Are You On A Government Watchlist?

By: Derrick Broze
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New details on government watchlists and the no-fly list are cause for concern.

The prospect of being on a government watchlist is one that both tantalizes and strikes fear into the minds of most Americans. Sure, you may read articles on websites that are critical of U.S. policy, participate in protests with community members, post rants on social media, and have an extreme dislike for politicians – but is that really enough to warrant being placed on a list of potential threats?


More Americans may find themselves asking this question now that new details on the government’s terrorism watchlists and no-fly list have emerged.

Last Wednesday The Intercept released a 2013 document from the National Counterterrorism Center which details the rules for placing individuals on terrorism watchlists, including the no fly list. The 166-page document details what the government defines as terrorism, which includes everything from assassination and hostage-taking to destruction of government property or computers, and any act that is “dangerous” to property or intended to influence government through intimidation.

The document covers two lists: the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), and the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). Chapters of the document include information on what triggers placement on the lists, and what type of information officials are to collect when encountering suspected individuals. Placement on the TIDE or TSDB must be based on “articulable intelligence or information”. The document also says “single source information” such as posts on social media sites “should not automatically be discounted”. Under the guidelines if you are suspected of terrorism ties your family and “associates” can also be placed on the list.

Another worrisome detail of the document is known as “threat-based expedited upgrade.” This upgrade is unilaterally initiated by the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism and allows for whole “categories of people” to be placed on the list based on intelligence that a certain type of person may commit terrorism. If the upgrade is approved by senior officials it could potentially last “until the threat no longer exists.”  The lack of oversight creates a situation where individuals could be placed on the list and left on indefinitely.

The guidelines also state that after a suspect has been acquitted of terrorism-related crimes they can remain on the list, even after death. The authorities state that it is common practice for terrorists to use names of the deceased as aliases in an attempt to go unnoticed. For this reason you may find yourself on a watchlist in the afterlife.

Up until now little has been known about the procedures behind the No-Fly list and Watchlists. As the Intercept notes, Attorney General Eric Holder has previously invoked state secrets privilege to keep the details of the lists hidden, stating, “The Watchlisting Guidance, although unclassified, contains national security information that, if disclosed … could cause significant harm to national security.”

Despite the governments best efforts, victories in court have affirmed the rights of Americans. Earlier this year Rahinah Ibrahim became the first person to successfully have their name removed from the no-fly list. Ibrahim had been detained and questioned at San Franciso International Airport in 2005, after being accused of having ties to a Malaysian terror group. Even with a victory in court however, only scant details were allowed to be released by the judge.

In June of this year another blow was dealt to the governments no-fly list when a federal judge in Oregon ruled that the process citizens must undergo to attempt to remove themselves was unconstitutional. The court ruled the process for removing oneself “falls far short of satisfying the requirements of due process.” The American Civil Liberties Union represented 13 American citizens who had been barred from flying. In August 2013 the same court ruled the lists violated an individuals constitutionally protected right to travel. Previously the U.S. government has claimed that flying was not a right. The judge also stated that placement on the lists smeared the individuals as potential terrorists thus violating their constitutional right to be free from reputational harm.

The government must now draft new rules for including individuals on the no-fly list, including alerting individuals as to whether or not they are on such a list. Currently the government neither confirms nor denies placement on the list.  Equally disturbing is the fact that the FBI (and presumably other branches of the government) seem to be interested in coercing those on the lists into being informants. The ACLU documents several cases where the FBI told individuals they could fly home if they would tell the government where the bad guys were. The agency has even offered payment and removal from the list in exchange for informing.

Since 9/11 the no-fly list has grown to include tens of thousands of names. As recent court battles and the leaked document highlight, government agencies are operating with little oversight, using vague, and broad terminology to designate Americans as “known or suspected terrorists.” These designations can have disastrous affects on an individuals life. Despite the recent rulings and a renewed public debate on the lists, it is likely the U.S. government will continue to fight for the right to place Americans on the list and deny them their right to travel.

