Sunday, September 23, 2007

Now Even Notorious US DEPT JUSTICE Condemns Watch List as Flawed

Now even the NOTORIOUS(click) JUSTICE DEPT
Condemns the Watch List as Flawed.

*Sunday Oct 14/07: A man in his 40s died early Sunday morning after RCMP jolted him with a Taser at the Vancouver International Airport, police said. DATE OF INCIDENT:


Justice Dept. Official Urges Improvement By Ellen NakashimaWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, ; A12

As one of the most powerful intelligence tools created by the Bush administration after the 2001 attacks, the watch list is used to screen about270 million people a month and its content can determine whether people areallowed to fly on airplanes or detained after routine traffic stops.

Its size has more than quadrupled since its creation in 2004, to the point thatit contained more than 720,000 records as of April, according to the newreport. It is growing at the rate of more than 20,000 records a month.But Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said its management by the TerroristScreening Center (TSC) "continues to have significant weaknesses,"producing a high error rate and a slow response to complaints from citizens.In an examination of 105 records, for example, the auditors found that 38percent of the records contained errors or inconsistencies that the TSC's ownquality-assurance efforts had not found. They also discovered that the TSC isoperating two versions of the database in tandem without ensuring that theircontents are identical, which they said could result in missed opportunities toidentify terrorists."It is critical that the TSC further improve the quality of its watchlistdata because of the consequences of inaccurate or missing information,"Fine said in a statement. "Inaccurate, incomplete and obsolete watchlistinformation can increase the risk of not identifying known or suspectedterrorists, and it can also increase the risk that innocent persons will bestopped or detained."
The report attributed some problems to the fact that the FBI can directly enterinternational terrorist information into the database while bypassing the TSCand the National Counterterrorism Center, which is responsible for vetting such information. That bypasscreates unnecessary data errors, the report said.The review found that nearly half the initial name matches against the watchlist proved worthless, suggesting that the government should considermisidentifications a priority and develop policies to address them, Fine said.The inspector general's staff also identified 20 watch-list records onsuspected or known terrorists that had not been made available to front-linescreening agents such as Border Patrol officers, visa application reviewers andlocal police officers who use the list during routine traffic stops."

The new report confirms a widespread impression that the watch-listsystem still needs work," said Steven Aftergood, director of theFederation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy. "Notonly are too many innocent people being listed in error, some of the bad guysare not properly included."The TSC, created in December 2003 at the president's direction and run jointlyby the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, is a single point ofcontact for screeners and police seeking help in identifying people withpossible ties to terrorism. The TSC database is a consolidation of a dozendifferent government watch lists, such as the Transportation SecurityAdministration's "no-fly" list, the State Department's Consular Lookoutand Support System, and the FBI's Violent Gang and Terrorist OrganizationsFile.
TSC officials said in a statement that they have acted or will act on each ofthe recommendations.

The inspector general's report is available on the Web at