Category Archives: Closed Society

Multiple States Get Pre-Crime Robot Cams to Detect Suspicious Behavior and Report to the Authorities

Kaye Beach

June 20, 2012

Throughout history there have been a couple of things that have limited tyrannical governments from implementing any truly pervasive system of surveillance and control upon the populace;  manpower and technology.

The Nazi’s took their  system of cataloging their population (which they used to efficiently slaughter millions of innocent people) to the limits of available manpower and technology.

Anyone who thinks this is a mere privacy issue needs to adjust their thinking cap.  When I contemplate the developing landscape of the public sphere I don’t lament my loss of privacy.  It is my loss of autonomy that I mourn.  Autonomy has been describes as “the desire to avoid being manipulated or dominated wholly by others”  Loss of autonomy means loss of control over one’s own life.

Now we have entered a time where the two greatest hurdles to effective control over the population has been all but eliminated.  As we have witnessed so far, the Bill of Rights, privacy laws or even simple ethics have provided little protection from the onward march of intrusive technology into our lives. We should expect that the forward march of technological tyranny will continue until it hits a wall.

Reported June 19, 2012 by GCN (Government Computer News)

Cities using AI for pre-crime monitoring of surveillance videos

In a real-life twist of the TV show “Person of Interest,” cities around the country are adopting technology to detect and prevent crime before it happens.

In the TV show, a mysterious billionaire and computer genius recruits a former CIA agent to prevent violent crimes in New York using a computer system he built to analyze video surveillance.

In reality, San Francisco; Houston; El Paso, Texas; Birmingham, Ala.; and reportedly the site of the World Trade Center in New York — among other entities — have purchased that kind of software to detect and report “suspicious or abnormal behavior.” The European Union and the Homeland Security Department are also developing their own pre-crime detection systems.

San Francisco’s Municipal Transit Authority (MUNI), the latest purchaser, is using AISight software to continuously monitor more than 150 “objects and activities” at 12 train stations via real-time video feeds.

The software uses artificial intelligence to learn which items and movements could indicate a potential threat. Video clips of suspicious activity and SMS text message alerts are automatically sent to MUNI employees upon detection.

The deal closed in early March, according to an unnamed source, reported Security Systems News. According a San Francisco Chronicle article earlier this month, the five-year deal is worth $3.6 million, although SSN reported it at just over $2 million. It includes support services as well as installation of the software. The system is intended to be forward-compatible with future surveillance technology.

Source: GCN (http://s.tt/1f6fg)

Source: GCN (http://s.tt/1f6fg)

Department Of Homeland Security Announces “If You See Something, Say Something™” Partnership With The City Of Charlotte

Kaye Beach,

The Department of Homeland Security continues to expand it “See Something, Say Something” campaign into every imaginable sector of society.  “See Something, Say Something” is a DHS program designed to encourage ordinary people to report anything they believe to be unusual to the authorities.

Those reports then become a SAR-Suspicious Activity Report, many of which are forwarded on to the FBI to be held in their eGaurdian database for a number of years collecting additional bits of information on the individual.

Think something like this might have a chilling effect on free speech or political participation? Certianly.  That is exactly what such a program is designed for; to keep you fearful and in your place.

“I started to read these files about all the victims in just one region of Germany that the Gestapo had processed,” Gellately says. “It would have taken a large force of secret police to collect information on so many people. I needed to know just how many secret police there really were. So I asked an elderly gentleman who would’ve lived through those times, and he replied, ‘They were everywhere!'”

That was the prevailing myth.

“But I had evidence right there in my hands that supported a different story,” Gellately explains. “There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors.” -Robert Gellately, Earl Ray Beck Professor, Department of History

05/21/2012 07:00 AM EDT

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign to the city of Charlotte, N.C. Earlier today, DHS Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs Betsy Markey joined Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and officials from the Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame to announce the partnership between DHS and the city of Charlotte.

“If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign materials will be visible throughout Charlotte – in the Charlotte Area Transit System, in public buildings, on the city website and at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In addition, a 30-second “If You See Something, Say Something™” Public Service Announcement will be broadcast on the local Charlotte government access television station.

DHS also separately announced the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign partnership with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. The partnership will begin in eight different metropolitan areas including Baltimore, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Orlando, St. Paul, Southwest Florida, and Washington, D.C. with plans to expand to other cities in the future.

The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign – originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and now licensed to DHS for a nationwide campaign – is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.

The Department launched the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative – an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism and terrorism-related crime; standardize how those observations are documented and analyzed; and ensure the sharing of those reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces for further investigation.

Recent expansions of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign include partnerships with numerous sports teams and leagues, transportation agencies, private sector partners, states, municipalities, and colleges and universities. DHS also has Public Service Announcements which have been distributed to television and radio stations across the country.

