In another ratcheting up of the national security surveillance state, the Obama administration has weakened a privacy safeguard that even the Bush administration kept intact. The AP reports:
The U.S. intelligence community will be able to store information about Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to five years under new Obama administration guidelines.
Until now, the National Counterterrorism Center had to immediately destroy information about Americans that was already stored in other government databases when there were no clear ties to terrorism.
The administration promises it will make sure the data might be related to terrorism in one way or another before it keeps this data in this manner. Although this is another indication of the steady erosion of the Fourth Amendment, it should be noted that other governmental departments are already storing and maintaining much of this information, that the whole notion of privacy against the federal government has essentially been discarded years ago. If the drug war and IRS didn’t do it, the war on terror certainly did.