Category Archives: InSecure Data

Action Alert! House Bill 1559 – NO RFID IN OUR ID

Kaye Beach

Feb, 22, 2013

House Bill 1559 – NO RFID IN OUR ID!

HB1559 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft would prohibit the state Public Safety  Department from installing Radio Frequency Identification tracking  technology in a driver’s license or state-issued identification card.

What is RFID?  Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips are very small information technology devices that are attached or embedded into anything that needs to be tracked or identified. RFID is great for tracking of objects, goods, and inventory.

In 2007, the Govt. Accountability Office official warned that:

“Once a particular individual is identified through an RFID tag, personally identifiable information can be retrieved from any number of sources and then aggregated to develop a profile of the individual. Both tracking and profiling can compromise an individual’s privacy”

HB1559 has been sent to the House Transportation Committee. However,  the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Charlie Joyner, refuses to schedule  the bill to be heard (which is very odd since he voted FOR this very  same piece of legislation in the past!)

Please email or call Rep. Joyner the member of the Transportation Committee and ask that he please give HB1559 a hearing. Do this right away! If this bill is not  scheduled on Tuesday Feb. 26-it will die.

Chairman House Transportation Committee Rep. Charlie Joyner charlie.joyner@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7314

Tell him that:

• The state of Oklahoma already prohibits the implantation of RFID microchips in human beings.

• RFID on our driver’s license and state ID cards would be the next  best thing to actually implanting them in our bodies because we carry  our ID documents with us everywhere we go.

• RFID readers are  becoming more and more prevalent and will eventually enable tracking us wherever we go revealing our travels, habits and associations.

• Tagging and tracking of human beings is inappropriate and violates our right to privacy.

• AND remind him that he voted FOR this legislation before!

RFID is for inventory, NOT human beings!

The Government Wants Your Children – An Analysis of Recent Education Reforms and The Resulting Impact On Student Privacy

Kaye Beach

September 24, 2012

Every parent should be aware of what information is being gathered and for what purpose, on their children and their families.  These days, when they say “permanent record”  They mean it!

‘. . .schools are collecting much more information than parents imagine. Not only can parents NOT ask to see records of which they are unaware, but records kept out from under the watchful eye of a parent can collect and store damaging information and “When you put something into digital form, you can’t control where that’ll end up.” (Koebler)’

This is extremely valuable information and analysis from R.O.P.E -Restore Oklahoma Public Education, originally published July 25, 2012.

This is our latest piece of research. It contains information on how the state and federal governments are collecting copious amounts of data for every public school child under the guise of Education Reform. It also explains how, in Oklahoma, our P20 Council (created in order to pave the way for the State Longitudinal Database System which stores student data) is attempting to find ways to collect data from home school and privately schooled students!

An Analysis of Recent Education Reforms and the Resulting Impact on Student Privacy

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?

Pressing Issues About OG&E’s Smart Meter Rollout

Kaye Beach

Dec 27, 2011

 

Over the last few weeks I have been discussing the issues and concerns about OG&E’s smart meter rollout with a gentleman with an extensive background in areas relevant to smart meters/smart grid in order to better understand the technology, specifically the technology being used by OG&E in its implementation of the Positive Energy® Smart Grid program.

This gentleman is an electrical engineer and published author with dozens of patents in digital communications and network storage.  He is the founder, contributor  and executive for multiple hi-tech companies including an internet company and he has decades of service to his credit on National Standards Committees. He does not wish to be personally identified at this time so I will refer to him simply as a “consultant”  Due to the nature of his work, this consultant also has more than a passing familiarity with business law and also  property and intellectual rights which adds considerable dimension to the discussions regarding the smart meter program in Oklahoma.

OG&E’s Positive Energy® Smart Grid program stresses that it is “in partnership” with OG&E’s customers, however, many customers that I have spoken with do not think that they are in any way being treated as “partners” with OG&E.   The reason why is both obvious and likely responsible for much of the ire that has been raised by the installation of smart meters by OG&E-the customer has absolutely no say so in the matter.  There are no options for OG&E customers, they must accept the new meters which enable two way communications between consumer’s meters and the utility.

The authority for mandating the installation of the smart meters, according to Kenneth Grant, Managing Director of Positive Energy® Smart Grid, comes from rules promulgated by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission

TITLE 165: OKLAHOMA CORPORATION COMMISSION

CHAPTER 35. ELECTRIC UTILITY RULES

PERMANENT RULES

AMENDED, EFFECTIVE 7-25-2011

 

I will be posting more information gathered in my correspondence and discussions with my consultant but for now, the basics.

Here is his explanation on how OG&E’s system works followed by what the consultant believes to be the issues of greatest concern.

The network that the utility uses is composed of several layers.  The collection layer is called a “mesh”.  Each meter on each home is both a send and receive radio. 

Your information is broadcast to all of the homes in your surrounding neighborhood for a radius that can sometimes exceed a mile. 

Other homes pick up your information and pass it along.  Multiple homes will receive your information and your home will likewise receive the information from multiple homes.  The intent is to create a redundant “net” of radios that relays information to a central hub, where it eventually is transmitted to the Utility’s central servers over a combination of microwave transmitters and Fiber. 

Every home is required to have a meter that contains a 900 MHz radio and a 2.3GHz radio.  Those radios are always on in listening mode.  OG&E’s implementation will transmit data from each home at least once every 4 hours, and as often as once per hour.

It is not the aims of OG&E that our consultant takes issue with so much as the means in which the utility has chosen to accomplish those aims.

