Friday, October 23, 2009

Surveillance-Peddlers Push Bogus Poll Numbers

They're watching you... but who's watching them?

[BTC- Ahem, WE are.]

Companies on the forefront of invasive and liberty-threatening surveillance systems are on the attack, paying big bucks for studies to “prove” that everyone loves being watched.

American Traffic Solutions, a red light camera and photo radar profiteer, claims a whopping 77 percent of NY voters supposedly support their revenue generating scheme. The “poll” was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, known for using trick questions and “push polling” to get the results desired by the client:

“As our roots are in political campaign management, our research is focused on producing information that compels decisions – and then results and across both political and public affairs research, as our tag line suggests, we work with our clients “Turning Questions into Answers.

BRS Labs, a developer of technology which “reports unusual or suspicious behaviors based on memories it has acquired through [surveillance camera] observations,” paid Harris Interactive to conclude 96 percent of Americans “feel the federal government… should be able to use video surveillance in an effort to counteract terrorism” and “protect” people in public places.

The survey continues:

“Four out of five adults feel that in extreme cases, such as a terrorist attack, the government should be able to use any available means to protect citizens…”

BRS’ product, “AiSight,” is an advanced snooping tool which compiles and records human activities into patterns. Patterns deemed unusual or unacceptable can be flagged. Independent camera systems can be integrated together, easily allowing a person to be tracked from place to place.

“AiSight takes visual input from a camera, learns what activities and behaviors are typical, and generates real-time alerts when it identifies activities that are not normal… It takes in external visual input (computer vision), while its machine learning engine observes the scene, learns and recognizes behavioral patterns and responds accordingly. Surveillance is 24/7…”

Feeling safer yet?

Taser tells police to avoid shooting at chest

Taser officials say the new recommendation is designed only to "avoid any potential controversy on this topic."

Grits For Breakfast>>AP

PHOENIX — Stun-gun maker Taser International has started telling police agencies to avoid firing the devices at suspects' chests, explaining that there's an "extremely low" risk of ill effects on the heart and that doing so will make defending lawsuits easier.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company made the recommendation in an Oct. 12 revised training manual, saying it "has less to do with safety and more to do with effective risk management for law enforcement agencies."

The manual also includes a lengthy explanation about deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest.

"Should sudden cardiac arrest occur in a scenario involving a Taser discharge to the chest area, it would place the law enforcement agency, the officer, and Taser International in the difficult situation of trying to ascertain what role, if any, (the device) could have played," according to the manual.

The manual includes a graphic displaying the human body and "preferred target areas." The company recommends firing Tasers anywhere but at the head, neck and chest. The manual says to avoid chest shots "when possible" and "unless legally justified."

Taser critics call the company's new recommendation an admission that the devices can cause heart attacks.

"It's a sea change, a passive acknowledgment that Taser has indeed been overconfident about its claims of safety," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the ACLU of Colorado. "It underscores the question marks that have been adding up along with hundreds of bodies."

Amnesty International says more than 350 people in the U.S. died after they were shocked with Tasers, and that in 50 of those cases, medical examiners cited a link between Taser shocks and death. ::: MORE HERE:::

DHS Cybersecurity budget numbers are in

$397 million for agency's internal information security needs awaits Obama's signature


The amount set aside for DHS cybersecurity spending next year looks "about right" said Karen Evans, former de facto federal CIO under the Bush administration. The amount is meant for internal DHS operations only and is consistent with increases provided to other departments and agencies, she said. Cybersecurity spending across the government for 2010 is projected at about $7.5 billion, or about 10% of the total IT budget of $75 billion, she added.

The $43 billion appropriations bill included similar increases in other technology areas. A budget of about $1 billion, or about $75 million more than 2009, was approved for the DHS's department of science and technology, which conducts research on such areas as cybersecurity and air cargo security.

The bill also provides an additional $91 million on top of a previously approved $60 million for a massive data center migration and consolidation effort underway at the DHS. The consolidation is part of a move by the DHS to build a new 4.5 million-square-foot facility in the Washington area. Obama's economic stimulus package, which passed earlier this year, provided another $248 million for planning, design, IT infrastructure, fixtures and other costs related to the consolidation.

The Senate bill also extended the DHS's online employment eligibility verification program, called E-Verify, by three years and allocated $137 million for operating the system and for improving its reliability and accuracy. Opponents of E-Verify had claimed the system was too buggy and error-prone to be used as the federal government's primary tool for employment verification.

Meanwhile, in what appears to be a reaction to the growing opposition to the program, funding for the controversial Real ID initiative was cut back 40% from $100 million to $60 million in 2010.

Real ID, launched during the Bush administration, requires states to meet new federal standards for issuing driver's licenses. It also requires links to driver's license databases around the country.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


from No2ID UK

Government drops DNA retention powers from police Bill

During the House of Lords Committee Stage of the Policing and Crime Bill this week (20th October) the government announced that they have dropped controversial DNA retention powers from the bill, introduced following a European Court of Human Rights ruling in December 2008.

The bill had contained an enabling power allowing the Home Secretary to make regulations for the retention and destruction of DNA thus passing new guidelines without proper parliamentary debate. Government Minister Lord Brett said: "As soon as parliamentary time allows, we will bring forward appropriate measures which will place the detail of the retention periods in primary legislation, allowing full debate and scrutiny of the issue in both Houses".

But Baroness Neville-Jones was not impressed, she said: "The Minister justifies the production of a framework Bill on the ground that speed is needed. It is difficult to talk about speed when the [Marper] judgment was in December last year. The Government could have proceeded more speedily than they have. Given the Government's attitude to some of the legislation, they should have known that others would not be happy with them introducing a framework Bill and that there would have been a very lengthy debate and an attempt to amend. I can see why the Government have withdrawn the proposal".

Meanwhile ....
ID card polls show support lower than ever.

That may be after what happened this Summer.

ID cards and the worst of public sector IT failures government plans to store ID card biometrics data on a controversial system used by thousands of public workers might be scrapped. The Home Office has confirmed it is reconsidering plans to use the Customer Information System system to store biometric data for the ID card scheme.

FCC Flogger: Harper thinks against regs

BTC HUMOR - Again, preoccupied with the other perilous dangers to modern identity freedom we had to let a better qualified, free market racer to think the "FCC Regulation" of the internet through.

[We think it's an impossible undertaking for the FCC to do. For them to even try is really funny.]

Yes, Jim Harper can change government with the sheer power of his mind. It's because he's really a Jedi knight who has the power to go on TV. After watching this, ALL the chunky kids will eat salad and wanna be on TV too.



This morning on Waking Up Orwell, Shahid Buttar had to be angry- while- speaking concerning the chronic erosion of personal privacy and he let a "Pacifica word" slip out.

Buttar's work to end "disturbances in the force" from the PATRIOT Act is vitally important to cover on any outlet that will give him a microphone. Listen to the last 15 minutes of the program for details on how to get your community involved in tried and true methods to push back against -really, totalitarian surveillance agendas- and when Shahid drops his FCC conventions online.

In the end, we had a laugh because we know online Radio or netcast is not FCC regulated.

We activists are really happy about that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Great Moments in Real ID History- Jan 11, 2008

BTC - On January 11, 2008, the House Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee spoke his truth about privacy and domestic expenditures in the Real ID Act.

Representative Bennie Thompson sent correspondence to then DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff the day before Real ID Act regulations were announced to national press. Please read his eye opening letter ; which confirms current objections to the Real ID Act were present among lawmakers before the release of its regulations.

The bottom lines of his letter were profoundly clarifying where expenses are applied to the American people over Real ID.

