Archive for May, 2006

And now they light the touch paper

Friday, May 19th, 2006
Iran eyes badges for Jews
Law would require non-Muslim insignia
Chris Wattie
National Post

Jews were made to wear stars to identify them in Nazi Germany.

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country’s Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.

“This is reminiscent of the Holocaust,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. “Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis.”

Iranian expatriates living in Canada yesterday confirmed reports that the Iranian parliament, called the Islamic Majlis, passed a law this week setting a dress code for all Iranians, requiring them to wear almost identical “standard Islamic garments.”

The law, which must still be approved by Iran’s “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenehi before being put into effect, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims.

Iran’s roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth.

“There’s no reason to believe they won’t pass this,” said Rabbi Hier. “It will certainly pass unless there’s some sort of international outcry over this.”

Bernie Farber, the chief executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said he was “stunned” by the measure. “We thought this had gone the way of the dodo bird, but clearly in Iran everything old and bad is new again,” he said. “It’s state-sponsored religious discrimination.”

Ali Behroozian, an Iranian exile living in Toronto, said the law could come into force as early as next year.

It would make religious minorities immediately identifiable and allow Muslims to avoid contact with non-Muslims.

Mr. Behroozian said it will make life even more difficult for Iran’s small pockets of Jewish, Christian and other religious minorities — the country is overwhelmingly Shi’ite Muslim. “They have all been persecuted for a while, but these new dress rules are going to make things worse for them,” he said.

The new law was drafted two years ago, but was stuck in the Iranian parliament until recently when it was revived at the behest of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa refused to comment on the measures. “This is nothing to do with anything here,” said a press secretary who identified himself as Mr. Gharmani.

“We are not here to answer such questions.” […]

canada dot com

I dont give a flying fuck what they are doing in Iran, and you monsters are going to have to do MUCH better than these stale chestnuts of total bullshit if you want to convince people that we need to ‘take care of Iran’.

It would be far more advisable for people in the UK to think about how they are going to mark Jews, Muslims, Foreigners, HIV sufferers, TB carriers, the un-vaccinated etc etc with the NATIONAL ID CARD, whcih will indelibly mark everyone who lives in the UK with a mark that is FAR WORSE than the alledged ‘badges for Jews’ that are allegedly going to be rolled out in Iran.

Precisely the same thing is being done in the UK, only the mark is visible exclusively to the government.

You idiots need to wake up and smell the stink of tyrrany as the cesspool of democracy begins to backup, overflow, stink up your house and drown you in shit!

Let’s Talk

Friday, May 19th, 2006

It’s not about the car crashes anymore

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Maryland is one of eight states with no so-called legal presence requirement — a law requiring applicants for licenses to prove they are in the country legally — according to the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, a pressure group that advocates for such measures and for increased document security features.

Since the Sept. 11 commission recommended tightened national standards for drivers’ licenses, legal presence requirements have been slowly spreading.

“The problem is, if you are issuing licenses to illegals, you don’t know whether there are terrorists among them,” said Gadiel.

There are about 595,000 foreign-born residents of Maryland, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and nearly 135,000 mother-tongue Spanish speakers without proficiency in English.

Under current law in Maryland, “the (Motor Vehicle Administration) may not deny a license to an individual because he or she is unable to prove lawful presence in this country,” according to a legal opinion from state Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

But the opinion also says the agency can ask for immigration-related documents as a form of proof of identity. “Although lawful residence status is not a pre-requisite for a driver’s license, the (Motor Vehicle Administration) could determine that official immigration-related documentation is helpful in establishing a person’s identification and, when other satisfactory documentation is unavailable, could require such information,” says the opinion.

The agency’s Web site lists “Valid out-of-country passport with visa,” and several other immigration-related documents as one of the so-called primary sources of identity. But there are more than a dozen other primary sources, including baptismal certificates and foreign drivers’ licenses. […]

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/security/article_21218745.shtml

The attack on the Twin Towers has manufactured a massive army of moronic shock troops who are pushing for authoritarianism left right and centre.

Driving lilcences are only there to prove if you have passed your driving test. That is all. When your examiner says you have passed your road test, and you pass your written test, then you are safe to drive. That is all all all Hassan Saba. Any secondary use of driving licences is totally wrong. The above ‘debate’ is synthetic.

Look at the apalling website of the ‘Coalition for a Secure Driving licence’. It is the very definition of absurd. Driving licences, ‘secure’ or ‘insecure’ whatever these buffoons think that means cannot control or predict the intent of someone. The grief of these sad people mixed with thier out of control fear of ‘terrorism’ is making them into idiots, and astonisingly, people are lisening to them like they have sense.

Superhero politics

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

BIFF!

Bush bars arms sales to Venezuela and cuddles up to Libya to secure the oil stream

BAM!

The Iranian Oil Bourse starts trading (in Euros).

BASH!

Venezuela decides to trade all oil in Euros and buy arms from Russia/China

BLAM!

The US adds Venezuela to its list of ‘Rogue States’

KERSPLAT!

Venezuela suspends exports of oil to the US pending settlement of accounts in Euros

PLAMM!

US invades Iran tries to depose Chavez, Russia has had enough and fights to defend the Oil Bourse. Latin American countries put an embargo on US trade.

BOOM!

The end. Of something.

GPGmail on the way

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Google is not evil. It knows that the NSA and every other arm of uncle sham is gunning for its user data. Part of Google’s soultion to this problem is to remove its ability to read Gmail that is sitting on its servers. GPGmail will provide this solution.

GPGmail is Public Key Crypto that executes in your browser. Your keypairs are stored on your machine. All Gmail users will have effortless military grade Public Key encryption, the public key exchange being handled seamlessly by Gmail.

This means that anyone using Gmail to send or recieve email from another Gmail user will have their email encryped by default. Google will no longer be able to deliver plaintext email to whoever demands it, warrant or no warrant.

Revenue from contextual ads will continue; the users session still displays plaintext email. the new Gmail uses special anonymous routers to provide the ads while not revealing the identity of the user or his complete plaintext. Your email is broken up into pieces and each of these pieces is sent to a different ad server over SSL to retrieve the contextual ad.

In one stroke, the NSA is denied access to billions of emails and millions of users.

Google does good once again!

Project SHAMROCK

Monday, May 15th, 2006

Project SHAMROCK, considered to be the sister project for Project MINARET, was an espionage exercise that involved the accumulation of all telegraphic data entering into or exiting from the United States. The Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) and its successor NSA were given direct access to daily microfilm copies of all incoming, outgoing, and transiting telegraphs via the Western Union and its associates RCA and ITT. Operation Shamrock lasted well into the 1960s when computerized operations (HARVEST) made it possible to search for keywords rather than read through all communications.

Project SHAMROCK became so successful that in 1966 the NSA and CIA set up a front company in Lower Manhattan (where the offices of the telegraph companies were located) under the codename LPMEDLEY. At the height of Project SHAMROCK, 150,000 messages a month were printed and analyzed by NSA agents. In May 1975 however, congressional critics began to investigate and expose the program. As a result, NSA director Lew Allen terminated it. The testimony of both the representatives from the cable companies and of director Allen at the hearings prompted Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Frank Church to conclude that Project SHAMROCK was probably the largest government interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken.”

One result of these investigations was the creation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which limited the powers of the NSA and put in place a process of warrants and judicial review.
“Operation Shamrock” was also the name of a plan to bring chidren to Ireland from post World War II Germany

[…]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_SHAMROCK

O RLY? … Armageddon!

Monday, May 15th, 2006

http://www.cafepress.com/bohorly

This one fits your consumer!

Hot air and no trousers

Monday, May 15th, 2006

The title of this evening’s lecture is “Human Rights Under Attack” and 2005 is a particularly appropriate vantage point from which to view this topic.

[…]

But, of course, 2005 also marks 5 years since the Human Rights Act came into force. One of the most important pieces of constitutional legislation that any Government has introduced, It remains one of the government’s proudest achievements.

Yet if we are so proud of our record on human rights why, some of you will ask, why have we sought to distance ourselves from the Human Rights Act? Why have we not done more to push forward the new rights and the settlement it envisages?

And if we are so proud of our record on human rights why do we not do more to defend it from its critics, from reactionary voices like the Daily Mail which wrote last weekend of:

” Lottery money given to prostitutes but not the Samaritans Gypsies allowed to breach planning laws Human rights madness is destroying common sense, decency and democracy itself”

And why, some of you may ask, if we are so proud of our record on human rights, do we seem through our response to the threat of terrorism so intent on undermining the very human rights culture we were instrumental in bringing about?

I have not come here to dodge these accusations, as serious and uncomfortable as they are. We need to tackle them head on – and I will before this night is out.

We’ve heard all this so many times, I know, but it is easy to forget just how important this legislation was. Recall what the then Home Secretary, Jack Straw, said at the Bill ‘s second reading. He said:

” This is the first major Bill on human rights for more than 300 years. It will strengthen representative and democratic government. It does so by enabling citizens to challenge more easily actions of the state if they fail to match the standards set by the European convention. The Bill will thus create a new and better relationship between the Government and the people.”

[…]

Critically, these rights are for everybody. Nobody is more entitled to them than anybody else. They do not depend on popularity, or on background, or social class, or place of birth. You have only to be in this country to qualify for human rights protection under the Act. To add other qualifications is to claim that one person is more human than another – something akin to the evils we fought in the Second World War and fight against today.

[…]


David Lammey
in 2005.

Of course you know why I post this, and they can only get away with this talk because the Human Rights Act is a bureaucratic concoction which tells the people what rights the State is prepared to uphold on their behalf. How quaint. A true Bill of Rights (as suggested by my Right Honourable Fellow) would be an attestation of rights by the people telling the State what its remit and duties to the people are. No Statesman worthy of the name would dare try to undo that sort of Bill.

ring of fire

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

ring

Health Ministry suspends vaccinations nationwide

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

HCM CITY After one infant died and five others were admitted to hopsital in critical condition this week allegedly related to vaccinations, the Ministry of Health pulled GlaxoSmithKlines MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) shots pending further investigation.

The Preventive Medicine Department announcement to health departments nationwide on Thursday said that to ensure public safety, Glaxos MMR vaccine is suspended from the national vaccination programme until the Ministry of Health announces otherwise.

On Wednesday morning, a 13 month-old baby boy in District 5 was admitted to Childrens Hospital No 1s intensive care unit in critical condition after vaccination with the MMR, called Priorix.

The boy was admitted with a 40 degree Celsius fever, difficulty breathing, and a bruise in the shot area. Even though doctors administered emergency treatment, the baby boy died that same evening.

Five other babies aged from 13 to 17 months also from District 5 were admitted to the same hospital with similar symptoms along with convulsion, shock and respiratory problems.

All of these babies had received the MMR shots from stocks at local ward health care clinics administered by District 5s Preventive Medicine Centres team.

Le Truong, director of District 5s Preventive Medicine Centre said that of the 109 Priorix shots his centre bought, 76 have been administered at the clinics and schools in the district.

Truong also said that transportation and storage methods at his centre and the clinics were all carried out according to required protocols.

HCM Citys Department of Health Director Nguyen The Dung said that this was the first time such incidents had occurred during the vaccination programme.

Dung requested the assistance of the HCM City Pasteur Institute and the Departments of Preventive Medicine and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control to help with the investigation.

On Thursday, GlaxoSmithKline Viet Nam representative, Nguyen Thi Tuong Vi, said that the MMR vaccines imported to Viet Nam were produced in Belgium.

The shots administered to the infants came from an 11,000-shot Priorix case lot imported to Viet Nam last November, with an expiration date of December 2008. Of these shots, 5,000 have been administered while the remaining 6,000 shots are still in Zuellig Pharma Viet Nam Companys stock.

Vi also said that two vaccine specialists from GlaxoSmithKline in Belgium have arrived in HCM City to work with the Vietnamese authorities in the investigation.

To date, 145 million Priorix vaccine shots have been given to children in 90 countries for over 10 years, without such incidents being reported. VNS […]

http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/showarticle.php?num=01HEA130506

ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTY FIVE MILLION

I was actually looking for today’s article about “Pentamortrix” – the 5-in-1 jab that is the latest evil foisted on stupid parents and their perfectly innocent children.

The cash-for-fake-ID scandal

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Civil servants have sold the personal details of hundreds of thousands of
people to criminal gangs
By Francis Elliott and Sophie Goodchild
Published: 14 May 2006

An internal investigation at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has found that civil servants are colluding with organised criminals to steal personal identities on “an industrial scale”.

Ministers have been privately warned that the investigation will show that hundreds of thousands of stolen personal details have been ripped off from official databases, often with inside help. Key personal details such as national insurance numbers can be used to commit benefit fraud, set up false bank accounts and obtain official documents such as passports.

The ID theft from DWP and Revenue and Customs databases is currently the subject of an internal investigation, codenamed Trident, carried out in conjunction with the Government’s official data-protection watchdog.

One government figure said: “We have been told that DWP staff have been colluding with organised criminals to commit identity theft on an industrial scale. It is far wider than just tax credits and reaches right across Whitehall.” […]
Independent on Sunday

My emphasis. And don’t let anyone tell you that the biometric aspect of the NIR will prevent this fraud. All that will happen is that they will take your biometrics and substitute them for the identity that you are buying. What the NIR does is put everyones ID in one place so that these people can fleece everyone.

If you dont enter the NIR, that scenario does not apply to you of course.

It’s a takeover, pure and simple.

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

WASHINGTON — The government has abruptly ended an inquiry into the warrantless eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to grant Justice Department lawyers security clearance.

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, sent a fax Wednesday to Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey of New York saying it was closing its inquiry because without clearance it could not examine department lawyers’ role in the program.

“We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program,” OPR counsel H. Marshall Jarrett wrote to Hinchey. Hinchey’s office shared the letter with The Associated Press.

Jarrett wrote that beginning in January his office has made a series of requests for the necessary clearances. Those requests were denied Tuesday.

“Without these clearances, we cannot investigate this matter and therefore have closed our investigation,” […]

I’m not making this up. Clearly all bets are off, and next, the gloves have to come off.

No matter what they say, it’s still about oil

Friday, May 12th, 2006

By Jim Mullins
Posted May 12 2006

We are now witnessing another fear-inducing barrage of propaganda mirroring the exaggeration and deception that led to the ongoing debacle in Iraq. This time the target is Iran, with the same underlying but unspoken rationale: continuing control of worldwide trade of oil in U.S. dollars and its production in pliant and friendly hands.

Saddam’s unforgivable sin was to persuade the U.N. to allow him to sell oil for euros in the Oil for Food program, bringing him a huge windfall as the dollar fell and the euro advanced. When the U.S. invaded Baghdad, it secured the oil ministry and moved quickly to convert oil sales back to the dollar.

Iran has gone further, announcing the opening next week of the Iran Oil Bourse, a worldwide exchange, trading in euros and breaking the U.S. monopoly. (When President Nixon abandoned the gold standard and converted to a fiat currency backed by the good faith and credit of the U.S., OPEC agreed to continue oil transactions in dollars only.) This will result in a flood of dollars, now held in the world’s central banks, coming back to the U.S. and hitting the wall of our massive trade deficit and without the trade surplus we once enjoyed — a dismal prospect in that we have allowed our industrial production to decline while borrowing from foreign countries to offset the deficit.

The International Monetary Fund has warned the U.S. that its trade deficit — grown from $114 billion in 1995 to $805 billion — is unsustainable. Its economic counselor, Raghuram Rajan, describes its position as “just simple economics.”

Another issue lies in Iran’s geographic advantage in transporting oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea area. An oil pipeline through Iran to the Arabian Sea for tanker shipment, or the proposed gas pipeline through Iran and Pakistan to India, makes far more sense in every respect than the U.S.-favored route through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

President Bush’s offer to provide nuclear technology to India in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and U.S. law was a transparent ploy to get it to abandon the Iranian pipeline.

Cash-strapped Pakistan would lose both access to the natural gas and $700 million in yearly royalties. Pakistani President Musharraf is in a bind, for most Pakistanis chafe at his support for U.S. policies and have a long history of friendship with Iran. Both Pakistani and Indian oil ministers have indicated that they will sign a tripartite agreement in June that will seal the Iranian pipeline project.

