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The National Security Archive at George Washington University

CONSORTIUM NEWS - Edited by Robert Parry


February 13, 2003

Congressional Committee Bars Using TIA 'Against Americans'

'Conferees in Congress Bar Using a Pentagon Project on Americans' (2/12/03 - NY Times via Cryptome)

House and Senate negotiators have agreed that a Pentagon project intended to detect terrorists by monitoring Internet e-mail and commercial databases for health, financial and travel information cannot be used against Americans.

The negotiators' decision meant almost complete failure for a last-minute Pentagon effort, begun Friday, to protect the program from the Wyden amendment by establishing advisory committees to oversee the program.

The negotiators did agree to extend from 60 to 90 days the time the Defense Department would have to provide a detailed report to Congress, including its costs, goals, impact on privacy and civil liberties and prospects for successes against terrorists. Unless that report was filed, all further research on the project would have to stop immediately. But President Bush could keep the research alive by certifying to Congress that a halt "would endanger the national security of the United States."

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