President Bush said Thursday that he will seek a nearly 10 percent increase in federal spending next year on efforts to prevent terrorism within the United States, an expansion that is more than twice as large as the overall rise in discretionary spending in the budget the president is preparing to send Congress in two weeks.
White House officials said the biggest chunk of the extra funds for homeland security would include a 19 percent increase for Justice Department counterterrorism programs, to $2.6-billion, which would allow the FBI to devote more agents to investigating suspected terrorism and heighten the agency's ability to gather intelligence. Most of rest of the money would go to the Homeland Security Department.
Airline industry officials to work on privacy issues
WASHINGTON _ Major airlines agreed Thursday to work with the Homeland Security Department on ways to protect traveler privacy, a difficult new problem as the government seeks to use passenger information to keep terrorists off planes.
Nuala O'Connor Kelly, Homeland Security's privacy officer, met with top airline executives and said they will meet with the department again to discuss privacy protections for their passengers.
Thursday's meeting followed the disclosure last week that Northwest Airlines gave passenger data to the federal government for a similar security project in the three months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.