Category Archives: biometrics

Ohio says no to Real ID citing concerns about biometric collection, facial recognition

frt cctv

Kaye Beach

Dec. 16, 2013

Ohio is the first state to reject the federal Real ID Act solely on the basis of the biometric (facial recognition) collection.

(Read Biometrics 101 -Your Body is Your Id)

When people really understand that the mass collection of biometrics on ordinary people turns all of us into suspects and transforms our rights into privileges, sensible people will reject it.

State officials balked at the “one driver-one license” rule and at being required to store and share copies of personal documents, such as birth certificates, said Joe Andrews, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Public Safety…The objection is that it’s not acceptable in many circles in Ohio to do facial recognition on everyone who comes in to get a license,” http://www.dispatch.com//content/stories/local/2013/12/06/state-pulls-plans-to-comply-with-federal-id-law.html

Ohio had been set and ready to go with Real ID but when residents and legislators got a whiff of what Real ID with its facial biometric requirement was really about, they weren’t so happy.

 After Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
quietly added a facial recognition capability to the
Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway
, which gives government officials unified access to databases for their browsing pleasure, state residents became a tad creeped out that they’d been conscripted into an ongoing police line-up. Link

The actuality of harm to our rights inherent in mandatory biometric ID is beginning to become apparent.  Compared to a few years ago, it is now much easier for the people and their legislators to see what this technology is and how it is being used and they are taking issue with it.

Recently Missouri legislators completed an investigation into privacy violations of Missouri residents and found that the state’s Department of Revenue has  continued implementation of the federal Real ID Act in spite of state law prohibiting it.

Mo. House Committee Releases Report Accusing DOR Of Breaking 2009 Anti-REAL ID Law

 “The Department of Revenue adopted a system of scanning and retention of source documents,” Cox said.  “They acquired and they spent considerable money in obtaining biometric information on citizens, they adopted the central issuance of driver’s licenses, and finally adopted what’s sometimes referred to as Level Three security, which is also a feature of (the) REAL ID Act, according to the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano.”

But the federal government says it still intends to force the Real ID Act on the states.

National Conference of State Legislatures (NSCL)
Oct. 2013

REAL ID Enforcement on Its Way

In a recent meeting with NCSL, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) confirmed it is on schedule to announce, later this year, a timeline for the phased-in enforcement of the federal REAL ID Act.

There will likely be four to six phases, with each phase focusing on the use of  REAL ID-compliant IDs in different settings, such as to board commercial aircraft.

Each phase will consist of three steps: 1) signage regarding the upcoming enforcement, 2) verbal warnings of enforcement and 3) hard
enforcement.

Full enforcement of REAL ID is expected to begin
in two to three years.  Approximately 21 states are expected to already be in full compliance when DHS releases the timeline this year.

http://www.ncsl.org/documents/transportation/TRN-Oct2013.pdf

While the stealth national/international biometric ID has remained largely hidden from mass awareness, that is going to change.  More and more citizens and legislators will become aware of the reality of mandatory biometric ID being forced upon the American people and we can expect that this reality will create a new wave of battles.   It won’t be a moment too soon though because the fact is that all states are collecting digital facial images suitable for use with facial recognition technology which means you can kiss your privacy, autonomy and religious freedom goodbye unless its stopped.

I am engaged in my own battle against mandatory biometric ID right now.  I want to know if I have the right NOT to be enrolled into this system of biometric identification and financial control.  Many would benefit from a favorable ruling in my lawsuit and I am asking for your support to help me win my case.

Please help me stop mandatory biometric enrollment by making as generous a contribution to my legal fund as you are able to today.

If you wish to donate to my legal defense fund, you may do so online  through Paypal.com
By US mail, you can send a check or money order to;
Kaye Beach
P.O. Box 722381
Norman, Oklahoma, 73070

(Please make the check out to “Kaye Beach”. You may write “legal defense fund” in the memo section of your check or money order)
Thank you and God Bless,

Help Me Stop Mandatory Biometric ID!

Facial Recognition black white

Kaye Beach

Dec. 9, 2013

My name is Kaye Beach.  If you don’t know me, here is the short story;  I’m an ordinary woman, a Christian, a mom, and a wife.  I was a small business woman for about 20 years but for the last six years I have been an activist with one mission – to stop mandatory biometric ID.

I have filed a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma to challenge the requirement of my biometric data in exchange for a state driver’s license.  I believe that this requirement is a violation of my right to religious freedom and my right to be free of unwarranted searches and seizures both of which are protected under Oklahoma law.  (You can read my Motion for Summary Judgment here)

Biometric means “measurement of the body.”  This is technology is used to measure aspects of an individual and transform this personal data into digital code for the purpose of identification.  With biometrics, your body IS your ID.

Biometric identification creates a perfect connection between our bodies and information about us.  It is also used to control access to places, services and goods and it is being implemented around the world through deception, coercion and stealth.  Industry experts predict that within five years, the majority of the world’s population will be enrolled into one or another biometric identification scheme.

The simple truth is that all of us are being enrolled into a single, global system of identification and control that links our bodies through biometrics to our ability to buy sell and travel (and more!)

My lawsuit is based on the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act and Article II Sec. 30 of the Oklahoma constitution, our state’s reiteration of the Fourth Amendment which says we have a right to be free of searches and seizures without just cause. When it comes to biometric ID, It makes no difference whether you are a Christian who is preaching the Gospel, an activist protesting injustice, or merely an ordinary person trying to work and feed your family – mandatory biometric ID means ultimate control by government.

Information is power.

As more and more of us are enrolled it is safe to predict that the balance of power that exists between the people and their governments will correspondingly shift further away from the people and towards government.  History shows us that, unerringly, that such power will be abused and the window of opportunity to resist this system of human identification and control is closing.

In the US, enrollment is being accomplished largely through state driver’s license and ID cards.  For example, the current Immigration reform bill seeks to build upon the existing DMV biometric databases and use our biometrics to control our ability to work for a living.

And as Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation has testified,

‘The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) database represents the most robust effort to introduce and streamline multimodal biometrics collection.  FBI has stated it needs “to collect as much biometric data as possible . . . and to make this information accessible to all levels of law enforcement, including International agencies.” Accordingly, it has been working “aggressively to build biometric databases that are comprehensive and international in scope.”’

The state biometric DMV databases are the foundation for corporate and government tracking, identify and control. This is why I am fighting the state’s mandatory biometric ID but I need your help in order to win.

The Constitutional Alliance writes, “Kaye Beach’s lawsuit, is the only substantial challenge to government mandated biometric ID, to my knowledge, that exists anywhere in our country.”

My lawsuit is challenging the compulsory nature of biometric ID.  I want to know – do we have the right NOT to be enrolled?  That is the question that has not been asked, that must be asked in a court of law, and this is why I am asking for your help.  We have one more deposition to complete and then the case should proceed on to the courtroom.  My legal representation is not free and my case will only go forward if people are willing to support it.  I need to raise $20,000 for my legal fees in order to keep my agreement with my legal team and keep my case moving forward.

There are no longer any technical or political barriers to implementing this unprecedented system of global identification and financial control. The only obstacle now is you and I. 

If you want to help me win this first, crucial fight against mandatory biometric enrollment I ask you to please consider contributing whatever you can, to my legal fund.

If you wish to donate to my legal defense fund, you may do so online  through Paypal.com
By US mail, you can send a check or money order to;
Kaye Beach
P.O. Box 722381
Norman, Oklahoma, 73070

(Please make the check out to “Kaye Beach”. You may write “legal defense fund” in the memo section of your check or money order)
Thank you and God Bless,

Kaye Beach

Follow the developments in my legal case at http://constitutionalalliance.org

Contact me at AxxiomForLiberty@gmail.com

Secret Service nabs Oklahoma driver’s license equipment burglars

secret service

Kaye Beach

August 20, 2013

Two men are accused of committing multiple felony burglaries at metro area tag agencies. They were after only one thing – the equipment and supplies needed to make Oklahoma driver’s licenses and ID cards.  The Secret Service nabbed them.

