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U.S. Keeping Tabs On Non-Terror Suspects

   WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is releasing new rules that will greatly extend the period of time the intelligence community is allowed to retain information on Americans with no connection to terrorism.

The new guidelines give the National Counterterrorism Center the authority to keep information about Americans unrelated to terrorism that is already stored in other government databases for up to five years. Until now, the National Counterterrorism Center had to immediately destroy information about Americans when there were no clear ties to terrorism.

An administration official says the intelligence community’s inability to connect the dots leading up to the 2009 Christmas Day attempted terror attack is among the reasons for the change.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence says there will be policies to protect privacy and civil liberties.