Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE). What’s in the TIDE database?
According to the government’s watchlisting guidelines, published by The Intercept last month, officials don’t need “concrete facts” or “irrefutable evidence” to secretly place someone on the list—only a vague and elastic standard of “reasonable suspicion.”
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All told, the classified documents show, the government compiles strikingly detailed dossiers of data on individuals who have been swept up in its databases. Though some of the documents obtained by The Intercept offer conflicting information on how much biometric data the government collects,the most detailed report shows that:
• In 2013, the main terrorism database included more than 860,000 biometric files on 144,000 people.
• The database contains more than a half a million facial images, nearly a quarter of a million fingerprints and 70,000 iris scans.
• The government maintains biometric data on people that it hasn’t identified–TIDE contains 1,800 “BUPs,” or “biometrics of unknown persons.”
• In a single year, the government expanded its collection of “non-traditional” biometric data, including dramatic increases in handwriting samples (32 percent), signatures (52 percent), scars, marks, and tattoos (70 percent), and DNA strands (90 percent).
SCAHILL AND DEVEREAUX: BARACK OBAMA’S SECRET TERRORIST-TRACKING SYSTEM, BY THE NUMBERS5 Aug 2014
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