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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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December 5, 2002 Issue #036
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.....IN THIS DIGEST.....

// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- // ~ Mike Banks Valentine

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

"Big Brother is Here - Finally" ~ Dirk Collins ~ Lynn Bernstein

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

"The Latest in Privacy Issues"

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// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

This week we have a rather long post from Dirk Collins discussing details of the Cyber Security Enhancement Act H.R. 3482, CSEA) into the Homeland Security Act (H.R. 5710, HSA).

I've removed a long quote from the Whitehouse web site in favor of a direct web link to that information so those interested in them can visit the web site to read the [important] details.

This is a serious issue with massive privacy implications for all of us and I encourage everyone to pay close attention to it, even though the rather dry details can sometimes discourage our complete understanding - the most minute details of our lives don't belong in a Big Brother database sold to taxpayers by Siebel Systems [see news link in privacy news below].

And here's a little humor about Total Information Awareness from editorial cartoonist Mark Fiore for those of you with high speed connections and a flash player.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?E2C932792

 

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

==> TOPIC: BIG BROTHER IS HERE - FINALLY

From: Dirk Collins

>> The Supreme Court and Congress should reverse this misguided ruling. In May the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court, a lower tribunal established in 1978 to oversee domestic spying by the government, issued a stern rebuke to the Justice Department for its practices. The court identified 75 instances in which the F.B.I. had abused its authority, in some cases by making false statements in eavesdropping applications. <<

If what I understand is correct concerning the new Homeland Security Act, then the justice department won't have to make false statements in eavesdropping applications anymore, they'll just spy and wiretrap without needing to obtain a warrant in many cases, without having to be present to serve a warrant, and without a risk of censure or oversight in many cases as the Freedom of Information Act doesn't apply to any information volunteered to the new Department of Homeland Security.

On a whim, I decided to have a look at the final congressional approved legislation that is scheduled to go to the presidents desk for signing sometime this week. (A summary is already on the white house web site.)

Homeland Security Act available for viewing at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/deptofhomeland/analysis/title1.html

Posters Comments:

Congress has some oversight on the new Department of Homeland Security for the most part in that it has to confirm the senior management team appointments with the exception of the following: The Director of the Secret Service, The General Counsel, The Chief Financial Officer, and the Chief Information Officer. These four posts are by presidential appointment. The president is also authorized to appoint up to ten additional assistant secretaries as well. DHS take control of Visa Issuance and Denial (Formerly held by the State Department and Consular offices in U.S. Embassies around the world.) The powers of the Inspector General to investigate DHS is curtailed per Senate bill S2794 (This is the Senate Homeland Security Act bill).

The new agency will be composed of 20 other existing agencies and organizations including:


  1. National Infrastructure Protection Center of the FBI (other than the Computer Investigations and Operations Section).
  2. The National Communications System.
  3. The Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office.
  4. The Computer Security Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  5. The National Infrastructure
  6. The Federal Computer Incident Response Center.
  7. The Federal Emergency Management Agency;
  8. the following units of the Department of Justice: A. The Office for Domestic Preparedness of the Office of Justice Programs. B. the National Domestic Preparedness Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. C. The Domestic Emergency Support Teams
  9. The following units of the Department of Health and Human Services: A. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness including the Office of Emergency Preparedness, the National Disaster Medical System, and the Metropolitan Medical Response System. B. The Strategic National Stockpile.
  10. The United States Customs Service
  11. The Immigration and Naturalization Service
  12. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  13. The Coast Guard (To remain a distinct entity)
  14. The Transportation Security Administration
  15. The Federal Protective Service of the GSA
  16. The select agent registration enforcement programs and activities of the Department of Health and Human Services
  17. Certain relevant programs and activities of the Department of Energy.
  18. the National Bio-Weapons Defense Analysis Center
  19. The Plum Island Animal Disease Center.
  20. The Secret Service.

On November 13, the House rolled the Cyber Security Enhancement Act H.R. 3482, CSEA) into the Homeland Security Act (H.R. 5710, HSA)

Here’s a brief summary:

- your stored communications like voicemail and email will be available to any “government entity” (not just law enforcement agencies) that can convince your service provider that releasing your personal information is necessary to prevent “death or serious physical injury.” Instead of appearing before a judge and getting a warrant, any government agent may be able to get your information for nothing more than a scary story that might never get checked against the evidence.

- Building on the USA Patriot Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse act, CSEA dramatically increases penalties for computer crime. It adds two new kinds of criminal offenses for a person who uses a computer in an attempt to cause serious bodily injury or death. It is unclear how this would be applied and we are unsure if it falls in line with other penalties for violent crime.

- CSEA goes further down the wrong road to cellular phone privacy. Instead of advocating cryptography and other technical protections for cell phone traffic, the act simply punishes radio hobbyists. CSEA would allow five-year prison terms and felony convictions for first-time interceptors of cellular phone calls.

and further... section 109 of CSEA Protecting Privacy

(c) PRESENCE OF OFFICER AT SERVICE AND EXECUTION OF WARRANTS FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND CUSTOMER RECORDS- Section 3105 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: `The presence of an officer is not required for service or execution of a warrant under section 2703 when the provider of electronic communications service or remote computing service produces the information required in the warrant.