I agree with the ability of the utility to be able to transfer ownership, do load-based billing, pre-paid billing, etc. and to manage their network remotely.  However, the means that OG&E has chosen to employ is invasive and tramples on individual property and privacy rights.

Smart Meters do not have any inherent money or energy saving abilities.  They are touted as being effective due to their ability to help customers monitor their energy usage and make behavioral changes based on that data.  However, as the consultant explains, it is the utilities that are the most obvious beneficiaries of the cost cutting benefits of smart meters.

According to the consultant;  The major advantage of the smart meter is not that it allows customers to save energy – it does not.  It saves the utility millions of dollars in payroll to read meters, it allows them to charge different rates depending on the time of day that electricity is being used, and it allows them to turn meters on and off remotely without a physical visit to the home. . .  It appears that this cost savings is the principle costs savings to the Smart Meter program.

The consultant identifies the following as the most pressing issues and concerns regarding OG&E’s smart meter/grid rollout;

1)       Utility companies are essentially government sponsored monopolies.  In Oklahoma there is oversight by the commission, but the commission operates independently from the legislature.  That allows policy to be made without public review.  I find that to be dangerous.

2)       A consumer needs reasonable property rights to prevent the utility from forcing him/her to submit to RF as a term of service (there are solutions like the one that OEC uses that do not require that)

3)       A consumer should have reasonable rights having to do with the amount of personal information that is transmitted to the utility.  If you are billed once per month, they should only be allowed to read it once per month.  This is a huge privacy issue.  Someone privy to that information can discern a great deal of personal information about the individual.  Primary consideration from a theft perspective is knowledge of whether is someone is normally at home during the day, on vacation, etc.

4)       A consumer should have rights against being into becoming a part of the utility information network.  Current implementation by OG&E as I understand it forces the homeowner to receive and pass along information from other consumers in the area.  That is done without the consumer’s knowledge or consent.  It is like being forced to allow the utility access to your property to read your neighbors meter, or being forced to be a radio transmitter without your consent.

5)       The use of the 900Mhz and 2.4Ghz frequencies for data transmission.  The OG&E meters have radios that are capable of picking up use on those bands.  That information could be used to detect when TV remote controls are being used, garage door openers, internet, cordless phones, and even TV remotes.  That is not the intended use, but the capability exists within the meters.

Essentially, even though every person that uses radio will guarantee that their network and information is safe and invulnerable, the only real way to protect personal information is to not collect it at all.

6)       The meters have the ability to upload new code remotely, so their functionality can be changed at any time by an authorized individual, or potentially by a hacker without the homeowner’s knowledge

In addition, this consultant raises some concerns about the vulnerability of OG&E’s smart meters to electronic attacks.

Are smart meters secure from electronic attacks?

No.  At least not the ones being used by OG&E.   No wireless electronic device can be secure from electronic attacks.  Just as no mechanical device can be secure from an explosion.  The issue with electronic attacks is that they are often undetected and can also cover a very large number of devices simultaneously.

Electronic attacks can take several forms. 

(a)  Direct interception of data

(b)  Hijacking data input or output

(c)  “Man-in-the-Middle” attacks

(d)  Hijacking of the meter and re-programming

(e)  Viruses

(f)   EMP

(g)  Ability to monitor several properties electronically to check for patterns indicating no one home during the day or vacation mode.

Most important, even if the data transmission itself is secure, the data will eventually reside on a server somewhere.  Servers containing banking information and credit card information are routinely hacked.  Utilities are hacked.  Satellites are hacked.  Military drones are hacked.  The only information that cannot somehow be compromised is information that is never transmitted or stored.

More to come….

OK-SAFE Q and A about the 2011Joint Legislative Committee and Health Care Reform Law

Kaye Beach

Nov. 17, 2011

From OK-SAFE’s Blog;

OK-SAFE, Inc.

AP reporter Sean Murphy on Tuesday asked OK-SAFE Executive Director Amanda Teegarden for some comments about the 2011 Joint Legislative Committee and Health Care Reform Law. (Teegarden spoke to this committee on 11/3/11 in Tulsa.)

Formed at the conclusion of the last legislative session to examine the impact of the federal health care reform law on Oklahoma, this committee held its’ fifth (and final) meeting on Tuesday, 11/15/11 in the House chambers.

 

Here are the questions that were asked (follow this link to OK-SAFE’s Blog to read the answers)

-Do you think the Oklahoma Legislature should ignore the federal requirement that a health care exchange be established? If so, why? 

 -What about the provision that provides if a state doesn’t establish an exchange, the feds will do it for them?

-Do you think the state should count on the health care law being overturned/dismantled by a the Supreme Court or a future administration?

-What are your thoughts about the ability of the tea party and other grassroots conservative groups like yours to successfully fight against the establishment of the exchanges and to resist the implementation of the federal health care law in Oklahoma?

-What are your thoughts in general about this task force and the work they’ve conducted, recommendations they should make

Pay Attention to This One! Oklahoma Fourth Committee Meeting on Federal Healthcare Reform

Kaye Beach

Nov. 1, 2011

Those of us in Oklahoma who want to retain our privacy and control over our medical care should pay attention to the fourth joint legislative committee meeting on the effects of healthcare reform.   The fourth meeting, scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, will be held at the Tulsa Technology Center, Riverside Campus.

Amanda Teegarden, Executive Director of OK-SAFE, Inc., is one of the scheduled presenters on that date, addressing the technology, security & privacy concerns associated with the implementation of health care reform.