DHS will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign nationally to ensure America’s businesses, communities, and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the country safe.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

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EVERY MED YOU TAKE, They’ll BE WATCHING YOU – Prescription Monitoring Programs

Kaye Beach

March 18, 2012


Prescription Monitoring Program

DESCRIPTION: A PMP is a statewide electronic database which collects designated data on substances dispensed in the state. The PMP is housed by a specified statewide regulatory, administrative or law enforcement agency. The housing agency distributes data from the database to individuals who are authorized under state law to receive the information for purposes of their profession.

Read More

The states have received plenty of federal funding from the DOJ for the creation of PMP’s.

the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice created the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (HRPDMP) in 2002 (3).

Funds for this program were provided by Congress to assist in the planning, implementation, and in some cases the enhancement of state PDMPs. From 2002 to 2008, over 100 state HRPDMP grants were awarded by the BJA.

For fiscal year (FY) 2009, $7 million was appropriated by Congress for the HRPDMP. President Barack Obama proposed that the budget for 2010 would include $7 million for the grant program (4).

http://chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/85989824-1030-4AA6-91E1 7F9E3EF68827/0/KASPEREvaluationPDMPStatusFinalReport6242010.pdf

The goal of the State of Oklahoma is to reduce prescription fraud, substance abuse, “doctor shopping”, and other illegal activity related to pharmaceutical drug diversion. The Bureau works in partnership with pharmacies, practitioners and other health care professionals throughout Oklahoma to reduce prescription drug abuse.

The Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) was enacted into law by the Oklahoma Anti-Drug Diversion Act (63 O.S. Section: 2-309). http://www.ok.gov/obndd/Prescription_Monitoring_Program/

Oklahoma is credited as the first state to begin using a prescription monitoring program back in the early 90’s.  Now Oklahoma has raced to the top again with its high tech, electronic PMP that boasts real time prescription data sharing beginning this year.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control started the monitoring program in 2006 to reduce prescription fraud, substance abuse and “doctor shopping.”  http://newsok.com/real-time-reporting-law-could-cut-down-on-prescription-abuse-fraud-oklahoma-officials-say/article/3646147#ixzz1osdhdWGx

Oklahoma’s modern electronic PMP has been running since 2006 and three quarters of doctors and pharmacies use the program.

Oklahoma to Track Prescription Drug Abuse

2006

Under a statewide database program to be administered by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, authorities will track instances in which substance abusers try to fraudulently acquire prescription drugs

 . . .”The CONTROL project is a vital tool that will help crack down on prescription drug abuse and help get desperately needed treatment for people suffering addiction,” (Emphasis mine) Gov. Henry said at a state Capitol news conference.

. . .Under CONTROL, physicians and pharmacists will be able to check a patient’s prescription history from hospitals, clinics and pharmacies to deduce whether that person is “doctor shopping” for drugs. The entire process, which includes safeguards to prevent abuse, will take only a matter of minutes.. . . The program goes online July 1 and is entirely funded through federal grants. Oklahoma to Track Prescription Drug Abuse

http://www.govtech.com/e-government/Oklahoma-to-Track-Prescription-Drug-Abuse.html

With all of these firsts for Oklahoma in prescription drug monitoring, doesn’t it seem rather ironic that the state also boasts #1 status in prescription drug use and in painkiller abuse?

Oklahoma is #1 in prescription drug use per capita

http://enidnews.com/state/x579806793/Oklahoma-lawmaker-say-bill-fights-prescription-abuse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oklahoma is #1 in painkiller abuse

The report [Centers for Disease Control] says that Oklahoma leads statistics with the highest number of people — 1 in 12 — using painkillers recreationally.

Nov. 10, 2011 http://www.officer.com/news/10449255/okla-police-working-to-stop-prescription-drug-abuse

Last year, about 240,000 people in Oklahoma, or 8%, abused prescription drugs, giving the state the highest mark in the nation, although New Mexico and West Virginia lead in per-capita overdose deaths.

Prescription drugs are responsible for four in five overdose deaths in Oklahoma.  The leading causes of drug-related deaths in Oklahoma in 2010 were hydrocodone, oxycodone and alprasolam. http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/ViewNews/Drug_Addiction_in_Oklahoma_Costs_More_than_Entire_State_Budget_120313

While the Oklahoma PMP monitors a wide range of drugs (all schedule II-V)  it is the painkillers that are causing the brunt of the deaths and addiction related problems such as doctor shopping which the PMP is tailor made to address.

Oxycodone addiction and abuse, in particular a drug called OcyContin, is without a doubt a horrible problem.  Over the years I have personally heard of numerous cases of addiction and accidental overdoses from OxyContin.  The maker of the drug, Purdue, back in the mid 90’s, presented their new formulation of the drug oxycodone as less addictive and safer that the older preparations for the drug

Purdue knew it needed to overcome doctors’ fears about addiction, so it treated the time-release formula as a magic bullet. It claimed the drug would give pain patients steadier 12-hour coverage, avoid withdrawal, and frustrate addicts seeking a euphoric rush. As one 1998 Purdue promotional video stated, the rate of addiction for opioid users treated by doctors is “much less than 1%.”

The pitch worked, and sales took off: from $45 million in 1996 to $1.5 billion in 2002 to nearly $3 billion by 2009. The key: Nearly half of those prescribing OxyContin were primary-care doctors rather than, say, cancer specialists, the General Accounting Office reported. Purdue had succeeded in vastly expanding the market for its drug http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2011/11/09/oxycontin-purdue-pharma/

Purdue aggressively marketed the painkiller and downplayed the risk of addiction at the expense of lives.  The company was prosecuted for its misleading campaign, found guilty and had to pay out millions in fines.

When it was introduced in the late ’90s, OxyContin was touted as nearly addiction-proof — only to leave a trail of dependence and destruction. Its marketing was misleading enough that Purdue pleaded guilty in 2007 to a federal criminal count of misbranding the drug “with intent to defraud and mislead the public,” paid $635 million in penalties, and today remains on the corporate equivalent of probation. http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2011/11/09/oxycontin-purdue-pharma/

So big Pharma worked its magic and we are left to deal with the fallout.  Prescription Monitoring Programs are being offered as a solution to the death and destruction wrought by prescription drug addiction but I can find nothing to show that the program is doing much, if anything,  to help.

Prescription-drug overdoses are major killer in Oklahoma

3/11/2012

The number of fatal drug overdoses in Oklahoma more than doubled over the past 10 years, climbing to 739 in 2010. . .

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=702&articleid=20120311_11_A1_CUTLIN378385

The PMP is a statewide database program administered by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, a law enforcement agency.

These state programs are now being linked for the purpose of sharing this information across state lines around the nation.

This  2002, a General Accounting Office report concluded that state PDMPs were a helpful tool for reducing drug diversion based not on any hard facts or numbers but on enthusiastic reports from law enforcement users and PDMP managers.  (GAO Report to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives. Prescription Drugs: State Monitoring Programs Provide Useful Tool to Reduce Diversion. May 2002. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02634.pdf.)

Here is some insight from a 2011 study that “. . .evaluated the association of PDMPs with drug overdose mortality rates and consumption of prescription opioid medications in the United States during 1999–2005.”

Conclusions. While PDMPs are potentially an important tool to prevent the nonmedical use of prescribed controlled substances, their impact is not reflected in drug overdose mortality rates. Their effect on overall consumption of opioids appears to be minimal.

PDMPs were not associated with lower drug overdose mortality rates for any of the study years or with decreases (or even with lesser increases) in the rates of death resulting from drug overdoses.

The findings also indicate that PDMPs were not associated with lower rates of consumption of opioids during 1999–2005. . . Even when focused on proactive PDMPs or programs with relatively high rates of reporting, there were no associations of PDMPs with trends in overdose deaths or opioid use.  . . . it can be said unequivocally that PDMP states did not do any better than non-PDMP states in controlling the rise in drug overdose mortality from 1999 to 2005

Source: 2011 Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and Death Rates from Drug Overdose. 

In a nutshell;

  • PMP’s showed no effect on the number of deaths from drug overdoses.
  • PMP’s showed no effect on levels of consumption of painkillers
  • The states with PMP fared no better in controlling the rise in drug overdose mortality.  (In Oklahoma’s case, we actually fared worse that states with no PMP!)

Nevertheless, we are being treated to a deluge of news stories bringing us heart wrenching tales of lives lost or ruined by prescription painkiller abuse.  These same stories offer the salvation of a nationwide integrated government prescription tracking database for everyone.  The fact that this is an invasion of our medical privacy and a violation of doctor-patient confidentiality is never mentioned in these stories.

Who is Authorized to Request Patient Prescription Data?  (Apparently just about everyone BUT you)

Oklahoma

  • Prescribers YES
  • Pharmacists YES
  • Pharmacies YES
  • Law Enforcement YES
  • Licensing Boards YES
  • Patients NO
  • If other requester (specify) Attorney General, Medical Examiners

http://www.pmpalliance.org/content/who-authorized-request-patient-prescription-data

The PMP’s are (in some states like Oklahoma) law enforcement programs, funded by law enforcement agencies for the purpose of feeding your personal information to law enforcement as an investigative tool.  Another way to say it, is they are spying on the majority of law abiding people because they might do something wrong.

