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Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

The real Chuck Norris exposes the privacy violations and government data collection in “Common Core”

by 1389AD ( 111 Comments › )
Filed under Education at December 2nd, 2013 - 2:00 pm

AmmoLand has the story:

Dallas, TX – -(Ammoland.com)- After months of the feds doing everything they could to distance themselves from the origin and launch of the controversial Common Core State Standards, more and more of Washington’s tentacles are surfacing through public rage, implementation revelations and the White House’s own foot-in-mouth disease.

After Education Secretary Arne Duncan cast bigoted blame on “white suburban moms” for nationwide resistance to CCSS — an oops from which he still is reeling in public humiliation and maternal fury — White House spokesman Jay Carney dodged Duncan bullets by claiming ignorance to his statements. But then Carney buried the White House in federal ownership of CCSS by saying,

“I can just tell you that the secretary of education and everybody on the president’s team dedicated to this effort is focused on making sure that we do everything we can, working with states and others.”

“Everybody on the president’s team dedicated to this effort”? Thanks, Mr. Carney. It’s about time the feds ponied up to their place on the CCSS playground.

In the first part of my series on CCSS, I revealed how the feds spent $350 million of taxpayer money, funding and giving grants and waivers to muscle and bribe states and local school districts to accept CCSS.

Last week, I showed how feds are injecting their progressive agenda into curricula taught to U.S. kids in elementary, middle and high schools via their influence in standard directives and posting educative minions in academic arenas and among CCSS curricula creators.

Today I will begin to give you the third piece of evidence of the feds’ collaborations and entanglements within CCSS — namely that they are creating and expanding a national database to store, access and peddle your kids’ private information obtained through a technological project within CCSS.

Sound crazy or like sci-fi socialism? Maybe, but it’s all real, true and coming soon to a school near you, if it isn’t there already.

It all started in the third month of President Barack Obama’s reign in 2009, when the Department of Education initiated the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which — under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — awarded “governors approximately $48.6 billion … in exchange for a commitment to advance essential education reforms … including: college- and career-ready standards (aka CCSS).”

Under that umbrella, the feds further bribed the states into building and expanding longitudinal data systems “to capture, analyze, and use student data from preschool to high school, college, and the workforce.”

Robert Swiggum, the Georgia Department of Education’s chief information officer, explained to PolitiFact that his state’s system “collects data points in about 10 categories,” including “a student’s name, grade, gender, ethnicity, birth date, attendance, enrollment history, test scores, courses taken and grade received, and any subgroup (example: English language learner, retained, economically disadvantaged).” PolitiFact added, “Each of the categories has dozens of data points that can vary.”

Bottom line: lots of personal information.

In a White House press release dated Jan. 19, 2010, Obama and Duncan stated that the purpose of expanding the longitudinal data systems was to make the massive amount of information “more accessible … to key stakeholders.”

Wondering who the “key stakeholders” are? Let’s just say I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a 2012 White House budget sheet for the Department of Labor also mentions grants being offered to expand the workforce information side of the data system coin. The grants “support the development of longitudinal data systems that integrate education and workforce data to provide timely and accessible information to consumers, policymakers, and others.”

Did you catch that? “To consumers, policymakers, and others”? And what or — more appropriately — whose information are the feds providing (or peddling?)? So much for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the federal law established to protect the privacy interests of students. I guess the Department of Education, which maintains FERPA, decided it really liked this statement in it: “Schools may disclose, without consent, ‘directory’ information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance.”

U.S. Department of Education press secretary Dorie Turner Nolt explained in June, when she was with the Georgia Department of Education, that the data in the state’s longitudinal data system are computerized but that the students’ information is, in PolitiFact’s words, “not shared beyond the student’s teachers and school administrators.” She needed to add the word “yet.”

Don’t ever forget the White House’s words in its own memos: for “key stakeholders,” who, at the very least, include “consumers, policymakers, and others.” And guess who gets to define “others.” (Now you’re getting the picture!)

