Friday, September 3, 2010

FLOGGER: State Bureaucrats Continuing to Advance REAL ID

National ID bashing with Cato's Jim Harper 
from Cato@Liberty

Across the country, state legislatures have objected to, and outright rejected, the national ID and surveillance mandate imposed on them by the REAL ID Act. Passed in May 2005 with a compliance deadline three years later, the law has never been implemented. The Department of Homeland Security has repeatedly threatened to deny air travel to people from the states refusing compliance, then backed down when states have not caved to its demands.

But state legislatures are one thing. State-level bureaucrats are quite another. And they are hedgehogging along, positioning their states to implement the national ID law.

Writes Alan Greenblatt in State Legislatures magazine:

In a number of states, motor vehicle departments are doing the behind-the-scenes work necessary to move closer to compliance, including updating computer systems, installing face-recognition software and setting up more secure card production rooms. . . . [E]very state is moving toward compliance. Even in the 14 states where legislatures have explicitly rejected REAL ID through laws or resolutions, some moves have been made in the direction of compliance.

Politicians come and go, but the bureaucrats are in it for life. And they can grow their portfolio by building a national ID.

When the mainstream media produces news on public surveillance

BTC - It's been somewhat quieter on the surveillance counterfront, but there really IS news out there.   We are happy to see once sparse reporting of Orweillian or maybe even Aldous Huxley inspired news in conventional media become more of the norm.

In a time when newspapers are losing their shorts, papers have been getting more bold, less afraid of what they have to lose.  They have started to report real news again.   And we have started reading it again as a result.

For the better part of 10 years, the public gave up on mainstream media.  Media outlets absorbed so much of the mercurial politics injected through spin wheels they became poisoned against telling the simple truth of what happened. The result was inevitable.  People quit reading the paper.  People eschewed TV.  They went to the Internet.  We bypassed news pilled out by retired CIA/DOD consultants and the "news shaping" of short sighted strokeable careerists chasing someone's carrot.

We always knew it was okay to tell the truth; even if there are consequences. Unfortunately, we live in a time when our American government will say things like "whistleblower protection" only to turn around and arrest journalists. The charges?  Reporting the news.   

I would like to take this time to recognize repentant news outlets who have increased reporting on the arbitrary surveillance of identified persons.

Washington Post - Bar None.  THE very reliable source for national news that applies to surveilling you, consistently. If we could give them an award it would go to the authors of Top Secret America.  Now the public knows it's not just conspiracy theory that there's a lot of surveillance goin' on.  Other works critical to our blogging has been the sponsorship of debate via Op-Ed on national identity.  They now venture unafraid into reports on national identity and the individual mandate.

Wall Street Journal - They hit when it counts.  On several occasions they break news when it is time is of the essence. This is specific to:  reporting on biometric identity, privatized/corporate surveillance for profit.  The conclusion we make is that there isn't much difference between what the government does and unregulated business.  WSJ reported on the businessess who glean freely from our private information due to the lack of lawmaking.  Laws are useful to inspire boundaries.  A pleasant surprise, indeed.

New York Times -  Over the course of the last month I have found national or world news which keeps the light on surveillance, technology and the politics of government control DAILY.  Their coverage of the Saudi's attempt to squelch Blackberry technology alongside headlines of panicky Chinese proliferation of CCTV of a Uighur town due a history of riots showed the West is not alone in the personal struggle for common privacy as a human right.

USA Today -  What we know them for is their willingness to report on the less than upright positions of the TSA in dealing with the American public, consistently.  Everything from improper baggage handling, passenger harassment, changes in airline identity policy and those scandalous "adult" body scanners.

Honorable mention of blogs:'s Glenn Greenwald, Mrs. Smith, Hillicon Valley, Raw Story, Huffington Post,  CNet, Computer World and Federal Weekly online and the GAWKER players.

Please don't quit doing your jobs.

REDUX: Catching up on important news and news presenters

Here is second life for news that matters.

BOSTON TEA PARTY OPPOSES NATIONAL ID,  PERIOD. I guess national id cards are officially unamerican.  That doesn't mean they aren't still trying to sell the EDL in Michigan.  Florida is fighting it.  Downsize D.C. amid coalition efforts wants their repeal.  Real ID after 5 years is still getting consistently bad press from the blogosphere.

Facecrook's Mark Zuckerberg, dubbed Little Caesar, waits for someone to defend his privacy.  We hope for a different haircut and to know how much money is awarded to the person who sues the pants off of him .... again.

Facebook as Caesar
GPS tracks again... that's what it does.  Now it gets your kids and the prisoners.  All sitting prospects in the public-private target range for the gubmint market.  I'll bet you're really surprised. Commentary by EFF.

FUSION CENTER UPDATE:  CIR reports... Special word goes out to the Electronic Privacy Information Center.  What do they do? They provide information about Electronic Privacy. It's awesome when they do.

Alternet tackles naked body scanners on the street in broad daylight. God, what a weird feeling that must have been...

STATUS: We are wondering about the individual mandate for a national healthcare ID.

India's issues with the Unique Identification Authority of India.  FYI...Don't buy a cell phone in China...
BEIJING — China wants people who buy new cell phone numbers to register their personal details, joining many European and Asian countries in curbing the anonymous use of mobile technology.
There have been some changes to  FISA,  warrentless cell or telephone tapping are up for PUBLIC INPUT until OCTOBER 24, 2010.   I'm TELLIN'!!

Germany's national ID cards move to contactless technology citing NXP as national ID card chip of choice.  c/o Contactless News
"The German government has selected NXP as the supplier of an inlay solution containing a SmartMX chip, packaged in an ultra-thin module. Issuance of German contactless ID cards, which will replace the current paper-based IDs, will start in November. More than 60 million cards are expected to be rolled out over the next ten years."
FLOGGER Jim Harper takes you on an East German train ride and makes some connection you may have missed.

Denver has a nasty case of Bad Cop according to ProLibertate. However, here's a report causing cognative dissonance in the deliverance of justice in a UK case where CCTV got a bad cop off the streets.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reporting resumes today.

BTC -  This is the first blog post in over 2 weeks. Due to a very unexpected and treacherous downturn in my health I took some time off.  I learned a lot about the endocrine system and the benefits of a very awesome raw food liquid diet.  Exercise and a daily sauna is now becoming part of all of this.

I am very happy to report that progress is being made on Waking Up Orwell. Broadcasts are expected to resume this fall.  Keep checking back for details on that.  Podcasts will still be the first available news from due to resume in the next 2 weeks.  A new website is being worked on exclusively for WUO so more radio affiliates can be involved.  Happy to say, I am still tinkering on the analog technology known as a "book" even as I resume my show.  Renewed vitality helps.

Much good is expected.

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Thanks again for reading Beat The Chip.

Your Wonky Editor,

Sheila Dean