Aren’t we are supposed to presumed innocent until proven guilty? If we are doing nothing wrong, aren’t we supposed to be left alone?   Yes!  That is exactly how it is supposed to be.

The National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL) recommends;

Monitoring systems should proactively provide information to law enforcement agencies, licensing officials, and other appropriate individuals. This information should be reviewed by a drug monitoring official and if there is reason to suspect that a violation has occurred, the offender should be reported to the appropriate agency.

In addition, a statute must be in place that allows programs to disclose information for public research, policy, and educational purposes. . .(Emphasis  mine)

http://chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/85989824-1030-4AA6-91E17F9E3EF68827/0/KASPEREvaluationPDMPStatusFinalReport6242010.pd

I don’t know about you but the idea of my medical information being accessed by a variety of people ( all benevolent and caring as they may be)  makes me feel violated and powerless. This is very personal information!

Prescription tracking: Too invasive? Steve Klearman September 07, 2008

The push for monitoring is coming not just from doctors and public health officials but the attorney general’s office. And it would likely be a useful tool. But it’s easy to imagine a time when lobbyists could convince lawmakers that the drug problem has become severe enough to grant law enforcement agencies unfettered access to everyone’s prescription history without a warrant. Then, agents would view the private medical information of hordes of innocent people in hopes of nabbing a small number of abusers.

. . . Even more troubling is the thought that computer hackers or bribed employees could obtain the records and sell them. The information would be very valuable to pharmaceutical companies, and to insurers and employers who want to avoid both abusers and people in need of expensive health care.  http://reno.injuryboard.com/fda-and-prescription-drugs/prescription-tracking-too-invasive.aspx?googleid=246936

Mr. Klearman’s concerns about the databases being hacked were born out in 2009.  In May 2009, hackers gained access to Virginia’s Prescription Monitoring Program and held 8 million patient records hostage for 10 million dollars in ransom.

Hackers Break Into Virginia Health Professions Database, Demand Ransom

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/05/hackers_break_into_virginia_he.html

Oklahoma prescription drug monitoring: what’s collected? by  Paul Monies July 5, 2011

. . . .

Senate Bill 1159, by Republicans Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. Randy Terrill, expanded the information collected under the PMP program to include the address and date of birth of patients getting a prescription for certain classes of drugs.

Here’s what the PMP program collects on each prescription, according to Oklahoma law and the administrative rules of OBNDD:

A. Section 2-309C. A. A dispenser of a Schedule II, III, IV or V controlled dangerous substance, except Schedule V substances that contain any detectable quantity of pseudoephedrine, its salts or optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers shall transmit to a central repository designated by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control using the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy’s (ASAP) Telecommunications Format for Controlled Substances version designated in rules by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, the following information for each dispensation:

1. Recipient’s name;

2. Recipient’s address;

3. Recipient’s date of birth;

4. Recipient’s identification number;

5. National Drug Code number of the substance dispensed;

6. Date of the dispensation;

7. Quantity of the substance dispensed;

8. Prescriber’s United States Drug Enforcement Agency registration number; and

9. Dispenser’s registration number; and

10. Other information as required by administrative rule.

B. The information required by this section shall be transmitted:

1. In a format or other media designated acceptable by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control; and

2. Within twenty-four (24) hours of the time that the substance is dispensed. Beginning January 1, 2012, all information shall be submitted on a real-time log.

Oklahoma prescription drug monitoring: what’s collected? by  Paul Monies July 5, 2011

The Prescription Monitoring Programs are indeed a violation of privacy but when you have people dying of prescription drug overdoses, for some, the trade-off might seem reasonable. It is important to point out in response to the media saturation of tragic tales in support of the PMP, that there is no indication whatsoever that the invasive surveillance of our medical information does anything to reduce the problem.  I will be interested in researching just what sort of measures are in place to get an addict some help once caught by the PMP but from what I have seen so far, this appears to be just one more invasive  program to track and control Americans in the name of safety.

A Closer Look at the Eyes in the Sky Unleashed by Congress-Drones

Kaye Beach

Feb 23, 2012

Great analysis by Privacy Revolt! Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Domestic Spy Drones Approved by Congress

 

. . .Congress has APPROVED two of these threats for widespread use: domestic spy drones, and what are called “super drones”. As we are now becoming aware, these drones do more than just kill innocent women and children around the world, but in fact, are perfect domestic spying devices too.

The “super drones” take it a step further, by actually knowing who you are, because, as reported by Wired magazine, the military has given out research grants to several companies to spruce up these drones with technology that lets them identify and track people on the move, or “tagging, tracking, and locating” (TTL).