She will be presenting some very interesting facts about Oklahoma healthcare reform system as constructed so far and illustrate why we should not go any further on this unconstitutional federal monstrosity of a mandate.

Amanda Teegarden is a crack researcher with the perspective of an ordinary taxpaying Oklahoman. Every freedom loving Oklahoman ought to pay very close attention to the information brought forth by her presentation this Thursday.

Here is one glimpse of what is in store for us if our state does not take care to protect the interests of Oklahoma citizens from the federal takeover of our healthcare.

Obamacare HHS rule would give government everybody’s health records

By: Rep. Tim Huelskamp | 09/23/11 3:29 PM
OpEd Contributor
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has proposed that medical records of all Americans be turned over to the federal government by private health insurers.

It’s been said a thousand times: Congress had to pass President Obama’s  health care law in order to find out what’s in it. But, despite the repetitiveness, the level of shock from each new discovery never seems to recede.

This time, America is learning about the federal government’s plan to collect and aggregate confidential patient records for every one of us

Read more

Raw patient claims data, demographic data, prescription drug utilization data. . .this is individualized, specific, sensitive information about you going into a federal database!

 

 

 

 

Read more and watch the press conference held by Congressman Huelskamp about this outrage here

There OK legislature has created a website detailing these meetings: www.okhealthcare.info – check for meeting details, including presentations.

Virtual Alabama

Kaye Beach

July 23, 2011

“The real danger is the gradual erosion of individual liberties through automation, integration,
and interconnection of many small, separate record-keeping systems, each of which alone may seem innocuous, even benevolent, and wholly justifiable.”  U. S. Privacy Study Commission
GIS stands for  Geographic Information System
“GIS is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analyzing  and displaying data related to location. What separates GIS from other types of information/databases is that everything is based on location (georeference).”
“GIS organizes geographic data so that a person reading  a map can select data necessary for aspecific project or task. A thematic map has a table of contents that allows the reader to add layers of information to a basemap of real-world locations. For example, a social analyst might use the basemap of Eugene, Oregon, and select datasets from the U.S. Census Bureau to add  data layers to a map that shows residents’ education levels, ages, and employment status.” Link
Read more about GIS “Getting the Gist of GIS

Here is an excerpt about a program called Virtual Alabama which is based on GIS  from Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity By Torin Monahan

Pg 44-49

“Virtual Alabama”

Virtual Alabama is a complex database replete with three-dimensional imagery of most of the state (including, for example, buildings, roadways, power plants, refineries, and airports), GIS overlays for additional contextual information, building schematics, video surveillance access for all public cameras, algorithmic scenarios for likely direction of chemical plumes in case of a toxic release, and so on (see figure 1).

Modeled after the Google Earth platform, this science fiction- like surveillance system allows real-time access for all first responders in all counties within the state. James Walker explained that at first DHS had a very difficult time convincing local sheriffs that they should participate and share their data. This obstacle was overcome, however, when DHS promised to include a GIS overlay for all registered sex offenders in the state, showing exactly where each of them are supposed to be residing.

. . . The vision for Virtual Alabama, and for similar applications in other states, is to map everything and share data liberally. DHS envisions being able to share data regionally and nationally so that all emergency responders have access to the system, from local public safety providers to the National Guard—and, one must suspect, private contractors as well, especially because in addition to security contractor companies like Blackwater, which has been rebranded as “Xe Services,” fire departments have jumped on the privatization bandwagon too.27 DHS would like to achieve total “situational awareness” from the system, including real-time GPS data on the location of all state troopers, real-time readouts of available beds in hospitals, and GIS overlays for hunting licenses issued and chicken farms (in case of an avian flu outbreak).

There may be perks for businesses too. James Walker said that he would like to make the data available to corporations as an incentive for them to relocate to Alabama. Or, he continued, insurance companies and FEMA might like to have access to before-and-after aerial photographs of disaster sites so that they can determine who should really qualify for reimbursement to repair damaged property. In other words, this high-tech security application can be used to protect the assets of private companies or the state from the “security threat” of fraud.

. . . What is glaringly absent here is any discussion of the extent to which systems like Virtual Alabama could create new security threats. The detailed mapping of critical information can be as dangerous as it is useful if it falls into the “wrong hands.” This possibility, however, is not on the agenda of those advocating for such systems, which reveals that the goal of generating profitable data may be just as important as protecting the public, if not more important.

. . . the privacy of individuals is at significant risk with current levels of liberal data sharing among private companies and government agencies, along with the absence of serious privacy regulations in the United States.29 DHS Fusion Centers promise to institutionalize the data sharing that has been ad hoc to date. Second, while it is unclear if Google or similar companies will have access to data entered into security applications like Virtual Alabama, the centralized stockpiling of diverse data elements will certainly allow for intensified surveillance of people, whether for purposes of public safety, consumer marketing, fraud detection, or other unimagined possibilities enabled by these systems.  The limited information currently available on these nascent systems indicates that DHS is more than willing to approve the sharing of public data with private companies to encourage them to relocate their businesses or help them detect fraud. It is only a matter of time before other mutually profitable—but probably liberty-decaying—arrangements are discovered.

Read More

Smart Grid: The Implementation of Technocracy?

Kaye Beach

June, 22, 2011

The following is a fascination article on the Smart Grid published by the August Review last year.  Talk about the big picture-is this it?

