DoD Says Threat Database Included Improper Info

04.06.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Of the 13,000 entries in the Pentagon’s TALON database of potential threats to the Department of Defense facilities and personnel, some two percent did not involve threats and should not have been retained, Pentagon officials acknowledged yesterday.

The TALON system “should be used only to report information regarding international terrorist activity,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England in a March 30 memo (pdf).

See “Pentagon Threat Database Kept Reports It Shouldn’t Have” by Peter Spiegel, Los Angeles Times, April 6.

The fact that the TALON database included information on American citizens engaged in peaceful protest activities was first disclosed several months ago by NBC News and researcher Bill Arkin.

The DoD experience provides an empirical basis to question the propriety of intelligence collection under the President’s warrantless surveillance program. But investigations of that program have been blocked in Congress.

See all publications
Nuclear Weapons
New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship: Creative Perspectives on Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence 

To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.

11.28.23 | 3 min read
read more
Science Policy
Expected Utility Forecasting for Science Funding

Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.

11.20.23 | 11 min read
read more
Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Notebook: Nuclear Weapons Sharing, 2023

The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]

11.17.23 | 1 min read
read more
Social Innovation
Community School Approach Reaches High of 60%, Reports Latest Pulse Panel

According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.

11.17.23 | 4 min read
read more