But don’t take my word for it, there were three major stories on the topic last week, “Congress OKs FAA Bill allowing drones in US, GPS air traffic control“, “Bill authorizes Use of Unmanned Drones in US Airspace“, and “Drones over US get OK by Congress“.

Let’s go to the piece by the New American:

Big Brother is set to adopt a new form of surveillance after a bill passed by Congress will require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to open U.S. airspace to drone flights under a new four-year plan. The bill, which passed the House last week and received bipartisan approval in the Senate on Monday, will convert radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology, shifting the country to an age where satellites are central to air traffic control and unmanned drones glide freely throughout U.S. airspace.

By using GPS technology, congressional leaders argued, planes will land and take off more efficiently, as pilots will be able to pinpoint the locations of ground obstacles and nearby aircraft. The modernization procedures play into the FAA’s ambitious plan to achieve 50-percent growth in air traffic over the next 10 years. This legislation is “the best news that the airline industry ever had,” applauded Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). “It will take us into a new era.”

Furthermore, privacy advocates worry that the bill will open the door to widespread use of drones for surveillance by law enforcement and, eventually, by the private sector. Some analysts predict that the commercial drone market in the U.S. could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars once the FAA authorizes their use, and that 30,000 drones could be flying domestically by 2020. “There are serious policy questions on the horizon about privacy and surveillance, by both government agencies and commercial entities,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy and legal group, also is “concerned about the implications for surveillance by government agencies,” affirmed attorney Jennifer Lynch, and it is “a huge push by lawmakers and the defense sector to expand the use of drones” in U.S. airspace.

“Congress – and to the extent possible, the FAA – need to impose some rules to protect Americans’ privacy from the inevitable invasions that this technology will otherwise lead to,” wrote American Civil Liberties Union policy analyst Jay Stanley. “We don’t want to wonder, every time we step out our front door, whether some eye in the sky is watching our every move.”

They also say that if they can get a close enough look, they can tell twins apart and reveal not only individuals’ identity but their social networks. But it gets even more spooky:

The Army also wants to identify potentially hostile behavior and intent, in order to uncover clandestine foes. Charles River Analytics is using its Army cash to build a so-called “Adversary Behavior Acquisition, Collection, Understanding, and Summarization (ABACUS)” tool. The system would integrate data from informants’ tips, drone footage, and captured phone calls. Then it would apply “a human behavior modeling and simulation engine” that would spit out “intent-based threat assessments of individuals and groups.” In other words: This software could potentially find out which people are most likely to harbor ill will toward the U.S. military or its objectives. Feeling nervous yet?

Read more

Are You Seeing Stars on Your State Driver’s License? Say Hello to REAL ID

Kaye Beach

Feb 14, 2012

Are you seeing stars?

If you live in Indiana, South Dakota, Delaware, Connecticut, Utah, Alabama, Ohio, Florida and West Virginia you will be.

A gold star on your state drivers license means that you have yourself a REAL ID card.

The Real ID Act of 2005 imposed federally mandated standards for state driver’s licenses.

Under REAL ID licenses are to be

•machine readable
•contain  biometric data (including facial biometrics)

This and other information is to be shared nationally and internationally.  REAL ID Facts

The federal government with a little help from their friends at the Secure Driver’s License Coalition are putting the squeeze on the states to comply with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.  You know, that federal mandate to create an INTERnational ID that about half of the states told the federal government that would NOT comply with.

“Heavily criticized by concerned citizens, civil liberties groups, and state government agencies, the Real ID act is opposed by over 600 organizations including the National Governors Association.”  Ars Technica, 2007 More state governments defy congress and reject Real ID  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2007/04/more-state-governments-defy-congress-and-reject-real-id.ars

List of states’ Real ID  “refusal to comply” legislation

http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=13574

According to the Secure Driver’s License Coalition “more than half of the states are close to joining the club that is authorized to place a gold star on its driver’s licenses and IDs.”

Below is a  recent press release by the Secure Driver’s License Coalition where they go on and on about how terrible it is going to be for the poor citizens living in rogue anti-REAL ID states but here is something the Secure Driver’s License Coalition won’t tell you; There are not statutory limitation on the “official purposes” for which a  REAL ID card can be demanded.  The Secretary of Homeland Security, at his or her sole discretion can add any other purpose he or she desires without any congressional approval.

As it stands now, after the deadline(Jan 15, 2013)  is up for states to have implemented REAL ID, we will be required to show our “gold star” cards to fly on a commercial airline, enter a federal building or a nuclear facility but the DHS secretary could decide that the card is required to purchase a firearm or the get healthcare if the Sec. so desired.

