Sunday, May 29, 2005

RFID Privacy Abuse Warning
“For example, using the technology for generic inventory control would not likely generate substantial privacy concerns. However, the use of RFIDs by the federal government to track the movement of individuals traveling within the United States could generate concern by the affected parties. Privacy issues associated with RFID implementation include notifying individuals of the existence or use of the technology; tracking an individual’s movements; profiling an individual’s habits, tastes, or predilections; and allowing for secondary uses of information."

Smart Cards Are Harmless
*The Executive Director of the Smart Card Alliance said so...

"Smart cards are no more a threat to privacy concerns than any other entitlement identification technology today. There is an electronic 'fingerprint' trail left behind in many everyday activities the average person partakes in. Credit card transactions, internet log-ins, and electronic toll systems are the most common examples, not to mention more 'spy ware' techniques like monitoring telephone transmissions, cell phone logs, and internet chat rooms."

Q&A: The issues surrounding the UK's proposed ID cards scheme
To keep the scheme updated and accurate, a series of fines and custodial sentences will then be introduced to keep cardholders in check - £1,000 for failing to disclose a change of address or up to 10 years' jail for fraudulent use of the card.

Ten years in prison? What in the hell are they trying to do to us?

Get Used To It
International travelers should get used to having their fingerprints taken or their irises scanned, because traditional airport security tests are outdated and open to abuse, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said yesterday.

They Even Got Sweden
“Motorola Printrak Biometric Identification Solution is providing for the storage of more than just biometrics. We are pleased to implement the first country-wide 1000ppi system in the world. It fully integrates fingerprints, palmprints, descriptive data, facial images, signatures and documents; giving Sweden’s National Police the ability to better organize crime scene information making their AFIS investment more valuable,” said Darrin Reilly, Motorola Communications and Electronics Vice President and General Manager, Motorola Biometrics business unit.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

No to internal passports
The British government's identification cards bill, reintroduced yesterday, ought to be defeated by parliament - but it will not be... the most important objection to the cards was identified by the data registrar; the danger of "function creep". The plan is being sold on the basis there will be minimum information on the cards and strict control of their use. Both look bound to grow.

Back Seat Big Brother
Oregon is on track to road-test whether black-box technology now in cars could one day be used to slap a tax on mileage.
No other state taxes by miles driven. And Oregon's civil libertarians and environmentalists aren't wasting any time in throwing spikes on the road to stop the concept.
The American Civil Liberties Union warns that the technology developed by a research team at Oregon State University is ripe for surveillance abuse.


Another Reason To Quit
NAKATANE, Kagoshima Pref. (Kyodo) - Experimental cigarette machines with age-verification systems recently installed on the rocket-launching island of Tanegashima are reducing the number of juvenile smokers, according to local police.
The machines, developed and installed by a group of domestic tobacco industry bodies, including the Tobacco Institute of Japan, dispense cigarettes only after a customer's integrated circuit card has been scanned and verified.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Hey everybody,
The Hitler Youth are back in style! Only this time, they're amerikans, The Presidential Prayer Team For Kids:

"Saturday, May 21 is Armed Forces Day—a special holiday created just to show our appreciation for every person who has served our nation in the Armed Forces (military service). Pray that every person who bravely serves America through the military will know the appreciation of the nation. Pray for their families—especially their kids—as they have had to get along without their mom or dad or other family member. Ask God to protect all the great people serving the country in this way, that they will do their jobs well and experience the peace and love of God wherever they are."

Director of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms—
Carl Truscott

"We know we are often telling you about different people and agencies in our government that work very hard to keep you and all Americans safe—and here's another one! The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms enforces all the federal laws and regulations relating to alcohol and tobacco diversion, firearms and guns, explosives and arson. ATF is a division of the Department of Justice, and its leader is Carl Truscott. Since they are in the Department of Justice, he and his team answer to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales."
"Mr. Carl Truscott is the Director of ATF and leads a team of more than 5,200 staff members... He and his wife Patricia have one daughter. Along with so many other people who work to keep America and Americans safe, it's great to pray for him and his team—for their protection, for wisdom and for God to keep them aware of potential threats and dangers."

Pray for them, bitch. Pray they don't come for you and your kids.

