Saturday, August 22, 2009

DNA as Identity, a biometrics update...

BTC- DNA as a biometric identifier is really considered cool by backslappy,cigar smoking croney-crats who believe you should pay them money for it. The critically uncool part of this is even DNA can be tampered with as evidence. People who have problems substantiating or recognizing evidence tampering to begin with, as they do ANY evidence, are now reaching for headache remedy.

Q. Who would tamper with DNA evidence and why?
A. Monsters.

There is so much to lose to monsters who like to eat children.

More than 51,000 DNA samples from children in West Yorkshire have been added to a controversial national database by the police, new figures reveal. To date more than 23,151 genetic profiles from youngsters aged between ten and 14 have been stored. And a further 28,169 samples have been taken from 15 to 17-year-olds by West Yorkshire Police since 2000.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The problem of cosmetic activism

By Sheila Dean

As an agitator and activist, I love what I do, but I know when it is simply not working.

I came up with the term, cosmetic activism, over a year ago regarding a complaint I have with contemporary political culture. In Los Angeles, the best you can do is have roving performance art with a permit and call it a protest. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the best you can you do is show up to a scheduled Town Hall meeting and be allowed 3 minutes of public input. This is all I have ever had allowable in my adult life for political mass protest.

In the meantime, police personnel show up in full riot gear, hyper-vigilant for violence and are often guilty of provoking it themselves to bring dissolution to any legitimate mass protest.

I do not want to be jailed or beaten. Often during my militarized upbringing, I was not spared roughness by military police and arbitrary threat of force by U.S. soldiers stationed for duty. I learned early that the only divine hand strong enough to stop the U.S. military must be your own.

Rosa Parks & You

The problem with movement for social justice today is that Rosa Parks does not have permission to do today what she did for civil disobedience in American history. Non-violent civil disobedience today is met with tasering and blows by armed forces - forget that they are police. What's happening right now is that police forces are now being trained as civilian military and given license to enforce federal law over State affairs. This is why you see America breaking out in hives by the titles Tenth Amendment Center, Campaign for Liberty, American Freedom, Courage Campaign and many many others who are out of practice, maybe new to the game of public protest, but understand acutely that something is wrong and they are afraid to do nothing and to stand by while Bush continues as Obama.

I don't really have privacy anymore. Those paid to oversee also know I don't care. It's not really stopping me from creating a bridge to those who deliver on progress.

Mohandas Ghandi said of the British occupiers, challenged by India's resolve for national independence, "they are desperate when they resort to martial law." Martial paranoia includes citizen surveillance to preclude public prisoners of the state, watching for non existent wrong doing. This practice spawns boredom, from boredom wickedness and from wickedness, violence.

Ghandi did infinitely more than he said as an example to remedy blow-for-blow retaliation. Labor protests and marches are among the most effective and least utilized forms of protest in national histories. During one of Ghandi's more famous labor rights protests in South Africa, the offending corporate tycoon sent in police wielding batons as threat of force. All the marchers followed Ghandi's instruction to simply lie down. No one was within a baton's reach. No one was hurt, except the corporation who lost productivity.

America & Real Protest

American patriots are known for hawking blood soaked, revolutionary tactics with slogans like "It's time to water the tree of liberty." However, it is such a different story when it's no longer Hollywood props, cardboard, and makeup. After dealing with activists suffering from critical head injuries and a few who took longer to get out of jail than intended, you try to qualify protest efforts as "calculated risks" much as possible. Responsible activists with children, do more to make sure if they get hurt or seized upon by planning ahead if the police send in artful provacateurs. When you meet and speak to people targeted as examples for their resistance to the Federal government as gun owners, you have to appreciate the dichotomy which accompanies our culture. Our culture honors and respects brutality and bloodlust. However, when it is returned on the heads of those doing the dealing ... Intuitively, we know the ugly and thoughtless results of this double standard.

"Smart people don't need guns," softer urbane civilians say; those with degrees, living decent lives. However, American life is getting less decent by the day as the unemployment and the bills climb paired. Smart, strapped people get desperate and angry too. That is why the Obama administration and the stagnant water in Washington, which won't change itself, are fearful. It's too little, too late and for far too long to not fear the American blowback for our luckless inheritance.

The real question is, what happens when smart, desperate, angry Americans with nothing to lose aim their lives at changing the way government happens?

Real protest. Not drive-time dinner theater. Convention defying, legal bending, technologically mutating protest that is both organized and effective. It won't be your grandma's protest. My only hope is that it will be peaceful.

It's out there and its habit forming for people with less to lose everyday.

