Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

BTC – Digital Privacy, like most things over 35 years of age,  is in need of a little in need of shaping up around the middle as Senators push to update to electronic privacy law in spite of elections.

Almost on cue, Washington domestic intelligence agencies are expressing resistance to this new regimen of reduced budget diet and political exercise to cut the fat.

To start, DHS is asking to be exempted from the dated provisions in the 1974 Privacy Act in a new National Proposed Rule or NPRM concerning “electronic records”.  Yes, that would include e-mail, phone calls and anything else that creates a record from an electronic pulse. This is possibly so they won’t have to pass an additional appropriations bill or comply with the development of more stringent Privacy codes designed to protect citizens from non-criminal surveillance.

“The Department of Homeland Security is giving concurrent notice of a newly established system of records pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974 [EPCA] for the “Department of Homeland Security/ALL-031 Information Sharing Environment Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative System of Records” and this proposed rulemaking. In this proposed rulemaking, the Department proposes to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements.”

[They are seeking public input on this for the next 19 days.]

NPRM’s are a chronic source of irritation for electronic privacy advocates seeking ways to cut funding to bureacratic tech adoptions in local and national governance; which are later used for broad public surveillance.  Domestic federal intelligence agencies, like the FBI, are trying to hang onto the vagueries which allow them to veer into places they have no right to go.  However, in all fairness, the government is only one aspect of our society where upgrades to the EPCA will face resistance.

Wireless, social networking, and cloud computing companies, like Google, have been compromising the public cache, divesting analytics, or information gained by use of their technology, for profit or for leverage in a tough economy.  Strange concessions from these companies have started to emerge, maybe to demonstrate how they can change their evil ways.  Perhaps more so they won’t get the heavy legal hit expected if the EPCA gets the legal upgrade necessary to constrict the private tap of consumer information being abused today.

One thing is clear ; as the EPCA is updated it should end the festive looting of your private digital records at the convenience of the US government and private information brokers.

RELATED NEWS:  Stephen Colbert’s, Colbertlist 

BTC -For anyone who has not seen Jim Harper’s “live” delivery on anti-Real ID rhetoric.  Airtight.

BTC – Really great commentary from Mike Riggs.

“Ezra Klein asks at the Washington Post if the national ID aspect of the Democrats’ proposed immigration law is a “game changer”. The answer is that it’s a game killer.”

Theory: Democrats don’t actually want to pass immigration legislation

The Daily Caller – Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

Dems spark alarm with call for national ID card c/o The Hill 

c/o CLG >> AP

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was hailed as a hero alongside former Mayor Rudy Giuliani after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and nearly became chief of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was sentenced to four years behind bars Thursday for eight felonies.

Kerik admitted in November that he lied to the White House, filed false taxes and committed other crimes.

“The fact that Mr. Kerik would use that event (9/11) for personal gain and aggrandizement is a dark place in the soul for me,” said federal Judge Stephen Robinson.
An apologetic Kerik said before the sentence was pronounced: “Allow me to return to my wife and two little girls as soon as possible.”

Federal guidelines indicated Kerik’s sentence should be between 27 and 33 months in prison. Robinson said he went beyond the guidelines because they could not account for certain factors.
Kerik was “the chief law enforcement law enforcement officer for the biggest and grandest city this nation has,” Robinson said. The crimes were committed “in the process of attempting to become a cabinet level position in the government of the United States.”

The prosecutor, Michael Bosworth, said the misdeeds were “driven by arrogance, personal greed and professional ambition.”

Kerik will be allowed to surrender voluntarily on May 17; the prison has not been chosen yet.
Kerik, 54, has already been ordered to pay $188,000 in restitution and to pay past-due taxes and penalties on six years of tax returns.

“…I’d like to apologize to the American people for the mistakes I’ve made and for which I have just accepted responsibility,” Kerik said outside the courthouse. “As history is written, I can only hope that I will be judged for 30 years of service I’ve given to the country and the city of New York.”

“…Although this has been the most challenging period of my life … it will not diminish my love and admiration for this country, which it has been one of my greatest privileges to serve.”
Just before pleading guilty, Kerik spent three weeks in the Westchester County Jail for releasing secret pretrial information. While there, he was voluntarily admitted to the psychiatric ward for observation because of stress. Doctors concluded he did not need mental care.

After admitting his crimes, Kerik was freed pending sentencing. He had to post a $1.5 million bond, wear an electronic monitor and generally stay inside his home in Franklin Lakes, N.J.
In presentencing memos to the judge, the defense and prosecution painted sharply different portraits of Kerik.

