Bush and his DHS Passenger Scoring | Is it Illegal?
Wired News: DHS Passenger Scoring Illegal?:
A newly revealed system that has been assigning terrorism scores to Americans traveling into or out of the country for the past five years is not merely invasive, privacy advocates charge, it's an illegal violation of limits Congress has placed on the Department of Homeland Security for the last three years.
The Identity Project, founded by online rights pioneer John Gilmore, filed official objections to the Automated Targeting System, or ATS, on Monday, calling the program clearly illegal.
The comment cited a little-known provision in the 2007 Homeland Security funding bill prohibiting government agencies from developing algorithms that assign risk scores to travelers not on government watchlists.
'By cloaking this prohibited action in a border issue ... the Department of Homeland Security directly and openly contravenes Congress' clear intent,' wrote project members Edward Hasbrouck and James Harrison.
The system appears to fly in the face of legal requirements Congress has placed in the Homeland Security appropriations bills for the last three years, which states, "None of the funds provided in this or previous appropriations Acts may be utilized to develop or test algorithms assigning risk to passengers whose names are not on government watch lists.
The prohibition most recently appeared in section 514(e) of Congress' 2007 appropriation, which was signed into law by President Bush on Oct. 4th. It's one of a set of restrictions on the long-delayed and scandal-plagued replacement for the current domestic air travel watchlist system.