Saturday, February 27, 2010

On conspiracy theories, by David Rothscum

"Never attribute to malice, what may be attributed to incompetence." ANONYMOUS SALT

Analysis c/o David Rothscum reports

The terms "conspiracy theories" and "conspiracy theorists" are thrown around a lot these days.

According to Wikipedia, "Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy. However, it has become largely pejorative and used almost exclusively to refer to any fringe theory which explains a historical or current event as the result of a secret plot by conspirators of almost superhuman power and cunning."


E-Verify program fails at 52%, says Westat report

c/o Information week

The Department of Homeland Security's online verification system wrongly identifies unauthorized workers more than half the time, study says.

By Elizabeth Montalbano, InformationWeek
Feb. 26, 2010

Government system employers can use to check a potential hire's eligibility to work in the U.S. accurately flags unauthorized workers less than half the time, according to a research report.

A report from Westat found that the Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system inaccurately identifies workers unauthorized for employment in the U.S. as authorized 54 percent of the time.

E-Verify is an online system that compares employee status with more than 444 million records in the Social Security Administration database and more than 60 million records in DHS immigration databases.

Only 6.2 percent of all E-Verify queries related to unauthorized workers, however, and the system is matching up legal workers with the proper status with 99 percent accuracy, according to the report.

The Westat report is based on research from two years ago but was just released in late January on the DHS Web site. Its findings were not widely reported until earlier this week.

The system's inaccuracy percentage drew criticism for the program and vows for reform from lawmakers, in particular Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who is writing an immigration bill for his party.

He said the findings of the Westat report prove it is not an "effective remedy" for preventing employers from hiring unauthorized workers, according to published reports.

E-Verify is currently used by more than 180,000 employers at more than 675,000 work sites. It is mainly a voluntary program and applies only to new hires, not existing employees, at an organization.


Friday, February 26, 2010


c/o No2ID /UK

Anti-filesharing measures in the Digital Economy Bill currently before Parliament open a back door into your and your family's personal lives that *will* be exploited by the database state.

Last year's public outcry against a Communications Data Database -intended to store details of your phone calls, e-mails and internet browsing - forced the last Home Secretary to disavow plans for a giant surveillance database and to drop the proposed legislation. But things didn't end there.

The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 were still passed, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms providers to retain communications data on all fixed and mobile phone, e-mail and internet usage for 12 months. Because this is linked to the details of the person subscribed to the service, the retained data, wherever it isheld, forms a digital dossier on YOU... and your family.

Even national security is no excuse for blanket surveillance of everyone's communications, but the Digital Economy Bill would now make allegations of copyright infringement sufficient grounds for 'fishing expeditions' (speculative searches) in the data retained by ISPs - thereby ensuring the technology must be in place to enable mass surveillance by other agencies and organisations.

With a new unit set up at the Home Office just last month to push forward the £2 billion 'Interception Modernisation Programme' (IMP), it isn't hard to imagine who else'll be snooping too.

Open Rights Group ( and others continue to campaign against measures in the Digital Economy Bill. They have various objections - but as NO2ID we have to be concerned about any pretext for mass surveillance without any form of warrant or oversight.

Interception of communications was historically so sensitive that it was made into a power exercised only on the approval of the Home Secretary that cannot be even mentioned in court. We fail to see why recording all your communications (and providing technical means for them to be arbitrarily investigated) is any different to opening your letters orsecretly breaking into your home.

Please do write to your MP ( in your own words, expressing your concerns.


Data Sharing escalates UK for e-government and UN status, accolades

The UK has the dubious accolade of jumping several places in the United Nations' 2010 e-Government Development Index, from tenth place in 2008 to fourth place in 2010. This puts the UK "ahead" of all other European countries, and behind South Korea, the United States, and Canada. Much of the e-government agenda is about smoothing the way for wholesale data sharing. A UN overview of the report states that: "The public trust that is gained through transparency can be further enhanced through the free sharing of government data based on open standards." Not a view that many privacy conscious UK citizens share.

