Michael from Muckrock sez, "The problems with various government watch lists, particularly the TSA's, are well known, but a new release of documents shows just how problematic large-scale government tracking can be: A recent FOIA request to the FBI for the files on late Irving Adler, activist, turned up plenty of reading material, but it was about the wrong Irving: An examination of documents showed that the files another Irving Adler, an Army veteran, found himself on the wrong end of intense questioning despite universal assertions that he was a 'loyal and patriotic American."
The investigations hounded the second Irving for four years until the FBI realized it was watching the wrong man, and the boring Irving ultimately only cleared himself when it was shown he was serving abroad during the time the FBI thought he was in Long Island.
Surely these kinds of mistakes won't happen with modern databases.
Even in the 40s, FBI struggled to keep its watch list straight
Every year, the Senate passes a secret bill (that is, a bill whose text is a secret during its debate) that re-authorizes intelligence agencies’ surveillance powers; this year, someone (possibly chairman Richard Burr, R-NC and/or Tom Cotton, R-AR) has snuck in an amendment that would give the FBI the power to demand warrantless access to […]
In Evaluating the privacy properties of telephone metadata, a paper by researchers from Stanford’s departments of Law and Computer Science published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors analyzed metadata from six months’ worth of volunteers’ phone logs to see what kind of compromising information they could extract from them.
Random number generators are the foundation of cryptography — that’s why the NSA secretly sabotaged the RNG standard that the National Institute for Standards and Technology developed.
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