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EFF: American Travelers to Get Secret 'Risk Assessment' Scores
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2006 17:31:29 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 30, 2006


David Sobel
   Senior Counsel
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   sobel () eff org
   +1 202 797-9009 x10

American Travelers to Get Secret 'Risk Assessment' Scores

EFF Fights Huge Data-Mining Program Set for Rollout on U.S.

Washington, D.C. - An invasive and unprecedented
data-mining system is set to be deployed on U.S. travelers
Monday, despite substantial questions about Americans'
privacy.  In comments sent to the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
(EFF) asked the agency to delay the program's rollout until
it makes more details available to the public and addresses
critical privacy and due process concerns.

The Automated Targeting System (ATS) will create and assign
"risk assessments" to tens of millions of citizens as they
enter and leave the country.  Individuals will have no way
to access information about their "risk assessment" scores
or to correct any false information about them.  But once
the assessment is made, the government will retain the
information for 40 years -- as well as make it available to
untold numbers of federal, state, local, and foreign
agencies in addition to contractors, grantees, consultants,
and others.

"The government is preparing to give millions of
law-abiding citizens 'risk assessment' scores that will
follow them throughout their lives," said EFF Senior
Counsel David Sobel.  "If that wasn't frightening enough,
none of us will have the ability to know our own score, or
to challenge it.  Homeland Security needs to delay the
deployment of this system and allow for an informed public
debate on this dangerous proposal."

Earlier this month, EFF's FLAG Project submitted a Freedom
of Information Act (FOIA) request to DHS seeking more
details about the ATS data-mining program, but the agency
has not yet disclosed the requested information.

For EFF's full comments to DHS:

For the DHS Federal Register notice announcing ATS:

For this release:

About EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil
liberties organization working to protect rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and
challenges industry and government to support free
expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported
organization and maintains one of the most linked-to
websites in the world at http://www.eff.org/


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