The full report will be online soon at

E-Verify misses half of illegal workers

Freedom's Phoenix>> AP

WASHINGTON - The system Congress and the Obama administration want employers to use to help curb illegal immigration is failing to catch more than half the number of unauthorized workers it checks, a research company has found.

The online tool E-Verify, now used voluntarily by employers, wrongly clears illegal workers about 54 percent of the time, according to Westat, a research company that evaluated the system for the Homeland Security Department. E-Verify missed so many illegal workers mainly because it can't detect identity fraud, Westat said.

"Clearly it means it's not doing it's No. 1 job well enough," said Mark Rosenblum, a researcher at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, Washington think tank.

E-Verify allows employers to run a worker's information against Homeland Security and Social Security databases to check whether they are permitted to work in the U.S. The Obama administration has made cracking down on employers who hire people here illegally a central part of its immigration enforcement policy, and there are expectations that some Republicans in Congress will try in coming weeks to make E-Verify mandatory.

E-Verify correctly identified legal workers 93 percent of the time, Westat said. However, previous studies have not quantified how many immigrants were fooling the E-Verify system. Much of the criticism of E-Verify has focused on whether U.S. citizens and legal immigrants with permission to work were falsely flagged as illegal workers.

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who is writing the Democrats' immigration bill and has fought expanding E-Verify because of its flaws, said Wednesday that the fact that E-Verify was inaccurate so often shows that it is not an adequate tool.

"This is a wake-up call to anyone who thinks E-verify is an effective remedy to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants," Schumer said.

A so-called worker verification process like E-Verify is considered essential to any immigration overhaul proposal that has any chance of approval in Congress.

Westat's report, completed in December 2009 using data from the previous year, was quietly posted on Homeland Security's Web site Jan. 28 along with a summary that pointed out E-Verify is accurate "almost half of the time."

"While not perfect, it is important to note that E-Verify is much more effective" than the I-9 paper forms used by most employers, the summary said.

Rosenblum, who has studied E-Verify, said Westat's evaluation shows it doesn't make sense to substantially expand and invest in E-Verify without fixing the identity theft problem.

Bill Wright, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said the agency, part of the Homeland Security Department, has created an anti-immigrant identity fraud unit in Buffalo, New York, to address the issue.

The agency is developing a way for people to screen themselves through E-Verify so they can show potential employers they can legally work.

About 184,000 of the nation's 7 million to 8 million employers are using E-Verify, the Homeland Security Department says on its Web site.

Congress gave DHS about $100 million to spend on E-Verify in its 2010 budget.

Military Monitored Planned Parenthood, Supremacists

Thanks to TransPartisan guy who sent this info c/o Threat Level @

The U.S. military monitored Planned Parenthood and a white supremacist group as part of the government’s security preparations for the 2002 Olympics in Utah, according to new documents released by the Department of Defense.

The U.S. Joint Forces Command liaison collected and disseminated information on U.S. citizens who were members of Planned Parenthood and the white supremacist group National Alliance regarding their involvement in protests and distributing literature, according to an intelligence-oversight report released by the Pentagon. The documents indicate that the JFC liaison was working with the FBI’s Olympic Intelligence Center at the time.

This and other intelligence-activity disclosures appear in heavily redacted documents that were released to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They came in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act project the organization is conducting to obtain oversight information from intelligence agencies.

EFF received more than 800 pages from intelligence oversight reports created by the Defense Department inspector general that examine actions, conducted by various branches of the department, that are believed to be illegal.

The reports cover the years 2001 to 2008 and were submitted to the Intelligence Oversight Board and cover the U.S. Army, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other military entities. The board is composed of private citizens with security clearances who are supposed to submit to the office of the president any reports describing activities that are believed to be illegal.

