ISE

The Obama Administration Trumps the Constitution with ECPA to Access Emails

Day after tax day: taxed at every level, privacy at no level. 

The Obama Administration has taken steps to secure access to both our public and private communications. If you're a citizen and a target of Obama's DOJ, you're emails are fair game, sans search warrant and just cause. 

I've been on the internet since '91 and have internet email accounts that date back to 1997. Although I had never seriously considered the ramifications of a 3rd party reading my emails before the 2008 elections, I felt measurably secure with Yahoo storing my info. Pre-2008, I wrote to my friends and family and talked about the weather. I also never expressed my political opinion. Back then, politics and religion were taboo. 

Now, I am concerned on at least 2 levels: using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, the Obama Administration has now gone through legal channels to access emails older than 180 days without cause, thereby superceding the privacy rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution. 

Then there's the hook of incitement: if we are tied in some way to a hate crime that may have culminated through a flash mob we inadvertently instigated through a "Let's get together!" tweet, for example, we may face the same ramifications for inciting hate crimes -- a method for quelling free speech that's all the rave in socialist European countries where citizens don't enjoy the same Constitutional freedoms we have here in the states. 

With the passage of socialized healthcare, European-style socialism is here, now

Accessing our private communication is one example. 

First H/T to John M. Rogitz from the Rogue Report who writes via RedCounty:  

Relying on a 1986 pre-internet law dealing with electronic data storage, the Obama Administration has been arguing that emails opened and kept in your account for over 180 days are not subject to Fourth Amendment warrant requirements. Even the liberal 9thCircuit Court of Appeals, which has the highest Supreme Court turn-over rate of any of the circuits, agrees that the Constitution is more important than some law Congress enacted before Al Gore created the internet.Still, somehow a piss-ant magistrate judge in Colorado found solid ground to grant Obama’s request to snoop through our emails. In his decision, the judge held that there is “no reasonable expectation of privacy” in emails that are over 180 days old. ... 

Thus, because the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 apparently overrules the U.S. Constitution, we no longer enjoy the same privacy in our emails that we do with snail mail. Until the Supreme Court steps in, it’s quite possible that your emails are fair game depending on the jurisdiction in which you live. 

CNET tracked the backstory here. Quoted paragraphs flipped for chronology:

On December 3, 2009, U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer ordered Yahoo to hand to prosecutors certain records including the contents of e-mail messages. Yahoo divulged some of the data but refused to turn over e-mail that had been previously viewed, accessed, or downloaded and was less than 181 days old.

..

For its part, the Justice Department has taken a legalistic approach: a 17-page brief it filed last month acknowledges that federal law requires search warrants for messages in "electronic storage" that are less than 181 days old. But, Assistant U.S. Attorney Pegeen Rhyne writes in a government brief, the Yahoo Mail messages don't meet that definition.

Google and Yahoo are fighting this now, along with a coalition of supporters that include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, and TRUSTe.

They're zeroing in and the noose is tightening. 

Napalitano's Rightwing Extremism Report was just the beginning. The DOJ anticipating Flash Mobs as they watch Twitter and Facebook is hardly the midpoint, and the Obama Administration's eagerness to give credibility to anyone who assists in the function of government informant to any of the federal government's 72 fusion centers and "Information Sharing Environment" (ISE) gives you an idea of where we're headed. 

And how far we'll have to go to reclaim our personal freedoms and right to privacy.

Why Being Called "Nice" Hasn't Cooled My Heels, or DHS Fervor to Collect Civilian Data

Amid Rasmussen polls telling us what middle America already knows and CNN playing "nice", it behooves every freedom-minded individual to forget that we are a breath shy of being called "terrorists."

There are the various, sundry people, who - either because of ignorance or willful blindness to fairness -- will claim Timony McVeigh would have been "one of us" and that political terrorism begins before the act:

Would Timothy McVeigh be part of the Tea Party movement if he was still here today and had not been caught?  My guess is he would, and he would be welcomed with open arms.   That being said, I believe he was at one time a patriot---but the real question is; when does the delusional view of patriotism morph into terrorism---it starts long before the act of terrorism---I believe there are some loud voices out there that would view terrorism as patriotic to support their Ideology.

Then there are others will mindlessly repeatlefty organizations as they attempt to discredit you and I by labeling the conservative movement "political terrorism," as in exhibited politicalarticles.net's "Political Terrorism: We are Witnessing a Total Nervous Breakdown of Right-Wing America"

Erick Boehlert of Media Matters For America Writes.. Honestly, unless you’ve been monitoring the ticking time bomb that is the far-right media in recent days, you probably don’t appreciate how frighteningly possible that cultish scenario has become, as the GOP Noise Machine, led by Fox News, publicly suffers a nervous breakdown. It’s a mental and emotional collapse that’s been advertised in recent days as cablers, radio talkers, and right-wing bloggers have reached for increasingly hysterical, often blood-curdling rhetoric..

Regardless of the fickle leftist tide and whether or not we are blatantly called "political terrorists" in the media, we can well depend on the culling, categorizing and cataloging of our information “in case” the state decides we are a risk to the state.

On July 2009, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John O. Brennan released a memo to heads of departments and agencies asking for their "dedicated commitment and senior-level attention" to "information sharing and access throughout the government."

Brennan described the Obama Administration's objective as well-pronounced and centered beyond fighting terrorism:

"This priority extends beyond terroris-related issues, to the sharing of information more broadly to enhance the national security of the United States and the safety of the American people."

Brennan sent that memo to the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security; the Directors of the Office of Management and Budget, National Intelligence and the FBI; the Administrator for the EPA, and the Attorney General.

