Tag Archives: data mining

14 Incredibly Creepy Surveillance Technologies That Big Brother Will Soon Be Using To Spy On You

Kaye Beach

July 10, 2012

If we were making the technology conform to the laws intended to protect our rights rather than making the law conform to the capabilities of the technology, these things would not be such a concern.

1 “Pre-Crime” Surveillance Cameras

#2 Capturing Fingerprints From 20 Feet Away

#3 Mobile Backscatter Vans

#4 Hijacking Your Mind

#5 Unmanned Drones In U.S. Airspace

#6 Law Enforcement Using Your Own Cell Phone To Spy On You

#7 Biometric Databases

#8 RFID Microchips

#9 Automated License Plate Readers

#10 Face Reading Software

#11 Data Mining

#12 Street Lights Spying On Us?

#13 Automated ISP Monitoring Of Your Internet Activity

#14 Spying On Us Through Our Appliances

From Blacklisted News

Source: Michael Snyder, BLN Contributing Writer

Most of us don’t think much about it, but the truth is that people are being watched, tracked and monitored more today than at any other time in human history.  The explosive growth of technology in recent years has given governments, spy agencies and big corporations monitoring tools that the despots and dictators of the past could only dream of.  Previous generations never had to deal with “pre-crime” surveillance cameras that use body language to spot criminals or unmanned drones watching them from far above.  Previous generations would have never even dreamed that street lights and refrigerators might be spying on them.  Many of the incredibly creepy surveillance technologies that you are about to read about are likely to absolutely astound you.  We are rapidly heading toward a world where there will be no such thing as privacy anymore.  Big Brother is becoming all-pervasive, and thousands of new technologies are currently being developed that will make it even easier to spy on you.  The world is changing at a breathtaking pace, and a lot of the changes are definitely not for the better.

The following are 14 incredibly creepy surveillance technologies that Big Brother will soon be using to watch you….

Read on

Best Buy’s Worst Policy-Swiping ID’s and Destiny Management

Kaye Beach

April, 14, 2012

Best Buy (and Victoria’s Secret and The Finish Line and many other stores!) Requires Govt. Issued Photo ID for ALL Returns.

The ID card data is swiped, stored and shared with a third party  to track customer purchases and “to monitor the return behavior of shoppers; and warn or deny individuals flagged as questionable” Link to The Retail Equation, Inc.’s brochure

 

Best Buy’s return policy;

Returns Tracking

When you return or exchange an item in store, we require a valid photo ID. Some of the information from your ID may be stored in a secure database used to track returns and exchanges. Based on return/exchange patterns, some customers will be warned that subsequent purchases will not be eligible for returns or exchanges for 90 days. . .

Link

. . . And how do we like it so far?

I’m Done With Best Buy Thanks to The Retail Equation

03-18-2012 02:37 PM

I am a premier silver member and have been for several years.  In November of last year, I received a warning in store that I could not make any returns at Best Buy for 90 days.  So for the next 90 days I did not make any purchases at Best Buy.

Yesterday, I spent over 700.00 on the new Ipad and an Invisible Shield.  The Invisible Shield was not installed correctly and Best Buy decided to give me a refund.  Keep in mind that this was only 29.99 of the amount I spent.  This was the first purchase I have made since the 90 days had expired.  I figured that I could return something that was actually not working correctly and be fine.  However I received another warning today saying that I could not return anything for 90 days even though the product was not working correctly.

It sounds like The Retail Equation (TRE) does not take into consideration that some returns might be valid due to defective products.  All TRE looks at is how many returns and that is not a fair way to evaluate whether someone is abusing a return policy.   In the end, Best Buy has lost a premier silver member.  Amazon and other online retailers will gladly accept my business going forward.  Best Buy seriously needs to find another way to evaluate returns instead of TRE.  Their method simply does not work.

http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Best-Buy-Geek-Squad-Policies/I-m-Done-With-Best-Buy-Thanks-to-The-Retail-Equation/td-p/486051

Another unhappy Best Buy customer is suing them over their “swiping” policy.

How does this work?  According to the Retail Equation, Inc.,

“The technology’s predictive modeling measured the likelihood of fraudulent or abusive behavior, as well as the likelihood of a consumer’s profitability”

 Predictive Analytics

From Wikipedia  Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from modeling, machine learning, data mining and game theory that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future events.

Data mining and predictive analytics is being used in just about every aspect of our lives.  Predictive analytics applies a mathematical formula to masses of data to predict what a person is more or less likely to do in the future.  Decisions are being made that affects our lives, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, every day.

For example, in our schools;

“They use their technology infrastructure to gather and analyze data on the factors that are most predictive of students who are in danger of school failure and/or dropping out.  . . .As a result, the district has forged new partnerships with local law enforcement agencies”

From the Oklahoma Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development pg 26

If you think it stinks when you are misidentified as a naughty shopper, wait till you are misidentified as a “troubled individual”

Technology identifies troubled individuals

Sept 26, 2010

Imagine using the same technology to locate a lone bomber before he carries out his terrorist act and to identify a troubled veteran or first responder ground down by tragedies and violence.

Stop imagining.

A Swiss professor working with a Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist who heads the Mind Machine Project there outlined how this program operates through computerized scanning of phone calls and electronic messages sent through e-mail and social networking mechanisms.

. . . Using character traits that have been identified through psychological profiles conducted on lone bombers following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Guidere said he and his colleagues developed programs that isolate signs pointing to a potential terrorist.

He said lone bombers, in particular, are not mentally deranged but harbor hatred and deep resentment toward government. Their emotional spikes, Guidere explained, can be identified by the computer program.

The practical side is that once the individual has been identified, the information can be passed along to authorities so surveillance can begin. . .

Read more

The burgeoning use of driver’s license scanning devices makes tracking and monitoring of the population much easier.  When these data are held in separate databases there are plenty of security and privacy concerns but if the databases are linked or matched with other databases or shared-watch out!  The negative implications explode at that point.

In case you are wondering just what information is in those bar codes on your driver’s license, here is a link for you to follow and find out.

And here is a great article from 2002 which is ancient history from a technology capability perspective, but it does a great job of allowing us to begin to consider the implications of widespread scanning of our government issued photo ID’s .

Welcome to the Database Lounge

Published: March 21, 2002

ABOUT 10,000 people a week go to The Rack, a bar in Boston favored by sports stars, including members of the New England Patriots. One by one, they hand over their driver’s licenses to a doorman, who swipes them through a sleek black machine. If a license is valid and its holder is over 21, a red light blinks and the patron is waved through.

But most of the customers are not aware that it also pulls up the name, address, birth date and other personal details from a data strip on the back of the license. Even height, eye color and sometimes Social Security number are registered.