By Patrick Wood, Editor
March 2, 2010

Introduction

According to the United Nations Governing Council of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP),  “our dominant economic model may thus be termed a ‘brown economy.” UNEP’s clearly stated goal is to overturn the “brown economy” and replace it with a “green economy”:

“A green economy implies the decoupling of resource use and environmental impacts from economic growth… These investments, both public and private, provide the mechanism for the reconfiguration of businesses, infrastructure and institutions, and for the adoption of sustainable consumption and production processes.”  [p. 2]

Sustainable consumption? Reconfiguring businesses, infrastructure and institutions? What do these words mean? They do not mean merely reshuffling the existing order, but rather replacing it with a completely new economic system, one that has never before been seen or used in the history of the world.

This paper will demonstrate that the current crisis of capitalism is being used to implement a radical new economic system that will completely supplant it. This is not some new idea created in the bowels of the United Nations: It is a revitalized implementation of Technocracy that was thoroughly repudiated by the American public in 1933, in the middle of the Great Depression.

Read More

AxXiom for Liberty Live Friday May 13 6pm CST-The Alaska Privacy Rebellion!

May 13, 2011

LISTENING INFO HERE

Tonight on AxXiom for Liberty-

Jason Giaimo, a respected Management Accountant and Horst Poepperl, CEO of Borealis Broadband Inc. will tell us why we should think twice before submitting to the casual collection of our biometric data and what they are doing to try and protect the personal information of the people of Alaska.

In 2008 Jason Giaimo got a nasty surprise when trying to finish his CPA exam.

“After about five years of education and testing, studying and preparation, I was in the last two days of my requirements to actually get my certification as a state CPA.”

“I had already taken the first parts of the exam and I just had to show up and show two forms of ID. The rules changed on January 1, 2008, where the company involved decided they wanted to collect fingerprints from the test takers, and for a fee.”

So what did he do when confronted with the choice of providing his fingerprints and completing his exam or not giving up his prints and not being permitted to complete his test?

He said no.

“I actually refused. I’ve never been fingerprinted or been in trouble in my life. I thought that was ridiculous,” Giaimo observed. “Being a trained financial auditor, it didn’t take me long to find out that the company that takes those fingerprints send them, encrypted, over the internet to an international data mining firm called ChoicePoint.”

Jason refused to be fingerprinted but offered up every other possible form of ID. He offered to show his US passport, driver’s license, social security card and even his original birth certificate but was told that all of this was insufficient.

 No biometric, no test.

Jason says “This is clearly NOT about identification, but about data collection”

He’s right.

Jason Giaimo, a respected Management Accountant and Horst Poepperl, CEO of Borealis Broadband Inc. will tell why you should think twice before submitting to the casual collection of your biometric data and what they are doing to try and protect the personal information of the people of Alaska.

Privacy Now Alsaka warns;

Data Mining companies, the companies that collect your personal information and then sell it to others, now want to create the conditions that will force you to submit your fingerprints.

Those fingerprints will, of course, be electronically stored and sold along with the rest of your personal information to whomever.  Or worse, potentially lost to hackers or other criminals.

Think about this for a minute:

  • What if you were denied a driver’s license or the ability to hold ANY job unless you submitted your fingerprints to the Government? (It’s happening now!)
  • What if your child were denied access to education, the SAT or CPA exam unless they submitted to a fingerprinting “for ID” . . . even if they showed a US Passport and driver’s license as ID?  (It’s happening now!)
  • What if you were denied a job because you wouldn’t submit your fingerprints to the database of a data mining firm (even a foreign one) that makes billions from the sale of your private information?  (It’s happening now!)
  • Or if your child were denied lunch at school unless they submitted to being fingerprinted first?  (It’s happening now!)

Privacy Now Alaska

Borealis Broadband

AxXiom For Liberty on Rule of Law Radio.com

 Every Friday from 6-8pm CST

Give us a call!   512-646-1984

AxXiom for Liberty ‘Biometric Skeptics’ Show Notes from April 29, 2011

Kaye Beach

April 30, 2011

Listen to the show here

Notes from the AxXiom for Liberty radio show aired April 29, 2011

We spoke with two Biometric critics, David Moss from the UK and Mark Lerner from the US.

**We were to post a link here for those who wanted to submit a recommendation on behalf of Mark Lerner to the organizers of the  Privacy conference to be held in DC this summer.   He has received the support he needed and it is now in the hands of the sponsors-Thanks to all!**

The show was focused on the failures and unworkability of biometric identification.  The question that hangs over the discussion is Why?  If the technology is not working as promised (and it is decidedly not!) and given the expense why do governments across the globe seem determined to utilize it?

We discussed the the influence of the biometrics industry, the desire of governments to keep close tabs on the people (the word inventory comes to mind) and the perceived need of government to prevent or control chaos.  The role of data sharing, e government and Transformational government which relies on computerized records was touched upon as well. 

Find sourcing,  notes, and  my commentary below.

Biometrics are not working as advertised.

David Moss has nearly 33 years experience in IT and has spent over eight years researching and campaigning against the UK Home Office’s biometric ID card scheme.

UK Identity Cards-Wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_Cards_Act_2006

 David mentioned a European Commission initiative called “Project STORK”

STORK requires the national systems of several countries to be interoperable.

EU/UK: EU pilot to boost compatibility of eID kicks off in the UK, 15 October 2007

The ultimate goal of the STORK project is to implement an EU-wide interoperable system for the recognition and authentication of eIDs [electronic identities] that will enable businesses, citizens and government employees to use their national eIDs in any Member State. Once established, this would significantly facilitate migration between Member States, allowing easy access to a variety of eGovernment services including, for example, social security, medical prescriptions and pension payments. It could also ease cross-border student enrolment in colleges …

The UK’s Identity and Passport Service (IPS) is leading the pilot project, in close co-operation with the Government Gateway, the UK’s centralised registration service. “It is about the eventual pan-European recognition of electronic IDs,” noted an IPS spokesperson.

