Category Archives: domestic surveillance

State’s Giving Feds Trolling Rights to DMV Facial Biometric Databases

Biometrics getting personal

Kaye Beach

June 17, 2013

The Washington Post published what is probably one of the most comprehensive and clear (major media) articles to date on the state departments of motor vehicles’ biometric databases and how they are increasingly being utilized to undermine the presumption of innocence and rob us of our right to be left alone.

State photo-ID databases become troves for police

“Facial-recognition systems are more pervasive and can be deployed remotely, without subjects knowing that their faces have been captured.   Today’s driver’s-license databases, which also include millions of images of people who get non-driver ID cards to open bank accounts or board airplanes, typically were made available for police searches with little public notice.”

The Washington Post reports;

“Thirty-seven states now use ­facial-recognition technology in their driver’s-license registries, a Washington Post review found. At least 26
of those allow state, local or federal law enforcement agencies to search — or request searches — of photo databases. . .”

The Washington Post also notes that;

“The current version of the Senate’s immigration bill would dramatically expand an electronic photo-verification system, probably relying on access to driver’s-license registries.”

The New York Times reported on this a few days ago;

WASHINGTON — Driver’s license photographs and biographic information of most Americans would be accessible through an expanded Department of Homeland Security nationwide computer network if the immigration legislation pending before the Senate becomes law.

. . . the Senate bill would direct the department to expand the photo program by offering grants to states if they allow the department to tap into their driver’s license photo records

Read more; Fears of National ID With Immigration Bill

The Constitutional Alliance first sounded  the alarm on April 17th;

“If you want to work, travel, buy, or sell you will be forced to be enrolled into this global system of identification.” 

Read more from the Constitutional Alliance; You are being enrolled into a global identity scheme which controls your ability to buy, sell, travel and now work !!!

Our government is working diligently to ‘connect the dots’  We need to do the same – please read the Washington Post’s article on the state’s biometric databases along with  the ones linked above.

Fallin and Pals Go to Paris to Promote OK DRONES

drones drones dronesKaye Beach

June 11, 2013

Oh they wish we would stop calling them that!  Drone, drone, DRONE!!!

Looks like our local media will comply.

To supplement your local news providers who fail to mention anything about drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at all in their reporting of Gov. Fallin’s trip to the Paris Air Show, I thought I would provide you the press release that is circulating in the industry circles.  It is interesting to compare this one with the (drone) sanitized versions circulating in local media.

Industry circulated releases;

Kallman.com

U.S. DELEGATION FROM OKLAHOMA TO PARTICIPATE AT 2013
PARIS AIRSHOW
Oklahoma Department of Commerce Leads Delegation to one of World’s largest Aerospace Gathering to
Promote Oklahoma’s Aerospace and UAV Sectors
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, May 2013
 The Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s foreign direct investment team has formally announced the state’s participation at the upcoming Paris Airshow taking place outside of Paris, June 17-23, 2013
 “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Oklahoma’s value proposition and the many business factors that make Oklahoma a top destination for the global aerospace industry,” said McKeever
McKeever said Oklahoma has the infrastructure and policies in place that make the state a global center of excellence in aerospace and Unmanned Aerial Systems.
sUAS News

Oklahoma Department of Commerce Leads Delegation to one of World’s largest Aerospace Gathering to Promote Oklahoma’s Aerospace and UAS Sectors

“. . .Oklahoma has become THE PLACE in the United States for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) both for commercial and military applications.”

Local media news releases;

News9

Governor, Oklahoma Officials To Attend Paris Air Show

Governor Mary Fallin is leading an Oklahoma delegation on a week-long trip to the Paris Air Show.

Fallin will be joined by her cabinet secretary for science and technology as well as aerospace companies and economic development agency officials at the Paris Air Show next week.

More than 55 companies with some Oklahoma presence are expected to have exhibits at the show and Fallin has said it’s critical to emphasize the state’s reputation as a key player in the aerospace industry

Read more

The Oklahoman

Oklahoma’s Gov. Mary Fallin will lead delegation to Paris Air Show

By Michael McNutt June 10, 2013

Gov. Mary Fallin, aerospace companies doing business in Oklahoma and economic development agencies will attend next week’s Paris Air Show.

Not to be unduly harsh with our local media who has apparently dropped a few important descriptive terms from their vocabulary (like drone and UAV) as some did raise an important issue regarding taxpayer money being spent on travel, luxury hotels and meals for  private industry representatives.

Michael McNutt, Senior Reporter,  The Oklahoman;

Two years ago, Fallin was criticized about the cost of sending four state officials to the air show, which is held every other year.