This information sharing is replicated at 72 fusion centers across the nation as they themselves harvest citizen-intelligence and funnel that information to the an Information Sharing Environment --an ISE. The ISE has no Congressional oversight, and sits directly under the auspices of the Executive Office:

In response to the 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations, the Congress passed and the President signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.. the law required the President to designate a Program Manager for the ISE and establish an Information Sharing Council to advise the President and the Program Manager on the development of ISE policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards, and to ensure proper coordination among Federal departments and agencies participating in the ISE.   

Under the Obama Administration, the Information Sharing Council has been integrated into the White House policy process through the Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee (IPC), so that the important work of the ISC will move forward under the auspices of the Executive Office of the President. 

If we were once concerned about the invasion of privacy through, say, nationaled healthcare,and our personal information going live online, consider how else our data is being collected:

The federal Fusion Center Guidelines recommend that state fusion centers collect information on myriad issues: “Agriculture, Food, Water and the Environment, Banking and Finance, Chemical Industry and Hazardous Materials, Criminal Justice, Retail, Real Estate, Education, Emergency Services (Non-Law Enforcement), Energy, Government, Health and Public Health Services, Hospitality and Lodging, Information & Telecommunications, Military Facilities and Defense Industrial Base, Postal and Shipping, Private Security, Public Works, Social Services, [and] Transportation”[22] State fusion centers can find this data by accessing a variety of systems, such as:

1. “Driver’s license,

2. Motor vehicle registration,

3. Location information (411, addresses, and phone numbers),

4. Law enforcement databases,

5. National Crime Information Center (NCIC),

6. Nlets — The International Justice and Public Safety Information Sharing Network, and the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC),

7. Criminal justice agencies,

8. Public and private sources (Security Industry databases, Identity Theft databases, Gaming Industry databases),

9. Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS)/Law Enforcement Online (LEO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), including the United States Private-Public Partnership (USP3) – formerly HSIN-CI. (Note: RISS, LEO, and DHS’s HSIN are currently collaborating on a network capability.),

10. Organizational and association resources (InfraGard, The Infrastructure Security Partnership),

11. Corrections,

12. Sex offender registries,

13. Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP),

1***4. Health- and Public Health-Related Databases (Public Health Information Network, Health Alert Network).”[23] ***

The actual 2007 fusion center guidelines cited are here.

Coupled with DHS's Right-wing Extremism report from last spring, and the fusion centers through which “behavioral” incidents are collected at the local level, this information gathering mandate from high-up guarantees conservatives who exercise their right to free speech no longer have measurable freedoms as private citizens.

Bsaedon the fact that the ISE, via the fusion centers, sit under the auspices of the Executive Office, we can rest assured the President knows everything, considering his "highest priority is to keep the American people safe."

 

 

 

 

 

Apply for a Grant & Spy on Your Neighbor - DHS Intelligence Off the Books

No news yet on efforts by the DHS to establish a National Fusion Center Program Office for the purpose of Congressional oversight, despite a March 19 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) saying

"The establishment and operation of these offices will be of interest to Congress." 

According to the Information Sharing Environment (ISE), a purveyor of the President's Information Sharing Council  through which all 72 fusion centers in the nation are integrated, the Obama Administration moved the auspices of the ISE under Executive Office Control: 

In response to the 9/11 Commission's Recommendations, the Congress passed and the President signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.. the law required the President to designate a Program Manager for the ISE and establish an Information Sharing Council to advise the President and the Program Manager on the development of ISE policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards, and to ensure proper coordination among Federal departments and agencies participating in the ISE.   

Under the Obama Administration, the Information Sharing Council has been integrated into the White House policy process through the Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee (IPC), so that the important work of the ISC will move forward under the auspices of the Executive Office of the President. 

One way to lure the program back under Congressional oversight: "sustainment funding": 

Currently, funds from the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) are used to support state and local fusion centers. These grant programs are managed within DHS by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate (GPD). 

Apparantly, the $250 million allocated to fusion centers via Stimulus I won't last long.  

You can receive a chunk of that stimulus money, while the fusion centers are still officially off the Congressoinal Books and in the Executive Office pocket, by applying for a Category 8 "Fusion Center support" competitive National Information Sharing Initiative grant through the DOJ's Bureau of Justice.  

Call yourself a "local public and private entity, for-profit/commercial [sorry, no interns] org, nonprofit org, faith-based and community organization, institution of higher education, federally-recognized Indian tribal government, or a unit of local government that support national initiatives to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system,"  with the desire to "improve the functioning of the criminal justice system," through an "all crimes" approach and you're in.  

Your focus should be on developing a program: 

to enable fusion centers to improve support to smaller cities, towns, tribes, and rural counties in identifying public safety issues and providing information and analytical assistance to help the local law enforcement agencies more effectively prevent crime both within their community and across juridictional boundaries. 

[You] will support the development of a nationwide strategy for implementation and support for intelligence-led policing methods to enable collaboration between fusion centers and local, state, and tribal partners. Preference will be given to applicants that target and address the needs of smaller departments and those with limited resources. 

[Your]  program will focus on identification of fusion center and local law enforcement partnerships that will implement collaborative technology solutions, evaluate results, and then promote business practices and technology solutions that can be replicated by other fusion centers across the country.

In other words, if you're a fan of Law and Order and watch 24, well-connected, are a people-person who can talk with small-town folk and you've a pre-crime idea that can go national, you, too, can receive up to $750,000! 

Turning in your neighbor never looked so good .. in this economy.

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