"The Department has spent close to $300 million on programs that have been discontinued because of the failure to adhere to privacy rules and regulations. It is crucial that the Department take the necessary safeguards to ensure REAL ID does not become the next cancelled program."

"In sum, this measure may not serve to make our nation safter."

- House Homeland Security Chairman, Bennie Thompson

$123 Million proposed on PASS ID Act

A new Congressional Budget Office Report is available: "CBO estimates that implementing S. 1261 would increase discretionary costs by $123 million over the 2010-2014 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. We estimate that enacting the bill would increase direct spending by $4 million over both the 2010-2014 and 2010-2019 periods. Enacting S. 1261 would have no significant effect on revenues."

ACTION ALERT: Oppose-Refuse Real ID grant acceptance

c/o Downsize D.C.

REAL ID: Congress is cutting the appropriation for the REAL ID national ID card -- by $40 million. That's good! But they're still planning to spend $60 million on it in 2010. That's bad!

Please send Congress a letter objecting to any further funding for REAL ID.

You can copy what I said in my letter to Congress . . .

I'm upset that Congress just appropriated $60 million for the REAL ID national identification scheme. I've asked you repeatedly to repeal REAL ID, and replace it with nothing. I'm repeating my request today.

I do not want a centralized national ID system. It lays the foundation for a police state, and will do little or nothing to improve security. Instead, it will subject me to increased risk of identity theft, and eventually entangle me in new Congressional schemes to do things like control my health care decisions.

I also object because the REAL ID Act was passed under false pretenses. It was rejected three times by the U.S. Senate, and was only enacted because it was added to a larger bill containing funding for disaster relief and Iraq. REAL ID never could have passed on its own merits, but now that we have it, we can't seem to get rid of it. But you, as my representative, can do something about this . . .

Please introduce legislation to repeal REAL ID and replace it with nothing. I'm paying close attention to how you represent me.


You can send your letter to Congress here.

Please take additional steps to spread the word, recruit more DC Downsizers, and increase the heat on Congress:

* Ask other people to send a letter to Congress -- forward them this message
* Digg this message on our Blog
* Contribute
so we can reach more people

Jim Babka, President, Inc.

SpyTweets and Intel corporate monitoring of Blogs

CIA Targeting BlogJourno? Yep.

America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon.

In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.

Visible crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day, scraping more than a million posts and conversations taking place on blogs, online forums, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. (It doesn’t touch closed social networks, like Facebook, at the moment.) Customers get customized, real-time feeds of what’s being said on these sites, based on a series of keywords.

“That’s kind of the basic step — get in and monitor,” says company senior vice president Blake Cahill.

Then Visible “scores” each post, labeling it as positive or negative, mixed or neutral. It examines how influential a conversation or an author is. (”Trying to determine who really matters,” as Cahill puts it.) Finally, Visible gives users a chance to tag posts, forward them to colleagues and allow them to response through a web interface.

In-Q-Tel says it wants Visible to keep track of foreign social media, and give spooks “early-warning detection on how issues are playing internationally,” spokesperson Donald Tighe tells Danger Room.

Of course, such a tool can also be pointed inward, at domestic bloggers or tweeters. Visible already keeps tabs on web 2.0 sites for Dell, AT&T and Verizon. For Microsoft, the company is monitoring the buzz on its Windows 7 rollout. For Spam-maker Hormel, Visible is tracking animal-right activists’ online campaigns against the company.

“Anything that is out in the open is fair game for collection,” says Steven Aftergood, who tracks intelligence issues at the Federation of American Scientists. But “even if information is openly gathered by intelligence agencies it would still be problematic if it were used for unauthorized domestic investigations or operations. Intelligence agencies or employees might be tempted to use the tools at their disposal to compile information on political figures, critics, journalists or others, and to exploit such information for political advantage. That is not permissible even if all of the information in question is technically ‘open source.’ :::MORE HERE:::

EXCLUSIVE: One Mainframe to Rule Them All

BTC - One Mainframe to Rule Them All is a 50 minute documentary produced by Greg Nickolettos. The film starts with a monologue from Nazi Nexus author Edwin Black on WWII datalust and IBM. It then swiftly moves to current events surrounding injectible identity from Verichip, a corporation marketing an implanted RFID chip for seemingly pragmatic health care solutions.

