The federal government disclosed details yesterday of a border-security program to screen all people who enter and leave the United States, create a terrorism risk profile of each individual and retain that information for up to 40 years.
[…] The department [of Homeland Security] intends to use a program called the Automated Targeting System, originally designed to screen shipping cargo, to store and analyze the data.
[…] Civil libertarians expressed concern that risk profiling on such a scale would be intrusive and would not adequately protect citizens’ privacy rights, issues similar to those that have surrounded systems profiling air passengers.
[…] “ATS started as a tool to prevent the entry of drugs with cargo into the U.S.,” said one [Congressional] aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “We are not aware of Congress specifically legislating to make this expansion possible.”