We might remember that in July 2001, before 9-11, the Bush administration negotiated with the Taliban to allow the pipeline through Afghanistan, had not declared Afghanistan a terrorist state and dismissed al-Qaida as a nuisance.

Brazil has decided to enrich its uranium and denied the IAEA inspections other than of the uranium going in the centrifuge process and the end product. Brazil brags about its self-sufficiency in oil yet feels a need for nuclear energy to augment its electricity production. Iran is in exactly the same position but denied the ability to have nuclear-generated electricity — a right that doesn’t violate the nonproliferation treaty or international law.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, has revealed that in 2003 Iran made an offer through the Swiss Embassy to our representative in Iran. It was signed by all Iranian top officials. It offered to negotiate the nuclear issue and Iran’s alleged support for terrorism as a response to Powell’s public demand. Powell was left hanging in the wind and the administration berated the Swiss Embassy for sending it.

This is what passes for diplomacy in the White House.

The House has just passed a resolution, the so-called Iran Freedom Support Act, that declares it is the policy of the United States to deny Iran the ability to support acts of international terrorism by limiting the development of Iran’s ability to explore for, extract, refine or transport by pipeline petroleum resources.” (emphasis added)

Apparently “free trade, open markets and globalization” are just empty phrases when U.S. monopolies on oil purchase and sales or pipeline routes are involved. China, India, Russia and perennial bogeyman Venezuela have expressed interest in euro trade in oil. Astute Americans are running up the price of gold.

Is anyone listening?

[…]

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/

You bet.

The Last Gasp of the Dollar? Iran bourse opens next week

Friday, May 12th, 2006

by Mike Whitney

http://www.opednews.com

If one day the world’s largest oil producers demanded euros for their barrels, “it would be the financial equivalent of a nuclear strike. Bill O’Grady, A.G. Edwards commodities analyst

Everybody knows the real reason for American belligerence is not the Iranian nuclear program, but the decision to launch an oil bourse where oil will be traded in euros instead of US dollars.The oil market will break the dominance of the dollar and lead to a decline of global American hegemony. Igor Panarin, Russian political scientist

Overnight the story of Irans proposed oil bourse has slipped into the mainstream press exposing the real reasons behind Washingtons ongoing hostility towards Tehran. Up to this point, analysts have brushed aside the importance of the upcoming oil-exchange as a Leftist-Internet conspiracy theory unworthy of further consideration. Now, the Associated Press has clarified the issue showing that an Iran oil bourse could lead central bankers around the world to convert some of their dollar reserves into euros, possibly causing a decline in the dollars value.

Currently, the world is drowning in dollars, even a small movement could trigger a massive recession in the United States. Theres nothing remotely conspiratorial about this. It is simply a matter of supply and demand. If the oil bourse creates less demand for the dollar, the value of the dollar will sink accordingly; pushing energy, housing, food and other prices higher.

Oil has been linked to the dollar since the 1970s when OPEC agreed to denominate it exclusively in dollars. This provided the US a virtual monopoly which has allowed it to run huge account deficits without fear of crippling interest rate hikes. As Bill O Grady of A.G.Edwards said, If OPEC decided they didnt want dollars anymore, it would be the end of American hegemony by signaling the end to the dollar as the sole reserve currency.

If the dollar lost its status as the worlds reserve currency, that would force the United States to fund it massive account deficit by running a trade surplus, which would increase inflationary pressures. (Associated Press)

Theres no prospect of the US running a trade surplus anytime soon. Bush has savaged the manufacturing sector outsourcing over 3 million jobs and shutting down plants across the country. His short-sighted free trade policies and enormous tax cuts for the rich ensure that Americans will be left to face skyrocketing energy costs and a hyper-inflationary greenback. Theres no way we can retool fast enough to manufacture our way out of the quagmire of red ink.

Currently, the national debt is a whopping $8.4 trillion with an equally harrowing $800 billion trade deficit. (7% of GDP) The ever-increasing demand for the greenback in the oil trade is the only thing that has kept the dollar from freefalling to earth. Even a small conversion to euros will erode the dollars value and could precipitate a sell-off.