You don’t think the feds gave away billions of taxpayer dollars to states and public schools without expecting anything in return or to be included in the informational mix, do you?

It’s one big happy federal and state communication merry-go-round with your family’s private information from the school cradle to the federal grave!

In Part 4, I will show further evidence from the feds themselves that the longitudinal data systems and new Common Core State Standards are intricately intertwined and going to be used by the federal government and state governments to tap your children’s personal information and to leverage significant educational change.

Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook’s “Official Chuck Norris Page.” He blogs at http://chucknorrisnews.blogspot.com.

Action hero and Second Amendment activist, Chuck Norris is one of the most enduringly popular actors in the world. He has starred in more than 20 major motion pictures. His television series
“Walker, Texas Ranger,” which completed its run in April 2001 after eight full seasons, is the most successful Saturday night series on CBS since “Gunsmoke.”In 2006, he added the title of columnist to his illustrious list of credits with the launch of his popular Internet column. Now Chuck is a regular contributor to AmmoLand, click the following link to see more of Chuck Norris on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

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Citing privacy concerns, Google Glass drops facial recognition (for now)

by 1389AD ( 70 Comments › )
Filed under Technology at July 23rd, 2013 - 11:30 am
Google's Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass
Google’s Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass [source]

1389 Blog has discussed Google Glass and privacy issues before.

Forbes has the story:

Google is ducking, for now, some of the most profound questions about privacy and Google Glass with its decision not to include facial recognition in the device. “As Google has said for several years,” Project Glass said in a Google+ post, ”we won’t add facial recognition features to our products without having strong privacy protections in place. With that in mind, we won’t be approving any facial recognition Glassware at this time.”

This is probably the first, or at least smartest, PR-conscious move Google has made with Glass. From the beginning, except for tech enthusiasts, most consumers have looked askance or at least dubiously at Google Glass.
Basically people don’t get Google Glass or if they do get it they don’t see why it is relevant to them. And if they do think Google Glass could be relevant, or at least a fun toy, they don’t entirely trust Google to deliver the experience in a consumer-friendly way. Leaving aside the $1,500 price tag, which will inevitably drop and the dorky way Glass makes even attractive people look, what seemed to faze people was the creepy ability to call up any information about any one on the street identified via facial recognition technology.

Tone Deaf

In the past Google has proven to be tone deaf about such things. For example from all accounts, Google was astounded two years ago when people were furious with its first iteration of Buzz, its first big foray into social networking. In that version not only did Google automatically activate Buzz from people’s email accounts, but it also went ahead and created a list of contacts to follow and a list of people who would be following the user’s updates–all without permission, all on the premise developed somehow by Google that this would be welcome.

I was talking to Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group about this a few weeks ago and his take on it was particular astute I thought. Basically Google doesn’t seem to get humans, Enderle said, at least humans outside of Silicon Valley.

“Now Google Glass is a beta product and the point of doing it was to learn about the market and requirements as well as evolve the product into something that is acceptable,” Enderle said. “But the process they are taking is turning the market against the entire class because they aren’t managing the perceptions surrounding the trial well.”
Read it all.

NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls, reading email and texts without warrants; where are our Senators?

by 1389AD ( 135 Comments › )
Filed under government, Technology at June 18th, 2013 - 3:30 pm

Words fail me.

CNET has the story:

National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.

The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Read it all.

The Hill: Senators skip classified briefing on NSA snooping to catch flights home

A recent briefing by senior intelligence officials on surveillance programs failed to attract even half of the Senate, showing the lack of enthusiasm in Congress for learning about classified security programs. [WATCH VIDEO]

Many senators elected to leave Washington early Thursday afternoon instead of attending a briefing with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA), and other officials.

The Senate held its last vote of the week a little after noon on Thursday, and many lawmakers were eager to take advantage of the short day and head back to their home states for Father’s Day weekend.

