Military Surveillance of Teens

July 2005

The military's high-school recruitment efforts have gotten a lot of press in recent months. But here's a technique that might make your hair stand on end. Columnist Thom Carnevale reports in the Telluride Daily Planet:

Under the auspices of the Pentagon the Bush government has hired a marketing firm to create a database of high school students aged 16-18 and all college students, so that they might easily identify those whose personalities and activities make them amenable to the persuasions of military life and to military enlistment. The file is being kept at a centralized location in the Pentagon..... Since the passage of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, military recruiters have been given authority to utilize data gathered on high school students and to contact them at home.....If the schools refuse to turn over data on students they risk losing millions of dollars in federal funding.

What's a parent to do if they object to this kind of surveillance on their kid?

... an "opt out" provision in the No Child Left Behind Act does exist. If you are a parent or a student over 18 (please note the data is gathered at age 16) you can submit a written request to keep the personal information private....

For more information, visit LeaveMyChild Alone.org. The opt-out form is here.