The ACLU has created a “Know Your Rights” guide in the event you ever find yourself being denied the right to fly.

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Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and The Conscious Resistance Network. Broze also hosts a weekly podcast under the name the Conscious Resistance Live. His writing can be found on TheConsciousResistance.com , The Liberty Beat, the Anti-Media, Activist Post, and Ben Swann.com
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  • grendal113

    Blah blah bla….though is now a crime. Easy comrade

    • katep12345

      Google is paying approx 80$ per>>CLICK FINENCIAL REPORT FOR MORE INFO

      • Aubryn

        Flagged as spam

      • tom rockett

        What is a “finencial” report?

  • Seth Alu

    Lois Lerner destroyed government computers.

  • The Dude Abides

    Who cares… americans and the rest of this fickle free world sure don’t,
    if they did they would do something about it…
    America is full on communist now…
    the old America of the 1950′s is gone,
    we now live in a perpetual and uncontrollable 1984 world…

    • ded2me

      A country ruled by fear. Led by pigs. Promoted by zombies.

  • http://12160.info/ Hw00d

    Don’t care, would be proud to be on it…remember who the true enemy of We, The People actually is, The District of Criminals…. this illegal criminal system is about to implode anyways, just stand clear of the carnage, then We need to rebuild it WITHOUT the ever rotating cast of self-entitled globalist prichs, corporate lobbyists, and NO CENTRAL PRIVATE BANKSTERS….EVER!!!!!

    • Outsidethelines

      Hear, hear! That’s what I call ‘em, “District of Criminals”. My visceral and very vocal hatred of the whole lot of them, starting with the Central Banksters, probably has me on some watch list. What. Ever. Whomever is watching will die of boredom!

  • @MisterSob

    The author of this article is now on the watch-list!

  • tom rockett

    I want to be on the do not fly list- If I as an American must give up my rights in order to be “approved” to fly then I don’t need to fly. I don’t need government approval to travel within my own country. I can visit the majority of this country by automobile AND carry personal items including my legal firearms with me at all times. “We the People” are not terrorists or criminals- we just want OUR country back.

    • Thinkin bout things

      That’s great, but uh, what happens when you wanna take your wife to Hawaii? Gonna go through the same TSA Checkpoints at the dock as you board a boat?

  • ded2me

    TSA is nothing more than a theater designed to make people FEEL safer. Even if that means groping ones balls or breasts. The TSA has yet to stop a single terror attack. And guess what. they never WILL prevent one. Ever. Total joke

  • pugli clarke

    Probably, who cares, only spreading the word about the evil, war mongering nation of Israel and the murderous zionist leaders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZKHqL9lcXI

  • Donald

    Everyone’s name has been turned into a ‘trade name.
    A trade name is a Business Title.
    example:
    Jane Doe identifies a natural individual.
    JANE DOE identifies an individual Business.

    Since we appear as a Business, our paycheck will appear as income.
    Income is profit.
    The income tax is a profit tax.
    Agencies such as SDAT, MVA, treasury are billing us like every Business.
    Even if you labor for a living, on paper, you will appear as a Business bringing in profit.
    This folks, is why the hard working middle class is becoming the harder working poor class.

    These agencies are billing Businesses that do not exist, sticking the hard working laborer with the bill.

    Any variation of your name, would be a trade name (Business Title)
    Another example is the health field.
    Look how they alter your name also:
    Jane Doe
    vs
    Doe, Jane

    Can you see?
    Now they can bill Doe, Jane because it looks like they are billing a Business.
    Things like healthcare, food and water is a birthright, not a benefit.

    But because we look like a Business…turns our birthright into a benefit.

  • Michael McNew

    Here a writer for the Washington Times explains why the USA has become a police state and what they future may hold for us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l26AwG6D3_Q&feature=youtube_gdata
    So weird to consider where we were just 10 years ago and where we have wound up.