Wonder why the Secret Service is involved when the charges were filed in Oklahoma County District Court and not federal court.

Apparently 591 customers had their personal information stolen along with the equipment prompting a notice from the Dept. of Public Safety with instructions on how to get a replacement license or state photo ID.

We keep piling on security feature like biometrics to our state driver’s license but the weakest link is the local DMV or tag agencies as the case is in Oklahoma.  This sort of crime is happening all over the country.  DMV employees are being bribed and license making equipment stolen.  All the personal data and high tech security features in the world will not t make the card secure.  Instead what it does is  make the document a hot commodity for crooks.

Read more from the Edmond Sun who broke the story on August 19th.

Affidavit: Tag agency suspects confess to metro crime spree

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.

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

Integris Health Hospital Employee Balks at Patient Biometric Scans

palm vein

Kaye Beach
April 24, 2013

Almost no one would disagree that our government aided by its corporate partners, has become increasingly intrusive and data hungry. At every turn it seems we are being measured, monitored, tracked or surveyed in some way.  (If you are one of those who doesn’t care if you are constantly scrutinized by governments and corporations,  you can stop reading now.  I have no advice to offer you for your broken survival instinct.)

The level of surveillance of a population that will be achieved is predicated on four simple elements; 1) Money  2) Man power (or technology)  3) Political will  4) public acceptance of the surveillance.

For ordinary citizens who are alarmed about the implications of living in a pervasive surveillance state, element four, public acceptance, is the arena where we live or die and we know it. This is why I want to share with you one example of an ordinary citizen who has taken a stand in that arena.

Until yesterday, Maggie was a full time employee of INTEGRIS Hospital in Grove Oklahoma working in the patient registration department but the addition of a new biometric patient identification system at INTEGRIS has caused her to do some soul searching.

The use of biometrics in health care will likely increase in the  coming years as the industry shifts toward electronic medical records and other health information technologies as required under both the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 http://leg2.state.va.us/dls/h&sdocs.nsf/By+Year/HD102010/$file/HD10.pdf

(Backgrounder-Find out what Health Care Reform is really about here)

Biometrics just means measurement of the body and refers to technology that is used to take these measurements and convert them to digital code for the purpose of identification.  When it comes to tracking, tracing, surveillance and control of the population, biometric identification is the ultimate tool for control and so we should be especially wary about the collecting of our biometric data.

Maggie is wary and has taken a stand against it.  She is suffering the consequences of doing so.

patientsecure 1

PatientSecure Palm Vein Biometric Identification System

Back in Dec. of 2012 INTEGRIS began installing and started training using the PatientSecure Palm Vein Biometric Identification System in the registration departments.  PatientSecure uses infrared light to scan and map the veins in the right palm of patients for identification purposes.  When PatientSecure was introduced there was no requirement for employees to enroll patients but according to Maggie, they were encouraged to do so.  Before long, pressure by INTEGRIS to enroll all patients into the PatientSecure system mounted as did Maggie’s concerns about the system.

Her objections to performing the biometric enrolment are twofold.

1) Maggie believes that the information given to patients about the benefits of PatientSecure is misleading.

2) Biometrically enrolling patients is a violation of her religious convictions.

I think it is important to point out that while biometric ID is often pitched as the way to irrefutably prove that you are who you say you are but that is not true.  Biometrics do not prove your identity.  Think about it.  The biometric data collected is attributed to the identity documents that a person provides.  If those identity documents are fraudulent, the addition of biometrics only reinforces the fraudulent identity.  In other words, garbage in, garbage out.

benefits patientsecure

Maggie writes, “We were told to inform patients that enrollment in the system would help prevent identify theft and insurance fraud on their accounts.”  Maggie doesn’t think that PatientSecure lives up to it’s own hype.

She is not alone.

PateintSecure – Inflated Claims

Experts in biometric systems have also pointed out that PatientSecure does not prevent identity fraud or theft.

Speaking specifically about Florida’s Baptist Health center’s new patient identification system, (which is PatientSecure, the same system used by Oklahoma’s INTEGRIS) a biometric technology professional points out that the system does not “stop identify theft” as claimed because the system can be easily circumvented at the time of enrollment.

To state the problem simply, PatientSecure uses a type of verification that “will not prevent a duplicate record from being created and opens the door for patients to enroll under multiple identities and commit fraud.”

(Source: M2sysy, ‘Biometric Patient Identification Technology Should Prevent Medical Identity Theft at the Point of Enrollment’ Dec. 18, 2012 http://blog.m2sys.com/comments-on-recent-biometric-news-stories/biometric-patient-identification-technology-should-prevent-medical-identity-theft-at-the-point-of-enrollment/)

A recent article posted at idRADAR, a privacy and identity security specific organization, makes a good point about the overselling of PatientSecure as a tool to prevent identity fraud;

“The palm scanner from PatientSecure has been adopted at numerous hospitals across the country.

As a tool to tackle medical identity theft and the theft of insurance benefits, palm scanner advocates argue that they’re a boost but an inquiring mind can see a number of other issues. What happens if someone has already stolen your medical data and their palm is the one scanned into the system? What would this mean if you had an emergency? Would you be denied care?”

(Source: idRADAR, ‘High Fives or Thumbs Down?’ Jan. 10, 2013 https://idradar.com/news-stories/technology/High-Fives-or-Thumbs-Down%3F)

PatientSecure suggests telling patients that “The next time you come in, you just give us your date of birth, we scan you hand and your record comes right up.” (Source: PatientSecure User Manual For INTEGRIS Health Sep 13, 2012)

But in reality, it doesn’t necessarily work so smoothly.  Maggie says that “. . .patients who had previously enrolled would often not properly pull up an account when presenting their palm for scan.”  

Informed Consent or Coercive Consent?

Another big concern here is that INTEGRIS does not gain formal consent from patients and employees are not instructed to tell patients, up-front, that the palm scan is optional.

If you are a patient at INTEGRIS your first introduction to PatientSecure will probably go something like this at the registration desk.

Registrar: “I am now going to link you to your medical record. Please make a “5” with your hand and place it on the hand guide with your middle finger between the finger dividers. Move your hand forward till it stops.” 

Then you may be told that, “This is our new system to keep you safe by linking you to your medical record and take the best care of you. It will also speed up your registration process.”

And that, “By linking you to your medical record no one can impersonate you.  You are protected against identity theft and we can even identify you in an emergency situation” (Source: PatientSecure User Manual For INTEGRIS Health Sep 13, 2012)

You will probably NOT be told that having your hand scanned for PatientSecure is completely optional.

Joel Reidenberg, a data privacy expert and professor at Fordham University Law School recently chided the vice president of NYU medical center for this exact policy omission when using PatientSecure.

. . . unless patients at N.Y.U. seem uncomfortable with the process, Ms. McClellan said, medical registration staff members don’t inform them that they can opt out of photos and scans.

“We don’t have formal consent,” Ms. McClellan said

Professor Reidenberg states that, “If they are not informing patients it is optional then effectively it is coerced consent.”

(Source: The NY Times, ‘When a Palm Reader Knows More Than Your Life Line,’ Nov. 10, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/technology/biometric-data-gathering-sets-off-a-privacy-debate.html?_r=1&)

It is coercive because getting medical care is one of those essential human needs and few are going to do anything that might hinder their access to care.

“I reluctantly stuck my hand on the machine. If I demurred, I thought, perhaps I’d be denied medical care”

(Source: The NY Times, ‘When a Palm Reader Knows More Than Your Life Line,’ Nov. 10, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/technology/biometric-data-gathering-sets-off-a-privacy-debate.html?_r=1&)                                        

Patients must be informed that providing their biometric data is OPTIONAL!  Formal consent is the most ethical way to handle this.

Taking a stand

In the early weeks of INTEGRIS’ use of PatientSecure, Maggie wrestled with her conscience about doing the scans on patients and since it was not required, she avoided doing them. Maggie also felt certain that it was only a matter of time before she would be called to account for the low number of patients she had palm scanned.

