According to a report in the Tennessean the the state rolled out a new crime-fighting weapon in 2006 that was supposed to give police across the state quick Web access to privileged information collected on many of the state's 6 million citizens as a crime-fighting tool. Instead it gave some the ability to snoop and misuse their authority.
The law enforcement community touted the Tennessee Criminal Justice Portal as a breakthrough that linked isolated databases and reduced search times to minutes, where they previously would take hours or sometimes days.
A Tennessean review of the history of the portal, however, shows that access was granted with little training and oversight to about 350 law enforcement agencies, creating an environment ripe for abuse.
Only after a several cases of misuse have authorities begun to roll out new ways to protect against misuse. The cases themselves have raised questions about how widely the tool is being abused.
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