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Law prof co-authors anti-terrorism tools report

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An Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington professor has co-authored a report casting doubt on the effectiveness, lawfulness, and appropriateness of using data-based tools to fight terrorism.

Fred H. Cate primarily authored the report, "Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Program Assessment," which is the product of a three-year study by the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Technical and Privacy Dimensions of Information for Terrorism Prevention and Other National Goals.

The report found automated data-mining techniques that search databases for unusual patterns of activity will be difficult to use for counterterrorism because of legal, technological, and logistical problems. Counterterrorism programs that use personal data raise privacy issues, and if the programs don't work, privacy invasions are likely to be unwarranted, according to the report.

The report recommends all counterterrorism programs that rely on personal data should be evaluated for their effectiveness, lawfulness, and impact on privacy, and Congress should examine and update privacy laws to reflect technological changes.

Cate is a Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law and director of the Center for Applied Cyber Security Research at IU-Bloomington. Cate is also a member of the committee that conducted the study. The report was requested by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation.

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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