The reports provide little context for the information that’s disclosed, leaving the public to wonder about the nature and extent of the information and surveillance revealed in them.

Pertaining to the Planned Parenthood members, for example, the oversight report provides no explanation about how the information was collected. Nor does it indicate why the information was collected and notes only that military intelligence is not allowed to collect and disseminate information on U.S. persons unless the information constitutes “foreign intelligence.” The report indicates that the collection was therefore “clearly outside the purview of military intelligence” and should have been handled by law enforcement. ::MORE HERE::


VIDEO: Your Papers, Please: What the Real ID Act means for New York

DHS contractors outnumber full time staff

c/o Underground News>>CNN

Washington (CNN) -- The Department of Homeland Security has more contractors working for it than full-time employees, a situation two members of Congress said Tuesday was "unacceptable, untenable and unsustainable."

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and ranking Republican Susan Collins said they were "astounded" to learn there are more than 200,000 contractor employees at the department.

The civilian work force of Homeland Security numbers 188,000, according to an estimate provided to the senators by Homeland Security.

In a letter sent Tuesday to the agency's Secretary Janet Napolitano, Lieberman and Collins said the figure "raises the question of whether DHS itself is in charge of its programs and policies, or whether it inappropriately has ceded core decisions to contractors."

Although Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, and Collins of Maine noted that contractors can offer a variety of needed assets and skills to federal agencies, they called the current balance between federal employees and contractors at Homeland Security "unacceptable, untenable and unsustainable," according to the letter.

Napolitano is slated to appear before the Senate committee Wednesday and is expected to face questions on the subject.

The senators want a unit-by-unit breakdown of where in Homeland Security the contractors are working and have asked for assurances that contractors are not performing "inherently governmental work."

Clark Stevens, a spokesman for Homeland Security, told CNN Tuesday that "Secretary Napolitano has been strongly committed to decreasing the department's reliance on contractors and strengthening the federal work force" at Homeland Security.

"Over the past year, we have been actively converting contractor positions to government positions and will continue to build on these efforts at an even more aggressive pace this year. We are working across the department to identify and make additional conversions as quickly as possible while sustaining the work force required to carry out our critical mission," Stevens said.

RFIDs in badges record hand washing habits

BTC - Every now and then it's good to get an update on how RFID is being used in corporate IDs. Our government functions more on a corporatized model every day, I think it's safe to say that if the general public inherits RFID technologies for voluntary-compulsory identity we will be surveilled. When I say surveilled, I mean someone monitors and supervises when you open and shut doors, exact times of when we entered and left rooms, if we did or didn't attend the company luncheon in the cafeteria etc.

In the following instance, RFID monitors whether or not you wash your filthy disgusting bathroom hands before you come back to your desk and use your even more disgusting hair and dandruff filled keyboards. I believe hand hygiene is a secret reason why the Japanese cao tao or bow to one another - they don't want to be bothered who wipes and who doesn't.

I've got a solution so the government doesn't step in. Everyone can easily identify the nastiest most unhygienic person in the office. Lord of the Flies rule says they shouldn't use the office facilities with other healthy people. They use the port-o-potties in the front of the building. Security lets them back in after they disinfect their biohazard paws. Make an example - everyone else figures out "it could be me!" and washes their hands. Everything else is TMI.
This update reveals basic information with minimal digging of advertised uses of RFID technologies.

RFID chips reports hand washing habits to the boss
c/o Axxiom for Liberty

I was amused to find out that apparently some people think that RFID chips having the ability to track and monitor our behavior is a “conspiracy theory”. I went to the first RFID industry site that popped up and scrolled down through the news section looking for one article that demonstrates how [RFID tags] can and are being used to spy on you.

Didn’t take but about 2 inches of scrolling to find something suitable.