Records showed that the state paid for $400-a-night rooms at a luxury Paris hotel, $188 daily meal per diems and more than $3,000 in airfare. Fallin didn’t attend the show in 2011 but defended Oklahoma’s participation.

Several private Oklahoma-based aerospace companies, along with a delegation from the chambers of commerce in Ardmore and Oklahoma City, also participated in the 2011 show and reimbursed the state for nearly half the $154,000 total cost.

This year, more than 55 companies with a presence in Oklahoma will exhibit at the show. The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the Tulsa Regional Chamber and the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce all will be represented in the Oklahoma delegation

Read  more

So industry officials get to live it up on our dime.  This is just one of the problems with Public Private Partnerships.

“The OSU University Multispectral Laboratories located in Ponca City Oklahoma is a public private partnership boasts that the UML’s partnership is “unique in the country” in that it has “truly fused” government, private industry and academia.”

I wonder what kind of government we get when we fuse “government, private industry and academia”?  I can tell you this much – it’s not a very representative one!

Read more about the pitfalls of ‘Public Private Partnerships’

Public-Private Partnerships, (PPP’s or P3’s), and initiatives and legislation supporting them, are a prominent trend in State and Federal government. They are often supported by Big Government advocates as “innovative financing” and by Crony Capitalism advocates as “free market solutions.” However, they are a direct threat to the free market and are an incentive for corporatists to engage in unproductive ventures and monopolists to exclude competitors. PPP’s are the source of the sort of political corruption that undermines the rule of law and the sort of central planning that is at the heart of the anti-capitalist

mentality. Everyone who supports U.S. Free Enterprise should be on their guard against supporters of PPP’s.

oklahoma best drone package

Bar Shares Scanned ID Card Data with Cops

bar code escape

Kaye Beach

June 1, 2013

Hat tip to Steve Spingola http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/

Update June 2, 2013 and here is Steve’s article on the matter:  In Appleton, Wisconsin, Having a Cold One is Now the Government’s Business

 

Across the country, citizens are surprised and sometimes outraged by increasing demands by businesses and government to submit to the instant capture and downloading of all of the data contained on their driver’s licenses and ID cards as a condition for ACCESS.

You might wonder what your data is being used for after it is taken.

(Read- ‘Best Buy’s Worst Policy-Swiping ID’s and Destiny Management’)

The answer is whatever they want to use it for including letting law enforcement troll through it looking for any naughty law-breakers.

The article below gives one example of how your once lowly driver’s license that is now empowered with machine readable technology (RFID or 2D barcodes) and your facial biometrics, is performing exactly as designed.  These technologies are designed to make you easier to track, monitor and control.

If my license must be scanned as a condition to access an establishment, then that is a place I will not go.

In Appleton, bar owners share patron data with police seeking probation violators

Owners of Appleton’s more popular bars turning over data on all their patrons to police, who use it to find people violating probation and those wanted on warrants.

According to the Appleton Post-Crescent, last year data was collected on some 8,500 bar goers, including 241 who were not supposed to be going to the establishments.

The practice has raised some privacy concerns.

“The technology doesn’t give any particular thought to privacy concerns since everybody who enters gets scanned,” Chris Ahmuty, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, told the Post-Crescent.

Appleton police loan two high-tech scanners to the city’s high-volume bars, who use them for everyone who enters. The scanners detect fake IDs and let bouncers block those users’ entrance.

But the scanners also store up names, ages and addresses from every ID scanned, data the police then download from the scanners and cross-checked against lists of probationers and those wanted on warrants.

Some bars who buy their own scanners use the data gathered for marketing purposes as well.

Read more

Florida Police use DMV Faceprints to Investigate Public

cctv_startseite

Kaye Beach

April 12, 2013

Imagine if law enforcement began randomly snatching citizens off the street and throwing them into a suspect line up with no probable cause.    In addition to the physical disruption to their lives selectees would be at risk of misidentification as the culprit for a crime they didn’t commit.  People would be outraged.

In Florida, the police are using facial biometrics gathered and stored by the DMV for Real ID with facial recognition technology to identify and investigate individuals in public, at will.

Presumption of innocence? Probable cause? Not necessary when everyone is a suspect.

We are just at the edge of an onslaught of similar stories that whether revealed or not are rooted in Real ID.

You and I have the dubious honor of being located in the slice of our generation that is going to gain a deep understanding of the value of our privacy. We will learn because we are the ones who once, having the luxury of relative obscurity, are watching it slip away. The loss for this slim section of humanity will be acute. For most of those born in the post 911 era and those who follow them, they will be hard pressed to realize what has been taken from them.

