Thursday, July 23, 2009

Official total of states opposed to Real ID

BTC Exclusive- Widespread discrepancies about the number of States opposed to Real ID have plagued local and national media outlets. The federal government has only recognized 13 States who oppose the Real ID Act. Various advocacy groups nationwide have had inconsistent consensus, spottily reported to national and local media.

According to reports by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, 24 states have passed laws opposing the federal plan for national identity. Other states have filed legislation and passed resolutions up to the federal government, signed by their Governors. As many as 20 States oppostion to the Real ID Act have gone unrecognized by the DHS Senate Committee in Washington D.C.

EPIC or the Electronic Privacy Information Center, sponsored a current total of State's opposition to the Real ID Act. A current cross check of legislation will be available on Real

As of 5:23 EST, the count of States who have passed a law or resolution against the federal Real ID Act is 25.




(and unofficially NC where they have been lied to repeatedly)
[1 Cast Iron Skillet for Rep. Cole]

EPIC & the ACLU are updating their website today to offer corrections to media outlets.

The number of organizations which opposed Real ID, according to this AILA report, is pretty long: 628 (+ The 5-11 Campaign), 629.  Additions and corrections are welcome regarding an update according to the PASS Act.

Witnesses: E-Verify system can't detect ID theft

E-Verify is a voluntary system used by about 134,000 employers, though it is mandatory to some degree in 12 states. Under an executive order from the Bush administration, federal contractors were supposed to begin mandatory use of E-Verify in January. However, that deadline has been pushed back to Sept. 8 due to a lawsuit. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently said the Sept. 8 deadline would be firm.

Flaw could allow dishonest workers to thwart the system

c/o Federal Computer Week
Alice Lipowicz

The Homeland Security Department’s E-Verify employment verification system cannot detect identity theft and fraudulent applications, according to testimony before a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee.

The Internet-based E-Verify system allows employers to check Social Security numbers for their employees and prospective employees to determine whether the numbers are valid and the employees are therefore eligible to work. However, it is not designed to detect borrowed or stolen Social Security numbers.

“E-Verify is not without its flaws, including one fundamental problem: its inability to detect identity theft,” Lynden Melmed, former chief counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), told the committee's Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship Subcommittee on July 21. “Unlawful workers can beat E-Verify by using another individual's valid identification.”

USCIS has been expanding its database of photographs to be used as a back-up checking tool to ensure that the images of applicants presenting their Social Security numbers to E-Verify match in appearance the images in photos existing in current government systems linked to the same Social Security number. However, the photographic matching is limited in scope, Melmed added.

Melmed endorsed the idea of strengthening E-Verify to include possible fingerprint collection.

“Congress should therefore give consideration to using E-Verify as a platform and expanding photo-tool for currently issued documents and/or incorporating a new biometric identification document,” Melmed said.

Former USCIS Commissioner James Ziglar told the panel, "If someone has stolen an identity and presents legitimate documents connected to that identity, or presents fraudulent documents which make use of stolen identity data, the purpose of the employment eligibility verification exercise can be defeated.”

“In my opinion, it would border on irresponsible not to seriously analyze the possibility of incorporating a biometric identification and verification module into the E-Verify system,” Ziglar said.

E-Verify is a voluntary system used by about 134,000 employers, though it is mandatory to some degree in 12 states. Under an executive order from the Bush administration, federal contractors were supposed to begin mandatory use of E-Verify in January. However, that deadline has been pushed back to Sept. 8 due to a lawsuit. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently said the Sept. 8 deadline would be firm.

The E-Verify system has been controversial due to alleged high error rates in the databases used. USCIS acknowledges a 3.1 percent rate of initial non-matches in the system.

The Migration Policy Institute on July 20 issued a report recommending that DHS test several options to strengthen E-Verify, including use of personal identification numbers and biometric scans.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baldaccci Caves on PASS Act

BTC - Today, Maine's Governor Baldacci caved on compromise to endorse the PASS Act. I can reasonably see DHS Senate Committee Member and PASS Act author, Susan Collins, a Maine Senator, breathing down Baldacci's neck with this message:
", we mark the fifth anniversary of the release of the 9-11 Commission Report. In examining how terrorists were able to attack America, the Commission found that all but one of the 19 terrorists used drivers licenses to board the planes that were used as weapons in the attacks that killed 3,600 people.

