Friday, June 19, 2009

TSA To Confirm Gender Before Flights

The rumor is true. Another security measure is being rolled out that will make travel difficult for trans and gender non-conforming people. Monday’s Times ran a story confirming what I had heard a couple months ago from the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Executive Director Mara Keisling. The Transportation Security Administration is about to start confirming our names, genders and birth dates at the airport before we are allowed to fly. For people whose gender is often mistaken, or whose gender markers on various forms of ID do not match their appearance and/or identity, this may create a serious obstacle.

Supreme Court Deaf to Border Wall Oppositon

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear arguments that the waiving of all state, local, and federal laws to build the border wall is unconstitutional is a tremendous blow for border residents and the principle of the rule of law.  We had hoped that the court would honor its obligation to examine the constitutionality of section 102 of the Real ID Act, which is an unprecedented power grab by the Executive branch, and which creates unequal legal protections for U.S. citizens that are solely dependant upon what part of the country one lives in.  In this instance the Supreme Court shirked its duty, leaving the border without the benefit of the rule of law that is enjoyed by the rest of our nation.

ID Card Vendors Brace for PASS Act Changes

Vendors need to watch this legislation closely as it could possibly rewrite system requirements down the road. States have begun planning for new driver's license systems that are compliant with Real ID. Vendors should begin a dialogue with these agencies NOW in order to position themselves for any changes that may occur to their requirements. Vendors should also expect to see extended use of existing infrastructure should Pass ID become a reality. Costly and complex systems may not be needed as the timeline for the proposed Pass ID is narrow. -

PPJ : More on DNA Laminates

This in from the Proud Political Junkie

Forget about RFID. Oh, it will probably be used, also, but the Real ID cards the government is intent upon forcing us to have in order to drive a car, board a plane or enter a building paid for with our tax dollars may very well not even need RFID in order to positively identify each of  us.

A company called Applied DNA Sciences, located in Stony Brook, New York, announced on June 9, 2009 that it has, in collaboration with “a world leader in security laminated materials,” validated its proprietary SigNature DNA into “laminates typically used in travel documents, credit cards, drivers licenses and other government issued identification cards.”

So, the bottom line is that all they will need is a sample of your DNA and this can be laminated right into the Real ID card in such a way that your unique DNA sequence can be read by any card reader.

This raises the question, of course, of how they propose to get everyone’s DNA data, in the first place, but this may be easier than you think. Aside from the possibility of DNA being extracted from a blood or tissue sample when you visit your doctor, there are millions of people who have had DNA testing of various kinds done voluntarily, for seemingly innocuous purposes.

For example, there is a growing industry built up around the use of DNA by amateur and professional genealogists. I am among these genealogists, myself, in fact, which is how I know about it. In 2002, I founded the Rea Surname DNA Project, devoted to tracking the lineages of Reas (and all alternate spellings of the name) all over the world. The idea is to provide an extended means of finding one’s ancestry by matching with others who share the same common ancestors. Today, the project has some 100 or more members in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australia. This is only one of literally hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of DNA surname projects that exist today, and is hardly one of the larger projects out there. The largest company that is used by these projects for DNA testing services is Family Tree DNA of Houston, Texas. The actual testing is done by the University of Arizona. FTDNA just handles the business end.

In genetic genealogy, as it called, there are various tests used, but the primary test, used in all surname projects to trace direct line descent from a common ancestor of the same surname, is the Y-DNA test. This isolates only the male Y chromosome and is expressed by a sequence of up to 67 “markers,” though the basic test uses only the first 12 of these markers. It is not, by any means, a complete genetic “picture” of the individual from whom the sample is taken. However, that’s assuming that only the extracted Y-DNA sequence necessary to genetic genealogists is extracted and the remaining DNA discarded or, at least, not used, which FTDNA assures its customers it is doing.

However, I have had some very disturbing doubts, not only about FTDNA’s true agenda, but that of all the other DNA testing services performing similar services. What if they are, contrary to the claims they’ve made to their customers, supplying the full DNA sequences of the people in their databases to the government or some agency of the government? What if, in fact, they are all actually fronts for the intelligence community? They will deny this charge, I am sure, but there are some additionally disturbing facts about Family Tree DNA that you should know about.