”You swipe the license, and all of a sudden someone’s whole life as we know it pops up in front of you,” said Paul Barclay, the bar’s owner. ”It’s almost voyeuristic.”

Mr. Barclay bought the machine to keep out underage drinkers who use fake ID’s. But he soon found that he could build a database of personal information, providing an intimate perspective on his clientele that can be useful in marketing. ”It’s not just an ID check,” he said. ”It’s a tool.”

Read More

Swiping of driver’s licenses is being required for buying gas (in case you try to leave without paying), for entry to public schools (in case you might be child predator and if you are misidentified as a sex offender, which happens often enough, well, stinks for you!), for buying cold medicine, for entry to bars and casinos, San Francisco wants ID swipes for most public events, Harlem wants tenants to swipe to gain entry to their homes,  and now, the TSA is swiping  airline passengers’ ID’s .

 

TSA tests ID-scanning machines at Washington Dulles

April 14, 2012

The Transportation Security Administration began an experiment today at Washington’s Dulles International Airport to check identification and boarding passes by machine rather than just the visual check by officers.

While TSA officers have been checking identification with black-lights and magnifying glasses, the machines are geared to recognize all valid identification, ranging from driver’s license or passport to tribal identification or foreign passport.

“For efficiency, it is fantastic,” said Domenic Bianchini, TSA director of checkpoint technology. “We think it’s a valuable technology and we think over time we will see the real value added.”

The machine doesn’t store any personal information about the passenger, according to Greg Soule, a TSA spokesman.

Gee.  When have we heard that before?

Although TSA has repeatedly stated that the scanners were “incapable of storing or transmitting” scanner images, despite specification data to the contrary provided by the respective manufacturers. In August 2010 EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) discovered that the TSA had stored over 2,000 images, which the agency quickly claimed were of “volunteers” without specifying who compose this group or whether any were passengers who had “voluntarily” used the scanners in the testing phase.

Read more

The TSA is conducting the driver’s license “experiment” at Dulles, Houston and Puerto Rico but hopes to eventually “expand the program to every airport checkpoint” Read more

At some point in the not-so-distant-future, we will be required to show and/or swipe our driver’s license for just about everything we as humans need to live.  As the process grows more and more automated and the data is digitized, we will find our movements, transactions and habits logged and our lives tracked and documented.    Data mining and predictive analytics will be applied to nearly everything we do.  The purpose of such credentialing processes is to allow some access and deny others, deemed unworthy by algorithm, access.

In 2010 I was repeatedly denied the ability to pay for my purchases by check due to a company called Certegy’s algorithm which decided that since I rarely write checks but had written several during the Christmas shopping season, this indicated that I was untrustworthy and that stores should not accept my checks.  The year before, I was denied the privilege of renting a car because my credit score was too low.  My credit score is low because I don’t buy on credit!  I wasn’t asking to pay for the rental with credit either.  I offered my debit card.

Chances are you have experienced similar incidents.  Chances are that we have encountered other bumps in the road of life when no explanation for the problem was ever given but likely there was some algorithm behind it.  This is our future.  In health care, travel, purchases, renting or buying our homes, anything information about us that can be digitized can be factored in to determine whether or not we measure up.  This is nothing short of destiny management.

With the governments unhealthy focus on security at all costs, we can expect things to get more and more complicated as the practice of tracking and tracing and databasing everything we do grows. Woe to those that are unfortunate enough to be perceived as a possible threat or have a data trail that makes them appear less than an ideal citizen in the eyes of Big Momma Gov. who is no longer willing to wait for us to actually do something wrong before she pounces.  This government (and its partner corporations) wants to play psychic and limit our opportunities based on some supposed prescient power that indicates that we are more likely to do something naughty in the first place.

How do we exercise our free will when it is being effectively pre-empted?

Intelligence Led Policing and Fusion Centers: How the IACP Helped the USA to Cross the Rubicon

Kaye Beach

Jan 12, 2011

Part I

This is part one of a long dissertation on fusion centers.   This segment mostly deals with the ideology of intelligence led policing and the beginnings of fusion centers which I think is critical to understanding the threats to our freedoms posed by them.

Fusion Centers and Intelligence Led Policing –A New Paradigm

Fusion Centers are DATA FUSION CENTERS.

Fusion centers are really data fusion centers. The physical centers aren’t much to see because the real work happens in the computer networks.  Since 9 11, the US government has enthusiastically embraced the idea that by collecting, collating and sharing massive amounts information about all of us, criminals and terrorists can be identified preemptively.

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.   Source http://www.scribd.com/doc/19251638/Fusion-Center-Guidelines-Law-Enforcement

Would you be surprised to know that public schools are one of the data sources for fusion center? How about health and medical information?

This is what fusion centers do, they collect and share information.  This is supposed to help us to catch terrorists or criminals but it is also a darn good method to control the masses.  Think about it-large data sets are prerequisite for any effective social control.  That is true no matter whether it was 100 years ago or today.

Fusion centers were largely funded by the federal government and they took off beginning in the mid 2000’s.  As of 2011, there are officially 73 fusion centers in the US and each state has at least one.  http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1301685827335.shtm

The International Association of Chiefs of Police

The not-so-fabulous idea of fusion centers has been driven, hell-bent-for-leather by the International Association of Chiefs of Police or IACP for short. They can’t take all the credit for them but if you start poking around you will find the same thing I have, that the IACP gets lots of the credit.  Why is this important?  Number one, The IACP is a non-governmental organization.  Want to know more about them?  Try filing a Freedom of Information Act request.  You won’t get anything because as a non-governmental organization they aren’t accountable for squat.  Problem number two, the IACP is an international organization. And if there is not enough wrong with a non-governmental, international organization driving policy that represents a marked departure from long established American ideals (such as the presumption of innocence) this NGO was granted Consultative Status by the United Nations in 1974 (pg. 71). link  As I have said many times before, I am sure the UN is a swell organization but policy that is otherwise accepted internationally often run afoul of cherished precepts established by the US Constitution.

“. . .unprecedented initiatives have been undertaken to reengineer the law enforcement intelligence function.” 2004   link

And if you still don’t see a problem, wait till you see what the IACP thinks about the Second Amendment.

In March 2002, a year before the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the International Association of Chiefs of Police called for a national plan for sharing intelligence.  The recommendations of the IACP led to the drafting of a National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan in October 2003. This policy institutionalized Intelligence Led Policing nationwide.

The National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, developed by Global in partnership with the IACP, is the first of its kind in this country — and promises to bring us closer to achieving the goal, expressed at your 2002 Summit, of “intelligence-led policing.” From The Police Chief, vol. 74, no. 4, April 2007

According to the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, criminal intelligence is “information compiled, analyzed, and/or disseminated in an effort to anticipate, prevent, or monitor criminal activity.”