Maggie tells me that “After reflecting and praying, I felt compelled to no longer participate in the convincing and enrolling of patients into the biometrics palm vein system.  Not only did I feel that I was misleading the patients regarding the benefits of enrolling, I felt that my participation was a violation of my religious and spiritual beliefs.”

At this point Maggie spoke with her boss about her religious objections concerning the biometric scans and asked that she be exempted from enrolling patients in the PatientSecure biometric system. She was asked to produce some documentation regarding her religious beliefs and Maggie complied by provided a letter from Christian Pastor attesting to the sincerity of her religious convictions.

Consequences

Yesterday Maggie got some bad news.

She was asked to meet with her employer and was given a letter informing her that INTEGRIS could not accommodate her request to be exempted from the requirement of biometrically enrolling patients.  Instead INTEGRIS offered Maggie only one possible alternative.  She could be reassigned to another position and while the pay stayed the same as her current position the job would require a substantial commute with no travel differential allotted.

Now Maggie has to decide whether or not she will accept this position.  She is told she may try to find another position with INTEGRIS on her own but otherwise she will be terminated.

Maggie believes that her request for a religious accommodation is a reasonable one.  From her perspective the proffered alternative position seems more like punishment due to the drastic difference in travel time and also the hours and duties.

She notes, “It is also still not a “required” job function to use the palm scanners.  There are multiple people in my department that have never participated in the use of the palm scanners even though they register patients.  It has never been presented to us as official policy that we must use the palm scanners or that their use is a required function of our job.”

Some of us are wise to the dangers of collecting and sharing this data and we are beginning to see a few people, such as Maggie, that refuse to serve as unquestioning collectors and conduits of others’ personal and private information to the government and their corporate partners.

We will never know the stories of the countless people across this country every day that like Maggie, refuse to just go along with what they know to be dangerous and wrong.  But they are out there and each act of courage, each stand matters because they add up.

If we think what we do doesn’t matter, that resistance is futile, then we have already lost.  We can’t afford that.  Too much depends on the courage of each and every one of us.

Maggie is an example of what that courage looks like.

Resistance is the best tool we have in our arsenal to beat back Big Brother.


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.

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

Missouri Lawmakers Confused, Frustrated by Dept. of Revenue Story

Kaye Beach

March 16, 2013

I am trying to keep up with this story out of Missouri regarding the state’s  implementation of portions of the federal Real ID Act and the impact on Second Amendment rights.

According to Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, Eric Griffin went to his Department of Motor Vehicles fee office after he passed the application process for a concealed carry gun permit. Griffin refused to let DMV employees scan some of his documentation and he was subsequently denied a permit.

Source: Real ID Act raises privacy concerns for Mo. handgun carry permit holders, March 6, 2013, Examiner.com

Now Missouri has a REAL problem on it’s hands.  Many people, unaware of the many negative implications of the Real ID Act, might not gripe when they they run into new procedures at the DMV as a result of it but get between the Missourian and his gun rights-and watch out!

Long and Deputy Director John Mollenkamp [Mo. Dept. of Revenue] told the committee they now require documents from state residents, including conceal-carry endorsements, to be scanned into a computer system as part of an effort to cut down on fraud.  http://www.kcur.org/post/mo-dept-revenue-were-not-sending-copies-citizens-documents-dc-0

The Dept. of Revenue will not admit that they are implementing the technical tenants of the Real ID Act, they may not even know that they are.  Here is why.  The Dept. of Homeland Security and AAMVA, (the American Association of Motor Vehicles) which has set motor vehicle associated and licensing standards for the states for decades, agreed to roll the Real ID Act requirement into AAMVA’s North American Standards for Driver’s Licenses and ID cards (2012)

“In addition, DHS has worked with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to coordinate state implementation of the standards of the REAL ID regulation. In particular, DHS participated with the states in the drafting of the Personal Identification – AAMVA North American Standard – DL/ID Card Design (July 2009) . . .the design must meet or exceed REAL ID requirements.”

