• I track dead people    July 24 
The NSA is monitoring dead people
Getty Images
Getty Images

A leaked report from the National Counterterrorism Center reveals for the first time exactly how the government decides who to place on the no-fly list, as well as in the broader terrorism database. The guidelines, published by Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept, also show that those who are acquitted of all terrorism-related charges — and even those who die after being added to the database — will not be removed. That means the NSA is monitoring dead people.

The government's argument for keeping tabs on the dead is that it is a "demonstrated terrorist tactic" to assume the identities of the deceased. The names of deceased spouses of known and suspected terrorists are kept on the list for the same reason.

The terrorism watchlist has ballooned from just 16 people at the time of 9/11 to tens of thousands of people today. Because there is a relatively low threshold for placement on the list — appearing on the call history of a known terrorist, for instance — civil liberties advocates have expressed concern that too many innocent people are subjected to unfair consequences from their permanent association with the watchlist.

- - Bonnie Kristian
Load More Articles


Most Popular Speed Reads

About Speed Reads
Speed Reads is's continuously updated collection of the most interesting, important, and trending things on the internet – delivered with concision, intelligence, and wit. Contact us at
Subscribe to the Week