AOH :: PT-1271.HTM

Does Homeland Security cross-reference interlibrary loans to INS, other databases?

Does Homeland Security cross-reference interlibrary loans to INS, other databases?
Does Homeland Security cross-reference interlibrary loans to INS, other databases?




-------- Original Message --------
Subject: DHS cross refs interlibrary loan to INS database?
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 10:48:38 -0500
From: Stephen Cobb, CISSP  
To: Declan McCullagh  

Declan,

Unless there is more to the following story than was reported, I think the
implications are more chilling than the headline-grabbing unapproved NSA
taps, particularly since FISA approves virtually all taps anyway.

We have known for years that the NSA has the capability to listen to any
unscrambled phone call (foreign or domestic) and read any plaintext
email--such as this one--but routine cross-referencing of library records
with INS data would appear to be new. Can we now assume a computer
somewhere is constantly running a watch list of books against a watch list
of people (who spend 'a lot of time' outside the country)?

If anyone manages to lift the lid on this, I'm sure the book list itself
would make hilarious reading (who doesn't have a copy of The Little Red
Book left over from the sixties?). The criteria for the frequent traveller
database? Probably not so amusing.

Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior
By AARON NICODEMUS,
Standard-Times staff writer

NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents
two months ago, after he requested [through the interlibrary loan program]
a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."

...The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for
Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism...He was later
visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department
of Homeland Security...was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch
list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad,
triggered them to investigate the student further."

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/12-05/12-17-05/a09lo650.htm 

Stephen Cobb, CISSP

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