National Security Archive Publishes Documents Describing Controversial Agency and Database

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on September 17, 2007

“Today the National Security Archive publishes a collection of documents concerning the organization and operations of the Pentagon’s Counterintelligence Field Activity and the TALON/CORNERSTONE database it has maintained. As the Defense Department announced on August 21, today that database will be terminated while work on new procedures for reporting of threats to the Defense Department and its facilities continues. In the interim, threat reports will be transmitted to the FBI. The declassified documents published today include the key Department of Defense directive on the collection of information about Americans, as well as documents on the organization and missions of CIFA, an evaluation of charges of mismanagement by CIFA executives, and examples of data collected about protest activities as part of the Threat And Local Observation Notice (TALON) system. Central to the collection are the documents that show the internal and public response by the Defense Department to questions raised about the propriety of the data base – specifically, its collection and retention of data on political protests. Also, included is a DoD Inspector General report on the operation of the TALON system, identifying a number of problems in operation of the system.”

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