The Road to Artificial Omniscience
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name...
"But instead he will honor a god of fortresses...
The states of the Union issue their own drivers licenses and that is their domain, not the federal government, but how many Americans know this? No National ID is fool proof from tampering, period. Because this is a fact that has been proven, the next logical step will be a forced bio chip under the skin as the only way to "fight the war on terrorism." Mark my words: the National ID is the gateway tool for a chip and I ask: "Where are the churches in this country?" Why are they not warning their flocks that the Mark of the Beast is just over the horizon? - Devvy Kidd, The National ID is not Mandatory, August 21, 2006 http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd208.htm
VIDEO ALERT: IBM, Verichip, and the Rise of the Fourth Reich
Ed. Note: This is a well produced video that claims a link between IBM, Hitler and the wholesale slaughter of Jews during WWII and what is transpiring now with the Verichip inplantable chip. See actual footage of those with the chip already implanted swiping their arm or hand to gain entry, show proof of ID etc...
See Corresponding Article Here:
The IBM Link to Auschwitz
VeriChip Corporation's VeriMed Patient Identification System Now Has 140 Hospitals
and Approximately 300 Physicians as Part of Its Network
GENETIC ENGINERRING NEWS - September 6, 2006 - VeriChip Corporation: VeriChip Trains Nearly 400 FEMA Employees on Its VeriTrace Emergency Management/Disaster Recovery Application
VeriChip Corporation, a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions (NASDAQ: ADSX), announced today that its Implantable Division, consisting of the patient ID and personal health information system called "VeriMed", the security application called "VeriGuard", and the emergency management system called "VeriTrace" achieved important milestones. VeriMed, the first and only FDA-approved microchip for patient identification and access to medical information has advanced adoption in key areas of hospital and physician acceptance.
Since early August, 26 new healthcare facilities have agreed to adopt the VeriMed system. This brings the total to approximately 140 emergency departments, of which 36 - located in seven states and Washington, D.C. - have fully implemented the technology and will use the VeriMed reader as standard protocol to scan patients that present unconscious, delirious or confused. The Company continues to provide readers to hospitals at no charge as part of its efforts to "seed" the infrastructure for the VeriMed patient identification system.
The expansion of the VeriMed physician network has increased nearly six-fold in 2006, indicating increasing acceptance of VeriMed by primary care and specialty physicians.
"We are optimistic that we will see a significant increase in the number of physicians in our physician network as we enhance our efforts to educate physicians about the benefits of VeriMed through participation in several large medical conferences scheduled over the next few months," stated Kevin McLaughlin, CEO of VeriChip Corporation. "We are further encouraged that our clinical study program with Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, which commences in September, will lead to increased adoption by physicians and health insurers."
VeriChip's VeriTrace application is designed to assist state and federal agencies to plan for and manage emergency situations and disaster recovery using implantable RFID technology. VeriChip has now trained nearly 400 FEMA employees on this technology including the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORT) involved in the recovery efforts during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and responsible for Weapons of Mass Destruction recovery efforts. VeriChip continues to work with federal and state agencies on full implementation of this technology.
About VeriChip Corporation
VeriChip Corporation, headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, develops, markets and sells radio frequency identification, or RFID, systems used to identify, locate and protect people and assets. VeriChip's goal is to become the leading provider of RFID systems for people in the healthcare industry. VeriChip sells passive RFID systems for identification purposes and active RFID systems for local-area location and identification purposes. VeriChip recently began to market its VeriMed(TM) Patient Identification System which is used to rapidly and accurately identify people who arrive in an emergency room and are unable to communicate. This system uses the first human-implantable passive RFID microchip, the implantable VeriChip(TM), cleared for medical use in October 2004 by the United States Food and Drug Administration. For more information on VeriChip, please call 1-800-970-2447, or email email@example.com. Additional information can be found online at www.verichipcorp.com.
About Applied Digital - "The Power of Identification Technology"
Applied Digital develops innovative identification and security products for consumer, commercial, and government sectors worldwide. The Company's unique and often proprietary products provide identification and security systems for people, animals, the food supply, government/military arena, and commercial assets. Included in this diversified product line are RFID applications, end-to-end food safety systems, GPS/Satellite communications, and telecomm and security infrastructure, positioning Applied Digital as the leader in identification technology. Applied Digital is the owner of a majority position in Digital Angel Corporation (AMEX:DOC - News). ...
Georgia: Fingers used as meal ticket
ROME-NEWS TRIBUNE - By Sonya Elkins, Staff Writers - September 2, 2006 - ROME, GEORGIA: If using a scan of your finger as a credit card sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie to you, it may be time to catch up with local 5-year-olds.
Rome City Schools is switching its elementary schools, Rome Middle School and Rome High School to a finger-scanning system that accesses students’ accounts and lets them pay for meals with — literally — a touch of the finger.
Second grade Anna K. Davie student Adrianna Harris liked the change in her lunchroom, she said, as she took a break from eating her pizza to consider the system.
“The finger’s better because all you’ve got to do is put your finger in, and you don’t have to do the number and get mixed up,” Adrianna said.
Before, students typed in or verbally gave pin numbers to lunchroom personnel to access their accounts and pay for meals. In the system prior to that, students scanned identification cards.
City administrators said the new system speeds lunch lines, particularly for younger students, and eliminates problems such as forgotten cards and numbers.
