Monday, April 28, 2003

According to a story in the USA Today dated March 25th, the FBI's database no longer has to be accurate.

"The Justice Department lifted a requirement Monday that the FBI ensure the accuracy and timeliness of information about criminals and crime victims before adding it to the country's most comprehensive law enforcement database. The system, run by the FBI's National Crime Information Center, includes data about terrorists, fugitives, warrants, people missing, gang members and stolen vehicles, guns or boats.
Records are queried increasingly by the nation's law enforcement agencies to help decide whether to monitor, detain or arrest someone. The records are inaccessible to the public...Officials said the change, which immediately drew criticism from civil-liberties advocates, is necessary to ensure investigators have access to information that can't be confirmed but could take on new significance later, FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said.
The system 'is replete with inaccurate, untimely information, but everybody does their best to keep it up to date,' said Beryl Howell, former general counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. 'That's a goal we shouldn't just throw out.'...because the system collects its data from so many other organizations, [the Justice Department said] 'it is administratively impossible to ensure compliance."

More or less the FBI realized that it was impossible to keep the level of information they prefer to have in their files accurate, so instead of downsizing their files to include only accurate information they had the accuracy requirements lifted.

Keep in mind that the NICS checks which are required for every firearm purchase from a licensed dealer use this same FBI database. I have never been delayed myself, but know of a few people with spotless records who had to wait the full 3 days before making a purchase. I do not know the exact cause of the delays & it is certainly possible that their info was confused with someone else's & required a little sorting out, but if the FBI's information is no longer required to be accurate then I can foresee an increase in the delays & denials of firearms purchases even for those with no criminal history whatsoever.

No comments: