Friday, October 16, 2009

Delaware May Be Eating The Chip, biometrics

DOVER — Those getting a Delaware driver’s license will soon face increased security measures.

That could make life difficult for some – particularly immigrants who are not in this country legally and don’t have the necessary documents.

The law [The Real ID Act] was condemned by many states as a costly unfunded mandate – it would cost them an estimated $4 billion to implement it – and 24 states have refused to comply or passed laws limiting their participation.

Delaware, which didn’t resist the federal Real ID mandate, is expected to be ready to meet the requirements of Real ID.

“We’re on track to meet all the [Real ID] benchmarks by January 2010,” said Jennifer Cohan, director of the Division of Motor Vehicles. Delaware will debut a new driver’s license next year, one that will resemble the current license but that will contain additional security measures.

Delaware also will issue noncompliant licenses for people lacking the documentation needed for federally compliant licenses, Cohan said.

Those licenses still confer driving privileges but will not be sufficient identification to board an airplane or enter a federal building.

Real ID also drew fire from a wide range of groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, which blasted it as a de facto national ID card and its provision for a central database of driver information as an invasion of privacy.

Now an effort is afoot on Capitol Hill to bypass the states’ rebellion and retool Real ID. The new bill, Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification – PASS ID – is somewhat less rigorous than Real ID and also contains federal funding to help states implement it.

PASS ID, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., eliminates a Real ID proposal for a central database that would allow states to cross-check the validity of documents.Cohan called PASS ID “Real ID Lite” – it accomplishes many of the same goals without excessive burdens on the states.

Applicants still will have to supply a birth certificate and Social Security card to obtain a federally compliant license. States also will check applicants’ legal status – including their immigration status.


REAL ID Budget Clears House, Senate version of bill

Congressman Sestak supports passage of H.R. 2892, the Homeland Security Appropriations Act and supports local homeland defense projects in district

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010 today after the House and Senate reconciled differences in their versions of the bills. Included in the bill was $500,000 for Upper Darby Township Police Department's 2009 Public Safety Building Restoration Project, an appropriation submitted by Congressman Joe Sestak (PA-07) to improve emergency response and coordination in the township.

REAL ID: $60 million, $40 million below 2009, to help states comply with REAL ID, which requires state driver's licenses to meet new standards in order to be used for federal identification purposes. Of this total, $50 million is for the driver's license security grant program, the same as 2009, and $10 million is for REAL ID hub development.

Defcon's Jeff Moss on cybersecurity, government's role

c/o CNET

BTC - Jeff Moss. Defcon man gone HSGAC. PASS ID is still a Real ID. Someone tell Moss...

Q: So, how's it going on the Homeland Security Advisory Council?

Moss: It's going pretty well, it's pretty exciting actually. Recently we did a recommendation, I'm sure you read about it, the homeland security color codes. There are the five color codes. Normally the country is on like yellow or orange. I think we've only been to red once. But we've never been to the two lowest, blue and green. So the system was up for review. It turns out that the color codes work really well for industry and government. They have procedures in place. They do things automatically when the color codes are changed. It is actually successful for them but for the third group that uses them, civilians, it actually doesn't work well at all.

Right. We don't understand it. We're like, what does it mean? Is it real?

Moss: How does it give us any actionable information? How should we change our behavior based on it? That's what came out of the report was that it's very hard for civilians to do anything with it and it causes confusion, and it's the No. 1 source of ridicule. The system needs to stay because it's valuable for the other two groups, but it needs to change was the conclusion of the report. So they had a couple of recommendations and one was to just get rid of the two lowest colors because honestly we've never been at them; make the new normal orange. Three levels is probably more realistic than having five. The U.K. doesn't have five either, I think they have three.

The other big thing was if something is happening in New York, you don't need to raise it for the whole country, so make them more applicable for a geographic location. Localize it more. And then some other recommendations I thought were reasonable were make it a default where the level is automatically lowered if nothing affirmative happens. So the onus is on the officials to constantly justify why it needs to stay at a higher level. They had some other really common-sensical recommendations. You should tell people without revealing any sensitive security information or sources why did it get raised? Why did it get lowered? Is the threat over or is this an ongoing threat that we just now think is less important?

Two (reports) before that we were dealing with the Real ID versus Pass ID debate. (The Bush administration was) trying to create basically a national identity card and when that didn't happen they created this Real ID standard that would cause all the states to have standardized features on their driver's licenses. That's different from an enhanced driver's license which is used in place of your passport when crossing into Canada or Mexico.They want make it all much more transparent to the public. So if they say we intercepted these people trying to board a plane with these liquids so we're going to go got a higher level around airports...something like that, instead of a blanket generalization that's applied to the whole country without explaining when the threat goes away or is mitigated. I know some members of Congress agreed with the report and it was generally really well received. Now the Advisory Council, we all unanimously agreed with it, and now it's off to the secretary (of Homeland Security). I was expecting a lot more bureaucrat-ese but that report I couldn't find anything to nitpick with because it make a lot of sense.

You need biometrics (and to) verify the information through approved two other sources. It's an attempt by the feds to make sure information getting into the DMVs is actually valid and there's a paper trail there and the information from one state can be easily shared with another state. It seemed fairly reasonable. But then you started looking at some of the provisions and it turns into another one of these giant unfunded mandates from the feds. A lot of the civil libertarians got up in arms over it and I'm not really pleased either. States started to rebel.

The DHS was saying if you don't have one of these driver's licenses that is approved you're not going to be able to fly. So these governors got together and came up with an alternative plan called Pass ID. It removed it from being a state unfunded mandate, reduced the database requirements, reduced some of the ID requirements, made it much more feasible and reasonable, phased in on not such an immediate time table, didn't seem to have Big Brother issues. DHS is not going to want to go to war with these states. I think there's a realization you have to come to some compromise and Pass ID seems like a good compromise, but now you've got to convince Congress. ::: ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE:::

FBI delves into DMV photos for fugitives

“We don't have good photos of terrorists,” Rotenberg said. “Most of the facial-recognition systems today are built on state DMV records because that's where the good photos are. It's not where the terrorists are.”
-Mark Rotenberg of EPIC
c/o JP with NCard & The Colbert Report

RALEIGH, N.C. — In its search for fugitives, the FBI has begun using facial-recognition technology on millions of motorists, comparing driver's license photos with pictures of convicts in a high-tech analysis of chin widths and nose sizes.

The project in North Carolina has already helped nab at least one suspect. Agents are eager to look for more criminals and possibly to expand the effort nationwide. But privacy advocates worry that the method allows authorities to track people who have done nothing wrong.

“Everybody's participating, essentially, in a virtual lineup by getting a driver's license,” said Christopher Calabrese, an attorney who focuses on privacy issues at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Earlier this year, investigators learned that a double-homicide suspect named Rodolfo Corrales had moved to North Carolina. The FBI took a 1991 booking photo from California and compared it with 30 million photos stored by the motor vehicle agency in Raleigh.

In seconds, the search returned dozens of drivers who resembled Corrales, and an FBI analyst reviewed a gallery of images before zeroing in on a man who called himself Jose Solis.

A week later, after corroborating Corrales' identity, agents arrested him in High Point, southwest of Greensboro, where they believe he had built a new life under the assumed name. Corrales is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles later this month.

“Running facial recognition is not very labor-intensive at all,” analyst Michael Garcia said. “If I can probe a hundred fugitives and get one or two, that's a home run.”

Facial-recognition software is not entirely new, but the North Carolina project is the first major step for the FBI as it considers expanding use of the technology to find fugitives nationwide.

So-called biometric information that is unique to each person also includes fingerprints and DNA. More distant possibilities include iris patterns in the eye, voices, scent and even a person's gait.

FBI officials have organized a panel of authorities to study how best to increase use of the software. It will take at least a year to establish standards for license photos, and there's no timetable to roll out the program nationally.

Calabrese said Americans should be concerned about how their driver's licenses are being used.

Licenses “started as a permission to drive,” he said. “Now you need them to open a bank account. You need them to be identified everywhere. And suddenly they're becoming the de facto law enforcement database.”

State and federal laws allow driver's license agencies to release records for law enforcement, and local agencies have access to North Carolina's database, too. But the FBI is not authorized to collect and store the photos. That means the facial-recognition analysis must be done at the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.

“Unless the person's a criminal, we would not have a need to have that information in the system,” said Kim Del Greco, who oversees the FBI's biometrics division. “I think that would be a privacy concern. We're staying away from that.”

Dan Roberts, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division, added: “We're not interested in housing a bunch of photos of people who have done absolutely nothing wrong.”

Gone are the days when states made drivers' licenses by snapping Polaroid photos and laminating them onto cards without recording copies.

Now states have quality photo machines and rules that prohibit drivers from smiling during the snapshot to improve the accuracy of computer comparisons.

North Carolina's lab scans an image and, within 10 seconds, compares the likeness with other photos based on an algorithm of factors such as the width of a chin or the structure of cheekbones. The search returns several hundred photos ranked by the similarities.

“We'll get some close hits, and we'll get some hits that are right on,” said Stephen Lamm, who oversees the DMV lab.

The technology allowed the DMV to quickly highlight 28 different photos of one man who was apparently using many identities. It also identified one person who, as part of a sex change, came in with plucked eyebrows, long flowing hair and a new name — but the same radiant smile.

The system is not always right. Investigators used one DMV photo of an Associated Press reporter to search for a second DMV photo, but the system first returned dozens of other people, including a North Carolina terrorism suspect who had some similar facial features.

The images from the reporter and terror suspect scored a likeness of 72 percent, below the mid-80s that officials consider a solid hit.

Facial-recognition experts believe the technology has improved drastically since 2002, when extremely high failure rates led authorities to scrap a program planned for the entrances to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Lamm said investigators reviewing the galleries can almost always find the right photo, using a combination of the computer and the naked eye.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, questioned whether the facial-recognition systems that were pushed after the Sept. 11 attacks are accurate or even worthwhile.

“We don't have good photos of terrorists,” Rotenberg said. “Most of the facial-recognition systems today are built on state DMV records because that's where the good photos are. It's not where the terrorists are.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009


BTC - A very cool How-To guide how to do away with your RFID chips, complete with video.

Here is the link to the entire on

How to block/kill RFID chips

How to block/kill RFID chips - More DIY How To Projects

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

RealID real sneaky

Bob Barr for the Atlanta Constitution Journal

The move to nationalize the delivery of health care in America — which received a slight boost just yesterday with the Senate Finance Committee passing the Max Baucus health care bill out of the Finance Committee — offers government snoops a vast new universe of private health data to gather.

How clever these Feds be – create or highlight a private need (health care or education), then fashion a corresponding public benefit (universal health insurance or low-cost student loans), and you’re “In Like Flint.” Most Americans will gladly give you whatever information you tell them is necessary in order to deliver that “benefit”; and few will read the fine print even if there is any (members of Congress don’t; why should constituents?). Once the government gets the data, you’ll have no idea where it’s going, who will have access to it, how it will be used, or how long it will be retained.

This process – already in high gear – is moving us closer and closer to a national identification card, without actually saying so.

Waking Up Orwell Speaks to Health Attorney Suing NY State & FDA

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 from 9 - 10 AM CST. Please click the icon in the top right hand corner of 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.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Julian Sanchez fact checks FOX on PATRIOT ACT renewal

c/0 EFF UPDATE >> Julian

It appears that the only television news network that's been regularly covering the PATRIOT Act renewal process in Congress has been FOX News, and its coverage has seemed a lot more like pro-PATRIOT propaganda than unbiased news reporting. Fortunately, Julian Sanchez of The Cato Institute has been fact-checking this closely.

In other news....

Obama Sides with Republicans; PATRIOT Act Renewal Bill Passes Senate
Judiciary Committee Minus Critical Civil Liberties Reform

It looks like most of the Senators on the Judiciary Committee weren't swayed by last week's New York Times editorial, which suggested they consider USA PATRIOT Act renewal a "critical chance to add missing civil liberties and privacy protections, address known abuses and trim excesses that contribute nothing to making America safer."

Instead, the Committee passed a bill to renew all of the PATRIOT powers that were set to expire at the end of the year, with only a handful of the original reforms that were first proposed by Senators Feingold and Durbin's JUSTICE Act and Committee Chairman Leahy's original PATRIOT renewal bill.

No, rather than adding more protections to the bill, the Committee voted to accept seven Republican amendments to the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act to remove the few civil liberties protections left in the bill after it was already watered down at the previous Committee meeting. Surprisingly and disappointingly, most of those amendments were recommended to their Republican sponsors by the Obama Administration.

As Senator Feingold so elegantly stated in his post-vote blog post on Daily Kos: "In the end...Democrats have to decide if they are going to stand up for the rights of the American people or allow the FBI to write our laws."


Tell your Senators to support PATRIOT reforms like those in the JUSTICE Act!

Health Freedom Attorney to File Lawsuit Against FDA Over Swine Flu Vaccine in New York

Nurses speak about losing their jobs to a swine flu vaccine mandate.

c/o The NewAmerican

Health freedom attorney Jim Turner, of Citizens for Health, is filing a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., today, hoping to halt the distribution of the swine flu vaccine in America. What prompted his civil action is the ruling that licensed healthcare workers in New York State must receive the vaccine or lose their jobs.

Turner’s lawsuit, the plaintiffs for which are Dr. Gary Null and other healthcare workers of New York State, will seek an injunction against the Food and Drug Administration from approving the vaccine for general distribution. “And the core of the argument,” Turner told the Natural News Talk Hour Thursday evening, “is that they have not done the proper safety and efficacy tests on the vaccine to allow it to be released at this time.”

He explained further, “The FDA is required by law to establish that a vaccine is safe and effective before it can be given to the public. We are arguing that they did not establish that the vaccine was effective, and did not establish that it was safe. They are trying to get it on the market by a waiver.” ::: MORE HERE:::

Monday, October 12, 2009

EDITORIAL: Daily Show cracks under "conspiracy fatigue"

At the end of every long weekday of fighting for what I believe in, I settle into my couch and punch in the DVR code for the Daily Show/Colbert Report on Comedy Central. I love this little defragging ritual very much, as it keeps me from completely going bananas over conventions in politics which already really bother me.

Monday night John Stewart invited our favorite former Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, onto the Daily Show for a little softball Q&A about the H1N1 Pig Flu vaccine. John glazed over questions about the flu vaccines with leading questions he already answered negatively to the effect of, "There aren't microchips in the vaccines headed towards your brain..?" He let the DHS Secretary off almost completely when asked about tracking systems for the vaccines. Napolitano answered with little more than a head shake and safety blanket answer.

It's pretty much established policy on this blog that we are harsh critics of DHS/FEMA. However, if Stewart cowed down and played softball with Napolitano, I have to ask myself one question: what the hell would I have done if I were in the same situation? The Daily Show has a reputation for hot-seating everyone from Barack Obama to the President of the Council on Foreign Relations. However, none of those guys hold the elevated levels of sheer death & crazy that CNP/Pentagon vets possess or the tangible creep factor that say a long time iron horse veteran of CIA has or one Cheney's circle of close intelligence friends.

As a long time watcher of the Daily Show, the closest I have seen Stewart come to that level of spook factor is probably Secretary Janet Napolitano. I'll take 3 Rod Blagojevich's and one Bill Clinton to 1 Ollie North or 1 Dick Cheney for spook tolerances.