However, some parents are questioning the new system, which is already being used by some students at all schools.
The city hopes to have all students scanned in and the system in complete use within the next month.
A big part of Rome High parent Hal Storey’s issue is he was never notified or given information on the system before his 10th grade daughter’s finger was scanned. In an age of identity theft, he said, his questions should have been answered beforehand.
While he understands the biometric scan done by the machine of students’ fingers is not the equivalent of an actual fingerprint “it is some version of it,” he said.
“It may be perfectly secure, but my daughter is a minor and I understand that supposedly the kids have the option to not have their prints scanned but that’s not being articulated to my daughter,” Storey said. “If parents don’t know about it, they don’t know about the ‘opt out’ option.”
Rome City Schools Superintendent Gayland Cooper confirmed students don’t have to use the system.
The city has heard some questions about the finger-scanning system and in response plans to send a letter to parents, likely sometime next week, Cooper said.
“I have been assured biometrics and the use of a finger scan for meal passes is a secure method for charging student accounts for lunch and breakfast,” he said. “The process also allows the lunch line to move quicker, and it provides more security than verbally calling out pin numbers at lunch.”
The new technology hasn’t raised red flags with all parents.
Lori Tilton, mother of a fifth grade West End student, said she learned about it a couple of weeks ago while eating lunch with her daughter.
“I think it’s a good, efficient way to do it,” she said, “and I’m not really concerned with any violations of privacy.”
Getting all students scanned into the system is a gradual process, Cooper said. So why the added effort and investment to switch to a new system?
In the progression from scanning cards to entering numbers, this new option is the easiest and most efficient yet for students, said Barbara Carter, Rome City Schools nutrition director.
“We wanted our students to have more time to eat,” she said. “It’s going to get our students more quickly through the line.”
Things move along quicker at her school, said Anna K. Davie fourth grader Nikeria London. “It doesn’t take so long for us to sit down,” she said.
The system makes cashiers’ jobs easier and lines flow more smoothly, said Shawn Tucker, a technical support manager for Comalex, the company that supplied the new technology.
“From a sales point, it just streamlines the system,” he said. “You don’t have administrators worrying that children remember cards or numbers.”
If he had been notified and informed about the technology before it was put in place, Storey said, he might have been fine with the new system.
“At this moment my plan is to instruct them because they don’t have parental permission, to remove my daughter’s scan and have alternative means,” he said.
http://news.mywebpal.com/partners/680/public/news744509.html Swallowable Sensors MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW - By Courtney Humphries - September 7, 2006 - After several years of development, swallowable wireless sensors are now ready to begin monitoring the human body. A tiny medical device sold by Buffalo, NY-based SmartPill has received approval by the Food and Drug Administration to be marketed in the United States. The electronic pill is meant to be ingested by a patient; it then gathers information about the digestive system as it travels through it, transmitting the information to a receiver worn by the patient. The newly approved device, the size and shape of a large vitamin pill, is approved to help clinicians diagnose gastroparesis, a disorder that causes the stomach to empty very slowly. As it journeys through the GI tract, a radio transmitter sends information about the time its journey takes, as well as acidity and pressure levels. The level of acidity helps the physician to determine when the capsule enters and leaves the stomach. A receiver that's slightly larger than a cell phone collects the data from the device. And the disposable capsule gets excreted from the body after a day or two. The patient then returns the receiver to the doctor, for downloading and analysis. Each capsule will cost $500, and the entire system, including a docking station and software, costs $20,000. David Barthel, president and CEO of SmartPill, says their device is the first among others they hope to design for addressing motility disorders, which arise when the muscle contractions moving food through the digestive system are abnormal. The most common such disorder is irritable bowel syndrome, which could affect up to 20 percent of Americans. ... UK: Litter Hitlers
THE SUN - August 27, 2006 - THERE’S a nasty stench coming from wheelie bins across the country – and it’s nothing to do with rotting rubbish.
Microchips secretly installed are spying on families without their permission.
Where are we living — Britain or North Korea?
Of course the spies in our bins aren’t used to do anything useful like catch gangs of lawless youths roaming our streets.
Their main aim seems to catch us putting too much rubbish in our bins.
This is another disgraceful example of government, whether based at Whitehall or town hall, poking its nose into our business.
Councils say one aim of the “Bin Brother” scheme is to help them resolve disputes over wheelie bins’ ownership.
If so, why not provide owners with a tin of paint so they can put their house number on the side?
The Sun is all for recycling and a greener future.
But sneaking bugs into wheelie bins without telling owners just stinks.
MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW - By Courtney Humphries - September 7, 2006 - After several years of development, swallowable wireless sensors are now ready to begin monitoring the human body. A tiny medical device sold by Buffalo, NY-based SmartPill has received approval by the Food and Drug Administration to be marketed in the United States. The electronic pill is meant to be ingested by a patient; it then gathers information about the digestive system as it travels through it, transmitting the information to a receiver worn by the patient.
The newly approved device, the size and shape of a large vitamin pill, is approved to help clinicians diagnose gastroparesis, a disorder that causes the stomach to empty very slowly. As it journeys through the GI tract, a radio transmitter sends information about the time its journey takes, as well as acidity and pressure levels. The level of acidity helps the physician to determine when the capsule enters and leaves the stomach. A receiver that's slightly larger than a cell phone collects the data from the device. And the disposable capsule gets excreted from the body after a day or two. The patient then returns the receiver to the doctor, for downloading and analysis. Each capsule will cost $500, and the entire system, including a docking station and software, costs $20,000.
