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"When a government can't protect its citizens, it subdues them"
Michael G. Leventhal
“There are two things you don’t want to see being made - sausage and legislation.”
Otto von Bismarck
"How fortunate for governments that people do not think."
"The poorest man may, in his cottage, bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, it's roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England may not enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement"
America Marches towards a Police State in New Bill
28 November 2011 © DOJgov.net newswire
In a bi-partisan effort by Senatorial big mouth weenies, a new bill will create a de facto national military police force. It’s the usual “bi-partisan” result of what happens when you breed left wing Progressives Democrats like Carl Levin with big mouth turncoats like Alleged Republican John McCain.
You remember John McCain don’t you? He’s the one who acted so bravely as a POW in Viet Nam and fawned like an effete coquette when running against Barack Obama. He loves “crossing the isles” to shaft the American people with a smirk. Even the ACLU is upset and I agree with them.
The bill will be voted on today, which may make November 28th “a day that will live in infamy.” Essentially, the Senate will vote on a bill that would define the whole of the United States as a “battlefield,” allowing the U.S. military to arrest American citizens as they walk the streets or sit in their homes while watching football or Dancing with the Stars.
“The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself,” writes Chris Anders of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.
The bill was drafted in secret by Senator’s Carl Levin and John McCain. It was then passed in a closed door committee meeting without any hearing. You can read it in sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA bill.
In 1878, Congress passed the Possee Comitatus Act http://www.dojgov.net/posse_comitatus_act.htm which keeps our military from acting as a national police force. This little known law has been a benchmark in keeping America free of being transformed into a police state under an emasculated constitution.
In the past, Homeland Security has characterized behavior such as buying gold, owning guns, using a watch or binoculars “suspiciously, and a host of other ridiculous criteria as suspect. This Bill combines politicized Homeland Security logic with the United States Military as average Americans become potential targets of anti-terrorist laws. It goes along with politically correct refusal to profile.
This is an excellent example of what our Founding Fathers feared most about government. And even if the bill fails to pass, it’s a touchstone of a dark future in a nation being told that “government is your friend.”
Government Readying to Censor the Internet
17 June 2010 (c) DOJgov.net
In the interests of “Never Letting a
Crisis go to Waste,” the puppet masters of government are pushing forward
with new Internet regulations, giving a President “absolute power” to shut
down or censor the Internet and leave Americans “information blind.” Well,
maybe not information blind, because government announcements for herding
Americans to the slaughterhouse of disinformation, will undoubtedly be
The White House is Tracking You
1 Mar 2009 (c) DOJgov.net Newswire
Janet Napolitano is Obama's newly chosen chief of the Department of Homeland Security. Known for virtually never using the term "Terrorist," or "Terrorism," she does support plans for tracking the location of every American with a transmitter imbedded driver's license.
While denying that there is a "War on Terrorism," particularly Islamist terrorism, fear of the American people is paramount. This is why Napolitano and her Homeland Security supports electronic identification for every adult in the U.S. It would allow agents to compile attendance lists at anti-government rallies, simply by walking through the crowd.
Based on embedding radio chips in
driver's licenses or as Napolitano likes to call them "enhanced driver's
licenses," they add a new dimension to Obama's plans for control over
The Obama plan of treating EVERY
American as a potential terrorist is far more insidious the "Real ID Act,"
opposed by so many, a few years back. It is the closest thing to the
biblical "mark of the beast," spoken of by many Christians and scorned by
For those of you who think that the tens of thousands of surveillance cameras are Big Brother's ultimate intrusively public act within the Democracies, he's now gone one better. Britain's first 'talking' CCTV cameras have arrived, with the goal of enforcing authority through public embarrisment of "disapproved" behavior through loudspeakers.
Control room operators user their visual surveillance units to spot anything that they consider to be anti-social acts. Once State authority targets actions such as littering or speeding on your bicycle, you are publicly identified over a loudspeaker, receiving the follow-up warning, "We are watching you."
who manages the system, said: "It is one hell of a deterrent. It's one thing
to know that there are CCTV cameras about, but it's quite another when they
loudly point out what you have just done wrong."
And if the city centre scheme proves a success, it will
be extended into residential areas.
Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the state of Nevada, 03-5554
"It is the
leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple
matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist
dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no
voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and
denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country
to danger. It works the same in any country."