Also in H.R. 5710 SEC. 224. NET GUARD.

The Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection may establish a national technology guard, to be known as `NET Guard', comprised of local teams of volunteers with expertise in relevant areas of science and technology, to assist local communities to respond and recover from attacks on information systems and communications networks.

More information is available on the house and senate approved versions of the Homeland Security Act and the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2002 at the Library of Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/c107query.html

Hopefully, the courts will strike down unconstitutional elements in this broad new invasive and pervasive law, but I wouldn't count on that. The federal government is taking action after its' intelligence failure from 2001 and is conducting a massive reorganization in an attempt to streamline its' bad guy detection and in crime prevention. Unfortunately, there is so much excess in the broad new powers it grants itself, that civil liberties for the average citizen seem but a memory of the distant past. When this happened in Germany in the 1930s people began migrating out of that country.

With Regards, Dirk Collins

 

==> TOPIC: BIG BROTHER IS HERE - FINALLY

From: Lynn Bernstein

Hi Mike,

About the comment:

>> Could this be true?? and not be front page . If so we are in bigger trouble than I ever thought. How could any politician allow this? This is so far from of the people by the people and for the people. <<

We are in bigger trouble than you can imagine. Many people believe this is the correct method to proceed. They are very much for it. I tell them I like our Constitution as is. They think I'm nuts.

I also know many that called and wrote their elected representatives to vote against this. Either they received more calls and letters supporting this, or they are ignoring the people.

If they are ignoring the people, the people can vote their opinions on election day by voting them out of office. If it's not too late.

Lynn

 

// -- 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.

Questioning Mitchell Wagenberg can be unnerving, not least because he is apt to videotape the encounter through his eyeglasses or through a rivet on his belt. "I might as well just give the ballgame away right now," he said here recently after an hour's conversation, fumbling to reveal a minuscule camera in his shirt button. "Of course, I am completely wired, talking to you. Everything's being recorded." Mr. Wagenberg, known as the "king of the hidden camera" to a tiny elite of news media and law enforcement representatives who regularly employ him, may be a privacy advocate's worst nightmare. He has made a business of turning private moments into very public affairs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/20/arts/television/20HIDD.html Registration required, read and understand the NYTimes privacy policy!

Siebel Systems Inc. is joining forces with Lockheed Martin Corp. to jointly pursue opportunities in the government sector, the companies announced Wednesday. The strategic alliance formalizes ongoing efforts between the two companies, according to company officials. It's designed to deliver Siebel eGovernment and Homeland Security applications to federal agencies. Under the terms of the agreement, Lockheed Martin technical personnel can train and become certified in implementing those Siebel applications. Lockheed Martin, of Bethesda, Md., is perhaps best known for its aerospace products, but the company also has a federal systems integration business unit.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,717869,00.asp

The movie A Beautiful Mind illustrated the dementia suffered by Nobel Prize-winning economist John Nash by chillingly demonstrating the way he found suspicious patterns everywhere. Newspaper and magazine clippings, marked up with circles, papered the walls of his office, all appearing to the mathematically gifted Nash to be part of some elaborate code created by our nation's enemies. It turned out to be all in his mind. In the movie, making connections between seemingly unrelated things was the mark of psychosis. In Washington, it's the holy grail of national defense. No fewer than three national security agencies are currently working on developing massive "data mining" systems that will allow them to review billions of transactions from credit card purchases to car rentals in order to find terrorists hiding in plain site.

http://www.sptimes.com/2002/11/17/Columns/Electronic_snoops_wil.shtml

The identity theft scheme, which was run by a former help desk employee at a Long Island software company and which expanded to include a ring of Nigerians in the Bronx who bought many people's stolen personal information, ultimately wound up harming 30,000 people, according to federal prosecutors in Manhattan. People's credit ratings were ruined, their bank accounts were sometimes drained and their names were being used by strangers across the country. The arrests were probably "just the tip of the iceberg" in figuring out the dimensions of the thefts.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/27/nyregion/27CRED.html Registration required, read and understand the NYTimes privacy policy!

Its name is Orwellian, its head has a notorious past, and its goal has civil libertarians and computer-privacy advocates in a frenzy: Let the government troll vast databases of credit-card transactions, medical records and other personal information for signs of terrorist activity. As more is becoming known about the Total Information Awareness System, a Pentagon research project headed by former Iran-Contra figure John Poindexter, more people are becoming alarmed about the implications. The Pentagon tried to allay those concerns Wednesday, stressing that it is only "an experimental prototype" and that Poindexter's involvement is limited to the research. But Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she plans to introduce legislation to ensure that the project does not infringe on the privacy rights of Americans.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/4569587.htm

 

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