Thursday, September 23, 2010

Proposed upgrades and exemptions for the Electronic Privacy Act of 1974 (EPCA)

BTC - Digital Privacy, like most things over 35 years of age,  is in need of a little in need of shaping up around the middle as Senators push to update to electronic privacy law in spite of elections.

Almost on cue, Washington domestic intelligence agencies are expressing resistance to this new regimen of reduced budget diet and political exercise to cut the fat.

To start, DHS is asking to be exempted from the dated provisions in the 1974 Privacy Act in a new National Proposed Rule or NPRM concerning "electronic records".  Yes, that would include e-mail, phone calls and anything else that creates a record from an electronic pulse. This is possibly so they won't have to pass an additional appropriations bill or comply with the development of more stringent Privacy codes designed to protect citizens from non-criminal surveillance.
"The Department of Homeland Security is giving concurrent notice of a newly established system of records pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974 [EPCA] for the “Department of Homeland Security/ALL-031 Information Sharing Environment Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative System of Records” and this proposed rulemaking. In this proposed rulemaking, the Department proposes to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements."
[They are seeking public input on this for the next 19 days.]

NPRM's are a chronic source of irritation for electronic privacy advocates seeking ways to cut funding to bureacratic tech adoptions in local and national governance; which are later used for broad public surveillance.  Domestic federal intelligence agencies, like the FBI, are trying to hang onto the vagueries which allow them to veer into places they have no right to go.  However, in all fairness, the government is only one aspect of our society where upgrades to the EPCA will face resistance.

Wireless, social networking, and cloud computing companies, like Google, have been compromising the public cache, divesting analytics, or information gained by use of their technology, for profit or for leverage in a tough economy.  Strange concessions from these companies have started to emerge, maybe to demonstrate how they can change their evil ways.  Perhaps more so they won't get the heavy legal hit expected if the EPCA gets the legal upgrade necessary to constrict the private tap of consumer information being abused today.

One thing is clear ; as the EPCA is updated it should end the festive looting of your private digital records at the convenience of the US government and private information brokers.

RELATED NEWS:  Stephen Colbert's, Colbertlist 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waking Up Orwell Debuts KPDO 89.3FM live 9/29

READY.... SET.... GO!  On KPDO 89.3 fm Pescadero

AHOY! LAND.. ye scurvey pirates!!
BTC - It looks like Wednesdays 10 AM  - Noon  PST are THE good day to broadcast Waking Up Orwell up the Golden Coast.

Waking Up Orwell, the dystopian program you all know and love, will re-broadcast in South Bay and Penninsula.   The show is looking for the following:

  • Guests
  • Segment Sponsors and special reports
  • Station affiliates for syndicated programming
  • Station Underwriters
  • Volunteers for press, web and promotion 
  • Activists networking (for D.I.Y Government segments, specials and PSAs) 

Waking Up Orwell will continue to be featured initially online via   Waking Up Orwell's website is still under construction.

NOW... please support KPDO by sending $$$ support to develop KPDO's youth programming.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

HURRICANE SEASON: Citizens reporting truth during media blackouts

US history of media blackouts during hurricane disasters increase the cause of citizen journalism

BTC- During Hurricane Ike I was threatened with arrest or citation in an attempt to document DHS practices with citizens. My quest was to find out whether they were forced to forgo any rights because they were in the path of a hurricane disaster.   I was specifically concerned about demand for identity articles in order to gain access to the FEMA hurricane relief center in Round Rock, Texas in 2008, what was in or on their bracelets, what was being asked of  citizens, what their movement limitations were (if any) and how they were being treated. Why would I take such a job on myself?

At this time there was a media black out.  So the only media was citizen media.

So there were no reporters present to document anything of the sort.


In 2005, paramilitary police were hired by Louisiana's governor to "assist" in the Katrina disaster. Shortly following you may have seen videos of citizens who did lose basic rights and suffered damages.
Among those basic rights, was the 1st amendment right to a free press. There was an attempt to gag or censure CNN from continued reporting of the human conditions in New Orleans after Katrina.

Here is a list of articles compiled by citizens about events surrounding Katrina citing witness of expiditious disposal of unknown dead, police brutality, and illegal search and seizure of guns in a very treacherous time.

So here we are, right in the seat of hurricane season. It might be time to review our rights as citizen jounalists, exactly the type who can make a difference.  One of the G-20 videos shot by a bystander, featured in this video, made a difference in prosecuting police brutality towards a student.  So never doubt your improptu role in using those phone cameras and video cams.

Luckily for all of us, you can take this *free* online course offerred by the Cato Institute on how to watch out for yourself and your rights to document events during a situation where police have hand of force.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Noon EST / 11 AM CST/ 9 AM PST 
"Should it be illegal to record the police? Several high-profile cases of police brutality have been exposed by citizens who recorded police actions with cell phones. Yet some state wiretapping laws, written before the age of ubiquitous recording devices, prohibit recording these events and then further criminalize the publication of the recordings on the Internet. Does the First Amendment protect citizen journalism, or do police agents have a right to privacy while performing public duties? Please join us as we discuss this timely and provocative topic."

Monday, September 20, 2010

FILM: Cointelpro 101 and "Improper" FBI probes

BTC -  Explosive news from WaPo front and center today about "improper" FBI surveillance of non-criminal and legal assembly at political gatherings, according to one Justice.

UPDATE:  PA state homeland security chief goes in hiding

ACLU sues state police over intelligence gathering

Interestingly enough, 'tis the season to review a new film called Cointelpro 101.  Check your local indie film house listings...

The San Francisco Premiere
Sunday, October 10th
4 and 7 pm
Mission Cultural Center of Latino Arts - SF