The commissioners recognized that easily obtained drivers licenses, were a security vulnerability, stating, for terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons."
You see, Sue Collins, follows the DHS bible of the 9-11 Commissions Report.

She eagerly pointed out in the reevaluation hearing for Real ID one week ago that the 9-11 Commission Report makes drivers licenses weapons because the report sayeth so. Not because there was any law in 2001 to provide identity to fly in the U.S. or identity screening at airports. Not because the hijackers were all here on temporary Visas. Not because there is massive internal fraud in the federal immigration system. Not because the government was warned about these hijackers and their plans before the September 11th attacks. It was because the report said licenses are dangerous weapons if they belonged to the wrong person.

The absurdity here is that YOU must constantly bear the burden of proof for authorities, based on what's convenient for them. Not because you are a terrorist. It's because you MIGHT be. So we now slip into the psychological realm of pre-emptive chaos where no one is who they are, unless the U.S. government can decide who you are. I have had enough.

I should stop now. I could write a book. In fact many people have. In fact, David Ray Griffin did write an entire book, 9-11 Comissions Report: Omissions & Distortions. His book is about the lies and inconsistencies present in the darkened excuse to scrape away our personal freedoms, known as the 9-11 Commisssion Report.

So, here's to 5 years of mass murder, over 5,000 soldiers dead, thousands more casulaties, corporate collusion, torture, lies, The Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, warrantless domestic surveillance, World Trade Center 7, TSA bullying and big fat paychecks for today's oil barons. The documentaries and books are still being written.

The U.S. surveillance industrial complex wants more mileage out of their 9-11 Carte Blanche card. They haven't squeezed us for all they can get. Even though this Real ID business was on the bottom of the stack, a can kicked down the road; it is now cutting in line ahead of disaster relief for what could be the next Katrina. States must still pay in the PASS Act.

Unacceptable, Maine. Raise your standards. When you cave to bullying and lies, it becomes a way of life.

India Set to Issue Biometric IDs


The Government of India plans to issue Unique Identification Card to all Indian citizens, under the national ID program, with an estimated to cost around Rs 150,000 cr.

The project will be led by hi-tech entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani and is based on computer application called SCOSTA.

The biometric smart card will have personal details related to retina, fingerprints, credit histories, name, sex, address, marital status, photo, identification mark and criminal background details (if any). These details will be linked to a central online database or repository.

The creation of UID was one of the major agenda in UPA government manifesto during the recent elections.

The issue of identification cards is a move towards better governance (e-governance). It is expected to elevate bureaucratic tangles with a single identity card issued to a person. Presently there are different identity cards issued to a single person, some of which are valid /applicable at all times.

The card can serve multiple purposes like its use as voter ID card and proof for opening new bank accounts. It will also help to check illegal immigration and curb terrorism.

Nandan Nilekani, aged 54, is one of the founding members of Bangalore-based software giant- Infosys Technologies. To avoid conflict of interest, Nilekani will step down from the chairmanship of Infosys and will serve Unique Identification Authority of India.

DoD Tests Pilot E- Health System, MiCare

Opt in E-Health Records in Washington State

A personal health records pilot test by the Department of Defense has been successful, and the military is now determining how to expand it more widely.

The service, called MiCare, is still in pilot mode at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash. Plans call for it to be expanded to the Hampton Roads, Va., area and then beyond. Defense is also working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to determine how the two agencies can collaborate on the initiative. "We want to make sure functional and clinical experts help decide what to do next and when," said Chuck Campbell, CIO of the Military Health System, during a panel discussion at the Open Government and Innovations Conference.

MiCare will eventually give military members, their families, and veterans access to their personal health records via Internet services, including Microsoft HealthVault and GoogleHealth. The military is also evaluating Relay Health.

The Defense Department opted to go with an online service for health records instead of an internally developed system largely due to cost and timing. "I could build all the servers, buy all the software to do that at probably a large cost and a long time, or I could do this," said Campbell.

Privacy was a primary concern during the pilot. Patients will have the ability to opt into the system, so their healthcare records won't go online unless they approve. Users will also be able to decide what information to share and with whom.

During the pilot, MHS had to manage security, determine how to share medical information from its own e-health records system with public systems from Google and Microsoft, and revise processes in hospitals and clinics, including educating healthcare workers in how to use the new systems. ::MORE::

MAIN Corps, PROMIS Mini series


BTC - As the events of the Summer have spun into overdrive with the PASS Act, I have hit the reset button for my expository work on the Top 10 Domestic Surveillance Agencies and what it costs you. Fret not; thankfully Ed Encho, of OpEd News will supply his amazing improvised jamming in his multiplying series on MAIN Corps, PROMIS and other Continuity of Government hits like "Shadow Government".  