The defense spoke of his bleak upbringing, his steely leadership after the terror attacks, his remorse and the debt he has incurred to defend himself. It supplied letters of support from his son, fellow police officers, a priest and a man who lost two sons on Sept. 11.
There was no letter from Giuliani.

The prosecution memo said Kerik had “shamelessly exploited” the terror attack, had shamed his gold shield and might flee if he weren’t sent to prison right away. Kerik was Giuliani’s police commissioner when New York City was attacked, and he was praised worldwide for his leadership. At Giuliani’s urging, he was nominated to the top Homeland Security post in 2004. It was the peak of his fast-rising career — as corruption allegations began to mount.
Kerik said in court that while being vetted for that position, he falsely denied that he had any financial dealings with anyone doing business with New York City. He said he also lied when he claimed he had specifically refused payments that were offered.
In truth, he said, he had accepted renovations of his Bronx apartment from a company seeking city work.
Those apartment renovations were the focus of the original corruption charge, which alleged that Kerik accepted the renovations in exchange for vouching for the company. Kerik did not admit that.

An introduction to Sacred Activism with Andrew Harvey


Andrew Harvey will be joining us for a renewing and spiritual perspective as to “why” and “how” we can engage in American civics. Andrew Harvey is a renowned and distinguished mystical scholar, Rumi translator and explicator, poet, novelist, spiritual teacher and writer, and an architect of the concept of Sacred Activism.
BTC- Here’s my analysis on Nevada and Florida sitting around patting each other on the back for being chip-eaters. The federal government owns 90% of the land in Nevada. Florida has *no policy* to defend anyone’s Bill of Rights or even human rights, for that matter. Utah… god bless poor old, Utah… they just think they’re obeying the law.

I think the sum total of states escalated in a few months (starting from defiant non-compliance) went from 24 to a materially non-compliant total of 46 states by the Dec. 31st deadline. 3 states dumb enough to tax their people for this helps AAMVA cut their loses, along with the tech vendors. It’s just sad. Sad to see people liquidate or lose their…privacy and identity rights.

PORT ST. LUCIE — The lack of a middle name typed onto his birth certificate decades ago kept a Port St. Lucie doctor from getting his driver’s license renewed under the new federal rules.

Before going to the state Division of Motor Vehicle office to renew his license last week, Jordan Bromberg gathered all the paperwork now required under the stringent Real ID rules that have been in place since the start of the year.

For his primary forms of identifications he brought his U.S. passport and the Social Security card he’s had since he was 12.

Bromberg, 52, figured he’d be in and out of the state’s Port St. Lucie office quickly with a state issued Real ID.

Since the start of the year, Florida, following federal guidelines, has required more backup documentation to get a license, renew the license or change one’s name or address on the ID card. The change was part of the federal “Real ID” Act of 2005, designed to combat terrorism and fraud by toughening ID paperwork nationwide.

Instead, because Bromberg’s name didn’t match on his primary documents, his renewal application was rejected.

Both documents had Jordan Bromberg, his first and last name. His passport includes his middle name, his Social Security Card did not.

After several days making calls with the state Division of Highway and Safety, including getting assistance from the office of state Rep. Adam Fetterman, D-Port St. Lucie, Bromberg has been told he will be able to get the renewal completed. But it’s been “frustrating” and time consuming, he said.

“I went to the computer, followed everything line by line, I had every single piece of documentation that you needed,” Bromberg said. “But it was simply because whoever did my Social Security card 40 years ago didn’t type my middle name on it.”

More than 50,000 Florida Real IDs were issued in the first week in January, which is about half the number normally issued in that time period.

David Westberry, communications director with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said it’s unknown if the drop off is because of people taking the time to gather the needed paperwork. But he said there has been a learning curve in the motor vehicle offices as they work to handle each unique circumstance, while at the same time trying not to water down the rules.

“The last thing we want to do is take a system that is designed to be very secure and start making exceptions to the point where it no longer has the validity that it needs to have,” Westberry said.

Tax collectors in Indian River and Martin counties, whose offices issue driver’s licenses, knew there would be problems with the new rules. But they mostly expected them to be with women who have changed their last names to reflect marriages or divorces.

Still, they said the process has moved smoothly.

“We do what we have to do to get them renewed,” said Martin County Tax Collector Ruth Pietruszewski. “That has a such a huge impact on someone’s life if they can’t get their driver’s license.”

Compliance with Real ID will eventually be necessary to board a commercial airliner or enter a federal building.

