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Report: Massive FBI database set to quadruple in size

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Flashback: EU Plans Massive Surveillance Panopticon That Would Monitor “Abnormal Behavior” | US Police to get access to classified military intelligence | Obama Backs Extending Patriot Act Spy Provisions | US Federal Judge Tosses Telecom Spy Suits | Showdown in NSA Wiretap Case: Judge Threatens Sanctions Against Justice Department | NSA Surveillance Exploding, Americans Wiretapped Beyond Congressional Limits | Put NSA in Charge of Cyber Security, Or the Power Grid Gets It | Following Bush lead, Obama moves to block challenge to wiretapping program | NSA Dominance of Cybersecurity Would Lead to ‘Grave Peril’, Ex-Cyber Chief Tells Congress | Obama tries to kill lawsuit challenging wiretapping program, fails | New law to give police access to online exchanges | Whistleblower: NSA even collected credit card records | RCMP to helm a Canadian “cyber-security strategy” | Big brother to track all emails, internet history and telephone calls under UK plan | Bush approves surveillance bill | Sweden approves wiretapping law | UK plans to integrate ‘cybersecurity’ centre with US, Canada | Secretive Canadian spy agency to get $62-million HQ | Whistle-Blower: Feds Have a Backdoor Into Wireless Carrier – Congress Reacts

Daniel Tencer, RawStory.com
September 23, 2009

‘Unclear’ how FBI got thousands of hotel, car rental, shopping records

In the months after 9/11, the Pentagon’s research arm launched a controversial project known as “Total Information Awareness” — a massive database collating every available bit of digital information about, well, everything. After a public outcry, Congress defunded the project in 2003.

But now, it looks like it’s back, and this time in the hands of the FBI, under the name National Security Branch Analysis Center, or NSAC. A news report at Wired magazine says the NSAC has now collected more than 1.5 billion pieces of information, much of it from the private sector.

And the data is being used “in hacker and domestic criminal investigations, and now contains tens of thousands of records from private corporate databases,” Wired reports.

The news report, based on declassified data, adds more weight to the argument that the expansion of government power in the wake of the 9/11 attacks has been used for more than hunting terrorists. RAW STORY reported on Wednesday that the “sneak-and-peek” search warrants the Bush administration said were crucial to counter-terrorism aren’t actually being used for terrorist surveillance, and are primarily being used in drug investigations.

In the case of the NSAC, among the data collected is “more than 55,000 entries on customers of the Cendant Hotel chain … which includes Ramada Inn, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson and Hawthorn Suites,” Wired reports, as well as hundreds of records from Avis car rental agency, and 165 customer records from Sears.

“It’s unclear how the FBI got the records,” the magazine states. And the FBI evidently wants to quadruple the NSAC’s staff:

Wired.com’s analysis of more than 800 pages of documents obtained under our Freedom of Information Act request show the FBI has been continuously expanding the NSAC system and its goals since 2004. By 2008, NSAC comprised 103 full-time employees and contractors, and the FBI was seeking budget approval for another 71 employees, plus more than $8 million for outside contractors to help analyze its growing pool of private and public data.

A long-term planning document from the same year shows the bureau ultimately wants to expand the center to 439 people.

According to the Center for Media and Democracy, NSAC became operational in 2007 and it is predicted that it will contain six billion records by 2012, which “amounts to 20 separate ‘records’ for each man, woman and child in the United States.”

In an assessment of law enforcement data mining, the digital privacy watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation noted that a study concluded “that data mining is not an effective tool in the fight against terrorism. The report noted the poor quality of the data, the inevitability of false positives, the preliminary nature of the scientific evidence and individual privacy concerns in concluding that ‘automated identification of terrorists through data mining or any other mechanism is neither feasible as an objective nor desirable as a goal of technology development efforts.’”

Concerns about the NSAC have been around for years. In 2007, Republican House Rep. Jim Sensebrenner (R-WI) asked the US Government Accountability Office to investigate “what information will be contained in the ‘records’ it collects, whether the ‘records’ of US citizens will be included in its database, how this data will be employed and how the FBI plans to ensure that the data is not misused or abused in any way.”

