Friday, June 11, 2010

New policy for changing gender on US passport

c/o Boing Boing >> CNN

The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday a new policy that no longer requires passport applicants seeking a gender change to have undergone sexual reassignment surgery.

The policy, which goes into effect Thursday, allows a gender change with a certification from an attending physician.

The doctor's certification must confirm only that the passport applicant has undergone treatment for gender transition. Limited-validity passports for applicants who are in the process of gender transition also will be available under the policy.

Previously, individuals had to provide documentation from a surgeon that sex reassignment surgery had been performed on them, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
The announcement was made to coincide with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month, the State Department said.

TWEET TWEET: Computers Freedom & Privacy

BTC -  Next week will post special coverage of the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference.  We intend to post liveblogging, podcast interviews with speakers and privacy advocates from around the country and possibly the globe.

Coverage starts Tuesday and ends Friday.  We hope you will enjoy our exploratory journey as much as we plan to.

Red tape, immigration and a MACHETE

BTC -  The ALCU of Arizona reports an increase in claims of racial profiling at 2 cases a day trickling in from cities like Peoria, AZ since the passage of SB 1070.  The people being pulled over are not caucasian snowbirds from Ottowa.  They are overwhelmingly people of color with hispanic surnames.

Has the law been enacted?  No. But that hasn't stopped Arizona from firing teachers with accents and looking the other way as city mural art pieces are defaced as if it were open season on anyone hispanic.

Is there a privacy risk where the driver license information of those detained will be funnelled into a federal immigration database where your information is unprotected? Yes.  Will it happen to you if you are a caucasian concealed weapon carrier in transit? Not likely, UNLESS.... Arizona's DMV decides to fold all of that information over to DHS and domestic intelligence agencies. Of course, it won't be about race at that point.


I am so so sick of SB 1070, Arizona, the racists, anti-immigrant people, immigration, the immigrants, the white people "defending" the immigrants, identity theft, database brokering vultures, the 11th grade arrested development and the pitted faces of irresponsible commentators.   Watch the 1st Amendment right to complain unfold in real-time about my Constitutional sea sickness as someone who proudly identifies as both caucasian and Mexican born American.  [WHOOPS!  Sorry 2010 Census - you didn't have a box for both!]

TRUTH:  I don't have to pick a side when I am both. Obama should back me on this one, if necessary.

The 10th Amendment  was developed so States could kick out federal affairs in important issues where their services were not wanted or needed.   The 14th Amendment was instated so that people of color and anyone born in the United States had equal rights as human beings.   If your a racist - sit down, have a coke and a smile:  the 10th Amendment is not around so you can abuse the 14th.  If you are a Federalist totalitarian, your going to lose your right to rule if you don't get moderate and respect a State's right to set boundaries honoring due process establishing States interests.  Arizona should realize even if the Federal government isn't moving at the bit rate you want them to, Immigration law is not a right reserved to the States.

I think we've all had enough of the posturing and race baiting and the heavy handed gun waving.  Go get some libations and something to eat and catch a great Summer show.  "Immigration" is not getting resolved today. 


Thanks to the people at Twentieth Century FOX we landed an interview with Robert Rodrigugez who plans on releasing the official trailer for MACHETE July 9th. We will be discussing the social commentary component.  No doubt we will probably find intelligent, provacative things to say if you are opposed to interracial marriage.  

Here's the unnofficial version of the trailer.  How seriously can you take it?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

ID cards were a bad idea from the start

Philip Johnston argues that there always was a much better alternative to this costly plan.

UK Register's Philip Johnston 

The Coalition's first Bill will be debated in the House of Commons tomorrow and, fittingly, it involves the repeal of a measure that is emblematic of the last Labour government's time in office: ID cards.