Florida is one of the first states to enact the new law.

By Dec. 1, 2014, all drivers ages 50 and younger must have the Real ID. Those older than 50 can wait until Dec. 1, 2017 to comply.

Indian River County Tax Collector Carole Jean Jordan said the rules may become even tighter following the failed attempt by a 23-year-old suspect from Nigeria to blow up a transatlantic Northwest Airlines flight prepared to land in Detroit in December.

“I think that’s moved off the front pages because of the horrible situation in Haiti, but I think you’ll see other states having to comply,” Jordan said. “And good for Florida for complying, because you can go in a federal building or you can board an airplane with a Florida driver’s license, and once this is implemented nationally your license will be good for that while other states won’t.”

[Editor’s Note: Poor Floridians. This guy didn’t get the memo that nothing happens to states who don’t comply. Someone should do something. Other states live normally. They board flights. They get on with their lives. They visit federal buildings – if so, with other documents other than a national ID card. This man was duped. He’s completely ignorant of how dead this Real ID law is.]

  • Examples of primary identification:
  • Certified U.S. birth certificate, including territories and District of Columbia
  • Valid U.S. passport or passport card
  • Consular report of birth abroad
  • Certificate of naturalization, Form N-550 or Form N-570
  • Certificate of citizenship, Form N-560 or Form N-561
  • Examples of Social Security number:
  • Social Security card
  • W-2 form
  • Paycheck
  • Examples of residency proof: Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet and/or
  1. Residential rental/lease agreement
  2. Utility bills, not more than 2 months old
  3. Florida voter registration card
  4. Florida vehicle registration or title
  5. A note from a parent, step-parent or legal guardian of an applicant who resides at the same address
  6. A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider, or a half-way house verifying that the customer resides at the shelter address
  7. Transients — Sexual Offender/Predator/Career Offender: — FDLE Registration form completed by local sheriff’s office

To navigate the changes, visit or call (850) 617-3995.

c/o Minnesota Independent


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,

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.

A Letter from the Editor,
The Holidays are upon us. Americans are focusing more than ever on what’s vital or what we cannot live without: time and money. This Christmas may be better or worse for some for the range of adversity, but we here at BeatTheChip hope to give a better gift of news consistently.
To end the year we are looking to improve the quality standards of our content, bring accuracy and expediency to our reporting and a harvest of viewpoints which shape and direct public discourse on the national ID debate, immigration, surveillance, security and identity policy.
We are looking for volunteer correspondents to submit content, stories and letters regarding their experiences. With the range of lives the national identity surveillance agenda aspires to reach into, we intend to report on how it affects you. We want to go there. * If you are interested in contributing content for NBST e-mail us at: beatthechip [at] …
So every Tuesday we are committed to bringing you better, more comprehensive coverage in News Burst Super Tuesdays. NBST specialized content will be featured every Tuesday to get you through the year end deadline. If you are a subscriber, you will notice significantly more posts on Tuesdays from now throughout the month of December 2009.
We will also be increasing microblogging via Facebook and Twitter. Add us today and you will be privy to an the expanded range of news and opinion coverage featured on our weekly newscast, Waking Up Orwell. Waking Up Orwell’s online newscasts are archived. You can send your favorite episodes to friends and embed an episode player into your favorite social media websites, like MySpace. Waking Up Orwell airs live every Thursday morning 9-10 AM CST (except Christmas!).
The best gift BeatTheChip can give others at this time is timely information and how you can help yourself and others stop the database state and identity surveillance in your town. We give consistently. Please re-gift others by sending a few friends links to news from our headlines and urge them to susbscribe for FREE to our RSS feeds linked in the top right hand corner of the sidebar. They will receive updates in your mailbox with every BTC post.
For now, our gift to you is to give you the latest and greatest news on identity privacy, technology and civil liberty every Tuesday with News Burst Super Tuesdays and specialized continued coverage Thursdays on Waking Up Orwell.

BTC – Those watching for Real ID news are going to see an uptick in the amount of State and national coverage of the PASS ID Act, immigration and Real ID.

Hang on to your hats – this is going to get very political.

Has Government Gone Too Far? A Closer Look at Real ID

c/oWBAI [Maine]

In 2007, Maine was the first state in the nation to reject the federal real id act. The legislature voted in favor of a resolution to refuse the law, which was passed in 2005 by congress. Today, Maine is complying with the federal law, but at what expense to mainers?

Tonight, we continue our report on: Maine, the way life should be – but has government gone too far?