Oviedo approves use of facial recognition program for police use

April, 3, 2013

OVIEDO, Fla. —

More local police officers are getting a new crime fighting tool. Oviedo just agreed to allow police to tap into facial recognition software developed by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The technology allows law enforcement to run photos through a database to help identify crime suspects.
What Oviedo just approved has been put to use in Winter Springs for almost a year.
The system is somewhat controversial because it allows law enforcement to search through driver’s license photos, even if you’ve never been accused of a crime.

Homeland Security Drones that can tell if you are armed or not tested in Oklahoma

Fallin_UAS_0

Mary Fallin: “We’re not interested in spying on anyone.”

Kaye Beach

March 28, 2013

I heard about the DHS drones that can determine if a person is armed or unarmed but I somehow missed the part that they were being tested in Oklahoma.

EXCLUSIVE: DHS Small Drone Test Plan Calls for Evaluating Sensors for ‘First Responder, HS Operational Communities’

03/07/2013

. . .The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is testing a wide variety of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) sensor platforms, including one that can determine whether individuals are armed or unarmed, for use by first responders and frontline homeland security professionals.

The testing is taking place at the Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems (OTC-UC), a unit of University Multispectral Laboratories (UML), a not-for-profit scientific institution operated for Oklahoma State University (OSU) by Anchor Dynamics, Inc. UML is a “Trusted Agent” for the federal government, technology developers and operators.

. . .

SUAS sensor platforms are being tested for use by “first responder and homeland security operational communities” that “can distinguish between unarmed and armed (exposed) personnel,” as well as conducting detection, surveillance, tracking and laser designation of targets of interest at stand-off ranges, according to the RAPS Test Plan obtained by Homeland Security Today.

There’s also a requirement to test SUAS sensors for how well they can capture crime and accident “scene data with still-frame, high definition photos.”

Read more

The Oklahoma State University Multispectral Laboratories

The University Multispectral Laboratories (UML) is expanding its role as a trusted agent with the US Department of Homeland Security and international governments.

http://www.okstate-uml.org/content/homeland-security

Gov. Fallin and Steve McKeever’s Drone Questing Collaboration

fallin red queen

Kaye Beach

March 27, 2012

Interesting article published today by FastCompany;

Inside Oklahoma’s Quest To Dominate The American Drone Industry

How politicians, universities, and aerospace firms are teaming up to turn the Sooner State into America’s UAV capital.

. . .Oklahoma businesspeople, academics, and politicians are collaborating through an organization named USA-OK, which aims to make the heartland state the focal point of American UAV development. A quasi-affiliated group, the Governor’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Council (PDF), was formed via an executive order from Governor Mary Fallin in 2011. Both organizations are lobbying for commercial drone test sites in Oklahoma and increased government assistance [that means your tax dollars!] in luring more large military contractors to the state.

Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Science and Technology and a prominent figure in the state’s UAV industry, told Fast Company that Oklahoma is already home to approximately 15 companies servicing the UAV industry. . . According to McKeever, the state offers a variety of incentives and subsidies for aerospace companies of all sizes.

McKeever and Fallin are busy luring this industry to Oklahoma meanwhile Mckeever and Fallin killed HB 1556 which would have simply required law enforcement to get a warrant before engaging in targeted surveillance of individuals and prohibit weaponization of the drones.

. . .Last month, the FAA announced that they are seeking six domestic test sites for UAVs. Due to the obvious commercial possibilities in, say, selling small aircraft for $1,000 a pop to farmers and real estate agencies looking to do aerial monitoring on a budget, UAVs are potential huge business. Giants such as Boeing and hundreds of smaller companies see commercial UAV usage as a gold rush waiting to happen.

State authorities inside Oklahoma issued a strategic drone plan detailing ways to build up the local UAV industry. These plans center on bringing one of the domestic UAV test sites to Oklahoma, which already tests military UAVs. . .

The FastCompany article mentions the Oklahoma UAS [DRONE] Summit held this Tuesday in Norman, but like the media in general, provides little detail on the conference.  (No mention of ‘Pesky Critters’ at all.)

This week, a major UAV convention took place in Oklahoma as well. . . .The agenda includes discussions of UAV use by emergency first responders, the Homeland Security Department’s proposed domestic spy drones. . .

Drone manufacturers even have lobbyists. [You don't say!]  . . .Michael Toscano, the organization’s president, advocates the integration of commercial drones into American airspace. Toscano, in an interview, stressed job creation possibilities if the FAA legalizes commercial drones.

AUVSI spent big dollars in lobbying on the FAA bill that expanded the use of drones in US airspace.  Their money was well spent too.

As a PowerPoint presentation recently obtained by Republic Report shows, the industry group all but wrote the legislation. “Our suggestions were often taken word-for-word,” it says. Read More

Mr. Toscano wasalso  right by Gov. Fallin’s and Stephen McKeever’s side on Jan 17th at a press conference held at the State Capitol in order to unveil the marvelous benefits of drone technology that is being cultivated with our tax dollars.

Interestingly, Toscano thinks that there is no need for addition privacy regulation.

Toscano says the drone industry thinks existing laws are sufficient: ”We believe that your Fourth  Amendment rights are protected.

Well that figures since legislation like Oklahoma’s HB 1556 might interfere with what Toscano sees as an open market.

Toscano. . .says there are nearly 19,000 law enforcement entities in the United States, of which only 300 now have aerial surveillance capacities.

“Those departments have helicopters which cost about $1,500 an hour to operate,” Toscano says. “You can fly these drones for maybe less than $50 hour. A lot of smaller departments can now afford this technology.” read more

Fallin_UAS_0

At the Jan. 17th press conference, McKeever said;

 “We fully recognize that reasonable people could have reasonable concerns and these must be dealt with that’s what our elected officials and government authorities are for.”

Fallin added that;

“We’re not interested in spying on anyone.”

Mary Fallin isn’t counting the little people.  Maybe she doesn’t consider what we would consider spying as spying.  Maybe she just thinks of as over sight.

Did you know that ‘OverSite’  is actually another great surveillance technology program  being promoted out of OSU’s Multispectral Laboratories and tested on unsuspecting Oklahomans at sporting events. 

‘To look at their RV parked at a game or concert, you’d never know that inside is all this technology and more’ link

umlThe Oklahoma State University Multispectral Laboratories (UML) is a public-private partnership “between the University and Anchor Dynamics Inc (ADI), which receives support from Ponca City Development Authority and ConocoPhillips, designed to accelerate commercialization of new technologies.”  http://www.okstate-uml.org/content/company-history

The UML acts as a “Trusted Agent” for U.S. Government, technology developers and operators.

Naturally, like the non-spying drones,  this is being done with a little boost from the non-spying Department of Homeland Security

The proof of concept demonstration was funded by the Department of Homeland Security. Link

OverSite incorporates facial recognition technology and a trick camera to spy on the crowd without them ever knowing a thing.  (but it’s not spying! It’s ‘OverSite’!) Read more 

And with all of the time, energy and money that has been spent, not one thing has been done to address the biggest concern of ordinary Oklahomans which is their privacy and safety.  It is the ordinary people of this state, after all,  who are paying for the ‘incentives’ being offered to court the drone industry here.

Little people, little problems.  We have our nightmares and they have their dreams. . .

Stephen McKeever, a transplanted Brit living in Oklahoma, dreams of turning his state into the capital for drones — the unmanned aircraft that, the Federal Aviation Administration predicts, will swarm the skies by the thousands within two decades. Read more

‘Pesky Critters’ and the Oklahoma Drone Summit 2013

UAS summit

Kaye Beach

**Update June 11, 2013

“Most recently in March 2013 Oklahoma was host to a UAS Summit in Norman,
OK which provided a platform for the state to describe its plans and
objectives with respect to UAS. The Summit covered a diverse set of
subjects and topics including the use of UAS for agriculture, advanced
weather monitoring and research, along with law enforcement and military
applications of UAS technology” Link

March 26, 2012

The 2013 Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Summit was held today in Norman. http://www.uasoklahoma.com/agenda2.pdf

I would have loved to attended this event but the attendance conditions were quite intimidating even if I had of found out about it in time.  I did scout about for information on social media where often tech events are heavily covered, without much luck.  Monitoring twitter proved disappointing.  Strange since the Summit included a ‘social media’ meeting last night.  Actually, I found just one person that was attending the event that was using twitter.  Courtney E Howard, the Editor in Chief – Avionics Intelligence.  You can read her tweets on the event here

This tweet of Howard’s I thought was rather funny;

People do say things [about #UAVs] that are ridiculous & they say it loudly.–Professor of Political Science at University of Oklahoma (OU)

She is quoting one of the last panelists in the line up today who were covering Privacy and Social Implications of drones.  This panel was chaired by Prof. Stephan Henderson

I wonder what ridiculous things people say loudly about the drones?  One of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard about drones actually comes from one of today’s speakers at the Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Summit.  His name is Kirk Kloeppel and he was slated to speak on the Department of Homeland Security’s RAPS program that Oklahoma was chosen as the test site for back in June of 2012.  RAPS stands for Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety.

First reports from the RAPS trials being run in our state struck me as pretty ridiculous since the press release from the Governors office studiously avoided mention of the rather obvious role that the police would play in the DHS’s RAPS program.

Governor Mary Fallin Joins Department of Homeland Security, Oklahoma National Guard to Announce New Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program in Oklahoma

Gov. Fallin assures the public that ‘drones for use by the military or police investigations will not be tested at the Oklahoma site.’

Source: NewsOK, June 29, 2012, Oklahoma chosen as test site for drones http://newsok.com/oklahoma-chosen-as-test-site-for-drones/article/3688386

Here is an excerpt from a reporters observation of the very first trials of RAPS;

FORT SILL — The small, winged drone quietly soared overhead as SWAT team members closed in on a building at Fort Sill.

When a suspect sprinted from the structure, the drone banked through a cloudless afternoon sky in an effort to track the person.

A few miles away, two Lockheed Martin technicians sat in a converted bedroom of a ranch-style house using a laptop computer to control the drone’s movements. They followed the action on a video relay.

NewsOK, Dec. 31, 2012 Wary eyes shift to the skies as unmanned aircraft are tested in state

So the RAPS program itself might strike some as being at least mildly ridiculous but what Kirk Kloeppel is best know for, his ‘Pesky Critters’ would almost certainly strike most as utterly ridiculous.

robofly

Pesky Critters was written by Kloeppel in 2005.  Here is a brief excerpt from the paper;

“The hunter-killer pursues specific individuals and eliminates them. These devices have the unique deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) signature for individual leadership in their memory and examine the environment for a match. Once the proper candidate is isolated, the fly inserts a probe into the victim, injecting a toxic substance or altering the victim’s own genetic material with a virulent composition, causing quick incapacitation. The victim notices the “sting” from the robot but considers it a pest and thinks nothing of the consequences.

A day or two would pass before the targeted leader is not a further factor in the warfighting. These miniscule vehicles offer a unique, stealthy cap ability for a government. From the exterior, the robots appear to be common houseflies. They mimic the performance of the housefly in nearly every aspect except for the internal composition. Their innocuous existence offers implementers military advantages. While the development of a hunter-killer weapon may breach legal boundaries, its potential is illustrative of the possible alternative applications, many of which, such as the intelligence and surveillance approaches, are perfectly legal.

The above scenario may seem implausible—something dreamed within the mind of a science fiction writer—but the capabilities are closer to reality than one might imagine. The design, manufacture, and use of an unmanned aerial vehicle the size of a common housefly is feasible and worth exploring.”

Read 34 more pages of ridiculousness here

Or check out some more recent work by Colonel Kirk Kloeppel;

Air Force scientists are looking for robotic bombs that look — and act — like swarms of bugs and birds. In a recent presentation, Colonel Kirk Kloeppel, head of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s munitions directorate, announced the Lab’s interest in “bio-inspired munitions.”

These, “small, autonomous” machines would “provide close-in [surveillance] information, in addition to killing intended targets,” the Colonel noted.  And they’d not only take out foes in urban canyons – the self-guided munitions would “operat[e] within buildings,” too.

Jan. 1, 2008 Wired, Air Force: Bug-Like Robo-Bombs for Indoor Ops

Or this Kloeppel presentation from 2009

Here is the most ridiculous thing of all about the drone explosion that has been actively courted and developed by Gov. Fallin with our tax dollars; not one thing has been done to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of the people she was elected to serve.

In fact, it was the direct intervention of Gov. Fallin and Stephen McKeever, her Secretary of Science and Technology, that killed the fairly narrowly tailored legislation that would have simply prohibited the police from doing targeted surveillance of individuals and equipping them with weapons.

This is what I call ridiculous!

Mary Fallin puts an end to Oklahoma’s drone privacy bill

Friday on AxXiom For Liberty Live! Miles Kinard, Author, American Stasi: Fusion Centers and Domestic Spying.

a4l 55

Kaye Beach

****Show Notes Posted Below*************

March, 21, 2013

This Friday on AxXiom For Liberty with Kaye Beach and Howard Houchen 6-8pm Central – Miles Kinard author of the magazine exposé, American Stasi: Fusion Centers and Domestic Spying.

Listen Live-LogosRadioNetwork.com  click ‘Listen’ then choose your Internet speed.  Logos Radio Network is a listener supported, free speech radio network and your contributions are vital but you do not have to be a subscriber in order to hear the show.
american stasi

“This is no longer just a ‘surveillance state.’  We are on the fast track to a police state.” -Miles Kinard, interview with the Spingola Files, Dec. 2012

We are very excited to introduce you to Miles Kinard, researcher and author of the magazine exposé, American Stasi: Fusion Centers and Domestic Spying.

What is a Fusion Center?

