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EPIC Amicus Brief on Fusion Centers

EPIC Amicus Brief on Fusion Centers

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Published by AxXiom
The technology of government databases has
changed dramatically since 1995, when the Court
upheld the use of evidence obtained from an
erroneous arrest record that was the product of a
clerical mistake. Today, the police have within
their electronic reach access to an extraordinary
range of databases including: the National Crime
Information Center, systems associated with the
federal government’s employment eligibility
verification system, terrorist watch lists and
various commercial databases.
These government and commercial databases
are filled with errors, according to the federal
government’s own reports. Yet the government has
further compounded the problems with record
inaccuracies with two decisions: first, the increased
distribution of the data not just among government
agencies but among federal, state, local, tribal and
commercial entities; and second, the exemption of
database systems from important privacy and
accuracy requirements set out in federal laws.
The technology of government databases has
changed dramatically since 1995, when the Court
upheld the use of evidence obtained from an
erroneous arrest record that was the product of a
clerical mistake. Today, the police have within
their electronic reach access to an extraordinary
range of databases including: the National Crime
Information Center, systems associated with the
federal government’s employment eligibility
verification system, terrorist watch lists and
various commercial databases.
These government and commercial databases
are filled with errors, according to the federal
government’s own reports. Yet the government has
further compounded the problems with record
inaccuracies with two decisions: first, the increased
distribution of the data not just among government
agencies but among federal, state, local, tribal and
commercial entities; and second, the exemption of
database systems from important privacy and
accuracy requirements set out in federal laws.

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Published by: AxXiom on Nov 01, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/21/2011

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N
O
. 07-513
IN THE
 
 ____________________ B
ENNIE
D
EAN
H
ERRING
, Petitioner,v.
U
NITED
S
TATES OF
 A 
MERICA 
,Respondent.
 ____________________ On Writ of Certiorari to the United StatesCourt of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ____________________ 
BRIEF OF
 AMICI CURIAE 
ELECTRONICPRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER (EPIC),PRIVACY AND CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS, AND LEGAL SCHOLARS AND TECHNICALEXPERTS IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
 ____________________ 
M
 ARC
R
OTENBERG
 
Counsel of Record
 M
ELISSA 
N
GO
 E
LECTRONIC
P
RIVACY 
I
NFORMATION
C
ENTER
(EPIC)1718 Connecticut Ave., NWSuite 200Washington, DC 20009(202) 483-1140May 16, 2008
 
i
TABLE OF CONTENTSTABLE OF CONTENTS.........................................i
 
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES...............................iii
 
INTEREST OF THE
 AMICI CURIAE 
................1
 
SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT.....................6
 
 ARGUMENT...........................................................7
 I. I
N
R
ECENT
 Y 
EARS
, T
HERE
H
 AS
B
EEN A 
D
RAMATIC
E
XPANSION OF
L
 AW
E
NFORCEMENT
D
 ATABASES
.............................................................8
 A.
 
The Rise of the Information Sharing Environment......................................................
8
  B.
 
State Fusion Centers Pose UniqueChallenges to Criminal JusticeRecordkeeping....................................................
9II. N
UMEROUS
R
EPORTS
D
ETAIL
N
UMEROUS
E
RRORS IN
G
OVERNMENT AND
C
OMMERCIAL
D
 ATABASES
...........................................................13
 A.
 
 Problems with the National CrimeInformation Center (“NCIC”)..........................
13
 B.
 
 Problems with Databases Associated withthe Federal Government’s EmploymentEligibility Verification System.......................
16
C.
 
Commercial Databases on Which LawEnforcement Rely Are Also Inaccurate andIncomplete........................................................
18
 
ii
 D.
 
 Problems with Terrorist Watch Lists.......
201. Office of Foreign Assets Control’sSpecially Designated Nationals and BlockedPersons (“SDN”) List...................................202. No-Fly and Selectee Lists......................22III. F
EDERAL
G
OVERNMENT
I
S
I
NCREASINGLY 
E
XEMPTING
D
 ATABASES
F
ROM
 A 
CCURACY AND
P
RIVACY 
R
EQUIREMENTS
.....................................28
 A.
 
Federal Privacy Act AccuracyObligations......................................................
29
 B.
 
The National Crime Information Center IsExempt From Key Requirements....................
32
 C.
 
The Automated Targeting System IsExempt From Key Requirements....................
34
CONCLUSION......................................................35
 

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