TV5’s Central Maine bureau chief Adrienne Bennett joins us now with more on that.

Real i-d is a matter of national security – that’s the federal government’s view.

But, can government successfully protect everyone?

“It is impossible for the government to ensure that everyone is who they say they are.”

As executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, Shenna Bellows believes equal protection and privacy, are fundamentals which ensure freedom for everyone.

Bellows says the feds stepped over a line to set an example, unfairly targeting Mainers when state officials said they would not comply with real id.

Shenna Bellows: “Unfortunately, I think that the real id debate has been characterized by a lot of politics. Maine was the first state to opt out because of the privacy and cost concerns and then the federal government under the Bush administration punished Maine by saying if you don’t implement these real id requirements, you won’t be able to get on planes. Why Hawaii wasn’t subject to the same requirements than the state of Maine is really beyond me. It’s something that I don’t understand.”

Responding to the single most devastating act of terrorism on U.S. soil, the September 11 attacks prompted Congress to pass measures that many argue aren’t working.

Real id was created with the intention to protect Americans.

However, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap encouraged state legislators to pass the law which allowed Maine to refuse to take part.

Adrienne Bennett: “Can government, in your opinion successfully protect everyone?

Matt Dunlap: “No, absolutely not. I think we’re fools to say that we can.”

Matt Dunlap: “You can’t take non-secure documents like birth certificates, which are public record. If you know the person’s name, you can go down to vital records and get a certified copy of their birth certificates. Social security numbers aren’t terribly secure. When you take all these non-secure elements and you put them together, you’re not necessarily building a secure document. “

Adrienne Bennett: “So identity doesn’t equal security?”

Matt Dunlap: “No, not at all. In fact, one of the arguments has been to the contrary. When you put all this information in one place, you make it easier for identity thieves and terrorists.”

Today, Maine along with every other state, is dealing with shifting deadlines and undefined requirements to be in full compliance with real id, a law that’s been in play for four years. There’s new legislation on the table in Washington to convert real id to pass id before the years end.

Matt Dunlap: “It’s not real clear how much different this is going to be from real id. With all these changes swirling around, it’s very difficult for anybody to keep on top of what the latest developments are.”

Pass id is short for – providing for additional security in states’ identification”.

Over the summer department of homeland security secretary janet Napolitano met with U.S. governors calling on congress to act quickly to pass the legislation, citing the bill’s privacy protection provisions, reduced costs and greater flexibility for states, all of which they say would enable standards to be implemented a year ahead of current real id deadline of 2017.

Fewer than 400 people have come forward to register, far below the thousands the government had envisioned when it created the database.

BTC – Never trust your government or their databases outright. The low turnout of the Chile’s survivors of the disappeared to readily have their DNA catalogued speaks for itself. Any kind of DNA collection of surviving family of political resisters by a shaky Latin government has a hint of research & development behind it. If they need to test to positively identify the exhumed, they might consider doing it on a case by case basis and destroy the results. However, government databases tend to hang onto DNA information indefinitely after it becomes property of the state.

My distrustful nature of these things leads me to think that a genetic tinkering contractor might have been recruited to figure out what makes political resisters resist for a future attempt to breed it out of Chilean humanity. Perish the thought.

c/o Reuters/NYTimes

SANTIAGO- Silvia Munoz has searched for decades for the remains of her father, who was executed during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Thirty-six years later, she hopes her DNA will help solve the mystery.

Munoz and hundreds of others have given blood samples to a government DNA database in a renewed attempt to identify loved ones who disappeared under Pinochet.

“I still have my doubts,” Munoz said, “but I’m hoping to finally have a definitive answer.”

Fewer than 400 people have come forward to register, far below the thousands the government had envisioned when it created the database.

Some families may be trying to avoid reliving the pain of losing loved ones, said Ariel Dorfman, a Chilean-American playwright and human-rights activist.

“The loss is not something that happens once, but happens over and over again, especially if the person is disappeared,” Dorfman said.

Munoz, who was present at two exhumations of remains believed to be her father’s, agreed.

Raul Antonio Munoz Munoz was a union leader and community organizer during socialist President Salvador Allende’s administration. He was arrested on September 29, 1973, in front of his wife and five children and never seen again.

The military government later informed the family that Raul died, but did not return his body to the family.

Munoz is skeptical of the new DNA database, but willing to wait for news her father’s remains have been found.

“The first time they took his left leg and the second time his right,” Munoz said. “Imagine the government giving you bones, mourning them and then being told they’re the wrong bones.”