The principal role of the fusion center is to compile, analyze, and disseminate criminal/terrorist information and intelligence and other information (including, but not limited to, threat, public safety, law enforcement, public health, social services, and public works) to support efforts to anticipate, identify, prevent, and/or monitor criminal/terrorist activity.   http://www.scribd.com/doc/19251638/Fusion-Center-Guidelines-Law-Enforcement

I jumped on Mr. Kinard’s work on fusion centers last year when it was released and found his writing on the subject to be extremely lucid and his research, impeccable.  You can get it for a song and instant download at Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/American-Stasi-Centers-Domesitc-ebook/dp/B006YZQFL8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327104356&sr=8-1

Miles Kinard’s work explores these secretive 9/11 domestic intelligence units that are considered key by the Department of Homeland Security in its quest to know everything about everybody all the time.

There is at least one of these relatively new intelligence centers located in every state (74 78 total) and precious little attention has been given to them by the mainstream media.

Secrecy, the waste of taxpayer dollars and especially the potential civil liberties violations were highlighted by Kinard’s work.  All of this and more was subsequently confirmed by a two-year bipartisan investigation by the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations which released a 107 page report last October.

Tonight we will get a chance to talk to Miles about the state fusion centers as part of what he refers to as the “Surveillance Industrial Complex” in general and discuss the implications of these state-based (but federally controlled) spy centers that he identified in his exposé .

Join us – Your questions or comments are always welcome!

CALL IN LINE 512-646-1984

 *******************SHOW NOTES**************************

Events:

common core not ok

Restore Oklahoma Public Education (R.O.P.E.)

Common Core is NOT OK!” Events

  • Wed., March 27th:   Common Core is NOT OK! Rally State Capitol, 2nd floor rotunda (Supreme Court hallway), Noon  Click here for rally info.
  • Thurs., March 28th:  State Board of Education meeting Oliver Hodge Educ. Bldg., room I-20, 9:30 a.m., Meeting instructions.

“The Common Core State Standards present a takeover of public education by a small group of individuals. This takeover will change the way that teachers teach, parents interact with their schools due to loss of local control, and present students with a narrow range of studies and increased standardized testing. Oklahomans must maintain local control over public education, therefore, we reject the Common Core State Standards.”  Read More from ROPE

FERPA, Amendemnts

rosakoare

April 5 & 6, 2013, Tulsa 9.12 will host a symposium on “Understanding Agenda 21.” Rosa Koire, author of “Behind the Green Mask” and founding member of Democrats Against Agenda 21, will be one of our many speakers. If you would like to learn more about Agenda 21 and how it affects you, please plan on joining us.

Understanding Agenda 21 – A Symposium  (You can RSVP on Facebook but Registration must be received by April 1st  REGISTER HERE

Referenced:

Testimony of Jennifer Lynch,  Electronic Frontier Foundation(EFF), Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, July 18, 2012

What Facial Recognition Technology Means for Privacy and Civil Liberties 

The Militarization of U.S. Domestic Policing

 Abigail R. Hall and Christopher J. Coyne
Abstract
This paper develops the political economy of the militarization of domestic policing.
We analyze the mechanisms through which the “protective state”—where the government utilizes its monopoly on force to protect citizens’ rights—devolves into a “predatory state” which undermines the rights of the populace. We apply our theory to the U.S.,where we trace the(failed) historical attempts to establish constraints nto separate the military functions and policing functions of government.
In doing so we emphasize the role of crises in the form of perpetual wars—the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror”—in the accelerated militarization of domestic policing.

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Mary Fallin puts an end to Oklahoma’s drone privacy bill

fallin dronesKaye Beach

March 13, 2013

House Bill 1556 authored by OK Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, working in conjunction with the Oklahoma ACLU,  would have required law enforcement to get a warrant before using drones for surveillance and prohibited civilian drones from carrying weapons.

But today the Governors office put an end to this bill.

Reported by KFOR-TV March 13, 2013;

Bill on drone surveillance put on hold

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that would have required law enforcement to get a warrant before using a drone for surveillance has been put on hold.

House Bill 1556 will be held over for the next session.

. . . The move comes as a result of opposition from Gov. Mary Fallin.

Read more and watch the video report at KFOR http://kfor.com/2013/03/13/bill-on-drone-surveillance-put-on-hold/

Enjoying a groundswell of popular support that notably spans the political spectrum, HB1556 appeared to have a great chance of being passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives until the Governor’s office decided it was time to intervene.

Citing concerns that pending legislation would hurt Oklahoma’s chances to be one of the six states chosen by the FAA to be a testing site for drones, Governor Fallin’s office took issue with the bill.  However, upon closer inspection of the FAA”s application by the bill’s author and the Dir. Of the OK ACLU, Ryan Kiesel, it was found that the FAA is explicitly does not automatically treat pending legislation as a negative.  

This fact, when raised made no impact on opposition to HB1556 by the Governor’s office which begs the question: Why would the Governor be opposed to the passage of this very modest bill?