I will be accused of being an incorrigible libertarian (as if this is a bad thing!) but I have to say it.  Here is where we really crossed the Rubicon. This national intelligence policy along with many others that have followed, have turned traditional policing on its head. If I didn’t feel so bad for us first, I’d really pity the cops. Civilian policing has necessarily been fairly tightly limited to reacting or responding to crimes.  The reason is that pesky constitution of ours and the presumption of innocence that is foundational to the sort of justice system the US claims to aspire to.

A quick rundown on the policy development of fusion centers from the Electronic Privacy Information Center-  In May 2004, the Department of Justice announced its progress in implementing the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan. The announcement made public the decision to create a Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC) that would be managed by Global. By December 2004, the push for a national Fusion Center initiative received a boost when the Department of Justice sponsored Global Infrastructure/Standards Working Group published A Framework for Justice Information Sharing: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). States using local, state, and federal funds created information Fusion Centers. In August 2005, Global published the Fusion Center Guidelines.

All of the above named organizations are seeded with IACP members or are heavily influenced by the IACP or both.   For example;  “Global represents the IACP . . .This influential group works to address the many policy, privacy, connectivity, and jurisdictional issues that hamper effective justice information sharing.” –THE HONORABLE DEBORAH J. DANIELS, 2007

Intelligence Led Policing: A Turning Point in Policing in the US

Intelligence Led Policing is based on the UK’s National Intelligence Model.  The US and UK, while similar in many respects, nonetheless have one major difference that makes the implementation of Intelligence Led Policing in the US fraught with difficulty.  The US Constitution guarantees certain rights to the citizens of this nation that are not recognized by government of the UK.  Americans have a justified expectation that the government instituted to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will always afford due respect for the autonomy and privacy  of law abiding individuals.

Intelligence-Led Policing in the United States
Biot Report #474: November 02, 2007
United States domestic law enforcement authorities, like their counterparts in Great Britain, have moved to an ―intelligence-led policing paradigm, as described elsewhere. (1) The terrorist events of September 11, 2001 prompted a March 7-8, 2002, Summit in Alexandria, Virginia, of over 120 criminal intelligence experts from across the U.S., titled Criminal Intelligence Sharing: Overcoming Barriers to Enhance Domestic Security. Funded by the US government and organized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Summit became a turning point in policing in the U.S. (2)

The 2002 IACP sponsored Summit participants examined closely the United Kingdom’s National Intelligence Model.  Read more or access document here; IACP Intelligence-Led-Policing-the-New-Paradigm 2007 111

Criminal Intelligence Sharing: Overcoming Barriers to Enhance Domestic Security

Intelligence-led policing is part of a larger trend of blurring the distinction between national security and domestic policing, or the state’s military and police functions.  This ‘blurring” is purposeful and deliberate.  Many policy watchers have been tracking the fast disintegration of boundaries separating government functions since 9 11 with dismay.  Most recently the issue has gained some attention with the passage of the NDAA which would allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens, without charge or trial.

Intelligence Led Policing is based on Utilitarian philosophy

The Intelligence-Led Policing (ILP) mission is to gather, analyze, and disseminate intelligence data, in an effort to thwart the next terrorist attack or prevent the commission of a major felony. In applying a utilitarian philosophy to prevention efforts, the “greatest good for the greatest number,” is to detect preoperational terrorist acts and prevent another 9/11.  –Thomas J. Martinelli, International Association of Chiefs of Police LINK

We often remind ourselves that it is better to let ten guilty men go free than to put one innocent in jail.  The Utilitarian’s think it is the other way around and now we are all guilty until proven otherwise.

Utilitarianism-Natural rights?  Nonsense on stilts!

Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism, where punishment is forward-looking.  Justified by the ability to achieve future social benefits resulting in crime reduction, the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice

In other words-The Ends Justifies the Means

Jeremy Bentham is one example of a famous Utilitarian philosopher.  Bentham lauded state power over citizens and referred to the idea of natural rights as “nonsense on stilts”

Bentham was  also the designer of the Panopticon which was an institutional total surveillance structure that was described by Bentham as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example” Link The Panopticon was designed to induce a perception of permanent visibility in its subjects for the purpose of social control. “What matters” according the Jeremy Bentham, “is that he knows himself to be observed”

Intelligence Led Policing is based upon collecting, sharing and analysis of information.   High tech surveillance devices and information sharing across all levels of government without regard to jurisdiction are two key features of Intelligence Led Policing and this school of thought is central to the functioning of state fusion centers.

The Panopticon and Intelligence Led Policing have a lot in common;

Intelligence-led policing is future focus in Rochester, 2010

“You’re less likely to do something (wrong) if you think somebody’s watching,” McAleer said. Or even, maybe , foreseeing. Computerized analysis of crime data might give officers a lead on where to be to prevent crimes.. . . “This is the direction of policing in this country,” he said. Read more

Welcome to “The New Paradigm”

The IACP has been the tip of the spear in ushering in “The New Paradigm” (as Intelligence Led Policing is often referred to) in policing and national security.  Fusion Centers are part and parcel of this New Paradigm.

The New Paradigm according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police;

“. . . means that all the physical and conceptual walls associated with the modern, sovereign state—the walls that divide domestic from international, the police from the military, intelligence from law enforcement, war from peace, and crime from war—are coming down.” Source-THE NEW PARADIGM—MERGING LAW ENFORCEMENT AND COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGIES Secure Cities 2006 http://www.scribd.com/doc/21970726/IACP-Intelligence-Led-Policing-2006-New-Paradigm

Intelligence Led Policing represents a profound philosophical shift in American policing.  The United States police have operated under individual rights oriented and evidence based form of policing for 200 years.  The New Paradigm requires collecting and analyzing massive amounts of data, not limited to criminals or suspects but about all us.   It is preemptive rather than reactive.  The New Paradigm wants our police forces to be part of the ever expanding intelligence apparatus.

If some subversive organization wanted to eradicate those infernal, constitutional sticking points that make harmonizing the USA into an internationalized system so awkward, it couldn’t do better than to set into motion a standardized, nationalized domestic surveillance and control construct based on preemptive, preventive, risk based, rather than rights based,  policing.

The FBI is Aggressively Building Biometric Database, International in Scope

fbi ngi

Kaye Beach

Dec. 26, 2011

FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI)

According to the FBI it is official FBI policy to collect “as much biometric data as possible within information technology systems” and to “work aggressively to build biometric databases that are comprehensive and international in scope.” link

“We need to recognize the change that is occurring in society, Society is taking away the privilege of anonymity.”  -- Morris Hymes, Head of the ID Assurance Directorate at the Defense Department.

