Saturday, January 15, 2005

FBI Keeping Records on Pre-9/11 Travelers

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, US federal investigators obtained massive amounts of information on individuals who were airline passengers in the months leading up to the attack. The FBI is keeping those records, according to the Associated Press, with no intention of giving them up. Privacy activists are up in arms over it:

FBI Keeping Records on Pre-9/11 Travelers: "

WASHINGTON (AP) - If you're among the millions of Americans who took airline flights in the months before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI probably knows about it - and possibly where you stayed, whom you traveled with, what credit card you used and even whether you ordered a kosher meal.

The bureau is keeping 257.5 million records on people who flew on commercial airlines from June through September 2001 in its permanent investigative database, according to information obtained by a privacy group and made available to The Associated Press.

Privacy advocates say they're troubled by the possibility that the FBI could be analyzing personal information about people without their knowledge or permission.

'The FBI collected a vast amount of information about millions of people with no indication that they had done anything unlawful,' said Marcia Hofmann, attorney with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which learned about the data through a Freedom of Information Act request. 'The fact that they're hanging on to the information is inexcusable,' Hofmann said on Friday...."

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