FROM THE BONEYARD: How funding of the Prop 1 AFIS levy gets it wrong

Posted: October 23, 2012 in "Real" Monsters
Tags: , ,

UPDATE – Posted 11/1/2012 –  This is an updated version of this OpEd posted at Seattle Pi.  It’s edited and retitled and rewritten.  *Anyone may repost – reprint.


ZILLAMOD – Another WINNER from the “OpEd Not Published” category, as submitted to a variety of local publications who can’t handle any kind of responsible debate on the subject of biometrics and muni public safety.

MINORITY POV: How funding of the Prop 1 AFIS levy gets it wrong

Why Prop 1’s tax levy is not going to improve public safety in Seattle

by Sheila Dean

The King County public voting record has consistently supported AFIS upgrades prior to Proposition 1. After reading an informative article in the Seattle Times on the tax hike I have decided to raise my voice, because I am in the minority of “those opposed” who would reject this levy.

AFIS is an effective crime fighting tool. After Proposition 1 is approved, it will become an invasive, pre-crime tool. We are pretty sure who the targets will be for biometric Stop and Frisks.

King County is crafting quite a reputation for fighting crime where it doesn’t actually exist in a brutal and illegal manner, to the point where the federal government was called in over the killings.

It might be because Obama’s DOJ, for all of their compromises on civil liberties, singled out the King County PD in Seattle for their extraordinary brutality and murderous occasions with the indigent and unarmed. Most of these people were vagrants, minorities and perhaps people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Months ago, I wrote in to oppose giving the Seattle PD a greenlight for drones because they had not cleaned up their mess. As of this week, they still have no credible accountability office in place to correct police abuses of Seattle’s vulnerable publics.

There’s no concrete assurance from anyone in any King County City facility that biometric information seized upon by a curious police officer in the midst of a racial profiling check in south Seattle will be expunged. How do we know that those people won’t automatically be donating their biometric information into a “criminal investigation” process where the record sticks around far longer than it should?

I have an educated guess where finger print assessed information may end up. The local DHS Fusion Center. If you don’t know why it would go there, it’s because you don’t actually have to be guilty or have any reasonable suspicion for a profile to be concocted in such a center. The local PDs are required to deliver hand and foot everything they get to the Fusion Centers. Therefore, someone with zero criminal conviction pulled over and profiled may acquire a new non-criminal AFIS report and a JTTF file in the DHS fusion center. Along with your neighbor, Joe, who was profiled for photographing a public statue in a park. It’s really that random.

If that doesn’t bother you. Perhaps the government waste element should. Fusion Centers have been found to be nests of would-be intelligence incompetence and redundancies. The information sharing policies have become indefensible. Yet…that’s where the innocent’s prints will go if retained in this system.

The ACLU of WA’s wan quote of possibly, maybe being able to get the State to change their data retention policies as money is being made for a Virginia Biometric Tech firm is not comforting, at all.

Voters may not really understand what is at stake with Proposition 1. That will change if you are in a situation where everyone is being treated, however temporarily, like a criminal. Your five fingers on each hand will get rolled up in a device. That information does stay with the police. There is no destinction between you and a real crirminal in record keeping.

So I am fine calling Proposition 1 the means for King County PD to perform virtual biometric stop and frisks, because there is no proof for me to believe it has any other destiny.


Washington State’s Profile on WaPo’s Top Secret America

“Washington is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and the Western States Information Network (WSIN). The King County Sheriff’s Office operates the King County Regional Criminal Intelligence Group. At the federal level, the FBI operates a Field Intelligence Group (FIG) in Seattle. The Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in Seattle performs criminal intelligence analysis. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in Seattle has jurisdiction over Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Idaho.”

The Washington State Fusion Center (WSFC), established in 2003 and formerly called the Washington Joint Analytical Center (WAJAC), is the state-designated all-crimes, all-hazards and counterterrorism fusion center. It is a component of the Washington State Police and a joint effort with the FBI. In 2010, the WSFC was designated as one of 12 state agencies to be part of the new Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative.”

Fusion centers: Invading your privacy at your expense

Defenders of fusion centers hit back at Senate panel’s criticisms

Senate Report: Massive Post-9/11 Surveillance Apparatus A “Waste”

  1. ZillaMod says:

    Dear Readers, I will edit this secondarily for readability. I know this reads as crap. I spoke with someone recently about this miserable piece. Perhaps you can chalk the grammatical failure to a combination of disgust and fatigue of local authorities to pay themselves first on the taxpayers back and the fates falling on local complicities to vote Prop 1 in on autopilot. (I did.) I was encouraged by a 3rd generation Seattle resident to go ahead and give it a 2nd try. So I will rewrite this and submit it again for the sake of more “broad minded” dissents. I might get 3 people to not volunteer to pay for this.

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