A few days ago, we highlighted the drastic privacy implications of new guidelines issued to govern data-mining by the National Counterterrorism Center (“NCTC”). Yesterday, we testified to Congress about the problems with the guidelines, and we filed three Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests to learn more about how the guidelines will affect the privacy of millions of Americans.
As we explained before, under the new guidelines approved by the Attorney General, the NCTC may aggregate federal databases consisting mainly of information about Americans with no connection to terrorism and then analyze those databases and disseminate the results for reasons also unrelated to terrorism. What databases will NCTC aggregate? We don’t know yet, but in our FOIA requests we’ve asked for details.