Friday, July 16, 2010

5000 Nebraska licenses backlogged

 BTC - It sounds like Nebraskans are wondering what's happening with their licenses.
"Up to 5,000 Nebraskans have waited nearly 30 days for their driver's licenses, permits and other documents after a problem at the place that prints them for the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles.
Nebraska licenses are printed near Atlanta by L-1 Identity Solutions, one of the half-dozen companies that provide security now required by the federal government."
* Please see the conscientious comments placed about Nebraska by LossofPrivacy, a very cool blog which posts a lot of great news on surveillance.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ACTION ALERT: Will you be assimilated in NSTIC?

 by Jim Babka

Statists constantly tell us that we need a huge government to protect us from business monopolies. But they fail to notice that The State is the biggest, baddest monopoly of them all, as well as a major reason why some companies grow so monstrously large.

Just consider the recent economic crisis. The politicians have raged against the banks, but government bailouts, regulations, and shot-gun mergers, have caused the banking industry to become more concentrated rather than less. This is standard operating procedure. Politicians and bureaucrats constantly speak with a forked tongue . . 
* They claim they're protecting "the little guy" from "the fat cats," when in reality . . .
* The State actually works for the fat cats (though in an unreliable Mafia kind of way).
A huge part of the business of politics involves conferring subsidies and special protections on favored companies and industries, making many of them near (or actual) monopolies that also happen to be "too big to fail." Now here comes the latest example of monopoly creation by The State . . .

The Feds want to monopolize the user names and passwords that you employ on the Internet!

That sounds ominous, and it is. Will you be a "trusted entity," or a distrusted one?

Of course, the Federal Statists claim that this "strategy" is for your own good. It's supposed to protect you from identity theft, but it also exempts companies like Microsoft from the burden of creating safe products, while laying yet another brick in the wall of an embryonic police state.

President Bush and the Republicans started this criminal game of monopoly by passing the REAL ID Act, and by tapping all international U.S. phone and Internet communications without a warrant. Now President Obama and the Democrats are giving us NO CHANGE in any of these polices. Instead, they're working hard to make things worse. This so-called "trusted entities strategy" is the latest example. And here's more bad news . . .

The "strategy" was unveiled practically on the eve of our 4th of July (ironic), and the deadline for public comment was set for July 19th. You were on holiday. Congress was out of session for half of the comment period as well. This strikes us as a deliberate attempt to avoid scrutiny.

After that deadline Congress will likely defer to the Department of Homeland Security, because of their supposed expertise, and the wheels of bureaucracy will begin to grind you into assimilation. Next stop, one Internet password for you, imposed and controlled by The State. Is this what you want? If not, please act now. Two things are needed . . .

FIRST, we need to make our presence felt at the DHS comments page. Here is what I wrote, on the DHS comments page, under the headline, "NSTIC Should Have a 90 Day Comment Period" . . .
You unveiled the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace scheme practically on the eve of the July 4th holiday, when few would be paying attention, and then set an early deadline of July 19th for public comments. Did you want only a little, or perhaps no public scrutiny of this plan? Were you disinterested in public comments? You can disabuse me of these concerns by immediately extending the comment period to 90 days. At least that much time is required for public review of such a far reaching plan.
Your action is SIMPLEVOTE FOR my statement, and while you're there . . .  

A) "Like" my statement on your Facebook page and/or Tweet it, and if you can, please . . .

B) Consider leaving a firm, but polite remark in the Comments section, beneath my statement, demonstrating your support.
Registration at their site is required, but you can comment anonymously.

OUR GOAL is to get this comment ranked the highest on the page! 
. . . by a wide margin!   
Right now, the favored companies are stuffing the ballot box, and they may even vote our idea down, so we need everyone -- we need YOU.

You can borrow from or copy my sample letter . . .
I also object to the DHS scheme called a "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace." DHS snuck-out this plan right before the July 4th holiday, and then only allowed until the 19th for public comment. Please represent me by calling the DHS and asking them to extend the comment period to 90 days. Creating a monopoly identity system for the Internet is a very serious and frightening thing. It deserves serious scrutiny and time for debate. Please represent me in this matter.

Remember, first vote for my comment the DHS feedback page:
And then, use's Educate the Powerful System to send a letter to 

Please forward this to others and get them to take action too. Remember, July 19th is Monday!

