Terror Watch-List to be Made Confidential

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The terrorist watch-list routinely shares information with federal, state and local agencies but the executive administration is pushing to fully privatize the list. They're concerned the public list alerts terrorists that they are being tracked, which could aid them in evading surveillance.

Officials are pushing for changes to the Information Security Act that would exempt "terrorist identity information" from disclosure.

Arguments against the protection of the list say that the government hasn't proven the necessity for a restriction and that it would make discovering and removing your name from the list much more difficult, if you were unjustly listed as a terrorist.

"Here's the problem," an official said, discussing the matter on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. "If you've got somebody, including a suspected terrorist, who can FOIA that information, you're making intelligence-gathering methods vulnerable. You're possibly making intelligence agents and law enforcement personnel vulnerable. Suspects could alter their behavior and circumvent the surveillance."


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