David Barthel, president and CEO of SmartPill, says their device is the first among others they hope to design for addressing motility disorders, which arise when the muscle contractions moving food through the digestive system are abnormal. The most common such disorder is irritable bowel syndrome, which could affect up to 20 percent of Americans. ...
UK: Litter Hitlers
THE INDEPENDENT - August 29, 2005 - On a warm summer night in Barcelona, the dance floor of the Baja Beach Club is a writhing mass of locals and tourists. The normal punters here still have to go through the tiresome rituals of queuing for entry, waiting at the bar, fumbling for change, and fretting about the safety of their wallets. But for the lucky members of the Baja's VIP lounge, a magic chip implanted in their arm does it all for them. The cybernetic disco has arrived.
It's midnight, and time for the VIP lounge to open. Footballers Ronaldinho and Eto'o are sometimes here, though apparently not tonight. At the entrance, there's no lists of names, just a computer. Baja Beach Club director Conrad Chase is on hand to show how it works.
"Some of us who work at Baja already have the implant," he explains, rolling up his sleeve. "It's somewhere about here..." he murmurs, feeling his upper arm. He runs the scanner device over himself, and the computer instantly reads his 16-digit ID code. A photo pops up on the screen with his name, and the security man jokily waves the boss through...
VeriChip, as the technology is called, is manufactured by Applied Digital Solutions, a Florida-based company, and so far is the only chip on the market that can be embedded in humans. The chip is tiny, about the size of a pen point, and can be painlessly injected into the arm by any qualified nurse (Chase insists that at the Baja they only do this "early in the evening"). The scanning software, VeriPay, is operated by Windows.
Currently, there are more than 90 chipped VIP members of the Baja; staff won't be drawn on whether these include Ronaldinho (not all VIPs have opted for the device). Those that have, Chase explains, can run a tab on a central computer, which they can check up on with a wave of the arm. Chase is keen to point out the impossibility of credit-card details somehow leaking out. "It's a closed, pre-pay system we use here. Bills for drinks are simply debited off their Baja accounts."
The technology is still very much a novelty. Chase, who says the Baja in Barcelona was the first disco in the world to use VeriChip, has now introduced it in its sister club in Rotterdam. He also knows of clubs in London and Miami which are considering buying it...
While the Baja Beach Club's innovative use of the VeriChip has caused much interest, Almaraz says that nobody can predict with any accuracy if credit cards, ID and keys will one day all be bundled into one tiny personal chip. Privacy and fraud concerns aside, chips with everything is a tantalising proposition. "My own personal opinion," Almaraz says, "is that this is where technology and evolution is now moving us."
The National ID Is Not Mandatory
NEWS WITH VIEWS.com - By Devvy Kidd - August 21, 2006 - "Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution." --James Madison, Federalist No. 39, January 1788
One of the top ten issues right now is the insidious National ID. Many believe this latest Nazi-style tool is to fight the endless, vague "war on terrorism." It is no such thing. It is yet another attempt by the Congress and Bush to control we the people against our will, this time by denying you certain privileges if you refuse to comply. The sponsor of this bill is one of the most dangerous individuals in Congress, Republican James Sensenbrenner. This trasher of the Bill of Rights sponsored this junk bill, passed along party lines (261-161) which was eventually, surprise! surprise! got attached to what is called a "must-pass" Senate bill glued to the unconstitutional plundering of the people's purse to continue the unconstitutional "national building" in Iraq as well as unconstitutional stealing from the people's treasury for tsunami relief.
Because these duplicitous lawyers who serve in Congress knew they could not force this mandate on the states, it is voluntary on the part of the states. I will again quote from a document obtained and reproduced from the National Archives titled: Memorandum for Walter Zellman from Sallyanne Payton, clearly marked: Preliminary Draft for Official Use Only. Do Not Quote or Release For Any Purpose, page 4, Health Care Task Reform under Hillary Clinton:. Please note these sections:
"(b) may the federal government use other actors in the governmental system and the private sector as its agents and give them orders as though they were parts of a prefectorial system? The short answer is "no." State governments are independent, although subordinated, sovereignties, not subdivisions of the federal government.
"Although the federal government may regulate many of their functions directly [as well, for example, it subjects state water districts to the Clean Water Act], it may not require them to exercise their own governmental powers in a manner dictated by federal law. The states may be encouraged, bribed or threatened into entering into joint federal state programs of various sorts, from unemployment insurance to Medicaid; but they may not be commanded directly to use their own governmental apparatus in the service of federal policy. There is a modest jurisprudence of the Tenth Amendment that seems to have settled on this proposition. See the DOJ [Dept. of Justice] memorandum for a fuller elaboration."
What does this mean from a constitutional position? It means that the government can bribe the states, they can threaten them, but in fact, the states cannot be forced to get down on their knees to the federal government. In other words, no state of the Union has to comply with the National ID. In order to squash any rebellion, Congress then mandated that any any citizen who refuses this National ID will be prohibited from flying on commercial flights, entering any government building or opening a bank account. In the case of the State of Oregon, that state recently updated their drivers licenses and began issuing them in the new format for eight years. This will all be chucked if the people of Oregon do not demand their state legislature stand up to the feds. Tons of money wasted; multiply it by 50 states and you have massive waste for no legitimate reason.