David writes;  HMRC lost two discs containing the personal details of 25 million people. That exposes 25 million people to the threat of fraud. Given which, the question arises whether the government should proceed with the ID cards scheme — creating yet another database just increases the risk of losing data and could lead to more fraud.

Read more

In 2009 David Moss posed this question to the public;

“If our last two prime ministers are to be believed, and our last five home secretaries, the solution to all the problems of crime detection, counter-terrorism and the delivery of efficient public services is … biometrics. They’re certainly labelling our money into biometrics. But no one ever asks, do biometrics work?”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/nov/01/biometrics-home-office

As of late David Moss has been focused on India’s Unique Identification (UID) project that endeavors to biometrically identify and number 1.2 billion of India’s people. David Moss is a biometric skeptic and for good reason.


David Moss’s website is http://dematerialisedid.com/

The biometric delusion

Optimism beats evidence in the drive to fingerprint the world

By David Moss

Posted 14th August 2009 12:11 GMT

Suppose that there were 60 million UK ID cardholders. To prove that each person is represented by a unique electronic identity on the population register, each biometric would have to be compared with all the rest. That would involve making 1.8 x 1015 comparisons.

Suppose further that the false match rate for biometrics based on either facial geometry or fingerprints was one in a million (1 x 10-6). It isn’t. It’s worse than that. But suppose that it was that good, then there would be 1.8 x 109 false matches for IPS to check.

It is not feasible for IPS to check 1.8 billion false matches. It is therefore not feasible for these biometrics to do their identification job.

David Moss’ eye opening research paper on India’s Unique Id Project;

India’s ID card scheme – drowning in a sea of false positives

In reading about India’s ID project, I found some aspects of the program very disturbing. 

The program is being pitched as a way to help the poor to better access the services they need.

Nilekani maintains that the main purpose of the UID project is to empower the vast numbers of excluded Indians. “For the poor this is a huge benefit because they have no identities, no birth certificates, degree certificates, driver’s licences, passports or even addresses.” link

But when you read further into the aims of the project, you wonder if maybe having no identity might be preferable.

Fears of Privacy Loss Pursue Ambitious ID Project

Monday 06 September 2010

New Delhi – Fears about loss of privacy are being voiced as India gears up to launch an ambitious scheme to biometrically identify and number each of its 1.2 billion inhabitants.

In September, officials from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), armed with fingerprinting machines, iris scanners and cameras hooked to laptops, will fan out across the towns and villages of southern Andhra Pradesh state in the first phase of the project whose aim is to give every Indian a lifelong Unique ID (UID) number.

[. . .]According to Nilekani, the UID will most benefit India’s poor who, because they lack identity documentation, are ignored by service providers.

The program is said to be voluntary, but is it really?

At the Aug. 25 meeting, Ramanthan said that while enrolling with the UIDAI may be voluntary, other agencies and service providers might require a UID number in order to transact business. Indeed, the UIDAI has already signed agreements with banks, state governments and hospital chains which will allow them to ask customers for UIDs. (Emphasis mine)

India’s ID program could compromise freedoms to buy, sell or travel.

Ramanathan said that, taken to its logical limit, the UID project will make it impossible, in a couple of years, for an ordinary citizen to undertake a simple task such as travelling within the country without a UID number. (Emphasis mine)

The UIDAI will work with the National Population Register (NPR). . . And as a government website says: “Certain information collected under the NPR will be published in the local areas for public scrutiny and invitation of objections.”

NATGRID

If you ask me, this ID system provides citizens with “safety” by way of surveillance and promises the governments of India a more compliant population.

From IPS News via AlterNet;

But things begin to look ominous when seen in the context of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), the setting up of which home minister P. Chidambaram announced in February as part of his response to a major terrorist attack. Chidambaram said NATGRID would tap into 21 sets of databases that will be networked to achieve “quick, seamless and secure access to desired information for intelligence and enforcement agencies.” He added that NATGRID will “identify those who must be watched, investigated, disabled and neutralised.” (Emphasis mine)

Chidambaram said NATGRID would tap into 21 sets of databases that will be networked to achieve “quick, seamless and secure access to desired information for intelligence and enforcement agencies.” He added that NATGRID will “identify those who must be watched, investigated, disabled and neutralised.”

Link

NATGRID

Natgrid, the brainchild of Home Minister P Chidambaram, is based on the US model.(Emphasis mine) It will integrate the existing 21 databases with Central and state government agencies and other organisations in the public and private sector such as banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges, airlines, railways, telecom service providers, chemical vendors, etc. LINK

The telecom and internet service providers will be mandated by regulations to compulsorily link up their databases with NATGRID. The databases so far identified for being linked in the grid include those of rail and air travel, phone calls, bank accounts, credit card transactions, passport and visa records, PAN cards,  land and property records, automobile ownership and driving licences. Link

In the US 911 is cited as the justification for the massive restructuring of our national security apparatus and policy, in India it is the attacks in Mumbai.

The 26/11 attacks in Mumbai changed the paradigm of what was till then considered to be internal security, demonstrating clearly to the government that the battle lines have been re-drawn.  [ . . .]Thus, any response to tackle threats emanating from terrorism would not be effective if we continued to follow the old conventional strategies; instead our response must involve a change of mindset, security doctrines and a new counter-terror framework. Link

India’s worsening security situation excites global defence firms

BAE Systems, one of the world’s largest defence contractors, sees a number of business opportunities, relating to the country’s nascent National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid) programmes.

“We have been talking to the ministry of home affairs a great deal on the grid programmes, and feel there is an obvious opportunity there,” Guy Douglas, spokesman for BAE India, said. The Natgrid is a giant database of comprehensive intelligence reports, designed to collate information collected from phones and income tax records, along with airport and immigration details of individuals.

According to Mr Douglas, BAE’s subsidiary Detica, which specialises in collecting, managing and exploiting information that could lead to actionable intelligence, could be harnessed for India’s intelligence community. LINK

More about NATGRID

Read about the Global Intelligence Grid

VISION 2015

Control

In my opinion, no matter how you slice it, this is the reason governments want biometric identification systems so badly.

The US Department of Defense states:

“Biometrics technologies have the unique potential to provide the Department with the capability to take away an adversary’s anonymity”

Unfortunately the “biometrics technologies” that the DoD is referring to are not applied in an as needed fashion.  These technologies will/must apply to all of us, all of the time.  In other words it isn’t just the “bad guys” who will have their privacy and freedom stripped away from them-it is each and every one of us.

“The biometrics science and technology program addresses the technology gaps that preclude our ability to quickly and accurately identify anonymous individuals who threaten our interests, in whatever domain they operate.”

Source-2010 Office of Secretary Of Defense RDT&E Budget Item Justification

Why do I read “our interests” to be more  inclusive of the interests of the government and not necessarily inclusive of the people?  Can it be that so much of Homeland Security and national security efforts  in general seem to be directed at rather than protective of the people of this country? 

One thing I am deeply resentful of  is the wholehearted embracing by our government of the new paradigm  of security that emphasizes the power of prediction and preemptive policing techniques that are in opposition to the legal and natural rights of the citizens. It shatters the very unity our country needs the most during times of uncertainty.   I am concerned that this “new paradigm” is creating an environment of suspicion and fear between the  authorities and the people.  It seems to me that the implications of such mistrust and even fear negates any gains that such policies may promise to government.

The Price of Security

The desire for security, while in itself natural and legitimate, can become an obsession which ultimately must be paid for by the loss of freedom and human dignity—whether people realize it or not.

In the end, it is clear that whoever is prepared to pay this price is left neither with freedom and dignity nor with security, for there can be no security without freedom and protection from arbitrary power.

To this exorbitant price must be added another . . . namely, the steady diminution of the value of money. Surely, every single one of us must then realize that security is one of those things which recede further and further away the more unrestrainedly and violently we desire it.”

—Wilhelm Röpke, A Humane Economy

We touched upon the subject of “Transformational Government” which I understand to be in line with what is more commonly referred to as the Reinvention of Government in the US.

From Wikipedia- Transformational Government is a term which describes the use of computer-based information and communications technologies (ICT) to enable radical improvement to the delivery of public services. The term is commonly used to describe a government reform strategy which aims to avoid the limitations which have come to be seen as associated with a traditional e-Government strategy.

During the last two decades, governments around the world have invested in ICT with the aim of increasing the quality and decreasing the cost of public services. But over that time, as even the least developed countries have moved to websites, e-services and e-Government strategies, it has become increasingly clear that e-Government has not delivered all the benefits that were hoped for it.[1] One study found that 35% of e-government projects in developing countries resulted in total failures; and that 50% were partial failures.[2]Read more

Data sharing

by David Moss

Wouldn’t it be better if (WIBBI) government departments shared data? Public services could then be more effective. And cheaper. And customised, or tailored, to the individual.

It’s a seductive WIBBI. Sharing sounds like the sort of thing pleasant communities do. The public is always a deserving recipient. Service is a humble and dedicated vocation. If the service offers good value for money, so much the better. Recognising each individual’s unique requirements squares the circle – a universal service which is at the same time trained with laser precision on the particular.

Read More

Right now we are being treated to a massive marketing campaign meant to capitalize on our collective frustration with the size of government.  Those who have been watching our government closely over the years  will recognize this rhetoric as very similar to the rhetoric of the 90’s. 

President Bill Clinton in 1995 declared in his State of the Union address that “The era of big government is over.”

Hardly true, (Read “The Clinton Era by The Numbers”) but Clinton was following up on his earlier promises to “Reinvent Government ” that began with a report issued by the National Performance Review, From Red Tape to Results: Creating a Government That Works Better and Costs Less,  in 1993.

Most people regarded the Reinvention of Government as an initiative to downsize the bloated bureaucracy.  Reinvention, as understood by most, was supposed to make the government work better and cost less.

Many who supported the idea of whacking back government to a more sensible size express dismay that by this yardstick, the reinvention initiatives have failed miserably if the real goal was to downsize government.

Reinventing’s Roots

The Clinton administration’s reinventing government campaign grew directly out of David Osborne and Ted Gaebler’s 1992 best seller, Reinventing Government. Osborne, a writer and consultant, teamed with Gaebler, a former city manager and consultant, to argue that “entrepreneurial” government offered government its most productive future. http://www.brookings.edu/gs/cpm/government.pdf

[. . .]NPR started its work in April 1993 with an inspiring set of principles and a clear vision of what it wanted to accomplish. The main objective was to create a government that works better and costs less by empowering employees to put customers first, cutting the red tape that holds back employees, and cutting back to basics.”

Consider this statement (from the NPR) very carefully.