BUT ON THE OTHER HAND... he rather quickly brushed off any legitimate faults that one might find with the vaccines per his personal penchant for comedic hypochondria. He had an amazing opportunity to: delve into some of the problematic contents of the vaccines and the evolution of problems across the country with labor and employment policy, vaccination mandates, the fact that military personnel don't have the option to refuse the vaccines, or even cover what a real worst case scenario would look like in the event of a rediculously prolific spell of a seasonal flu, which is not especially deadly - just rediculously publicized.

My thought here though is that those questions could have easily been answered by someone from a National Center for Disease Control. So what was the point of having Napolitano on the show? Here's where it gets tricky, I think, for Stewart. Napolitano is not a medical expert. She's a National Security administrator. Homeland Security doesn't make anyone with civil liberties or medical reservations over the vaccines "feel safe". DHS is good, rather, at making US citizens feel surveilled and uncomfortable.

Even if no one asked me, I believe Napolitano's presence on the Daily Show was DHS spin to try to assure everyone of the "safety" of a medical shot which may not fundamentally be in their best interests. People are intuitive enough to understand that if you can't let medical doctors or practitioners perform their jobs without a strong American national security presence something is amiss.

So when given the opportunity to take the shot, we tell folks; don't take it. We do know it contains Thimerosal, a mercury derived product. We do know it can cause an incurable paralyzing neurological condition called Guillen Barre syndrome and the risk is listed as a potential side effect in current vaccines. We do know that medical staff are losing work over it. We do know that our leaders are more than a little panicked if we don't have an immunity for a little stomach flu. We do know that VeriChip worked dilligently on patenting internal microchips with a relationship to tracking & detecting flu viruses.We do knowtheir stock went up in close relationship for doing so.We know the H1N1 vaccines are administered via the nose to vaccinate for the flu.We also are aware of nanotechnology which performs that function.

So the hardball question Stewart didn't ask with extra-large gonads made from old cast iron skillets was: what's up with, among other things, the market for injectible microchips to track the flu viruses and who, if not CDC or FEMA, is buying?

Even if I could have asked for Stewart, he couldn't deal with the answers on National television. Even if Napolitano was the nicest, most truthful DHS Secretary in the whole wide world, it wouldn't remove the ensuing pantload that comes with getting that information out in front of millions of viewers on national television.

Nice try, John. I swear to God... I'll still watch the show.

Worst over for MASS Flu Vax Bill S.2028

Key amendments regarding civil liberty leads up to House approval, vote 113-36

"[House Chairman] Sanchez said the House version of the bill eliminates some of the more contentious parts approved in April by the Senate including sections placing restrictions on the right to public assembly and allowing the arrest of individuals without warrant.

The Senate bill would also allow the government to mandate vaccinations or place into isolation anyone who refused to be vaccinated -- a provision that was eliminated from the House version."

BOSTON --Public health officials would have the power to isolate individuals and order quarantines to contain the outbreak of serious contagious diseases under a bill approved by the Massachusetts House on Thursday.

Supporters say that while the bill has been in the works for years, the emergence of swine flu shows the importance of having laws on the books to deal with public health crises. Critics say the bill gives the government too much power.

The bill, approved by a 113-36 vote, is designed to clarify the authority of government and the rights of citizens in the case of a public health crisis. Backers say under existing law there are few checks on the power of government once the governor declares a health emergency.

"The bill strikes that balance between protecting the community in the case of an emergency but also protecting the civil liberties of individuals," said Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, D-Boston, House chairman of the Committee on Public Health.

Sanchez said the House version of the bill eliminates some of the more contentious parts approved in April by the Senate including sections placing restrictions on the right to public assembly and allowing the arrest of individuals without warrant.

The Senate bill would also allow the government to mandate vaccinations or place into isolation anyone who refused to be vaccinated -- a provision that was eliminated from the House version.

"This bill does not change the law to force people to be vaccinated," Sanchez said.

The bill spells out the authority of the public health commissioner once an emergency is declared -- including the power to force the evacuation of public buildings and order health care facilities to provide services to those sickened.

The bill would also let the commissioner limit public access to contaminated areas, adopt measures to safely dispose of infection waste, and store and distribute antitoxins, serums, vaccines and antibiotics.

One of the most contentious parts of the bill would give public health officials the authority to force individuals or groups into isolation or quarantine when there is "reasonable cause to believe that a disease or condition dangerous to the public health exists or may exist or that there is an immediate risk of an outbreak."

The isolation or quarantine order can be made orally as long as it is followed by a written order. The bill allows those in quarantine to appeal to a Superior Court judge. It also bars employers from firing workers because of a quarantine order.

Rep. Todd Smola, R-Palmer, said he heard from dozens of constituents worried about the Senate version of the bill.

He said there wasn't enough time to study the changes in the House version, which he said still gives too much power to the commissioner of public health.

"People have enough concerns right now relative to government control invading in their personal space and in their personal lives," he said.

Other parts of the bill are designed to send up early warning signs of a potential outbreak, including requiring pharmacists to report increased prescription rates or unusual types of prescriptions.

Public health officials would also be allowed to obtain medical records to try to investigate or monitor an outbreak, provided that the medical records remain confidential.

The public health emergency would end whenever the governor says it is over or 90 days after it was first declared, whichever comes first.

The compromise version of both bills must now be worked out.

U.S. Can’t Trace Foreign Visitors on Expired Visas


DALLAS — Eight years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and despite repeated mandates from Congress, the United States still has no reliable system for verifying that foreign visitors have left the country.

New concern was focused on that security loophole last week, when Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year-old Jordanian who had overstayed his tourist visa, was accused in court of plotting to blow up a Dallas skyscraper.

Last year alone, 2.9 million foreign visitors on temporary visas like Mr. Smadi’s checked in to the country but never officially checked out, immigration officials said. While officials say they have no way to confirm it, they suspect that several hundred thousand of them overstayed their visas.

Over all, the officials said, about 40 percent of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States came on legal visas and overstayed.

Mr. Smadi’s case has brought renewed calls from both parties in Congress for Department of Homeland Security officials to complete a universal electronic exit monitoring system.

Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the Smadi case “points to a real need for an entry and exit system if we are serious about reducing illegal immigration.”

Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York and chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration, said he would try to steer money from the economic stimulus program to build an exit monitoring system.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, immigration authorities, with more than $1 billion from Congress, have greatly improved and expanded their systems to monitor foreigners when they arrive. But despite several Congressional authorizations, there are no biometric inspections or a systematic follow-up to confirm that foreign visitors have departed.

Homeland security officials caution that universal exit monitoring is a daunting and costly goal, mainly because of the nation’s long and busy land borders, with more than one million crossings every day. The wrong exit plan, they said, could clog trade, disrupt border cities and overwhelm immigration agencies with information they could not effectively use.

Since 2004, homeland security officials have put systems in place to check all foreigners as they arrive, whether by air, sea or land. Customs officers now take fingerprints and digital photographs of visitors from most countries, instantly comparing them against law enforcement watch list databases. (Canadians and Mexicans with special border-crossing cards are exempt from those checks.)

But homeland security officials said that a series of pilot programs since 2004 had failed to yield an exit monitoring system that would work for the whole nation. They have not yet found technology to support speedy exit inspections at land borders. And airlines balked at an effort last year by the Bush administration to make them responsible for taking fingerprints and photographs of departing foreigners.

The current system relies on departing foreigners to turn in a paper stub when they leave.

Last year, official figures show, 39 million foreign travelers were admitted on temporary visas like Mr. Smadi’s. Based on the paper stubs, homeland security officials said, they confirmed the departure of 92.5 percent of them. Most of the remaining visitors did depart, officials said, but failed to check out because they did not know how to do so. But more than 200,000 of them are believed to have overstayed intentionally.

