The Pentagon, which closed its Talon intelligence database nearly a year ago amid concerns about domestic spying, will soon begin testing an unclassified alternative for tracking possible threats to U.S. military bases.
The system, an FBI-operated program called eGuardian, would for the first time sever the Defense Department’s collection of data on suspicious activity from U.S. intelligence operations by placing the information in an unclassified database for law enforcement agencies, officials said…
Talon, a classified database maintained by a defense counterintelligence office that the Pentagon disbanded on Tuesday, was designed to gather pieces of information about suspicious activity near U.S. defense facilities. Analysts could then examine the data for evidence of potential threats.
But in 2005, the database was found to have inappropriately retained information on U.S. antiwar protesters even after they were ruled out as threats. That caused an outcry in Congress and among civil liberties advocates about the dangers of military spying on U.S. citizens.
“The concept is still good” said a Pentagon spokesman. “Connecting the dots of the bits and pieces of possible information is a good thing. It just shouldn’t be in a counterintelligence database”.
So, you change the name, yoyo the order in which information on citizens is shared and “voila” data-mining American citizens is now legitimate.
The sleazy history of governments spying on the general populace doesn’t get squeaky clean just because it’s practiced in a country with a history of openness. The openness has been going away for decades.
National security and executive privilege replaced your right to know, long go.