With the FBI’s continuance of their Next Generation Identification project, the United States is rushing headlong into Mr. Hymes’ vision.

“Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority … It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation–and their ideas from suppression–at the hand of an intolerant society.”

McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U.S.334 (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=514&invol=334), 357 (1995)

Biometrics is enables mass surveillance systems to become unbearably intimate.

“As we learn to link biometrics to biographic, geospatial, social networks and other forms of data, we can develop patterns of activities for both individuals and organizations resulting in tactical and strategic situational awareness and intelligence advantage.”

Biometric Enabled Intelligence- The New Frontier in Biometrics by Kimberly Del Greco, 2009 Biometrics Consortium Conference.

Mrs. Del Greco initiated two high profile, multi-million dollar development efforts: “Next Generation Identification” (NGI), which will expand biometric and criminal history capabilities; and “Biometric Interoperability”, which will ensure information sharing between the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and other key biometric-based systems within the Federal Government and international partners. more

FBI Next Generation ID overview ppt

Facts about NGI

-In 2008 Lockheed Martin won a 1 billion dollar contract for the NGI.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aU8dsjtMXgdo

-NGI will be fully operational in 2014

-This database is international in scope.  Biometrics collected by government officials from is already done so using international standards for the purpose of international sharing.

-The FBI will share data with more than 18,000 local, state, federal, and international agencies. link

-State DMV databases are one of the desired sources of biometrics for the FBI.

FBI Facial Recognition Initiatives

-The database is NOT being built from the biometrics of just criminals or legitimate suspects.  The NGI consolidates two existing databases of biometric information (one from the FBI and one from the Dept. Of Homeland Security) both of which were designed to be independent of each other and not interoperable. The FBI database, IAFIS, being merged with NGI, contains biometric data obtained from civil sources such as attorney bar applications, federal and state employees, and from people who work with children or the elderly so perfectly innocent if not model citizens also are included in the mix.   link

Link

-The FBI intends to supplement the biometric data is already has access to with biometric data from “seized systems” and “open sources”.  That means pictures that are on the internet or ones collected by existing CCTV surveillance cameras.

-The NGI currently contains palmprints, scars, marks, tattoos, voices, irises, and facial measurements but designed to collect even more types of biometrics, such as DNA, in the future.  (Can you imagine being stopped for a traffic violation and on the spot having a DNA sample taken, tested and used to pull up volumes of information about you?  Well, they can. )

-The FBI’s Next Generation ID violates the 1974 Privacy Act provisions which require that federal agencies maintain the records accurately and sets limitation on how and with whom the records can be shared.  The FBI claims that it is exempt from these provisions.

-The FBI has already deployed handheld biometric collection devices to police officers to help build the NGI database.

 And a mobile tool – the Biometric Identification (B-iD) Tools Program – will allow FBI agents to capture and access database photos, fingerprints, iris prints and other biographical data in the field.http://animetrics.com/the-fbis-next-generation-identification-program-helping-law-enforcement-track-and-share-suspect-information-across-state-lines/

March 21, 2011

FBI center takes on $1 billion ID project

Under the system, state and local police officers also will eventually use hand-held devices to scan suspects’ fingerprints and send the images electronically to the FBI center.

“It’s a quick scan to let police officers know if they should let the person go, or take him into custody,” Morris said.

http://wvgazette.com/News/Business/201103211014

-Secure Communities, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program collects the biometrics of any person any time that a criminal background check is done.  The purpose, we are told, is to identify those immigrants that are in the U.S. illegally.   That information goes into the  the FBI’s NGI database.  Secure Communities serves the greater goal of the FBI to collect the biometric and personal data of as many individuals as possible in order to populate their growing Next Generation ID database.

“The FBI describes S-Comm as “the first of a number of biometric interoperability systems” that merge into NGI.3 The FOIA documents show that the FBI, and not DHS, was the first federal agency to call for mandatory implementation of S-Comm. The documents further reveal the FBI’s fear that any opt-out for SComm might lead states to rightfully question their participation in NGI.”

“. . .newly disclosed documents expose the FBI’s goal to accumulate a large biometric database that far exceeds its current fingerprint collection, extending to the collection and retention of iris scans and digital photographs to support automated facial recognition scans in real-time.1 NGI aims to impose an automated process linking state and local databases with a federal government biometric data warehouse.”

Read more about Secure Communites and Next Generation ID

States were told they could ‘opt-out’ of the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities but in reality states were only allowed to “opt-out” of receiving information back from federal agencies.  They are still required to send the information collected on individual to the federal government.   The states are being forced to funnel this personal information to DHS and the FBI to be used for purposes entirely out of the scope of Secure Communities.

States can’t opt out of Secure Communities program

The Obama administration has told governors the fingerprint-sharing program that targets criminals in the country illegally does not need their approval to operate in their states.

In Aug. of 2010 the state of Minnesota asserted that the personal and biometric data collected by the state was the property and responsibility of the state and that it was not to be used by the federal government for purposes not expressly permitted by the submitting law enforcement agencies.  The Department of Homeland Security in response to Congressional Questions for the Record that states have no choice about how personal biometric data was used or shared once they shared that data with the federal government.

If it is not somehow perfectly obvious how threatening NGI is to ordinary, law abiding individuals, everyone that has an encounter with law enforcement (as well as those who don’t!) and have their biometric data is collected (not necessarily just those who are arrested) will be included in this grand database which will enable the creation of incredibly detailed dossiers on the population and at a distance tracking and monitoring of individuals not accused or suspected of any crime.  We can expect increasing numbers of  encounters, such as on the street or traffic stops with police using handheld biometric devices for the purpose of feeding the federal government’s insatiable appetite for more and more personal information.

The Department Of Homeland Security Continues the Quest for Total Information Awareness

Kaye Beach

Nov 30, 2011

Yesterday Forbes reports;

The Department Of Homeland Security Wants All The Information It Has On You Accessible From One Place

Well of course they do.  The government knows that information is power, we should remember that power is control.

“National employment databases, national medical databases, national criminal databases, and others have already been created.

The dream is to blend all these separate resources into a single centralized one…the only real impediments to creating the database that now remain are political and cultural: the stubborn assumption of so many Americans that they have rights.”

The State’s Quest for Total Information Awareness by David M. Brown

Forbes reports that the Dept. of Homeland security, not content with its creation of a national network of state Fusion Centers, it now wants its own internal fusion center so that it can take all of the information collected by its many agencies and bring it together and make it all searchable from one central location.  The Dept. of Homeland Security absorbed some 22 agencies when it was created including FEMA, the Secret Service,  TSA, Immigration and Naturalization, and much more.

The DHS wants to be able to do searches using specific personal information rather than general searches through all of this data for the purpose of identifying patterns to prevent terrorism attacks.  The data  includes work history collected from the e Verify program, travel records from the TSA, and personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, email address and other personal information acquired by DHS from a wide variety of sources including commercial databases making this prospect undeniably similar to the Total Information Awareness project that so outraged Congress and Americans that it was defunded in 2003.

Although a committee of policy and privacy experts were asked to provide feedback on this proposal, DHS signed at least one contract with Raytheon for services related to this proposal before the committee could even complete its draft of recommendations signalling that DHS intends to push this operation forward regardless of any of the legitimate concerns about constitutional, legal or privacy violations.

This system will enable DHS to create a comprehensive profile on American citizens at the push of a button,  an ability  that the government has edged closer and closer to in recent years and an ability that rightfully generates grave concerns in the minds of most Americans.

Dr. Tom Connor, Assoc Prof of Criminal Justice/Homeland Security Director, Institute for Global Security Studies writes;

“The National Strategy for Homeland Security called for connecting computer databases used in federal law enforcement, immigration, intelligence, public health surveillance, and emergency management . . .and further, DARPA’s ill-fated plan for Total Information Awareness(TIA) was to merge some of these interconnections into a data mining system of systems involving the private sector, the finance/credit system, the Internet, and other databases.

With plans such as these, the goal was to obtain the capability to track every human being on the planet at any given time.” (Emphasis mine)

The government’s goal of Total Information Awareness hasn’t changed even though path to get there has taken a few detours.

FBI to launch nationwide facial recognition service

Kaye Beach

Oct 9, 2011

This is just the tip of the iceberg….

From NextGov.com

By Aliya Sternstein 10/07/2011

The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov.

The federal government is embarking on a multiyear, $1 billion dollar overhaul of the FBI’s existing fingerprint database to more quickly and accurately identify suspects, partly through applying other biometric markers, such as iris scans and voice recordings.

Often law enforcement authorities will “have a photo of a person and for whatever reason they just don’t know who it is [but they know] this is clearly the missing link to our case,” said Nick Megna, a unit chief at the FBI’s criminal justice information services division. The new facial recognition service can help provide that missing link by retrieving a list of mug shots ranked in order of similarity to the features of the subject in the photo.

Read more

Looking Back-A Refresher

A compulsory global biometric identification system for law abiding people is not, will never be justifiable.

Our government seems to have backed off on their denials that Real ID and similar legislation is in fact, a national ID.  But what you should know is that any national ID system is also international.  It’s all about sharing these days and that means with our “international Partners’ too

The following is just a mere sampling of news articles, government documents and sources of information that clearly show the absolute intention to use our state driver’s licenses and the biometric data collected for them, as a an instrument of global identification,  tracking and control.

2003

Viisage receives $12 million award from Oklahoma

FEBRUARY 19, 2003–Viisage Technology Inc. (Littleton, MA; http://www.viisage.com) has been chosen to fulfill the new digital driver’s license contract by the state of Oklahoma’s Department of Public Safety. The contract will include the design, development, and implementation of the statewide secure license production program. The total value of this new multiyear contract is approximately $12 million. Oklahoma is the 19th state to utilize Viisage in the production of identity verification documents and the third state in recent months to give Viisage a major driver’s license contract. The three latest contracts total approximately $35 million. The solution will integrate multiple, advanced identification security features, including FaceEXPLORER facial-recognition software and SAGEM Morpho finger imaging technology

http://tinyurl.com/ViisageOKla

Oklahoma has collected Face, Fingerprint scans and signature biometrics since 2004

Biometric Drivers Licenses Make Debut in Oklahoma

April 20, 2004

SAGEM Morpho, Inc. a proven provider of mission-critical biometric systems and services, announced the successful deployment of biometric technology solutions for the Oklahoma Department Public Safety (DPS) in conjunction with Viisage, a provider of advanced technology identity solutions. SAGEM Morpho will combine its finger imaging recognition technology with Viisage’s facial recognition technology to create accurate biometric records of the state’s approximately four million licensed drivers.  http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2004/apr/1033349.htm

NLETS the International Justice and Public Safety Information Sharing Network, links together every state, local, and federal and International law enforcement (INTERPOL), justice and public safety agency for the purpose of exchanging critical information http://www.nlets.org


2004

The NLETS Candle Project In a related NIJ-funded project, NLETS is working with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to standardize critical information from departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) around the country.

The project, entitled Collaboration between AAMVA and NLETS for Driver’s License Exchange (Candle), seeks to develop and deploy standards and solutions to exchange standardized driver and motor vehicle records over the NLETS network.

Candle builds upon the existing NLETS infrastructure, as well as the Web services advancements made in the Aisle project, and seeks to deploy an international capability for driver and motor vehicle exchanges based upon XML standards, greatly increasing the efficiency. . .

The Candle project provides a first step in transitioning AAMVA to a new generation of technology. This effort will result in consolidating interstate DMV transactions into a single standardized service for both the DMV and law enforcement communities.

From The Police Chief, vol. 71, no. 6, June 2004. 
Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police,
 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

AAMVA was directly involved in the crafting of the Real ID Act 2005. In the DHS-published final rules document for the Real ID Act, the AAMVA was referred to as its “hub” and “backbone.”’ UPDATE: Real ID

2006

Source-THE NEW PARADIGM—MERGING LAW ENFORCEMENT AND COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGIES Secure Cities 2006 http://www.scribd.com/doc/21970726/IACP-Intelligence-Led-Policing-2006-New-Paradigm

2007

SB 474-Oklahoma prohibited participation in the REAL ID in 2007. (So far, 25 states either by law or resolution have done the same) Although Oklahoma lags behind other states in full implementation of Real ID, there is no reason to believe Oklahoma will not eventually come into full compliance with the act.

2007

FBI Seeks to Build Massive Identification System

 The Federal Bureau of Investigation awarded a $1B, 10-year contract to design, develop, document, integrate, test, and deploy the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System to Lockheed Martin. This new database will expand on the current fingerprint-based system; the FBI will increase its collection and storage not only fingerprints but also iris scans, palm prints and facial images.

The FBI is also in talks with the U.K. police to establish a unified database for the tracking of this biometric information.

The UK has said that the new NGI System could easily be integrated with the U.K.’s current Ident1 database

http://epic.org/privacy/biometrics/

2007 News article;

–The Homeland Security Department’s plans for sharing biometric information internationally designed to counter the threat of terrorism — face resistance from domestic privacy advocates and European governments that follow stricter privacy laws that protect personal data.

