Is This Mission Creep or Something Worse?
March 21, 2014 - 7:20 am
The US Navy built its LinX system in 2003, supposedly to help conduct counterterrorism. But that’s not what it’s doing, according to the Washington Examiner. It’s engaged in an activity that crosses the posse comitatus line.
A parking ticket, traffic citation or involvement in a minor fender-bender are enough to get a person’s name and other personal information logged into a massive, obscure federal database run by the U.S. military.
The Law Enforcement Information Exchange, or LinX, has already amassed 506.3 million law enforcement records ranging from criminal histories and arrest reports to field information cards filled out by cops on the beat even when no crime has occurred.
LinX is a national information-sharing hub for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. It is run by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, raising concerns among some military law experts that putting such detailed data about ordinary citizens in the hands of military officials crosses the line that generally prohibits the armed forces from conducting civilian law enforcement operations.
It seems that everywhere we turn, the US government is crossing lines and gathering up information on ordinary Americans. These government agencies are doing this despite President Obama’s promise that the government isn’t spying on ordinary Americans.
This bit is interesting.
The number of records in the system has mushroomed from about 50 million in 2007 to more than 10 times that number today.
Background checks for gun sales and applications for concealed weapons permits are not included in the system, according to NCIS officials and representatives of major state and local agencies contacted by the Examiner.
How can we be sure of that? Or, more accurately, while LinX may not be collecting gun background check pings, how can we be sure that some other government agency out there isn’t? How can we be sure that some obscure agency or program out there hasn’t scooped up all of the gun background checks, and all of the state records on concealed carry, and is just storing it all somewhere? NSA supposedly can record every phone call placed in a given country. If it can do that, it’s probably child’s play to tap into the NICS lines.
Can we be sure they or another agency isn’t doing that? I don’t see how. The FBI has its own version of LinX, called the National Data Exchange, or N-Dex. So together the military and the politicized DOJ have a database of about 500 million records of our ordinary interactions with law enforcement. Along with what else?
It’s surely tempting for government officials to find a way to amass firearm background check and purchase records, along with state carry permits.