U.S. tracking citizens' border crossings
Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:05am EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has been using its border checkpoints to collect information on citizens that will be stored for 15 years, raising concern among privacy advocates, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said the collection is part of a broader effort to guard against terrorist threats, the report said, citing a Federal Register notice the agency issued last month.
But it states that information may be shared with federal, state and local governments to test "new technology and systems designed to enhance border security or identify other violations of law," the Post reported.
A DHS spokesman was not immediately available for comment on the report.
Information on international air passengers has long been collected this way but Customs and Border Protection only this year began to log the arrivals of all U.S. citizens across land borders, the Post said.
Privacy advocates raised concerns about the expanded collection of personal data and said safeguards are needed to ensure the system is not abused.
"People expect to be checked when they enter the country and for the government to determine if they're admissible or not," Greg Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology told the Post.
"What they don't expect is for the government to keep a record for 15 years of their comings into the country."
Sounds about right, doesn't it?
I'm thinkin' a boycott of the US border is in order, folks.
"Heckuva job, Mikey . . . . "
(Cross-posted from Moved to Vancouver)