According to Wired, “no report has been made public yet.”

Source | See also under Tracking: EU Plans Massive Surveillance Panopticon That Would Monitor “Abnormal Behavior” | UK: Police ‘must purge innocent DNA’ | UK: Now Big Brother targets helpful parents – 1 in 4 Britons vetted for giant new child protection database | Able Danger and DIA had advanced knowledge of 9/11 | Planned Internet, wireless surveillance laws worry watchdogs | Hutterites press fight vs. licence photos | UK Government plans to link criminal records to ID cards | UK Government to consider internet disconnection policy, restrictions | Privacy commissioner OKs Barwatch software | UK national ID card cloned in 12 minutes | UK ISPs condemn Internet surveillance plans | Alberta Hutterites need enhanced driver’s licence photos: top court | US: REALID tracking chip ID card resurrected by PASS initiative | US: Town on SF Bay wants to photograph every car | Facebook violates privacy law: watchdog | India to issue all 1.2 billion citizens with biometric ID cards | BC Bars swipe patron IDs, collect data | Newborn’s Blood Samples Raise Questions of Privacy | UK: Passport details to be kept on ID register despite card U-turn | Use of warrantless police wiretaps flies under the radar | US Cyber Security Czar Front-Runner No Friend of Privacy | UK: Shifting justifications for ID card scheme prompts call to scrap program | Incoming CSIS chief to seek biometric data at border | UK: Spy bugs may be deployed for 2012 Olympics | UK: Police ‘arrest innocent youths for their DNA’, officer claims | New border rules create ‘invisible Berlin Wall’: mayor | UK: Fury as Commons denied vote on DNA database | Digital Money Forum Pushes For Electronic Currency | UK installing license plate scanning network | Toronto police board challenges chief on CCTV deterrence, demands ‘phase-in’ | Google PowerMeter to track home energy usage in Toronto test drive | Tories propose law allowing fingerprinting before charges are laid | Next up for France: police keyloggers and Web censorship | Clinton defends new border restrictions | Saudi files for ‘killer’ tracking chip patent | ‘Smart meters’ set to boost prices, track your power consumption by time of day in Toronto | Ontario’s high-tech driver’s licences pose privacy risk: watchdog | France passes ‘three strikes’ Internet surveillance law | SMS texts being data mined in France: Man strip searched, held after joke | UK Home Secretary has secret plan to surveil, ‘Master the Internet’ | UK: Police to destroy DNA profiles of 800,000 innocent people | UK wants industry to track Internet users as plans scrapped for state database | Australian nightclub installs face-scanning security system | UK: Children to be tracked by sat nav to stop bad behaviour | Alberta bars could collect names, photos under proposed bill | UK: DNA pioneer Alec Jeffreys: drop innocent from database | Microchip in a pill to monitor your meds | French legislators reject internet piracy bill | Following Bush lead, Obama moves to block challenge to wiretapping program | UK: Big Brother row as police start using camera cars to fine wayward drivers | Big Brother is watching: surveillance box to track drivers is backed | Britain may snoop on social websites | Moratorium sought on RFID driver’s licenses | Right to privacy broken by a quarter of UK’s public databases, says report | Smart licences now available for border-hopping Quebecers | Internet ad tracking system will put a ’spy camera’ in the homes of millions, warns founder of the web | NSA Dominance of Cybersecurity Would Lead to ‘Grave Peril’, Ex-Cyber Chief Tells Congress | French government accused of ‘Big Brother’ tactics over internet piracy | US Terrorist watch list hits 1 million | NY Times: Mileage Tax Would ‘Track Where Motorists Have Been’ | UK police maintain databank on thousands of protesters | UK: Government plans to keep DNA samples of innocent | UK: DNA details of 1.1m children on database | UK security whitepaper urges ‘end of privacy’ | US Bill proposes ISPs, Wi-Fi keep logs for police | The Spy Factory: The New Thought Police | New law to give police access to online exchanges | Google to enter market for energy use tracking | Electronic immunization records needed: Toronto health official | Controversial US measure would require DNA sampling at arrest | UK-Irish travellers to face passport checks | U.S. visitors now required to register online with Department of Homeland Security | GPS wristwatch helps