The production values are typical of today's dystopian standards in documentaries. After clearing the fear & exposure peak, we know the final solution is to simply oppose IBM's persistent role in enumerating the masses as a sifting utility. Mid-way through One Mainframe the corporate transactional info may dull the attention span. This lasts a few moments before the human element comes back to visit. The point of the film is to portray Verichip as a "bad police chief" in a massive and ambitious dirty data handling effort to integrate every conventional identifiable person for a profile.

We never thought of Bill Gates as a "nazi". However, the thought may scuttle across your mind after watching this.


You may still want to find out what's out there on file about you anyway via LexusNexus. As it turns out, you can request your Full File Disclosure from ChoicePoint to find out what they know about you for no monetary cost, but it isn't free - you would need to submit copies of your ID and a utility bill to get that information. All someone has to do is have copies of the same to get your information. So watch your identity articles.

Monday, October 19, 2009

NICE: Drug war "going the way of Real ID"

We dedicate this blog entry to friends in free living, Steve Fox and my other friend Alexis Baden Mayer. You won a victory today.

10th Amendment Center
Bryce Shonka & AP's Devlin Barrett [ We *heart* Devlin.]

Today we have another victory to celebrate. As reported in the Washington Times, Federal Marijuana policy is quietly going the way of REAL ID. Some studies have shown that 75% of all prisoners incarcerated for drug charges were locked up for Marijuana alone, making this policy retreat not simply about cannabis, but the unconstitutional Federal drug war as a whole.

Regardless of your personal view of Marijuana use, this news should make us all feel a little more free today, knowing that decisions about such things as owning a particular plant are once again in the hands of our state houses and not a bunch of bureaucrats in DC.

I myself feel a sense of gratitude for all of those in California, Vermont and other states who have had the courage to stand up to the unconstitutional policies of DC. Their bold resistance made this victory for all of us possible.

CHIP-aganda thrice milled for hypochondriacs

BTC - A preface to this piece of super creepy propaganda, is that Spain has a history of being on board to make internal chipping look cool. Ever since Verichip introduced what I call a destabilization agent of personal boundaries, much less sovereignty, of a RFID chip contained in a rice sized transparent case Bar"TH"elona discos have made it an exclusive way to "get in".

Imagine..after an initial elite Spanish club introduction, someone possibly ushered in Raytheon's Spanish global defense corporation to partner up with Verichip's technology for patient identification.

They were thinking along the proposed lines of the following video:

I thought critically today about the nuances behind a glucose chip to assist less vigilant diabetics when it comes to limiting driving impairment. If you get your free marketeer hat on you will see what is good for one diabetic is not necessarily the best for all diabetics.

Healthcare decisions are often one of the last battles for privacy while someone is still alive. Decisions about allowing glucose/internal GPS system to be imported into your body should be a private decision. Ethically, there are a few closest to you that may count as Power of Attorney in the event of something bad happening. This is in contrast to a public-private decision where a government corporation makes a healthcare decision about what happens to you and your body without your consent.


Today, the natural chain of command where our bodies and health are involved are being tested daily. Physical resistance to government health administrators mandating injectible microchips or nasal vaccines laced with obscure nanotechnologies was not something average folks conceived of 15 years ago. It's weird right now. Why?

Sovereign citizens question the World Health Organization calling the mostly non-lethal flu a Level 6 "moderate" for world Pandemic disease. Meanwhile, the UN is trying to appear to ready to enforce international police measures . According to the following Natural News report, the U.S. is among over 140 countries bound to agreements to enforce world policy from the declaration of a international pandemic.

