Tag Archives: Florida

Florida Police use DMV Faceprints to Investigate Public

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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.

The Latest in Irrational Oklahoma Lawmaking-Urine Tests for Welfare Recipients (and political candidates)

Kaye Beach

March 15, 2012

From 23rd and Lincoln the JRLR’s Insiders’ Report;

House passes bill requiring drug testing of TANF recipients; Shelton amendment extends to political candidates

A measure requiring welfare recipients to be drug tested passed the House Monday morning, with a floor amendment that would expand the requirement to include political candidates.

HB 2388, by Rep. Guy Liebmann, R-Oklahoma City, would require drug tests of individuals who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, within three months of being approved for benefits, with the applicant bearing the cost of the test. In a two-parent household, both parents would have to be tested.

Read more

First of all, I do not relish the idea of my tax dollars going to support people who are doing drugs.  But here is my problem.  I have an attachment to our Bill of Rights and I know that these rights apply to all of us or they apply to none.

Now,  I’m no lawyer but it seems clear that these programs strike a potent blow to our Fourth Amendment.  You know the one that prohibits search and seizure without a warrant?  Number 4, if you haven’t noticed, is hanging by the barest of threads as it is. I will admit, it is not my concern over poor pot smoking welfare recipients that motivates me on this (Nevermind that alcohol which is perfectly legal but causes terrible damage to individuals and families is not at issue here.  Ask yourself would you prefer an alcoholic parent or a pot smoking one?  Hands down, if I am a child, I am praying for a pot smoking parent as opposed to an alcoholic any day of the week! ) No.  My concern is for how this will effect me.

Legal experts have said that allowing this type of program in order catch a few illegal drug users on the public dole is too high a price to pay as it would weaken  our rights under the Fourth Amendment.

I have done some research and no matter which way I look at it, drug testing for welfare recipients just seems to be poor policy as well.

On Oct. 24, 2011,  a federal judge in Florida, Judge Scriven (appointed by GW Bush) halted the Florida drug testing of welfare recipients program which was challenged by a 35 year old Navy veteran, Luis Lebron,  a full time student at the University of Central Florida.
The Florida judge found that the drug testing program is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Judge Scriven writes; “The constitutional rights of a class of citizens are at stake, and the Constitution dictates that the needs asserted to justify subverting those rights must be special, as the case law defines that term, in order for this exception to the Fourth Amendment to apply.”
The Florida federal judge found that there was no “special needs”  to justify this program.

The “special needs” doctrine is another exception to the warrant and probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment. Special needs cases generally arise from searches by government actors other than police officers, such as school officials, public employers, and probation officers.

The doctrine applies when the government can demonstrate that:

(1)     it is impracticable to obtain a warrant;

(2)     the governmental interest outweighs the intrusion;

(3)  the immediate objective of the search is one other than to generate evidence for law enforcement purposes, even if the ultimate goal is non-criminal in nature.  link

There was also a  study done before implementing this program which showed  a very low incidence (5.1%) of illicit drug use among welfare recipients.

“In this litigation, the State provides scant evidence that rampant drug abuse exists among this class of individuals,” writes Judge Scriven.

**Around 8% of the general population uses illicit drugs. http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k7State/Ch2.htm#Fig2-1

That same study produced these facts;

Evidence from the Florida demonstration project showed very little difference between drug users and non-users on a variety of dimensions. Users were employed at about the same rate as were non-users, earned approximately the same amount of money as those who were drug free and did not require substantially different levels of governmental assistance.

Read the 37 page ruling here.

The Florida drug testing program in it’s first month  found 2% of TANF applicants tested positive for illicit drug use. There were a number of applicants that did refuse the test and that is certainly a money saver but, are all of those refusers taking illicit drugs?                                                                                       Well,  there is the fee for the test that some may have been unable to pay, transportation to the clinic to do the test may have been lacking and it is even possible that some of those that refused although poor, might also be too proud to relinquish their rights by submitting to a pee test as in the case of the Navy vet who brought the case against the state in the first place.  A urine test is legally considered to be a search and there was no reasonable suspicion that this gentleman was doing drugs therefore his rights were being violated.