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

REDUX: Second life for news that matters 7/14

BTC -  Looks like BLIZZARD and the TSA made populist end arounds.

After second and thirds looks at the NSTIC proposal you should find that mobile phones and banking authentications are going to be networked using one "PKI certificate".  That comes with a high concept flow chart to try to sell it to businesses and YOU the consumer.

You still have until Monday to tell The Chief  how that makes you feel.  Coalitions are forming now to give you 90 more days to get in there and make your 2 cents count.

Here's second life for news that matters.

Guantánamo: holding the 'healers who harm' accountable

TSA reverses online censorship policy for employees

Blizzard's real problem with Real ID and how to solve it

Finally, Big Brother IS Watching You


Nice of them to brag about it.  This will not help cyber security.  How is it that those departments cannot keep their own systems hacker free and now they want to keep privately owned systems free from intruders?  I remember reading something about removing the beam from thine own eye before telling your brother he has a mote in his.
By the way, we are still working to get a class action lawsuit going in NC against the biometric data collection and the basic adoption of the Real ID policies.  If you know of people who want to join, please send them to to sign up.

55% of GPS mobile users surveyed concerned about loss of privacy

Lawsuit seeks suspension of TSA virtual strip-searches

Federal bureaucrats at OMB pitch cyber security in the lap of DHS
But one former federal chief information officer who is familiar with the government's cybersecurity issues and asked to not be named, believes the memo is a response to Congress' call for the restructuring of cybersecurity oversight in a number of bills.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When consumer rights to privacy are picked up by HHS

BTC - According to reports from some healthcare privacy advocates, the pendulum may be swinging closer towards reasonable regards to privacy when it comes to selling healthcare reform to local constituencies.   The work of advocates is tough.  It's very important to applaud their efforts to hang in there when they are fighting for our rights to a decent way of life.  When they make steps forward it is sometimes hard for the public to interpret how much of a win is actually, a win.  More often they need our help to affirm government leadership when they are moving in the right direction.

"It is my pleasure to announce... the Notice of Proposed Rule Making [NPRM] that will modify high tech, the HIPPA Privacy and Enforcement rules under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Healthcare Act.... As we enter into a new age of electronic health information exchanges that it is more important than ever to ensure greater consumer confidence in the privacy and security of their  health information and the industry's use of new technology.
The NPRM being published strengthens the privacy and secuity protections of health information established under HIPPA as an integral part of the administration's efforts to broaden the use of health information technology." -
Georgina Verdugo, Director of the Office of Civil Rights, Dept. of Health & Human Services 
Backed up with:
"It's important to understand that this announcement we are making today is part of an Administration-wide commitment to make sure no one has access to your personal information unless you want them to," says HHS Secry. Sibelius
Steps like this do more to restore confidences lost.

However, it's not enough to get what they want from the public: complicity with a system which gives the government more responsibility over surveilling sensitive information about their lives.

As I recall, at every opportunity given, government representatives have been dispatched to sell the American public on healthcare.  Now we get healthcare whether we want it or not, whether we are insured or not and the government can manage health records whether we want it or not.  The gap between what is said and what is done hasn't helped to dial back the vigilance of critics. The public is now wiser to the political process after common privacy and freedoms have become subjective interpretive art for bureaucrats instead of rights and the rule of law.

The people extended a credit of trust over privacy which was unapologetically railroaded with FISA and the Patriot Act.  As a result we have mass galvanization of people who are seemingly ignored by our government.  I have interpreted the Tea Party as a label slapped on quickly by conventional media who are quick to misinterpret.  I think it deserves a new name to aptly reflect more of the truth: the Exploited Underemployed of America.   They are unified by things they can't pay for.

Our government's dalliances with totalitarian procedural fascism have trained the masses to not trust them.  With HIPPA, privacy advocates and civil libertarians will be waiting when the pendulum swings back the other way.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Implementing Real ID benchmarks creates hassles for Mainers

BTC - Real ID, while declared dead at the federal level, is still complicating the lives and livelihoods of license holders in states like Maine, who are moving forward with incremental identification benchmarks in compliance with the federal law.

Adrienne Bennet for WBAI reports:

In 2007, Maine was the first state in the nation to reject the federal real i-d act. Today, the state is complying with the federal law designed to make it harder for terrorists and illegal immigrants to get government-issued identification. However, it's proving to be a nightmare for some Mainers.