Senior DHS officials speaking at a recent conference on biometrics and privacy policy outlined the ethical imperative for technical standards that would foster unrestricted biometric data sharing.

Robert Mocny, acting program manager for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program, sketched the outline of a Global Security Envelope of internationally shared biometric data that would permanently link individuals with their personal data held by governments and corporations.

“information sharing is appropriate around the world,” and DHS plans to create a “Global Security Envelope of internationally shared biometric data that would permanently link individuals with biometric ID, personal information held by governments and corporations”

—-Robert Mocny

Read more… http://www.gcn.com/print/26_03/43061-1.html

2007 The National Information Sharing Initiative ;

The Bush Administration’s 2007 National Information Sharing Strategy established state and local fusion centers as the federal government’s primary mechanism for collecting and disseminating domestic intelligence. 

The federal government has fueled the growth of these state and local intelligence centers, and has organized them into a national network that feeds information gathered at the local level into the Director of National Intelligence’s Information Sharing Environment (ISE), where it becomes accessible to all participating law enforcement agencies as well as the larger intelligence community. Link

The Biometric Interoperability Program promotes biometric-based information sharing between the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and other federal and international biometric systems.

http://www.biometriccoe.gov/_doc/FBI_CJIS_0808_One%20Pager_8%205x11_BIOMETRICS_v3.pdf

2008 -Fusion Centers Tap Into Personal Databases

Many fusion centers have not shared with the public what databases they use. This was demonstrated in an April 2, 2008 article in The Washington Post titled “Centers Tap into Personal Databases.” It revealed that several fusion centers in the northeast have access to millions of people’s information including unlisted cell phone numbers, insurance claims, driver’s license photographs

–Rebecca Andino, PMP, CIPP/G, president and founder of Highlight Technologies

______________________________

Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D. (Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario) and Alex Stoianov, Ph.D. point out that in the not too distant future a person’s unique biometric template could be used as an identifying key to link together all the different databases that contain entries for that person. It would enable someone to build up a complete picture of that individual without their knowledge or consent.

“When the use of biometrics grows, an ordinary person will be enrolled in various biometrically controlled databases, such as travel documents, driver licenses, health care, access control, banking, shopping, etc. Current biometric systems can use the same biometric template for all of them. The template becomes the ultimate unique identifier of the person. This is where biometric data mining comes into effect: the different databases, even if some of them are anonymous, may be linked together to create comprehensive personal profiles for all the users. To do this, no fresh biometric sample is even required. The linking of the databases can be done offline using template-to-template matching, in a very efficient one-to-many mode. The privacy implications explode at this point.”

 

2008

DHS Human Factors Division:  Social-Behavioral Threat Analysis

Mission:

To apply the social, behavioral and physical sciences to improve identification, analysis, and understanding of the threats posed by individuals, groups, and radical movements; to support community preparedness, response, and recovery to catastrophic events; and to advance national security by integrating the human element into homeland security science & technology. http://www.scribd.com/doc/27037194/Behave-Fast-Tsadhs

MONITORING EVERYDAY BEHAVIOR

In April 2008, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times both reported on a new Los Angeles Police Department order that compels LAPD officers to begin reporting “suspicious behaviors” in addition to their other duties—creating a stream of “intelligence” about a host of everyday activities that, according to documents, will be fed to the local fusion center.


LAPD Special Order #11, dated March 5, 2008, states that it is the policy of the LAPD to “gather, record, and analyze information of a criminal or non-criminal nature, that could indicate activity or intentions related to either foreign or domestic terrorism,” and includes a list of 65 behaviors LAPD officers “shall” report. The list includes such innocuous, clearly subjective, and First Amendment protected activities as:

- taking measurements

- using binoculars

- taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent esthetic value”

- abandoning vehicle

- drawing diagrams

- taking notes

- espousing extremist views

LAPD’s Program is now the Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI)

Nationwide SAR Initiative Vision: By 2014, every Federal, State, local, tribal and law enforcement entity operating domestically will participate in a standardized integrated approach to gather, document, process, analyze, and share terrorism-related suspicious activity

28 C.F.R. part 23

28 CRF Part 23 is a US Federal Code that basically says you cannot be entered into a criminal data system unless you are a legitimate suspect.  Not so anymore.

The April 2003 GIWG meeting minutes record approval for the weakening of 28 CFR 23 and note that GIWG member Daniel J. Oates indicated he was excited about the proposed changes to 28 CFR Part 23, specifically the area dealing with changing the reasonable suspicion collection criteria to reasonable indication. If the rule is passed, officers on the street can gather small bits of information that can be entered into an intelligence database. Under the old standard, this could not be done. Read more

28 C.F.R. Part 23 was promulgated pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3789(g)(c) which requires state and local law enforcement agencies receiving federal funding  to

“…collect, maintain, and disseminate criminal intelligence  information in conformance with policy standards which are  prescribed by the Office of Justice Programs and which are written to  assure that the funding and operation of these systems further the purpose of this chapter and to assure that some systems are not  utilized in violation of the privacy and constitutional rights of individuals.

 

Why did we need 28 CFR 23?dep

The Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in 1993 explained;

“Because criminal intelligence information is both conjectural and subjective in nature, may be widely disseminated through the interagency exchange of information and cannot be accessed by criminal suspects to verify that the information is accurate and complete, the protections and limitations set forth in the regulation are necessary to protect the privacy interests of the subjects and potential suspects of a criminal intelligence system.”

They have decided that now-we are no longer due these legal protections.

It actually took them until 2008 before the desired weakening of federal code was officially achieved

In July  2008, the Department of Justice proposed a rule to amend the primary federal regulation governing criminal intelligence databases (28 CFR Part 23) to expand both what information can be collected by law enforcement agencies, and with whom it may be shared.  (see 73 Fed. Reg. 44673) read more

. . .the Department of Justice has relaxed restrictions on when the Federal Bureau of Investigation can begin investigations, and worked to increase intelligence-sharing among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies as well as with federal (intelligence) agencies in ways that will compromise civil liberties (through a change in federal regulation 28 C.F.R. part 23).

Read more FBI Guidelines 28 C.F.R. part 23

2008

Comments on proposed amendments to 28 Code of Federal

Regulations Part 23 –

. . .intelligence fusion centers universally claimed  compliance with 28 CFR Part 23 as the appropriate regulation governing the conduct of  their intelligence collection efforts.

The Congressional Research Service reported that “many state and local law enforcement and fusion center staff” expressed concerns regarding sharing law enforcement sensitive information with non-law enforcement personnel including analysts working under contract to the Department of Homeland Security.10

In January 2008 the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) published “functional standards” for suspicious activity reports (SAR) produced by state and local law enforcement.