Potential candidates for office might be relived to know that the same grounds that have repeatedly sunk the drug testing for welfare recipients also applies to them.  The Georgia Supreme Court sunk the drug testing for political candidates based on no substantial special need.

What we do know from the facts is that only 2-5% of potential recipients test positive for illicit drugs and previous studies show that those who do test positive show no measurable difference in employment rates or amount of assistance required than non users.

All in all, from a public policy perspective, there seems to be no pressing need for this program.  Emotionally however, it is a different story.  No one like the idea that we are using tax dollars to support lifestyles we don’t approve of.  So the question is, do we push forth policy based on moral indignation even if the facts don’t support our concerns?  Do we push forth policy not supported by the facts for emotional gratification even though there may be negative repercussions on all of us as in weakening the Fourth Amendment?

Judge Scriven writes;

Conversely, imposing an injunction would serve the public interest by protecting TANF applicants from the harm caused by infringement of their constitutional right, a right here that once infringed cannot be restored. “Perhaps no greater public interest exists than protecting a citizen’s rights under the constitution.” (Emphasis mine) Marchwinski, 113 F. Supp. 2d at 1144 (quoting Legal Aid Soc. of Haw. v. Legal Servs. Corp., 961 F. Supp. 1402, 1418 (D. Hawaii 1997))  link

And yes.  Someone will sue and that will cost the state beaucoup bucks to defend against and the state will lose. No cost savings, less freedom-what’s not to love about this bill!?  

Seriously, can we stop implementing irrational policies that just come back to bite us in the butt?

 

Reality Check for Real ID

Kaye Beach

Feb. 23, 2012

On Feb 14th I wrote an article entitled Are You Seeing Stars on Your State Driver’s License?  Say Hello to REAL ID

Janice Kephart, true believer in the Real ID cause and Director for National Security Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, stopped by to leave a comment on my blog singing the praises of Real ID and denying that it is a national ID.  I was traveling when she left the comment and had little time and I will admit, little patience to respond to Ms. Kephart.  Fortunately, someone else stepped in and gave a great rebuttal to Kephart’s claims.  (You can read Gene’s reply at the bottom of the post in the comments section)

Paul Henry of Floridians against Real ID has been tireless in his activism and efforts to reverse the federal Real ID Act in his state for years now.  Paul is also a retired law enforcement officer and one that worked specifically on driver license fraud and other identity-related cases.  He too earned a visit from Janice Kephart  and his reply to her was most thoughtful as well as extremely thorough.  Highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to know the truth about Real ID.

Do you wonder;

  • Would Real ID have stopped the 9 11 hijackers?  Or illegal immigration?
  • Does Real ID require an RFID chip?
  • Is Real ID a “national ID”

Read Paul Henry’s reasoned reply!

An E-mail Conversation with a REAL ID Proponent

 

 

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

Kaye Beach

Feb 14, 2012

Are you seeing stars?

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

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

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

Under REAL ID licenses are to be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

Prison-Yard America

10-17-2011  •  Future of Freedom Foundation/Wendy McElroy 

Since September, a public-school district in Florida has been taking fingerprint scans at the entrance to schools as a way to monitor attendance. The scans are compared against a database of students to detect truants. As in most highly intrusive school policies, parents are thrown a bone of control by allowing them to request an “opt out” for their children. An opted-out student needs to pursue a teacher and go through a special sign-in every day. In terms of time, convenience, and avoidance of stigma, students have a strong incentive to comply quietly.

But the current scanner setup is not efficient enough; the location makes it “difficult to keep track of every student.” And so the district is experimenting with supplementary scanners on the school buses that almost every student uses.

The schools’ superintendent, Sandra Cook, acknowledges that the transition has not been easy. Why not? Have parents complained about the Orwellian violation of children’s privacy? Are they outraged by the state’s assumption that children’s fingerprints are state property unless objections are raised?

