Oct 242009
 October 24, 2009  Posted by  Featured News, Govt, Laws, Surveillance, U.S.

Jill R. Aitoro reports:

A proposed Homeland Security Department information-sharing initiative faces ongoing funding challenges, due to congressional concerns over privacy.

For the third year in a row, Congress as part of the Homeland Security spending bill prohibited DHS from using appropriated funds to stand up the National Immigration Information Sharing Operation. To start the flow of funding, the Homeland Security secretary must certify that the project — designed to give intelligence and law enforcement agencies access to DHS immigration information — complies with applicable laws, including privacy and civil liberties standards.


In a report released in June to accompany the Homeland Security spending bill, the House Appropriations Committee expressed concern that “although the department has had at least 18 months to develop and submit operating documents and certifications showing that these programs can be conducted within existing privacy and civil liberties statutes, it has failed to adequately do so. While the committee strongly supports programs that the department believes are necessary for the security of the country, it is pointless to sustain funding for programs that are not operational and have been unable to demonstrate they can function within existing law.”

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