Friday, April 10, 2009
HCR 50 Reiterates Texas’ Rights Over Powers Not Otherwise Granted to Federal Government
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today joined state Rep. Brandon Creighton and sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50 in support of states’ rights under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitutio
BTC OPINION/ EDITORIAL
While HCR 50 is the idealogical new darling legislation of the 81st session, it has been gathering dust in the State Affairs office. No legislators were available for comment today at the Captiol due to Good Friday. There has bee no legislative action on HCR 50 since February, 23 2009; the date it was referred to the State Affairs committee. The show and tell we witnessed on Thursday is a heavy cloud. We can wait until Tuesday for any word on the rain.
There are 69 co-sponsors, 4 sponsors and the author, Rep. Brandon Creighton. Amid the approbation of 76 legislators is: the Vice Chair of the Calendars Committee, 6 co-sponsors on the Calendars committee, 5 State Affairs Committee members - 2 of which are also on the Calendar's committee. With the level of collaborative and incestuous support - why hasn't HCR 50 actually passed by now?
That is something you will have to ask your Texas Legislators.
To track HCR 50 visit:
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tonight, Olbermann continued his exploratory conviction against the "bipartisan" stronghold over the U.S. government's assumed right to our privacy.
The argument surround's Jewel vs. NSA , filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The fate of the imperiled court case below.
Please support the Electronic Frontier Foundation's legal defense fund here to help defend our right to retaliate against government mandated stalking.
San Francisco - The Obama administration formally adopted the Bush administration's position that the courts cannot judge the legality of the National Security Agency's (NSA's) warrantless wiretapping program, filing a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA late Friday.
In Jewel v. NSA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is challenging the agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. The Obama Justice Department claims in its motion that litigation over the wiretapping program would require the government to disclose privileged "state secrets." These are essentially the same arguments made by the Bush administration three years ago in Hepting v. AT&T, EFF's lawsuit against one of the telecom giants complicit in the NSA spying.
"President Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "But with the Obama Justice Department continuing the Bush administration's cover-up of the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans, and insisting that the much-publicized warrantless wiretapping program is still a 'secret' that cannot be reviewed by the courts, it feels like deja vu all over again."
For the full motion to dismiss:
For more on Jewel v. NSA:
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
A cybersecurity bill introduced April 1st in the Senate would give the federal government extraordinary power over private sector Internet services, applications and software. The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 would, for example, give the President unfettered power to shut down Internet traffic in emergencies or disconnect any critical infrastructure system or network on national security grounds. The bill would grant the Commerce Department the ability to override all privacy laws to access any information about Internet usage in connection with a new role in tracking cybersecurity threats. The bill, introduced by Sens. John Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe, would also give the government unprecedented control over computer software and Internet services, threatening innovation, freedom and privacy. CDT President and CEO Leslie Harris said, "The cybersecurity threat is real, but such a drastic federal intervention in private communications technology and networks could harm both security and privacy." April 01, 2009 .
For More Info: http://cdt.org/
Last month, the Utah House voted 68-6 to prohibit state officials from complying with REAL ID. A couple dozen states have passed resolutions protesting the federal Act, but the Utah law would have more teeth. If more states join, we might see a real confrontation with national policy.
SAN MARCOS - The City Council of San Marcos, Texas, unanimously voted last week to rescind a mandatory pet microchipping ordinance that would have required all pets within city limits to receive an injected implant. The 7 to 0 vote was made at the City Council meeting on March 31, 2009. All members were present and voted, including Mayor Susan Clifford-Narvaiz, according to San Marcos Communications Director Melissa Millecam.
The chipping ordinance was originally adopted last December and was slated to take effect on April 1st. The measure had sparked months of heated opposition and repeated demonstrations by local residents, including a protest and candlelight vigil at the March 3rd City Council meeting that drew a crowd of over 300 people.
"We applaud the San Marcos City Council for this decision," said local activist Lisa Marie Coppoletta, who helped organize the March 3rd rally. "Chipping should be a voluntary decision between pet owners and their veterinarians. It should never be mandated by the government."
“Based on reports that fusion centers are targeting 3rd party voters and those who pose Constitutional challenges to the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence gathering efforts, we are aggressively opposing any legislation that would secure our private information for national to international data aggregation. This may include voter ID. No one should be profiled or targeted based on an electronic record of how they voted. A routine intelligence seizure based on a national security directive, such as the one issued in Missouri, would lead to arbitrary and reckless disregard for our privacy and personal sovereignty,” says Sheila Dean, President of the 5-11 Campaign.
This legislation observed for action during the vigil includes opposition to HB 4036. The Texas bill calls for compliance with the federal ID mandate. American license information, social security number and citizenship documents may be stored and shared with customs through an insecure fusion center. Other legislations included during the month long vigil touch upon DNA databases, animal information systems, drivers licenses, identity cards and other relevant attributions of private identity.
Last Monday (3/30), the Public Safety Committee heard testimony which included challenges to existing efforts to gain public consent over fusion center storage of license or ID card information. Many objections were raised over the call for facial recognition technology, among other regulations in the Real ID Act of 2005. Texas’ federal Real ID extension for compliance expires December 31, 2009.
Public Safety committee members are concerned about Texans being refused passage into federal buildings and airports based on Texas federal extension status. According to staffers, the DHS has been unclear about the extension standards until now with one exception; the inclusion of citizenship status on licenses.
“When an license to operate a motor vehicle becomes a de facto citizenship document, it becomes a national ID card. We are opposed to a national ID. We hope the 81st legislature will stand on the 10th Amendement and reject the whole Act,” said Dean.
Incomplete Networks & Intelligence Aggregation
The push to expand identity databases nationally are suffering from a big brother reputation, networking inadequacies and insufficient funds.
According to a report released last month from the DHS Inspector General, fusion centers across the U.S. are inadequately networked, non-existent or vastly underfunded to comply with the federal mandate for identity storage and national identity sharing.
THE DHS, INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT OVER FEDERAL REAL ID IMPLEMENTATION
“DHS did not provide timely and specific guidance on how REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards must be marked, best practices for the physical security of facilities, or information on the systems that will be used for verifying applicant documentation. To achieve full compliance with REAL ID standards by 2011, states must connect with electronic verification systems to verify identification documents. Several of the systems needed do not yet exist. Specifically, 18 of 19 states, or 95%, reported that available grant funding was insufficient. Several states referred to the amount received as a “drop in the bucket.” - DHS INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT
MORE ABOUT FUSION CENTERS
Civil Liberties Assessment & Impact
ACLU: What's Wrong With Fusion Centers - Executive Summary
While Nash-McAdam doesn’t think that this incident will keep him from visiting Downtown Phoenix in the future, he says that it has cemented his view that Phoenix is a “police state to me when held in comparison to my hometown of Orange County and the numerous other cities I’ve traveled to.”Photography is not a crime.
You all may know Steve Bierfelt, a well known blogger. We heard this audio account of a Steve who was detained by TSA for having a large amount of cash. According to this article Bierfelt was targeted by TSA for his political affiliation and for possession of several thousand dollars in cash.
From appearances, Blogger Bob, thought he did a good job catching the "bad guy". That was why there was so many affirmations of the TSA apprehension by TSA to follow this account. If you asked us, it looks like TSA trying to publicly justify their Homeland Stupidity.
Please go to the article and listen to the entire account c/o Daily Newscaster: