Tag Archives: department of homeland security

The Immigration Reform Bill – Prodding Forth Real ID, an INTERNATIONAL Biometric ID

global biometric id

Kaye Beach

May 14, 2013

On May 10th The Blaze ran a headline that asks; Is There a Scary Biometric ‘National ID System’ Tucked into the Immigration Bill?

The answer is YES!

But wait!  There’s more. . .I sometimes feel like I am belaboring the point but it seems to me the distinction between a national and INTERnational biometric identity system is a very important one.

Study that graphic up there.  It is the simple three step recipe for a single, global biometric identification system.  Read this post then look at it again and see if you can grokk what I’m telling you.

The federal Real ID Act of 2005 imposed federal guidelines that use international standards on state driver’s licenses and ID cards.  You may remeber that at least 25 states said no to Real ID by passing either a law or a resolution against the implementation of the Real ID Act.  Nevertheless, Real ID has continued to be implemented in most states to various degrees.

“By the deadline of January 13, 2013, most states will be substantially or materially or fully compliant with REAL ID” —Janice Kephart, Feb. 2012

It is important to note though, that ALL states are capturing and storing applicants’ digital facial images.  And although not all of the states are actually using this facial biometric as intended by the Real ID Act, eventually they will be.   The immigration reform bill (S.744, the ‘Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act’) will make sure of it.

In case you missed it, now, when you apply for a state driver’s license, a state identification card or any other form of government issued photo ID really, you are having your facial biometrics captured by a high resolution photograph.  High resolution digital cameras capture, map, digitize and database our facial features for the purpose of use by facial recognition technology.

Facial recognition technology enables remote identification and tracking through networked camera systems without our knowledge or consent.  As a matter of fact, facial biometrics is the governments biometric of choice because it can be used to identify and investigate us at-a-distance without our knowledge or consent.

Pay close attention here: This digital image on your state driver’s license or ID card is, by definition, a biometric.

The standard specified in the Real ID regulations for your state driver’s license and ID cards ensures that the digital facial image is facial recognition compatible.  That standard is the adopted standard of the ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the UN.

(Want more information?  Read REAL ID – BIOMETRIC FACT SHEET)

International standards exist for one purpose;  to enable the global sharing of that information.

REAL ID is. . .the current face of a far larger, international government and private economic effort to collect, store, and distribute the sensitive biometric data of citizens to use for the twin purposes of government tracking and economic control.” -PA Rep. Sam Rohr

Real ID is technically voluntary for the states.  What the government has always intended, is for Real ID to be practically mandatory for the citizens.  This is why the threat hangs over our heads that if we do not have a Real ID card by a certian date, we will not be able to fly or enter a federal building.

“In the future, only those state issued Driver Licenses and  Identification cards which are fully compliant with the REAL ID act of 2005 will be authorized for use as identification for official federal
government purposes, such as boarding commercial aircraft and entering  certain regulated federal facilities.” Alabama DMV-STAR ID

The road to Real ID compliance has admittedly been a rather slow and arduous one but the Immigration Reform bill (S.744, the ‘Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act’), if passed, will put a stop to any state foot dragging on Real ID because citizens will have to have it in order to work!

 A Real ID compliant driver’s license is specifically named as one of the acceptable ID documents in the bill (but all ID documents specified in the bill are biometric ID’s.)

To be perfectly clear – with S.744, producing your government issued, internationally standardized biometric ID is mandatory.  You will not be able gain permission to work without it. 

In authoritarian societies you must always have permission.

Forget privacy.  That is not what this is about.  This is about the balance of power between us and our government.  This is about control.  If we wish to retain control over our own lives, we will not accept government serializing of our bodies and we won’t allow the government to turn our rights into privileges

The Sec. of the Dept. of Homeland Security also has the option to add any other biometric or security feature as a requirement for those who wished to be employed so facial biometrics is the minimum biometric requirement but iris scans, fingerprints, or any other biometric could be required as well.

The new comprehensive immigration reform bill is not the first step in enrolling US citizens in the global biometric identification system.  The first step was that every government issued ID (especially the driver’s license) captured and collected your biometric data and that that data was collected in accordance with international standards.  The second step is to share your biometric data, to connect databases so that they can get that data flowing freely from the state and local databases on to the federal ones and eventually into global data systems.

One other important step in this global system of identification and control is to make sure we have to produce our global biometric ID for everything.  Or at least everything that we do that government wants to track and control.  And don’t forget that with biometric ID, your body IS your ID.  It’s the databases and not the card we should be focusing on.

Here are a few more facts about the bill as drafted;

Requires ALL potential employees to be authorized to work through the Dept. of Homeland Security.  Even If you are already employed when the proposed law goes into effect, you still will have to go through this authorization process.

Authorization hinges upon biometric identification.  Biometric data, including but not necessarily limited to, digital facial image, is required.  Real ID compliant driver’s licenses are cited as one acceptable form of biometric ID but the bill leaves the door open for the Sec. of the Dept. of Homeland Security to add other security requirements as he or she see fit.

The immigration reform bill requires employers to use a “photo tool” to verify the identity of each employee.  The term ‘photo tool’ is simply a euphemism for facial recognition software that will be used to match the facial biometrics provided by the potential employee to a federal database.

Where will this federal database come from?  I asked this question of Mark Lerner, co-founder of The Constitutional Alliance,  the leading expert on biometrics and the Real ID Act.

Here is his reply:

 “The answer will come in the Rulemaking process. There are two possible scenarios. In either scenario the “key” will be the photos stored in state DMV databases. Whether it will be DHS requiring employers to send photos to DHS and DHS having direct or indirect access to state DMV photo databases or whether DHS will require the photos the employers uses to be provided directly to states for the states to compare to photos in the state DMV database remains unclear. I also believe it is clear DHS will get the photo regardless.”

Access to the biometric data held in state DMV databases will be a must. 

There are reasons I have been having a fit trying to get my biometric data OUT of the state Department of Public Safety database.  I think this bill goes a long way in making my argument for me.  Read more about my lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma for the unwarranted collection of my biometric data here.

There is more to this bill to be concerned about  For instance,  the unconstitutional lack of due process.  Every person must prove they are a US citizen before they can work.  If the system says you do not pass muster, you are required to be terminated from your job at the end of an administrative process.   Will have more info on this and other issues soon.

ultimate control whitehead

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

Fallin_UAS_0

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

Kaye Beach

March 28, 2013

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

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

03/07/2013

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

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

. . .

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

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

Read more

The Oklahoma State University Multispectral Laboratories

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

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

Gov. Fallin and Steve McKeever’s Drone Questing Collaboration

fallin red queen

Kaye Beach

March 27, 2012

Interesting article published today by FastCompany;

Inside Oklahoma’s Quest To Dominate The American Drone Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fallin_UAS_0

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

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

Fallin added that;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Pesky Critters’ and the Oklahoma Drone Summit 2013

UAS summit

Kaye Beach

**Update June 11, 2013

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

March 26, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

robofly

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

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

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

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

Read 34 more pages of ridiculousness here

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

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

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

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

Or this Kloeppel presentation from 2009

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

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

This is what I call ridiculous!

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

Missouri Lawmakers Confused, Frustrated by Dept. of Revenue Story

Kaye Beach

March 16, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBS St. Louis reports:

March 13, 2013

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

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

Missouri senators spoke out in the chamber Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

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

Read More

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

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

fallin dronesKaye Beach

March 13, 2013

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

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

Reported by KFOR-TV March 13, 2013;

Bill on drone surveillance put on hold

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fallin_UAS_0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Office of Governor Mary Fallin

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

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

And Twitter https://twitter.com/GovMaryFallin

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

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

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

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

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

Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS): Homeland Security, NLETS and the IACP Target Your Biometric Driver’s License Photo

target dl 1

Kaye Beach

Dec. 29, 2012

In the modern surveillance state it’s all about the biometrics, especially facial recognition which allows for at-a-distance identification and investigation of individuals without their knowledge or consent-no warrant required!

Very few realize that upon issuance of a state driver’s license, a state identification card, or any other form of government issued photo ID, we are having our facial biometrics captured by high resolution photography.  The analog cameras in every state have been replaced with high resolution digital cameras that capture, map, digitize, and database our facial features for use with facial recognition technology.

The federal REAL ID Act was passed in 2005.  The first (and most important!) benchmark of REAL ID is capture and retention of the driver’s license applicant’s facial image.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

The following is from an article published in Nov. of this year by the Police Chief, the official magazine of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP);

(“Image” means biometric image which is quite different than a simple photograph)

“In 2006, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate gave the International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets) funds to implement driver’s license image sharing between the states. Nlets is a nonprofit organization owned by the 50 states that has connections to every federal, state, local, and military law enforcement agency in the United States. If an agency’s technical capabilities allow, officers can query state driver’s license databases from a mobile or a desktop device and obtain an image in a manner of seconds.”

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words, From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. , November 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA

Your state department of public safety or DMV driver’s license database provides your biometric data which tethers your body to other unique biographical data such as your social security number, age, address and more.  As a tool for surveillance and control, your faceprint is invaluable.

 “Today, more than 25 states have implemented this technology and are providing law enforcement images. In the next year, at least 12 more states will implement this technology.” A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Now,  law enforcement can, simply by taking your picture, identify and investigate you as you go about your business in public without you even being aware that this is happening.

“For some time now, officers have been able to retrieve images through a mobile device while on the street to help identify individuals.” A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

The truth is that they cannot do this everywhere, yet.  While the technology is in place there is still the issue of access to be dealt with.  This is a legal and not a technical matter.  As we know, if the government has the technical ability to do something, they believe that they should be able to do it.  In other words, the law must conform to the capability of the technology and not the other way around.  Policy, once (somewhat) grounded in principle is now rooted in practice so now if they can do it, they will do it and they are doing it.

Undercover cops secretly use smartphones, face recognition to spy on crowds

This kind of surveillance is damaging.   Psychologically, pervasive surveillance, or even the possibility of it, is universally understood to change the behavior of those subjected to it.  It induces conformity of behavior and of thought as well.  As the range of surveillance grows, our ability to simply be, to exercise our free will, shrinks.

“Nlets will not consider photo sharing a success until it is implemented in all 50 states” link

Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS)

“Nlets and DHS S&T have been working to expand the use of images in public safety. A new DHS/Nlets project called Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS)” A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

NLETS formerly the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Service is now THE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE & PUBLIC SAFETY NETWORK

NLETS

“links together every state, local, and federal and International law enforcement (INTERPOL), justice and public safety agency for the purpose of exchanging critical information.”  http://www.nlets.org/

As this law enforcement writer notes,

“when we engage in innovative law enforcement technology solutions, we need to take extra care to adequately address the security and privacy of personally identifiable information.”  

And who does the writer fear, is not adequately addressing the security and privacy of our personally identifiable information?  Good old NLETS.

Read; When the Cops are Worried About Your Privacy-You Should Worry Too!

NLETS role has always been to serve the state’s law enforcement needs, but that role, as noted by NLETS, is changing.

From Hot Trends and Innovations at Nlets 2012 Slide # 42

While Nlets is 45 years old this year, we have always taken the “child” role, with the States being the “parent”

–In recent years, the child is becoming the parent in many aspects.

Why? For one thing NLETS is now being funded and thus, directed by the federal government.

nlets grant funders Hot trends innovations ppt 2012Slide # 47

Slide # 17

From Hot Trends and Innovations at Nlets 2012

PROJECT SPONSOR

Department of Homeland Security

When lines of authority are blurred, power naturally defaults to the highest level.  The states are not ‘partners’ with the federal government in matters that require state authority over their jurisdiction.

From the Legal Information Institute;

Jurisdiction-The term jurisdiction is really synonymous with the word “power”

Jurisdiction is the territory within which a court or government agency may properly exercise its power

State and local policing is a jurisdictional matter and the states and local governments have conceded their authority in this.  Informational jurisdiction is no exception and in fact leads physical control.

What is revealed in this IACP Nov. 2012 article is that the Department of Homeland Security has funded an international non-governmental organization, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), to manage the operational issues of the endeavor; Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS).

“The DHS S&T has funded the IACP Technology Center to provide a practitioner group to advise Nlets on operational issues. These experienced practitioners will provide input on how this technology can be used in the field.”

What that means is that we are in trouble. 

The IACP is an international, non-governmental organization accredited by the United Nations and has been instrumental in bringing about profound changes to our nation politically, technologically and culturally.  There has been a great paradigm shift in our nation since 9-11 that spans all agencies of government.  This shift affects every aspect of our lives and has practically decimated the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.  US citizens, regardless of their political persuasion, are united in astonishment as they witness the slash and burn abrogation of one cherished right after another.

There is no sector of our society left untouched by the new paradigm and each has its own specialists attending to the transformation in their particular realm.  In the realm of policing, it is the IACP who is in charge of nurturing and tending this transformation.

Here is just one example;

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

I hate to share information like this without providing you with any solutions.  I have been working diligently for years to find a way for us to protect our biometric data which is the key to our government’s efforts to create the most effective and efficient surveillance society ever experienced on this earth.

Although I have found no solution in legislation, no real willingness by enough of our elected representatives to do what they took an oath to do; to protect our liberty I do still recommend that you contact your state representative and tell them if you have concerns about open access to your data contained in the state Dept. of Public Safety database.  Tell them that you expect them to protect your personal information from being freely shared and used on a whim to track and spy on you.  They need to hear concerns from their constituents.

It is clear that we cannot stop the government from sharing this information in ways that will hurt our ability to control our own lives.   If we want to protect ourselves we must remove our biometrics from the system by either not giving it to them in the first place or taking legal action to remove it.

That is what I am trying to do, remove my biometric data from the system.  There is just no good reason for it being collected in the first place and no one ever informed me or you of what was being taken from us when we applied for our state driver’s license and they certainly never warned us about the repercussions of trusting them with our most personal information.

Read more about my lawsuit

My Real ID Reckoning

Latest update and request for support

Stop Biometric ID!  Kaye Beach needs your support for lawsuit

Oklahoma Tests Surveillance Drones for Homeland Security

Kaye Beach

Oct. 16, 2012

“I don’t know how much [drones] will be used within the U.S.,” says Ruth Doherty, a top official with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate tasked with countering the domestic threat of homemade bombs. Asked about domestic drone use for bomb-spotting by Danger Room, she replies, “A case has to be made that they’re economically feasible, not intrusive and acceptable to the public.”  http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/spy-drones-over-america-dhs-would-rather-not/

That was less than a year ago that DHS made that statement.  Now?  Here they come and in Oklahoma no less!

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin put out a press release on June 28, 2012 about the program and carefully avoided any indication of law enforcement use of the drones choosing instead to focus on life saving, first responder uses.  “The program will research and test Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), focusing on possible applications for first responders, including search and rescue scenarios, response to radiological and chemical incidents and fire response and mapping.” read more

Danger Room‘s Spencer Ackerman reports on Oct. 8, 2012

In the coming months, Fort Sill, Oklahoma will become a proving ground to learn what small surveillance drones can add to “first responder, law enforcement and border security scenarios,” according to a recent solicitation to the country’s various drone manufacturers. Each selected drone will undergo five days’ worth of tests as part of a new program from DHS’ Science and Technology directorate, called Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety or, gloriously, RAPS.

Like many in the military experimenting with drone miniaturization, DHS is thinking small. The drones it wants to bring to Fort Sill will ideally be launched by hand, like the Army and Marines’ Raven. They should weigh under 25 pounds. Assembly should take a matter of minutes, and training for their remote pilots and technician a matter of days. DHS isn’t looking for drones that can loiter over an area for a long time: just 30 minutes to two hours, a hint that the department doesn’t foresee drones becoming a primary surveillance tool. “Law enforcement operations, search and rescue, and fire and hazardous material spill response” are some of the potential drone missions the RAPS program envisions.

Read More

Dept. of Homeland Security Releases 2012 Privacy Report

Kaye Beach

September 28, 2012

Th report touts small improvements but bigger problems are revealed.

EPIC the Electronic Privacy Information Center reports;

The Department of Homeland Security has released its 2012 Privacy
Office Annual Report to Congress. The report details the expansion of
the National Counterterrorism Center’s five-year retention policy for
records on US Persons, the agency’s social media-monitoring initiatives,
and privacy training for fusion centers personnel; however, it does not
discuss several new DHS-funded initiatives, including the Future
Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, a “Minority-Report”-like
proposal for “pre-crime” detection. Also, according to the report the
Transportation Security Administration has still failed to adopt
privacy safeguards for airport body scanners.

Two DHS Privacy Office investigations led to the finding of agency non-
compliance. One of those investigations involved DHS’s use of social
media monitoring. EPIC filed a FOIA request on DHS’ social media
monitoring program in April 2011, then filed suit against DHS in
December 2011 in order to force the disclosure of documents related
to the monitoring program, which searched for both suspicious
“keywords” and dissent against government programs. Earlier in 2012,
Congress held an oversight hearing on the DHS social media monitoring
program, and cited the documents obtained by EPIC.

While the report acknowledges agency shortcomings, it also touts DHS
privacy and transparency training as well public engagement through
speaker series, a redesigned FOIA site, and quarterly privacy advocacy
meetings. Significantly, the report fails to address the lack of timely
notice-and-comment rulemakings, particularly the TSA’s lack of
rulemaking on body scanners, ordered by a court in 2011 in response to
a suit brought by EPIC.

The report discusses DHS’ increased use of Privacy Compliance Reviews
(PCRs), which cover programs including cybersecurity, information
sharing, and the use of social media. The DHS Privacy Office used these
reviews to fail eight of its own agency programs for their lack of
privacy compliance documentation. None of the eight programs are
identified in the report, nor are any details of their lack of privacy
compliance.

The DHS Chief Privacy Office must present annual reports to Congress
and is also required by law to ensure that new agency programs do not
diminish privacy in the US.

DHS Privacy Office:  2012  Annual Report to Congress (Sept. 2012)
http://epic.org/redirect/092812-dhs-2012-privacy-report.html

EPIC:  DHS Privacy Office
http://epic.org/privacy/dhs-cpo.html

EPIC:  Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST)
http://epic.org/privacy/fastproject/

EPIC:  Fusion Centers
http://epic.org/privacy/fusion/

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Social Media Monitoring)
http://epic.org/foia/epic-v-dhs-media-monitoring/

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanner Program)
http://epic.org/redirect/092812-epicvdhs-scannersuspend.html

 

Volume 19.18                                       September 28, 2012
———————————————————————–

Published by the
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Washington, D.C.

http://www.epic.org/alert/epic_alert_19.18.html

“Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.”
http://epic.org/donate

Drone Industry Bucks for Drone Caucus Members Including 3 Oklahoma Congressmen

Kaye Beach

July 11, 2012

(OK Rep. Frank Lucas is in OK D-3 not D-1 as originally shown.  Apologies for the error)

As you are probably aware, Oklahoma has been chosen as a site to test and fly drones for the Homeland Security Department’s program for Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS).  Of course there has been a lot of work done behind the scenes to get the drones moving in US airspace.  This has been an uphill battle waged for years by industry lobbyists and other drone aficionados. Last February Americans found out that it was ‘all systems go’ and we are now cringing at the thought of  some 30,000 drones being unleashed over our heads.

