Aired Tuesday January 18th, 2011 at 9:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
Frontline premieres its new monthly magazine program with three investigative reports, beginning with "Are We Safter?" on Tuesday, January 18 at 9:00 p.m. on KUED Channel 7. Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Dana Priest investigates the terrorism-industrial complex that grew up in the wake of 9/11 and investigates the growing reach of homeland security into the lives of ordinary Americans. She explores fusion centers, battlefield technologies and data collecting.
In Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley tells Frontline about his state's efforts, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, to track down terrorists. Maryland's high-end fusion center, complete with flat-screen TVs, tries to bring together data from local police, high-tech devices like license plate readers, CCTV cameras on street corners, and information from federal government databases.
"We've digitized our fingerprint database, which has been very helpful and also time-saving," says O'Malley. "And we have a much more robust DNA database that we have developed."
But Priest uncovers problems with the way local and state police have investigated suspicious activities. She reports that nine years after 9/11, Maryland, like so many states, has yet to use its vast anti-terror apparatus to capture any terrorists. But what has been built, Priest reports, is a massive database that collects, stores and analyzes information on thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
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