By Linda Schade New documents published on The Intercept, reveal that the National Counterterrorism Center’s TIDES (Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment) database had collected more than one million files by June 2013 and that – in the smaller watch list of 680,000 – nearly half of those individuals have no link whatsoever to any terrorist organization or cause.
There were hints last month that a whistleblower other than Edward Snowden has been sharing documents, and with this latest leak, we have official confirmation that a new whistleblower is at work. How exciting that another courageous person has stepped up to the plate! The Intercept writes that the leaked memos were ‘obtained from a source in the intelligence community’ and include a report from the National Counterterrorism Center entitled Directorate of Terrorist Identities: Strategic Accomplishments in 2013.
The million names is the number one milestone the report touts, citing the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the major data contributors. Late last night, the Washington Post reported that the National Counterterrorism Center confirmed that the TIDES system currently holds 1.1 million names. As DDF has noted in past coverage (e.g Time to Ground the No Fly List), the report references the enormous growth in the No Fly list: In 2001, 16 people were on the No Fly List; in 2013 there were 47,000 people that can look forward to being subjected to harassment and delays or outright denial of the ability to board a flight.
In case you aren’t feeling anxious or angry yet, take note that this entire set of invasive data is shared widely among the vast intelligence, law enforcement and military apparatus across the US. Oh wait there’s more. It’s also shared with foreign governments and their spy agencies. And the global corporate private sector. How much do they know?
According to the documents obtained by The Intercept, there is a major effort under way – assisted by the CIA – to assemble biometric data including traditional fingerprints as well as iris scans, DNA, and facial images from sources such as drivers’ licenses from 15 states and the District of Columbia scooping up ‘hundreds of thousands of people who are not watchlisted.’ Another disturbing detail is that the five top geographical targets just happen to have large Arab American populations. The most glaring example is the small town of Dearborn Michigan population 96,000. Any chance there is religious profiling going on here? There’s lot more privacy violating details in the documents but stay tuned. I have a feeling this leak might turn into a flood.