Remote-Controlled Rats. A Foretaste of Things to Come
May 2, 2002
LONDON - Rats controled by computer at current ranges of up to 500 yards
have been announced today.
It's all so simple. Just like in a sci-fi movie.
New 'Emergency Health Powers Act' MEHPA
LEGISLATION SECTIONS OF QUESTIONABLE WISDOM:
According to MEHPA, a public health emergency is
"an occurrence or IMMINENT THREAT of an illness or health condition...caused
by bioterrorism [editor: without clearly defined criteria for this
definition]...that poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human
fatalities." Again, this decision can be made by a governor without
consulting public health officials, the legislature, or the courts. If
your state passes this legislation, a bioterrorism attack can be defined
solely by your governor.
Congress and US Postal Service Considers "Snooping" Postage Stamps
December 19, 2001, Caught up in the US Government frenzy to fight terrorism through elimination of personal liberty, the U.S. Postal Service is considering the implementation of "smart stamps" that would trace mail and identify senders.
The Committee on Government Reform, which oversees the US Postal Service would require postal customers to show identification before buying stamps, making it nearly impossible to send anonymous letters.
"The Postal Service is facing an unprecedented threat," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-California), the ranking minority member of the committee. "Bioterrorists are poisoning innocent Americans with anthrax by taking advantage of the anonymity of the mail."
Waxman is proposing the implementation of a two-dimensional barcode "stamp," containing the sender's identity as well as the date, time and place the postage was paid. Waxman claimed that the particulars still had to be worked out.
A Postal Service spokesman refused to comment on the tracking proposal but allowed that the agency was "aggressively looking at virtually everything that's out there" to increase security. He added that mail-sorting technologies -– such as barcodes -- can be implemented unilaterally by the USPS without congressional approval. Another idea under consideration is "fiber fingerprinting," which identifies correspondence by the unique characteristics possessed by each piece of paper."
"But the ultimate goal of any technology adopted by the USPS should be to identify the people sending mail."
No Thumbprint, No Rental Car
When James Glave arrived at Oakland International Airport and went to retrieve the rental car he had reserved over the Internet, he was dismayed to learn that the agency not only required his driver's license and payment information, but also his thumbprint.
The New Mexico-based magazine editor said he found out about the requirement when he walked up to the Dollar Rent A Car counter and noticed a display featuring a drawing of a big thumb making the A-OK sign with the words "Thumbs Up!" printed on it.
The display explained that thumbprints were being collected from customers as part of an effort to reduce fraud and theft, Glave said.
When he refused to fork over his digit, the employee refused to rent him a car.
Your eyeballs, please:
Wired Nov 17, 2001
About the only thing Sen. Dianne Feinstein likes more than biometric ID devices are hearings devoted to them.
On Wednesday, the California Democrat used her chairmanship of a key Senate subcommittee to convene a hearing on biometric systems -- but invited only government officials and biometric industry representatives to testify. No critics were permitted to speak.
Nobody has a problem with private firms using biometric identifiers such as a retinal scan or a fingerprint to, say, safeguard sensitive computer labs. But when governments start thinking about embedding biometric information into a national ID card or demanding such information from airline passengers, then it raises privacy issues.
Monte Belger, acting deputy administrator of the FAA, said during Wednesday's hearing that "25 airports are using biometrics, but we would like to extend that to all airports.... There is very little used today of these biometric systems at our nation's airports."
Party Press Release July 5, 2001
New Spin: Digital Fingerprint Can Help Identify Net Users
Privacy Times - Posted Sept 1, 2001: For many people, the term "digital fingerprint" conjures images of a biometrically-enabled computer mouse reading the fingerprint of the user's index finger and authorizing that user's access to the computer or any given Web site.
But a Northern Virginia computer-security firm has developed a different concept of the digital fingerprint, one that should hearten those who are searching for bad guys, but raise new questions about anonymity on the Internet.
To Netlogiclab, the digital fingerprint is composed of the different electronic clues that Internet users routinely provide. These include the "mail path," the Internet Service Provider (ISP), the time and day of the communication, and "text data," which entail vocabulary type and text errors.
There is nothing new in these categories. For instance, it is widely known that unless they take countermeasures, net users regularly give away their ISP address when they visit a Web site. Moreover, investigators traditionally have relied on time and day information, which is made simpler by the Internet. The analysis of text data, including writing style and errors, was a key technique in the FBI's search for Unabomber Theodore Kacsyznski.
What's potentially new about Netlogiclab's approach is the consolidation of these and other categories into a rules-based software that can perform automated analyses of massive amounts of Internet communications. Such a system would be used most effectively to identify participants in electronic bulletin boards, chat rooms, Internet Relay Chats, America Online Instant Messenger, as well as e-mail users. Internet users often do not identify themselves in these types of forum. There have been instances when individuals were embarrassed to find that someone else had compiled their postings at Internet news and chat rooms and used them in unexpected ways.
"If someone's breaking the law on the Internet, I think just about everyone supports using Digital Fingerprint to catch them," said Ivan Milovidov, Netlogiclab's Russian-born CEO. "But if used as a surveillance tool, or as a means for manipulating public opinion, it will have serious implications for privacy and individual liberties. It's safe to assume that if we have thought of this functionality, the FBI and the NSA also has."
After Boston Terror attack, Americans Put on a Bovine Display of Willingly Discarding Their Individual Liberty
25 April 2013 © DOJgov.net Newswire
Setting aside the barbaric brutality and carnage of the Islamic Terrorists at the Boston Marathon, we can use the occasion as defining three crucial, national benchmarks. The first involves how far government authority will go in tossing away the rights of innocent citizens.
The second is how capricious authority acts towards innocent citizens in areas that are de-facto "gun free zones." Perhaps most ominous, it is how willingly, average Americans bow to authority and surrender their Constitutional rights.
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Islamist Terrorist Bombing, police and federal officers in full military style gear with brandished machine guns, stormed out of the type of armored fighting vehicles used in military combat zones.
Watertown Mass is a small city of some 31,000 people. The cordon was placed around a Middle Class district of 20 blocks. Setting aside the fact that the Terrorist was captured outside the cordon and discovered by a civilian, thousands of innocent Americans became rounded up captives of government authority. The area was transformed into a Gulog with its citizens deprived of their Constitutional protections.
At first, thousands of American citizens were ordered to remain in their homes. Given the fact that Massachusetts citizens have been deprived of most means of self defense, they greeted the the demands of the paramilitary force with relief.
But that was only step one. Shortly afterward, machine gun wielding make believe soldiers went house to house. They banged on doors and sometimes bashed them in if people didn't respond quickly enough. Machine guns were brandished and sometimes pointed at people as they were ordered to leave their property. At that point, local and federal authorities invaded each home, rummaging through private property and memories at whim.
Sadly and rather prophetically, the citizens of Watertown didn't seem to mind. They appeared happy to become part of the experiment in Martial Law. The vast majority seemed relieved to surrender everything America stands for, preferring the mindless denigration of transformation into cattle of the slaughter house.
Perhaps this is the most frightening lesson to be gleaned from government authoritarianism gone amok. The American people don't seem to mind. The people of Massachusetts have fallen far beneath their Revolutionary ancestors of Lexington and Concord. After some 200 years, the American spirit of independence has morphed into that of craven cowardice.
Most certainly, ever encroaching government bureaucrats will take note of this American spiritual fecklessness as lockdown and Martial Law becomes the new American norm.
February 9, 2003 - The Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 - The Secret US Department of Justice Initiated USA Patriot Act II. Click for more
President Obama Offers Flyers the Choice of Humiliation and Cancer or Sexual Molestation
22 November 2010 © DOJgov.net Newswire
Surveys have revealed that some 80% of the American population doesn’t mind being x-ray radiated, being viewed naked or sexually fondled by government employees at airports. They don’t seem to care that the average flying American is now being subject to more public humiliation than those living in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.
It’s been said by scientists at the University of California in San Francisco that the nudie X-Ray scanners are potentially UN-safe. This includes biophysists like David Agard, molecular biologist John Sedat, Marc Shuman, a cancer specialist and Robert Stroud, another biochemist and biophysicist.
These experts claim that the amount of ‘scatter’ X Ray radiation is computed by the government throughout the entire body when it really concentrates everything on the skin. So who cares about a little skin cancer anyway? You can just say you got it on vacation in the Bahamas.
As to the sexual fondling, it now seems that you can routinely sexually assault people including children, without fear of prosecution… if you are a federal employee. And thanks to the government’s Affirmative Action hire policy, it is quite possible that a component involved in the ‘fed-fondle’ process, will be overt homosexuals and lesbians.
