Counterterrorism center can keep data on Americans for longer
Operations Center at the National Counterterrorism Center
March 23rd, 2012
11:26 AM ET

Counterterrorism center can keep data on Americans for longer

By Pam Benson

The Obama administration has revised guidelines to allow the National Counterterrorism Center access to data about Americans that it can search and store for a longer period of time, even if that information is not related to terrorism.

The revision, announced Thursday night, will allow the center to obtain data from other government databases that include nonterrorism information on U.S. citizens and residents, and retain the material for up to five years.

Guidelines established in November 2008 only allowed the center to keep the information for up to 180 days before permanently removing it.

Attorney General Eric Holder, National Intelligence Director James Clapper and Matthew Olsen, the center's director, approved the updated guideline.

The change was prompted by concern that the intelligence community failed to connect information from a variety of databases that could have prevented Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known as the "Underwear Bomber," from attempting to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas day in 2009.

In a statement, Clapper said the updated guidelines will help better protect the nation from terrorist attacks. "Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information," Clapper said. The ability to search against these databases for up to five years on a continuing basis as these guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively than the 2008 guidelines allowed."

The National Counterterrorism Center was created in 2004 as the government's clearinghouse for terrorism information following the intelligence community's failure to connect the dots before the 9/11 attacks.

Clapper's statement indicated that the guidelines do not provide any new authority to collect information and that all data the center obtains will be subject to safeguards to protect civil liberties and privacy.

However privacy and civil liberties groups warn the new guidelines put the privacy rights of Americans at risk. Michael German, the senior policy counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement that,"Authorizing the 'temporary' retention of non-terrorism related citizen and resident information for five years essentially removes the restraint against wholesale collection of our personal information by the government, and puts all Americans at risk of unjustified scrutiny."

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Filed under: 9/11 • Clapper • Intelligence • NCTC • ODNI • Terrorism • Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Elizabeth

    Hey hun! I thought I'd play along. Best bday gift I ever GAVE senoome was a signed copy of The Shining made out to the recipient. Why is that amazing? Stephen King doesn't really sign books anymore. I'll tell you about that one at WPPI. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    September 13, 2012 at 2:20 am | Reply
  2. the wise

    Stop apeasing Israel.

    We are no longer sovereign, we must destroy tel aviv. If we are to be free.

    March 25, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • mipolitic

      well CONCERED CITIZAN ;
      perhaps you should go over to there and present your views to those you appear to hate.

      March 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  3. jet

    this is a mobile phone scam where you need 400.00 to collect your winnings from shipping company

    March 24, 2012 at 7:12 am | Reply
  4. duckforcover

    Dang, and I was just going to say the same thing!

    March 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  5. svann

    When I heard that all new appliances sold will have the backdoor ability to spy on us I immediately went out and bought a new toilet. Spy on this!

    March 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  6. SpiderCNN

    if the advantage is to hold for a little longer, we should have held on to the rubble from the twin tower for a little while longer to properly investigate 911.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  7. Dildo Baggins

    Yeah I think you should go with a peanut butter and bacon sandwich...I am really not a fan of peanut butter and butter.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  8. jdoe

    Used to be that this sort of activity would prompt public outcries and congressional hearings. Now Americans just bend over without a whimper.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  9. DisReverent

    Could you elaborate, please?

    March 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • 2011cnn2011

      LOL

      March 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  10. Expostfacto

    If you believe your government when it tells you that they expunge, delete, or seal any file or investigation, you require medical attention.

    It is useful to note that the same administration campaigned AGAINST the Bush Administration (in absentia, via Mr. Gore) by decrying these very things. Mr. Obama, having sworn to filibuster FISA, then voted for it. And voted to exonerate telecomm companies who had violated the law originally.

    The government's attitude is that you have freedom of speech - but they have the right to forge access passwords to read it. (That was actually a quote, delivered to me at one point.) For all i know this post will turn and bite me - and I don't care any more. To you guys in Atlanta - have a good life. Incompetence and outright stupidity waste everyone's time. Good thing you were too late to get a job with Himmler.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  11. Animenut

    Bring back the report abuse button.

    March 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  12. Jason S

    What the hell is this?

    March 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • Poipounder

      An idiot living in his moms basement

      March 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Reply
    • mipolitic

      what ever happens do not let him out of the darkroom , the light will push him over the edge ! this guy is a twisted shit for brains.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  13. 11B2V1P

    Anyone else feel like were about to be shipped out to concentration camps....I mean "Family Centers"

    March 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Reply
    • clearfog

      No.

      March 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  14. Anonymous Ass

    The approach of NWO will continue as long as bunch of jackasses and dumbo's cannot correlate on a American society that needs more than confrontations (debates) and lies (campaigns). How can society reach a goal? That is not agreed on collectively. This idea of distaste and bias spreads through our country like a foreign pandemic. Nevertheless, one side tries to help someone other than themselves and the other side is concerned only with their side. This needs no explanation but as a result we (America) remains segregated – politically and mentally.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  15. michaelfury

    Keep this:

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/pulverized-to-near-power/

    March 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  16. F B M

    And the ever burgeoning police state rolls merrily along.

    And for what it's worth; it won't / wouldn't be any better under the other group of sociopaths, the Republicans.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • richinsocal

      Nothing matters anymore except the control of the masses so that Goldman Sachs et al can bleed the economy in the name of free enterprise and the american way. Oh, forgot NATIONAL SECURITY.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  17. mipolitic

    i wonder if that means people that do not agree with obama politics ? so much for the freedom of speech ? i guess posting is a no no if you do not agree with obama politics in an election year ?

    WOULD THEY REALLY DO THAT IF WE HAD REPUBLICAN VIEWS ON MANY THINGS ?? WHAT ABOUT LAW ABIDING PEOPLE THAT DISAGREE WITH DEMOCRATS ?

    March 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Aline

      Richmond will be coming this fall. We are wnikrog with the school district and will be offering classes through their program. It will be in our soon coming schedule. We will be having winter camps through the rec centres too and then more classes. So very soon.

      September 10, 2012 at 1:46 am | Reply

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