Sep 22 2012

“Automated Targeting System” briefing 10/3 at the Brennan Center

Identity Project consultant and policy analyst Edward Hasbrouck will give a brown-bag lunch presentation on the DHS “Automated Targeting System” and government surveillance and control of travelers on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 12:30 – 2 p.m., at the Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law, 161 Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave.), 12th Floor, New York (in SoHo, 1/2 block from the Spring St. station on the C and E subway lines).

Hasbrouck will give an introduction to the DHS “Automated Targeting System” (including examples of data from ATS records obtained through Privacy Act and FOIA litigation), its role in US government surveillance and control of travelers, and the civil liberties and human rights issues it raises.

The “Automated Targeting System” (ATS) is one of the largest of post-9/11 warrantless dragnet surveillance programs.  Built at a cost of more than $2 billion in government-mandated changes to commercial travel IT systems, to which DHS now has root access, ATS “ingests,”  archives, and mines complete mirror copies of all international airline reservations (“passenger name record“) data for travel to, from, or via the US. ATS records include where, when, and with whom you traveled; your IP address; what credit card was used; whether you asked for a kosher or halal meal; and whether you and your traveling companion asked for one bed or two in your shared hotel room.

While little known or debated in the US, ATS has been at the center of intense disputes with the European Union and Canada over US demands for access to travel reservation data from other countries.

Edward Hasbrouck works with the Identity Project on travel-related civil liberties and human rights issues. An award-winning travel journalist, blogger, and author, he also has 15 years of travel industry experience in airline reservations technology and travel agency  operations. Hasbrouck has testified before the TSA as well as the European and Canadian Parliaments on issues related to government access to airline reservations, and was the plaintiff in a recently-concluded Privacy Act and FOIA lawsuit seeking ATS records about himself as well as information about ATS data-mining capabilities.

The event is free and open to the press and the public.

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