Muslims seem to be given a wink and nod on all this. Thanks to complaints from Muslim organizations, they will be unofficially exempt.
Obama Puts Americans Under Control of a Foreign Police Force
27 December 2009 DOJgov.net newswire
Little known to the American people, President Barack Hussein Obama signed an Executive on December 17, 2009, placing the United States and its people one step closer to world government.
The White House released an Executive Order "Amending Executive Order 12425." It grants INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) a new level of full diplomatic immunity afforded to foreign embassies and select other "International Organizations" as set forth in the United States International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945.
By removing language from President
Reagan's 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body
now has the power to operate on American soil beyond the reach of our own
top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information
Act (FOIA) requests.
A foreign police force has never had diplomatic immunity and has always had to operate under the command of local authority. The Constitution is very clear in its intent not to abdicate any of our rights to a foreign power of any kind, but under the Obama Administration, this is coming to an end.
10 airports install body scanners
Google Sued by US Department of Justice for Protecting Privacy of its Users
20 Jan 2006 DOJgov.net Newswire
Google.com was sued by the US Department of Justice for refusing to turn over personal information concerning millions of its users. The USDOJ claimed that they wanted the information to monitor "sexually explicit material," although the data requested was randomly intrusive.
The Motion to Compel Compliance was filed on 19 Jan in federal court and claimed the information was needed to enforce the Child Online Protection Act. This law is currently being reviewed by the US Supreme Court because it allows for random internet spying.
When the US Department of Justice demanded that Google supply one million internet addresses in their company database, they were refused. This enraged the DOJ because unknown to the public, they had been pressuring other major search engines, who substantially complied.
In their suit, the Department of Justice Claimed that the intimidated search engines who went along with their demand "have not reported that they encountered any difficulty or burden in doing so."
The effect of random spying on the liberty of millions of Americans was never explored. It has been said that in the world of intrusive government, "the little people" are not affected if they don't know what is going on.
Google objected to the government's subpoena claiming it would be forced to provide personally identifiable information. The government claimed that it would "keep the data secret," but this remains to be seen.
"Your Papers Please"
Nov 28, 2005
Government Creating a New Legal System for American Citizens without Constitutional Guarantees
DOJgov.net Newswire, December 1, 2002
According to the Washington
Post, The administration is developing a parallel legal system in which
terrorism suspects -- U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike -- may be
investigated, jailed, interrogated, tried and punished without legal
protections guaranteed by the ordinary system. This is being
confirmed by lawyers both inside and outside of government.
NATIONAL ID CARD ... ON THE SNEAK
January 31, 2002 www.DOJgov.net News Service - According to the Washington Times, our new Aviation and Transportation Security Agency has devised a method to force a National ID card on the American people.
The electronic card would have an encoded biometric description of the owner to ensure that the person using it is the same person identified on the card. Biometrics will identify a unique part of each person's anatomy, such as fingerprints, facial structure or irises.
Eventually, the Transportation Department task force wants the cards to be used not only in airports but for all transportation services. The card is claimed to to shorten lines at airports, but the USDOJ FBI will disseminate background check information about the owners to many law enforcement agencies.
The idea of expanding the plan from transportation workers to travelers is not without critics: "This is a backdoor national ID," said Barry Steinhardt, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "This so-called trusted-passenger card will become essentially mandatory for everyone to use not only on airlines but also buses, trains and perhaps drives over bridges and tunnels. The consequences of not having a trusted-passenger card is that you will be immediately suspect."
In order to make this ID more palatable, it will have a reassuring name. "The Trusted Passenger Card" seems to be the current choice to date. And of course, each American's card will be assigned a level of security or "trust" clearance.
PALM BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2001--Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSX - news), an advanced digital technology development company, announced today that it has developed a miniaturized, implantable identification chip -- called VeriChip(TM) -- that can be used in a variety of medical, security and emergency applications.
How VeriChip Works
VeriChip is an implantable, 12mm by 2.1mm radio frequency device about the size of the point of a typical ballpoint pen. Each VeriChip will contain a unique identification number and other critical data. Utilizing an external scanner, radio frequency energy passes through the skin energizing the dormant VeriChip, which then emits a radio frequency signal transmitting the identification number and other data contained in the VeriChip. The scanner will display the identification number, but the VeriChip data can also be transmitted, via telephone or the Internet, to an FDA compliant, secure data-storage site. It will then be accessible by "authorized" personnel. Inserting the VeriChip device is a simple procedure performed in an outpatient, office setting. It requires only local anesthesia, a tiny incision and perhaps a small adhesive bandage. Sutures are not necessary.
