Archive for the ‘identity politics real rep. security’ Category


We are featuring two rapidly spliced interviews addressing the increase in violence against Muslim Americans in the continental U.S.

We wish we could have gotten this to you sooner.

Dan Merchant, Film Director, asks God to save us from his followers.@ 7:47

The Park 51 Cordoba Center Special Analysis with Shahid Buttar of the BORDC. @55:05

Music from Kelis: Flesh Tone Album [Think Donna Summer does Electro.]@ 51:40

BTC  – This little tidbit came in from Daily Kos analysis of the Texas GOP platform.  It’s endemic of how Texas does things.

Real Americans, but not Real Americans 
c/o Mark Sumner

You city slickers think you’re so slick. And citied. But your mind can’t hold up to a fast one-two punch delivered just… like this!

We propose that every Texas driver license shall indicate whether the driver is a U.S. citizen. No such documentation shall be issued to anyone not legally in the country.

Yessir, that’ll stop those charges of racial discrimination. It won’t be the color of your skin that matters, but the federal information stamped right there on your drivers license. (What happens if you have a drivers license from another state? Well, you’re a foreigner by definition.) But here’s the clever bit from another section of the platform.

As the Real ID Act effectively creates an unconstitutional and privacy-inhibiting national ID card, we hereby call for its immediate repeal.

See, the Real ID Act doesn’t actually issue a national ID card. Instead it sets out rules so states can issue drivers licenses that can be used as federal ID. Like for proof of citizenship. The Texas GOP is against that. And for it. Remember: only weaklings turn to lawyers to sue for whiplash induced by contradicting policies.

Ironical, Ain’t It?

Here’s second life for news that matters:

Secret surveillance camera approved by Texas appellate court 

Voluntary activist arrested 

First biometric ATM goes live in Poland

Serious privacy concerns over vehicle monitoring systems

Lifelock is running infomercials or just really long ads on TV. The LifeLock CEO’s identity stolen 13 times in the past.

In case you forgot what DHS had to say about the Real ID Act…

UK police backing down over surveillance cams

ACLU: America is being riddled with politically motivated surveillance

BTC – There really is no shortage of great information available on the net.  We get so much great content which used to get dumped into our Facebook feeds.  For now, we are using our twitter feed as our fast track to informing those who would best served by what should be regular decent briefing for readers.

The point of REDUX is to get a short list of relevant news which would ordinarily escape, but gets a second chance here on  Obviously we failed our own self-imposed editorial goal of posting 3 original pieces a day.  It doesn’t mean we aren’t watching the blogs to catch the news and brilliant editorials worth mentioning.   The sheer volume and scope can be overwhelming.  With REDUX it’s possible to re-post direct links to the most relevant news of the day without drowning in the constant distractions of social network news trolling.

Here’s the second life for news that matters:

Hackers aren’t the only threat to privacy 

Websites arbit for ability to determine criminality via terms of service

DARPA taking heat for exaggerated “Cyber war” range

APD-TX training for forced blood withdrawls on mentally ill TDCJ inmates

Are Napolitano’s Mass Spying Powers a Greater Threat to Civil Liberties than Bush?
Google Opt Out Feature Lets Users Protect Privacy By Moving To Remote Village

TSA reaches out to Identity Project 

FOIA UPDATE – EPIC forces disclosure of report on Obama Passport Breach 

Current List of Airports with Naked Body Scanners 

Jim Harper c/o Cato Institute

Some state governments have claimed that a pending compliance deadline for REAL ID requires them to tighten up their driver’s licensing procedures consistent with the 2005 national ID law. (But see this.)

In fact, REAL ID is dead and the deadline is fake. More than a dozen states have statutorily barred themselves from complying, and in a rule published Monday the Department of Homeland Security extended the deadline again. This is the same thing it did last May and could easily do indefinitely.

The republic survives, and will survive quite nicely without this or any national ID law.


BTC Commentary – We addressed this topic lightly in our editorialized piece Kick the Can, Anyone? Anyone?

In essence, refusal to renew or file an extension is refusal to comply with the Real ID Act. We don’t expect any consequences to States because the Act is unenforceable and declared “D.O.A.” DHS Secretary Napolitano.

The administrative drift towards bureaucratic compliance drones on towards States like a paper zombie. That is the nature of federal government paperwork. When an early alarm sounds, you hit the snooze button. State action is case specific, of course. However, if I were to follow my gut …not a single state government is in any hurry to shell out cash for a repealing identity program. So what do you do with the machinations of a deadline? The same thing most people do with their computerized updates; select the “NOT NOW” button and go on about your business by supporting the effort to comprehensively repeal the Real ID Act.

IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR STATE BUDGET FOR COMPLIANCE… The best you can do is check in with your local governor’s office. An extension is a procrastinatory note; it’s not a budget or widgets sold. Real ID is considered dead. One course of action for pragmatic States is to roll over and do nothing. A State government who wants to play paper wall ball with DHS; you will fill out some sheets of paper that kick the can down the road. This creates another deadline until the federal government has decided what to do about the tarbaby a.k.a. the Real ID Act.

There are two paths with the same result.
You’re state will do nothing or fill out an extension, which is something that really amounts to nothing but another deadline. By December 31, 2009 some states will be in “compliance” by filing extension paper and at least 24 states will have something signed by their governor substantiating they are not going along with Real ID regulatory conditions. Real ID will still be dead at that time.

BTC-  The PASS Act is a new legislation.  In every new potential law there are dynamics for unintended consequences and nuance that need to be explored.   

Even for watchdogs like us, we are still discovering problems for both privacy and civil liberty. Initially we thought the PASS Act’s pilot program was a “good idea”.   That was until we learned it was supplemental development for States to play into a centralized hub. Poorer states like Mississippi can’t afford to build their own versions of fusion centers.  So the federal government would give them money for the build, with all the strings attached.  

Anti-national ID Governor’s, like Mark Sanford,  found fault with the potential run on personal information in the pilot program’s hub development.   In this Privacy Digest article, more reservations are bubbling to the surface over exactly how much integrity the privacy considerations had in the PASS Act.  We managed to gather that it wasn’t that big of a change from Real ID.

Concerns Surface About Some PASS ID Amendments

c/o Privacy Digest -MacRonin

Last Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee agreed on several amendments to the PASS ID bill [S. 1261] andsent the legislation on to the Senate.

Let’s take a look at some of the changes:

• Exceptions to the anti-skimming provision:

A key privacy protection we support in PASS ID restricts the collection and use of information scanned from the machine-readable zone on your driver’s license or ID card. However, in response to the concerns of retailers and other third party users of driver’s license information, the committee introduced an amendment that directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue regulations establishing exceptions to this anti-skimming provision.

While CDT recognizes that there are legitimate uses for data scanned from licenses, we are concerned by how broadly some of the proposed exceptions are described. The FTC can and should protect the privacy and security of cardholders even under these acceptable uses; otherwise, we risk gutting the anti-skimming provision entirely. As a general matter, the privacy protections the FTC could build in to protect this information will only be more effective if Congress provides specific statutory guidance now for addressing the types of secondary uses of specific information we are most concerned about.

In particular, allowing third parties to store information to “prevent consumer fraud” without building in limits on how long information can be stored and how it could be further shared, aggregated, and used would create a massive loophole in this otherwise much needed protection. We have seen how bars and sellers of tobacco products have collected information from licenses and ID cards ostensibly to verify age, but then go on to use and share that information for marketing and other purposes—often with no notice to the cardholder.

Just as worrisome is the very real possibility that states will begin to store much more information in the machine-readable portion of driver’s licenses than what is already visible on the face of the card, including data elements like race or ethnicity. Given the potential for abuse and misuse of such sensitive information if stored and aggregated, CDT strongly urges further limiting any exemptions to only information that is also visible on the face of the card.

• Boarding a plane without a PASS ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card:

The committee struck language from the bill that would have prevented individuals from being turned away at the airport solely on the basis of failure to present a PASS ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card. While the stated justification behind this change is to preserve the status quo—that is, maintaining the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) discretion to deny access to airplanes for good reason—the status quo isn’t so great from a civil liberties standpoint to begin with. There is scant transparency around how TSA officials exercise this discretion, leading to potential abuse or discrimination in its application while offering no redress for those whose rights may be violated. Keeping such policies secret also doesn’t inspire much confidence in the flying public that we are any safer for them since there is little ability to assess their effectiveness or relevance.

• Funding the digitization of “breeder documents” and birth record verification:

The amended bill also now requires birth records to be verified with the issuing agency no later than six years after the final regulations are issued, so long as the electronic system enabling such verification (i.e., the Electronic Verification of Vital Events (EVVE)) is up and running by that deadline. The bill also provides funds to states to digitize remaining birth records and connect state records to the electronic verification system.

This change takes us one step back towards REAL ID, which required birth certificate verification through the EVVE system. While the bill gives the DHS Secretary room to make sure any such system includes adequate privacy protections, EVVE still centralizes highly valuable personal information and would become a magnet for internal fraud and identity thieves.

• Abbreviated rulemaking timeline:

Finally, the amended bill authorizes DHS to issue an interim final rule to implement PASS ID, bypassing the full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process. While there is considerable pressure from many corners to not delay implementation of PASS ID, this change is curious considering the contentiousness of the REAL ID debate of the past four years. Taking into account the concerns of affected stakeholders from the outset of the program seems imperative to help avoid the same kind of impasse that REAL ID has engendered.

CDT is concerned about these changes and will work with members to address them as this issue moves to the floor. Stay tuned for more updates as the bill moves forward.