Um. What's going on here?
I hate to break the news to you, Mr. Heimbach, but what you describe would be called a:
You could almost say it's an:
Sounds innocuous enough -- ordinary tourists out enjoying their vacations and all -- but fortunately for us, the FBI's Threat Management Unit (TMU) has developed a computer database called eGuardian where local, state, tribal and federal authorities can track, trace and database all such ordinary tourist activity from now on, forever and in perpetuity.
Heimbach said that when "suspicious activities" and "threats" come in -- such as photographing and videotaping ordinary man-made structures and landmarks while on a road trip -- these are "put into the eGuardian system, and then it sits there, and then we have a mechanism to potentially connect the dot." That's right. Because that road trip you took this summer? "Today it may not link, but five years or ten years from now, it could link," said Heimbach knowingly (wink, wink).
Below is a diagram of how the FBI handles reports of ordinary tourist activity:
And here is a description of how it goes through the grinder:
And so there you have it
If you and your family have a particular penchant for photographing, or videotaping various American architectural wonders such as dams and power plants while road-tripping, and the appropriate authority catches you? KA-BAM. You will be tracked/traced/databased and classified as a potential terrorist nigh unto forever and there's nothing you can do about it, because -- according to the Privacy Impact Assessment for the eGuardian Threat Tracking System -- "eGuardian considers all reports submitted to the system to be the property of the submitting agency ... " And: "Amendment of FBI records is a matter of discretion as the records are exempt from the Privacy Act amendment provisions."