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DOD ending TALON military database of domestic terror threats in September

[JURIST] The US Defense Department's controversial Threat and Local Observation Notice system, or TALON database [Wired report; JURIST news archive], will be discontinued on September 17 [press release; official report] but the data it has collected will be retained in accordance with intelligence oversight requirements, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Gary Keck said Tuesday. Keck said that TALON is being suspended because it no longer has "analytical value." Keck announced that a new reporting system has not yet been implemented and, in the interim, the Department of Defense [official website] will use the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Guardian reporting system.

TALON, created after the September 11 terrorist attacks [JURIST news archive], was designed to consolidate information regarding threats against the US military into one database. NBC News revealed [NBC report] in December 2005 that the military maintained a database of "suspicious incidents" that included peaceful anti-war protests and groups. The Pentagon launched an investigation [DOD press release; JURIST report] into possible misuse of the program, which revealed that about 260 entries were improper and subject to removal [JURIST report]. In April, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. recommended to US Defense Secretary Robert Gates that the TALON database be shut down [JURIST report], but a final decision on whether to continue the program was postponed. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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