Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Hurricane Simulation

The Hurricane Simulation

Westchester County Communications Officer Sandy Fried, an Amateur Radio operator and ODES staff member, had recently attended a training seminar at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Part of the training was a simulation using data from the Hurricane of 1938 that caused major losses on Long Island and in Westchester. The texts of the simulated bulletins, forecasts, discussions and strike probabilities along with the hurricane's track were sent home with the seminar attendees. We named the simulated hurricane after Sandy, who incidentally was nine years old during the real Hurricane of 1938.
These texts were used as the drill stimulus. They were time-shifted to simulate land-fall around 6pm on Saturday, October 4th. Working backward from this time, we used these texts to generate and automatically update a World Wide Web status page (http://www.weca.org/SET) and send email to the Westchester ARES/RACES email reflector and fax to the County Emergency Operations center at the times that the National Weather Service would normally have sent them.
  figure48
Figure 4: Web Page at 5 a.m. October 3, 1997

  figure54
Figure 5: Simulated Hurricane Sandy Track at 2 p.m. October 4, 1997

   figure60
Figure 6: Simulated Hurricane Sandy Bulletin at 5 a.m. October 4, 1997


Sandy Brings Together DHS, Eco-Fascists & HAARP to Create the Perfect Political Agenda

Sandy Brings Together DHS, Eco-Fascists & HAARP to Create the Perfect Political Agenda

Susanne Posel10/27-28/2012 — Hurricane Sandy MICROWAVE ANOMALY.avi: http://youtu.be/ACtxuXDP5gI via @youtube
Occupy Corporatism
October 31, 2012


Prior to Tropical Storm Sandy making landfall, President Obama declared New Jersey a state of emergency at the request of Mayor Vincent Gray. This allowed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to oversee the conditions created by the storm and make decisions as to how best to provide necessary equipment and resources to those impacted.
David Axelrod, senior strategist to Obama commented about Sandy’s impact on the elections: “Obviously, we believe the more people participate in the election, the better. And the storm can be disruptive. But to the 50 million people in its path, there are more immediate and potentially grave concerns that transcend politics. We’ll have to wait and see its impact.”
Thanks to Sandy, Obama could balance the appearance of a caring Commander-in-Chief during a disaster, while travelling the campaign trail. This performance could assist in gaining points and justify the necessity of him remaining in office, according to mainstream propaganda.
Governor Chris Christie said: “This assistance will enhance the State’s capability to respond quickly and put assets into place where they are needed to help New Jersey residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”
After Sandy, New York City has been added to the list which allows FEMA and DHS to take over counties like Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Nassau and Suffolk by offering government grant money to residents for damage in affected areas.
The Red Cross set up 11 initial shelters in a 17-county region in New York. Trudy Rice, spokesperson for the Red Cross office in Arizona explained that 900 volunteers “from registered nurses to mental health providers, truck drivers [and] shelter providers” have been trained and are on stand-by.
Preparations for Sandy’s arrival in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, included public transit being shut down, schools closed and all non-emergency government employees told to stay home. As well as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was shut down because of Sandy at the beginning of this week; leaving only electronic trading to continue. This is the first event that caused the NYSE to trade completely digital.
Also, in response to Sandy, an estimated 7,000 flights were cancelled and most airports completely suspended operations. Amtrak stopped providing service along the Northeast Corridor Monday.
In the wake of Sandy, initial reports say 7.4 million customers from Maine to the Carolinas are without power. Christie confirmed that “we are in the midst of urban search and rescue. Our teams are moving as fast as they can. The devastation on the Jersey Shore is some of the worst we’ve ever seen. The cost of the storm is incalculable at this point.”
Wall Street is covered under the remnants of a 14-foot storm surge. This has kept the NYSE and World Trade Center area closed for another day.
In New Jersey, reports of a possible levee breach have caused residents in Moonachie, Little Ferry and Carlstad to evacuate because of the burgeoning waters in the Hackensack River.
New York was the scene of massive fires that consumed an estimated 80 to 100 beachfront property in Breezy Point with 190 firefighters working to contain the outbreak.
Eco-fascists like Jennifer Granholm, correspondent for CNN, has declared that Sandy was the result of man-made global warming and that the mainstream propaganda machine is missing an opportunity by “ignoring climate change.” Granholm decries: “There’s a clear link to climate change. And, yet, for the first time in over a quarter century, climate change was not brought up even once at the presidential debates.”
Chatter on Twitter concerning Sandy being “mother nature’s revenge” for having destroyed our environment is quite apparent. Changes in our atmosphere due to man-made global warming have not been definitively proven; however it is clear that the consistent geo-engineering that has been altering our planet and weather systems is having an impact.
Todd Stanford, alarmist scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists at the globalist college Cambridge University, claims: “It will always be a combination of both climate change and natural variability . . . knowing how a changing climate is affecting the risk of impacts with these storms.”
Craig Altemose at the Better Future Project (another globalist think-tank from Cambridge University), explains that alarmist scientists must have the ears of politicians because “a great many more Frankenstorms, Frankendroughts and Franken-heat waves. We need leadership to connect what is happening out there and the policies that drive it.”
With Sandy being dubbed “Frankenstorm” by the eco-facists, their unsubstantiated eco-concerns about forcing humans to pay the government carbon taxes for breathing and endangering human life for the sake of biodiversity may become a topic discussed by the presidential puppets.
Amanda Staudt, senior alarmist from the Agenda 21 supporters at the National Wildlife Fund (NWF) said: “Folks, this storm is exactly the sort of thing climate scientists have been worried about for years. Global warming is putting hurricanes on steroids and we’re beginning to see the effects.”
However, mainstream propaganda is working hard to ignore the strange fact that in 1997, at a training session at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, a simulation was presented using data from a hurricane that formed in 1938. The postulation would have a storm hitting Long Island and Westchester County. The hurricane was named Sandy after the hurricane that was recorded 60 years earlier.
The simulated Hurricane Sandy was expected to make landfall in the evening on Oct 4th 1997.
According to training declarations the simulated Sandy was proposed to:
• Effect states from North Carolina to Maine
• It was a slow moving storm at 28 mph
• Center of circulation would hug along Long Island and New England
• Maximum winds 125mph, Category 3
• Hurricane winds extend 60 miles from center
• Tropical storm winds extend 240 miles from center

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JUST BEFORE HURRICANE SANDY, OBAMA SIGNED EXECUTIVE ORDER MERGING HOMELAND SECURITY WITH PRIVATE SECTOR TO CREATE VIRTUAL DICTATORSHIP


JUST BEFORE HURRICANE SANDY, OBAMA SIGNED EXECUTIVE ORDER MERGING HOMELAND SECURITY WITH PRIVATE SECTOR TO CREATE VIRTUAL DICTATORSHIP

truther November 9, 2012 5

While all eyes were on Hurricane Sandy in the days leading up to the storm’s breach on the mainland of the Northeast, the White House was busy devising new ways to enslave Americans under the guise of protecting national security. On October 26, 2012, Barack Obama quietly signed an Executive Order (EO) establishing the so-called Homeland Security Partnership Council, a public-private partnership that basically merges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with local governments and the private sector for the implied purpose of giving the Executive Branch complete and limitless control over the American people.

One of the most effective ways by which the federal government has been able to spread its tendrils into every level of state, regional, and local governments in years past has been to continually convince the people that terrorism lurks around every corner, and that the federal government is needed to provide safety. This, of course, is how blatantly unconstitutional provisions like the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) were able to get passed with relative ease — without these draconian expansions of federal control over American affairs, the terrorists will win, we were all told.
White House forming nationwide secret police to monitor lives of Americans
This is precisely the angle being taken with the new EO, except it goes even further in conflating federal power structures with local governments and the private sector. Based on the eery language contained in the EO, the federal government appears ready to begin rapidly expanding its command and control operations at the local level by establishing a vast network of homeland security  ”partnerships” throughout the country, which will be tasked with reporting back to the central command center and feeding “intelligence” information as requested by federal officials.
“We must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations,” says the EO. It goes on to add that the merger between the federal government and the private sector is necessary to facilitate the government’s desire to better “address homeland security priorities,” which includes things like “responding to natural disasters … (and) preventing terrorism by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources.”
An official Steering Committee will be established with representatives from virtually every single three and four-letter federal agency, and this committee will be guided by a separate council on how to best incorporate the federal government and DHS into every nook and cranny of American society. Once established, this council will maintain control over presumably all aspects of society by overseeing a secret police force comprised of spies from schools, community groups, churches, and various other local institutions.

“We must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States,” adds the ominous EO, which was flown under the radar of the mainstream media.
You can read the complete EO for yourself at: http://www.whitehouse.gov

The War at Home: Militarized Local Police Tap Post-9/11 Grants to Stockpile Combat Gear, Use Drones http://bit.ly/Xg0mOf @democracynow

TSA Expands Checkpoints From Airports to Highways http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/421-national-security/8261-tsa-expands-checkpoints-from-airports-to-highways
 http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/07/01/dhs_to_border_patrol_run_away
The War at Home: Militarized Local Police Tap Post-9/11 Grants to Stockpile Combat Gear, Use Drones http://bit.ly/Xg0mOf @democracynow

The War at Home: Militarized Local Police Tap Post-9/11 Grants to Stockpile Combat Gear, Use Drones

Militarized_police_drones2
A new report by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that since 9/11, local law enforcement agencies have used $34 billion in federal grants to acquire military equipment such as bomb-detection robots, digital communications equipment and Kevlar helmets. "A lot of this technology and the devices have been around for a long time. But as soon as they have, for instance, a law enforcement capability, that’s a game changer," says George Schulz, with the Center for Investigative Reporting. "The courts and the public have to ask, how is the technology being used by a community of people—police—who are endowed with more power than the rest of us?’" Local police departments have also added drones to their toolkit. In June, a drone helped local police in North Dakota with surveillance leading to what may be the first domestic arrests with help from a drone. The American Civil Liberties Union has issued a new report that calls on the government to establish privacy protections for surveillance by unmanned aerial drones, especially of people engaged in protests. "We believe that people should not be targeted for surveillance via drones just because they’re they are engaged in First Amendment-protected activity," says Catherine Crump, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. [includes rush transcript]
 
 

Executive Order -- Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council


EXECUTIVE ORDER
- - - - - - -
ESTABLISHING THE WHITE HOUSE
HOMELAND SECURITY PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL
 
 
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to advance the Federal Government's use of local partnerships to address homeland security challenges, it is hereby ordered as follows:
 
Section 1. Policy. The purpose of this order is to maximize the Federal Government's ability to develop local partnerships in the United States to support homeland security priorities. Partnerships are collaborative working relationships in which the goals, structure, and roles and responsibilities of the relationships are mutually determined. Collaboration enables the Federal Government and its partners to use resources more efficiently, build on one another's expertise, drive innovation, engage in collective action, broaden investments to achieve shared goals, and improve performance. Partnerships enhance our ability to address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources.
 
The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe "we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing." This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States.
 
Sec. 2. White House Homeland Security Partnership Council and Steering Committee.
 
(a) White House Homeland Security Partnership Council. There is established a White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to foster local partnerships -- between the Federal Government and the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement -- to address homeland security challenges. The Council shall be chaired by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (Chair), or a designee from the National Security Staff.
 
(b) Council Membership.
 
(i) Pursuant to the nomination process established in subsection (b)(ii) of this section, the Council shall be composed of Federal officials who are from field offices of the executive departments, agencies, and bureaus (agencies) that are members of the Steering Committee established in subsection (c) of this section, and who have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships to address policy priorities.
 
(ii) The nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council shall be established by the Steering Committee. Based on those criteria, agency heads may select and present to the Steering Committee their nominee or nominees to represent them on the Council. The Steering Committee shall consider all of the nominees and decide by consensus which of the nominees shall participate on the Council. Each member agency on the Steering Committee, with the exception of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, may have at least one representative on the Council.
 
(c) Steering Committee. There is also established a Steering Committee, chaired by the Chair of the Council, to provide guidance to the Council and perform other functions as set forth in this order. The Steering Committee shall include a representative at the Deputy agency head level, or that representative's designee, from the following agencies:
 
(i) Department of State;
 
(ii) Department of the Treasury;
 
(iii) Department of Defense;
 
(iv) Department of Justice;
 
(v) Department of the Interior;
 
(vi) Department of Agriculture;
 
(vii) Department of Commerce;
 
(viii) Department of Labor;
 
(ix) Department of Health and Human Services;
 
(x) Department of Housing and Urban Development;
 
(xi) Department of Transportation;
 
(xii) Department of Energy;
 
(xiii) Department of Education;
 
(xiv) Department of Veterans Affairs;
 
(xv) Department of Homeland Security;
 
(xvi) Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
 
(xvii) Environmental Protection Agency;
 
(xviii) Small Business Administration; and
 
(xix) Federal Bureau of Investigation.
 
At the invitation of the Chair, representatives of agencies not listed in subsection (c) of this section or other executive branch entities may attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate.
 
(d) Administration. The Chair or a designee shall convene meetings of the Council and Steering Committee, determine their agendas, and coordinate their work. The Council may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Council members or their designees, as appropriate.
 
Sec. 3. Mission and Function of the Council and Steering Committee. (a) The Council shall, consistent with guidance from the Steering Committee:
 
(i) advise the Chair and Steering Committee members on priorities, challenges, and opportunities for local partnerships to support homeland security priorities, as well as regularly report to the Steering Committee on the Council's efforts;
 
(ii) promote homeland security priorities and opportunities for collaboration between Federal Government field offices and State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders;
 
(iii) advise and confer with State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders and agencies interested in expanding or building local homeland security partnerships;
 
(iv) raise awareness of local partnership best practices that can support homeland security priorities;
 
(v) as appropriate, conduct outreach to representatives of the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement entities with relevant expertise for local homeland security partnerships, and collaborate with other Federal Government bodies; and
 
(vi) convene an annual meeting to exchange key findings, progress, and best practices.
 
(b) The Steering Committee shall:
 
(i) determine the scope of issue areas the Council will address and its operating protocols, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget;
 
(ii) establish the nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council as set forth in section 2(b)(ii) of this order;
 
(iii) provide guidance to the Council on the activities set forth in subsection (a) of this section; and
 
(iv) within 1 year of the selection of the Council members, and annually thereafter, provide a report on the work of the Council to the President through the Chair.
 
Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) The heads of agencies participating in the Steering Committee shall assist and provide information to the Council, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to implement this order. Each agency shall bear its own expense for participating in the Council.
 
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
 
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof;
 
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or
 
(iii) the functions of the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
 
(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties, and subject to the availability of appropriations.
 
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
 
BARACK OBAMA
 
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 26, 2012.
 
 

Breaking News!!! President Obama Indicted by Federal Court? Yes, says Larouche. Or a Rumor? 

 Breaking News!!! President Obama Indicted by Federal Court? Yes, says La...: http://youtu.be/t1RNZAu7cH4 via @youtube

 

Obama Executive Order Expands Homeland Security Into State & Local Areas

Obama Executive Order Expands Homeland Security Into State & Local Areas


obama-executive-orderBarack Obama signed a new Executive Order on October 26 which will expand the role and power of the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Janet Napolitano. The order establishes a new Security Partnership Council that will have tremendous effects for state and local areas that interact with DHS.
The Executive Order’s purpose is stated as:
The purpose of this order is to maximize the Federal Government’s ability to develop local partnerships in the United States to support homeland security priorities. Partnerships are collaborative working relationships in which the goals, structure, and roles and responsibilities of the relationships are mutually determined. Collaboration enables the Federal Government and its partners to use resources more efficiently, build on one another’s expertise, drive innovation, engage in collective action, broaden investments to achieve shared goals, and improve performance. Partnerships enhance our ability to address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources.
The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe “we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing.” This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States.
Kenneth Schortgen, Jr. at the Examiner writes,
Since it’s creation in 2001 from the aftermath of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security has expanded its authority over states, communities, and law enforcement each year. From expanding TSA responsibilities over airport transportation to now include trains, subways, and even highway checkpoints, to new regulations in how border control agents function in immigration conflicts, Homeland Security is one of the fastest growing government agencies in the past decade.
Through creating a new Steering Committee in partnership with how Homeland Security missions, directives, and programs are implemented in state and local levels, the fine line between state sovereignty and the need protect the country from disaster and terror attacks is becoming smaller every day. Over the past few years Homeland Security grants to local law enforcement have led to a militarization of police and public safety, and new drone technology is being used in criminal investigations outside the scope of national security.
In a little more than a decade, the Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with its underlying and partnering Federal agencies, have infiltrated nearly every community in America. This new Executive Order, which expands the scope of the agency and gives it greater power in state and local partnerships, will mean greater loss of freedoms and liberties to both the states and citizens as the Federal government imposes greater authority over what should remain state sovereignty scope and missions.
A new Council and Steering Committee is created in this executive order. According to the EO, the Council membership will be:
(i) Pursuant to the nomination process established in subsection (b)(ii) of this section, the Council shall be composed of Federal officials who are from field offices of the executive departments, agencies, and bureaus (agencies) that are members of the Steering Committee established in subsection (c) of this section, and who have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships to address policy priorities.
(ii) The nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council shall be established by the Steering Committee. Based on those criteria, agency heads may select and present to the Steering Committee their nominee or nominees to represent them on the Council. The Steering Committee shall consider all of the nominees and decide by consensus which of the nominees shall participate on the Council. Each member agency on the Steering Committee, with the exception of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, may have at least one representative on the Council.
Then the Steering committee will be chaired by the Chair of the Council and this steering committee will include a representative at the Deputy agency head level, or that representative’s designee from the following agencies:
(i) Department of State;
(ii) Department of the Treasury;
(iii) Department of Defense;
(iv) Department of Justice;
(v) Department of the Interior;
(vi) Department of Agriculture;
(vii) Department of Commerce;
(viii) Department of Labor;
(ix) Department of Health and Human Services;
(x) Department of Housing and Urban Development;
(xi) Department of Transportation;
(xii) Department of Energy;
(xiii) Department of Education;
(xiv) Department of Veterans Affairs;
(xv) Department of Homeland Security;
(xvi) Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
(xvii) Environmental Protection Agency;
(xviii) Small Business Administration; and
(xix) Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Does anyone think this will either give the people more of their freedoms back or actually catch “terrorists?” If you do, then there is some ocean front property beside my house I would like to sell you.
Over and over the federal government, whose main job is to protect, fails to do so, and to cover their obvious failure in this, they continue to promote more government to do what they are currently failing to do. It goes on and on and on and now it’s coming into local and state government. It will be only a matter of time before the federal government becomes the only governing power in this nation, if their power is not reined in via the Constitution.
So again, we so more expansion of the federal government and a bigger power grab, even into the local and state areas of government by the feds.

Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2012/10/obama-executive-order-expands-homeland-security-into-state-local-areas/#ixzz2JntQDIpg

[ HELLO ANONYMOUS] DHS NEEDS TO BE BROUGH DOWN THEY ARE TAKEING ORDERS FROM OBAMA FROM HARRP TO TAKEING OUR GUNS TIME TO TAKE DOWN DHS

DHS Raids Gun Collector – Confiscates Nearly 1,500 Guns – No Charges Filed


20130202-103003.jpgOn Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security, along with a SWAT team and Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies raided the home of Robert Adams in Albuquerque, New Mexico and, according to a federal search warrant affidavit the raid seized nearly 1,500 firearms from the man’s home and business. However, no charges have been filed against him, despite the fact that court documents reveal that agents had been watching Adams for years.
By Wednesday afternoon dozens of rifles were hauled out of the house, bagged as evidence and laid out on the lawn.
According to search warrants that were filed on Thursday Homeland Security Investigations confiscated nearly 900 firearms from Adams’ home, 548 handguns and 317 rifles. They also seized 599 pistols and revolvers from his office.
Neighbors say that he was a firearms collector and some indicated that he was also a licensed gun seller. No confirmation of that has been forthcoming.
While having been watched for years and no charges filed as they seized Adam’s firearms, Federal investigators are saying that they are investigating him for gun smuggling, tax evasion, violating importation laws.
KRQE reports,
Court documents reveal federal agents were watching Adams for years and that some documentation was missing “to determine to whom Adams [was] selling or exporting his firearms.”
The guns were also not properly marked possibly to make the guns more valuable and to avoid paying high import taxes, investigators alleged.
However, a bigger concern is that no markings on the guns and missing documents mean the guns are not traceable by law enforcement.
The search warrant also said Adams was investigated in Canada for keeping about 80 illegal guns in a storage unit. U.S. agents worked with Canadian police on that case.
Kurt Nimmo points out, “New Mexico does not regulate or specifically restrict the possession of firearms. Owners are not required to register or license firearms with the state.
“No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms,” Article 2, Section 6 of the state constitution reads.
“Gun collectors are protected under the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986,” Nimmo writes. “The law states that a firearms dealer is defined as a person who is selling guns for profit or livelihood. Unlicensed individuals are allowed to sell firearms from their private collection without performing a background check on the buyer.”
Something seriously smells here. How can you be investigated for years, yet upon serving a search warrant you don’t put forth any charges against a man when you confiscate nearly 1,500 firearms? I wish they had taken this kind of approach to the Obama Justice Department’s gunwalking program that trafficked nearly 2,500 firearms across the border into Mexico that has left hundreds dead. No one is claiming that the firearms that Adams had were used in any crime!
So much for the Obama administration’s claims that they aren’t against gun collectors. Sports shooters and hunters, you’re up next.

Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/02/dhs-raids-homeowner-confiscates-nearly-1500-guns-no-charges-filed/#ixzz2JnsXOHeZ

Amid mass arrests and suppression of media RNC in Twin Cities: Eight protesters charged with terrorism under Patriot Act

Amid mass arrests and suppression of media

RNC in Twin Cities: Eight protesters charged with terrorism under Patriot Act

By Tom Eley
6 September 2008
On Wednesday eight members of the anarchist protest group the Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee (RNCWC) were charged under provisions of the Minnesota state version of the Patriot Act with “Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism.”
The eight charged are all young, and could face up to seven-and-a-half years in prison under a provision that allows the enhancement of charges related to terrorism by 50 percent. They are: Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald and Max Spector.
Among other things, the youth, who were arrested last weekend even prior to the start of the convention, are charged with plotting to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers and attack airports. Almost all of the charges listed are based upon the testimony of police infiltrators, one an officer, the other a paid informant.
“These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the defendants on trial,” said Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience,” he said.
An affidavit filed by police with the District Court for Ramsey County that allowed the warrant to raid and arrest declares the RNCWC a “criminal enterprise” and strongly implies that it is a terrorist organization. It claimed that numerous examples of weaponry would be found if the judge allowed the warrants. However, police turned up no such physical evidence in conducting their raids.
“Police found what they claim was a single plastic shield, a rusty machete, and two hatchets used in Minnesota to split wood. This doesn’t amount to evidence of an organized insurrection, particularly when over 3,500 police are present in the Twin Cities, armed with assault rifles, concussion grenades, chemical weapons and full riot gear,” said Nestor.
In requesting the warrant, the police reminded the court that the RNC has been declared by the Department of Homeland Security a “National Security Special Event.” The affidavit did not explain the connection between this designation and the necessity of the police raid.
Anarchistic groups like the RNCWC—with their emphasis on the “direct action” of small groups and their aversion to politics and the lessons of history—are quite easily infiltrated by agents and provocateurs. Nonetheless, there is little to suggest that the youth are violent or that they are anything more than politically naive. The police evidence is threadbare on the surface, and depends primarily on the counterfactual charge of “conspiracy”—that those arrested would have committed crimes, or that they are responsible for the crimes of others.
Several of those arrested were also members of the student group “Food not Bombs,” and were working in a soup kitchen at the time of their arrest.
In an interview, Ramsey County Sherriff Bob Fletcher, who has faced criticism from protesters for his methods, gloated that the aim of the arrest had been to decapitate the RNCWC, which hoped to coordinate the protest activities of those attending the demonstrations from outside of the Twin Cities. “Severing that leadership ... was huge,” he said. “We only removed 10 percent of the problem, but the 10 percent was the coordinating aspect of it.”
The charges against the “RNC 8” stand as a sharp warning to the working class. The charge “conspiracy to riot” has a long and sordid pedigree in US history. It has been used against the leadership of unions and working class parties precisely as a means of “severing the leadership” from the rank and file. The coupling of this charge with “terrorism” under the Patriot Act is especially chilling.
The police-state atmosphere in the Twin Cities, not so long ago a center of American liberalism, continued throughout the week.
On Thursday, about 300 protesters were arrested in downtown St. Paul near the site of the Republican National Convention, bringing to well over 800 the total number of arrests since before the start of the RNC.
The protesters had planned to march from the grounds of the state capital to the Xcel Center, the arena housing the RNC. However, just before the start of the demonstration, police announced that the march permit would expire in 10 minutes, at 5 p.m.
In spite of the police order, hundreds of protesters determined to carry on the march. After starting out toward the Xcel Center, they were pinned down on a freeway overpass by police, who intercepted the march on horseback and bicycles. Police donned gas masks and prepared tear gas canisters. Intersections were blocked with dump trucks and steel barriers.
After an hour in this position, protesters retreated back across the overpass toward the state capital building, where they were trapped by yet another police barricade and soon surrounded by a police cordon.
On Wednesday night in Minneapolis, police arrested over 100 outside a concert of the radical rap-metal band, Rage Against the Machine. Police in riot gear massed outside of the Target Center in the downtown area. According to Minneapolis Police Captain Larry Doyle, the police had “intelligence that there may be issues.”
Prior to ending the concert, the lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, Zach de la Rocha, asked concertgoers to avoid trouble with the police. The police presence continued after the concert’s end, however, until well past midnight, when law enforcement ordered a crowd they accused of “loitering” to disperse. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “some scuffles followed,” and at 12:30 a.m. police arrested over 100, who were charged with misdemeanor offenses. Of these 15 were jailed, two of whom were still in custody the next morning.
Members of the antiwar group Code Pink managed to enter the Xcel center, unveiling banners during the acceptance speech of John McCain. They were quickly removed from the building.
There has also been widespread repression of the media that covered the protests during the RNC. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! was arrested on Monday, after protesting the arrest of several members of her news crew. Also reportedly arrested were Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke, two cameramen of Twin City CBS and NBC affiliates, and several independent videographers. There was also an unverified report that a Fox News crew was gassed.
The media reform movement Free Press has collected over 50,000 signatures demanding that charges against all journalists arrested during the RNC be dropped.
The conventions of the two major parties have been conducted in an unprecedented police-state atmosphere, in which local police and major American cities—Denver and the Twin Cities—have been militarized and placed under the official control of the executive branch of the federal government. The police have trampled basic democratic rights—including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the freedom of the press—with impunity and contempt.
All of this has taken place without a murmur of protest from any section of the political or media establishment gathered to rub elbows with delegates and party officials inside the convention halls.

Position Statement on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products

Position Statement on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products

Download PDF (128k)

Position Statement
on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products
November 14, 2003
Available at www.spychips.com and www.privacyrights.org

Issued by:
Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN)
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Junkbusters
Meyda Online
PrivacyActivism
Endorsed by:
American Council on Consumer Awareness, Inc.
Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)
Consumer Action
Consumer Project on Technology
Simson Garfinkel, Author, Database Nation
Edward Hasbrouck, Author, The Practical Nomad
Massachusetts Consumers' Coalition
National Association of Consumer Agency Associates (NACAA)
Privacy Times
Private Citizen, Inc.
Virginia Rezmierski, Ph.D.
World Privacy Forum

INTRODUCTION
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an item-tagging technology with profound societal implications. Used improperly, RFID has the potential to jeopardize consumer privacy, reduce or eliminate purchasing anonymity, and threaten civil liberties.
As organizations and individuals committed to the protection of privacy and civil liberties, we have come together to issue this statement on the deployment of RFID in the consumer environment. In the following pages, we describe the technology and its uses, define the risks, and discuss potential public policy approaches to mitigate the problems we raise.
RFID tags are tiny computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be affixed to physical objects. In the most commonly touted applications of RFID, the microchip contains an Electronic Product Code (EPC) with sufficient capacity to provide unique identifiers for all items produced worldwide. When an RFID reader emits a radio signal, tags in the vicinity respond by transmitting their stored data to the reader. With passive (battery-less) RFID tags, read-range can vary from less than an inch to 20-30 feet, while active (self-powered) tags can have a much longer read range. Typically, the data is sent to a distributed computing system involved in, perhaps, supply chain management or inventory control.
THREATS TO PRIVACY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES
While there are beneficial uses of RFID, some attributes of the technology could be deployed in ways that threaten privacy and civil liberties:
  • Hidden placement of tags. RFID tags can be embedded into/onto objects and documents without the knowledge of the individual who obtains those items. As radio waves travel easily and silently through fabric, plastic, and other materials, it is possible to read RFID tags sewn into clothing or affixed to objects contained in purses, shopping bags, suitcases, and more.
  • Unique identifiers for all objects worldwide. The Electronic Product Code potentially enables every object on earth to have its own unique ID. The use of unique ID numbers could lead to the creation of a global item registration system in which every physical object is identified and linked to its purchaser or owner at the point of sale or transfer.
  • Massive data aggregation. RFID deployment requires the creation of massive databases containing unique tag data. These records could be linked with personal identifying data, especially as computer memory and processing capacities expand.
  • Hidden readers. Tags can be read from a distance, not restricted to line of sight, by readers that can be incorporated invisibly into nearly any environment where human beings or items congregate. RFID readers have already been experimentally embedded into floor tiles, woven into carpeting and floor mats, hidden in doorways, and seamlessly incorporated into retail shelving and counters, making it virtually impossible for a consumer to know when or if he or she was being "scanned."
  • Individual tracking and profiling. If personal identity were linked with unique RFID tag numbers, individuals could be profiled and tracked without their knowledge or consent. For example, a tag embedded in a shoe could serve as a de facto identifier for the person wearing it. Even if item-level information remains generic, identifying items people wear or carry could associate them with, for example, particular events like political rallies.
FRAMEWORK OF RFID RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
This framework respects businesses' interest in tracking products in the supply chain, but emphasizes individuals' rights to not be tracked within stores and after products are purchased. To mitigate the potential harmful consequences of RFID to individuals and to society, we recommend a three-part framework. First, RFID must undergo a formal technology assessment, and RFID tags should not be affixed to individual consumer products until such assessment takes place. Second, RFID implementation must be guided by Principles of Fair Information Practice. Third, certain uses of RFID should be flatly prohibited.
Technology assessment. RFID must be subject to a formal technology assessment process, sponsored by a neutral entity, perhaps similar to the model established by the now defunct Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. The process must be multi-disciplinary, involving all stakeholders, including consumers.
Principles of Fair Information Practice. RFID technology and its implementation must be guided by strong principles of fair information practices (FIPs). The eight-part Privacy Guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides a useful model (www.oecd.org). We agree that the following minimum guidelines, based in part on these principles, must be adhered to while the larger assessment of RFID's societal implications takes place:
  • Openness, or transparency. RFID users must make public their policies and practices involving the use and maintenance of RFID systems, and there should be no secret databases. Individuals have a right to know when products or items in the retail environment contain RFID tags or readers. They also have the right to know the technical specifications of those devices. Labeling must be clearly displayed and easily understood. Any tag reading that occurs in the retail environment must be transparent to all parties. There should be no tag-reading in secret.
  • Purpose specification. RFID users must give notice of the purposes for which tags and readers are used.
  • Collection limitation. The collection of information should be limited to that which is necessary for the purpose at hand.
  • Accountability. RFID users are responsible for implementation of this technology and the associated data. RFID users should be legally responsible for complying with the principles. An accountability mechanism must be established. There must be entities in both industry and government to whom individuals can complain when these provisions have been violated
  • Security Safeguards. There must be security and integrity in transmission, databases, and system access. These should be verified by outside, third-party, publicly disclosed assessment.
RFID Practices that Should be Flatly Prohibited:
  • Merchants must be prohibited from forcing or coercing customers into accepting live or dormant RFID tags in the products they buy.
  • There should be no prohibition on individuals to detect RFID tags and readers and disable tags on items in their possession.
  • RFID must not be used to track individuals absent informed and written consent of the data subject. Human tracking is inappropriate, either directly or indirectly, through clothing, consumer goods, or other items.
  • RFID should never be employed in a fashion to eliminate or reduce anonymity. For instance, RFID should not be incorporated into currency.
ACCEPTABLE USES OF RFID
We have identified several examples of "acceptable" uses of RFID in which consumer-citizens are not subjected to "live" RFID tags and their attendant risks.
  • Tracking of pharmaceuticals from the point of manufacture to the point of dispensing. RFID tags could help insure that these critical goods are not counterfeit, that they are handled properly, and that they are dispensed appropriately. RFID tags contained on or in the pharmaceutical containers should be physically removed or permanently disabled before being sold to consumers.
  • Tracking of manufactured goods from the point of manufacture to the location where they will be shelved for sale. RFID tags could help insure that products are not lost or stolen as they move through the supply chain. The tags could also assure the goods are handled appropriately. Tags should be confined to the outside of product packaging (not embedded in the packaging) and be permanently destroyed before consumers interact with them in the store.
  • Detection of items containing toxic substances when they are delivered to the landfill. For example, when a personal computer is brought to the landfill, a short-range RFID tag could communicate toxic content to a reader at the landfill. It is important to underscore that uses such as the landfill example do not require -- and should not entail -- item-level unique identifiers. The RFID tag would, rather, emit a generic recycling or waste disposal message.
CONCLUSIONS
We are requesting manufacturers and retailers to agree to a voluntary moratorium on the item-level RFID tagging of consumer items until a formal technology assessment process involving all stakeholders, including consumers, can take place. Further, the development of this technology must be guided by a strong set of Principles of Fair Information Practice, ensuring that meaningful consumer control is built into the implementation of RFID. Finally, some uses of RFID technology are inappropriate in a free society, and should be flatly prohibited. Society should not wait for a crisis involving RFID before exerting oversight.
Although not examined in this position paper, we must also grapple with the civil liberties implications of governmental adoption of RFID. The Department of Defense has issued an RFID mandate to its suppliers, schools and libraries in the have begun implementing RFID, the EU and the Japanese government have considered the use of RFID in currency, and British law enforcement has expressed an interest in using RFID as an investigative tool. As an open democratic society, we must adopt a strong policy framework based on Principles of Fair Information Practice to guide governmental implementation of RFID.
Signers
  • Katherine Albrecht, Director, CASPIAN, www.spychips.com
         Media Inquiries: (877) 287-5854, kma@nocards.org
  • Liz McIntyre, Director of Communications, CASPIAN, www.nocards.org
         Media Inquiries: (877) 287-5854, liz@nocards.org
  • Beth Givens, Director, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, www.privacyrights.org
         Media Inquiries: (619) 298-3396, bgivens@privacyrights.org
  • Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation, www.eff.org
         Media Inquiries: (415) 436-9333 x 102, tien@eff.org
  • Barry Steinhardt, Director of the Technology and Liberty Program, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), www.aclu.org
  • Kenneth J. Benner, President, American Council on Consumer Awareness, Inc., accaus@aol.com
  • Paula Bruening, Staff Counsel, Center for Democracy and Technology, www.cdt.org
  • Ken McEldowney, Executive Director, Consumer Action, www.consumer-action.org
  • James Love, Director, Consumer Project on Technology, www.cptech.org
  • Chris Hoofnagle, Associate Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), www.epic.org
  • Simson Garfinkel, Author, Database Nation
  • Edward Hasbrouck, Author, The Practical Nomad, travel writer and consumer advocate www.hasbrouck.org
  • Jason Catlett, President and Founder, Junkbusters Corp., www.junkbusters.com
  • Paul J. Schlaver, Chair, Massachusetts Consumers' Coalition, www.massconsumers.org
  • Jonathan D. Abolins, Author, "Meyda Online: Info Security, Privacy, and Liberties Studies," www.meydaonline.com
  • Kathleen Thuner, President, National Association of Consumer Agency Associates (NACAA), www.nacaanet.org
  • Deborah Pierce, Executive Director, PrivacyActivism, www.privacyactivism.org
  • Evan Hendricks, Editor, Privacy Times, www.privacytimes.com
  • Robert Bulmash, President & Founder, Private Citizen, Inc., www.privatecitizen.com
  • Virginia Rezmierski, Ph.D., Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Pam Dixon, Executive Director, World Privacy Forum, www.worldprivacyforum.org


  • Attachment 1
    November 14, 2003

    Limitations of RFID Technology : Myths Debunked

    The following technological limitations have been proposed as reasons why consumers should not be concerned about RFID deployment at this time. We address each perceived limitation in turn, and explain why in themselves, these limitations cannot be relied upon as adequate consumer protection from the risks outlined above.
    1. Read-range distances are not sufficient to allow for consumer surveillance.
    RFID tags have varying read ranges depending on their antenna size, transmission frequency, and whether they are passive or active. Some passive RFID tags have read ranges of less than one inch. Other RFID tags can be read at distances of 20 feet or more. Active RFID tags theoretically have very long ranges. Currently, most RFID tags envisioned for consumer products are passive with read ranges of under 5 feet.
    Contrary to some assertions, tags with shorter read ranges are not necessarily less effective for tracking human beings or items associated with them. In fact, in some cases a shorter read range can be more powerful. For example, if there were an interest in tracking individuals through their shoes as they come within range of a floor reader, a two-inch read range would be preferable to a two-foot read range. Such a short range would help minimize interference with other tags in the vicinity, and help assure the capture of only the pertinent tag positioned directly on the reader.
    2. Reader devices not prevalent enough to enable seamless human tracking.
    The developers of RFID technology envision a world where RFID readers form a "pervasive global network" It does not take a ubiquitous reader network to track objects or the people associated with them. For example, automobiles traveling up and down Interstate 95 can be tracked without placing RFID readers every few feet. They need only be positioned at the entrance and exit ramps. Similarly, to track an individual's whereabouts in a given town, it is not necessary to position a reader device every ten feet in that town, as long as readers are present at strategic locations such as building entrances.
    3. Limited information contained on tags.
    Some RFID proponents defend the technology by pointing out that the tags associated with most consumer products will contain only a serial number. However, the number can actually be used as a reference number that corresponds to information contained on one or more Internet-connected databases. This means that the data associated with that number is theoretically unlimited, and can be augmented as new information is collected.
    For example, when a consumer purchases a product with an EPC-compliant RFID tag, information about the consumer who purchased it could be added to the database automatically. Additional information could be logged in the file as the consumer goes about her business: "Entered the Atlanta courthouse at 12:32 PM," "At Mobil Gas Station at 2:14 PM," etc. Such data could be accessed by anyone with access to such a database, whether authorized or not.
    4. Passive tags cannot be tracked by satellite.
    The passive RFID tags envisioned for most consumer products do not have their own power, meaning they must be activated and queried by nearby reader devices. Thus, by themselves, passive tags do not have the ability to communicate via satellites.
    However, the information contained on passive RFID tags could be picked up by ambient reader devices which in turn transmit their presence and location to satellites. Such technology has already been used to track the real-time location of products being shipped on moving vehicles through the North American supply chain.
    In addition, active RFID tags with their own power source can be enabled with direct satellite transmitting capability. At the present time such tags are far too expensive to be used on most consumer products, but this use is not inconceivable as technology advances and prices fall.


    5. High cost of tags make them prohibitive for wide-scale deployment.
    RFID developers point to the "high cost" of RFID tags as a way to assuage consumer fears about the power of such tags. However, as technology improves and prices fall, we predict that more and more consumer products will carry tags and that those tags will become smaller and more sophisticated. We predict that the trend will follow the trends of other technical products like computers and calculators.


    RFID Position Paper
    Attachment 2

    A Critique of Proposed Industry Solutions
    The RFID industry has suggested a variety of solutions to address the dangers posed by RFID tagging of consumer products. Among them are killing the tags at point of sale, the use of "blocker tags," and the "closed system." We examine each strategy in turn.

    KILLING TAGS AT POINT OF SALE

    Some have proposed that the RFID tag problem could be solved by killing the tags at the point of sale, rendering them inoperable. There are several reasons why we do not believe this approach alone and without other protections will adequately protect consumer privacy:
    Killing tags after purchase does not address in-store tracking of consumers.


    To date, nearly all consumer privacy invasion associated with RFID tagging of consumer products has occurred within the retail environment, long before consumers reached the checkout counter where chips could be killed. Examples include:
    • Close-up photographs were taken of consumers as they picked up RFID-tagged packages of Gillette razor products from store shelves equipped with Auto-ID Center "smart shelf" technology.[1]
    • A video camera trained on a Wal-Mart cosmetics shelf in Oklahoma enabled distant Procter and Gamble executives to observe unknowing customers as they interacted with RFID-tagged lipsticks.[2]
    • Plans are underway to tag books and magazines with RFID devices to allow detailed in-store observation of people browsing reading materials[3]. This potential was demonstrated recently at the Tokyo International Book Fair 2003. According to Japan's Nikkei Electronic News, "By placing tag readers on the shelves of bookstores, the new system allows booksellers to gain information such as the range of books a shopper has browsed, how many times a particular title was picked up and even the length of time spent flipping through each book."
    We recognize the need for stores to control shoplifting and make general assessments to enhance operations. However, monitoring and recording the detailed behaviors of consumers without their consent, even if only within the store, violates Principles of Fair Information Practice.
    Tags can appear to be "killed" when they are really "asleep" and can be reactivated
    Some RFID tags have a "dormant" or "sleep" state that could be set, making it appear to the average consumer that the tag had been killed. It would be possible for retailers and others to claim to have killed a tag when in reality they had simply rendered it dormant. It would be possible to later reactivate and read such a "dormant" tag.
    The tag killing option could be easily halted by government directive.


    It would take very little for a security threat or a change in governmental policies to remove the kill-tag option. If RFID tags are allowed to become ubiquitous in consumer products, removing the kill option could enable the instant creation of a surveillance society.

    Retailers might offer incentives or disincentives to consumers to encourage them to leave tags active.
    Consumers wishing to kill tags could be required to perform additional steps or undergo burdensome procedures, such as waiting in line for a "killer kiosk"[4] and then being required to kill the tags themselves. Consumers who choose to kill the tags might not enjoy the same discounts or benefits as other consumers, or might not be allowed the same return policies. In many areas of privacy law, this retailer incentive is recognized, and there are legislative prohibitions against inducing the consumer to waive their privacy rights.[5]


    The creation of two classes of consumers.
    If killing tags requires conscious effort on the part of consumers, many will fail to do so out of fear, ignorance, or lack of time. Many will choose not to kill the tags if doing so is inconvenient. (The current "killer kiosk" requires loading one item at a time, a lengthy and time consuming process.) This would create two classes of consumers: those who "care enough" to kill the RFID tags in their products and those who don't. Being a member of either class could have negative ramifications.

    BLOCKER TAGS

    RFID blocker tags are electronic devices that should theoretically disrupt the transmission of all or select information contained on RFID tags. The proposed blocker tag might be embedded in a shopping bag, purse, or watch that is carried or worn near tags with information consumers want blocked.[6]

    According to our understanding, the blocker tag does not yet exist. Until a blocker tag is built and tested, there is no way to know how effective it will be and whether it can be technically defeated.

    The blocker tag might encourage the proliferation of RFID devices by giving consumers a false sense of security. While the proposed invention is an ingenious idea, it's one that could be banned or be underutilized if consumers become complacent. It's also possible that such an electronic device could be technically defeated either purposefully or because it stops functioning naturally.
    The blocker tag could be banned by government directive or store policy.
    Consumers could lose the right to use blocker tag devices if the government deems that knowing what people are wearing or carrying is necessary for national security. They might disallow the devices altogether or name selective spaces in which blocker tags would be disallowed. It is not inconceivable to imagine a ban on such devices in airports or public buildings, for example.
    Retail stores might ban blocker tags if they believe the tags might be used to circumvent security measures or if they believe knowing details about consumers is valuable in their marketing efforts.
    Once RFID tags and readers are ubiquitous in the environment, a full or partial ban on a privacy device like the blocker tag would leave consumers exposed and vulnerable to privacy invasion.

    A blocker tag shifts the burden of protecting privacy away from the manufacturers and retailers and places it on the shoulders of consumers. In addition, busy consumers might forget to carry blocker devices or forget to implement them, especially if additional steps are required to make them effective.
    Fails to protect consumers once products are separated from the blocker tag.
    Blocker tags theoretically work only when they are close to the items they are designed to "conceal" from RFID reader devices. Once items are out of the range of the blocking device, consumers would be exposed and vulnerable to privacy invasion. For example, a consumer might buy a sweater and feel that the information on the embedded RFID tag is unexposed because she is carrying it home in a bag impregnated with a blocker device. However, once she removes that sweater from the bag and wears it in range of a reader device, information from that tag could be gleaned.
    The creation of two classes of consumers.
    Like the kill tag feature, blocker tags will also likely create two classes of consumers, those who block tags and those who do not.
    CLOSED SYSTEM
    Industry proponents argue that when RFID applications are confined to closed systems, the data is only accessible to those within the system and those with a government mandate (perhaps via legislation such as the Communications Access to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA)). Therefore they argue, society-wide profiling and tracking are not likely. An example of a current closed application is RFID in libraries. The Grapes of Wrath in Library X has a different code than the same book in Library Y.

