Friday, May 14, 2010

ACTION ALERT:Continue to send your opposition to National ID programs

BTC -  Next week members of the House and the Senate will be hearing from broad based coalitions about the effort to stop the continuance of national ID card programs.


The Real ID law is still in place.  E-Verify has been adopted in whole or in part by some states.  The TWIC card is considered a success with the regulated transport industry by some lawmakers. The American public has been asked to support a milder version of a Real ID in the PASS ID legislation; which also did not pass the 4th Amendment test.  Sides for and against it are in a stalemate due to State laws passed against the Real ID Act, privacy and national security concerns. And finally we are now asked to give up our privacy and produce yet another form of national identity mandated in Comprehensive Immigration Reform: a biometric worker card.

There have been many strong attempts to repeal Real ID and ban national identity. There is the perennial HR 220 - a comprehensive ban on all forms of national ID introduced every session since 2003, authored by Representative Ron Paul.  In 2009 Rep. Cohen introduced HR 3471, which would effectively repeal the Real ID Act and replace it with a negotiated rulemaking process.

The passage of SB 1070 in Arizona opened a pandora's box of problems associated with racial profiling, nativist identity and forsaking common sense American Constitutional values for "Your Papers Please!" It snapped the knob off at high volume for border security concerns and anti-Mexican frustrations began to boil over. The law burns gun owners and other American citizens now risk running into escalated problems with law enforcement. The law also muddles lines positioning local police to enforce federal immigration laws, leaving the police departments vulnerable to financial bankruptcy from successive lawsuits based on enforcing immigration law.

Constituents living in States who passed laws or resolutions opposing national ID card programs are considered "the silent majority" by friendly lawmakers.  This is why it is important to speak up now and make yourself heard.

Don't fail America's future by staying silent now.  Please take time now to find your congressional leaders @ .  Unless you speak up, you will live with some version of "Your Papers Please!"

To follow is a variety of different action alerts produced and supported by a broad coaltion effort.

c/o OpEdNews

Immigration and REAL ID: Remember where you heard this
c/o Downsize D.C.

What happens in Arizona stops in Arizona 
c/o ACLU 

FLOGGER: DHS to States- "Pleeease spend this money!"

National ID Bashing with Cato's Jim Harper 

c/o Cato@Liberty 

Here’s a window onto the upside-down way government spending works. The Department of Homeland Security has sent a letter to states begging them to spend federally provided money on implementing REAL ID, the national ID law.

“DHS is regularly asked by members of Congress, as well as the Office of Management and Budget, if these funds are needed by the states, and whether these funds should be reallocated to other efforts,” writes Juliette Kayyam of DHS’ Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. “As both the states and the Federal government face increasingly tough budgeting decisions, it is more important than ever that these available funds be utilized.”

That’s right: Tough budget times make it imperative to spend more money.

States don’t want to implement REAL ID, and the American people don’t want a national ID, but the DHS bureaucracy is rattling cages to try to get money spent purely for the sake of spending. It’s flabbergasting.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Feds violate policies while arresting criminal justice activist

BTC - Two activists from the Fully Informed Jury Association or FIJA were assaulted and unlawfully detained by federal agents agents while video taping an outreach effort on public property in Allentown, PA.  Their video equipment was aggressively seized by the agents as bystanders witnessed the altercation.   According to the Libertarian Examiner, the interaction escalated as one FIJA member  "chose to argue" with a female US Marshall.

As 911 report  followed, dispatched as a "robbery in progress".  The camera operator, George Donnely, has been detained since the incident.  The charges to continue to hold him in a local Federal Detention Center are obscured.  

Spyware has ability to remotely operate your webcam, surveill computer

c/o NCard>> 

DENVER - Web cameras make it easy to keep in touch with far away friends and family. If you have a web cam on your home computer, laptop or even your cell phone, a hacker can be lurking, just waiting for a chance to gain control.

Right now, hackers are spying on innocent users via their web cam and microphones. It starts with a simple email, link or program sent to you.

"The bad guys go out there and find vulnerabilities in different applications and programs," says Michael Gregg, COO of Superior Solutions Inc.

Once you click on it, your computer is overrun by the hacker's program.

"When the hackers find a problem before its fixed, its called a Zero-Day or IE-Exploit," says Gregg.

The exploit programs can remotely turn on your web cam, watch what you're looking at online; even listen to what you are saying. Even worse, the longer these programs are available to hackers, the easier they are to use.  :::MORE HERE:::

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waking Up Orwell: A consolation digest


There was no time budget to produce a radio program this week.  HOWEVER, we do have details on an important digest of topics we would have slated for the program.  We liken it to leaving you the place to yourself with an elaborate feast in the fridge and an apology for having to duck out this week.


Here’s a sneak peak into NY’s spycam society c/o Loss of Privacy

Watch CBS News Videos Online


SB 1070 drama continues as more protestors were arrested. This time it wasn’t anywhere near Arizona - it was Los Angeles.  Protests are ongoing in Arizona.  5 more people were arrested; this time over Don't Ask Don't Tell at Senator McCain's office.

