Utah Enters the MATRIX
And former Gov. Mike Leavitt didn't even inform the state legislature, according to this Deseret News account. Full story also contains some decent background on progress in the MATRIX program. An excerpt:
Gov. Olene Walker…on Wednesday requested that the Utah Department of Public Safety provide her more information on MATRIX.
"It does appear to be something that began under Gov. Leavitt," said Walker's spokeswoman, Amanda Covington, who added, "Gov. Walker is very concerned about individual privacy, but she has been assured by the Department of Public Safety that is not an issue with MATRIX."
House and Senate leaders either had never heard of MATRIX or, if the name was familiar, had no idea that conservatives and civil libertarians had any concerns over the new, super-information network.
MATRIX ? Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange ? is an intranet database regarded as the nation's largest cyber-compilation of personal records. It is touted as an efficient crime-fighting tool that allows agencies to access information with just a nimble fingertip.
Searchable databases allow law enforcement agents to probe for people using Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, property records, motor vehicle information and credit history. The information is collected by states and forwarded to a database in Florida, where a private company, Seisint Inc., builds and manages the database.
The program essentially cross-references government records from both public and private databases, putting together a dossier on individuals for use by law enforcement.