Getting Terror-Watchlisted is Faster, Easier, and More Convenient Than Ever!

According to the latest (non-Snowden?) story from The Intercept, the US government has implemented an aggressive program to make it faster, easier, and more convenient to get on the “terrorist watchlist.”

Evidently the new crop of “self-radicalized” Muslims and US congressmen with poorly chosen last names were finding it too hard to get the appropriate level of official attention while traveling.

Therefore, the latest version of the watch-listing guidelines allows virtually anyone to be singled out for “white glove” treatment. (White rubber glove, that is.)

Pay attention, also, to this story in connection with yesterday’s writeup on algorithmically identifying “troubled individuals.” The standards for “watchlisting” here are so low that it appears they’re ideal for directly feeding the output of some computer algorithm into the watchlist.

After all, asking human analysts to nominate n’er’do-wells has its limits. Ask enough humans to do enough really repulsive things and you run the risk of Snowdens and Mannings.

But an algorithm will never go to the press or develop a “conscience”…

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