Archive for the ‘privacy’ Category

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Catch today’s newest episode of Waking Up Orwell featuring a NASHUP or News Mashup with Lady Gaga, Dylan Rattigan, Ron Paul and sound bites from the film  The Best Government Money Can Buy.

P.S.  No amount of identity will ever be enough.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/www_publicradio/tools/media_player/syndicate.php?name=marketplace/morning_report/2011/07/14/marketplace_morning_report0450_20110714_64&starttime=00:05:11.0&endtime=00:06:35.0

By Sheila Dean 


What would life be like in America if a political group could simply doubt you out of your citizenship and subsequently, your rights? What would happen if they didn’t like: your race, your parents, your State of origin or who you were married to? If the Birthers were a smashing success, you could share President Obama’s fate.


Currently, anyone born in the United States is a citizen by right of the 14th Amendment. 
The Birther movement has exhibited relentless challenge to President Obama’s U.S. citizenship. The strategy of the Birther movement has been to displace the current United States President by annulling his birth records. A successful PR campaign has driven doubt about Obama’s birth certificate into many AmericansThe Birthers reject Obama’s current electronic birth record held by the State of Hawaii.   In a worst case scenario, if Obama’s citizenship was disproven, the Birther movement might call for an ex-officiated President to be expediently deported for being an “illegal alien immigrant”.  We can not speculate where he would be sent, since he is an American. 
According to CNN, Obama’s birth documents pre-date the electronic records system in Hawaii.  Obama’s mother is also a US citizen, born in the Continental United States. This is still not good enough for Donald Trump and the Birthers he serves. 
Obama’s birth record contest mimics a nightmare trip to and from a Florida DMV window; where it seems no amount of identity proof will ever be enough.
The Florida DMV has become notorious for turning away women and the elderly from attaining drivers licenses or ID cards because they can’t substantiate “adequate” documentation. The State of Florida is adherent to Real ID requirements for very specific citizenship articles and identity documentation, as well as mountains of supplemental information as proof of residency.  Often proof of citizenship and marriage records pre-date acknowledgement by “updated” systems, if you have been around long enough.  Residency? Birth Certificate? Marriage Certificate? Soldier? At times this is not nearly enough for the State of Florida to give you a license to drive.
An American birth certificate is also a private identity document. Posting a copy online is not something most of us would do; yet the President has indulged the Birther community by doing so.  If the US President’s identity is compromised, stolen or misappropriated by common criminal identity thieves, the matter becomes an issue of national security.  The common risk remains.  If you repeatedly flash certain documentation enough, it will inevitably tempt identity thieves. There is risk to you through over-exposure or repeated sharing through insecure DMV databases in Real ID compliant states
In a best case scenario, you hope having a birth certificate and a social security card are enough to procure the gold standard for national-to-international passage, the US Passport. Surely, this would ensure your ability to sail through all inquiry into your legal identity.  However, right now, a birth certificate alone will not relieve you from the run on proof of private information to gain a passport.  The TSA and the US State Department have teamed up on an exhaustively intrusive questionnaire for passport applicants.  This may require you to prove the last 7 years of employment and status of circumcision if you are male.   
Not everyone who wants identity information deserves an answer.  It’s bizarrely disenchanting see the POTUS cave in to an incessant demand for birth certificate verification by a politically motivated group bent on his displacement.  Why would Obama go along with this type of juvenile ultimatum?  Birthers are the same type of  people who can’t be satisfied with enough evidence of ANY US citizenship- no matter how much or how often you prove it to them.
Americans aren’t required to agree, or even like, Obama’s policies or his politics. In fact, he is responsible for backing over his own civil liberties by signing the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act and continued warrantless data gathering efforts.  His Administration has a lot in common with the Birthers nipping at his heels afterall.
However, if the Birther movement were allowed to displace a US President for “inadequate documentation”, wouldn’t it force a weird new standard of subjectivity into the handling of United States citizenship?  What if a group of US residents decided you shouldn’t have rights?  Could they could simply launch a private campaign effort to dispell your citizenship as if it were a myth and then expect the State’s highest offices play along with it? 
Don’t be a fool.  American citizenship should not be reduced to some blithe Statist game of,“I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours”.
Just because Obama put his birth certificate online, does not mean we should give the Administration unlimited access to our private identity articles.  The President waiving his rights, doesn’t require you to waive yours.