“Strategically, the Vice President chose to focus efforts on how the government works, not on what it should be doing.”

http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/npr/whoweare/historypart1.html

A common complaint about the whole “reinvention of government” plan is that the the  reinvention guru’s keep moving the goalposts. After much research, I have come to believe they aren’t moving the goalposts at all-they have purposely obscured what the true goals of reinventing government really are and I think that this omission is an  entirely a strategic one.  Amazingly the Reinvention gurus like David Osbourne have managed to sell the concept without openly revealing the product. The marketers purposefully focus on  how government does what it does without ever addressing the fundamental issue of what it is government is supposed to do.  This may the reason that reinventing government has not resulted in downsizing government.

The sum of good government to Thomas Jefferson was one “which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned”

One thing that continues to unnerve me after doing some research into the Reinvention of Government is to hear well intentioned officials repeating the platitudes of Reinvention gurus like David Osbourne.  The effort to reinvent  government has been led from the beginning by organizations with a pronounced ideology and one that most officials that are currently involved with the continuation of these efforts would not profess to ascribe to.

Here’s a couple of blurbs that give a glimpse into the thinking behind the front line rhetoric of making government more efficient;

The Democratic Leadership Council, and its affiliated think tank the Progressive Policy Institute, have been catalysts for modernizing politics and government.

From their political analysis and policy innovations has emerged a progressive alternative to the worn-out dogmas of traditional liberalism and conservatism.

The core principles and ideas of this “Third Way” movement are set forth in The New Progressive Declaration: A Political Philosophy for the Information Age. (emphasis mine)

On Sunday, April 25, 1999, the President Clinton and the DLC hosted a historic roundtable discussion, The Third Way: Progressive Governance for the 21st Century, with five world leaders including British PM Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Dutch PM Wim Kok, and Italian PM Massimo D’Alema, the First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and DLC President Al From.

21st Century Approach

“… the structure of democracy needs new scaffolding–a new concept of how decisions are made, a new approach to the role of leadership and new methods and techniques to build shared vision….

“It assumes that there is a need to rethink what it means to be a ‘civil society’ and that the concept of the “common good ” must be more than an aggregation of individual rights…

“Any 21st Century approach to democracy will need a flexible framework in which diverse people can dialogue and not debate; in which systemic thinking replaces a linear project mentality….”

Consensus Democracy: A New Approach to 21st Century Governance

More attention will be given to examining the ideological aspect of this “movement” in more detail in future AxXiom for Liberty shows and on this blog.

One last thought;

David Osborne, co-author of the book that started the revolution of reinvention in government writes;

“Just as Columbus never knew he had come upon a new continent, many of today’s pioneers—from governors to city managers, teachers to social workers—do not understand the global significance of what they are doing.”

We can bet that this much is true.


David Moss makes a very important point in this next article entitled  ‘So what’s new?’

The thesis is;

We do not live in a new world. We live in the same world we have always lived in.

Mr Brown believes this is a new world. He says so in his speech. 34 times:

… a new chapter in our country’s story of liberty … new issues of terrorism and security … new frontiers in both our lives and our liberties … new challenges … new rights for the public expression of dissent … new freedoms that guarantee the independence of non-governmental organisations … new rights to access public information … new rights against arbitrary intrusion … new technology … new rights to protect your private information … new provision for independent judicial scrutiny and open parliamentary oversight … Renewing for our time our commitment to freedom … a new British constitutional settlement for our generation … the new tests of our time … we meet these tests not by abandoning principles of liberty but by giving them new life … a new generation … new challenges … new measures … the new rules … the new rules … New rules … What is new about 21st century ideas of privacy … new powers of access to information … new opportunities to use biometrics … the opportunities of new technology … a new and imaginative approach to accountability … new laptop computers … new powers … the new information age … new threats to our security … a new British Bill of Rights and Duties … a new chapter in the British story of liberty …

To anyone of a conservative bent, all these references to novelty are suspicious and need to be viewed with scepticism. We do not live in a new world. We live in the same world we have always lived in.

Even the sanctity of liberty can be trumped by the super-sanctity of security. He’s not an equality man (Labour). He’s not a liberty man (Liberal). He’s a security man (Raytheon). And he’s a long way down that “authoritarian path”.

Read More


 

Also discussed was Capgemini and a program called “ContactPoint” in the UK

What is Capgemini?

Capgemini is a global consulting and information technology firm, with a seasoned approach working collaboratively with many federal, state and local government agencies to help address fiscal challenges and improve the efficiency and quality of IT services delivered to citizens. We work with the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture, as well as multiple state and municipal tax, social welfare, criminal justice and public health departments.

http://www.us.capgemini.com/services-and-solutions/by-industry/public-sector/overview/

Capgemini is a limited partner with QinetiQ, the global defense technology company: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qinetiq

What is Contact Point?

ContactPoint is an online database which contains basic information about every child and young person in England from birth to their 18th birthday. Read more

 

Capgemini as it relates to Oklahoma (Research provided by OK-SAFE)

On November 1, 2010 OK-SAFE filed an Open Records request to the Office of State Finance, seeking more detailed information about the state’s contract with Capgemini, the global consulting, technology, and outsourcing firm, headquartered in Paris, France. Read more about the open records request and findings here

 Also see Reality Check: Political Doublespeak Contract with Capgemini a power point presentation by OK-SAFE

Capgemini: Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing.  Outsourcing what?

In 2009 the OK Republican-led legislature created the position of Chief Information Officer (CIO), a new cabinet position appointed by the Governor. (HB 1170)

Oklahoma’s new CIO is Alex Pettit, officed in the Office of State Finance.