Department of Homeland Security,Secure Identification State Progress Fiscal Year 2012 Report to Congress

“AAMVA (the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators) is called the “backbone” and hub” of the Real ID Act in the final rules issued by DHS” Mark Lerner, testimony before the Michigan House of Representatives, 2008

The state bureaucrats will tell you that they aren’t implementing Real ID, they are just following ‘best practices’ as they have always done.

Anxious and frustrated Missourians might find it interesting to compare notes and see how Oklahoma is continuing to implement the provisions of the Real ID Act despite it being prohibited by law.

Now Missouri lawmakers want to know where is the personal information (including biometric data) of citizens going and why? But instead of a straight answer, lawmakers are running into a whole lot of obfuscation and misdirects from the Dept. of Revenue and this is making them hopping mad.

CBS St. Louis reports:

March 13, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX/MDN) – Earlier this week, KMOX told you about allegations that the state was creating a database of gun owners.

Now, Missouri lawmakers say the Department of Revenue lied about that and is breaking the law, because they’re collecting certain personal information from everyone.

Missouri senators spoke out in the chamber Wednesday.

Senate Appropriations chairman Kurt Schaefer said the department has lied to him three times now.

“This marks the third time I’ve been lied to in two weeks,” announced Schaefer.

The department first told Schaefer it received a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that was not related to the gathering of information at license offices.

Later, the department told him the grant was used for hole punchers to void old licenses. The hole punchers were bought at 138 bucks a pop.

In a later hearing, the department then said the grant was used for gathering information at license offices, leaving Schaefer furious.

Read More

If the people of Missouri do not insist on getting to the bottom of all of this they run the risk of either political muscle silencing the lawmakers that are currently demanding answers or that they will eventually becoming so baffled by BS, that they give up.  Stay with it ‘Show Me’ state!

Missouri compliance with REAL ID has Lt. Gov., CCW permit holders up in arms

States that Stand Against REAL ID - Really?

States that Stand Against REAL ID – Really?

Kaye Beach

March 10, 2013

Residents of Missouri are in an uproar following the discovery that their state is apparently continuing to implement the REAL ID Act requirements in Missouri despite the fact that the state passed a law prohibiting the implementation of Real ID.

Though Missouri isn’t one of the 19 states certified by the Department of Homeland Security as REAL ID compliant, its steps towards compliance is raising privacy concerns by handgun carry permit holders and state lawmakers.

Source:  Real ID Act raises privacy concerns for Mo. handgun carry permit holders, March 6, 2013, Examiner.com

Opponents of The Real ID Act of 2005 span the political spectrum and not least among these opponents has always been those who value their right to keep and bear arms.  This may be one of the first visible eruptions at the inevitable intersection of Real ID and gun rights.  It will not be the last.

According to Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, Eric Griffin went to his Department of Motor Vehicles fee office after he passed the application process for a concealed carry gun permit. Griffin refused to let DMV employees scan some of his documentation and he was subsequently denied a permit.

Source:  Real ID Act raises privacy concerns for Mo. handgun carry permit holders, March 6, 2013, Examiner.com

From the Missouri Watchdog, March 6, 2013;

“What is going on is improper and is a new and illegal impediment to citizens’ rights to obtain a concealed-carry permit,” said Stoddard County prosecutor Russell Oliver, who is acting as the private attorney for plaintiff Eric Griffin.

The state statute governing the actions of the Department of Revenue forbids it from disclosing such personal information as photographs, driver’s license numbers, names and addresses without express consent.

In investigating the matter, Oliver said, he discovered that a third-party company — Morphotrust — licenses the equipment. On its website, the company says it’s a partner with all states and many federal agencies in providing “identity solutions” “to simplify, protect and secure the lives of the American people.”

Oliver said he’s not sure how long the Morphotrust scanning machines have been in place or how far-reaching they are in Missouri license fee offices. Stoddard County is in the southeast corner of the state.

“This is new, at least it’s new to us,” said Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who joined Oliver at the Capitol in announcing the lawsuit.

. . .Oliver and Kinder said the DOR may be collecting the information to comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005, but they said the state opted out of that law and instead implemented its own in response.

Read more