TV station WJHG explains, “One of the biggest challenges they’ve faced is where to put the devices on the buses. State safety codes require the aisles to be kept completely clear, so one of the ideas they’ve discussed is to put a laptop on one side of the steering wheel and the finger scan system on the other.” The discussion revolves, not around rights, but around technical issues.

 Read more

Civil Disobedients Take 2 on AxXiom For Liberty Live July 22 6-8pm CST


Kaye Beach

July 22, 2011

Listen to AxXiom For Liberty Live on Rule of Law Radio Network tonight from 6-8pm CST

How Free Do You Want To Be?

Howard and I are excited to be welcoming back Adrian Wiley and Joel and Robert Chandler!

Listening info here

These guests represent the ground level labor of individuals who are putting it all on the line to preserve and protect our Liberty.

 

In the last “Civil Disobedients” show aired on June 10, 2011, one of our “disobedients” was Adrian Wiley, co host of Liberty Underground, an AM radio show on WTAN Clearwater Florida.

Adrian, also the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida took a stand against waiving his Fourth Amendment rights in the state of Florida in order to get his REAL ID card.

Fla. Libertarian Party Chairman to Surrender Driver’s License in Real ID Protest

Florida now requires that all driver’s license and state ID card applicants be subjected to a “digital facial image capture” that is compatible with facial recognition software.  Wyllie believes that all of these intrusive requirements are a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and his ultimate goal is to challenge Real ID in court.

Read more

Adrian surrendered his license and has been cited for the offense of traveling without a driver’s license.

Apparently it took some effort to get local law enforcement to pay attention to Adrian’s non-compliance.  Story and video here

Adrian Wiley will be with us tonight to update on his situation and explain the real problems that REAL ID presents for ordinary Americans.
Lifting the Fog

We are pleased to have Joel and Robert Chandler back to update us on their work in the State of Florida championing transparency.

Though not violating the law in any shape form or fashion, Joel and Robert Chandler are still getting plenty of attention from public officials and law enforcement.

Joel and Robert are the two gentlemen from Florida that broke open the story about Florida toll booth operators detaining people who tried to pay their toll fee in cash.  The travelers were forced to give up all kinds of personal information before they were permitted to be on their way.  Joel and Robert filed a lawsuit.

As we found out when we spoke to then two last, records requested by Joel and Robert revealed that law enforcement seemed to be keeping a very close eye on them.  What is their crime?  Nothing more than asking for public records that is the clearly legal right of every Floridian.

Listen to the April 8, 2011 broadcast- A4L_2011-04-08_64k.mp3

 

Here is the latest opacity and outrage encountered by the pair.

From Fogwatch.org

Public Records Lawsuit Filed Against Corrections Corporation of America

July 1, 2011

…On June 3, 2011 Robert and I visited Moore Haven Correctional Facility for the express purpose of inspecting and photographing non-exempt public records.  The records requested were the visitor logs from the previous weekend.  There is no statutory exemption of these records from public access.

The response of Assistant Warden Douglas Fender was to deny access to public records, threaten criminal prosecution and to demand that deputies from the Glades County Sheriff’s office confiscate and destroy the our photographic equipment.  Douglas Fender summoned three sheriff’s deputies and one state trooper who subsequently detained us for almost one hour inside the prison.

Before the we were released we were issued a written trespass warning and told that if we EVER return, even for the purpose of making a public records request, we will be arrested.

Read More

Be sure to read The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting coverage of the excellent work of these gentlemen in a multi-part series.

$100 Bill Takes Toll, Part 1

My Oklahoma Biometric Boondoggle

Back in June, on our first civil disobedience show, I had just begun my legal journey resulting from my inability to obtain a valid license that doesn’t violate my rights.  My traffic court date was yesterday and I will tell you the outcome of that event tonight.  (See my “My Real ID Reckoning” and “Today was a good day for freedom: Kaye Beach’s legal journey moves forwardfor more.)

