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HIPAA

PRIVACYnotes Discussion List
Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

Respecting Privacy on the Web

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Privacynotes Digest
Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business
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Published by: Mike Banks Valentine Privacynotes
privacy@privacynotes.com www.privacynotes.com
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November 14, 2002 Issue #034
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.....IN THIS DIGEST.....

// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

"Big Brother Is Here - Finally" ~ Mike Banks Valentine

// -- INTRODUCTION -- // ~ Tony Hicks

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

"The Latest in Privacy Issues"

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// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

"Total Information Awareness" is the name being given to a Big Brotheresque proposed counter-terrorism system as a result of the DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency], a military scheme detailed in three terse paragraphs on the DARPA web site. [ http://www.darpa.mil/iao/TIASystems.htm ] where it is outlined in the following hazy terms.

Program Objective: The goal of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program is to revolutionize the ability of the United States to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists ? and decipher their plans ? and thereby enable the U.S. to take timely action to successfully preempt and defeat terrorist acts.

Program Strategy: Technically, the TIA program is focusing on the development of:

1) architectures for a large-scale counter-terrorism database, for system elements associated with database population, and for integrating algorithms and mixed-initiative analytical tools;

2) novel methods for populating the database from existing sources, create innovative new sources, and invent new algorithms for mining, combining, and refining information for subsequent inclusion into the database; and,

3) revolutionary new models, algorithms, methods, tools, and techniques for analyzing and correlating information in the database to derive actionable intelligence.

Planned Accomplishments: TBA

TBA means "To Be Ascertained" and is a clear admission that the planned accomplishments are nebulous as a thick fog at daybreak.

The spookiest part of the entire scheme is the "large-scale counter-terrorism database," which, according to a flow chart from a powerpoint presentation reproduced on the same web page, is to be drawn from existing transactional databases of "financial, education, travel, medical, veterinary, country entry, place/event entry, transportation, housing, critical resources, government and communications" sources. This means that the government will now need to be gathering that long list of data from non-governmental sources! They currently don't have access to those multiple resources and will be gaining access in the guise of fighting terrorism.

The other concern is the automatic inclusion of biometric data into that system, including "Gait analysis, fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition". This data is not available to Uncle Sam either! Where does it come from? If the "Total Information Awareness" system is implemented, it means vast new probing, filing, sorting and storing of previously non-existent information in new databases to be merged with all old information in both government and private (commercial) sources.

The fascinating thing about this story is the way it was quickly dropped by the media after it's initial announcement last week. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html where Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington said, "This could be the perfect storm for civil liberties in America, The vehicle is the Homeland Security Act, the technology is Darpa and the agency is the F.B.I. The outcome is a system of national surveillance of the American public."

 

// -- INTRODUCTION -- //

From: Tony Hicks

Let me introduce myself, I'm Tony Hicks and it doesn't bother me to be known to the world.. I protect my privacy well enough but if you're gonna hear my opinion, you're gonna know my name.. I've been contacted by congressman at state and federal levels of issues such as Napster and Columbine.

You see.. I'm not sure what good I do people to be quiet when something bugs me..

And you know what bugs me right now? The Government's programs Carnivore (email listener) and Magic Lantern (watches a computer's activity to get PGP codes). I believe it is a total invasion of privacy, I've no major secret to hide, except my life, what I do and who I correspond with is my business and noone elses.. Magic Lantern may stop the next terrorist attack, but does Carnivore have to read my emails to catch bin Laden?

I'm also a web developer, and you're about to see why this is important.

Above all else, I'm a Christian (18 years old, and 5 years credited to my Faith), before I sleep, God is the last one I talk to, and after I wake up, He's the first one I thank.. I don't follow along with the freedom and privacy movements as well as I should.. because its David and a billion Goliaths.. But I do load rocks in a few slingshots... because my beliefs inspire me, you'll find my name as developer or co-developer in a few major websites (and a few more coming) concerned with privacy and the activity of the Government. These include, in order of the last time I worked on them. ALFII (where I also do Technical Support Relations), and the near-infamous Sierra Times. I do not associate myself with anti-government entities, I am however known to a few pro-privacy groups.. and in this post that goes nowhere, I'd just like to let you all know I'm here.

ALFII has its own internal messaging system, Carnivore doesn't detect these quasi-emails sent between users because it never leaves our server, that's one software that's gotta find its puppy chow somewhere else.

This line may or may not pass the moderator, but I would like to let all you folks know that if you would like to create a website concerned with or at least respecting the privacy cause, and don't mind paying me to save you the time of learning it all, you can contact me at support@alfii.com. Of course if you just wanna chat it up, I'm here too.

God Bless, Tony Hicks

 

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

Moderator note: There are two ways to access previously listed privacy news stories. One is to visit Privacynotes archives, the other (simpler) way is to visit

http://privacynotes.com/privacy_news.html where I also keep a privacy news archive.

In April, 2002, hackers broke into the payroll database for the state of California. For more than a month, cybercriminals rooted around in the personal information of 265,000 Golden State employees, ranging from Governor Gray Davis to maintenance workers and clerks. Worse, the California Controller's Office, which ran the database, failed to notify state employees for more than two weeks after the breach was discovered. Although officials with the Controller's office insisted the break-in probably hadn't resulted in any significant harm, the incident enraged Golden State pols and employees, whose Social Security (news - web sites) numbers, bank account information, and home addresses were fair game for the hackers.

http://newsseer.com/?r=222049

The Supreme Court considered Wednesday whether some states unconstitutionally punish convicted sex offenders twice, first with jail time or probation, then with putting their pictures on the Internet. Many justices seemed to support the online registries as the court reviewed its first challenges of what are known as Megan's laws, although some questioned whether the statutes stigmatize non-dangerous convicts as predators. In a companion case, justices will decide if states should give offenders a chance to prove they aren't dangerous to avoid having their picture and address put on the Internet. Every state and the federal government have sex-offender registry laws. Information in about 30 states is available online.

http://newsseer.com/?r=222190

The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) said on Tuesday it would decide whether certain federal records on multiple sales of handguns and the tracing of firearms involved in crimes must be disclosed to Chicago for the city's lawsuit against the gun industry. The high court said it would hear a Justice Department (news - web sites) appeal arguing the records in two computer databases should not be released under the freedom of information law. The National Rifle Association supported the appeal.

http://newsseer.com/?r=221186

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