We know for a fact that members of Congress do not read legislation they vote on. This year the House of Representatives will be in session creating mayhem and shredding the U.S. Constitution for a total of 79 days. The rest is basically a paid vacation (just like the counterfeit U.S. Senate) for junkets and fund raising. How many of them even bothered to read Public Law 109-13?
This Machiavellian new law will further bankrupt the states, i.e., the estimated cost to the Union: Somewhere $9.1 billion and $12.8 billion. All of this is completely unnecessary and it is a direct result of the 9/11 "event." This National ID under the control of the dangerous and completely useless Department of Homeland Security, run by a very evil man, Michael Chertoff, has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. It is all about people control and amassing huge data banks to snoop on Americans.
Millions of Americans are opposed to this ID and will refuse it - even if their state representatives prove too cowardly to stand up to Washington, DC. New Hampshire came close last March 2006, but Republicans killed this magnificent show of standing against tyranny. Why was there no massive outrage by the good people of New Hampshire? Because most of them do not realize the importance of stopping this "voluntary mandate" against the states and you can blame the Ministry of Propaganda, aka the media, both mainstream and cable. The states of the Union issue their own drivers licenses and that is their domain, not the federal government, but how many Americans know this? No National ID is fool proof from tampering, period. Because this is a fact that has been proven, the next logical step will be a forced bio chip under the skin as the only way to "fight the war on terrorism." Mark my words: the National ID is the gateway tool for a chip and I ask: "Where are the churches in this country?" Why are they not warning their flocks that the Mark of the Beast is just over the horizon?
States must stand up to the feds and say no. If the estimated cost to the 50 states of the Union is between $9.1 BILLION and $12.8 BILLION, you can bet the end result will be triple that due to sheer numbers and incompetence. Every state legislature and governor must notify the federal government that they will not participate and assert their sovereignty; see Marbury v Madison and U.S. v Lopez. This will not happen unless millions of Americans get in the face of their state legislators, governors and banks NOW, not next February or a week before you're to be issued this ID. How do you do this?
1. You send a short letter to your state representative and state senator or send them a copy of this column with a note that you will NOT surrender your state drivers license. Yes, you understand that by not accepting this voluntary National ID you will be prohibited from flying on a commercial air liner, AMTRAK or enter a federal building (there goes jury duty). While this might present a hardship, you will NOT surrender any more of your rights to this federal machine and if that rep or state senator does not pledge to fight the National ID, you WILL vote against them if they're up for reelection or work hard to get them recalled and thrown out of office..
2. Attend any political function or town hall meeting before the November election and make your voice heard. Let the incumbent know that you will vote against him/her in November unless they give their word right then and there that they will fight the National ID on your behalf. It is voluntary for the states and you do not want your state tax dollars, whether a direct personal state income tax, sales tax, etc - spent on this worthless and totally unnecessary federal strong arming.
3. Notify your bank in writing (politely) that you will NOT be forced to accept this voluntary National ID and if it becomes a requirement to keep your bank account with their institution, you will with draw your money from their bank at the appropriate time. Banks - especially those local ones - need your business and if they suddenly begin getting hundreds or thousands of short, concise and non threatening letters that Americans are going to start pulling out their money, there will be giant rippling effect.
The National ID is opposed by organizations which represent MILLIONS of Americans. Every organization that opposes this National ID needs to put out a short letter of guidance to their memberships that they must act NOW and go after their state lawmakers. I live in the great State of Texas and have put together my letters to my state reps and will be getting them off in the mail by the time this column is posted. It is no sacrifice for me regarding the air lines because I refuse to fly; I refuse to surrender my rights to the TSA or any other government agency in their "war on terrorism," which I know is built on a mountain of lies. Just read Patrick Briley's intense and fully researched columns on how the FBI knowingly and willfully continues to protect known terrorist organizations operating inside the US; see here.
One very important thing occurred two months before 9/11 that most have either forgotten or didn't know and it has to do with airline security. Below are excerpts from one of the public hearings on 9/11; the full statement can be read by clicking on the link:
Statement on Aviation Security for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States Seventh Public Hearing on Borders, Transportation, and Managing Risk
by Carol Ashley Member of the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission Washington, D.C. January 26, 2004
"On September 11th, 2001, my beautiful 25 year old daughter, Janice, was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. She worked on the 93rd floor of Tower One. Janice’s dad, her 18 year-old brother and I were devastated by her death."
"Meanwhile, the American civilian population was blissfully ignorant of the danger. But some government officials stopped flying commercial planes, and others canceled plans to fly on September 11th. According to a CBS news report, Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airlines in July, 2001, due to an FBI threat assessment. . San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who was scheduled to fly into New York City on the 11th, was advised late on the night of September 10th to be cautious about air travel into New York City. . On September 10th, Pentagon brass suddenly canceled flights scheduled for the 11th. 4
"Did some officials have advanced warning of the danger? If so, who advised them? Why wasn't the American public warned?"
"There were two changes to aviation security regulations in the summer of 2001. Two months before the terrorist attacks, a 40 year old FAA rule allowing commercial airline pilots to carry handguns was rescinded.  Who was responsible for rescinding this rule? What prompted the decision to disallow a regulation which had been in existence for 40 years?"
How every convenient that a 40-year old FAA rule allowing pilots to carry hand guns was rescinded only two months before 9/11. A huge number of commercial pilots are former military and war vets. They know how to use guns and fight. Yet, only two months before that horrible day, they are suddenly disarmed. Think how different things would have turned out had all those pilots been armed to fight off some thugs with box cutters. The most complete and thoroughly researched time line of events on 9/11 is found here.
Time is an issue for Americans and most do not have the luxury of being able to spend the amount of time I do researching. I would like to recommend three videos which are free on the Internet regarding 9/11: 9/11 Revisited, A presentation by Stephen Jones, Professor of Physics, Brigham Young University and Terror Storm. These videos are not silly conspiracy theories. Dr. Jones, a decent and courageous man is now a target to get him fired because of his scientific and scholarly analysis (and recent testing) regarding the molten pools of steel in the "pit" of ground zero. Actions of a desperate police state. Watch these videos with an open mind and using common sense, ask yourself, "How could this have happened?" and "What really happened that day?" Millions of Americans know the government's official story is little better than a fairy tale at this point in time. It's a painful realization, but truth must be the goal. Not party loyalty, not fear and not moral cowardice in refusing to look at the hard cold facts. [Please note: These Internet videos take time to load, but well worth the wait. I have DSL and it still takes a while if you don't let them fully load and try to play while your system downloads.]
If you are serious about refusing to accept the National ID, then now is the time to get started in creating such a back lash, the thousands of lawmakers in the 50 state legislatures will feel the heat and stand up to the feds. This is a major, critical fight and an important tool for totalitarian government we must defeat. Sticking one's head in the boob tube watching some sporting event or going to the mall will not make the truth go away, it will only further the efforts of those out to destroy this republic. Freedom is every American's duty and responsibility. Those who birthed this republic and their families spilled thousands of gallons of blood on the battlefield so we could be free. Those freedoms are being torn from us at a rapid rate and it is your responsibility to join the growing millions of Americans who refuse to surrender our rights and our nation to a one world totalitarian government.
The Total Information Awareness Project Lives On
MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW - By Mark Williams - April 26, 2006 - Technology behind the Pentagon's controversial data-mining project has been acquired by NSA, and is probably in use.
In April, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the advocacy organization for citizens' digital rights, filed evidence to support its class-action lawsuit alleging that telecom giant AT&T gave the National Security Agency (NSA), the ultra-secret U.S. agency that's the world's largest espionage organization, unfettered access to Americans' telephone and Internet communications. The lawsuit is one more episode in the public controversy that erupted in December 2005, when the New York Times revealed that, following September 11, President Bush authorized a far-reaching NSA surveillance program that included warrantless electronic eavesdropping on telephone calls and e-mails of individuals within the United States.
Critics charged that the Bush administration had violated both the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against unwarranted search or seizure, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, which requires eavesdropping warrants to be obtained from a special court of judges empowered for that purpose.
In February 2006, the controversy intensified. Reports emerged that component technologies of the supposedly defunct Total Information Awareness (TIA) project -- established in 2002 by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop advanced information technology to counter terrorists, then terminated by Congress in 2003 because of widespread criticism that it would create "Orwellian" mass surveillance -- had been acquired by the NSA.
Washington's lawmakers ostensibly killed the TIA project in Section 8131 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal 2004. But legislators wrote a classified annex to that document which preserved funding for TIA's component technologies, if they were transferred to other government agencies, say sources who have seen the document, according to reports first published in The National Journal. Congress did stipulate that those technologies should only be used for military or foreign intelligence purposes against non-U.S. citizens. Still, while those component projects' names were changed, their funding remained intact, sometimes under the same contracts.
Thus, two principal components of the overall TIA project have migrated to the Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA), which is housed somewhere among the 60-odd buildings of "Crypto City," as NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, MD, is nicknamed. One of the TIA components that ARDA acquired, the Information Awareness Prototype System, was the core architecture that would have integrated all the information extraction, analysis, and dissemination tools developed under TIA. According to The National Journal, it was renamed "Basketball." The other, Genoa II, used information technologies to help analysts and decision makers anticipate and pre-empt terrorist attacks. It was renamed "Topsail."
Has the NSA been employing those TIA technologies in its surveillance within the United States? And what exactly is the agency doing, anyway?
The hearings that the Senate Judiciary Committee convened in February to consider the NSA's surveillance gave some clues. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, maintaining the administration's defense against charges that it violated the Fourth Amendment and FISA, told senators, firstly, that Article II of the U.S. Constitution granted a president authority to conduct such monitoring and, secondly, that the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed after September 11 specified that the president could "use all necessary and appropriate force" to prevent future terrorist acts. Regarding FISA, Gonzalez claimed, the NSA had sidestepped its requirements to obtain warrants for electronic eavesdropping in particular cases. But, overall, the attorney general said, FISA worked well and the authorities had used it increasingly. The available facts support Gonzalez's contention: while the FISA court issued about 500 warrants per year from 1979 through 1995, in 2004 (the last year for which public records exist) 1,758 warrants were issued.
But when senators asked why, given the fact that FISA had provisions by which government agents could wiretap first and seek warrants later, the Bush administration had sidestepped its requirements at all, Gonzalez claimed he couldn't elaborate for reasons of national security.
