Archive for the ‘lawsuits’ Category

THIS WEEK ON WAKING UP ORWELL

There was no time budget to produce a radio program this week.  HOWEVER, we do have details on an important digest of topics we would have slated for the program.  We liken it to leaving you the place to yourself with an elaborate feast in the fridge and an apology for having to duck out this week.

THERE’S STILL A LOT OF COVERAGE!!

Here’s a sneak peak into NY’s spycam society c/o Loss of Privacy

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/player-dest.swf
Watch CBS News Videos Online

WHO’S PROTESTING WHAT

SB 1070 drama continues as more protestors were arrested. This time it wasn’t anywhere near Arizona – it was Los Angeles.  Protests are ongoing in Arizona.  5 more people were arrested; this time over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell at Senator McCain’s office.

Speaking of protest arrests, Amy Goodman is now suing the city of St. Paul Minnesota over her arrest at the RNC. That was an obstruction of real journalism. I recall over 130 accredited journalists were arrested during the 2008 RNC . Many citizen journalists were also arrested and had to deal with bail and charges out of pocket. TruthOut found gaps in the journalism shield laws which didn’t protect their rights.  Bloggers, like Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, aren’t covered. Chen’s home was raided last month over the search for an iPhone prototype. A hearing is scheduled this Friday to sort out what is legal or illegal search and siezure of a blogger’s workplace – which, typically, is their home. We are talking a batched violation here of both 1st and 4th Amendments if Apple and the Redwood City PD are wrong about this.

Along with journalists, the numbers of regular citizens engaged in the political process were arrested en masse along with the dispatch of sonic weaponry during the RNC protests. The Center for Investigative Reporting cites a new book revealing a troubling amount of pre-emptive spying, specifically targeting activists.  COPBOOK, authored by retired policeman Richard Greelis delves more into, the now infamous, Minnesota police “Welcoming Committee” for the RNC and a charachter dubbed Chicken Little.

IF YOU MISSED IT:  A Miami TSA employee lost a lot more than his personal privacy due to an airport body scanner.  The TSA agent became angry over a derisive comment made about the size of his “junk” as he passed through a body scanner.  He then assaulted his co-worker and went to jail.

AND ONE TIME @ PRIVACY CAMP

As always please share the information you find on BeatTheChip.org with others on the net. It’s just a very sad sad reality that Facebook has gone from friend to Facecrook. Stolen and bogus webprofiles are being sold now on the black market. The depth and breadth of the privacy violations caused me to cut short our 20 day evaluation period of their webservice. This years Privacy Camp in San Francisco was little more than a succession of support group circles given tasks on how to deal with the betrayal of our basic trusts as consumers using what I will call now Facecrook. Even if I do have to pay for Ning – I’m already feeling the pains of separation. One condolence coming out of the Center for Democracy & Technology camp is a step by step method to put Facecrook on a privacy lockdown. It’s about 33 steps. Please take them if your not strong enough to leave Mark Zukerberg’s technology.

I’m not sure he should get custody of our friends in the divorce.  There were long discussions about portability earning terms of refugee status.  Social networks numbered in the thousands who would move to temporary another social network or disperse and reconvene at a different time and place.

Our decision became crystalline to delete our profile as it was carefully explained to me that we are “paying” for free services by allowing them – knowingly or unknowingly – to sell the transactional information we give them while using their service.   Since I’m almost violently against surveillance I’m not going to volunteer up for it for free, when I know better.

I’ve seen a lot of hit pieces on FB but I think what really did it in for me was when I saw vitaminWater’s :::connect flavor, a smart beverage partner with Facebook with the the image of a fingerprint on it.  The first words on the bottle’s product description were accusatorial and predatory: “We caught you. Your fingerprints are all over this bottle.”  It was then I decided with finality I would delete ALL of my Facebook accounts.

If you prefer mediation: Wired magazine has called for an Open Alternative.

In this week’s DIY Government:

THE GOVERNMENT PHONES ARE OPEN, but we prefer you to write your Congressional leaders a handwritten note about the most critical issue of your day: your identity.   