FLOGGER: The story on Enhanced Drivers Licenses

Just a minute from your media sponsor...
BTC - I'm sure it's clear by now that this is not the blog that gives a fair and balanced perspective. We have a tough enough time getting our perspective represented in the media.

BeatTheChip delivers the Anti-Real ID perspective religiously. We aggregate content as soon as news develops. However like anything else in this world - in order to advance the cause and alter the course of history, we need money. At the bottom of every entry on these blogs is an opportunity to give. Friday is a conventional pay day. You can count on us to shove off Numbers USA and tell Janice Kephart to go to hell DAILY. [We know they read our blog too.]

Subscribing is free, but we are asking for an initial give of between $2 -$10 for BTC content, which features frontline interviews and information about privacy, identity, technology and national legislation from those who create the news.

Free-market banditos like Jim Harper understand. You gotta get paid to change the world and that's okay. Without further ado ... classic conservative analysis to PROBLEM>REACTION> SOLUTION with Jim Harper, who has a great book up for review,
Identity Crisis: How Identity is Overused & Misunderstood, available for sale as well.

National ID bashing with CATO policy brand Jim Harper

Last week, the governor of Arizona signed H.B. 2426, which bars the state from implementing the “enhanced” drivers license (EDL) program.

If the federal REAL ID revival bill (PASS ID) becomes law, it will give congressional approval to EDLs, which up to now have been simply a creation of the federal security and state driver licensing bureaucracies.


As governor of Arizona, the current Secretary of Homeland Security signed a memorandum of understanding with the DHS to implement EDLs, and she backs PASS ID even though she signed an anti-REAL ID bill as governor. As I said before, Secretary Napolitano seems to be taking the national ID tar baby in a loving embrace.

Here’s Michigan state representative Paul Opsommer (R) on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Enhanced Driver’s License,” which contains a radio frequency identification chip with a long read range:

Expect the Department of Homeland Security to tell you what a great thing they are doing by allowing you the ability to buy these RFID licenses. They create the problem, provide a solution that is the cheapest for them and most risky for you, and then expect you to like it. But RFID is not mandated by Congress, and if enough states stand up for themselves the policy will be changed. Michigan needs to say no and do just that.

EFF: PASS ID another "impotent" attempt on identity

In February, the opponents of REAL ID were given a bit of hope when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that she wanted to repeal the REAL ID Act, the federal government's failed plan to impose a national identification card through state driver's licenses. But what has taken place since is no return to sanity, as political machinations have produced a cosmetic makeover called "PASS ID" that has revived the push for a national identification card.

The PASS ID Act (S. 1261) seeks to make many of the same ineffectual, dangerous changes the REAL ID Act attempted to impose. Fundamentally, PASS ID operates on the same flawed premise of REAL ID -- that requiring various "identity documents" (and storing that information in databases for later access) will magically make state drivers' licenses more legitimate, which will in turn improve national security.

Proponents seem to be blind to the systemic impotence of such an identification card scheme. Individuals originally motivated to obtain and use fake IDs will instead use fake identity documents to procure "real" drivers' licenses. PASS ID creates new risks -- it calls for the scanning and storage of copies of applicants' identity documents (birth certificates, visas, etc.). These documents will be stored in databases that will become leaky honeypots of sensitive personal data, prime targets for malicious identity thieves or otherwise accessible by individuals authorized to obtain documents from the database. Despite some alterations to the scheme, PASS ID is still bad for privacy in many of the same ways the REAL ID was. And proponents of the national ID effort seem blissfully unaware of the creepy implications of a "papers please" mentality that may grow from the issuance of mandatory federal identification cards. Despite token provisions that claim to give states the freedom to issue non-federal identification cards, the card will be mandatory for most -- the PASS ID Act seeks to require everyone to show the federally recognized ID for "any official purpose," including boarding a plane or entering a federal building.

At the moment, health care reform is commanding tremendous attention and effort on the hill, so the PASS ID Act seems to be on the backburner for now. But after the August recess, anything can happen. So stay tuned for more about PASS ID and critical opportunities to flag your opposition to this flawed national ID scheme.

Civil Liberty brush off, results in 4 to the Floor campaign

“The court’s decision effectively means that Americans’ privacy rights will be left to the mercy of the political branches. This is deeply troubling, because the courts have a crucial role to play in ensuring that individual rights are not needlessly infringed upon by statutes enacted in the name of national security."- Jameel Jaffer

Dismissal Of ACLU, NYCLU Challenge To Unconstitutional Spying Law Jeopardizes Americans' Privacy

August 20, 2009 -- A federal court today dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging an unconstitutional government spying law. The ACLU and the New York Civil Liberties Union filed the landmark lawsuit in July 2008 to stop the government from conducting surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to sweep up Americans' international e-mails and telephone calls.

