RealNews

Oversight for DOD Anti-terror Tech

Two oversight boards are being set up to monitor a Pentagon anti-terrorist technology experiment that critics fear could lead to spying on the financial transactions of unwitting citizens, officials said Friday. The experiment, called the Total Information Awareness project, is intended to test whether new computer tools can comb through masses of information — credit card and bank transactions, car rentals, gun purchases — and spot clues to the planning of acts of terror. “THERE HAVE BEEN some concerns expressed regarding the protection of the privacy of individuals,” Pete Aldridge, chief of technology for the Defense Department, told a Pentagon news conference. “And to address those concerns, we’re establishing two oversight functions.” The project, launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, has become a public-relations problem for the Bush administration, which has bristled at worries by critics that the government intends to snoop into the private lives of citizens. Full Story

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