The information below reveals some of the money behind congressional drone industry advocacy but you should also know that the industry practically wrote the groundbreaking drone unleashing legislation as well.

– Page 6: The drone lobbyists take full credit for authoring the expansion of domestic drone use codified in the FAA authorization bill passed last week, noting “the only changes made to the UAS section of the House FAA bill were made at the request of AUVSI. Our suggestions were often taken word-for-word.”

Source-Drone trade group presentation document exclusively reported by Republic Report on Feb. 15, 2012

On a side note, one of the reasons I am fighting so hard against the collection of our biometric information is that no matter which type of surveillance tech really gets your dander up, whether it be CCTV, RFID, drones or simply the garden variety type of data mining and surveillance – biometrics enables these already too-close-for-comfort surveillance technologies to become unbearably personal and dangerously specific.  Biometrics is the glue by which all the other forms of technological scrutiny are married to our very selves.  My attorneys and I agree that our bodies are protected under our state Constitution and by state statute – the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act.  The lawsuit filed on my behalf addresses among other things the mandated collection of citizen’s biometrics when obtaining a state driver’s license.

The argument being made for Oklahoma’s active courting of this industry, of course, is an economic one which sure makes it tough to argue against, but I will predict that in the end it will not be everyday Oklahomans who will reap the benefits of this projected economic boon and they certainly won’t end up any more free with the evil mites buzzing overhead.

Now, have you ever  heard of the ‘Drone Caucus”?

As reported by KPBS on July 5, 2013;

SAN DIEGO — You’ve probably heard of the Congressional Black Caucus, or perhaps the Progressive Caucus. But what about the drone caucus? Officially, it’s the Unmanned Systems Caucus.

Primarily, the caucus advocates for drones — those pilot-less planes infamous for their role targeting insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They’re used as a spy tool in Iran, a drug-fighting tool in Mexico and an anti-smuggling tool along the U.S.-Mexico border.

. . .It’s definitely a powerful caucus,” said Alex Bronstein-Moffly, an analyst with First Street Research Group, a D.C.-based company that analyzes lobbying data.

. . .Many of the drone caucus members are well supported by the industry they endorse. According to Bronstein-Moffly’s data, the 58 drone caucus members received a total of $2.3 million in contributions from political action committees affiliated with drone manufacturers since 2011.

Read more The Drone Makers And Their Friends In Washington

The report details donations from the top five drone industry donors to just the border state members of the drone caucus but didn’t elaborate on donations received by other members of the drone caucus so I took a look at our Oklahoma Congressional Representatives who are acting as drone advocates as members of the Unmanned Systems Caucus.

Top five drone donors to the drone caucus

  1. Lockheed Martin
  2. Boeing
  3. Northrop Grumman Corp.
  4. General Atomics
  5. General Dynamics

Tom Cole  OK-4

Campaign Donations from top five drone donors 2011-12

Boeing 8,500

Lockheed Martin 6,500

General Atomics 2,000

**Raytheon 4,500 (Raytheon is also a big player in the drone industry)

**BAE Systems 3,500 (BAE Systems is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Honeywell 3,000 (Honeywell is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Mantech 3,000 (Mantech is another drone industry player)

**Alliant TechSystems (ATK)   1,500  (ATK is another drone industry player)

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00025726&cycle=2012&type=I&newMem=N&recs=100

Dan Boren OK-2

Campaign Donations from top five drone donors 2011-12

Northrop Gumman 2,000

**Raytheon 3,500 (Raytheon is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Honeywell 3,000 (Honeywell is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Textron Inc. 2,000 (Textron Inc. is another drone industry player)

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00026481&cycle=2012&type=I&newMem=N&recs=100

Frank Lucas OK-3

Campaign Donations from top five drone donors 2011-12

Lockheed Martin 4,000

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00005559&cycle=2012&type=I&newMem=N&recs=100

This is just the merest scratching of the surface-there is probably much more money and perks being doled out.  Stay tuned.