Speaking of protest arrests, Amy Goodman is now suing the city of St. Paul Minnesota over her arrest at the RNC. That was an obstruction of real journalism. I recall over 130 accredited journalists were arrested during the 2008 RNC . Many citizen journalists were also arrested and had to deal with bail and charges out of pocket. TruthOut found gaps in the journalism shield laws which didn’t protect their rights.  Bloggers, like Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, aren’t covered. Chen’s home was raided last month over the search for an iPhone prototype. A hearing is scheduled this Friday to sort out what is legal or illegal search and siezure of a blogger’s workplace - which, typically, is their home. We are talking a batched violation here of both 1st and 4th Amendments if Apple and the Redwood City PD are wrong about this.

Along with journalists, the numbers of regular citizens engaged in the political process were arrested en masse along with the dispatch of sonic weaponry during the RNC protests. The Center for Investigative Reporting cites a new book revealing a troubling amount of pre-emptive spying, specifically targeting activists.  COPBOOK, authored by retired policeman Richard Greelis delves more into, the now infamous, Minnesota police “Welcoming Committee” for the RNC and a charachter dubbed Chicken Little.

IF YOU MISSED IT:  A Miami TSA employee lost a lot more than his personal privacy due to an airport body scanner.  The TSA agent became angry over a derisive comment made about the size of his "junk" as he passed through a body scanner.  He then assaulted his co-worker and went to jail.


As always please share the information you find on with others on the net. It’s just a very sad sad reality that Facebook has gone from friend to Facecrook. Stolen and bogus webprofiles are being sold now on the black market. The depth and breadth of the privacy violations caused me to cut short our 20 day evaluation period of their webservice. This years Privacy Camp in San Francisco was little more than a succession of support group circles given tasks on how to deal with the betrayal of our basic trusts as consumers using what I will call now Facecrook. Even if I do have to pay for Ning - I’m already feeling the pains of separation. One condolence coming out of the Center for Democracy & Technology camp is a step by step method to put Facecrook on a privacy lockdown. It’s about 33 steps. Please take them if your not strong enough to leave Mark Zukerberg’s technology.

I’m not sure he should get custody of our friends in the divorce.  There were long discussions about portability earning terms of refugee status.  Social networks numbered in the thousands who would move to temporary another social network or disperse and reconvene at a different time and place.

Our decision became crystalline to delete our profile as it was carefully explained to me that we are "paying" for free services by allowing them - knowingly or unknowingly - to sell the transactional information we give them while using their service.   Since I'm almost violently against surveillance I'm not going to volunteer up for it for free, when I know better.

I've seen a lot of hit pieces on FB but I think what really did it in for me was when I saw vitaminWater's :::connect flavor, a smart beverage partner with Facebook with the the image of a fingerprint on it.  The first words on the bottle's product description were accusatorial and predatory: "We caught you. Your fingerprints are all over this bottle."  It was then I decided with finality I would delete ALL of my Facebook accounts.

If you prefer mediation: Wired magazine has called for an Open Alternative.

In this week's DIY Government:
THE GOVERNMENT PHONES ARE OPEN, but we prefer you to write your Congressional leaders a handwritten note about the most critical issue of your day: your identity.   
There is a window open right now to state how much you really oppose another national ID card program.  If you are opposed to the digital use of your fingerprints or any future biometrics in a social security card or any other form of identification required to work.  You should be heard and heard clearly.  Watch the following video if you fall into the "silent majority" of people who don't relish a national ID card.  (Pssst! Everyone has power. Especially you!)

Here's an excellent tutorial:


Special effort award: San Bruno for counting the cost ahead of time and heading off Redflex at the pass. They won’t be signing up for the radar any time soon due to expenses. They performed a preliminary audit - a strategy which is working very very well for the Bay area to opt out of more undue surveillance.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST:  Announcement of a new segment titled: "HEY CITIZEN! Prove You're Not A Terrorist "  Because every week it's something else...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NPR: A look at National ID Card programs

Micro-Chip Tracking Raises Online Concerns

BTC - Does the following statement sound like some version of you?   If so, it's time to recognize there's not a separate chip for immigrants or American citizens.  The government does not discriminate who gets a chip, even if you do.

c/o Internet Evolution, Joe Grimm 
"But even as the biometric Social Security card proposal was kicked up and down the political football field, a Republican Congressional candidate in Iowa was quoted by The Cedar Rapids Gazette as calling for the use of micro-chips to track illegal immigrants. At a Tama County Republican forum, physician Pat Bertroche said, "I think we should catch 'em, we should document 'em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going... I actually support micro-chipping them. I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I micro-chip an illegal?"  :::MORE HERE::: 

TxBorder Coalition asks Senate to stop border wall expansion

c/o Center for Investigative Reporting 

More than two-dozen cities and counties in southern Texas joined by environmentalists and immigrant-rights organizations are calling on two lawmakers to end their push for additional fencing along the nation’s boundary with Mexico.

In a letter to Senate leaders May 6, the Texas Border Coalition and others argued that the approximately 650 miles of fencing already constructed in recent years has divided communities, negatively impacted the environment and cost taxpayers a fortune. They say that despite investing $2.6 billion so far, the barrier’s value in stopping the flow of illegal immigration and drug traffickers from Mexico hasn’t been studied.