Presently, oil is sold exclusively on the London Petroleum Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange both owned by American investors. If the bourse opens, central banks around the world will reduce their stockpiles of dollars to maintain a portion of their currency in euros. This is the logical step for Europe which buys 70% of Irans oil. It is also the reasonable choice for Russia which sells two-thirds of its oil to Europe but (amazingly) continues to denominate those transactions in dollars.

Washington has succeeded in maintaining its monopoly by propping up the many corrupt and repressive regimes in the Gulf States. The prudent choice for Saudi Arabia would be to move away from the debt-ridden dollar and enhance its earnings with the stronger euro. Regrettably, Uncle Sam has a gun to their head. They understand that such a transition would invite the same response that Saddam got 6 months after he converted to euros and was removed through shock and awe.

Regardless, of the outcome, the profligate spending, budget-busting tax cuts, and the shocking increase in the money supply (the Fed has doubled the money supply in one decade) has the greenback headed for the dumpster. Already, China and Japan (who hold an accumulated $1.7 trillion in US securities and currency) are gradually moving away from the dollar towards the euro (although the Fed has blocked the public from knowing the extent of the damage by abandoning the M-3 publication of inflows) The European Central Bank (ECB) and Japans central bank are frantically trying to conceal the probability of a dollar collapse by issuing carefully worded statements to allay public fears while they to prepare for an orderly retreat.

But, it wont be orderly. The dollar has lost 5% against the euro since April and is quickly headed south. The Iran bourse could be the final jolt that pushes the greenback over the edge. This is the bitter lesson for those who choose to ignore economic fundamentals and build their house on sand. Paul Volcker anticipated this scenario in a speech last year when he said that account imbalances were as great as he had ever seen and predicted a 75% chance of a dollar crash in the next 5 years.

Volcker is right, but economic advisor, Peter Grandich summarized it even better when he opined, The only one who doesnt know the US dollar is dead is the US dollar.

Prepare for the requiem. […]

Opednews

My emphasis, right in the middle.

Can you say ’20AC‘? Not a single bullet need be fired. No marching, no shouting…

And you can bring their house DOWN.

Congress may slap restrictions on SSN use

Friday, May 12th, 2006

Stable. Horse. Bolted.
Pandora. Box. Opened.

WASHINGTON–Democratic and Republican politicians on Thursday both promised to enact new federal laws by the end of the year that would restrict some commercial uses of Social Security numbers, which are often implicated in identity fraud cases.

“Whether Social Security numbers should be sold by Internet data brokers to anyone willing to pay, indistinguishable from sports scores or stock quotes… to me, that’s a no-brainer,” Texas Republican Joe Barton, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, said at a hearing. Such a practice should not be allowed, he said, “period, end of debate.”

In both the House and the Senate, there are at least three pieces of pending legislation that propose different approaches to restricting the use and sale of SSNs. Politicians have expressed astonishment at what they see as a rising identity fraud problem, frequently pointing to a 2003 Federal Trade Commission survey that estimated nearly 10 million consumers are hit by such intrusions each year.

One bill, sponsored by Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey, would require the FTC to make new rules limiting the sale and purchase of those identifiers, with exceptions for law enforcement, public health, certain emergency situations and selected research projects.

Another measure, sponsored by Florida Republican Clay Shaw, would restrict the display of SSNs on credit reports and on various government-issued documents and identification tags. It would also make it illegal in certain cases for anyone to refuse to do business with people who decline to supply their SSNs.

Testifying at Thursday’s hearing, FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz stopped short of endorsing either bill, but he readily acknowledged that the identifiers “are overused, and they are underprotected.”

“Users of Social Security numbers should migrate toward using less-sensitive identifiers whenever possible,” he said, adding that companies also need to do more to protect the data they possess.

The SSN hasn’t always had such broad applications. Back in 1935, Congress first directed the Social Security Administration to develop an accounting system to track payments to the fund. Out of that mandate came a unique identifier that has ultimately found applications in everything from issuing food stamps to tracking down money launderers.