Low Visability at the Corrections Corporation of America in Florida

Kaye Beach

July 19, 2011

Remember Joel and Robert Chandler? They are the two gentlemen from Florida that broke open the story about Florida toll booth operators detaining people who tried to pay their toll fee in cash.  The travelers were forced to give up all kinds of personal information before they were permitted to be on their way.  Joel and Robert filed a lawsuit.

More about the toll tyrants at Fogwatch (Joel Chandler’s blog site)

Here is the latest opacity and outrage encountered by the pair.

From Fogwatch.org

…On June 3, 2011 Robert and I visited Moore Haven Correctional Facility for the express purpose of inspecting and photographing non-exempt public records.  The records requested were the visitor logs from the previous weekend.  There is no statutory exemption of these records from public access.

The response of Assistant Warden Douglas Fender was to deny access to public records, threaten criminal prosecution and to demand that deputies from the Glades County Sheriff’s office confiscate and destroy the our photographic equipment.  Douglas Fender summoned three sheriff’s deputies and one state trooper who subsequently detained us for almost one hour inside the prison.

Before the we were released we were issued a written trespass warning and told that if we EVER return, even for the purpose of making a public records request, we will be arrested.

Read More

Listen to AxXiom For Liberty Friday 6-8pm CST for a visibility update from Fogwatchers,  Joel and Robert Chandler.

Taking A Sneak Peek at Real ID

Kaye Beach

April 19, 2011

Florida is one of the states that embraced Real ID early on and watching the policy as it progresses is instructive.

What can be done with  facial recognition technology and a database built up of driver’s digital photographs?  Mind you, the hard core criminals or terrorists are probably not the ones lining up to jump through the Real ID hoops to get their licenses, these would be the more law abiding of the citizens of Florida who are trying their best to comply.  And what do they get for their troubles?

They get to be tracked and monitored wherever they go.

The President of  National Motorists Association contemplates license holders learning to wear a paper bag.  For the more high fashion inclined, there is always the burka.

Florida, he writes “is on the cusp of implementing a full blown 24-7 universal government operated surveillance system that will monitor and track any person who ventures beyond the confines of their residence.”

“The heart of the Florida program, the key building block, is the digital image of faces currently applied to drivers licenses and state I.D. cards. Cameras, stationary and mobile, capture the faces of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and any other target of interest and those images are immediately passed to a central database that identifies the person, and gathers all recorded information on that person (e.g. Social Security number, criminal record, civil court activity, licenses, permits, registrations, and any other information accumulated by public agencies).”

Read More

From a 2010 FBI power point presentation on facial recognition (FR)/facial identification (FI),  here are some of the uses of facial recognition that we can look forward to.

Pay special attention to “Access Control”  After identification comes classification which will determine your level of access.  We are not talking about high security clearances here.  At a distance identification and classification as facial recognition is desired for means identification, classification and access control can be imposed upon ordinary citizens as they go about their daily lives.

FBI Facial Recognition and Identification Initiatives 2010


“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.”   LINK

(Read-Getting the GISt of GIS)

Now are you ready for the  no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in public rational?  (Hint.  Don’t buy it!)

Facial Recognition technology is not glancing at you in public, it is investigating you in public.  In this country we are not supposed to be investigated absent probable cause.  If we are all being investigated, we are all suspects.  It is that simple.

From Your Face is Not a Bar Code ;

“Public is public. If someone happens to notice you walking in the park, you have no grounds for complaint if they decide to tell someone else where you were. That’s all we’re doing. You don’t have any reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place, and I have a free-speech right to communicate factual information about where you were.”

A human being who spots me in the park has the accountability that someone can spot them as well. Cameras are much more anonymous and easy to hide. More important is the question of scale. Most people understand the moral difference between a single chance observation in a park and an investigator who follows you everywhere you go. The information collected in the second case is obviously more dangerous.