The ACLU and NYCLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose ability to perform their work – which relies on confidential communications – is greatly compromised by the FAA. ::: MORE HERE:::

It is SO on.

BTC - Yeah, well apparently The Feds don't get it. I encourage every activist who enjoys the right to peacibly assemble and petition their government for injury to their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to join this activist task force. I jumped on as soon as I could. Do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Deadline for E-Verify, Sept. 8

Source: Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll -

The new law requiring federal contractors to use E-Verify is expected to go into effect September 8, 2009, after multiple postponements caused by a lawsuit. Be aware that federal contractors may not use E-Verify to verify the work authorization of current employees until after the effective date, and the government may not include the E-Verify requirement in contracts or solicitation before then.

State Dept. claims RFID acts as intended, privacy still at risk

Ultimately, Michael Holly, chief of consular affairs/international affairs at the U.S. Department of State, says Chris Paget’s interception of the passport card’s data is no reason for concern.
“Mr. Paget actually was doing nothing more than what we intended to have happen…the card, if powered by a reader, will give off the ID number, which is simply a pointer to the data that we share with the Department of Homeland Security,” he says.

[BTC Comment - Is the State Department's job to make egregious hacks look like it was all their idea and that they have everything under control?

I guess the more important question to ask is: are you in control of your identity and where your private information lands due to RFID deployment?

If you are confident RFID is insecure you reserve the right to demand more privacy provisions, especially if it's a legal mandate and you are required to pay for it.]

RFID Passport Tags Save Time, Risk Privacy
By Jeff Goldman

c/o WiFi Planet

The presence of an RFID tag in U.S. passport cards has raised privacy concerns, but government officials insist the technology is safe--and that the efficiency it adds at land borders is worth the risk.

By the time WHTI went into effect on June 1st of this year, requiring Americans to present passport books, passport cards, or EDLs when crossing land borders into the United States, over a million RFID-enhanced passport cards had already been issued. While WHTI itself isn’t new, its implementation for land borders was delayed two years ago in order to allow for further testing of passport card technology.

It’s important to note that there’s a key difference between e-passports(passport books) and passport cards. While passport cards use vicinity RFID (EPC Gen 2) technology, which can be read at distances of up to 30 feet, e-passports use ISO 14443 contactless smart card tech with a read range of a few inches. To compensate for their readibility (and therefore hackability) at a distance, passport cards only transmit an ID number that relates back to information stored in a secure central database, while e-passports store and transmit much more detailed information about the passport holder.

According to Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance, that difference was key to the selection of the two technologies. “The electronic passport was built knowing that it was going to store secure information like a person’s name, city of issuance, passport number, image of the person… and therefore they chose a more secure chip technology to protect that information—whereas the passport card was designed to be a static identifier to a central database, with no personal information stored in the chip itself,” he says.

Vanderhoof contends that the government’s decision to use the longer-range EPC Gen 2 technology in passport cards was a mistake. “The decision to trade speed over security and privacy, I think, was a poor decision on the part of the program managers under WHTI—but they repeatedly defended the decision because of the traffic flows through the land borders and the fact that they needed something that could be read from great distances,” he says.

Still, Paul Hunter, technical lead for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, insists that the time savings provided by the passport cards are considerable. “We can actually read the documents as they’re approaching the booth…which means, instead of handing a document to an officer and him swiping it or manually typing in data, the data’s already there, and now he can focus on the person, and he can focus on the conveyance…it saves six to eight seconds per person,” he says.

And at a land border, Hunter says, time is of the essence. “We’re talking over 100 million crossings a year,” he says. “Those six to eight seconds actually are very significant. We’ve done time and motion studies where we’ve actually measured the time it takes to take the document, to bring it into the booth, to either manually type or swipe and then wait for the results—and if you eliminate all that, you are actually on average saving between six to eight seconds.”

What’s more, Hunter says, the same technology has already been in use for over ten years in the government’s SENTRI and NEXUStrusted traveler programs. “And we have not had one reported incident of somebody skimming that data and using it for nefarious purposes…the reality is, it’s just a number,” he says. “And we further mitigate that by making sure the data that’s associated with that is in a secure back-end database.”