Personal identity verification technology has gained considerable interest recently. A great deal of focus has been trained on so-called ``biometric'' technologies - which identify individuals by their unique biological or physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, voiceprints, retina characteristics, and face recognition points. VeriChip, by contrast, relies on imbedded, tamper-proof, microchip technology, which allows for non-invasive access to identification, medical and other critical data. Use of advanced VeriChip technology means that the threat of theft, loss, duplication or counterfeiting of data is substantially diminished or eliminated. Specific application areas include: enhancement of present forms of identification, search and rescue, and various law enforcement and defense uses.
And more news about Chip Implant ID Technology ... Headed for YOUR body in the interests of a safer America
The Cyborgs Are Coming, The Cyborgs Are Coming
NewsFactor Dec 19, 2001 - Applied Digital Solutions (Nasdaq: ADSX) announced Wednesday it has developed a miniature, implantable identification chip for use in medical, security and emergency applications. Called VeriChip, the 12mm by 2.1mm microchip containing medical and identification information can be implanted under the skin and read by an external scanner.
While Palm Beach, Florida-based Applied Digital touts the device as an advance in medical monitoring and personal security, it is raising the eyebrows of civil libertarians and others wary of identification that cannot be turned off.
"What's to stop other people from using it?" Electronic Privacy Information Center legislative counsel Chris Hoofnagle asked in an interview with NewsFactor Network. "There's a reason we keep our identities to ourselves. We don't walk around wearing name tags."
Scan or Send Data
Calling insertion of the VeriChip "a simple procedure performed in an outpatient, office setting," Applied Digital says data on the chip -- including a unique identification number, medical, clearance or other data -- can be displayed by a scanner using radio frequency energy.
The company said it expects Food and Drug Administration approval of the device within six months in the U.S. However, the VeriChip will be available in other countries in the first quarter of next year.
The chip's data can be displayed by the scanner or transmitted by telephone or the Internet to "an FDA compliant, secure data-storage site," giving authorized personnel access to information on the chip, the company says.
EPIC's Hoofnagle said the technology carries the same privacy concerns as a national ID card.
"Human identification systems are tools that have historically been used for social control," he said.
Hoofnagle also expressed concern that the VeriChip might be "spoofed," allowing anyone to access data on the chip or monitor people without them knowing it.
"It sounds like it's an easy technology to invade," he said
Bolton also stressed that implantation of the VeriChip is totally voluntary, and that the company does not intend for it to be used as a national ID. (Editor's Note: what Mr. Bolton intends is not the issue. It's what the government intends. And we're sure that Mr. Bolton wouldn't mind a nice fat government contract ... in the interests of "saving the children" of course.)
Applied Digital chairman and CEO Richard J. Sullivan called the VeriChip "another significant step in developing leading-edge personal security technologies for a rapidly evolving marketplace
Washington Post Staff
Navy Petty Officer Wellington Jimenez walked into the identification room at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn one day recently and gave his name, rank and fingerprint. In return, he got a token of the future: a plastic ID card embedded with a computer chip.
The card -- with two photos, two bar codes, a magnetic stripe and the etched gold chip -- looks like a driver's license on steroids. More than 120,000 active duty military personnel, selected reserves, Defense Department civilians and some contractors have received the cards in recent months. About 4 million are to be issued over the next two years.
When Jimenez sits down at a computer on his next ship, the USS George Washington, he will slip the card into a device that will electronically scramble, or encrypt, his e-mail to prevent outsiders from reading it. The same card will automatically give him access to secure rooms across the world. At a military hospital, its chip will one day summon his medical records. Used as a debit card, it may even buy him a sandwich at a base cafeteria.
And more than ever, the cards will enable Defense Department officials to look into their databases and know the doorways he passes through, the computer he accesses, the doctor he sees, all of which is fine with Jimenez.
"I know the government will have more access to my information," Jimenez said. "But I know it's going to be used in the right way. I feel protected."