The DNI standards actually encourage state and local law enforcement to report non-criminal suspicious activities to the intelligence community by defining the scope of suspicious activity as “observed behavior that may be indicative of intelligence gathering or pre-operational planning related to terrorism, criminal, or other illicit intention.”

READ MORE

Oklahoma Information Fusion Center Privacy Policy;

The OIFC may retain information that is based on mere suspicion, such as tips and leads. Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) information will be retained in the future once the SAR project is finalized and guidelines are issued to Fusion Centers.  http://www.scribd.com/doc/24732421/Oklahoma-Information-Fusion-center-Privacy-Policy

**Please Note-This is NOT a genuine OIFC Notice. If the OIFC files a suspicious activity report on you-You would never know it.

Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative IJIS (Fusion Centers)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/41496999/Nationwide-Suspicious-Activity-Reporting-Initiative-IJIS-Fusion-Centers

NSI

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21970535/Nationwide-SAR-suspicious-activity-reports-Initiative

SAR and Amtrak

http://www.scribd.com/doc/44933611/Nationwide-SAR-Initiative-Partnership-With-Amtrak

Oct. 20, 2008

International Police Organization Proposes Worldwide Facial Recognition System.

An Interpol face-recognition database would permit Interpol member nations to search records containing travelers’ personal biometric information, and could be used in conjunction with travel watch lists.

“There will be such a large role in the future for fingerprints and facial recognition”

– Mark Branchflower, head of Interpol’s fingerprint unit

2009

BIOMETRICS TASK FORCE

http://www.scribd.com/doc/26083198/Army-War-College-Bio-Metrics-Task-Force-April-15-2009

Across All Government Biometric Information Coordination

Collaboration Data Sharing Biometrics Mission Sets Population Census Targeting / Tracking Base & Checkpoint Security Police, Military, & Govt. Official Vetting Border Control / Ports of Entry (POEs) Detainee Operations

2008-2009

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24, signed in 2008 and revalidated in 2009 by the current administration, mandates that interoperability with respect to biometrics spans the military, civil, and criminal arenas.

http://www.biometrics.dod.mil/Newsletter/issues/2009/Sep/V5issue3.html

FBI delves into DMV photos in search for fugitives

October 12, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. — In its search for fugitives, the FBI has begun using facial-recognition technology on millions of motorists, comparing driver’s license photos with pictures of convicts in a high-tech analysis of chin widths and nose sizes.

The project in North Carolina has already helped nab at least one suspect. Agents are eager to look for more criminals and possibly to expand the effort nationwide. But privacy advocates worry that the method allows authorities to track people who have done nothing wrong.

http://www.publicintelligence.info/fbi-delves-into-dmv-photos-in-search-for-fugitives/

October 13, 2009

According to the AP’s report, the FBI has assembled a panel of experts tasked with standardizing drivers license photos and push use of biometric-mining nationwide. But the value of mining DMV records with the biometric software is limited for one simple reason, expressed perfectly by Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “We don’t have good photos of terrorists,” he explains.

 “Most of the facial-recognition systems today are built on state DMV records because that’s where the good photos are

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/fbi-mining-dmv-photos-for-fugitives

Fusion Centers “fuse” information shared between Military and Civilian forces, Public and Private Institutions, State Federal and International Governments.

September 15, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that it was giving state and local fusion centers access to the classified military intelligence in Department of Defense (DOD) databases. The federal government has facilitated the growth of a network of fusion centers since 9/11 to expand information collection and sharing practices among law enforcement agencies, the private sector and the intelligence community.

http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/fusion-centers-obtain-access-classified-military-intelligen

2009 Biometric Consortium Conference

Biometric Enabled Intelligence has been a powerful tool in the law enforcement community, linking individuals to events, evidence and ultimately to solved crimes. That same concept can make biometrics a so what enabler of military operations, physical security, logical security, and forensic analysis by linking people, places, activities and events.

As we learn to link biometrics to biographic, geospatial, social networks and other forms of data, we can develop patterns of activities for both individuals and organizations

Mrs. Del Greco initiated two high profile, multi-million dollar  development efforts: “Next Generation Identification” (NGI), which will expand biometric and criminal history capabilities; and “Biometric Interoperability”, which will ensure information sharing between the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and other key biometric-based systems within the Federal Government and international partners

http://biometrics.org/bc2009/bios/delgreco_k.pdf

 

 Tag!  You’re It!

“Face recognition already exists through photo IDs, which can be used of individuals that are not enrolled”

http://www.scribd.com/doc/44675297/Sensor-Nets-the-Business-of-Surveillance

2010

Stripping Away Anonymity-The Secretary of Defense Funding Doc

“Biometrics technologies can be used to both verify an individual’s claimed identity and, when combined with additional intelligence and/or forensic information, biometrics technologies can establish an unknown individual’s identity, thus stripping away his anonymity. “

“This program will develop the technology that will improve the quality of biometrics derived information provided to the operational forces for the purpose of identifying and classifying anonymous individuals. It will enable execution of a DoD and interagency coordinated biometrics science and technology plan that supports technology transition to acquisition programs in FY10 and the out-years.”

See the document; www.dtic.mil/descriptivesum/Y2010/OSD/0603665D8Z.pdf

 

2010

Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA)

Warfighter, Business, Intelligence, and Security & Law Enforcement

The Department of the Army General Order (DAGO) 2010-06, signed by the Secretary of the Army (SecArmy), redesignated BTF (biometrics task force) as the Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA) on 23 March 2010.

Sept 1, 2010

Get REAL . . .

But open rebellion against REAL ID, which was so heated two or three years ago, has calmed considerably. States are no longer lining up to add themselves to the list of those refusing to fund of implement the federal law’s requirements.

Instead, many state motor vehicle departments are quietly doing the work to meet the law’s initial 18 benchmarks. According to DHS, all but the 14 holdout states say they’ll be able to meet the law’s operational requirements by the end of this year.

Read more

June 22, 2011

Making REAL ID a Reality: Next Steps for Congress

At least 32 states are close to REAL ID material compliance, while a total of 44 states and territories have indicated that they fully intend to meet REAL ID compliance

State unveils new, secure driver’s license

Starting Monday, Alabama residents will be able to obtain a new, more secure form of identification.In compliance with REAL ID Act of 2005, the Alabama De­partment of Public Safety has developed a driver’s license and identification program called STAR I.D. Congress passed the REAL ID Act in re­sponse to acts of terrorism against the United States.

Connecticut to begin controversial Real ID program

Connecticut launched a campaign today to publicize how to obtain a drivers license that meets the stricter verification standards of a federal “Real ID” law passed in 2005, but never implemented in face of objections from two dozen states

And Many. Many more!

