Monday, June 27, 2005

Be very afraid.

16 to 25? Pentagon Has Your Number, and More - New York Times: "The Defense Department and a private contractor have been building an extensive database of 30 million 16-to-25-year-olds, combining names with Social Security numbers, grade-point averages, e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
The department began building the database three years ago, but military officials filed a notice announcing plans for it only last month. That is apparently a violation of the federal Privacy Act, which requires that government agencies accept public comment before new records systems are created.
David S. C. Chu, the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, acknowledged yesterday that the database had been in the works since 2002. Pentagon officials said they discovered in May 2004 that no Privacy Act notice had been filed. The filing last month was an effort to correct that, officials said.
Mr. Chu said the database was just a tool to send out general material from the Pentagon to those most likely to enlist.
'Congress wants to ensure the success of the volunteer force,' he said at a reporters' roundtable in Washington. 'Congress does not want conscription, the country does not want conscription. If we don't want conscription, you have to give the Department of Defense, the military services, an avenue to contact young people to tell them what is being offered. It would be naïve to believe that in any enterprise, that you are going to do well just by waiting for people to call you.'"