"The Automated Targeting System, part of Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, is under the Spotlight this month. For Fiscal Year 2007, President Bush has requested $1.94 billion for border security, which includes the Automated Targeting System. The system was originally established to assess cargo that may pose a threat to the United States. Now the Department of Homeland Security proposes to use the system to establish a secret terrorism risk profile for millions of people, most of whom will be U.S. citizens. Simultaneously, it is seeking to remove Privacy Act safeguards for the database.
The Automated Targeting System’s terrorist risk profiles will be secret, unreviewable, and maintained by the government for 40 years. The profiles will determine whether individuals will be subject to invasive searches of their persons or belongings, and whether U.S. citizens will be permitted to enter or exit the country. Individuals will not have judicially enforceable rights to access information about them contained in the system, nor to request correction of information that is inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely or incomplete.
The criteria use to assess risk is not publicly available. ATS also will retain the risk assessments for 40 years (this is your entire lifetime in most cases, folks - Pete), even assessments of people who are not considered a threat.
Although individuals will not be able to view the terrorist profile rating that has been assigned by the government, the data and the risk assessment will be available to other federal agencies for a wide range of activities. According to the Privacy Act notice, Customs and Border Protection has identified 15 categories of “routine uses” of personal information to be collected and maintained in the program’s system of records. In one category, CBP anticipates disclosure to:
To appropriate Federal, State, local, tribal, or foreign governmental agencies or multilateral governmental organizations where CBP is aware of a need to utilize relevant data for purposes of testing new technology and systems designed to enhance border security or identify other violations of law.
Another category allows disclosure to:
Federal, state, local, tribal, or foreign governmental agencies or multilateral governmental organizations responsible for investigating or prosecuting the violations of, or for enforcing or implementing, a statute, rule, regulation, order, or license, where CBP believes the information would assist enforcement of civil or criminal laws.
These categories are so broad as to be almost meaningless, allowing for potential disclosure to virtually any government agency worldwide for an array of actual or potential undefined violations.
Not only does Customs and Border Protection seek to broadly use ATS data, but it proposes to exempt the system from Privacy Act requirements that an individual be permitted access to personal information, that an individual be permitted to correct and amend personal information, and that an agency assure the reliability of personal information for its intended use."
Read the rest of that page (and another link over here: http://www.eff.org/n...6_11.php#005030 ) - this is Total information Awareness and CAPPS2 all rolled into one, complete with mission creep and un-breakable secrecy built in.