Ultimately, Michael Holly, chief of consular affairs/international affairs at the U.S. Department of State, says Chris Paget’s interception of the passport card’s data is no reason for concern. “Mr. Paget actually was doing nothing more than what we intended to have happen…the card, if powered by a reader, will give off the ID number, which is simply a pointer to the data that we share with theDepartment of Homeland Security,” he says.

But Paget himself, now president and CTO of the security research firm H4RDW4RE, says that ID number shouldn’t be so easily accessible. “You shouldn’t necessarily think of it as low-risk just because it’s a number,” he says. “Your social security number is just a number. Your credit card number is just a number. It’s the meaning that’s attached to those numbers that makes it risky—and in this instance, it’s an identifier for a person, so any time you see that identifier, you can be certain that you’re seeing that same person.”

One possible solution, Paget says, would be to add an on/off switch to the passport card, as has been suggested by Dr. Ann Cavoukian,Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Canadian province of Ontario. Paget says it’s simply a matter of adding “a button on the card that you have to physically squeeze to turn the tag on, at which point it can be read—so it completely negates the need for shielding…because the tag is off until you actually want it to be turned on.”

The larger point, Paget says, is that RFID needs to be approached with the same caution as the Internet—both, essentially, are simply untrusted networks that move bits of data from point a to point b. “There’s no reason why RFID cannot have equivalent security to something like SSH or SSL that we use on the Internet all the time…I’m certainly not against RFID as a technology: I think it’s got great potential, but there needs to be a lot more security involved in the design of the systems,” he says.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

PODCAST: An RFID Clean Up Team

LISTEN :::H4RDW4RE : An RFID Clean Up Team

- Radio Frequency ID chip technologies are "too vulnerable in too many ways," says Chris Paget, ethical hacker and partner for H4RDW4RE, a new company creating privacy and security solutions to existing RFID problems in the marketplace.

The public has been made aware of RFID or Radio Frequency ID technologies commissioned for national identity documents: passports, Enhanced Drivers Licenses, TWIC cards, Speed Passes and even Tribal Identity Cards. Unfortunately, RFID as a government sanctioned technology earned a big brother reputation from its ability to track a persons current location, storing and conveying private information from 20 - 30 feet away.

Chris Paget, a technology penetration consultant, found the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative compliant RFIDs especially troublesome. He began doing live demonstrations exposing identity security flaws RFIDs had on average cardholders. Then Chris Paget and his business partner Tim Mullen formed They have made it their business to demonstrate exactly how insecure Western Hemisphere compliant RFID chips can be for people to possess in identity cards, smart-contactless cards and credit cards.

In this interview they explain the benefits of technology penetration testing or "ethical hacking" for investors and adopters. One of Paget's demonstrations went viral via YouTube in February, blowing apart any faint notion of RFID's billing as a secure identity technology. Equipped with only a $250 signal reader and a conventional laptop, Paget cloned or copied private passport information from a parked car in San Francisco.

H4RDW4RE recently featured high profile demonstrations at 2009 conventions like DefCon & Black Hat. They continue to invent solutions for existing security problems and risks ordinary people face from identity technologies present in U.S. passports and other public cards.

Monday, August 17, 2009

130 million credit card numbers stolen in identity theft scheme

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities announced what they believed to be the largest hacking and identity theft case ever prosecuted on Monday in a scheme in which more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen.

Three men were indicted on charges of being responsible for five corporate data breaches in a scheme in which the card numbers were stolen from Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven Inc and Hannaford Brothers Co, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The suspects also hacked two unidentified corporate victims, the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey said in the statement. :::MORE HERE:::

FLOGGER: Moments in Real ID History, Indiana & Wisconsin

National ID bashing with CATO policy brand Jim Harper

The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana takes Governor Mitch Daniels (R) to task for claiming that the burdensome identification requirements he’s implementing in the state are required by federal law.

Many states across the country have refused to participate in the REAL ID Act, preserving their citizens’ privacy and tax dollars. Not Governor Daniels, and in a recent press release he misstated federal identification requirements while acting as if he’s helpless to do anything about them.

Says the Journal Gazette: “[B]laming the federal government for non-existent requirements is disingenuous. If the governor wants Hoosiers to take extra steps to prove their identity, he should say so himself.” ARTICLE: INDIANA plans to overhaul how it handles driver's licenses.
More moments in Real ID history:
Wisconsin Governor Defunds REAL ID

May 13, 2008 reports that Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle (D) plans to take more than $20 million out of the state’s REAL ID account and transfer it into the state’s general fund.

Wisconsin Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R) objects:

When I shepherded the REAL ID bill through Congress 3 years ago, it was in response to one of the key recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, that ‘fraud in identification documents is no longer just a problem of theft.’ As we saw in 2001, in the hands of a terrorist, a valid ID accepted for travel in the US can be just as dangerous as a missile or bomb.