The OK CIO has signed a $1 million (actually $999,100) contract with a global company named Capgemini, specializing in Consulting, Technology, and Outsourcing, to perform an assessment of the state’s entire IT systems.

With several divisions worldwide, including the UK, India, Australia, and the US, Capgemini’s main headquarters are in Paris, France. (Just like Safran?)

Capgemini has two subcontractors:  BDNA Corp. (The IT Genome Project) and Roraima Consulting, Inc. (out of Jamaica, NY)

There are growing concerns about this contract and the possible direction Oklahoma could be heading.

My previous notes on Capgemini can be found here

 

UK Capgenmini/ContactPoint

2003 UK

Bolton kick-starts child database pilot

The government’s controversial plan to keep a file on every child in England has received a boost after an NHS trust reversed its decision to withhold information about local children from social services.

The board of Bolton primary care trust (PCT) decided last night that they had the statutory power to put the name, address, date of birth and gender of every child on its records onto a database accessible to other agencies.

The decision means that Bolton Unlimited, one of 10 information, referral and tracking (IRT) pilots set up to improve information sharing, will be able to start building a comprehensive database on all 60,000-70,000 children in the area.

Legal experts had previously warned that the proposal in the children’s green paper to establish local databases on all children – collating information held by councils, the health service and the police – would breach data protection and privacy laws.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2003/nov/13/childrensservices.childprotection1

2006

Capgemini captures $400M UK database deal

Capgemini UK plc has won a three-year, $400 million contract from the United Kingdom’s Education and Skills Department to design a national database covering all 11 million children in England. http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2006/10/18/capgemini-captures-400m-uk-database-deal.aspx

2007

The government acknowledges the risks by instituting protocols to “shield” details of celebrity and vulnerable children. But all children are potentially vulnerable to misuse of information, and the potential for this is enormous. Evidence presented last year to the management board of the Leeds NHS Trust showed that in one month the 14,000 staff logged 70,000 incidents of inappropriate access. On the basis of these figures, misuse of ContactPoint could run to 1,650,000 incidents a month. Is this going to protect children?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/jun/22/childrensservices.comment

2010

On Tuesday June 1st, 2010 the Department for Education (the renamed Department for Children, Schools and Families) issued the following – on behalf of Sarah Teather (Lib-Dem and Minister for Children and Families) – to members of the Information Sharing Advisory Group, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, and suppliers of case management systems.

We [the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government] are scrapping ContactPoint. We will develop better ways of keeping children safe. The investment made won’t be wasted because we can use the technical expertise we’ve acquired to protect those children most in need. But the idea of a single national IT database for all children has gone for good.

The communiqué from the Department for Education contained no other information on what future arrangements might look like nor any indicative timescale for the ‘scrapping’ of ContactPoint.

Read more

Industry Influence

The Revolving Door that Never Stops Turning

by Mark Lerner, co founder of the Constitutional Alliance

Six years ago I started speaking out about a small company in Massachusetts called Viisage Technology.  Not many people paid attention to what I had to say because the company was only a $50 million company.  After a few quick steps that would rival anything you might find on any of the reality dancing shows on television Viisage has morphed into a billion dollar plus company.  I can provide a number of reasons you should care about L-1 Identity Solutions, the company Viisage Technology transformed into.  I will start by mentioning that Louis Freeh (former Director of the FBI), Admiral Loy (former head of the Transportation Security Agency), George Tenet (former Director of the CIA), Frank Moss (former program manager for the State Department’s E-Passport program, and many others who previously held key positions in the federal government all joined Viisage/L-1 as members of the Board of Directors or as paid employees of Viisage/L-1.

L-1, writes Mark Lerner, dominates the state driver’s license business.  L-1 also produces all passport cards, involved in the production of all passports, provides identification documents for the Department of Defense and has contracts with nearly every intelligence agency in our government.  To a large extent it is fair to say that your personal information is L-1’s information.  L-1 is the same company that thinks our political party affiliation should be on our driver’s license along with our race.  L-1 has a long history starting with its taking over Viisage Technology.  It was a great sleight of hand, Viisage morphing into L-1 while Viisage was under investigation by our government.

[. . .]L-1 is being sold to two European companies.  One of the companies is buying the division of L-1 that has contracts with nearly every intelligence agency in the United States government.  The biometric and document credential divisions are being sold to a French company named Safran.  Just think about how happy you can feel now knowing that your personal information including your social security number and biometric information (fingerprints, Iris scans and digital facial images) may soon be available to a French company.  The federal government must sign off on the deal before the deal can be sealed.  All this brings us back to the topic of the revolving door that exists between government and corporations.

Our former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the honorable Michael Chertoff certainly did not take long to walk through the revolving door.  Last year, 2009 Mr. Chertoff was the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; this year, 2010 he is a strategic advisor to the French company Safran.  (Emphasis mine)

Read the entire articleThe Revolving Door that Never Stops Turning

So, will L1 be permitted to sell to Safran?  It is a private corporation right?  This is just one problem that we encounter when these corporations get so cozy with government-with L1goes contracts with nearly every state in the country for our driver’s license.  L-1 also provides welfare identification cards as well as other ID documents to states and tens of millions of dollars in contracts with the Department of Homeland Security.

The latest news;

L-1 Identity Solutions Reports Meaningful Progress with CFIUS; Parties Refile CFIUS Notification for Additional Time to Negotiate Definitive Mitigation Agreement

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/L1-Identity-Solutions-Reports-bw-3750726152.html?x=0&.v=1