Chase Bank U.S.A., a division of the nation's largest credit-card issuer, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., will begin offering credit cards that use radio-frequency identification technology. The technology, called "blink," will let consumers make purchases by passing RFID chip-embedded cards in front a point-of-sale terminal. Chase plans to issue millions of blink cards by the end of this year.

FLASHBACK: Walmart's RFID directive

Precise Biometrics AB and Gunnebo Entrance Control are showing the next generation of electronic border control with biometrics at the IFSEC trade show in Birmingham, May 16-19. Gunnebo Entrance Control and Precise Biometrics are demonstrating at this exhibition a multibiometric verification system developed on a non-exclusive basis by Precise Biometrics for use in electronic border-control applications. The system is able to read and validate the holder of the new electronic passports in accordance with standards now being introduced in many countries around the world.

Passports in the U.S. and in other countries around the world will soon become electronic thanks to small RFID chips that will hold a traveler's identity information, visas and immunization records. While much attention has focused on the embedded chips in these "epassports," governments and their private sector partners face many daunting challenges in designing and building secure, reliable systems of this scale.

Are you aware of Aware's plans for you?

The Pentagon is fine-tuning a $75 million biometric ID system to protect U.S. bases in Iraq, the American Forces Press Service reported Tuesday. Department of Defense officials said the state-of-the-art identification system will use biographical data, facial photographs, fingerprints and iris scans to develop ID cards that cannot be counterfeited. Work on the new biometrics-based system began in late January when then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz pushed better protection for U.S. troops in Iraq.
Monday, May 16, 2005
here to opt out of Yahoo's "Web Beacons" program. Unless you don't mind them tracking your every move and allowing others to do so as well. Remember, it is browser-specific, so you must opt out every time you use a new computer or browser. Fucking assholes.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
original story:

Student residents and permanent residents of the University Hill neighborhood will have to start paying more attention to the maintenance of their property starting sometime this summer.

The program is still in the works, but in a month or so, community members in Boulder will be able to report environmental code and zoning violations online.

"We're hoping it will streamline things for us," Jody Jacobson, spokeswoman for the City of Boulder's Public Works Department, told the Colorado Daily Thursday.

Jacobson said individuals will be able to report a suspected violation online by giving a date, location, and description of what has been witnessed.

"The newest feature," according to Jacobson, is the ability of a photograph of a suspected violation to be included with the report.

Between January 1, 2005 and April 30, 2005, according to the City of Boulder Planning and Development Services data, the Hill received a total of 257 complaints and 231 field contacts, meaning violation findings by environmental enforcement officers.

Overall, the Hill received the most summonses at 84, over Martin Acres, Goss-Grove and East Aurora.

Stephen DePuy, code enforcement supervisor, said the high number of violations is because of the high concentration of students.

"I think the biggest reason is because there is a high turnover on the student population there and a high concentration of rental units and these are just the sorts of things that college students that decide to live on the Hill just don't think about," said DePuy.

With so many violations on the Hill, DePuy said it can be hard to keep up with all of the work that has to be done with only two environmental enforcement officers.

He said the new system will hopefully give the officers more time to be out in the field rather than talking to individuals with complaints on the phone.

"I think it will balance out," said DePuy. "We'll see more complaints coming in this way, but we'll have fewer calls that need to be made in order to clarify the situation, I'm hoping, so maybe we'll be able to use that desk time as fuel time instead."

Even with it being easier to file complaints, DePuy said he does not think people will abuse the system by inundating the system with complaints.

DePuy said the new system will not affect students too much, and many agree.

Kate Flanagan, the neighborhood relations director for the University of Colorado Student Union (UCSU), said the online reporting will not have a negative effect on students, but might have a positive effect.

"I don't think it is going to be an impact students will even notice," said Flanagan. "If anything it will make the students more aware that they do need to keep up on keeping their houses clean."

Jan Otto, a member of the University Hill Neighborhood Association (UHNA), said it is an improvement.

"The new system will allow the Environmental Enforcement officers to be more effective. The new system prompts people to enter complete data on the first contact, which should go a long way towards reducing the amount of time spent on callbacks," said Otto.

Otto also said that providing pictures will allow the officers to decide what should take priority.