Immigration authorities have put in place a separate system for keeping track of foreigners who, unlike Mr. Smadi, come on student visas. That system has proved effective at confirming that the students have stayed in school and do not overstay their visas, officials said.

Immigration analysts said that given the difficulties of enforcing the United States’ vast borders, it remains primarily up to law enforcement officials to thwart terrorism suspects who do not have records that would draw scrutiny before they enter the United States.

“You can’t ask the immigration system to do everything,” said Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, a research center in Washington, and a former commissioner of the immigration service. “This is an example of how changes in law enforcement priorities and techniques since Sept. 11 actually got to where they should be.”

Mr. Smadi, like many tourists who overstay visas, was able to fade easily into society and encountered few barriers to starting a life here, according to court documents and people who know him. He enrolled in high school, obtained a California identification card, landed jobs in two states and rented a string of apartments and houses. He bought at least two used cars, and even procured a handgun and ammunition.

Mr. Smadi’s arrest on Sept. 24 for the attempted bombing was not his first encounter with American law enforcement. Two weeks earlier, a sheriff’s deputy in Ellis County, Tex., pulled him over for a broken tail light just north of the town of Italy, then arrested him for driving without a license or insurance.

When the deputy checked his identity, Mr. Smadi’s name showed up on a watch list by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was already investigating him. But the background check turned up no immigration record. The deputy called the F.B.I. and was told there was no outstanding arrest warrant for Mr. Smadi. So on the evening of Sept. 11, Mr. Smadi paid a $550 fine and walked out of the county jail.

“There was nothing to indicate to us that this person was currently in the States illegally,” said Chief Deputy Dennis Brearley.

Mr. Smadi had come to the United States from Jordan in early 2007 on a six-month tourist visa, immigration officials say.

For a few weeks he stayed in San Jose, Calif., with Hana Elrabodi, a retired Jordanian businessman who knew his family, according to Mr. Elrabodi’s wife, Temina. Though Mr. Smadi was not authorized to work, he found a job at a local restaurant. In late March, Mr. Smadi obtained a California identification card using Mr. Elrabodi’s address.

In October 2007, Mr. Smadi moved into an apartment in Santa Clara with his younger brother, Hussein Smadi, and another man he identified as his cousin, according to the manager of the apartment complex, Joe Redzovic. Mr. Smadi took another job, in a falafel restaurant, and in the winter he briefly enrolled in the Santa Clara High School.

After a fire gutted his Santa Clara apartment, Mr. Smadi moved to Dallas. Though his visa had expired by April 2008, he landed a job working behind the counter at Texas Best Smokehouse in Italy, Tex., about 45 miles from Dallas. He rented a bungalow nearby, using his California identification and passing a criminal background check, said his former landlord, David South.

Three months later, Mr. Smadi married one of his co-workers, Rosalinda Duron. They separated in the fall of 2008 after only three months, Ms. Duron said.

Investigators have found no evidence that Mr. Smadi, during his first year in the United States, openly espoused Islamic fundamentalism. Neither have they found any evidence that he received terrorist training abroad or came to the United States intending to commit a terrorist act, said Mark White, a spokesman for the F.B.I. in Dallas.

But by the spring of 2008, he caught the attention of the F.B.I. by posting incendiary remarks about wanting to kill Americans on Jihadist Web sites. Over the summer, he met with agents posing as members of Al Qaeda and planned to bomb the Fountain Place office building in downtown Dallas, according to an indictment unsealed on Thursday.

His arrest on terrorism charges came after he parked a truck that he had been told was carrying explosives in the building’s underground garage, according to court documents.

When the F.B.I. later searched his residence, they found a Beretta 9 millimeter pistol and a box of ammunition, along with his passport and the expired visa, the court documents show.

L-1 Identity Solutions Receives $6.2 Million Task Order for HIIDETM

L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: ID), a leading provider of identity solutions and services, received a new $6.2 million task order for HIIDE mobile biometric recognition devices to be deployed in areas of conflict as part of an existing customer agreement. Approximately half of the order is expected to ship in the fourth quarter with the remaining units expected to ship in the first half of 2010. The order was received by the Biometrics Division of L-1.

