Thursday, July 8, 2010

BLIZZARD OF opt out of online identity mandates

BTC - In case no one else has noticed, my blog wire has been completely taken over by a World of Warcraft gamer controversy due to a virtual "Real ID" mandate.  The crazy thing about the escalation of dissent against Blizzard has much ado over digital privacy.  The World of Warcraft creators teamed up with the privacy-identity pirates over at Facebook and named a new forum system "Real ID". (Not a winner with the public.)

It's unfortunate. Now that online trolls can find you and harass you at home some consumers are dumping the online gaming service altogether.  I guess teaming up with Blizzard seemed like a way for Facebook to stop the bleeding once privacy advocates declared war on their public-private collusion racket by LEAVING.  You can get more friends.  You can find another gaming community.  However,  it's much harder to regain your privacy.  Like money or your virginity, once it's gone, it's gone.  So it is no game now that Blizzard sees customers ditching their services for the same reasons that people are abandoning Facecrook.


If the level of dissent displayed against Blizzard is any example of how online communities respond to Internet identity mandates, expressing complaints now might create a difference in national Cyber Security.  The White House has a new plan for a national online ID number.  Online users can share privacy concerns and problematic example experiences with Blizzard's Real ID system and compare it to President Obama's national online identity number proposal.   The National Strategy for Trusted Identity in Cyberspace or the NSTIC forum on IdeaScale will be taking comments until July 19th, 2010.

The online number would be a tax-financed system for users to create a voluntary online ID number.   This number would be interoperable for use as proof of identity between users, financial institutions and other private services of their choice.  The good news is that NSTIC adopters, for now, can opt out if they want to stop using their online number.

Like Real ID (vs. RealID) and other national identity programs, NSTIC has some potential for mission creep and privacy flaws which is cause for concern.   One day we might inherit an online identifier which eventually gains so much steam from voluntary adoption that it replaces the Social Security number.  Let's not forget why governments want to enumerate the people in the first place - population control.

So here's to you, World of Warcraft gamers - because you deserve better.  Take time to read up on your  Social Networking Bill of Rights  and the NSTIC proposal.

Here's a pathway to opting out of BLIZZARDs Real ID program.

Mother on criminal justice failure : "Do not give up."


BTC - A 2-4 year sentence was given to an officer who shot a young black man at point blank range in Oakland California.

Here is what his mom had to say about the verdict and the loss of her son:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

REDUX: Second life for news that matters 7/6

Here is second life for news that matters:

GOOD NEWS! DC judge suspends sentence for Hart building dissent

"The biggest concern is that the government not be put in the middle of private networks so that it monitors private communications for cybersecurity purposes," said Gregory Nojeim, senior director at the Center for Democracy andTechnology."    

The Senate bill on Cyber Security passes one chamber and the TSA could not wait for an option to block "controversial opinion" for their employees.


TX Red light camera backlash

Online medical records raise privacy concerns

WSJ: United States recipe for population control?
"Secure the borders, count the people, declare martial law."

Monday, July 5, 2010

No2ID: Database state "not scrapped enough"

"From medical confidentiality and the right to opt out of the Summary Care Record to the unlawful retention of innocent people's profiles on the DNA database; from snooping on communications data (your phone, e-mail and browsing records) to rampant government sponsored data trafficking, such as was proposed in Clause 152 of the Coroners & Justice Bill; from highlighting the dangers of population registers and systems like Contactpoint to pressing for more meaningful control over our own personal information - NO2ID must go on."

Related news:

UK child protection database audit scrutinized
ID cards raised £196k in fees income
UK's first digital rights conference, Open Rights Group 
Nick Clegg's "laws you want axed" 

REDUX: Second life for news that matters 7/5

Here's second life for news that matters:

Secret surveillance camera approved by Texas appellate court 

Voluntary activist arrested 

First biometric ATM goes live in Poland

Serious privacy concerns over vehicle monitoring systems

Lifelock is running infomercials or just really long ads on TV. The LifeLock CEO's identity stolen 13 times in the past.

In case you forgot what DHS had to say about the Real ID Act...

UK police backing down over surveillance cams

ACLU: America is being riddled with politically motivated surveillance

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Great moments in Real ID history: Gov.Brian Schweitzer on Montana

 March 7, 2008  from an NPR report
"Montana is one of several states that have balked at a federal law requiring states to issue tamper-proof identification cards to residents. Gov. Brian Schweitzer discusses his state's opposition."

SEE & SAY: TSA promotes Suspicious Activity Reporting for trains

"The concept is simple," Napolitano said. "If you are on a train, or standing on a platform, on in a station or public place and you see something that doesn’t look right, or out of place, like an unattended package or bag, or an individual acting in a suspicious manner, report it to law enforcement."

BTC -  "If you see something, say something..."  Here's what I've been seeing lately.

After relocating the to the Bay Area I've noticed a lot more surveillance cameras in public transit areas and speaker messages which promote suspicious activity reporting.  It's not at every station - just on BART, when you exit Millbrae to Caltrain.  If you board the San Jose DASH from the train a recorded announcement will ask you to "report any unattended packages" to the driver.   I recall one Spring afternoon day, up to five police personnel manning entryways on an inbound train to San Francisco.  There wasn't any posting or announcements on the train to explain this extra presence to passengers.

On Friday afternoon there was a sobriety checkpoint where police stopped to ask for licenses in my suburban, one stoplight area coming from the freeway.  I asked my friend to stop and let me out before the cones.   A police officer then openly insulted me for getting out and walking to the sidewalk.   I wasn't volunteering up for a random identity surveillance measure or for the engagement snare.

A single mother of two said starkly at a Starbucks after I handed her a postcard, "It's becoming a police state!"

The US is incorporating a public surveillance practice used in the UK which may dump random things you do into a terrorism watch fusion center.  Suspicious Activity reports or SARs are handled as "national security" domestic intelligence run by local law enforcement.  It's not based on actual crime or reasonable suspicion.  It's based on "reasonable indication" of a crime.  What does that mean?  Well if someone indicates to law enforcement that you may be a criminal, you get a history in a terror watch database.

In the 80's we used to deride the USSR for abusing suspicious activity reporting practices because it was how "the commies" used threat of intimidation on their people and how neighbors exercised vengance on those they didn't like.   We used to think "wow, I'm glad it's not like that over here."

Well, it's my unfortunate duty to report modern America is operating just like fallen communist Russia.