by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jan 18th 2008 2:07am
For years, the government has pushed repeatedly to build bigger and more comprehensive databases of information around citizens. There are certainly justifications that can be made for such databases -- so long as people weigh those justifications against the fact that the databases will absolutely be abused. We recently wrote about the case where a government employee used a Homeland Security computer system to track an ex-girlfriend. The latest story is that a corrupt customs agent was selling access to federal databases. While it's good that he was caught, he wasn't caught due to any protection mechanisms put in place, but because a drug dealer who had been paying the customs agent for access to the database, was stopped for a traffic violation, and the police officer noticed the business card for the customs agent. The police then followed up to try to figure out why the guy had the agent's card, leading to the story unfolding. Hopefully, since then, more stringent protections have been put in place, but it seems likely that there are still plenty of questionable uses of these sorts of databases.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- LA School District's iPad Farce Reaches Nadir As Officials Demand Refunds From Apple, Answer Questions From The SEC
- 2009 DHS Document Says Border Patrol Can Search/Copy The Contents Of Your Device Just Because It Wants To
- Philly PD Declares All Drivers To Be 'Under Investigation' While Denying Request For License Plate Reader Data
- EU Politicians Say: Don't Undermine Data Protection Rules With TAFTA/TTIP -- And Stop The Mass Surveillance
- DHS Takes Another Stab At License Plate Database, But This Time With More Privacy Protections And Transparency