First off is the fact that FTDNA was founded by Bennett Greenspan and everyone on the FTDNA corporate staff is either an American Jew or an Israeli. Now, I’m not an anti-semite. That would involve being opposed to actual racial Jews. But the fact is that 99.9% of the people in the world whocall themselves “Jews” are actually descendants of the Khazars, not the Israelites. In other words, the Khazars adopted the Judaic faith, over a thousand years ago, and are “Jews” in name only. Their descendants make up the vast majority of those calling themselves “Jews” today. In fact, it would not be at all incorrect to say that the Khazarian Jews have completely co-opted the faith of Judaism, centuries ago.

Another aspect of the Khazarian Jews, also known as Ashkenazi Jews(literally translated as “German Jews”), is that they are the dominant force at work behind the New World Order. The Rothschilds were Ashkenazi Jewsand it was through the efforts of the Rothschilds that the state of Israel was founded after WWII.

Getting back to FTDNA and its Ashkenazi Jewish corporate staff, until very recently, one of the key staff members listed on the firm’s website was Max Rothschild, a geneticist by training and expertise. When I began to publicize this fact, just months ago, however, his photo and all mention of him quickly and mysteriously disappeared from the site without any mention or explanation. Infer what you will from that. Note that the page linked to Max Rothschild’s name above resides on a server that is owned by Ames Laboratory, which is run by the U.S. Department of Energy (the same folks who brought you such nice things as nuclear weapons).

Now, I don’t mean to single out FTDNA, though they are the largest, oldest and most popular provider of genetic testing services and, thus, the most influential, as well (they hold an annual conference for genetic genealogy in Houston, for example). There are others, as I have mentioned, and these companies are now quite numerous.

Among them is one that has been founded by, Anne Wojcicki, the wife ofGoogle co-founder Sergey Brin and is called This enterprise is far more suspect, in my view, than FTDNA. It provides a range of services that extend well beyond FTDNA’s focus upon using DNA testing for genealogy purposes. Among 23andme’s services is the creation of a social networking scheme in which one can seek out others who match their DNA. The presumption is that seeking a genetically matched or genetically compatible mate is somehow superior to seeking one who possesses the character traits that one would find ideal in a spouse or partner. Note that the world’s elite have long been known for having an inordinate fixation upon genealogy, genetics, breeding and intermarriage between their elite family lines. In fact, this is precisely how Anne Wojcicki and Sergey Brin met. They deliberately selected each other as mates via a simliar genetic testing service, having never met each other before. Note, also, that both are Ashkenazi Jews and that Brin was born in the Soviet Union.

It is this social networking aspect of Wojcicki’s company that is most chilling, as it builds upon the existing trend toward social networking sites on the internet. Millions of people worldwide already belong to these sites (Facebook, MySpace and others being the largest and most visible) and there are now social networking sites for every imaginable interest group, as well as sites specific to various industries or professions or personal interests (even online gaming) that incorporate such social networking into their sites. This phenomenon is fast replacing the old internet message board paradigm. So, why not add genetic testing services to the mix? The trouble is, the genetic testing being done by 23andme doesn’t stop at the narrow band of markers used in genetic genealogy. In their efforts to find their members mates, 23andme uses the entire DNA sequence of its members. This is what is so chilling, because, that data, which is expressable by a simple string of numbers, can be encoded into anything – including Applied DNA Sciences’  SigNature identifcation coding, which, in turn can be laminated into any drivers license or the Real ID card.

These companies are now numerous and there seems to be no end to the growth of this “industry” that has sprung up around such genetic testing services. Each year, more and more people are having their DNA tested, for various reasons and purposes, and the common denominator in each case is that it requires a phyiscal sample of the individual’s genetic material, whether provided in the form of a blood or tissue sample.

In addition to these multiple voluntary means of gathering human DNA are those multiple compulsory means of doing so, such as requiring the DNA of newborn infants at all hospitals, or the requiring of DNA of convicted criminals, or the requiring of DNA samples from anyone stopped for a minor traffic violation. The number of ways your DNA can make it into some database somewhere has multiplied astronomically in the last decade and much of it, as I have shown, has been hidden and been made to look totally benign. But the fact is, if the government is to succeed in getting your DNA sequence laminated into the Real ID card, they will have to gather the DNA of everyone in the country. Period. They have to acheive this somehow, and these growing DNA databases, which have never been investigated or audited by anyone, may be the way.