Gold Stars Appear, as States Have Less Than One Year to Meet Federal REAL ID Standards for Secure Driver’s Licenses and IDs

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Airport security screeners are beginning to see stars. That is, they are beginning to see driver’s licenses with gold stars, issued by states which have been certified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as compliant with federal REAL ID standards. Those states include Indiana, South Dakota, Delaware, Connecticut, Utah, Alabama, Ohio, Florida and West Virginia.

n 2008, the Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule establishing federal security standards for the issuance of driver’s licenses and IDs, implementing a federal law passed in 2005. Beginning in 2009 and continuing to the present, a succession of states have changed their driver’s license procedures to comply with these regulations. The Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License has carefully tracked those upgrades, and is pleased to report that more than half of the states are close to joining the club that is authorized to place a gold star on its driver’s licenses and IDs.

The dozen states that have done little or nothing to comply with the federal REAL ID requirements had best start looking at the calendar. These states have less than a year remaining to notify the Department of Homeland Security that they will begin reforming their driver’s license rules, or their residents will need to start getting passports in order to board commercial airlines.

Read more

Government Uses Anti-Terror Laws to Crush Dissent and Help the Too Big to Fail Businesses

Kaye Beach

 

Feb. 9, 2012

Very good article by George Washington at  Zero Hedge  on Feb. 9, 2012

For years, the government has been using anti-terror laws to crush dissent and to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (and see this).

This trend is getting worse by the day.

On January 31, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security’s Behavioral Science Division pointed to the following as indicators of potential terrorism (please note – as you review the list – that some indicators are conservative, some are liberal and some are bipartisan):

  • “Reverent of individual liberty”
  • “Anti-nuclear”
  • “Believe in conspiracy theories”
  • “A belief that one’s personal and/or national “way of life” is under attack”
  • “Impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”
  • “Insert religion into the political sphere”
  • “Those who seek to politicize religion”
  • “Supported political movements for autonomy”
  • “Anti-abortion”
  • “Anti-Catholic”
  • “Anti-global”
  • “Suspicious of centralized federal authority”
  • “Fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”
  • “A belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in … survivalism”

Given that most Americans fall into one or more of these categories, the powers-that-be can brand virtually anyone they dislike as being a terrorist.

ndeed,  judges and  prosecutors discuss conspiracies every day,  and federal and all 50 state’s codes include specific statutes addressing conspiracy, and specifying punishment for people who commit conspiracies.  (But surely judges, prosecutors and legislators are not terrorists.)

And Public Intelligence notes:

A flyer from a series created by the FBI and Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting states that espousing conspiracy theories or anti-US rhetoric should be considered a potential indicator of terrorist activity. The document, part of a collection published yesterday by Public Intelligence, indicates that individuals who discuss “conspiracy theories about Westerners” or display “fury at the West for reasons ranging from personal problems to global policies of the U.S.” are to be considered as potentially engaging in terrorist activity. For an example of the kinds of conspiracy theories that are to be considered suspicious, the flyer specifically lists the belief that the “CIA arranged for 9/11 to legitimize the invasion of foreign lands.”

I have verified the authenticity of the flyer: here it is posted on the Columbus Police Department’s website. (Take screenshots; it might soon be moved from the public section of the website.)

Read more

More drones coming to airspace near you? Yes!

Kaye Beach

Feb. 7, 2012

This just in-

Congress OKs FAA bill allowing drones in U.S., GPS air traffic control

7:25 a.m. CST, February 7, 2012

After five years of legislative struggling, 23 stopgap measures and a two-week shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, Congress finally has passed a bill aimed at prodding the nation’s aviation system into a new high-tech era in which satellites are central to air traffic control and piloted planes share the skies with unmanned drones.The bill, which passed the Senate 75-20 Monday, speeds the nation’s switch from radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology. It also requires the FAA to open U.S. skies to drone flights within four years.
Gee.  You think Oklahoma is one of the six areas set up to test run the drones?
It [the bill] would set up six test areas around the country for demonstrating safety technology to minimize the risk of UAVs colliding with larger aircraft.

More drones coming to airspace near you?

From Government Computer News published Feb. 6, 2012

Keep your eyes on the skies. A bill working its way through Congress could dramatically increase the number of drones allowed in U.S. airspace, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The House of Representatives on Feb. 3 passed a Federal Aviation Administration funding bill that would ease restrictions on the places unmanned aerial vehicles are allowed to fly. The robotic aircraft have mostly been used by law enforcement agencies and by the military in combat zones, and the FAA has limited their widespread use in national airspace because of concerns that their lack of “detect, sense and avoid” technology could raise the risk of midair collisions, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The bill would direct the FAA to find a way of bringing many smaller UAVs into general and commercial air traffic by September 2015. It would set up six test areas around the country for demonstrating safety technology to minimize the risk of UAVs colliding with larger aircraft.