One would assume that circumstances would have to be terrible in order for there to be a global power grab. As previously established on this blog, the only permission slip current shadow government pirates need to move forward on the auspices of Continuity of Government is a well defined and recognized global or federal national disaster. Trumping up scarcity and fear of viral mutation drives a product demand which squeezes citizens around their employment and healthcare provision wheels.

So what happens when you get a market flush of any trend? You get copy cats and market raiders.


The FDA/FTC has released an importable fraud widget to report anyone who is making money off H1N1 treatments besides the U.S. government's no-bid buddies.
"Consumers are urged to purchase and consume only FDA-approved or authorized medical products to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure infections caused by the H1N1 virus. Consumers also are urged to contact their health care provider if they have any questions or concerns about medical products or personal protective equipment."

As of right now - Verichip and RECEPTORS LLC do not have FDA approval to diagnose Swine Flu, but will be testing their proof of concept HERE:

October 22, 2009, in New York to unveil details of their virus triage detection system for the H1N1 virus and Phase II development of an in vivo glucose-sensing RFID microchip. The companies will also provide a product demonstration of the virus triage detection system currently being developed.

The event will take place at the Grand Hyatt at 4:30 p.m. ET and feature a presentation by Robert E. Carlson, Ph.D., President and Chief Science Officer of RECEPTORS LLC, and an expert in the field of proteomics and the development of artificial receptors.
Parties interested in attending the New York event should contact Allison Tomek at (561) 805-8008 or at

Nurses Suing Employer over Flu Vax Mandate

A plan that officials at Seattle's Virginia Mason Medical Center had hoped would improve patient safety and save lives has landed them in some legal hot water instead.

The Washington State Nurses Assn., on behalf of the hospital's 500 nurses, filed a petition in federal court Oct. 1, seeking an injunction to stop implementation of the hospital's new policy of mandatory flu shots for all employees.

"Nurses feel they don't have a choice between getting a shot or leaving Virginia Mason," said WSNA spokeswoman Anne Tan Piazza. "The WSNA absolutely supports flu vaccinations and we are well aware of their benefits, but we think the approach to compliance is through education and not through threats of termination."

Virginia Mason spokeswoman Kim Davis said education efforts had achieved a vaccination rate of about 55%, which is significantly higher than the 38% national rate for health care workers, but the hospital is shooting for 100%.

TWIC'ked OFF: CG Authorization Bill

Chemical Facility Security News: CG Authorization Bill

The second authorization bill for an agency of the Department of Homeland Security is moving towards a floor vote in the House. The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (HR 3619) was reported out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Friday. The House Rules Committee has requested the submission of floor amendments by Wednesday morning in preparation for the Committee’s meeting to formulate the rule for early consideration of the bill.

Most of the provisions of this bill are well beyond my area of expertise or interest. There are some provisions that will be of specific interest to the chemical security community. They deal principally with the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC), but also include a new classification of hazardous materials and some studies to be conducted by DHS.

TWIC Provisions

Section 1102 requires the Secretary to report to Congress on the results of the current pilot program for the use of TWIC Readers. This section also requires the GAO to review the report being submitted to Congress. While Congress will be waiting on this report the industry will be waiting for the publication of the TWIC Reader proposed rule that is also awaiting completion of this trial.

Section 1112 deals with the reported problems of individuals finding a location where they can get their fingerprints taken to use for submitting an application for the TWIC. It will require DHS to establish procedures for allowing these fingerprints to be taken at any DHS operated or contracted facility that already performs fingerprinting of the public. This should ease one of the significant burdens of getting a TWIC application completed.

Section 1118 requires the Secretary of DHS to establish biometric identification procedures for issuing TWIC where it is not possible to take or read an individual’s fingerprints.

Section 1121 requires the Secretary of DHS to conduct an assessment of current TWIC enrollment sites with a view to keeping them open past September 29th, 2009 (a date which has fairly obviously already passed).