Privacy Law

Counterterrorism Officials to Hold Data on Citizens for Up to Five Years Under New Guidelines


Attorney General Eric Holder has approved new guidelines that allow counterterrorism officials to hold data on U.S. residents and citizens for up to five years, even when there is no suspicion of terrorism.

Previously the limit was 180 days, according to the Washington Post, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and the New York Times. The change is expected to aid data mining in which computers search for patterns indicating a threat.

The change was recommended after the United States failed to pinpoint the threat posed by would-be “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

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