SB 60 Passes Senate in CA

ACLU claims Governor Schwazenegger will Veto


Sacramento, CA -   SB 60, the California Real ID Act introduced for the 3rd consecutive time in January as identical legislation from previous sessions passed the Senate: 24 in favor, 15 opposed. The legislation has been vigorously opposed by ALIPAC, immigration and civil liberties groups in 2005, 2007 and now.     Legislations like SB 60 continue to move forward upon urges by DHS that security benchmarks must be met despite efforts towards a federal repeal of the Real ID Act of 2005.  

The repeal of the Real ID Act, supported by the Obama Administration, has made concessions for official federal purposes ascribed to State licenses by giving the nod to the PASS Act containing repeal language introduced Monday.

E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged, current and former officials said.

TWIC Cards Come to Texas

c/o BiometricNews

A Newer Type Of Security Card

Texas And Security Revisited

Some time ago, I had written a Posting about the state of Texas implementing what is known as the "Transportation Worker Identification Credential" or also known as the "TWIC Card". I have also written about this type of Security Card in other Postings as well, and even talked about it in yesterday’s Posting.

The state of Texas has now implemented this TWIC Card, utilizing technology from Datastrip and the software component from a Biometrics/Security Vendor known as "Codebench, Inc.". With this Security Solution in place, the Port of Houston Authority (also known as the "PHA") has registered almost 7,000 people into this program.

Here are some details: "To comply with federal TWIC guidelines, all longshoremen, truckers, steamship line personnel, stevedores and vendors requiring access to PHA restricted areas must carry a TWIC card. To meet the April 15 compliance deadline, PHA initiated an aggressive outreach program through which authorities visited trucking companies to remotely enroll drivers using Datastrip’s mobile readers . . . Once back at the port, the data was transmitted from the handheld devices to the port’s existing AMAG Symmetry physical access control system (PACS). The PIVCheck Certificate Manager software checks cardholder data against the TSA hotlist twice daily and notifies PHA if a cardholder appears on the list." (SOURCE:

DPS Continues Obscuring Safety Features

BTC Comment:

It's little more than the length of a "tweet" but the safety features in the new licenses have much to do with a bar code and a conversion of your digital photo to face print biometric recognition. Those are the terms of the barter to include a digital photo on your licenses.

"But there will be a few security features not released to the general public," Lockhart said.


"They went to work. In meetings and telephone conversations with Senate staff, they spun the story that REAL ID was not going away. The “political reality,” they said, was that there was going to be a national ID program. The responsible thing to do, then, was to round down REAL ID’s sharpest edges - and free up those federal funds.

In exchange, the state lobby groups would wear down opposition from the nation’s governors and legislatures. If they could broker the sale of state authority over driver licensing to the federal government, they would lock in their role as lobbyists for the states on that issue." - Jim Harper for The CATO Institute

More on this damning report here:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Comparing PASS Act with Real ID

A BTC Exclusive

The PASS Act, filed June 15, 2009, poses as the partial repeal effort of the expiring Real ID Act. The introduction comes on the heels of a DHS exchange, allowing Real ID legislation to have a second genesis.

Privacy advocates demand Real ID should be repealed in its entirety. Some maintainWashington's standard condition, that the law must be replaced with a related legislation. One such attempt is the PASS Act.


The Center for Democracy and Technology cited a a few of the comparisons and improvements. The more important question is, how does passing another law repeal the Real ID Act? According to the CDT, the Real ID Act is expected to "fade away" while the PASS Act takes its place. 


The National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL] and the National Governors Association [NGA], mid-level players between the federal mandate and the masses, have commended the the PASS Act as suitable amendment for the Real ID Act.

"NCSL is encouraged by the introduction of the PASS Act, because it would repeal Real ID and replace it with a system that will ensure greater safety and security without sacrificing privacy and without incurring exorbitant costs that REAL ID imposed," said Carl Tubbesing, NCSL's deputy director in the Washington, D.C., office. "We applaud the sponsors for recognizing the shortcomings of REAL ID and for working with states to bring about these much-needed changes."


While state legislative engines run in favor of the legislation, there is opposition. The ACLU disagrees with the direction of the PASS Act that it is not dissimilar enough from the Real ID Act.

“Unfortunately under Senator Akaka’s proposal, a state would have to adopt Real ID or risk having all its citizens subject to secondary screening at airports,” says ACLU counsel, Chris Calabrese. “With this bill, states may still be coerced into adopting a National ID. It is also problematic that this legislation contains no exemption for religious beliefs of those who oppose identification.”

