Washington Post:

One tip enough to put name on watch list

A year after a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner, officials say they have made it easier to add individuals’ names to a terrorist watch list and improved the government’s ability to thwart an attack in the United States.The failure to put Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the watch list last year renewed concerns that the government’s system to screen out potential terrorists was flawed. Even though Abdulmutallab’s father had told U.S. officials of his son’s radicalization in Yemen, government rules dictated that a single-source tip was insufficient to include a person’s name on the watch list. Since then, senior counterterrorism officials say they have altered their criteria so that a single-source tip, as long as it is deemed credible, can lead to a name being placed on the watch list.

Of course, there are some problems..

“They are secret lists with no way for people to petition to get off or even to know if they’re on,” said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

and

Officials insist they have been vigilant about keeping law-abiding people off the master list. The new criteria have led to only modest growth in the list, which stands at 440,000 people, about 5 percent larger than last year. The vast majority are non-U.S. citizens.

What could possibly go wrong?

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