The high-tech IDs, the latest in "smart cards," were designed for tracking personnel across the globe and running more secure and efficient military operations. But now they are models for something that was unthinkable before Sept. 11: national identification cards for all U.S. citizens.
Almost from the day the planes hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, members of Congress, security experts and high-tech executives have endorsed the idea of some new form of identification system as a critical weapon in the fight against terrorism. They believe the cards, linked to giant databases, would be invaluable in preventing terrorists from operating under assumed names and identities.
Any such proposals in the past foundered on a distrust of centralized government as old as the American republic. Opponents raised the specter of prying bureaucrats with access to databases full of personal information, of Gestapo-like stops on the street and demands to produce papers, and the kind of unchecked police authority that would erode constitutional protections.
The nation's new consciousness of terrorism, a product of both the fear and anger engendered by Sept. 11, has markedly changed the way Americans think about security, surveillance and their civil liberties. For many people, the trade-off of less privacy for more security now seems reasonable.
As Alan M. Dershowitz, a Harvard University law professor, wrote in October in endorsing a national ID card, the "fear of an intrusive government can be addressed by setting criteria for any official who demands to see the card."
"We're willing to accept this immense flow of data to law enforcement and their proxies to make sure we feel safe and secure," said Marty Abrams, an information technology specialist at the law firm Hunton & Williams and former senior credit bureau executive. "The equilibrium point shifted. It was a massive movement by society."
Abrams, privacy advocates and some lawmakers wonder whether all the implications are being considered. "We haven't really looked at what this means in the long run," Abrams said. "In our rush to make ourselves feel safer, have the appropriate due processes been worked out?"
To be sure, the political hurdles to a national ID card remain huge. President Bush has publicly downplayed their benefits, saying they're unnecessary to improve security. Bush's new cyberspace security chief, Richard Clarke, recently said he does "not think it's a very smart idea."
Logistical problems and the potentially enormous costs make it unlikely that a mandatory, national ID system could soon be adopted. In recent testimony before Congress, former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson, a supporter of more secure identification methods, warned against using the phrase "national ID" at all because of the political sensitivities. "That's a diversion for people who like to talk about . . . Nazi Germany," he said.
But a range of steps now underway could lead to a de facto national ID system that could accomplish many of the same goals.
Technology specialists at the Justice Department and General Services Administration have acknowledged they are working with motor vehicle officials and commercial vendors to develop a standard for some sort of ID system, mandatory or not.
The Air Transport Association, meanwhile, has called for the creation of a voluntary travel card for passengers that would include a biometric identifier. They proposed linking the card to a system of government databases that would include criminal, intelligence and financial records. Passengers who agree to use the card would have easier access to airplanes.
A bill introduced in Congress by Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.), would establish a Commission on Homeland Security to study the federal government's efforts to protect U.S. security, including the use of national identification systems.
"This commission is not intended to resolve the national identification issue," said Horn. "It is merely to advance the debate in light of the September 11 attacks and the changed world in which we now live."
In the world before Sept. 11, a large majority of Americans expressed concerns about personal privacy in surveys, and those concerns focused on the increasing collection of data -- names, addresses, buying habits and movements -- by businesses interested in developing ever more sophisticated marketing campaigns.
At the same time, they also demonstrated a willingness to surrender personal information for discounts or conveniences, such as cheaper groceries, faster passage through toll booths and upgrades on airline travel, one reason for an enormous growth in databases in recent years.
"It's massive,"said Judith DeCew, a Clark University professor and author of "In Pursuit of Privacy: Law, Ethics and the Rise of Technology." "It's financial information. It's credit information. It's medical records, insurance records, what you buy, calls you make. Almost every action or activity you participate in while living a normal life potentially generates a huge database about you."
State and federal governments also expanded their data networks and use of personal information. Nearly every time police make a traffic stop, for example, they tap into National Crime Information Center databases to check whether the driver is a known criminal or suspect. And as part of a new and aggressive effort to track down parents who owe child support, the federal government created a vast computerized data-monitoring system that includes all individuals with new jobs and the names, addresses, Social Security numbers and wages of nearly every working adult in the United States. Under the system, banks are obligated to search through lists of accounts for deadbeats, or turn the data over to the government.
Government agencies have also contracted with private companies for information. The Internal Revenue Service, for example, hired a data company called ChoicePoint Inc. to give about 20,000 employees instant access to 10 billion public records containing housing, financial and other personal information about individuals. ChoicePoint provides data to the FBI and other agencies as well.
