Government Can Now Keep Data On Citizens with No Terrorism Ties

  • New rules allow the National Counterterrorism Center to keep data on US citizen for up to five years, even if there’s no proof they have ties to terrorism. National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper Jr. explained,

    “Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counter-terrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of data sets from various agencies that contain terrorism information.”

    Prior to these new rules, the National Counterterrorism Center had to immediately destroy the information. But, a failure to predict the the Detroit-bound airplane bomber in 2009 is cited as one of the reasons the intelligence community needed to retain data and connect it across agencies.

    “The fact that this data can be retained for five years on U.S. citizens for whom there’s no evidence of criminal conduct is very disturbing,” said Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

    The Obama administration says privacy protections will require reviews to ensure data “is likely to contain significant terrorism information,” according to civil liberties protection officer, Alexander Joel.

    What do you think? Is the data necessary to safeguard Americans?