Operation Gut Privacy

The snitchily named Operation TIPS, a vast network of personal data on potential terrorists and law-abiding citizens, has been renamed yet again. First TIPS, then the ominious Total Information Awareness program, and now the Terrorism Information Awareness program, the Orwellian data tracking system is still just as scary. The Pentagon will gather information that could fill the Library of Congress more than 50 times over, stuff like passport applications, visas, work permits, driver's licenses, car rentals, airline ticket purchases, arrests or reports of suspicious activities. Plus it'll give federal agents access to commercial databases of financial, education, medical and housing records. Jim Dempsey, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, says that "Since 9/11, the FBI is authorized by the attorney general to go looking for information about individuals with no reason to believe they are engaged in, or planning, or connected to any wrongdoing."

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