“Any day now, we will have fully half of all states on record opposing Real ID,” said Calabrese. “We agree with Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano that the best solution to the Real ID Act is to repeal it.”The ACLU would still much rather see identical legislation introduced to last sessions Identity Security Enhancement Act (HR 1117).

Opponents of HR 1117 volleyed similar criticisms that it too was not dissimilar enough from the Real ID Act of 2005. In weeks leading up to the PASS Act's introduction neo-conservative think tanks, like the Heritage Foundation, attacked the legislation for modifying the Real ID Act. They claim that the PASS Act pays seemingly heedless compliance to 9-11 Commission Report recommendations. 

Other more conservative civil liberties advocates, like the CATO Institute insist that the PASS Act still instates a National ID card program. Opposing a national ID card program historically has been part of both the Republican and Libertarian national party platforms.

With the move in the Senate to revive our moribund national ID law, the REAL ID Act, under the name “PASS ID,” it’s important to look at whether we’re still dealing with a national ID law. My assessment is that we are," says Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies at the CATO Institute.

"First, PASS ID is modeled directly on REAL ID. The structure and major provisions of the two bills are the same. Just like REAL ID, PASS ID sets national standards for identity cards and drivers’ licenses, withholding federal recognition if they are not met."

The 9-11 Commission Report is still given justified consideration in the PASS Act despite the abused and incomplete credibility of its contents. [pp. 384, 390]


Depending on who you ask, the 9-11 Commission Report's cred is not so much an issue as what is being traded in exchange for the security recommendations. 

In the Real ID Act, DHS was given jurisdiction over identity. Essentially DHS would have the power to determine who you are without much accountability or limits to qualify their demand to determine use of identity.

The distinction between the PASS Act & Real ID should be based on how much power is granted to federal powers to determine identity and its use and how this will affect the private daily lives of millions of Americans. The PASS Act only repeals Title II of the Real ID Act, having much to do with identity cards and national license regulations for States.

Regardless of the PASS Act's introduction, Real ID remains on the books and has not yet been repealed to finality. The deadlines and the pains of compliance continue into the daily lives of license holders nationally.


State legislatures still contend with license and immigration standards consistent with the Real ID Act. Local activists and Real ID opponents fear the PASS Act becoming an Enhanced Drivers License mandate.

Two of the original anti-Real ID stronghold states, Maine and South Carolina, are embattled with the grind of new challenging local concessions in favor of federal regulations. Governor Baldacci of Maine recently added his endorsement to the PASS Act. Maine Senator Susan Collins co-authored the federal legislation. South Carolina Governor, Mark Sanford, found many problems with the PASS Act including to "continue modifying what is now widely regarded as an impractical, intrusive federal mandate."

The more unsavory regulations include RFID tags and biometric identifiers as license requirements, more specifically to Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative compliant border crossing cards or Enhanced Drivers Licenses. Biometrics vendors cite the Real ID Act as a good sale point for embedding DNA laminates in licenses. DHS continues to push states on federal compliance benchmarks. In Texas, vendors levied threats of legal suit, with or without merit, against licensing agencies over security fulfillments. Conversely, states like Pennsylvania now are contending with lawsuits against the use of an insecure facial recognition software called, Face Explorer. The use of biometrics have been found to create violations of the state's strict constitutional privacy provisions.

One Pennsylvania plaintiff, Renee Bumgartner, said the software has been licensed by Viisage to most states in the U.S. Bumgartner is gaining daily support from others seeking representation in Pennsylvania for what may be a class action lawsuit against the Real ID Act's requirements for biometric identifiers. She affirms that Real ID is alive and well. States who passed local laws barring Real ID compliance based on privacy and identity security are moving towards regulations in licenses without qualified consent and State constitutional laws.

"My research is trying to prove [PennDOT] is converting legacy photographs and new digital captured photos into biometric face prints templates," says Bumgartner.

RFID tags have the potential to send stores of private transactional information into State maintained fusion centers. With plausible legal slight of hand, personal information may be sold to 3rd parties. States like Arizona and Texas, have transportation code moving towards Enahnced Drivers licenses, but never were granted the federal funding to move programs forward. Literal compliance fell to the wayside while state law has been in place.