  :::MORE HERE:::

3M Awarded Contract for Arkansas Drivers' Licenses

c/o JP of NCard 

As a state that employs an over the counter issuance process, Arkansas will produce drivers' licenses on site at DMV facilities and provide them to applicants on the same day they apply. 3M will provide the necessary tools for DMV sites to complete this procedure, including:

-- Enrollment software, for which 3M created an intuitive interface that is simple for state employees to learn and use
-- Entitlement software that vets applicants against government databases
-- Data capture tools to obtain fingerprints and facial photographs for 1:1 and 1:many identification and verification
-- Biographic tools for the applicant's signature, address and name
-- Data capture (applicant's height, weight, etc.) for personalization of the applicant's document

Full-body scanner debuts at Omaha airport


OMAHA, Neb. — Omaha's Eppley Airfield now has a full-body scanner that will allow security officers to effectively see through a passenger's clothes during screening.

The Transportation Security Administration demonstrated the new imaging technology Monday, a day before the scanner was to go into use. By mid-June, Eppley is expected to have two of the body-scanning machines that the American Civil Liberties Union has complained can violate a passenger's privacy.

The TSA has been deploying the technology in an effort to ensure that airports can detect hidden explosives and other weapons. The machines use low-dose x-rays aimed at a passenger's chest and back to create an image showing what's under the passenger's clothing.

But TSA officials say they have taken precautions to protect passenger privacy. Genital and facial areas are automatically obscured, and passengers have the right to opt out of a full-body scan for a more intense but traditional pat down.

TSA officials have said the units won't be able to print or store images, and that the officer viewing them won't have direct contact with passengers. The officer viewing the scans remotely will radio an all-clear to another officer standing with the passenger.

But the ACLU has denounced the new screening machines as a "virtual strip search."
The new Omaha scanner is one of about 150 that were bought with federal stimulus money. The new machines will join 40 other scanners already in use, and the TSA plans to buy at least 300 more scanners for use at airports nationwide.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

AB 2479: California's privacy legislation protecting celebrities

BTC - You may have noticed.  California's paparazzi have become detrimental to the health of their communities.  I speak for myself.

Paris Hilton saved myself and others from being trampled.  I was one of a few bystanders on Santa Monica's promenade when an extremely fast moving whorde of paparazzi shooting pictures took over the sidewalk.  She was leaving a store, waving.  The paparazzi had their backs turned to myself and other bystanders and couldn't see us.  Within a matter of seconds we were boxed in and the photographers were going to trample us.   Hilton saw the few of us with no way to get out and made a fast decision to move into the center of the street.  The paparazzi followed her quickly and we escaped unharmed.   After being trapped for only a few moments by paparazzi, I realized Los Angeles' celebrity culture had a real problem.

While I was impressed with Hilton's quick thinking, I was more astonished by the piranha like nature of these swift stalking celebrity photographers.   I did live to see Paris Hilton, human being, walking on the Promenade without a swarm of paparazzi.   Britney Spears' was not so lucky.  Her deteriorating mental health episodes in 2008 were relentlessly documented by paparazzi without any limit or respect for her basic human right to privacy.  Sandra Bullock, guilty of no malice, couldn't leave a friend's driveway. She was boxed in by flashcam surveillance.

These experiences made me want to carry a tac hammer in my purse.  Had I been in their shoes, vandalizing expensive lens equipment would be a refreshing way for me to establish proper boundaries.  

A new legislation is up for consideration in the California State Assembly, AB 2479.  It would protect people from open stalking and intrusions on their privacy and from aggressive surveillance.

The legislation is important because future public profiles and cases based on a persons public personae might extend to simple yet significant venues like social networks.  If this bill passes celebrity plaintiffs would have the right to sue or press charges against businesses and individuals responsible for commercial surveillance (or surveillance for profit) of their private lives.   In cases where bullying or obsessive stalking occurs due to MySpace or Facebook profiles, depending on the number of "fans", the law could be helpful in prosecutions.

Nevertheless, the cult following of any celebrity, be it A-List or otherwise, should not interfere with their basic rights to privacy as US citizens.