One use of particular concern to the privacy community is the vast databases compiled by commercial “data brokers” about the American population that financial institutions can use to verify identities. One such company, ChoicePoint, grabbed headlines last year after a breach of its database came to light. That incident and other high-profile breaches unleashed a number of proposals in Congress, some of which target what some deem unregulated data brokers.

The controversy over the connection between SSNs and identity fraud is hardly new, and a number of states have already enacted restrictions in that area. Several federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA, also include restrictions on use and disclosure of the identifiers.

As they pursue new laws, politicians said they’re facing a difficult “balancing act” between rooting out abuses of Social Security numbers and protecting uses that tax collectors, the financial sector and law enforcement officials, among others, claim are invaluable.

Numerous industries have found a number of “beneficial uses” for SSNs, said Oliver Ireland, who testified on behalf of the Financial Services Coordinating Council. That group represents trade associations for the banking, securities, and insurance industries.

The numbers, for instance, “are critical for fraud detection,” Ireland said in prepared testimony.

Also on Thursday, a California Senate committee approved an identity fraud bill that would improve state residents’ ability to freeze their own credit reports when mischief is suspected. […]

News . Com

So.

In a country where no one has the equivalent of an SSN, NeuLabour in its infinte wisdom wants to roll one out, so that every bad thing that happens with SSNs in the USA can be replicated here.

Only the most stupid or totally ignorant person thinks that the NIR and ID Card are a good thing. By not introducing this nonsense to the UK, the British will be far more protected from ID fraud than almost any other country. The British will be able to control and manage their identities, minimise the repair time caused by fraudsters and generally have a much more free society.

ACLU Energy Sink Hole

Friday, May 12th, 2006

American Civil Liberties Union: Don't Spy On Me

Dear Friend,

Yesterday the nation learned that American telephone companies are helping the government amass what one source called the largest database ever assembled, compiling call information on millions of consumers and businesses served by Verizon, AT&T and BellSouth. Take action now!

Scrambling to defend his program, President Bush told reporters were not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans, but thats simply not true.

This illegal spying is not only directed toward terror suspects or international calls, as the Bush administration has frequently claimed. With the help of these phone companies, the government is tracking the calls and communications of millions of ordinary Americans. And that’s just plain wrong.

The government shouldn’t track when you call your mother, order pizza, or hold a conference call — and your phone service provider shouldnt help them without a warrant or Congress’ approval.

Send these companies a message today. Sign our petition at http://action.aclu.org/dontspy and tell them you expect your phone records to be held in the strictest privacy.

We’ll be delivering these petitions directly to AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth.

Youll be hearing more about this consumer campaign in the days and weeks to come. The ACLU and its members will do whatever it takes to rally consumer voices against these abuses of power. There will be much more for us all to do.

This is obviously the wrong thing to do.

The RIGHT thing to do is have a ‘National Day of No Calls’ Where everyone vows not to use the phone except in an emergency for an entire day.

This should continue untill the telephone services install iron clad guarantees that they will not allow access to your call logs. Should they fail to do this, then everyone should move to Qwest, who refused to obey the NSA. Qwest should be financially rewarded for sticking up for their customers.

This is the sort of thing the ACLU should be organizing, not more pathetic and useless petitions, that do nothing but suck up the anger energy of all those whose privacy is being violated.

Share and share alike

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

The ACLU has confimation that the US DHS has been sharing PNR information from EU flights despite assurances it would not do so.

With an NIR linked passport it will become possible for agencies such as the DHS to request NIR (i.e. 2011 Census, etc.) information on ‘suspected individuals’ via their passport details gathered at border controls and this is followed up by an NIR request either directly or via SOCA. Say for instance if you do not stay at the address they requested you provide (maybe because it was a poor hotel, or your hosts take you on a surprise road trip, …).

Nevermind the fact that these people will likely be keeping the data they can glean from passports anyway. So information sufficient to access your NIR entry (in perpetuity) will be in the hands of whichever agency the DHS wants to share it with, beyond the scrutiny and accountability of UK data protection laws. There will be people in these agencies (and DHS) willing to sell such information and the cloak of government secrecy (in the name of security) will help them.

These are just the people you’re asked to trust!!!