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And this timely report from the ACLU;

Protecting Privacy From Aerial Surveillance

Photography is Suspicious Activity

Kaye Beach
Jan 20, 2012

The police tell a photographer;

“You know, I’ll just submit your name to TLO (the Terrorism Liaison Officer program). Every time your driver’s license gets scanned, every time you take a plane, any time you go on any type of public transit system where they look at your identification, you’re going to be stopped. You will be detained. You’ll be searched. You will be on the FBI’s hit list.”

If we allow the national security state to continue to grow, this threat, spoken or unspoken, will come to determine many of our actions in life.

A snapshot of our times

By , Published: January 18

LOS ANGELESShawn Nee, 35, works in television but hopes to publish a book of photographs. Shane Quentin, 31, repairs bicycles but enjoys photographing industrial scenes at night. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department probably wishes that both would find other hobbies. Herewith a story of today’s inevitable friction between people exercising, and others protecting, freedom.

When the Los Angeles Police Department developed a Suspicious Activity Report program, the federal government encouraged local law enforcement agencies to adopt its guidelines for gathering information “that could indicate activity or intentions related to” terrorism. From the fact that terrorists might take pictures of potential infrastructure targets (“pre-operational surveillance”), it is a short slide down a slippery slope to the judgment that photography is a potential indicator of terrorism and hence photographers are suspect when taking pictures “with no apparent aesthetic value” (words from the suspicious-activity guidelines).

One reason law enforcement is such a demanding, and admirable, profession is that it requires constant exercises of good judgment in the application of general rules to ambiguous situations. Such judgment is not evenly distributed among America’s 800,000 law enforcement officials and was lacking among the sheriff’s deputies who saw Nee photographing controversial new subway turnstiles. (Subway officials, sadder but wiser about our fallen world, installed turnstiles after operating largely on an honor system regarding ticket purchases.) Deputies detained and searched Nee, asking if he was planning to sell the photos to al-Qaeda. Nee was wearing, in plain view, a device police sometimes use to make video and audio records of interactions with people, and when he told a deputy he was going to exercise his right to remain silent, the deputy said:

“You know, I’ll just submit your name to TLO (the Terrorism Liaison Officer program). Every time your driver’s license gets scanned, every time you take a plane, any time you go on any type of public transit system where they look at your identification, you’re going to be stopped. You will be detained. You’ll be searched. You will be on the FBI’s hit list.”

Read more

 

Pre-Crime Detection Scanners Coming Soon…

Kaye Beach

Dec 7, 2011

Barring legal hurdles and adverse public response, this is what we have to look forward to.  I have little faith that legal hurdles will trip this program up.  It is up to us to provide a public response that will stop DHS and its spy machines that scrutinize us with cameras, sniff us, detect our heart rate, respiration and gender, and decide whether or not we are naughty or nice by algorithm.

From the SEO Law Firm Legal News Center;

Pre-Crime Detection Scanners Heighten Legal and Scientific Debates

By Krystina Steffen, staff writer – November 17, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security has already successfully tested a pre-crime detection scanner on humans. Barring the legal hurdles and public response once this is officially unveiled, these scanners will gauge facial expressions and other biometric data to detect if someone is giving cues for mal-intent. [1] The DHS’ algorithm also includes scanning a person’s gender, ethnicity, breathing, and heart rate in a non-intrusive way via video and audio scanning. The DHS would like to utilize this technology not only at airports, but in bigger settings such as sporting events, border checkpoints, and more.

As society gets acclimated to full body scanners at many U.S. airports, it begs the question of having scanning in more facets of our life. Remote sensors could become a reality to track our eye movement, thermal cameras could target our respiration, and high-resolution videos could detect a whisper or subtle movements of the eyebrow. Pheromone detection is also on the table. [2]

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The Oklahoma MIPT turns Cops into “First Collectors” for Homeland Security

Kaye Beach

Nov. 8, 2011

The Oklahoma Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism just received a 2.2 million dollar grant from the Federal Department of Homeland Security for the purpose of training beat cops all over the country to become “first collectors” (of information) rather than first responders to the need of the taxpayers who pay their salaries.  We expect our police for to serve and protect our communities but Homeland Security has needs too-it needs information on everyone because this tips the balance of power away from the people to favor the government.  The federal government wants our police to serve and protect THEM from US.

Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism is happy to oblige.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 7 (UPI) — The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism has received a grant from the U.S. government to continue training police officers nationwide.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for MIPT’s Information Collection on Patrol training is for $2.2 million.

“This grant from the Department of Homeland Security through FEMA will bring the InCOP training program to tens of thousands of police officers nationally,” said MIPT Director David Cid. “Our training gives line officers skills that enhance our security and safety.