Privacy groups are troubled by the evolving uses agencies, marketers and others find for the new databases. Law enforcement authorities and private attorneys, for instance, regularly use subpoena power now to gain access to grocery, toll and a bonanza of other kinds of privately collected data for use in civil and criminal cases. And many of the databases that grew so quickly in recent years are now being studied for their potential value to law enforcement authorities.
Acxiom Corp. is lobbying Congress to change a relatively new law that limits their use of driver's license numbers. Acxiom wants to use those numbers to create a new authentication system at airports, improving the ability of clerks to ask travelers personal questions about their lives that would help verify who they are.
A centralized ID database system would dramatically speed verification and make life more convenient for travelers, airlines and others. The disadvantage, according to civil liberties activists, is that agencies would gain access to unprecedented amounts of aggregated data. They also would have to be relied upon to ensure the database is current and accurate. Questions about who would maintain the database and gain access to it would be thorny ones.
An alternative would be to configure databases to allow certain pieces of information, or fields of data, to be accessed by the smart card. This approach would limit the amount of information contained in a single database.
"Any national ID system, regardless of who controls it, has a tremendous potential for misuse and abuse," said John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union in Alexandria.
Even a de facto national ID system, of the sort proposed by motor vehicle administrators, would dramatically ease the collection of sensitive personal information about individuals by linking it all to a single, unique identifier: A smart card with a fingerprint or other biometric.
Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, a London-based advocacy group that has studied national IDs, said the computers and networks in a centralized system would also become targets of hackers. In recent years, scores of private and government databases, containing financial, medical and other personal information, have been breached by hackers, some who publicized the data or used it in fraud schemes.
It also could make it easier for a successful forger or hacker to maintain a false identity, since authorities would be so trusting in a new, high-tech system. A lost or stolen card under such a system "will paralyze your card or your identity for days or weeks," he said.
"At this point, you created a huge technological infrastructure of such massive proportions it trips over its own shoelaces," he said.
A national identification system would raise privacy questions, said Tate Preston, vice president at Datacard Group, which creates high-tech IDs. But the need for a better identification system is beyond question.
"In the 19th century, it was sufficient to ask who you are," he said. "In the 20th century, it was sufficient to show who you are," he said. "In the 21st century, you will have to prove who you are."
FBI Confirms 'Magic Lantern' Project Exists
By Elinor Mills Abreu
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) Dec 12, 2001 - An FBI spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the U.S. government is working on a controversial Internet spying technology, code-named ``Magic Lantern'', which could be used to eavesdrop on computer communications by "suspected criminals."
``It is a workbench project'' that has not yet been deployed, said FBI spokesman Paul Bresson. ``We can't discuss it because it's under development.''
The FBI has already acknowledged that it uses software that records keystrokes typed into a computer to obtain passwords that can be used to read encrypted e-mail and other documents as part of criminal investigations.
Magic Lantern reportedly would allow the agency to plant a Trojan horse keystroke logger on a target's PC by sending a computer virus over the Internet, rather than require physical access to the computer as is now the case.
When asked if Magic Lantern would require a court order for the FBI to use it, as existing keystroke logger technology does, Bresson said: ``Like all technology projects or tools deployed by the FBI it would be used pursuant to the appropriate legal process.''
Major anti-virus vendors this week said they would not voluntarily cooperate with the FBI and said their products would continue to be updated to detect and prevent viruses, regardless of their origin, unless there was a legal order otherwise.
Doing so would anger customers and alienate non-U.S. customers and governments, they said, adding that there had been no requests by the FBI to ignore any viruses.
While the FBI requires a court order to install its technology, formerly called ``Carnivore,'' but renamed DCS1000, some service providers reportedly comply voluntarily, while court orders are relatively easy to get, civil libertarians argue.
``If we were at war the government would be able to require technology companies to cooperate, I believe, in a number of ways, including getting back door access to information and computer systems.''Government proposes rule to eavesdrop on phone calls between lawyers and clients in terrorist probe
WASHINGTON (AP) Nov 8 2001 -- The government says it can get around attorney-client confidentiality as it investigates the terrorist attacks by allowing prisons to monitor phone calls and mail of some of those jailed after Sept. 11.
