The government's main terrorist-watch-list system is hobbled by technology challenges, and the $500 million program designed to upgrade it is on the verge of collapse, according to a preliminary congressional investigation.
The database, which includes an estimated 400,000 people and as many as 1 million names, has been criticized for flagging ordinary Americans. Now, the congressional report finds that the system has problems identifying true potential terrorists, as well.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of "potentially vital" messages from the Central Intelligence Agency have not been included in the database, known as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, congressional investigators found.[snip]
The current system "has been crippled by technical flaws" and the system designed to replace it, dubbed Railhead, "if actually deployed, will leave our country more vulnerable than the existing yet flawed system today," Rep. Miller wrote.[snip]
862 private contractors doing database development and not one of them capable of doing a web search on search engines? None of them have ever heard of Google? This kind of information is not very hard to find. Jeebus how much money has been paid for this cock-up?
Railhead was supposed to be completed by year's end but has been delayed. Nearly half of the 72 so-called "action items" for the program were delayed as of June, congressional investigators found.
In recent weeks, the government has fired most of the 862 private contractors from dozens of companies working on the Railhead project, and only a skeleton crew remains, one congressional aide said. The two leading contractors on the program are Boeing Co. and SRI International. Calls to officials of Boeing and SRI were not immediately returned.