Congressman Sensenbrenner is correct to claim responsibility for REAL ID, but less accurate in other parts of his statement. The 9/11 Commission’s ‘key’ recommendation wasn’t key. (Indeed, Congress’ effort to follow the Commission’s recommendation was repealed by REAL ID.)

Nobody – not the 9/11 Commission, not Congressman Sensenbrenner, not Stewart Baker, nor anyone else – can explain the proximity between false ID and terrorist attacks, or how REAL ID cost-effectively secures the country against any threat.

Wisconsin’s governor has issued a mighty well-placed snub to the creator of theSensenbrenner tax.”

Editorial as News on PASS ID and Real ID

BTC Editorial

I've noticed the amount of coverage that passes as news about Real ID and national identity, my own angles included is actually editorial. That's why I don't print Numbers USA's longwinded and desperate comment tirades on this blog. Everything currently on the news market about Real ID is editorialized.

The important question to ask is, why?

As Real ID news complies with current national news trends; he who has the dollars is buying the news. Secure ID Coalition can beat the drum all day long, but it won't change the actual number of States from 25 opposed to 13. The corporate press and Washington can say the number of States opposed to Real ID is 13 instead of 50% of the United States. It doesn't changes the fact that Governors signed off on bills from the ground up through 2 chambers of State government which established their policy and legal application of how to not handle Real ID. If you merely rebrand it PASS ID and continue Real ID on the books, the States will punt your sorry game back to your court doorsteps, just like it has done over a year's time.

Maintaining Real ID as hubris to save Sensenbrenner fiscal loss and embarassment, and others like him, is really a bad championship for the identity of every adult American. We here at Beat The Chip, represent a voice who will carefully explain truth to the powers, without apology, who have underestimated exactly how personal this is. The Senate and Congress can repackage Real ID 10 times, as they have - once people know what is wrong with what you are doing THEY ARE GOING TO STOP YOU FROM DOING IT.

Someone, maybe several, is going to lose their seat for attempting to shove Real ID down our throats 2 and 3 forms over. The U.S. government has simply gotten it wrong this time. We are not the only countrymen on this planet who have a big problem with a national ID card process.

We know what national identity is about.

National identity has not much if anything at all to do with security according to varied sources. There's not a hint of moderation about Real ID. It works exclusively in the favor of a select few businesses, who are continually asking for permission to continue with an agenda to create identity that goes against both democracy and a constitutional republic. They are overly attached to the RFID technology as a consequence.

Case in point, regulations inclusive of RFID technology which are unsafe and insecure as part of the continuance of the Real ID Act sing the symptomatic problems with the PASS Act. The information trade is a huge boom, if businesses can glean your information for no extra costs from RFID tag trails and then sell this information idefinitely as their property, it's better than slavery for them. Specifically, if you don't protest and you don't know about it. As usual, those who know security believe they know what's best for Americans as long as it means that it profits them.

They aren't just wrong this time; their hands will be tied behind their backs again and again for insisting against the gentleness of the American people. The same people who have been repeatedly betrayed by their immediate government. There is none left to trust among the 3 branches, so they must either stop what they are doing or be replaced. It's entropy.

Do we need a National ID? 58% of Americans say "NO"

c/o PARADE Magazine ::: Click the link to take the poll and view current results.

Congress is considering a controversial new plan called Pass ID that would require all American driver’s licenses to meet a set of national standards—creating, in effect, a national ID card. On one side of the debate are those who say the cards are necessary for national security. The idea arose after the 9/11 Commission called for standardized IDs, noting that “travel documents are as important as weapons” for terrorists operating on U.S. soil. Privacy advocates oppose the cards, saying they’d give the government too much access to citizens’ personal information.

The plan’s first iteration, called Real ID, was approved by Congress in 2005 but met resistance from states, which balked at its $11 billion price tag. By eliminating some of the technical requirements and providing additional funding, the new plan is winning some support: Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, who opposed Real ID as governor of Arizona, now says that Pass ID represents “a cost-effective, commonsense solution.”

But not everyone is happy—some Congressmen who supported Real ID say the new plan doesn’t do enough to stop terrorists. On the other side, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union say the plan threatens personal privacy by requiring states to keep copies of identifying documents and by easing government access to information, such as where and when Americans travel. “It still amounts to a national ID that will require state departments of motor vehicles to retain information and documentation on citizens,” says Chris Calabrese, an ACLU lawyer.