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Not the least of those issues is privacy. The department's very creation acknowledges that catching terrorists requires breaking down barriers between intelligence gathering and law enforcement. But civil libertarians are worried that the new department, with its souped-up databases, will step over the line. Just as scary is the possibility that it won't go far enough. "We need national guidelines for using information that we collect and accessing databases," says Philip Zelikow, who directs the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs. "The people who work day in and day out need to know what they are allowed to do, not just what they are not allowed to do."
5. Is Tom Ridge up to the job?
As much as anyone is. While he got lukewarm reviews for running the White House's Homeland Security office--the much ridiculed color-coded alert system was his most famous achievement--Ridge has so far lacked the authority to command a bureaucracy and control a budget. But that will change if, as expected, Bush nominates him to be the new department's first head. A former Pennsylvania Governor, he has experience running a complicated government and has won praise for his efforts to improve communication between Washington and state and local officials. And Ridge by all accounts retains Bush's confidence--something he will need for the infighting that lies ahead. But it's hard to imagine a job where the measure of success is trickier. After all, as Ridge says, a good day is one on which nothing happens. --With reporting by Eric Roston and Elaine Shannon/Washington