There is a window open right now to state how much you really oppose another national ID card program.  If you are opposed to the digital use of your fingerprints or any future biometrics in a social security card or any other form of identification required to work.  You should be heard and heard clearly.  Watch the following video if you fall into the “silent majority” of people who don’t relish a national ID card.  (Pssst! Everyone has power. Especially you!)

Here’s an excellent tutorial:

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

NO CAMERAS FOR SAN BRUNO

Special effort award: San Bruno for counting the cost ahead of time and heading off Redflex at the pass. They won’t be signing up for the radar any time soon due to expenses. They performed a preliminary audit – a strategy which is working very very well for the Bay area to opt out of more undue surveillance.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST:  Announcement of a new segment titled: “HEY CITIZEN! Prove You’re Not A Terrorist ”  Because every week it’s something else…

LifeLock settles with FTC over ID theft product claims


LifeLock will pay $11 million to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and $1 million to a group of 35 state attorneys general to settle charges that the Tempe, Ariz.-based company made false claims about its identity theft products.

The FTC contended that LifeLock’s claims were “deceptive” because the fraud alerts it places on customers’ credit files can only protect against certain types of identity theft, such as new account fraud, which occurs when an ID thief opens up new financial accounts by using the victim’s name and Social Security number.

However, the FTC’s complaint alleged that LifeLock’s services do not prevent against the “misuse of existing accounts,” nor do they prevent medical or employment ID theft.

Under the agreement, announced this week, LifeLock is prohibited “from making deceptive claims and required to take more stringent measures to safeguard the personal information they collect from customers,” according to an FTC news release.

“This agreement effectively prevents LifeLock from misrepresenting that its services offer absolute prevention against identity theft because there is unfortunately no foolproof way to avoid ID theft,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in the statement. “Consumers can take definitive steps to minimize the chances of having their personal information stolen, and this settlement will help them make more informed decisions about whether to enroll in ID theft protection services.” :::MORE HERE:::

c/o RFID Journal

Initially, [Hardin County] jail’s officers manually tracked each inmate using paper and pen, and input various details—such as that individual’s recreation time, head counts and the specifics of any interactions—into the PC, to be stored in the facility’s jail-management system. The problem was that the data was often passed through several officers, a great deal of time could elapse before it was entered, and there was no way to prove any stated interactions actually occurred.

In 2005, [Nick] Whitmore began working with technology startup company Codex Corp., which sells a product known as Guardian RFID. He liked the idea of RFID technology, and agreed to try the new system at his jail. At the doorway of each cell, as well as in other key locations throughout the facility, Codex installed an RFID tag built into a tamper-proof metal plate, and provided the jail with Trimble Nomad handheld computers with Socket Mobile CompactFlash RFID reader cards to scan those tags. Each tag, manufactured by Codex, with an Texas Instruments high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz RFID inlay compliant with the ISO 15693 standard, is encoded with a unique ID number associated with a cell number in Hardin County’s jail-management system. The system also contains a list of all inmates assigned to each cell, along with details regarding every detainee’s health, behavior and medication needs. :::MORE HERE:::

c/o Privacy Regulation

A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement between Countrywide Financial and millions of customers whose detailed financial information was exposed in a security breach.

Under the terms of the settlement, Countrywide, now owned by Bank of America, would give free credit monitoring to up to 17 million people whose information was exposed during the security breach.

That group includes anyone who obtained a mortgage and anyone who used Countrywide to service a mortgage before July 1, 2008.

The settlement entitles a person to receive up to $50,000 in reimbursements from Countrywide per instance of identity theft, provided they actually lost something of value, were not reimbursed and that it was likely the theft stemmed from the Countrywide breach.

via Seattle Times Newspaper.

c/o Minnesota Independent

SEE ALSO:

AM.MN: State’s Texas vendor let new hires’ personal data all hang out


The Texas firm hired by the State of Minnesota to vet new hires for legal work status says the state and Minnesota Public Radio can expect a lawsuit, after MPR reported that Lookout Services made employees’ private data accessible online.