Former NASA director General Michael Hayden, in charge when the NSA's surveillance program was initiated in 2002, was slightly more forthcoming. FISA wasn't applicable in certain cases, he told the senators, because the NSA's surveillance relied on what he called a "subtly softer trigger" before full-scale eavesdropping began. Hayden, who is nowadays the nation's second-highest ranking intelligence official, as deputy director of national intelligence, said he could answer further questions only in closed session.
Gonzalez's testimony that the government is making increased use of FISA, together with his refusal to explain why it's inapplicable in some cases -- even though retroactive warrants can be issued -- implies that the issue isn't simply that government agents may sometimes want to act quickly. FISA rules demand that old-fashioned "probable cause" be shown before the FISA court issues warrants for electronic surveillance of a specific individual. Probable cause would be inapplicable if NSA were engaged in the automated analysis and data mining of telephone and e-mail communications in order to target possible terrorism suspects.
As the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against AT&T reveals, NSA has access to the switches and records of most or all of the nation's leading telecommunications companies. These companies' resources are extensive: AT&T's data center in Kansas, for instance, contains electronic records of 1.92 trillion telephone calls over several decades. Moreover, the majority of international telecommunications nowadays no longer travel by satellite, but by undersea fiber-optic cables, so many carriers route international calls through their domestic U.S. switches.
With the telecom companies' compliance, the NSA can today tap into those international communications far more easily than in the past, and in real time (or close to it). With access to much of the world's telecom traffic, the NSA's supercomputers can digitally vacuum up every call placed on a network and apply an arsenal of data-mining tools. Traffic analysis, together with social network theory, can reveal patterns indiscernible to human analysts, possibly suggesting terrorist activity. Content filtering, applying highly sophisticated search algorithms and powerful statistical methods like Bayesian analysis in tandem with machine learning, can search for particular words or language combinations that may indicate terrorist communications.
Whether the specific technologies developed under TIA and acquired by ARDA have actually been used in the NSA's domestic surveillance programs -- rather than only for intelligence gathering overseas -- has not been proved. Still, descriptions of the two former TIA programs that became Topsail and Basketball mirror descriptions of ARDA and NSA technologies for analyzing vast streams of telephone and e-mail communications. Furthermore, one project manager active in the TIA program before it was terminated has gone on record to the effect that, while TIA was still funded, its researchers communicated regularly and maintained "good coordination" with their ARDA counterparts.
It's this latter fact that is most to the point. Whether or not those specific TIA technologies were deployed for domestic U.S. surveillance, technologies very much like them were. In 2002, for instance, ARDA awarded $64 million in research contracts for a new program called Novel Intelligence from Massive Data. Furthermore, overall, a 2004 survey by the U.S. General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, found federal agencies operating or developing 199 data mining projects, with more than 120 programs designed to collect and analyze large amounts of personal data on individuals to predict their behavior. Since the accounting office excluded most of the classified projects, the actual numbers would likely have been far higher.
Beyond these programs, additionally, there exist all the data-mining applications currently employed in the private sector for purposes like detecting credit card fraud or predicting health risks for insurance. All the information thus generated goes into databases that, given sufficient government motivation or merely the normal momentum of future history, may sooner or later be accessible to the authorities.
How should data-mining technologies like TIA be regulated in a democracy? It makes little sense to insist on rigid interpretations of FISA. This isn't only because when the law was passed by Congress 30 years ago, terrorist threats on al Qaeda's scale did not yet exist and technological developments hadn't gone so far in potentially giving unprecedented destructive power to small groups and even individuals. Today's changed technological context, additionally, invalidates FISA's basic assumptions.
In an essay published next month in the New York University Review of Law and Security, titled "Whispering Wires and Warrantless Wiretaps: Data Mining and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance," K. Taipale, executive director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology Policy, points out that in 1978, when FISA was drafted, it made sense to speak exclusively about intercepting a targeted communication, where there were usually two known ends and a dedicated communication channel that could be wiretapped.
With today's networks, however, data and increasingly voice communications are broken into discrete packets. Intercepting such communications requires that filters be deployed at various communication nodes to scan all passing traffic with the hope of finding and extracting the packets of interest and reassembling them. Thus, even targeting a specific message from a known sender today generally requires scanning and filtering the entire communication flow in which it's embedded. Given that situation, FISA is clearly inadequate because, Taipale argues, were it to be "applied strictly according to its terms prior to any 'electronic surveillance' of foreign communication flows passing through the U.S. or where there is a substantial likelihood of intercepting U.S. persons, then no automated monitoring of any kind could occur."
Taipale proposes not that FISA should be discarded, but that it should be modified to allow for the electronic surveillance equivalent of a Terry stop -- under U.S. law, the brief "stop and frisk" of a person by a law enforcement officer based on the legal standard of reasonable suspicion. In the context of automated data mining, it would mean that if suspicion turned out to be unjustified, after further monitoring, it would be discontinued. If, on the other hand, continued suspicion was reasonable, then it would continue, and at a certain point be escalated so that human agents would be called in to decide whether a suspicious individual's identity should be determined and a FISA warrant issued.
