Terrorist Watchlist Database Case Study Essay

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Pages: 7

The Terrorist Watch List Database and Screening Center

Terrorist Watch List Database: A Case Study

Don E. Gregory

INFO 531: Management Information Systems


Since the attacks on the World Trade Center, our nation has been at war with terrorism. We have approached this war on two fronts, one by attacking our enemies in armed combat, and two by enacting preventive measures to eliminate their harmful tactics. One such measure is known as the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List. The TWL is a large database of information on what are known as persons of interest or known terrorist. As with any large database the list has weaknesses and shortcomings, pros and cons, that
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In a 2007 audit, the Government Accountability Office stated that the list “has enhanced the U.S. Government’t counterterrorism efforts”. [5] How to fix the Watch List The single most important in any source of protected information is that of permission to access and edit that information. Regarding the Watch list, it is understandable that access need be severely limited to protect the validity of its existence, however authorizing a larger number of person tasked with assessing, editing, and auditing the database for accuracy and to perform quality control on the requested persons names to be added will make a great deal of difference in resolving innocent personnel from being detained as a person of interest. The implied task here has already been applied to the database, that of organizing aliases into one entry of the person of interest and thus greatly decreasing the false positives. Another improvement that need be made is to clearly define the criteria for adding a person of interest to the database, which of course requires that a set of agreed common criteria among all agencies be established and adhered to with aforementioned quality controls in place. Much of the cause for the swelling size of the database entries, and thus the rise in difficulty of managing and maintaining it, is due to the lack of clear guidance for meeting