parents track children | UK: Face scanners to be installed in schools | Regulator will force cellphone companies to adopt GPS tracking system | Military challenge: Make spy data more accessible | UK: ‘Spy-in-sky’ trials get the go-ahead despite Government promise to scrap road-pricing plan | Private firm may administer UK surveillance database | Calls for GPS-tracked ’speed-limiting’ cars in UK | Oregon Governor Wants GPS-Tracked Vehicle Mileage Tax | UK Culture secretary wants international age restrictions for web | Is road-tolls fix running out of gas? | Has your child been CAFed? How the Government plans to record intimate information on every child in Britain | Cyberbullying verdict turns rule-breakers into criminals | European court rules DNA database breaches human rights | London musicians expected to disclose ethnicity, 8 pages of personal information to perform | Myspace terms of use could become fulcrum for destruction of online anonymity in precedent setting case | Former US congresswoman, presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney barred from boarding plane to human rights conference | Retired B.C. woman surprised to find herself on international no-fly list | Indonesian AIDS patients face microchip monitoring | Tribunal shouldn’t police online hate, report says | Jim Flaherty Urging Greater Federal, International Control over Canadian economy | Road tolls called ‘inevitable’ | Coming soon to your cellphone: Your credit card via RFID chip | Federal government stages another retreat on road tolls | Federal Road Toll Meeting Sponsorship Kept Quiet Until After Election | Flaherty calls for mandatory IMF surveillance | UK Home Secretary: People ‘can’t wait’ for biometric ID cards | ‘Smart’ Credit Cards, Pilot Project set the Groundwork for Wireless Credit Wallets | Google’s growth makes privacy advocates wary | Parents, children to be fingerprinted at initial 250+ nursery schools in UK | Police will use new device to take fingerprints in street, vendors say face scanning next | US military targets social nets | UK Shortly to Become Worse Surveillance Society than Stasi East Germany | UK Security services want personal data from sites like Facebook | Software blocks car phone users | Big brother to track all emails, internet history and telephone calls under UK plan | New surveillance program will turn military satellites on US | Mobile phones to track carbon footprint using GPS | Metrolinx considering road to lls after all | Red light cameras not going up fast enough for Toronto budget | First it’s ‘For the Children’: Microsoft working to ID you online | Global ‘Intelligent Transport’ initiative comes to your cellphone: Location data used to track traffic flow | GPS Mapping Systems Enable Police Tracking | Texas truant students to be tracked by GPS anklets | Satellites track Mexico kidnap victims with implanted chips | Security officials to scan D.C. area license plates | How Big Brother watches your every move | Federal parolees to wear tracking anklets in pilot project | Scots schoolchildren to be fingerprinted in controversial ID scheme | Beijing Taxis Are Bugged ‘For Driver Safety’ | Saskatchewan adopting US-mandated ID card, to include RFID chip, facial recognition | UK DNA database turns ‘innocents into criminals’, warns watchdog | Eye scans, fingerprints to control NZ borders | Drivers licences with chips spark heated debate | Behavioral Targeting: ‘It’s Only Going to Get Creepier’ | Bluetooth is watching: secret study gives Bath a flavour of Big Brother | Britain considers giant database of all phone calls, EMails, browsing history | Bush approves surveillance bill | Mobile Phone Users Secretly Tracked for Behaviorist Study | Every adult in Britain should be forced to carry ‘carbon ration cards’, say MPs | Criticism for ‘UK database’ plan | Pay-As-You-Drive Car Insurance | Metrolinx Proposes Satellite Vehicle Tracking for Road Tolls | Canada on way to brave new world of surveillance | West Virginia: Bill Turns Traffic Cameras into Spy Cameras | Toronto part of ‘transnational mega-region’ | Vancouver to import road tolls from UK | UK proposes national road tolls to cut congestion | Motorists to pay London toll | Government moving to access personal info, sparking privacy fears | Give public biometrics the finger

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10 Responses to “Report: Massive FBI database set to quadruple in size”

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