The battle for privacy, and identity security clamor for recognition amid the white noise of immigration interests in border territories. The manifest destinies of state level Real ID touch diversity and immigration in America. California Senator Gil Cedillo recently suspended the 2009 SB 60 due to the reevaluation of the Real ID Act. It was Cedillo's third attempt to pass the California Real ID Act, persisting to give undocumented immigrants license to drive and identity in the U.S. Texas, which shares the largest border with Mexico, recently passed State-to-federal law requesting emergency funding to expedite jamming traffic at the border. In the Spring of 2009, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano recognized RFID technology as a key tool to speed port of entry regardless of it's documented failures in DHS pilot U.S. VISIT program in Brownsville, TX.

So far there has been no mention of border affairs in the PASS Act. That could be due to Congressman Raul Grijalva's work to repeal border fence provisions in the Real ID Act, providing exchange legislation in the Border Security and Responsibility Act.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Administration Plans to Scale Back Real ID Law

By Spencer S. Hsu
Sunday, June 14, 2009

WASHINGTON — Yielding to pressure from states that refused to pay for it, the Obama administration is moving to scale back a federal law passed after the Sept. 11 attacks that was designed to tighten security requirements for driver's licenses, Homeland Security Department and congressional officials said.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano wants to repeal and replace the $4 billion domestic security initiative known as Real ID, which calls for placing more secure licenses in the hands of 245 million Americans by 2017. The proposal, called Pass ID, would be cheaper, less rigorous and partly funded by federal grants, according to draft legislation that could be introduced as soon as Monday.

The rebranding effort follows months of talks with the National Governors Association and poses political risks for Obama as well as Napolitano, a former association chairwoman who wants to soothe strained relations with the states without appearing to retreat on a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission.

Commissioners called for federal standards for driver's licenses and birth certificates, noting, "For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons." Eighteen of 19 terrorist hijackers obtained state IDs, some of them fraudulently, easing their movements inside the country.

The Bush administration struggled to launch the 2005 law, delaying the program as states called it an unfunded mandate and privacy advocates warned it would create a de facto national ID.

Eleven states have refused to participate in Real ID.

In April, a judge blocked the Texas Department of Public Safety from continuing to enforce rules that were part of the state's efforts to comply with Real ID, finding that DPS acted outside its scope of authority.

The Pass ID plan keeps elements of Real ID, such as requiring a digital photograph, signature and machine-readable features such as a bar code. States will still need to verify identities and legal status by checking federal immigration, Social Security and State Department databases.

But it eliminates demands for new databases that would allow all states to store and cross-check such information, and a requirement that motor vehicle departments verify birth certificates with originating agencies.

DHS would have nine months to write new regulations and states would have five years to reissue all licenses, with completion expected in 2016.

Texas License Redesign Release Obscure

Aspects of public tests aren't making the cut in day-to-day life. The benefits and security details are still obscure.

From local Fox 7: On Your Side

CAUGHT ON TAPE: FEMA/Homeland Stupidity

This speaks for itself...  DHS is threatened by dead conservative idealogues.

Blackfeet enhancing IDs for border crossings

Tribune Staff Writer

The Blackfeet Tribe is one of a group of tribes developing enhanced tribal identification cards to get in line with the new Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

The initiative — which went into effect June 1 — requires people crossing the U.S.-Canada border to show a passport or enhanced driver's license.

Homeland Security officials are allowing Native Americans to continue using their tribal-issued photo ID cards to cross the border while tribes develop their own enhanced cards.

Homeland Security will allow this for a "modest, but reasonable transition period," according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Congress of American Indians, or NCAI.

"It would take some time to develop the technology with each of the tribes having their own cards," said Mike Milne, press officer for several nearby ports of entries.

Sweetgrass Port Director Larry Overcast said he met with the Blackfeet Tribe in May to discuss the issue and the tribe seemed to be interested in developing some form of an enhanced tribal ID card, among other options.

"All of our officers are aware that their photo IDs will be fine," Overcast said.

The Blackfeet Indian Reservation borders Canada to the north.

In some states, the enhanced IDs feature a flag denoting citizenship and different barcodes. Milne said the enhanced tribal IDs may feature radio frequency technology so the cards would be read more efficiently.

Only a handful of tribes have agreed to develop their own enhanced ID system, including the Blackfeet and the Kootenai Tribe in Idaho, Milne said.

Blackfeet Business Council Chairman Willie Sharp Jr. said tribal employees are attending a NCAI conference to discuss enhanced IDs. One of Sharp's main concerns in developing a new system is maintaining a high standard of how the tribe certifies people as tribal members.

Sharp said the upgrade process can be long and that the cost of developing the system falls on the tribe.

"But we hope we can get some funds from Homeland Security or other means," Sharp said.