To attempt to maintain FISA and the rest of our current laws about privacy without modifications to address today's changed technological context, Taipale insists, amounts to a kind of absolutism that is ultimately self-defeating. For example, one of the technologies in the original TIA project, the Genisys Privacy Protection program, was intended to enable greater access to data for security reasons while simultaneously protecting individuals' privacy by providing critical data to analysts via anonymized transaction data and by exposing identity only if evidence and appropriate authorization was obtained for further investigation. Ironically, Genisys was the one technology that definitely had its funding terminated and was not continued by another government agency after the public outcry over TIA.
Home page image is available under GNU Free Documentation License 1.2. Caption: Original logo of the now-defunct Total Information Awareness Office, which drew much criticism for its "spooky" images.
Canadians protest 'North American Union'
Party to fly national flag upside down in protest at convention
WORLDNETDAILY - By Jerome R. Corsi - September 8, 2006 - A Canadian political party intends to fly the national flag upside down during its convention this weekend as a signal of distress and resistance against the integration of Canada with the United States and Mexico into a North American Union regional government.
Connie Fogal, the leader of the Canadian Action Party told WND "we are opposed to the plan to develop the Security and Prosperity Partnership into a EU-style North American Union government" which "amounts to treason and is a total violation of the constitutional rights of Canadian citizens."
Fogel explained that the party has decided to fly the Canadian Flag upside down during its convention "as a signal of our distress and resistance against the integration of Canada with the United States and Mexico."
Fogal argues the plan to form a North American Union is designed to avoid public scrutiny and to maintain "deniability" even as the legal structure for a new regional government is being put into place by the executive branches of the three countries.
Cabinet-level executive branch participants of the SPP working groups in Canada are organized to work with counterparts in the U.S. and Mexico largely out of public view.
"The plan is to create the NAU incrementally," Fogal told WND, "because if any of the three governments were up front about their true intentions, the SPP plan would never fly."
Fogel used strong language in expressing to WND the focus of the Canadian Action Party to bring the SPP and NAU to the attention of Canadians.
"The rapid integration of North America into one entity ruled by an unaccountable, unrepresented and unelected group cabal of administrative executive branch officials is treason pure and simple," she said.
The Canadian Action Party is recognized by Canadian federal elections officials as an official Canadian political party. In the 2006 federal election, the party fielded some 36 candidates but received only some .04% of the vote.
A video currently archived on YouTube.com records Connie Fogel's charge that the Canadian involvement in SPP and the movement to create the NAU constitutes treason.
Mexican truckers to hit U.S. roadways next year
Transportation secretary vows to release 1-year, NAFTA pilot plan by December
WORLDNETDAILY - September 1, 2006 - WASHINGTON – Transportation Secretary Maria Cino promises to release plans within months for a one-year, NAFTA pilot program permitting Mexican truckers beyond the limited commercial zone to which they are currently restricted.
The program will likely involve about 100 Mexican trucking companies, the Department of Transportation says.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA – the borders were to open partially to truckers from both countries in 1995. Full access was promised by 2000. Because of the restrictions on Mexican trucks, the Mexican government has imposed limits on U.S. truckers.
The U.S. restrictions were placed by the Clinton administration in response to demands from the Teamsters union, which said Mexican trucks posed safety and environmental risks. Currently, the U.S. permits Mexican truckers only in commercial zones close to the border that extend no further than 20 miles from Mexico.
While the American Trucking Association supports opening the border, other unions have joined in opposition with the Teamsters. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association came out this month in opposition to any Mexican truck pilot program.
Todd Spencer, the association's executive vice president, said the program would jeopardize safety on U.S. roads and would lead to an influx of cheap Mexican labor.
"A move by the U.S. Department of Transportation to open U.S. roadways to Mexican trucks puts the interest of foreign trade and cheap labor ahead of everything else, including highway safety, homeland security and the well being of hardworking Americans," Spencer said.
In a letter to the Interstate Trade Commission, Spencer wrote: "The net effect of admission of Mexican trucks into the U.S. marketplace would undoubtedly be negative. The supposed benefits to consumers from speculative reductions in shipping rates would be offset by the societal costs that are difficult to measure, but are easy to identify."
Spencer told the commission that Mexican trucks are not up to U.S. safety standards, and if U.S. drivers earn less as a result of labor competition, they would have less money to invest in vehicle maintenance – leading to even more less safe trucks.
The Teamsters have led opposition to the plan, saying the so-called "NAFTA superhighway," a north-south interstate trade corridor linking Mexico, Canada and the U.S., would mean U.S. truckers replaced by Mexicans, more unsafe rigs on American roads and more drivers relying on drugs for their long hauls.
The August issue of Teamster magazine features a cover story on the plan for an enlarged I-35 that will reach north from the drug capital border town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, 1,600 miles to Canada through San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Duluth, while I-69 originating at the same crossing will shoot north to Michigan and across the Canadian border.
Public proposals for the superhighway call for each corridor to be 1,200 feet wide with six lanes devoted to cars, four to trucks, with a rail line and utilities in the middle. Most of the goods will come from new Mexican ports being built on the Pacific Coast – ports being run by Chinese state-controlled shipping companies.
US expands visitor fingerprinting to deter attacks
REUTERS - By Deborah Charles - September 8, 2006 - WASHINGTON -
The U.S. government will take prints of all 10 fingers of foreigners entering the United States and compare them with those found at sites with ties to terrorists, the country's security chief said on Friday.