HIIDE is the world's first ruggedized tri-modal mobile biometric enrollment and recognition device providing real-time identification using iris, finger and face biometrics. First introduced in 2005, it is the most pervasive device of its kind with over 10,000 devices fielded into areas of global conflict. It is also the most widely deployed multi-modal device with defense agencies.

NY Business speaks out on Real ID & Zazi Investigation

"What needs to be understood is the fact that in order to operate any sort of coffee wagon, hot dog stand or other such business in New York and most other cities, the vendor needs to have legitimate ID in order to qualify for a vendor's license. It is also obvious that to drive any conveyance, such a taxi cab, limo or airport shuttle bus, the would be driver, first and foremost needs to have a valid driver's license.

This is why the Real ID Act was so important and one of the reasons I am adamantly opposed to providing illegal aliens with driver's
- Michael Cutler, a former INS Agent
*The views and opinions of Michael Cutler are not necessarily the views and opinions of
BTC- According to these reports, the current investigation of an Afghani and another muslim terrorism suspect in NY has revealed that both have lawful immigrant status here in the U.S. The billowing rhetoric from some national Republican lawmakers that a national ID will both control immigration and terrorism is examined in the following News Blaze editorial.
It is our assessment, that not every state is clear about how Real ID and drivers licenses will play out per the administration to legal OR undocumented aliens. In the case of terrorism, lawful entry into the country seems to be the popular modus operandi or means where terrorist are subversively allowed to roost.
However, you cannot prosecute for a crime that has not been committed. The point of an investigation is to determine if a crime has been committed. If a crime has been committed, a jury trial ensues and then a verdict is given towards the culpability of a crime.
In my previous writings and posts here, amnesty has been a stumbling block set in place, ironically, by a Republican president. The Real ID Acts aims to deal with amnesty are placebo in nature, like a sugary pill which actually treats or cures nothing for immigration reform efforts for both sides of the aisle.
Millions of New Yorkers were outraged when former Governor Eliott Spitzer gave Enhanced Drivers Licenses [New York's respective Real ID] the greenlight because so many undocumented aliens were able to attain legal drivers licenses. In this case the Real ID Act became a leg up for would be terrorism. Cutler's editorial perspective sheds light on the ideas of immigrants in our country being able to receive identity in order to function normally in day-to-day living. Real ID will be an undocumented aliens American Identity in New York and in Texas or New Mexico Real ID legislation portends relief from amnesty clauses, which it won't necessarily deliver on. Long standing immigration law goes unenforced every day.
Immigration in this country has become about a black market labor trade. 3rd world undocumented immigrants in this country do not require health benefits, lawful working conditions and receive drastically undercut wages for their work. It's a business market where both Democrats and Republicans in this country have their own way of keeping things moving towards a profitable hand over fist arrangement.
Anti- National ID advocates are encouraged to accept that Real ID will not do much at all for immigration reform at all because that is not the reason for its design. Its design is to get every American to prove their citizenship at every turn. Real ID's design is orchestrated so citizenship will constantly be questioned. At that point no amount of citizenship will be enough to escape an arbitrary prying into your life. You will lose some of the integrity of your citizenship, because you may not be American enough for someone that day to receive whatever it is that your mandated Real ID card will call for.
Whether or not we agree with Cutler's views on immigration reform, it is an honest portrayal of how a NY drivers license didn't prove its worth as a citizenship sieve to stop terrorism. That is the job of federal law enforcement.

Response to "Two New Yorkers Questioned in Zazi Investigation, Attorneys Say"

Cutler's editorial was a response to ABC news reporting on the investigation of the NY based terrorism plots.
Support Articles on the Zazi Case & Prosecution for Terrorism in the U.S. [ABC]

Two New Yorkers questioned in Zazi investigation, attorneys say