[Previous entry: "A most cynical use of the Declaration of Independence"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "Gun Nut ice cream"]

10/07/2003 Archived Entry: "JetBlue, CAPPS II, and Gen. Wesley Clark, too?"

JETBLUE, CAPPS II, AND GEN. WESLEY CLARK, TOO. The story gets stranger, as we stumble into an act of the government-private incest whose malformed progeny is the surveillance state.

More information has come to light in the JetBlue/CAPPS II incident regarding the role of data broker Acxiom and its chairman of the board (and now-presidential candidate) Gen. Wesley Clark.

You may recall that the incident involved a strange cross-pollination of executive agency functions as a U.S. Army contractor, Torch Concepts, tested a program purportedly intended for the Transportation Security Administration, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. ...

[T]he test system seemed to flag everyone who wasn't "Young Middle Income Home Owners with Short Length-of-Residence" or "Older Upper Income Home Owners with Longer Length-of-Residence" as a potential terrorist threat worthy of extra airport searches by federal TSA agents. ...

Now, how did Acxiom get this contract? Look toward a story buried on page A9 of the Saturday Sept. 27 Washington Post, where it is reported that Gen. Wesley Clark, who became a member of Acxiom's board after his retirement, went hard to work trying to increase the value of his share of stock in the firm by meeting "on the company's behalf with officials at the Department of Justice, the CIA, the Department of Transportation, the Transportation Security Administration and Lockheed Martin Corp., the defense contractor that is heading up CAPPS II."

That article also reported that back in January 2002, when TSA was still a part of the Department of Transportation, "In a meeting at the [DOT] in January 2002, according to participants, Clark described a system that would combine personal data from Acxiom with information about the reservations and seating records of every U.S. airline passenger."

Clark and Acxiom are this week's Privacy Villains of the Week.

Posted by Claire @ 08:28 AM CST

Powered By Greymatter