Privacy Nightmare: Data Mine & Analyze all College Students’ Online Activities

Kaye Beach

Oct. 6, 2011

Ms. Smith,  The Privacy and Security Fanatic,  digs into the privacy nightmare that our schools are becoming and informs us about  “another particularly invasive security idea being pitched to universities as a “crystal ball” to stop future violence — to data mine and analyze all college students’ online activities.”

Read on…

It is not uncommon for schools to be equipped with metal detectors, cameras for video surveillance, motion detectors, RFID badge tracking, computer programs to check school visitors against sex offender lists, and infrared systems to track body heat after school hours and potentially hunt down intruders. No parent ever wants any possibility of a school tragedy, so other biometric systems in the name of security have been introduced. Iris recognition and fingerprint scans are being used to monitor students’ Internet usage. Now there is a particularly invasive idea being pitched to universities as a “crystal ball” to stop future violence by data mining and analyzing all college students’ online activities.

In K – 12 schools, “new military and corrections technologies are quietly moving into the classroom with little oversight.” It’s making our schools a “fertile ground for prison tech,” Mother Jones reported. “For millions of children, being scanned and monitored has become as much a part of their daily education as learning to read and write.” All of this surveillance is supposed to keep students safe, but there are some states that would like to dump public school surveillance data into federally-funded fusion centers.

Read more

Creating The “Domestic Surveillance State”

Creating the “Domestic Surveillance State” by Alfred W. McCoy

In his approach to National Security Agency surveillance, as well as CIA renditions, drone assassinations, and military detention, President Obama has to a surprising extent embraced the expanded executive powers championed by his conservative predecessor, George W. Bush. This bipartisan affirmation of the imperial executive could “reverberate for generations,” warns Jack Balkin, a specialist on First Amendment freedoms at Yale Law School. And consider these but some of the early fruits from the hybrid seeds that the Global War on Terror has planted on American soil. Yet surprisingly few Americans seem aware of the toll that this already endless war has taken on our civil liberties.
Don’t be too surprised, then, when, in the midst of some future crisis, advanced surveillance methods and other techniques developed in our recent counterinsurgency wars migrate from Baghdad, Falluja, and Kandahar to your hometown or urban neighborhood. And don’t ever claim that nobody told you this could happen — at least not if you care to read on.

Think of our counterinsurgency wars abroad as so many living laboratories for the undermining of a democratic society at home, a process historians of such American wars can tell you has been going on for a long, long time. Counterintelligence innovations like centralized data, covert penetration, and disinformation developed during the Army’s first protracted pacification campaigning a foreign land — the Philippines from 1898 to 1913 — were repatriated to the United States during World War I, becoming the blueprint for an invasive internal security apparatus that persisted for the next half century.

Almost 90 years later, George W. Bush’s Global War on Terror plunged the U.S. military into four simultaneous counterinsurgency campaigns, large and small — in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and (once again) the Philippines — transforming a vast swath of the planet into an ad hoc “counterterrorism” laboratory. The result? Cutting-edge high-tech security and counter terror techniques that are now slowly migrating homeward.

As the War on Terror enters its ninth year to become one of America’s longest overseas conflicts, the time has come to ask an uncomfortable question: What impact have the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — and the atmosphere they created domestically — had on the quality of our democracy?

Every American knows that we are supposedly fighting elsewhere to defend democracy here at home. Yet the crusade for democracy abroad, largely unsuccessful in its own right, has proven remarkably effective in building a technological template that could be just a few tweaks away from creating a domestic surveillance state — with omnipresent cameras, deep data-mining, nano-second biometric identification, and drone aircraft patrolling “the homeland.”

Read more

Even if its name is increasingly anathema in Washington, the ongoing Global War on Terror has helped bring about a massive expansion of domestic surveillance by the FBI and the National Security Agency (NSA) whose combined data-mining systems have already swept up several billion private documents from U.S. citizens into classified data banks. Abroad, after years of failing counterinsurgency efforts in the Middle East, the Pentagon began applying biometrics — the science of identification via facial shape, fingerprints, and retinal or iris patterns — to the pacification of Iraqi cities, as well as the use of electronic intercepts for instant intelligence and the split-second application of satellite imagery to aid an assassination campaign by drone aircraft that reaches from Africa to South Asia.

In the panicky aftermath of some future terrorist attack, Washington could quickly fuse existing foreign and domestic surveillance techniques, as well as others now being developed on distant battlefields, to create an instant digital surveillance state.

The Mind Machine-It Knows What You Are Thinking and It Is Going to Tell!


Kaye Beach
Sept.30,2010
_______________
I often find it hard to covey why it is I go ballistic (maybe I shouldn’t use the word ballistic….) over all of the data gathering and info sharing being done by the government.  (Oops!  Ballistic and government in the same sentence, “The Mind Machine” will surely find that interesting.)
Your word for the day is “Predictive Analytics
This article dated Sept 26, 2010 tells us about The Mind Machine.  Essentially it plows through huge volumes of data such as phone calls, emails and social networks.  The computer system, we are told, can actually detect “resentment” and “obsessiveness” towards the government by various means such as analyzing a person’s “voice biometrics” and the content of their messages.
Then, the Magical Mind Machine will dispatch law enforcement to spy on you.
“. . .once the individual has been identified, the information can be passed along to authorities so surveillance can begin”

The Dark Side of Nationwide Tests

This article is from waaaay back in 2001 but don’t disregard it because of that.  The information here is invaluable to understanding what is going on in our public schools.

This will help catch us up or refresh our memories about  the transformation of public education that began in earnest in the 1960’s.  This transformation today is just about complete and Oklahoma (you know the “reddest state in the nation”)  is leading the way, Numero Uno in fact,  on a new public education policy that is anything but conservative.  More about that soon.

There is  reason I am pulling things out of the way back machine (and I will be going even further back before I’m done with this story so humor me for a bit) is that without a little bit of history, some of the changes taking place in our state will be hard to fathom for many.  I have had to go back and retrace our steps to even begin to grasp it.

This particular article “The Dark Side of Nationwide Tests” was written by Beverly Eakman.

________________________________________

The following article from Insight magazine addresses the testing component of the federal education legislation now before Congress. These federal testing requirements were first put in place in 1994, part of the Goals 2000/School-to-Work package.
The case against standardized tests hinges on the quantum leap in data-gathering, cross-matching and information-sharing capabilities, with all the accompanying problems associated with data-trafficking, invasion of privacy and consumer profiling. Barely a week goes by that a publication somewhere doesn’t carry a story detailing a new affront to what used to be considered “nobody’s business.”