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Your 'terror risk score' is on file

After the news of the latest invasive screening techniques being rolled out in Phoenix, there’s more fun to report if you fly abroad — and it’s been going on for years without public notification.

Bushworld has assigned you a terror risk score by Homeland Security’s Automated Targeting System. What criteria are they using to rate you?

* where you are from
* how you paid for your ticket
* your DMV records
* past one-way travel
* seating preference
* what kind of meal you ordered on your flights.

The number you receive is calculated by computer and stored away. According to a report on CNN this AM, you don’t get to know what it is or can contest your rating.

Knowing what barely digestible food you consumed on a flight is really going to secure the homeland. (NYT):

…The notice, by the Department of Homeland Security, called the program “one of the most advanced targeting systems in the world.” The department said the nation’s ability to spot criminals and other security threats “would be critically impaired without access to this data.”

Still, privacy advocates view the program with alarm. “It’s probably the most invasive system the government has yet deployed in terms of the number of people affected,” said David Sobel, a lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group devoted to electronic data issues.

…A similar Homeland Security project for domestic air travelers, now known as Secure Flight, caused a furor two years ago in Congress. Lawmakers barred its use until it passes 10 tests for accuracy and privacy protection.

By the way, the government has reported whether its stellar program has actually snared any terrorists. Guess they couldn’t match up trail mix or window/aisle choice to intent.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding