Saturday, October 31, 2009

I think they need tighter criteria!

1,600 are suggested daily for FBI's list
Number of names on terrorist watch list at 400,000, agency says
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Newly released FBI data offer evidence of the broad scope and complexity of the nation's terrorist watch list, documenting a daily flood of names nominated for inclusion to the controversial list.
The ever-churning list is said to contain more than 400,000 unique names and over 1 million entries.

Karl F. Gauss - mathematician extraordinaire - had a personal motto:
"Pauca sed matura" - "Few but ripe". By this he explained the relative paucity of his publications.

I'd suggest the FBI adopt this motto: let's keep tabs on the folks who are truly likely to pose a threat... not on the hundreds of thousands who just look funny!

With 400,000 dots, it's pretty much impossible to see real patterns, and all too easy to see spurious patterns...
400,000 is a waste of resources.
Not the least of the dangers is lulling us into a false sense of security: gee, we must be doing a good job if we're "watching" 400,000 potential terrorists!
The opposite is more likely the case: we're devoting resources to adding to the list, to futilely trying to keep tabs on 400,000 individuals - most of whom in all likelihood pose no threat - and are therefore diluting resources needed to see the real bad guys!

Stop the madness!!!

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