US Department of Homeland Security and Individual Privacy

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Introduction DHS's primary tasks are to foster the sharing of foreign and domestic intelligence information between federal, state, and local intelligence and law enforcement agencies and improve border security. This has important implications in terms of personal privacy. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Individual Privacy The primary oversight responsibility for Constitutional violations lies with the public, but much of what DHS does is cloaked in secrecy. Hypothesis: The court records of DHS lawsuits will reveal whether DHS represents a threat to individual privacy. The cloak of secrecy that DHS operates behind implies that the courts must play a larger oversight role. Is this occurring? An informal search of library records for DHS privacy lawsuits returned 428 hits in Government documents, 232 in journal articles, and 197 in newspaper articles. There should be ample evidence contained in these records to determine whether DHS is violating individual privacy rights systematically. Results The plaintiffs suing DHS for privacy violations cover a range of topics, including full body searches and body scans at airports, watchlist errors and abuses, Predator drone surveillance domestically, and data collection, use, and storage by fusion centers. Automated License Plate Readers (Klein, 2012) Full Body Scans (EPIC, 2012b) Full Body pat downs (EPIC, 2012b) Monitoring Social Media (EPIC, 2012a) Watchlists (Pamuk, 2012) Conclusions A

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