Monday, July 14, 2008

Annals of Dumb, Vol. 6,772

The ACLU credibly estimates that the terrorist watch list (i.e. the "no-fly list") now has over one million names and is growing at an estimated 20,000 names per month.

Apart from the huge problem of the complete lack of due process in getting on or off this list, does anyone really think such an enormous list has any serious purpose? A bad database is worse than no database at all if you're actually trying to catch real terrorists. You just can't convince me that each of these names are backed up by solid information. More likely, it's a handful of useful info smothered in a big steaming pile of hunches, aliases, handles, common names and other stale spreadsheet bilge.

This list is just the names -- you'd have to multiply by the number of likely false positives to get the total number of people affected by this. And remember, these are the same geniuses who are reading data-mining your emails and phone conversations.

(h/t Kevin Drum.)

1 comment:

hbomb said...

I can't wait until this administration is over.