A rule published Oct. 31 in the Federal Register says the monitoring can take place when Attorney General John Ashcroft concludes there is "reasonable suspicion" that the communications are designed to further terrorist acts. The rule went into effect the day before it became public.
"The immediate implementation of this interim rule without public comment is necessary to ensure" that the Justice Department "is able to respond to current intelligence and law enforcement concerns relating to threats to the national security or risks of terrorism or violent crimes," the new rule states.
The American Civil Liberties Union decried the change.
"I think this proposal is a terrifying nightmare for innocent people who are under suspicion by the attorney general," said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU's national office.
Lawrence Barcella, a former federal prosecutor and now a white-collar defense attorney in Washington, called it "beyond troubling."
"The attorney-client relationship is absolutely necessary and constitutionally protected," he said. "That it can be wiped away on a standard as low as reasonable suspicion is a very, very serious intrusion."
Solomon L. Wisenberg, former deputy independent counsel to Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr, said that "this seems at first glance like a very troubling approach because of its obvious infringement" on attorney-client confidentiality.
Many constitutional rights are curtailed in the prison context, but generally not the guarantee of private communications between attorneys and their clients, Wisenberg said.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons ordinarily sets up two types of phones for inmates -- one in which calls are monitored and the other where inmates can talk confidentially with their lawyers. The monitored phones are prominently marked so that inmates know in advance that there is eavesdropping.
Phone calls from the designated monitored phones have been used in the past in criminal prosecutions -- for example, in one of the cases against longtime Bill Clinton friend Webster Hubbell. Phone calls in which Hubbell discussed his taxes were part of the framework for a tax evasion case against the former associate attorney general under President Clinton.
Anti-Terror Bill or USA Patriot Act number H.R. 3162 Has Potential to Terrorize Us All (Click Graphic)
WASHINGTON AP Release October 26, 2001 — Stewart Baker, an attorney at the Washington D.C.-based Steptoe & Johnson and a former general consul to National Security Agency, said the FBI has plans to change the architecture of the Internet and route traffic through central servers that it would be able to monitor e-mail more easily.
The plans go well beyond the Carnivore e-mail-sniffing system (now renamed DCS1000) which allows the FBI to search for and extract specific e-mails off the Internet and generated so much controversy among privacy advocates and civil libertarians before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“From the work I’ve been doing, I’ve seen the efforts the FBI has been making and it suggests that they are going to unveil this in the next few months,” Baker said of the plan.
FBI Spokesman Paul Bresson said he was unaware of any development in the e-mail surveillance arena that would require major architectural changes in the Internet, but acknowledged that such a plan is possible.
Any new efforts would “would be in compliance with wiretapping statutes,” Bresson said. “We would be remiss if we didn’t.”
Such a move might have been unthinkable before Sept. 11.
Last year, privacy groups and civil libertarians howled in protest when the FBI trotted out plans to start using the Carnivore system. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington was ready to go full rounds with the government in court over Carnivore, and House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, asked Attorney General John Ashcroft to take another look at its constitutionality.
Now, though, the country is asking for more, not less, law enforcement on the Internet, and even those who once complained are coming around.
“I have two minds on this,” says Fred Peterson, vice president of government affairs for the Xybernaut Corporation, which manufactures computer technology for military and law enforcement. "The past six weeks have left little doubt in most peoples’ mind, he said, that new measures must be taken."
“I don’t think (FBI) motives are bad, but I do think they’re using people’s current state of mind – they’re using it to their advantage,” said Mikal Condon, staff attorney for EPIC.
The new FBI plans would give the agency a technical backdoor to the networks of Internet service providers’ like AOL and Earthlink and Web hosting companies, Baker said. It would concentrate Internet traffic in several central locations where e-mail and other web activity could be wiretapped [Editor's Note: and block "unfriendly" websites?].
Baker said he expects the agency will approach the Internet companies on an individual basis to ask for their help in the endeavor.
Sue Ashdown, executive director of the Washington-based American ISP Association, an Internet company trade group, said most Internet companies aren’t healthy enough financially to take on the government in court to protect their subscribers’ privacy rights. And no one, she says, wants to appear hostile to law enforcement right now.
“In the current patriotic climate, enterprises of all types will likely play along with the FBI in order to avoid a public relations disaster,” said Gene Riccoboni, an Internet attorney with the Stamford, Connecticut-based Grimes & Battersby.
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