This unanswered question takes me back to the press conference that I attended that was held by Gov. Fallin, along with her Secretary of Science and Technology,  Stephen McKeever,  and drone industry representative Michael Toscano, the president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International on Jan 16, 2013 at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Fallin_UAS_0

When it came time to take questions from members of the press, not surprisingly, the very first question asked was in regards to privacy and civil liberties.  At that time the Stephen McKeever made it crystal clear that they were not amenable to any statutory or even policy level changes that might protect the privacy rights of Oklahoman’s.  McKeever was quite clear in his statements explaining that while it was not unreasonable to have some concerns about drones and privacy, he was opposed to any real efforts to secure our privacy rights for fear that it might hinder  the drone industry in some way in our state.

That is when I knew that any legislation to advance the protection of our rights was going to be an uphill battle to say the least. 

Recently, the Congressional Research Service issued a report;  “Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues”

The report states that “perhaps the most contentious issue concerning the introduction of drones into U.S. airspace is the threat that this technology will be used to spy on American citizens.” 

That this is an issue is not a surprise to anyone. Yet with all of the time, money and effort invested by this state to ensure that Oklahoma becomes drone central, USA,  nothing has been done to hear the concerns of Oklahoma citizens or ensure the rights of Oklahomans are protected.

There has been years of groundwork laid in making Oklahoma the premier state for the drone industry.

In 2009 the Unmanned Systems Alliance of Oklahoma (USA-OK) was created to promote the emerging unmanned systems industry in Oklahoma.

In 2011, Gov. Fallin issued an Executive Order to create the Unmanned Aerial Systems Council and appointed 13 members to her Unmanned Aerial Systems Council.  The council was to advise the governor on ‘all issues related to UAS, including education, economic development, job creation and investments’ so that Oklahoma could become a national leader in the UAS industry. 

This Council was created to advise the Governor on “all issues related to UAS”

How surveillance technology laden drones might infringe upon our Fourth Amendment rights has not been a primary or even secondary issue worth considering when officials were obviously working so hard at covering all the bases.

In all of the materials covering Governor Fallins efforts to develop the drone industry in Oklahoma that I have read, I have found  but one brief mention of the fact that drones present a real threat to our civil liberties.  It is in the Report of the Governor’s Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Council, released on July 8, 2012.   This recommendation made by the Oklahoma UAS Council, a small as it was, is one that should have been given some attention.  It wasn’t.

The Oklahoma UAS Council stated that  “The growth of UAS has the potential for enormous good and economic benefit for all residents, introducing new capabilities simply not possible at present. As with any new technology, however, new capabilities come with the potential for abuse. The state of Oklahoma takes these issues and concerns seriously. We support calls for thoughtful and informed dialogue to address these concerns and for the industry to work with privacy advocates, policymakers and legislators to provide the necessary protections against misuse.”  Source: Report of the Governor’s Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Council  A Strategic Plan for the Development of an Unmanned Aerial Systems Enterprise in the State of Oklahoma 

To my knowledge, no one from the drone industry or the Governor’s office reached out to the ACLU, OK-SAFE, or any other organization that is known for privacy advocacy in the state.

No.  It was not until HB1556 gained real traction and only after a last minute attempt by the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce to kill the bill in committee did the Governor’s office make any effort to connect with anyone and that was to put the brakes on the bill.

Rep. Wesselohoft worked openly and diligently to address any possible concerns by law enforcement or any others over the language in the bill.  Nevertheless, he was sideswiped by the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce shortly before the bill was to be heard in the House Aerospace and Energy committee when a Chamber representative told him that her organization was unhappy with the bill but refused to specify exactly what was problematic denying the Representative any opportunity to address their concerns.  The Chamber representative then proceeded to pass out to all committee members what was described as a ‘hit piece’ on the bill in an attempt to kill the legislation.

Despite this last minute attempt by the Chamber to sink HB1556, the bill passed the committee by a vote of 23-4.

To protect the rights of the people of the state of Oklahoma is the first duty of our elected representatives,  especially the Governor.  In reality, protection of our rights has registered dead last on Governor Fallins drone ‘to do’ list and this is unacceptable!

Another example of what I consider to be bad faith on the part of the Governor regarding the drone issue is her studied lack of forthrightness on the nature of the Dept. of Homeland Security’s RAPS program currently active in Oklahoma.

On June 29, 2012 Gov. Fallin announces Oklahoma is the first state chosen by the Dept. of Homeland Security as a testing site for small unmanned aircraft (drones) in the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) program.

Gov. Fallin assures the public that ‘drones for use by the military or police investigations will not be tested at the Oklahoma site.’

