Terror Database

Precursor of database project gave feds 120-thousand suspects

Even before it launched a criminal information database known as Matrix, the government made arrests using a terrorism scoring system and a list of 120-thousand names supplied by a potential contractor. The "high terrorism factor" scoring system also became a key selling point for the involvement of Seisint Incorporated in the Matrix project. Public records obtained by The Associated Press show that Justice Department officials cited the scoring technology in appointing Seisint sole contractor on the 12 million project.

The government insists that the terrorism scoring system ultimately was kept out of the project, largely because of privacy concerns. However, the new revelations have renewed privacy activists' suspicions. Activists say there's nothing to prevent the government from bringing back the scoring system. Some states have opted out of the system because of privacy concerns.