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Intelligence Office Describes Privacy Protections for Government Database

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an information paper describing the civil liberties and privacy protections incorporated into the National Counterterrorism Center Guidelines. The ODNI is the top intelligence agency in the United States, coordinating the activities of the CIA, the FBI, the DHS, and other federal agencies. An updated version of the Guidelines was approved by Attorney General Holder in March of 2012 and allows the Center to copy databases across the federal government for retention for up to five years. EPIC filed a FOIA lawsuit to uncover, among other things, any data accuracy and security safeguard documentation that covered the updated Guidelines. The Information Paper comes about six months after EPIC filed suit for more details about the program. The Paper details various provisions, including the requirement that a "reasonable belief" that a dataset contains terrorism information is needed to copy a database, the implementation of accuracy and error correction measures, and a prohibition on monitoring U.S. persons purely for engaging in First Amendment protected activities. The ODNI is expected to make its final production of documents to EPIC in the FOIA case on February 12, 2013. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. ODNI.

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