Attorney General Eric Holder won’t back down. Earlier this month, Holder made headlines when he told a crowd at Northwestern that it’s within the President’s constitutional purview to target persons, including American citizens broad, for assassination. The Supreme Court had already publicly warned that “a state of war is not a blank check” for the President, but Eric Holder, like John Yoo before him, seems to disagree.
Yesterday, AG Holder signed into law new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center which could well work to erode the civil liberties of American citizens further. The new measure allows intelligence officials to store private information about Americans — even when “there is no suspicion” that they are tied to terrorism — for up to five years (the previous limit was, still alarmingly, 180 days).
What’s more distressing, officials have reported that the Counterterrorism Center is in the process of developing a priority list of databases that it wishes to copy, which it can then share with other intelligence agencies. These database copies may be subjected to so-called “pattern analysis” which mines the data for indications of links to terrorism.
Not to forget, your commercial data might still be at risk:
The new rules are silent about the use of commercial data — like credit card and travel records — that may have been acquired by other agencies. In 2009, Wired Magazine obtained a list of databases acquired by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, one of the agencies that shares information with the center. It included nearly 200 million records transferred from private data brokers like ChoicePoint, 55,000 entries on customers of Wyndham hotels, and numerous other travel and commercial records.