Archive for the ‘CDT’ Category

BTC- CDT present’s their “4 options” for Identity reform. They find value in hanging onto the Real ID Act and fear a repeal. We say that 25 States are more afraid of getting Real ID than spending the time and resources to create 3 different bills for immigration reform, national drivers license standards, and transportation and international travel policy.  

HINT:  An internal passport is not necessary to carry on domestic daily affairs, no matter how much security is being screamed at us over the airport loud speakers.

Since only 4 options were projected for the PASS Act markup, ACLU reports that we have lost ground. The fact remains there is a massive difference in what Washington wants and what the American individual demands for personal identity standards.  We get to take it personally.

by Leslie Harris, CEO of Center for Democracy, for The Huffington Post

The current debate over a “national” ID standard has touched off a fierce debate in the civil liberties community. While such a dustup can be normal, even healthy, the outcome of this one could have serious implications for Americans’ privacy.

At the heart of the controversy is the recently introduced “PASS ID Act,” which would amend some of the more troubling provisions of the 2005 REAL ID Act. We view PASS ID as an important, if flawed, piece of legislation that will restore some of the key privacy protections eviscerated under REAL ID.

What is harder to fathom is the opposition of our fellow civil liberties advocates, who oppose PASS ID because it falls short of an outright repeal of REAL ID.

However, a repeal does not directly translate into privacy protections. Here’s the back of the envelope handicapping on what happens if REAL ID is ever repealed.  ::: MORE HERE:::

Note from the Editor

We like Jim Harper.  He publishes piles of vile on National ID policy almost as much as we do. We’ve offered CATO an official spot on BTC as a columnist. Mainly because their rhetoric rolls up on our wire anyway.  As a social experiment, we’re publishing this as the first official CATO column by Jim Harper.  We gave it a working title: FLOGGER: National ID bashing by CATO Policy brand, Jim Harper. If they pitch garbage at us, we’ll take it off. {FYI for CATO: Your s**t gets published here anyway!}

FLOGGER : National ID bashing by CATO policy brand, Jim Harper

Harper begs the question of CDT,

“Do we already have a National ID?

CDT {Center for Democracy & Technology} is a sophisticated Washington, D.C. operation. It is supposed to understand these dynamics. I can’t give it the pass that outsiders to Washington might get. By committing to compromise rather than any principle, and by lending its name to the Markle Foundation Task Force report, CDT gave credibility to a bad idea — the creation of a national ID.

::READ More of Jim’s flogging of CDT here:: 

from EFFector online

The Center for Democracy and Technology and EFF are releasing “Open Recommendations for the Use of Web Measurement Tools on Federal Government Web Sites.” (Press ReleasePDF.) The document recommends repairs to the federal guidelines that regulate the use of cookies and other “persistent tracking technologies” on government websites.

Today, these regulations are problematic: They’re both too harshly bureaucratic in some cases and too relaxed in others. They’re too harsh because ordinary government webmasters are prohibited from performing even basic traffic analysis without acquiring personal approval from their agency’s head — something they say is an insurmountable bureaucratic obstacle in many federal agencies. They’re too relaxed because they don’t reach many of the tracking technologies that are in use today. In addition, in the event that the agency head does provide this sign-off, it allows a loophole which can enable the agency to use tracking technologies with almost no oversight or accountability. EFF has recently had first hand experience with this loophole since the White House has still refused to give any explanation, much less provide the actual waiver it recently issued for use of cookies on

As an alternative, CDT and EFF are recommending a sensible way forward: Government webmasters ought to be permitted to use modern analytics tools without agency-head approval, so long as the use of those tools is carefully overseen and meets with specific strict safeguards and requirements.

Many of these safeguards will be familiar to folks who’ve read EFF’s Best Practices For Online Service Providers: Visitor data must be speedily anonymized, and it may not be used for purposes other than traffic analysis. Visitors should be given a clear option allowing them to opt-out of tracking, and agency privacy officers must carefully review and audit the processes. And, importantly, no “agency-head approval” will be sufficient to waive these requirements.

In addition to being smart policy, the adoption of these guidelines would foster smart technology. Current web anaytics systems are notorious for hoarding data irregardless of privacy concerns. The prevailing approach is to collect as much information as possible and store it for as long as possible. To make matters worse, most systems (including the popular Google Analytics) store the data on servers that the web-manager does not own or control, increasing the likelihood that the data will be captured, leaked or misused. Adoption of these recommendations would encourage analytics providers to consider safer and smarter approaches.

The Obama Administration is expected to begin revising federal website policies soon, as part of its “Open Government” initiatives. We hope these recommendations will be incorporated. The result would be a win, both for webmasters seeking data and for citizens seeking privacy.