The lack of such an analysis was confirmed this week by the Government Accountability Office, a watchdog arm of Congress, which concluded in a report that Customs and Border Protection “cannot account separately for the impact of tactical infrastructure,” i.e. border fencing.  :::MORE HERE:::

Hearing on Gizmodo iPhone warrant scheduled

c/o PogoWasRight

A judge in Silicon Valley will hear arguments later this week in a dispute over unsealing records about the criminal investigation into what may have been a prototype iPhone purchased by a gadget blog.

San Mateo County Judge Clifford Cretan has scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. PDT Friday in his courtroom in Redwood City, Calif. Cretan previously approved a police request to search the home office of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, a decision that unleashed a torrent of speculation about the legality of searching a journalist’s workplace and whether Apple instigated the raid.

Advocates attest national identity debate here to stay

Succession of national ID legislation establishes legacy of non-profit opposition


The placard to move national ID cards forward in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation becomes one more card to add to the number of embattled national identity programs in recent history. Successes with regulated worker cards, like the TWIC card, may have revealed a port of acceptability for those propelling a national ID card agenda. Legislators talked into surrendering privacy for security in the past by signing onto the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act (2005) seem content to move another form of national identity forward. The mandate would require all citizens to provide their biometrics [fingerprints, iris scans, DNA] on an ID card to work in America. This national ID initiative is the latest on the stack of many attempts to legislate the market for identity in America.

Advocates working against national identity found, over time, their work has become permanent due to the replicated, even redundant, efforts to precipitate national ID card programs. Privacy and technology counsels for the ACLU, Downsize D.C., EPIC, EFF and others have been busy in a narrow, yet, secure job market to stop new national identity initiatives. The 5-11 Campaign, a group committed to ending the proliferation of national identity, announced plans to move a once temporary campaign to a permanent non-profit venture on their second anniversary, May 11th; the date corresponding with the passage of the Real ID Act.

“It’s one constituency battling another for representation in Congress. It seems that 25 states who have opposed national identity for various reasons fall into an underrepresented category. I’m surrounded by the strongest advocates [against national ID] in the industry. Nevertheless, those who don’t want a national ID card still need more advocacy and more support for their identity rights,” says Sheila Dean, who recently retired the 5-11 Campaign for developing a non-profit, Americans for Identity Preservation.

Over 2 years ago, the release of national ID card regulations in drivers licenses challenged advocates in new and unusual ways. Regulations had a tangible reach into State’s coffers as an unfunded mandate due to national law, the Real ID Act. The law became controversial through its association with the border fence, immigration, surveillance and tracking technologies, and its ability to deny citizens the ability to bank, to travel or enter federal buildings based on identity prerequisites. While the Real ID Act is now considered “dead” at the federal level, all 50 states are still being held to benchmark compliance deadlines. Many of these States will receive grant monies towards standardizing drivers licenses after appropriations were passed for Homeland Security operations.

This may be why Southern lawmakers like Brett Geymann (D-LA) stated it is “only a matter of time” before America inherits a national ID. States like Nevada, who passed a resolution demanding a repeal of the Real ID Act, became an example of States where hard lines blurred as compliance costs became drastically reduced and some regulations appeared reachable, even reasonable due to economic incentives. They tried out the national ID program for 120 days and were met with overwhelming public disapproval. One consistency among states adopting the process: long lines of cranky motor vehicle license consumers. This was enough to propell Utah in the opposite direction of the program. Along with the lines, Florida, whose demand for identity articles to substantiate identity was already exhaustive, created unprecedented demands for identity articles. Florida editorial pages document drivers run ragged in search of obscure and sometimes non-existent documents in order to prove identity.

National identity seemed to be in the rear view after half of the nation came to an indirect consensus by rejecting the majority of costs and mandatory regulations over privacy concerns. An attempt to mitigate new legislation knocking off the “hard edges” came up for evaluation of the PASS ID Act last Summer. Shortly afterward, Representative Cohen introduced a bill to repeal Real ID and replace it with a negotiated rulemaking process. Others sought sponsorship of a comprehensive repeal of the Real ID Act leaving no bedrock to continue national ID systems.

Veiled threats to move forward PASS ID, an attempt to give Real ID a second life, lead to a draw on some efforts to repeal the Real ID Act in its entirety. The bullying persisted into 2010. Advocates continuing to help introduce comprehensive repeal legislation suffered from other political setbacks as some legislative offices wait until political climates become ideal. A burgeoning threat was added to discussions of another national biometric ID card seated by true believer Senator Chuck Schumer. This time as a prerequisite to work in place of current social security cards in Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Arizona’s passage of SB 1070 forced immigration from the back burner to the forefront. The Obama Administration will consider national identity amid the most complicated issues of our time. Those fighting racial profiling, advocating privacy rights and individual liberty in an age of digital surveillance are comparing notes on the future of identity in context of immigration. United States citizens are confronting the forum where the future of human rights and State recognized identity will be paired or decoupled.

One thing remains sure, the arguments for and against national identity will continue to rage on and have for years.