Without further ado, Ed Encho's series:

US Government Spy Program: Main Core, PROMIS & The Shadow Government

Per government intrusion, I think it would be more interesting if they spied on Pamela Anderson.  Hey, if the government is going to use their powers for evil, they might as well do it with an exhibitionist that looks better naked than we do.  At least, if records were released we know that Pamela can sue the sh*t out of them for stealing licensed material. Go PAMMY!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gov.Sanford, PASS ID still too intrusive

Lays out PASS ID improvements


Columbia, S.C.—July 21, 2009—According to Joel Sawyer, Governor Mark Sanford’s Communications Director, in light of ongoing revisions to the federal REAL ID law (now renamed PASS ID), Gov. Sanford, on Tuesday, outlined three main concerns as policymakers in Washington, D.C. continue modifying what is now widely regarded as an impractical, intrusive federal mandate.

In March of last year, Gov. Sanford refused to apply for an extension of the federally imposed deadline on compliance with REAL ID * in effect forcing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue an assurance that South Carolinians would not be penalized because of the state’s non-compliance. Gov. Sanford argued that the South Carolina DMV had already met 90 percent of REAL ID’s benchmarks; that the legislation had never been properly debated in Congress; that the law represented a $9 billion unfunded mandate; and, most importantly, that REAL ID presented serious threats to individual liberty.

Since then, federal authorities, in particular the Department of Homeland Security, led by Sec. Janet Napolitano, and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, led by Sens. Joseph Lieberman and Collins, have worked with the National Governors Association to revise REAL ID. “I’d give real credit to Secretary Napolitano, Senator Lieberman, and the NGA for their work in easing the enormous unfunded burden this law would impose on the states,“ Gov. Sanford said. “Still, going forward, there are four issues with the PASS ID that we would like to see addressed.“

Gov. Sanford outlined four main concerns with the PASS ID legislation:

  • If there are going to be secondary levels of screening under this law, that ought to be defined now.
  • The allegedly “voluntary” pilot program establishing a centralized “hub” of citizens’ identities should be removed from the legislation. History suggests that such “voluntary” programs become mandatory once the federal government consolidates its authority and oversight.
  • PASS ID does not prohibit the use of RFID (radio frequency identification) technology in drivers’ licenses, which makes citizens susceptible to tracking by public and private entities, including hackers.
  • PASS ID does not provide adequate protection to the identities of victims of criminal domestic violence.

Gov. Sanford sent a letter to Secretary Napolitano outlining these concerns on May 5 of this year. An additional letter following up on the issue will be sent today to Senator Lieberman Tuesday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chips in official IDs raise privacy fears

AP/National Examiner

Embedding identity documents — passports, drivers licenses, and the like — with RFID chips is a no-brainer to government officials. Increasingly, they are promoting it as a 21st century application of technology that will help speed border crossings, safeguard credentials against counterfeiters, and keep terrorists from sneaking into the country.

But with advances in tracking technologies coming at an ever-faster rate, critics say, it won't be long before governments could be able to identify and track anyone in real time, 24-7, from a cafe in Paris to the shores of California.

The key to getting such a system to work, these opponents say, is making sure everyone carries an RFID tag linked to a biometric data file.

On June 1, it became mandatory for Americans entering the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean to present identity documents embedded with RFID tags, though conventional passports remain valid until they expire.Among new options are the chipped "e-passport," and the new, electronic PASS card — credit-card sized, with the bearer's digital photograph and a chip that can be scanned through a pocket, backpack or purse from 30 feet.

Alternatively, travelers can use "enhanced" driver's licenses embedded with RFID tags now being issued in some border states: Washington, Vermont, Michigan and New York. Texas and Arizona have entered into agreements with the federal government to offer chipped licenses, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recommended expansion to non-border states. Kansas and Florida officials have received DHS briefings on the licenses, agency records show.

Such assurances don't persuade those who liken RFID-embedded documents to barcodes with antennas and contend they create risks to privacy that far outweigh the technology's heralded benefits. They warn it will actually enable identity thieves, stalkers and other criminals to commit "contactless" crimes against victims who won't immediately know they've been violated.

Sunday, July 19, 2009