    Whereas today RFID applications are confined to closed systems, there will be great incentives to standardize product level tagging. Publishers, for example, may someday ship books to libraries and bookstores with writable tags. Each copy of The Grapes of Wrath will contain a portion of its EPC code that is the same as every other copy. The library will be able to customize the remainder of the code to suit its own inventory control purposes.
    Even if closed systems remain closed, their lack of transparency makes them troubling from a privacy perspective. Because details about closed systems might not be readily available, consumers could have difficulty obtaining the information necessary to assess privacy risks and protect themselves.

    We appreciate that industry proponents are making an effort to address consumer privacy and civil liberties concerns associated with RFID technology. However, while we believe the proposed solutions are offered in the proper spirit, they provide inadequate protection. Until appropriate solutions are developed and agreed upon, we believe it is improper to subject consumers to the dangers of RFID technology through item-level consumer product tagging.


    [1]Alorie Gilbert, "Cutting edge 'smart shelf' test ends." CNET News, August 22, 2003. Available online at http://news.com.com/2100-1008_3-5067253.html
    [2] Howard Wolinsky, "P&G, Wal-Mart store did secret test of RFID." The Chicago Sun Times, November 10, 2003. Available online at http://www.suntimes.com/output/lifestyles/cst-nws-spy09.html
    [3] Winston Chai, "Tags track Japanese shoppers." CNET News, May 8, 2003. Available online at http://news.zdnet.co.uk/business/0,39020645,2134438,00.htm
    [4] NCR prototype kiosk kills RFID tags." RFID Journal, September 25, 2003. Available online at http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/585/1/1/
    [5] See e.g., California SB 27, codified at 1798.84 (a).
    [6] RFID blocker tags developed." Silicon.com, August 28, 2003. Available online at http://www.silicon.com/software/applications/0,39024653,10005771,00.htm
    Creative Commons Licensed

    CIA Whistleblower: “US is a Police State, Obama Consciously Allows Torture”

    CIA Whistleblower: “US is a Police State, Obama Consciously Allows Torture”

    CIA Veteran John Kiriakou

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    Ten years ago, the idea of the US government spying on its citizens, intercepting their emails or killing them with drones was unthinkable. But now it’s business as usual, says John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent and torture whistleblower.
    **

    ***
    Kiriakou is now awaiting a summons to start a prison sentence. One of the first to confirm the existence of Washington’s waterboarding program, he was sentenced last week to two-and-a-half years in jail for revealing the name of an undercover agent. But even if he had another chance, he would have done the same thing again, Kiriakou told RT.
    ­RT: The judge, and your critics all seem to believe you got off lightly. Would you say you got off lightly?
    JK: No, I would not say I got off lightly for a couple of very specific reasons. First of all, my case was not about leaking, my case was about torture. When I blew the whistle on torture in December 2007 the justice department here in the US began investigating me and never stopped investigating me until they were able to patch together a charge and force me into taking a plea agreement. And I’ll add another thing too, when I took the plea in October of last year, the judge said that she thought the plea was fair and appropriate. But once the courtroom was packed full of reporters last Friday she decided that it was not long enough and if she had had the ability to she would have given me ten years.
    RT: And why did you, a decorated CIA officer, take such a strong stance against an agency policy? Did you not consider that there might be some come-back?
    JK: I did. I took a strong stance and a very public one and that’s what got me into trouble. But honestly the only thing I would do differently is I would have hired an attorney before blowing the whistle. Otherwise I believe firmly even to this day I did the right thing.
    RT: You have called it ironic that the first person to be convicted with regards to the torture program is the man who shed light on it. Do you believe the others, who put the program together, will ever face justice?
    JK: I don’t actually. I think that president Obama just like president Bush has made a conscious decision to allow the torturers, to allow the people who conceived of the tortures and implemented the policy, to allow the people who destroyed the evidence of the torture and the attorneys who used specious legal analysis to approve of the torture to walk free. And I think that once this decision has been made – that’s the end of it and nobody will be prosecuted, except me.
    RT: When you initially came out against torture, you said it was impractical and inefficient. Did you consider it immoral initially?
    JK: I said in 2002 that it was immoral. When I returned from Pakistan to CIA headquarters early in the summer 2002, I was asked by a senior officer in the CIA’s counter-terrorist center if I wanted to be trained in the use of torture techniques, and I told him that I had a moral problem with these techniques. I believed that they were wrong and I didn’t want to have anything to do with the torture program.
    RT: It’s no secret that Obama’s administration has been especially harsh on whistleblowers. But can the US afford leniency, in these security-sensitive times?
    JK: I think this is exactly what the problem is. In this post 9/11 atmosphere that we find ourselves in we have been losing our civil liberties incrementally over the last decade to the point where we don’t even realize how much of a police state the United States has become.
    Ten years ago the thought of the National Security Agency spying on American citizens and intercepting their emails would have been anathema to Americans and now it’s just a part of normal business.
    The idea that our government would be using drone aircraft to assassinate American citizens who have never seen the inside of a courtroom, who have never been charged with a crime and have not had due process which is their constitutional right would have been unthinkable. And it is something now that happens every year, every so often, every few weeks, every few months and there is no public outrage. I think this is a very dangerous development.

    RT: Obama’s tough stance, and harsh punishments for whistleblowers, has sent a message. Is he winning his fight against those who speak out?
    JK: I don’t think he is winning this fight against whistleblowers, at least not over the long term, and I’ll tell you why.
    President Obama has now charged seven people with violations of the Espionage Act. All previous presidents in American history combined only charged three people with violating the Espionage Act. And the Espionage Act is a WWI-era act that was meant to deter German saboteurs during that First World War. And now it is being used to silence critics of the government.
    But so far all seven of these cases that have made their way into a courtroom have either collapsed of have been dismissed, including mine. All of the three espionage charges against me were dropped.
    So, I think frankly the Obama administration is cheapening the Espionage Act. The Espionage Act should be used to prosecute spies and traitors, not to prosecute whistleblowers or people who are exercising their first amendment right to free speech.
    RT: Do we still need whistleblowers? Are we going to see more of them coming out?
    JK: I think we will see more whistleblowers and I think we need whistleblowers now more than ever before. Whether it’s in national security or whether it is in the banking industry, the American people have a right to know when there is evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, or illegality. If the Justice Department is not going to prosecute these cases, at the very least the American people need to know.