William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security
The Pentagon Breaks the Law
The National Security Agency story has pushed military spying on anti-war groups off the front pages, and the Pentagon appears to have seized upon administrative error to explain away its slide into domestic spying.
The Department of Defense now says that analysts may not have followed the law and its own guidelines that require the purging of information collected on U.S. persons after 90 days. The law states that if no connection is made between named persons and foreign governments or transnational terrorist organizations or illegal activity, U.S. persons have a right to their privacy and information about them must be deleted.
Thanks to RL, I now know that the database of "suspicious incidents" in the United States first revealed by NBC Nightly News last Tuesday and subject of my blog last week is the Joint Protection Enterprise Network (JPEN) database, an intelligence and law enforcement sharing system managed by the Defense Department's Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA).
What is clear about JPEN is that the military is not inadvertently keeping information on U.S. persons. It is violating the law. And what is more, it even wants to do it more.…