The United States now collects the prints of only the two index fingers of foreign visitors. But it will gather prints of all their fingers and thumbs by the end of 2008, Michael Chertoff, the secretary of Homeland Security, said."We will be able to run everybody's fingerprints against latent fingerprints that we are collecting all over the world in terrorist safe houses, off of bomb fragments that terrorists build, or in battlefields where terrorists wage war," Chertoff said in a speech at Georgetown University.
The department will install new 10-fingerprint reading devices at borders and airports in two years time as it transfers from the two-print system criticized for being incompatible with the FBI's 10-print databases.
Fingerprints are collected as part of the US-VISIT program launched in January 2004 to tighten U.S. borders and prevent other attacks like those of September 11 when 19 foreigners -- who all had U.S. visas -- hijacked four airplanes and killed nearly 3,000 people.
Chertoff said getting more prints should deter those who want to enter the United States to carry out an attack.
"Every single terrorist who has ever been in a safe house or a training camp or built a bomb is going to have to ask ... 'Have I ever left a fingerprint anywhere in the world that's been captured?"'
Under US-VISIT, visitors from most countries must have a digital photo and fingerprints taken by an immigration officer as they enter the country. Until now, the data had been checked just against terrorist watch lists and criminal databases.
For those who have been sleeping through the last few years or just unaware of what's been happening to America an in a larger view, the entire world, select the US-VISIT link in the above article or read a few snippets here from our Homeland Security Department, or should it be the Insecurity Department?
Note: The Following Information Comes From The United States Department of Homeland Security
>subtitle> Transportation & Travel
US-VISIT: How It Works
US-VISIT >> How It Works
In many cases, US-VISIT begins overseas, at the U.S. consular offices issuing visas, where visitors’ biometrics (digital fingerscans and photographs) are collected and checked against a database of known criminals and suspected terrorists. When the visitor arrives at the port of entry, we use the same biometrics – digital fingerscans – to verify the person at our port is the same person who received the visa.
What can I expect when I arrive in the U.S.?
Once at the port of entry you will find that many of the procedures remain unchanged and are familiar to you. For example, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer still reviews your travel documents, such as a visa and passport. The officer still asks you questions about your stay in the U.S.
What’s new under US-VISIT is that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer now uses the inkless, digital fingerscanner to capture two of your fingerscans. You first place your left index finger and then your right index finger on the scanner. The officer also takes your digital photograph. These procedures add only seconds to the overall processing time.
Download the US-VISIT Step-by-Step Entry Guide (PDF, 1 page, 609 KB)
View US-VISIT Entry and Exit Process Videos in English and other languages
What do I need to do before I exit the U.S.?
US VISIT Exit procedures are being tested at the following airports:
-Chicago O’Hare International
-Dallas/Fort Worth International
-Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County International
-Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
-Luis Muñoz Marin International in San Juan, Puerto Rico
-Newark Liberty International
-San Francisco International
The US-VISIT Exit procedures are also being tested at the following seaports:
-Miami International Cruise Line Terminal,
-Long Beach and San Pedro seaports near Los Angeles
If you leave from one of these ports, you are required to confirm your departure using US VISIT exit procedures. Your check out will include the scanning of your visa or passport and repeating the simple inkless fingerscanning process for first your left index finger and then your right index finger. A workstation attendant will be available if you need assistance. The exit confirmation will be added to your travel records to demonstrate compliance with the terms of your admission. Ultimately, most foreign visitors will be required to check out before leaving the United States.
US-VISIT Step-by-Step Exit Guide (PDF, 1 page, 768 KB)
View US-VISIT Entry and Exit Process Videos in English and other languages
Why do we collect this information?
The biographic and biometric data are used to match your identity against the data captured by the State Department at the time the visa was issued to ensure that you are the same person who received the visa. In addition, your digital picture that was taken at the visa-issuing point is displayed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer for visual comparison and confirmation.
Using all these tools, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer will then either admit you or conduct additional inquiries based on the verification results. These procedures reduce fraud, identity theft, and the risk that terrorists and criminals will enter the U.S. undetected or by using stolen or fraudulent documents.
- Biometrics Catalog (You’re leaving a federal government web site)
US-VISIT Main Link (Reprise) http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/content_multi_image/content_multi_image_0006.xml
1. What is the purpose of the US-VISIT program?
The United States Visitor Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) is a United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program that enhances the country’s entry and exit system. It enables the United States to record the entry into and exit out of the United States of foreign nationals requiring a visa to travel to the U.S., creates a secure travel record, and confirms their compliance with the terms of their admission.
The US-VISIT program’s goals are to:
a. Enhance the security of our citizens and visitors;
b. Facilitate legitimate travel and trade;
c. Ensure the integrity of the immigration system; and
d. Protect the privacy of our visitors.
The US-VISIT initiative involves collecting biographic and travel information and biometric identifiers (fingerscans and a digital photograph) from covered individuals to assist border officers in making admissibility decisions. The identity of covered individuals will be verified upon their arrival and departure.
2. Who is affected by the program?
Individuals subject to the requirements and processes of the US-VISIT program (“covered individuals”) are foreign nationals entering and exiting the U.S. through identified ports of entry. U.S citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) are currently exempt from the requirements of US-VISIT. Foreign nationals who later become LPRs or U.S citizens will no longer be covered by US-VISIT, but the information about them collected by US-VISIT will be retained, as will information collected about LPRs and U.S. citizens who used foreign travel documents to enter or exit the U.S.