RealNews

Govt Computer Surveillance Rings Alarm Bells

Nine months after Congress shut down a controversial Pentagon computer-surveillance program, the U.S. government continues to comb private records to sniff out suspicious activity, according to a congressional report obtained by Reuters. Privacy concerns prompted Congress to kill the Pentagon’s $54 million Total Information Awareness program last September, but government computers are still scanning a vast array of databases for clues about criminal or terrorist activity, the General Accounting Office found. Overall, 36 of the government’s 199 “data mining” efforts collect personal information from the private sector, a move experts say could violate civil liberties if left unchecked. Several appear to be patterned after Total Information Awareness, which critics said could have led to an Orwellian surveillance state in which citizens have little privacy. Full Story

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