This is a Washpo series on homeland security. More specifically, how homeland security (DHS, state and local) collect and maintain information on Americans.
Your privacy is essentially meaningless. Not only does the federal government collect and maintain information on citizens who have done nothing illegal, it encourages the collection and submission on such data. This is DHS and the FBI constructing the haystack in which they hope someday to find a needle. But they haven't so far, unsurprisingly.
Read the article, browse the website. Now it is easy to understand why DHS has branded tea party groups as potential terrorist threats - they have all the data they need to support a preconceived notion, any preconceived notion. Antiwar protesters and environmentalist demonstrations are in the same bucket. This type of self-imposed paranoia has no party affliction other than the label on the current regime.
Be afraid, very afraid.