Otto did not think the online system would lend to an increase in reports.

"I think, because this system will enable the EEO personnel to do their job more effectively, that this is an improvement," said Otto. "Anything that helps the City get more done without spending more money is an improvement, in my opinion."

original story:
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Redefining the School Dress Code
OKAYAMA — School uniform maker Ogo-Sangyo Co has released blazers mounted with global positioning system for grade school pupils which allow parents to keep track of their children's whereabouts...

Direct and Indirect Implications of Biometrics
"A new report has been published concerning the new EU requirement for biometric passports, visas and residence permits from 2006. Biometrics are often thought of only in terms of security and border controls, but the report makes the claim that there will be a ’function creep’ introducing biometric technologies in other areas as well.

From a health perspective the report is interesting because of its treatment of the medical aspects of the use of biometric technology. It identifies two types of implications: direct and indirect.

Direct implications are the ones that pose an actual health risk, like biometric equipment being contaminated or retina scans damaging eyesight. These, however, are treated as unsubstantiated fears rather than actual risks.

Indirect implications, however, are seen as more serious. For example the storage of sensitive health information raises questions about privacy and potential misuse."

Social Concerns in Biometrics
First of all, did you know that you might be one of the lucky ones who cannot be controlled through biometrics?

"Any biometrics program must be prepared to deal with individuals who cannot or will not participate in the program. Some people, through no fault of their own, cannot provide the chosen biometric because they have immeasurable fingerprints or eyes, for example. Thus, all biometric systems have a small number of people who simply cannot be enrolled."

But even if you're "immeasurable", they will eventually get you:

"Some people will stubbornly refuse to learn and use the device, which is normal. Communication is essential, though, for sooner or later they will have to conform in order to gain access... proper training and education should always be part of the implementation plan for any new installation or modification of an existing biometric device."

A Better Biometric Mouse
"Back-up power firm APC has gone off on a slight tangent by announcing a fingerprint scanning mouse.
The scanning technology is from Authentec which already supplies Toshiba among others. Authentec can scan fingerprints below the surface of the skin to the live layer or true fingerprint."

Hell Cab
New Yorkers will soon be hailing high-tech taxis.
Starting this fall, passengers might be able to watch news on a back seat screen, pay with a credit card and, thanks to a wireless tracking system, retrieve lost belongings that might have otherwise been gone forever... but some fear the technology, which will be required for all 12,787 yellow taxis, exacts a high price for riders and drivers: loss of privacy and peace.
Sunday, May 08, 2005

An Example:
In the United States, when the Social Security system was created in the early 20th century, each worker was issued a unique, nine digit, Social Security number (SSN). These SSNs were created to keep track of a person's contributions to the Social Security System and to determine his eligibility for benefits.

Due to function creep, the fact that each person has a unique SSN has led to them becoming a de facto identification number for each person. SSNs are now requested for other non-Social Security related government functions, such as income tax filing and passport issuance, plus many more non-government functions such as tracking credit history, employee ID numbers, and school records. Early Social Security cards, in fact, had printed on them "Not to be used for identification," a notice which was removed from later editions of the card.

Can anybody say, "Deja vu"? It's
happening again. This is just a blatant, classic case of function creep. It begins with the "terrorists" and ends with the rest of us being forced to obtain a national ID. This bill is so hideous that even our nation's governors oppose its passage.

March 08, 2005
Local Council operated CCTV surveillance function creep for "directed surveillance" by the Police and Customs & Excise.

Bradford Council's public CCTV surveillance cameras schemes appear to have be used increasingly for directed surveillance by the Police and by Customs & Excise, according to this Freedom of Information Act request based report in the local newspaper, the Bradford Telegraph & Argus

Directed Surveillance requires authorisation under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and is used for police surveillaance, familiar from TV and film as a "stakeout", or following suspects on foot or in a vehicle, with or without tracking devices etc.

However, RIPA only authorises the a list of public bodies such as the Police or Customs & Excise to snoop on people being investigated for a "serious" crime. defined as one which would be likley to attract at least a 3 year prison sentence for a first time offender, if convicted.

It does not authorise Local Authorities to snoop on people in this way. - spyblog (see also)

Just remember: it can't happen here.