Senators Move on National ID Card

Senators Move on National ID Card

REAL ID Back From The Dead

Senators Schumer and Graham Sneak National ID Card into Immigration Reform

McCain and Obama Support National ID Card

Montana Governor Tells Feds “Go to Hell” on Real ID


Obama Orders U.S. to Prepare For Biological Attack

Obama Orders U.S. Postal Service to Deliver Aid if Biological Attack Occurs

EU Times
January 2, 2010

The US Post Office could play a key role in distributing medical aid in the event of a biological attack, according to an executive order released by the White House.

The order signed by President Barack Obama directs government agencies, local law enforcement and the US Post Office to work on a model for distribution of medical countermeasures in the wake of a biological attack.

“This policy would seek to: (1) mitigate illness and prevent death; (2) sustain critical infrastructure; and (3) complement and supplement State, local, territorial, and tribal government medical countermeasure distribution capacity,” the order said.

“The US Postal Service has the capacity for rapid residential delivery of medical countermeasures for self administration across all communities in the United States,” the order added.

The US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were instructed to work with the post office to develop a “dispensing model for US cities to respond to a large-scale biological attack, with anthrax as the primary threat consideration.”

The order calls for the model to be drawn up within 180 days, but gives no details as to whether the idea of using the US postal system to assist Americans in the wake of a biological attack is a new one.

The United States has sought to bolster its capacity to respond to biological attacks since 2001, when anthrax-laced letters mailed to people across the United States led to five deaths.

The order came amid heightened security concerns here following an attempt to bring down a US-bound jetliner on Christmas Day. A 23-year-old Nigerian has been charged in the case.


Cyber-Security Chief Resigns in Protest

Cyber-Security Chief Resigns in Protest

New Media Journal
December 29. 2009

Rod A. Beckstrom

The official in charge of coordinating the US government’s cyber-security operations has quit, saying the expanding control of the National Security Agency over the nation’s computer security efforts poses “threats to our democratic processes.”

“Even from a security standpoint, it is unwise to hand over the security of all government networks to a single organization,” said Rod A. Beckstrom, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Center when speaking to United Press International.

“If our Founding Fathers were taking part in this debate [about the future organization of the government’s cyber-security activities], there is no doubt in my mind they would support a separation of security powers among different [government] organizations, in line with their commitment to checks and balances,” he said.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last week, Mr. Beckstrom said the NSA “dominates most national cyber efforts” and “effectively controls DHS cyber efforts through detailees, technology insertions and the proposed move” of the NCSC to an NSA facility at the agency’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters.

“I believe this is a bad strategy on multiple grounds,” Mr. Beckstrom wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by UPI. “The intelligence culture is very different than a network operations or security culture. In addition, threats to our democratic processes are significant if all top-level government network security and monitoring are handled by any one organization.”


REAL ID Back From The Dead

REAL ID Back From The Dead

Richard Esguerra
Electronic Frontier Foundation

August 24, 2009

In February, the opponents of REAL ID were given a bit of hope when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that she wanted to repeal the REAL ID Act, the federal government’s failed plan to impose a national identification card through state driver’s licenses. But what has taken place since is no return to sanity, as political machinations have produced a cosmetic makeover called “PASS ID” that has revived the push for a national identification card.

The PASS ID Act (S. 1261) seeks to make many of the same ineffectual, dangerous changes the REAL ID Act attempted to impose. Fundamentally, PASS ID operates on the same flawed premise of REAL ID — that requiring various “identity documents” (and storing that information in databases for later access) will magically make state drivers’ licenses more legitimate, which will in turn improve national security.

Proponents seem to be blind to the systemic impotence of such an identification card scheme. Individuals originally motivated to obtain and use fake IDs will instead use fake identity documents to procure “real” drivers’ licenses. PASS ID creates new risks — it calls for the scanning and storage of copies of applicants’ identity documents (birth certificates, visas, etc.). These documents will be stored in databases that will become leaky honeypots of sensitive personal data, prime targets for malicious identity thieves or otherwise accessible by individuals authorized to obtain documents from the database. Despite some alterations to the scheme, PASS ID is still bad for privacy in many of the same ways the REAL ID was. And proponents of the national ID effort seem blissfully unaware of the creepy implications of a “papers please” mentality that may grow from the issuance of mandatory federal identification cards. Despite token provisions that claim to give states the freedom to issue non-federal identification cards, the card will be mandatory for most — the PASS ID Act seeks to require everyone to show the federally recognized ID for “any official purpose,” including boarding a plane or entering a federal building.

At the moment, health care reform is commanding tremendous attention and effort on the hill, so the PASS ID Act seems to be on the backburner for now. But after the August recess, anything can happen. So stay tuned for more about PASS ID and critical opportunities to flag your opposition to this flawed national ID scheme.


Swine Flu Vaccines – Order Out Of Chaos

Swine Flu Vaccines – Order Out Of Chaos


Governor: REAL ID good idea for Arizona

Governor: REAL ID good idea for Arizona

Arizona Range News
December 3, 2008

Gov. Janet Napolitano responded to concerns voiced Wednesday by a state lawmaker and the state director of the American Civil Liberties Union in reference to an agreement the governor signed last week with the Department of Homeland Security to create a new identification card.

The three-in-one card complies with the state’s driver’s license standards, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and can be used in the work eligibility process, according to Napolitano.

During a phone interview with the the Sierra Vista Herald, the governor said the card is “a good deal for Arizona.” She pointed out the card is optional.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will take effect Jan. 31, will require U.S. residents to show proof of citizenship in order to enter the United States from Canada or Mexico. Napolitano said the card can be used in place of a passport for that purpose.

“Particularly in the southern part of our state, where a lot of people do go back and forth to Mexico all the time and a lot of people don’t have passports and don’t want to want to pay the expense of getting a passport, this will be an available option and an affordable option for them,” she said.

Also, the governor said, given legislative approval, the card will help future employees and employers comply with new state law on employer sanctions.

According to Napolitano, the card will be aligned to be compliant with the requirements of the federal REAL ID Act.

Republican Sen. Karen Johnson, of Mesa, criticized the governor for signing the agreement with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff because the final regulations on REAL ID have not been made public.

“Who is the governor to say what we are going to do? She is just one branch of our state government,” Johnson says in a press release issued Wednesday.

But, Napolitano said, “all the agreement says is once we have the regulations, we will work to make this new optional license comply ‘as soon as practicable.’ That is a very important phrase. That means there have to be regulations we agree with and there has to be federal funding associated with it.”

“This license should not rise or fall on REAL ID. It should rise or fall on is it a good idea for Arizonans, and it is,” she added.

Napolitano has committed to seeking any legislative approval that is required regarding the agreement with Chertoff.

Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona, issued a press release Wednesday urging state lawmakers to reject efforts to introduce the new driver’s licenses. She says U.S. citizens carrying the cards will be at risk of being tracked.

“These new enhanced driver’s licenses will turn Arizonans into sitting ducks for identity thieves who’ll be able to remotely scan anyone’s electronic identity with inexpensive handheld readers that pick up data emitting from these licenses,” she says.

Napolitano said Meetze is “wrong” and has not taken the time to study the license.

She said the card has a chip, but it does not contain personal information. She said the only people who will be able to learn about a cardholder are those who can access a law enforcement database.

“It’s not as if your license is a hackable vehicle,” she said.

What is the ‘North American Union’?