Tag Archives: jurisdiction

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

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Who Owns the Fusion Centers?

Kaye Beach

Jan 15, 2012

Part II

This is Part II of my ongoing dissertation on Fusion Centers and the work they do.  You can read Part I, Intelligence Led Policing and Fusion Centers: How the IACP Helped the USA to Cross the Rubicon, which dealt with the flawed and dangerous philosophy of preemptive or Intelligence Led Policing that makes the whole domestic terrorism apparatus, including fusion centers such a threat to the liberties of everyone.

In Part II I am going to explain what the centers really do and who is in control of them and how.

Fusion Centers-State of Federal?

It is all about collecting the data and getting it to the federal government.  The most important function of Fusions Centers is also the most invisible portion of their work; the computer networks and information sharing that takes place through those networks.

Despite claims that the Fusion Centers were created by the states, the truth is that the modern day fusion centers were born of policy established at the federal level and they are largely funded, staffed and  trained by representatives of federal agencies.  The federal government likes to claim that the states are partners with the federal government in this and other programs like it.

Question: If I set the rules and I pay the bills and I own the house that you are currently residing in, are you really my partner?

Answer: only to the degree that I am willing to pretend that you are.

When it comes to state fusion centers, the federal government has been paying the bills, they set the rules and they own the house.

Paying the Bills-Federal Funding

Since 2003 the Department of Homeland Security has given $31 billion dollars to the state and local governments.

3.8 billion was given to the states in 2010 alone.  The programs funded by the DHS, largely focus on countering terrorism but also on natural and man-made disasters are required to be tuned to DHS dictates.  According to the Government Accountability Office, Fusion centers have been received $426 million in general grant funding from fiscal 2004 through fiscal 2009.  Stating the obvious about money and control, “You take the king’s shilling, you become the king’s man”—Tom Cole

This  news article published Nov 27, 2011, Oklahoma’s fusion center has a broad role these daysmakes who is paying the bills pretty clear.

Oklahoma’s federally funded information fusion center has a broader role today than it did when it began operations four years ago.

. . .Oklahoma’s fusion center is housed inside the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation‘s headquarters, 6600 N Harvey Place, and includes a secured room where secret information from the federal government is received.
. . .A central office includes a small room filled with monitors and TV screens, relaying data to an analyst. Its operations are funded, for the most part, by grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Stenhouse said the federal agency provided Oklahoma’s fusion center with about $400,000, which he said was used to pay the salaries of four analysts and training purposes. (All emphasis mine) Read more: http://newsok.com/oklahomas-fusion-center-has-a-broad-role-these-days./article/3626735#ixzz1i4z2ZOBQ

Oklahoma has received hundreds of millions of dollars in Homeland Security funds since 911 and the state understands who is in charge even if the officials choose to dance around the truth with the public.

The following is from the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center’s “Privacy Policy.”  It is clearly stated that the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security oversees the initiatives and mandates of the federal Department of Homeland Security-including our state’s fusion center.

OKOHS (Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security) is directed to continue their efforts in combating terrorism, and shall continue to oversee the implementation of any and all initiatives or efforts mandated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, including the development of a state information fusion center. (Emphasis mine)Read more

 

Federal Personnel Staff state fusion centers-.  According to the Government Accountability Office Report, as of July 2010, the DHS has deployed 58 personnel to fusion centers, and the FBI has deployed 74 personnel to fusion centers.

Setting the Rules

In 2008 we learned that the federal government has no qualms about yanking those strings attached hard and that includes subverting state law intended to protect the citizens of that state in the process.  The Fusion Centers have a job to do and that job requires some changes to be made to pesky state laws meant to provide residents with openness to,  and oversight of,  their government.

EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg said, “the FBI memorandum indicates that the federal government is attempting to shroud the Virginia Fusion Center in secrecy and prevent meaningful public oversight. Virginia citizens deserve an open and transparent state government that is not constrained by federal secrecy policies.”

http://epic.org/press/041108.html

Through the litigation, EPIC uncovered a secret contract between the State Police and the FBI that limits the rights of Virginia citizens to learn what information the State Police collect about them.

http://epic.org/privacy/virginia_fusion/


Fusion centers may be physically located in the states but their guts belong to Homeland Security! 

If you think of Fusion Centers as a place you will miss what the centers are really about.  Fusion Centers are part of a domestic intelligence system and the guts of the fusion centers are the data networks.

The federal government (guided all the way by the International Association of Chiefs of Police) defined the fusion centers and their processed from the start. They drew up the map.

“The National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, developed by Global in partnership with the IACP, is the first of its kind in this country — and promises to bring us closer to achieving the goal, expressed at your 2002 Summit, of “intelligence-led policing.” . . . it serves as a “roadmap” for our national criminal intelligence sharing initiatives.” –THE HONORABLE DEBORAH J. DANIELS

The question of whether or not these institutions are state or federal entities is a moot point.  Though they physically reside in the states, the federal government aside from defining, funding and staffing the centers, also controls the data networks and they set the standards for how data is collected and shared.

Federal standards equal federal control

Standards are important if you want to:

  • SHARE DATA (speak the same language)

Standards Provide

  • On-demand real time data access

 Navigating the Standards Landscape

A Nationwide Network

You know what is worse for you privacy ant autonomy that a central database?  A distributed network of databases that are constantly updated that the central government can reach into at will.

The DHS intelligence analysis center or the DCI’s counterterrorist center do not need to accumulate and hold all relevant databases to which they may gain access. In other words, there is no need to build one big data warehouse. Instead, the centers should interface with such databases as needed.

—Markle Foundation Task Force Report 2002

Owning the House

In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and Global jointly published a supplement to the Fusion Center Guidelines called Baseline Capabilities Baseline Capabilities defines the capabilities needed to create a nationwide network of fusion centers and sets forth the minimum standards for a fusion center to be able to perform basic functions. 

The Department of Homeland Security set out an objective to create a network of fusions centers as a unique law enforcement and threat information resource that works across jurisdictions and is supported by multidisciplinary teams dispersed throughout a national network of information hives. Source EPIC

“. . .Fusion Centers will be the centerpiece of state, local, federal intelligence-sharing for the future and that the Department of Homeland Security will be working and aiming its programs to underlie Fusion Centers.” –DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano March 13, 2009

http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/speeches/sp_1236975404263.shtm


Jurisdiction

The Fusion Center Guidelines states that, “nontraditional collectors of intelligence, such as public safety entities and private sector organizations” will be “fused’ with law enforcement data”   The goal is to break down traditional barriers to information sharing. 

These barriers are commonly referred to as “siloes” or “stovepipes”

Those “silos” or barriers can also be thought of as jurisdictions.

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

It is not difficult to understand that when the the lines of authority are blended power will default to the higher level.

Agency protectiveness over jurisdiction and it is the authority an entity has over that jurisdiction that is the real barrier.  Simply stated, the problem with integrating data systems is not a physical or technical one; it’s political. Until recently, the barrier was both political and technological.  Now that the technological barrier has been removed, some think that the political barrier should follow suit.  But just because something is possible does it mean we should do it?

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

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

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

In the past, the technological or physical barrier acted as sort of a firewall to siloes of data.  Data was shared on a legal right and need to know basis and  the entity wanting it had to ask.  While technology makes it possible to share lots of information in an instant with anyone in the world, there are still plenty of good reasons to protect sensitive  information.

If you really, really want to settle this whole argument about whether or not fusion centers are state of federal, just read about Homeland Security’s Federal Fusion Center initiative.

In 2010 The Department of Homeland Security announced its intention to;

“collect, plan, coordinate, report, analyze, and fuse infrastructure information related to all-threats and all-hazards, law enforcement activities, intelligence activities, man-made disasters and acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other information collected or received from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and organizations; foreign governments and international organizations; domestic security and emergency management officials; and private sector entities or individuals into the Department.”

The DHS is creating a federal fusion center by ‘fusing’ information from the   centers.  DHS is laying claim to all of that data to use as they see fit.

The Department of Homeland Security has repeatedly stated that Fusion Centers were  owned by the states, the creation of this new system of records action totally negates that dubious claim.   They didn’t ask anyone’s permission.  Why?  Because they paid the bills, they set the rules and they own the house.  The states are a  “partner” up until the federal government decided they weren’t.

Fusion Centers, for all practical intents and purposes, belongs to none other than Big Momma Gov. and if anyone tells you different,  grab a pitcher because their pants are on fire!


Oklahoma Joint Committee Meeting on Healthcare Reform OK-SAFE Covers IT, Security and Privacy Issues

Kaye Beach

Nov 3, 2011

I attended the fourth Joint committee meeting on the effect of the federal healthcare reform laws on the state of Oklahoma.

Of course the highlight of the day, for me, was Amanda Teegarden’s presentationHealthcare Reform –
IT, Security & Privacy Issues/Concerns
, on behalf of OK-SAFE.

Amanda presented a clear, lucid and powerful 45 minute presentation of the research she has spent months working on.

The presentation laid bare the ugly guts of the federal health care reform by describing it by its most basic components.

}Health Care Reform – is really about the use of IT to implement a nationwide health information network (NHIN), that will enable the seamless flow of information across boundaries, and that allows a growing global surveillance system to function.

And that;

}Electronic Health Records  – Reform is predicated on the creation of a standardized, interoperable electronic health record (EHR) on every single individual
This system is;
}Cradle-to-Grave – EHRs are used for data collection, aggregation and reporting and are intended to track a person from birth to death. (Longitudinal)
And;
}EHRs are universal and to be shared globally – not only within our government, but with foreign governments, universities, and other third parties.
}Requires Standardization and Interoperability – to establish uniformity and compatibility in data collection, regardless of jurisdiction
It gets really personal;
}EHRs include each person’s genetic information – and will be used for research purposes without the knowledge or consent of the person
Not to mention;
}Rights killing – Health care reform, and other data collection networks, do an “end-run” around search warrants and nullify our inherent rights to life, liberty and property.

The presentation was split into six sections

Part I The Federal Data Hub/IT/Digital Everything

Part II Health Care Reform Defined/National Standards/Global Adoption

Part III Office of the National Coordinator/                                             Government+Industry +Academia = PPPs /One “Fused” System

Part IV State Initiatives

Part V Privacy & Security

Part VI Conclusion

Your personal, medical information flows from you to the health IT data collection system to the prying eyes of the federal government and research universities to the private sector and even foreign organizations.


Especially noteworthy were the points made about the inclusion of health information into law enforcement and intelligence data fusion.

Fusion Center: A collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise, and/or information to the center with the goal of maximizing the ability to detect, prevent, apprehend, and respond to criminal and terrorism activity. Source: Recommended Fusion Center Law Enforcement Intelligence Standards March 2005

Purpose – the elimination of any barrier to information exchange and sharing, regardless of jurisdiction.  Information is to be shared nationally and internationally.

As noted in the notes section of slide 31;

The Fusion Center Guidelines have now been updated to incorporate public health and health care community information.

This is possible due to policy changes allowing the seamless flow of information across boundaries, and because all state systems, including the health care system use common sets of standards and are interoperable.  Both the Fusion Centers and the Health Care System are NIEM Compliant – both are part of the Nationwide Health Information Network.

The result – one fused system.

Read more about the integration of “public health and healthcare communities into the homeland security intelligence and information sharing process.” here

and here- Health Security: Public Health and Medical Integration for Fusion Centers

In short, when it comes to privacy, there is none.

Slide 41 touches up our medical and genetic information used for research purposes.

There are a few other surprises and outrages contained in the presentation, so be sure to take a look at it.

Amanda concludes;

The American People Are NOT Slaves – Nor simply ‘carbon-based life forms’[as one federal document refers to us]

Government, via health care reform and other federal initiatives, is establishing a globally networked and integrated  intelligence enterprise – one that includes an extraordinary amount of extremely personal, detailed information about the America people.

Government, in it’s attempt to be an all-knowing technocratic “god” and to satisfy the IT industry’s insatiable, ever-changing appetite, is doing an end-run around human dignity and nullifying our God-given rights to life, liberty and property.

And gives the joint committee seven recommendations;

1.Repent – not kidding here
2.Do not establish a state-based Health Insurance exchange – it will be the same as the Federal government’s version
3.Allow people to escape HIT/HIE system without penalty;  do not penalize providers who opt not to adopt EHRs or participate in this system
4.Repeal state laws that prohibit individuals from seeking alternative health care services,  i.e. homeopathic medicines or non-traditional treatments
5.Terminate the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust
6.Audit the Oklahoma Health Care Authority – expenses outweigh benefits
7.Adhere to the OK Constitution – work to restore liberty

View OK-SAFE’s presentation here

Go to  www.okhealthcare.info for information on this and past joint committee meetings.

Is Your Governor For Sale to the EPA?

Posted June 19, 2011

From MORPHcity

By Cassandra Anderson
June 8, 2011

Congress failed 3 times to pass laws (HR 2421, S. 1879 and S. 787) for federal control over almost all water, so the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are declaring jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

Currently,  waters with a ‘significant nexus’ to ‘navigable waters’ are covered under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The EPA is now trying to assert that the CWA “protects” (controls) traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, adjacent wetlands, tributaries, and ‘other waters’ which account for just about all water except swimming pools (see page 5)

Read more from MORPHcity

http://morphcity.com/home/100-is-your-governor-for-sale-to-the-epa

 

The Word of the Day is JURISDICTION

Kaye Beach

June 7, 2011

This from a press released issued by The Western Governors Association  last year on June 28.

Trans-boundary Wildlife Maps to be Completed in 3 Years

WHITEFISH, MONT. – Western Governors reaffirmed their commitment to work across political boundaries to tackle landscape-scale wildlife conservation through the Western Governors’ Wildlife Council and committed their state agencies to complete wildlife decision-support systems within the next three years. link

It is just one of many, many regional initiatives being pushed and funded by the federal government.  In this case, the Department of Energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $3 million for 17 states to develop the wildlife decision-support systems. The information will be accessible not only to governmental entities, but also landowners, conservation groups, industry and agricultural interests. Eight pilot projects across the West were launched earlier this month to begin developing these compatible systems.

Issues involving transportation, the economy, security and  the environment are all offered up as problems that must be managed regionally.  That argument has been made, mostly unsuccessfully, for decades.  The notable exception being transportation.

Back to the press release.

Sally Jewell, President and CEO of REI, said “Ecosystems don’t know political boundaries, so conservation of the most important wildlife corridors, water and forest resources require cooperation across multiple public private entities.”

It isn’t the “ecosystem that doesn’t know political boundaries, it’s Ms. Jewell who is mistaken.  “Ecosystems” don’t exist until somebody decides they do.

What is an “ecosystem”?

According to the Franklin Institute for Science Learning;

Ecosystems vary in size. They can be as small as a puddle or as large as the Earth itself. Any group of living and nonliving things interacting with each other can be considered as an ecosystem.link

Jurisdiction (this word means something)

There is no such thing as an “ecosystem” except in these people’s imagination and if they want to draw the boundaries on ecosystems then they should concentrate on the ones that are within their own jurisdiction.

From the Legal Information Institute;

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

Territory within which a court or government agency may properly exercise its power

If you intend to retain your right to representation and your ability to hold your officials accountable then don’t be fooled by the argument that we have all of these problems that can only be solved regionally.

In the event you find yourself evicted from your land so that the Lesser Prairie Chicken can have free run of the place, do you think the Western Governors Association will be responsive to your outrage?  No.  But your governor must be.

Chickens Don't Vote!

One of the pilot projects of the Western Governors Association focuses on the Lesser Prairie Chicken.

Oklahoma and Kansas
Oklahoma and Kansas are identifying crucial Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat across the five LPC states, which includes Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. Once crucial habitat for the species is identified across the five-state region, the states will work together to assess risk of habitat loss in relation to various threats, such as wind energy development and agriculture. Ultimately the states will be developing a range-wide mapping tool that could be used to identify areas important for LPC conservation, as well as connecting corridors for population maintenance.

The Western Governors Association is big on wildlife corridors which obviously, like ecosystems, must be trans-boundary.   Of course the animals don’t vote or make campaign donations which makes me wonder why these Western Governors are so keen on locking up more land for them.  Call me cynical but I don’t think these Governors give a darn about the Lesser Prairie Chicken.

I am full of deviousness

The The Western Governors Association also has a “Western States Water Council” that is developing policy to manage this essential resource throughout the region.

The Western States Water Council is an organization consisting of representatives appointed by the governors of 18 western states.

They say that;

There is a growing consensus that, as watersheds
have emerged as the unit for management and action, they have become a rational framework for undertaking integrated resource management.

One question.  Who is they and who elected them to manage our resources in this manner?  They are blaming it all on the watersheds.
“watersheds have emerged as the unit for management . . .”  What does that mean?  The watersheds jumped up and volunteered?  How did the watersheds just  become a “rational framework” for what is a pointedly political “undertaking”?  They can’t even take responsibility for their decisions that are insulated by “consensus”.  Undertaking is right.  They are the Undertakers for the representative form of government that they are killing.

OK.  That was more than one question.  It appears from reading the WGA’s blurb of Water Strategies that the reports and recommendations were drawn up and later approved by the Governors.  It doesn’t say by whom.  In fact the blurb tells us that “the reports” made the conclusions!

If it all goes wrong you will know who to blame right?  The  “watersheds” and the “reports” who are obviously in cahoots on some grand water conspiracy.

Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future 

Two WGA reports, Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future (2006) and Next Steps (2008) concluded that there is substantial stress on the water sector today even in the absence of climate change.

These reports, approved by the Governors, include consensus recommendations for how the Western states can work with federal, local, and private sector partners to address these challenges. The reports address a range of issues, including providing water supply to meet future demands, maintaining water supply infrastructure, resolving Indian water rights, preparing for climate change, and conserving endangered species.

Read more

When regional governance is legitimized that means you have compromised a little more of your  personal, state and national sovereignty.  Regional governance is the stepping stone to global governance and these days, those stepping stones are increasingly GREEN.

Getting the Gist of GIS-Geographic Information Systems

Kaye Beach

April 18, 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- 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).” Link

“GIS organizes geographic data so that a person reading a map can select data necessary for a specific 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

GIS is promoted as a valuable management tool for almost every imaginable aspect of society worldwide.

“Understanding the Earth as a system requires that our scientific information systems be conceptualized in such a way that they are capable of interfacing with one another and ultimately able to function as a single unified system” link

GIS is a powerful integrator of information and technology-

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

There is one thing you should keep in mind while reading this article; that information about you is valuable and powerful.

Whoever keeps and controls your information has the power to keep and control you.  Our wealth, reputations and perceived worth is bundled into something we call data and this data is, in reality, what we are assessed on in just about every aspect of our lives. From legal or financial decisions to political and personal opportunities-it is the information, the data about us that usually matters most.

Some definitions:

The word enterprise is used often to describe information systems in both business and government so it’s a good idea to understand what the term means.

Enterprise Information Systems– Enterprise Information Systems provide a technology platform that enables organizations to integrate and coordinate their business processes. They provide a single system that is central to the organization and ensure that information can be shared across all functional levels and management hierarchies. (Emphasis mine)  LINK

Geodata- isanyinformation with a geographic component.

GIS Enables Mass Surveillance

Mass Surveillance is the pervasive surveillance of an entire population, or a substantial fraction thereof.

Mass surveillance enables social control

Social control refers generally to societal and political mechanisms or processes that regulate individual and group behavior, leading to conformity and compliance to the rules of a given society, state, or social group

GIS-What’s it good for?

“Geographic information system (GIS) technology leverages this geographic insight to address social, economic, business, and environmental concerns at local, regional, national, and global scales.”link

This article, The Evolution of Geospatial Technology Calls for Changes in Geospatial Research, Education and Government Management, written in 2009,  provides some useful insight about the potential for GIS technology to help create “more useful results” The authors, Jackson, Schell and Taylor explain that geospatial technologies have evolved and converged with a wide variety of other information technologies over the last fifteen years.

“Now they are of a piece, they “talk to one another” and interact freely in a fertile communications environment of wireless broadband, portable cell phone/computers, sensor-webs and, of course, the dynamically evolving environment of the World Wide Web.”

Jackson, Schell and Taylor explain the value of GIS tech for “industry stakeholders”, who are apparently on a mission to save us all.

“. . .expansion of human population and industry has brought humanity to a point of converging crises, and diverse industry stakeholders see geospatial technology in this context as a critical factor in enabling humanity to avoid disaster”

These GIS experts believe that  enlightened leaders must exert control over people and markets in order to bring about what they believe to be “more useful results” than would occur if people and markets were permitted to self-arrange.  In other words GIS is a tool for the managers and planners of society to control populations and the economy to produce the outcome that they know is best.

Jackson, Schell and Taylor write;

“. . . the market forces that drive the evolution of technology do not meaningfully, or in any disciplined way, take into full account the needs of science and social processes.”

I am no economist but the market forces or the law of supply and demand just observes that if there is a need for something the profit seeking market will oblige and at a price that reflects the real value of the service or good. What do the “needs of science” or “social processes” have to do with it?   Seems like if the market forces are not providing,   then there must not be a demand or the need is not one that can be met through the market.  Maybe they want “market forces” to address something that is beyond its scope and if that is true does this mean they want to bend those forces to serve a purpose it is not capable of?

Jackson, Schell and Taylor have an answer for those like me who might be hopelessly outdated in their ways of thinking;

“Public servants are warned away from the old fashioned approach should leading thinkers and policy planners persist in defending traditional institutional and economic intellectual practices.”

The “old fashioned approach” is the one that still dominates the thinking of many Americans.   I believe that Jackson, Schell and Taylor’s “traditional institutional practices” includes thepersistent idea that every individual has certain unalienable rights not grated them (and therefore not to be taken away from us) by government, as one that leading thinkers and policy planners need to be warned away from.  What should these thinkers and policy planners be focusing on instead?

“The point is, that governments should be thinking strategically about how geospatial technology should be positioned, through policy and law, to contribute as fully as possible to the social welfare and international cooperation. . .” 

Read More about The Evolution of Geospatial Technology

Here are just a few of the sectors of government, society actively utilizing GIS technology;

Government

Regulatory Compliance

“Government agencies use GIS to create and enforce environmental legislation. Services and businesses use GIS to comply with environmental regulations and mandates.

In addition, cooperation between agencies is simplified by the use of a central database that can be leveraged for cross purposes such as financial information, ownership, improvements, and plans.”(Emphasis mine) Link

Health and Human Services

GIS as a tool for the health industry entails leveraging a variety of personal and spatial data for the purpose of “creating a state of health

Location, location, location

Spatial data is is information related to place.

“The old real estate addage that “location is everything” holds a new meaning in today’s world. Not only can location tell us about where we are, it can also tell us about who we are and what we do. The spatial data systems that store and integrate facts about us are becoming just as, if not more, important than the maps that they produce. Location is the unique characteristic that can join disparate data sets and uncover a variety of information about our daily lives.”  Spy in the Sky: Spatial Data Privacy Issues in Geographic Information Systems

The touted benefits of GIS for health are many but the catch is too much to swallow.

You first have to accept the idea that information is equivalent to knowledge or wisdom and then you have to have utter faith that the government health managers will be eternally generous and utterly benevolent to all individuals-always. Personally, I say no thanks…but really, they aren’t asking us to agree.  They are simply doing it.  And they are doing it globally I might add.

The UN’s Millennium Development Goals

Harmonizing health information systems with information systems in other social and economic sectors.

The Millennium Declaration of eight development goals (MDGs) has intensified international pressure to strengthen information systems to monitor 48 target indicators–18 of which are health-related
. . .Geographical information systems provide coherent demonstrations of geographical disparities in poverty, social determinants and service delivery. Several systems are in use, for example, DevInfo has a mapping facility within it, and HealthMapper (42) is a WHO system for mapping public health data. The UN has set up a working group to agree standards and achieve some compatibility in core data and geographical boundaries.”

Barack Obama, September 22, 2010   ” And today, I’m announcing our new U.S. Global Development Policy — the first of its kind by an American administration. [. . .] it outlines our new approach and the new thinking that will guide our overall development efforts, including the plan that I promised last year and that my administration has delivered to pursue the Millennium Development Goals.  Put simply, the United States is changing the way we do business

Remarks by the President at the Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York, New York

By 2020, public health information systems in the United States, such as disease registries, will be integrated into grids linked by the National Health Information Network (NHIN) that will utilize the Next Generation Internet (NGI) or Internet2.
link

The following is from a GIS project report, Reflection and Comment Health GIS in the mid-west: Unexpected developments and directions, by Frank Houghton, Ireland.  The paper mostly focuses on the success of the project but it also includes some of Mr. Houghten’s concerns about the technology and how it is being utilized.

As noted in this report, GIS is being used as a powerful tool for central planning.  Under the heading of central planning falls the correcting the unequal distribution of resourceswhich, of course, is another way of saying “redistribution of wealth

A major focus of GIS should be in using it as a tool to help explore and highlight and fight inequality and poverty” 

Writing about the data being collected and geo-referenced on population health in Ireland, Frank Houghton notes;

“This report included not only ‘standard’ information, such as Census small area population     statistics and deprivation data, but also information from a host of previously unmapped and inaccessible computerised health information systems.”

Control

Mr. Houghton also refers to a “disquieting” aspect of the approach to GIS that emerged during this project.

“. . .the way in which it was discussed was very clearly connected with the issue of control. These overtones bring to mind sociological discussions around the issue of technology as a tool of oppression”

Houghton concludes;

. . .It is apparent that GIS has the potential to not merely maintain the status quo, but to be used actively as a means of management command and control.”

Frank Houghton Irish Centre for Research on Applied Social Studies, Limerick Institute of Technology and National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis

GIS is the Great Integrator

“Today’s GIS is foundational—it is based on open technologies and industry standards, meaning that it integrates fully with existing information systems. . . Geographic information systems bring together data from any source.” (Emphasis Mine)  IACP

“Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can help establish cross-sectoral communication – by providing not only very powerful tools for storage and analysis of multisectoral spatial and statistical data, but also by integrating databases of different sectors in the same format, structure and map projection in the GIS system.”

http://www.fao.org/sd/eidirect/gis/EIgis000.htm

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

Are we starting to get the gist of all of this?

GIS for Global Health

Global Public Health Grid (GPHG)

CDC/WHO GPHG

 

 The World Health Organization (WHO) and National Center of Public Health Informatics (NCPHI) have forged collaboration on a Global Public Health Grid (GPHG) initiative to enable global data exchange and collaborative development of globally shareable and interoperable systems, tools and services.  GPHG aims to improve global public health by providing a standards-based informatics platform, and collaboratively developing and implementing a wide range of public health informatics applications and services leveraging widely distributed global expertise, thus enabling dissemination and exchange of information across different jurisdictional levels.

Link

Public Health Mapping and GIS

International Health Regulations Coordination

“There is an urgent need to invest in the development and roll-out of a public health mapping and monitoring system at the subnational level in all countries as the basis for global, regional and national responses to the main health threats of the 21st century” Link

 

ADVANCED HEALTH INFORMATION SHARING WITH WEB-BASED GIS

2007 A global partnership

“Since its establishment in the 1990s, the Programme has built a global partnership involving WHO Member States, WHO Regional Offices and Country Offices, other UN agencies and bilateral partners, universities and research institutions, collaborating centres, the private sector and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

[. . .]” Public health mapping and GIS enable the standardization of surveillance data from village level to global level and across diseases, as well as the analysis of health-related data from other sectors such as education, environment or official development assistance. In addition, target populations can be precisely located and profiled without time-consuming and costly field research” LINK

 

Oklahoma Health and GIS

Oklahoma State Department of Health Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Needs Assessment and Requirements Analysis Report of Findings and Recommendations 2008

FINDING

Historically, the model of GIS coordination at OSDH has been decentralized.

RECOMMENDATION:

OSDH can better focus mapping activities by continuing with and expanding upon the centralization efforts that were initiated in 2006 with the hiring of the GIS Coordinator and strengthened by the creation of the GIS Advisory Committee. Carefully guided centralization efforts will provide for efficient and effective application of GIS technology. Pg 1

There is a need to normalize datasets and to create agency-wide identifiers for people and facilities to enable higher quality analysis and program evaluation.

The Health Informatics Council and its subcommittees are addressing people identifiers.

Pg 3

GIS in OKLAHOMA

In 1994 the Oklahoma Legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill that authorized the Oklahoma Conservation Commission to prepare a “Strategy for Developing a GIS for the State of Oklahoma” and created the State GIS Council to assist the Conservation Commission in this project. The Conservation Commission serves as the chair of the State GIS Council. For more information on the State GIS Council, visit their web site at http://www.okmaps.onenet.net.

In 2007, the Council expanded on the initial goals set forth in the legislation, identifying eight primary issues in the development of the strategy http://www.okmaps.onenet.net/mission.htm

More information about GIS development in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Office of Geographic Information

Strategic & Business Plan for Fiscal Years 2008 – 2010

Oklahoma GIS “Next Steps” 

“Expand the GeoCIP® GIS to include social and economic assets,(Emphasis mine) such as demographics, schools, social or cultural groups, business establishments, land parcels, sales or tax records, workforce, etc. for comprehensive asset mapping and economic development planning”

Source-Oklahoma GI Council presentation dated 6 November 2009

Data Fusion Centers

More uses for GIS

Public Safety

Natural Resources

Even more uses for GIS

 

GIS for Law Enforcement and Homeland Security

Under Public Safety falls Fire and Emergency, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement.  Here are some excerpts from a paper entitled“Breaking Down Barrierswritten in 2009by Paul Christin.   I think gives a good picture of the function of GIS in this area.

Policing, Intelligence, Fusion

How Can This Be Done?

“Geographic information systems (GIS) have long been used by government agencies to build and maintain data and provide numerous services. Local, state and federal agencies have built large spatial databases over many years of GIS use. GIS mapping technology has become more prevalent in law enforcement and homeland security agencies in recent years. Indeed, geospatial capabilities within data fusion and intelligence centers — for both law enforcement and homeland security — are essential for collecting diverse data from multiple sources.              

A GIS-enabled platform integrates existing tools (such as link analysis, remote sensing and computer modeling) and emerging technologies (such as video surveillance, hazardous material detectors, license plate readers and biometric sensors). GIS links information systems with data capture devices and uses geography or the geographic component of data to link these independent pieces into a single, comprehensive whole.

GIS works within IT as the framework to capture, model, identify and manipulate data about behavior. . .To prevent crime or terrorist acts, you need something that can help track and model behavior to understand where problems are emerging. GIS technology can quickly access and integrate relevant variables (the location of incidents, common elements, time sequence, geographic features common to incident types, demographics and other variables) that establish patterns and trends. These results can then be fused with dynamic data feeds (traffic patterns, camera surveillance, 9-1-1 calls, weather, etc.) to develop comprehensive situational awareness.

Information, once captured, can be integrated with other data, analyzed and disseminated to anyone who needs it, no matter the location or agency for which the requester works. It’s a new law enforcement and homeland security IT approach thats changing the way agencies operate in the new millennium.” (Emphasis mine)

Breaking Down Barriers, Paul Christin, Homeland Security Specialist for ESRI  2009

Take a look at the data used with GIS to create “situational awareness” for Homeland Security purposes;

ESRI White Paper: Public Safety and Homeland Security Situational AwarenessGIS Situational Awareness Taxonomy  LINK

Common Data
Sources for Public
Safety Situational
Awareness

GIS is a core technology in the situational awareness landscape

Data Mining and Predictive Analytics

To address these issues, Information Builders has introduced Law Enforcement Analytics (LEA) to make all these data sources available for officers across the enterprise – providing a solution for intelligence-led and predictive policing. LEA combines many technologies – including traditional business intelligence (BI) concepts such as dashboards and scorecards, powerful ad hoc and predictive analytics, interactive mapping capabilities, data mining, and enterprise search.  LINK

Beverly Eakman on predictive analytics (Yes. She is talking about its use in schools)

“Today, hundreds of seemingly unrelated pieces of data that reveal political leanings and parental views are fed into a “predictive” computer algorithm. What’s a predictive computer algorithm? Well, it’s a mathematical formula that sifts masses of information, then predicts what a person will probably do, given various hypothetical scenarios. “

More on Predictive Analytics

The potential for good that could come from such a massive amount and variety of information that can be collected, analyzed, shared and integrated and referenced by physical location by GIS is fast overshadowed by the realization of the potential for abuse this technology enables.  And that is no idle concern.  It has transformed what was once one of GIS technologies greatest champions into an outspoken critic who hopes to be able to reverse the course of the technology that he once worked so hard to advance.

KU professor helps create emergency response database 2001

LAWRENCE — If there is such a thing as a weapon against weapons of mass destruction, Jerry Dobson is helping to perfect it. .

The database is supported by a geographical information system (GIS) that combines data from a variety of sources, including best-available census counts of every country in the world, terrain and nighttime lights interpreted from satellite images, road networks and elevations. The LandScan Global Population Database provides the distribution of people in sections even more precise than one square kilometer per cell

. . . The database is already popular among several organizations involved in the war on terrorism, including the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the U.S. State and Defense departments, he said.

. . .While much has been said about this war being unlike any previous one, that point perhaps is best illustrated in the growing importance of the LandScan database. By providing crucial information on population distribution, it is helping authorities balance the need to keep an eye on global developments that affect specific communities.

“I’ve used the expression ‘Global threats to local places,’ and that’s what we are facing now,” Dobson said.

http://www.news.ku.edu/2001/01N/OctNews/Oct11/dobson.html

Between 2001 and 2003 Dobson did an about face.

KU researcher warns against potential threat of ‘geoslavery’

March 5, 2003

LAWRENCE — Jerome Dobson wants to make sure his field of research doesn’t aid the greatest threat to personal freedom.

As a pioneer of geographic information systems (GIS), Dobson, a researcher at the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program at the University of Kansas, helped develop the technology that now is commonplace in government, business and practically every aspect of modern life.

Since 1975, Dobson has used GIS for a number of applications — from conducting environmental analyses to identifying populations at risk of terrorism and natural disasters — by combining data sets such as detailed population counts of every country in the world, terrain and nighttime lights interpreted from satellite images, road networks and elevations. Dobson, who is a professor of geography at KU, also is president of the American Geographical Society.

Unfortunately, the same technology that has so many beneficial uses also has the potential to create a highly sophisticated form of slavery, or “geoslavery,” as Dobson calls it. What worries Dobson is that GIS technology easily could be used not only to spy on people but to control them as well.

“It concerns me that something I thought was wonderful has a downside that may lead to geoslavery — the greatest threat to freedom we’ve ever experienced in human history,” he said.

Read More

Here’s one more qualified expert whose words should carry some weight.  GIS is just one more technology that appears to be elemental in what Brzezinski calls the “technotronic era

“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society.   Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. […] The capacity to assert social and political control over the individual will vastly increase.  It will soon be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and to maintain up-to-date, complete files, containing even most personal information about the health or personal behavior of the citizen in addition to more customary data.   These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”

-Zbigniew Brzezinski