The Soviet Union and many other dictatorships needed information on every citizen. The idea of a National Database serves the same purposes. Information about each citizen starts with the assignment of a Social Security Number in the hospital at birth, continues during the school years, where the files of children cannot be seen by them or their parents, only by the police, and continues all their lives even though they are supposed to be presumed innocent.
Just because most people want Homeland Security to keep files on every person doesn’t superseed the idea of innocent until proven guilty. It does seem that people want to be safe more than they want to be free and that instinct fails to keep them free or safe.
The real danger of the Federal Government keeping the files is that local and state control is gone. It’s the danger of Big Brother against which George Orwell warned in “1984”.