[. . .]The chance of being spotted is different from the certainty of being tracked.


AxXiom for Liberty Live! Friday 6-8pm Turning the Tables On Turnpike Tormenters

These Florida”Troublemakers” have definitely turned the tables on the tollway tormentors in Florida who were detaining travelers for paying cash.

AxXiom  For Liberty Live! Friday  April 8, 2011 6-8pm CST

Listening info

Tonight we welcome special guests (and esteemed Troublemakers) Joel and Robert Chandler of Fogwatch.org

You may have heard about this story-

Florida drivers ‘detained’ if tolls paid with big bills

Whenever Joel Chandler tried to pay a $1 toll with a $20 bill in Polk County, he was asked by toll collectors to provide personal information.

The information, he said, included his name, phone number, address and date of birth. Unless he provided it, Chandler said, he could not proceed through the toll.

“So you all detain people until you get their personal information?” Chandler asked in one encounter he recorded with a cell phone camera.

“Yes, sir,” the toll taker said.

Last month, Chandler filed a federal lawsuit against state transportation officials saying toll workers across Florida had for at least four years refused to allow drivers through tolls if they paid with large bills — unless they provided personal details.

“They’re doing this without probable cause,” said Chandler, 47, a Lakeland man who describes himself as a public records activist who has filed numerous lawsuits against the state. “They’re doing something even police officers aren’t allowed to do.” read more

That is only the tip of the iceberg.   Friday we will be talking to Joel Chandler and find out what he and his brother Robert have uncovered about this situation through their tenacity (and Florida’s liberal open records laws).  We will also get some details on the Federal Civil Rights Class Action lawsuit filed by Joel and Robert Chandler in Tampa, Florida on February 8, 2011.

Troublemakers seem to get no respect!

Joel Chandler writes;

“On numerous occasions I have become the target of criminal investigations by law enforcement agencies because I exercised a constitutionally protected right.  These agencies have included police departments, sheriff’s departments, the Department of Homeland Security, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Federal Protective Services, Department of Energy, FBI, Secret Service and others.

Enemies of the State

Go to FogWatch.org to read more about the Chandler duo’s exploits and listen them live Friday April 8th from 6-8pm on AxXiom For Liberty with Kaye Beach and Howard Houchen

 

Asst links:

Oklahoma Open Records request template

http://journalism.okstate.edu/faculty/jsenat/requestletter.htm

About OK Open Records Act

http://andylester.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=3Yx2gpCgJBM%3D&tabid=81

 

License Plate Interoperability Hub ATI’s RFP

Sheriff’s Dept. Confirms Real ID Drivers Licenses Now Part Of Facial Recognition System

Kaye Beach

April 1, 2011

This is how Real ID is making the people in Floirida safer…

 

Posted March 12, 2011

1787 Network Exclusive - by Adrian Wyllie

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA – The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed this week that images taken from Florida drivers’ licenses have now been integrated into a multi-jurisdictional facial recognition database used by law enforcement agencies throughout Florida.

Since January 1, 2010, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has been in full compliance with the Real ID Act of 2005. This federal law, administered by the Department of Homeland Security, mandates that states “subject each person applying for a driver’s license or identification card to mandatory facial image capture.”   These facial image caputures are required to be compatible with facial recognition software.  The law also requires that these facial image captures be combined with digital scans of identification documents, such as birth certificates and social security cards, and be uploaded to a national database.

“We are in a pilot program with DHSMV,” said Scott McCallum, Administrator of Facial Recognition Systems for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). “We also have the ability to perform a [facial recognition] search against the civilian repository, the drivers’ license data set,” McCallum said, “we’ve been able to go ahead and verify identity in near real time at street level.”

That means that all of the PCSO’s facial recognition cameras, both at fixed locations and mobile units used by deputies, can now almost instantly identify any person who has a Real ID compliant drivers’ license or state identification card.

Read More

This image from Panasonic shows how new facial recognition cameras eliminate windshield glare to capture faces in moving vehicles.