MPR’s News Cut quotes Lookout Services CEO Elaine Morley promising to include the news organization in legal complaint. What the complaint is about is unclear, beyond a statement on the firm’s website (pdf) alleging unauthorized access by both state government and MPR:

[L]imited portions of the company’s proprietary software may have been illegally compromised by The State of Minnesota and Minnesota Public Radio. … “We have contacted the FBI and other law enforcement officials and we are fully cooperating with their investigation into this matter,” said Elaine Morley, CEO of Lookout Services. Lookout Services Inc., filed suit against The State of Minnesota on December 10,
2009.

The re-election/recount campaign of former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman made similar statements after local technology experts called attention to campaign donors’ private financial data being left unprotected on the campaign’s website early this year.

At that time, Coleman’s spokesmen said a U.S. Secret Service investigation would get to the bottom of the breach, with legal repercussions for alleged hackers — but no such consequences for Wikileaks or those who raised the alarm have come to light.

And when the Minnesota Independent last checked, nothing had come of charges that Coleman violated state law by failing to notify donors about the breach.

CLG>>By DEVLIN BARRETT (AP) – 2 days ago

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder says a lawsuit in San Francisco over warrantless wiretapping threatens to expose ongoing intelligence work and must be thrown out.

In making the argument, the Obama administration agreed with the Bush administration’s position on the case but insists it came to the decision differently. A civil liberties group criticized the move Friday as a retreat from promises President Barack Obama made as a candidate.

Holder’s effort to stop the lawsuit marks the first time the administration has tried to invoke the state secrets privilege under a new policy it launched last month designed to make such a legal argument more difficult.

Under the state secrets privilege, the government can have a lawsuit dismissed if hearing the case would jeopardize national security.

The Bush administration invoked the privilege numerous times in lawsuits over various post-9/11 programs, but the Obama administration recently announced that only a limited number of senior Justice Department officials would be able to make such decisions. It also agreed to provide confidential information to the courts in such cases.

Under the new approach, an agency trying to keep such information secret would have to convince the attorney general and a panel of Justice Department lawyers that its release would compromise national security.

Holder said that in the current case, that review process convinced him “there is no way for this case to move forward without jeopardizing ongoing intelligence activities that we rely upon to protect the safety of the American people.”

The lawsuit was filed by a group of individuals who claimed the government illegally monitored their communications. To proceed with the case, Holder said, would expose intelligence sources and methods.

Holder said U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who is handling the case, was given a classified description of why the case must be dismissed so that the court can “conduct its own independent assessment of our claim.”

The attorney general said the judge would decide whether the administration had made a valid claim and “we will respect the outcome of that process.”

That is a departure from the Bush administration, which resisted providing specifics to judges handling such cases about what the national security concerns were.
Kevin Bankston, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group in San Francisco that is pursuing a similar lawsuit against the government, called Holder’s decision “incredibly disappointing.”

“The Obama administration has essentially adopted the position of the Bush administration in these cases, even though candidate Obama was incredibly critical of both the warrantless wiretapping program and the Bush administration’s abuse of the state secrets privilege,” said Bankston.

This week on Waking Up Orwell we will be speaking LIVE with Jim Turner, a Washington attorney representing Citizens for Health, an organization suing the FDA for approving the H1N1 swine flu vaccines to be administered before they were properly tested.


Citizens for Health is very involved with actions in New York to address the voluntary- compulsory policy requiring health care workers to take the Swine Flu vaccine as a condition of their employment.


Waking Up Orwell airs on BlogTalkRadio.com from 9 – 10 AM CST. Please click the icon in the top right hand corner of BeatTheChip.org to be directed to the show site.


NEXT WEEK: The Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) wasted no time developing a plan for local government to push back against unconstitutional compliance requirements in the PATRIOT Act. BORDC’s National Director, Shahid Buttar, will be with us LIVE for details on local government campaigns and their plan for to address government transparency. They will have some D.I.Y. government tips on to assert yourself right where you live.


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