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Executive Order requires agencies to share information

On October 25, President Bush signed Executive Order 13388 that requires agencies to use their information systems to share “terrorism information” — including information on individuals — with counter-terrorism agencies. While the EO explicitly says that agencies must also “protect the freedom, information privacy, and other legal rights of Americans,” it, like the “PATRIOT Act,” appears to give the government broad and explicit authority to examine information on individuals. It sets up an Information Sharing Council whose mission includes creating an “interoperable terrorism information sharing environment to facilitate automated sharing of terrorism information.”

The term “terrorism information” is defined in section 1016 of the Intelligence Reform And Terrorism Prevention Act Of 2004. That definition includes information collected on foreign or domestic terrorist groups or individuals and those “reasonably believed to be assisting or associated with such groups or individuals.” The law defines terrorism information to include the “activities” of these groups and individuals.

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