The  Information Collection on Patrol program is commonly referred to as InCOP.  InCOP is a a central component of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice have made InCOP a central component of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, or SAR [MIPT is an official training provider for SAR]. Agencies large and small, urban and rural, traditional and tribal, are successfully implementing InCOP concepts within their training.

From the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency (FEMA);

AWR-220: InCOP Build a Shield

InCOP 4 – Build a Shield is a two hour course that provides instruction on law enforcement’s role in the identification of behaviors that may be precursors to terrorism or other criminal activity. The course examines the deconstruction model for identifying indicators and warnings and explains how to populate a threat assessment in the context of the patrol environment. Understanding the way the intelligence community conducts threat assessments on emerging threats will enhance the ability to gather more useful information as related to indicators and warnings.

Date of Article: 07/06/2011

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InCOP teachers officers to better “first collectors”  for the Department of Homeland Security via  Suspicious Activity Reporting (SARS)

Description

InCOP Police Training
MIPT’s Information Collection on Patrol (InCOP®) police training focuses on the basic and critical skill of information collection by the front line police officer. MIPT’s primary delivery model involves “institutionalizing” the training in departments via in-service cycle. Trainers come to MIPT for an immersive experience. While MIPT trains a few- those trainers go back to their departments and train thousands.The overall goal of enhancing line officer collection leads to better intelligence, tactical awareness, and crime and terrorism prevention. As a Department of Homeland Security training partner, MIPT offers police training courses funded by the Homeland Security National Training Program.

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What is a SAR?

Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) is the process of documenting the observation of behavior that may be indicative of intelligence gathering or pre-operational planning related to terrorism, criminal, or other illicit intentions.

Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI)

Integrates state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies’ SAR processes into a nationwide standardized and institutionalized effort

Read more about SARS and national information collecting here-

“If You See Something, Say Something” Re-Branding the Brown Shirts

What constitutes “suspicious activity”?

Successful surveillance detection efforts require immediate reporting of incidents similar to the following:

  • Multiple sightings of the same suspicious person, vehicle, or activity, separated by time, distance, or direction
  • Individuals who stay at bus or train stops for extended periods while buses and trains come and go
  • Individuals who carry on long conversations on pay or cellular telephones
  • Individuals who order food at a restaurant and leave before the food arrives or who order without eating
  • Joggers who stand and stretch for an inordinate amount of time
  • Individuals sitting in a parked car for an extended period of time
  • Individuals who don’t fit into the surrounding environment because they are wearing improper attire for the location or season
  • Individuals drawing pictures or taking notes in an area not normally of interest to a tourist or showing unusual interest in or photographing security cameras, guard locations, or watching security reaction drills and procedures
  • Individuals who exhibit suspicious behavior, such as staring or quickly looking away from individuals or vehicles as they enter or leave facilities or parking areas

Source: Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

LAPD online; http://www.lapdonline.org/home/content_basic_view/27436

That list was from the LAPD’s website (cited as the model for state collection of SARs –suspicious activity reports)

The MIPT is a Homeland Security training partner.
The MIPT’s Mission

The MIPT’s “mission is to enhance the public safety through training, professional development and education under the MIPT’s Homeland Security National Training Program Cooperative Agreement.”

The MIPT “is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security training partner serving the nation’s 850,000 uniformed officers and law enforcement leadership.”  Who We Are

Some of the underlying assumptions of MIPT training are listed as follow:

  • The local intelligence base is the bedrock of the national intelligence architecture.
  • The uniformed officer is the first collector.
  • Training that improves information collection broadly “lifts all boats,” with enhanced outcomes across all crime problems.
  • Training the entire cadre of uniformed officers creates a culture of information collection and sharing.

Here is a sample of what is being taught to police officers nationwide by the MIPT;

Which of these two people are most likely to pose a threat?

An Arab-American male in his mid-twenties is photographing the Golden Gate Bridge. While doing so, he takes time to stop and recite Islamic prayers after kneeling and bowing to the east.

Or

A Caucasian woman in her late fifties is photographing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Don’t jump to conclusions-fifty year old ladies might very well be the more suspicious of the two….it all, that depends on the context….

Read more (page 30)

Department of Homeland Security federalizing police?

Here is what one “un-named insider” has to say regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s meddling in law enforcement training;

During the past several years, I have witnessed a dramatic shift in the focus of law enforcement training.  Law enforcement courses have moved away from a local community focus to a federally dominated model of complete social control.  Most training I have attended over the past two years have been sponsored by Department of Homeland Security (DHS), namely the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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InCOP puts heavy emphasis on the use of human informants and infiltrators which is a most intrusive and destructive form of surveillance to unleash upon the average citizens in a free society This type of policing breeds distrust between the people and their public servants.  This type of policing is for protecting the government and not the people.