“CenTrak’s RTLS infrastructure was built to provide certainty-based room and bed-level location for both assets and people, so we had the core attributes of the required system already built into our technology,” said Ari Naim, Ph.D., President and CEO of CenTrak. “We are pleased we can help address such an important issue for our customers that not only impacts the safety of patients but also the bottom line of these hospitals that are already operating in a financially challenged environment.

The CenTrak Hand Hygiene Compliance System can be deployed on a stand alone basis or in conjunction with CenTrak’s full RTLS. Battery powered Dispenser Monitors can be mounted to any dispenser, canister, pump, or sink to track their usage. The system automatically captures a specific caregiver’s badge ID and entry to and exit from patient care areas along with hand hygiene events, based upon hospital determined compliance business rules. The Dispenser Monitor communicates each event to the network and records each caregiver’s compliance performance. All of the recorded data is stored on CenTrak’s local or hosted server and can be accessed by compliance management and reporting solutions."

This is a really good example because the chip used is the one in their ID. A passport would work with this very same system as well as an Enhanced Drivers License, which is a fave of DHS Sec. Napolitano. Expect to get a chance to find out for yourself very soon! PASS ID (Basically a name change for REAL ID. Sure. We won’t notice!) is likely to be passed this year. Without HB 2569 which would have prohibited the chips in our ID’s, we will surely get a chance to experience the real conspiracy. That would the US Governments plans to keep close tabs on its flock.

I feel safer already!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nevada DMV ‘Real ID’ program expands to Las Vegas

BTC - By all affects, the federal Real ID legislation is a paper zombie. However, the Nevada adoption of Real ID criterion is spreading the undead policy like a pandemic to its other major cities. Why? Governor Gibbon's gave in to a knee jerk response to DHS' call of "TERROR!!" inspired by the now diffused Underwear bomber.

Nevada DMV ‘Real ID’ program expands to Las Vegas

The Associated Press
Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 | 11:31 a.m.

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles is now requiring additional proof of address from people renewing or applying for driver's licenses in Las Vegas.

State DMV spokesman Kevin Malone said the Advanced Secure Issuance card program was working fairly smoothly Monday at a West Flamingo Road DMV office.

Malone says applicants now need two forms of identification such as a birth certificate or Social Security card _ plus utility or phone bills, bank statements or other proof of address.

Malone says people don't need to get the new DMV cards unless they're renewing or changing current information.

Some states have balked at implementing the program under the federal Real ID Act.

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons enacted it as a way to prevent terrorists and illegal immigrants from obtaining ID cards.

Monday, February 22, 2010

JUST FIX IT: 20 year old citizen treated as an alien over ID

BTC - Which terrorist criminal alien did the bureaucrats catch this time? Not exactly. Vanessa Driskell's name can be added to the lengthening list of individuals caught in the grist of the Real ID mill. She's a citizen, but who she really is isn't enough.

Who does Real ID catch? The young, the old and the Constitutionally infirm. No terrorists yet.

South Oregon Mail Tribune

When foreign terrorists with American driver's licenses flew airliners into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Congress moved to tighten the requirements for obtaining official state identification.

The resulting REAL ID Act has yet to take full effect — at least half the states, including Oregon, have refused to comply with all or parts of it — but many states now require proof of citizenship or legal residence before a driver's license can be issued.

The requirement is not unreasonable, as long as allowances are made for people who are citizens but for some reason cannot produce a birth certificate. These include older Americans born in remote areas where births were recorded haphazardly or not at all, and in some cases people born overseas to American parents.

Vanessa Driskell of Medford is an example of the second case, and her frustrating four-year battle to prove her citizenship shows the federal government needs a better way to respond to situations like hers.

The 20-year-old was born at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines while her father was stationed there. A series of circumstances beyond the family's control, including a volcanic eruption and the base's evacuation, meant her birth never was properly recorded.

Now, she cannot obtain a driver's license or a passport.

What is most frustrating for Driskell is that no one in the federal bureaucracy seems able or willing to help her. :::MORE HERE:::