Sunday, October 21, 2012

Setback for secret Big Brother database

The federal government has been told by a judge to start producing copies of documents in an open government case brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center over a nationwide plan to integrate within the government a comprehensive database about Americans. The organization confirmed in a statement today that the order involves its case against the Office of Director of National Intelligence, in which EPIC wants information about Washington’s strategy to integrate databases inside the government “without the legal safeguards typically in place for personal data.” The court ordered the agency to disclose the procedures it has establish to safeguard privacy rights, EPIC said. The lawsuit wants information from the office, an executive branch operation under the control of the Obama White House, about its plan to collect database information about Americans from the CIA, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. EPIC, which for nearly 20 years has focused its attention on the civil liberties, privacy, First Amendment and constitutional issues related to electronic data, said under Washington’s revised guidelines, “The ODNI plans to obtain and integrate databases containing detailed personal information from across the federal government. “The data will be kept for up to five years without the legal safeguards typically in place for personal data held by government agencies,” the organization explained...more

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