Source: NewsOK, June 29, 2012, Oklahoma chosen as test site for drones http://newsok.com/oklahoma-chosen-as-test-site-for-drones/article/3688386

However, the Dept. of Homeland Security’s own documentation describes the RAPS program to include; “real-time law enforcement tactical operations support, and crime scene situational awareness.”

DHS explains that “Typical test scenarios include search and rescue missions, fire and
hazardous material spill responses, and simulated law enforcement tactical operations.”

Source: Privacy Impact Assessment for the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) Project http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/privacy/PIAs/privacy_pia_st_raps_nov2012.pdf

And then on Dec. 31, 2012 we get a real New Year’s surprise from a news article describing the first RAPS tests taking place in Oklahoma as a SWAT policing exercise.

FORT SILL — The small, winged drone quietly soared overhead as SWAT team members closed in on a building at Fort Sill.

When a suspect sprinted from the structure, the drone banked through a cloudless afternoon sky in an effort to track the person.

A few miles away, two Lockheed Martin technicians sat in a converted bedroom of a ranch-style house using a laptop computer to control the drone’s movements. They followed the action on a video relay.

The simulated chase this month was among the first test flights in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program designed to evaluate the possible civilian use of “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.”

Source: NewsOK, Dec. 31, 2012, Wary eyes shift to the skies as unmanned aircraft are tested in statehttp://newsok.com/wary-eyes-shift-to-the-skies-as-unmanned-aircraft-are-tested-in-state/article/3741815

Governor Fallin misrepresented this program.  That is very concerning to me.

What is it that the drone industry plans on doing in Oklahoma that makes a simple piece of legislation protecting basic rights so offensive to Governor Fallin?

Here is the bottom line for the grassroots activists who are rightfully outraged by the governors direct role in quashing this bill; it is up to you to make sure that such actions by our governor politically painful enough that she will think twice about disrespecting the rights of the people of this state which she has sworn to defend.

First, call her office and register your opinion of her actions.

The Office of Governor Mary Fallin

Local: (405) 521-2342
Fax: (405) 521-3353

Don’t forget.  You can also connect with Governor Fallin on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GovernorMaryFallin

And Twitter https://twitter.com/GovMaryFallin

No need to be rude or threatening but tell her this is truly a blatant example of profits over people and she needs to get her priorities straight!

Contact the news stations and ask them to investigate the relationship between the industry and state officials.  Ask them to cover the ire of the people of this state about the amount of investment in this industry and the lack of attention to our concerns about privacy and arming the drones with weapons.  Do your own research and see what you can uncover.

Find out where Governor Fallin is speaking and show up with signs to let people know how little she respects them.

And last but not least, when she runs for re-election, make this issue a campaign issue that she will have to answer to!

Be creative -  but please do something to expose this problem!  If we don’t make this an issue-no one else will!

Oklahoma Unmanned Surveillance Act Passes Committee 23-4!

eye in the sky drone

Kaye Beach

Feb. 26. 2013

This afternoon HB1556, Oklahoma Unmanned Surveillance Act which limits surveillance by drones without a warrant,  passed the Energy and Aerospace Committee on a vote of 23 Yea’s to 4 Nay’s!

Much thanks goes to Rep. Paul Wesselhoft the bills author and Ryan Kiesel, Dir. of the OK ACLU for providing the legislation and support.

The biggest thank you of all though goes out to all of you who took the time to let legislators know that your Fourth Amendment rights are important to you -Thank you Grassroots!  Your voice does count!!

The bill still has to go through various committees and to the House floor for a vote.  If it passes in the House it should go on to the Senate.  If it recieves a passing vote it the Senate it will then go to the Governor’s desk where she will either sign it or veto it.

You might want to thank the Representatives for their Yes! vote on HB 1556.  here are the Yes voting Representatives’ emails in a a block.

johntrebilcock@okhouse.gov,weldon.watson@okhouse.gov, david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov, mariancooksey@okhouse.gov,  scott.inman@okhouse.gov, steve.kouplen@okhouse.gov, randy.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov, mike.sanders@okhouse.gov, bensherrer@okhouse.gov, garybanz@okhouse.gov, leedenney@okhouse.gov, david.brumbaugh@okhouse.govcharlie.joyner@okhouse.govstevemartin@okhouse.gov, mikereynolds@okhouse.gov,  colby.schwartz@okhouse.gov, aaron.stiles@okhouse.gov, lisajbilly@okhouse.gov, josh.cockroft@okhouse.govjwhickman@okhouse.gov,  dan.kirby@okhouse.gov, mark.mcbride@okhouse.gov, eric.proctor@okhouse.gov, sean.roberts@okhouse.gov, seneca.scott@okhouse.gov

(No votes were Don Armes, Mike Brown, Jerry McPeak and R.C. Pruett)

Be watching for action alerts on HB 1556 coming up in the near future.