Only 47 of 100 senators attended the 2:30 briefing, leaving dozens of chairs in the secure meeting room empty as Clapper, Alexander and other senior officials told lawmakers about classified programs to monitor millions of telephone calls and broad swaths of Internet activity. The room on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center is large enough to fit the entire Senate membership, according to a Senate aide.

The Hill was not provided the names of who did, and who didn’t, attend the briefing.
Many senators claimed they were never briefed on the NSA’s surveillance programs when the British newspaper The Guardian caused a media firestorm by reporting their existence earlier this month.

“I’m pretty good about attending meetings; I don’t remember being briefed,” Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) told reporters on June 6, when the public learned the extent of the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata.

He voted for the Patriot Act, but said he did not intend to grant blanket authority to collect millions of phone records.

Isakson attended the Thursday afternoon briefing and declined to comment to reporters afterward.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the chief critics of the surveillance programs, was spotted leaving the briefing.
Read the rest.

Don’t surf the web in the nude!

by 1389AD ( 80 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, government at June 14th, 2013 - 9:00 am

PJM: Your computer is bugging your house

Homer Simpson naked and terrified in Treehouse of Horror III

The computer you are sitting at right now probably has a microphone. It probably also has a camera looking at you this moment. Is it sending sound and pictures from inside your house to the PRISM program at NSA?

Who knows? But one thing is for sure — the technology is sitting there, on your desk. Welcome to Winston’s world.

Yesterday we crossed a line. What once seemed kooky is now happening. I figured this would be a fight for a future generation, but it is ours. The frightening future has arrived.
But no war, no threat, no nothing justifies the National Security Agency obtaining a direct pipeline to the Skype chats of every American. What possible justification is there for the government watching granddad talk to his grandkids in real time back in Laurel, Maryland?
More here.

Think it can’t happen? It already has.

Obama with huge ears: 'As for the Verizon records...It's not like we're listening in or anything'

John Sexton on Breitbart asks: What if it is not just metadata the NSA is collecting?

The claim being made in public right now is that the NSA used section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect metadata on phone calls. However there is some evidence that the NSA is actually recording the content of phone calls.

Last week I published a clip of actor Shia LaBeouf claiming, on the Jay Leno show, that an FBI consultant on the movie Eagle Eye had played him a 2 year old clip of a private phone conversation. I noted at the time that this claim had to be taken with a grain of salt given that LaBeouf was on TV to promote a film about government monitoring of communications. But given that secret information sometimes leaks to Hollywood before the rest of us, it seemed worth mentioning.

But LaBeouf is not the only person who has made this claim about the NSA having access to private calls. Just last month former FBI counter-terrorism expert Tim Clemente appeared on the Erin Burnett show on CNN to discuss the Boston marathon bombing. The discussion turned to the possibility of charges against Tsarnaev’s wife. Burnett wondered if it would be possible to prove complicity given that there would be no way to know what they talked about on the phone. Here’s the exchange (audio is faint so you may need to turn it up)…
More here.

But that’s not all.

Even the most innocent, commonplace snapshots that you take with your smartphone can contain metadata that reveals personal information about your family.

“Smart appliances” including electrical meters, automotive systems such as OnStar, and other devices with embedded computers can be used to collect and extract information about your activities.

How about making sure that the politically disfavored classes will freeze in the dark? Bureaucrat-controlled thermostats are on the way.

Nakedsecurity urges computer users to log out of their profiles when finished with their activities. And don’t have the computer store your passwords. If you’re afraid you’ll forget a password and lock yourself out, you can always write your passwords on a piece of paper and lock it up in a safe that you own.

Then there’s Google Glass (h/t: Gramfan). Dry Bones shows how the device will work in the real world. Just what we need, another tool for cyberstalkers and government snoops!

Dry Bones takes on Google Glass

Nudists beware: Spy drones can see what you’re wearing (or not wearing) from 17500 feet.

Living in a rural area won’t keep you safe from totalitarian spying. Twitchy has the story on that:

Room for one more scandal? Senators probe EPA’s leak of farmers’ personal info

Having so many different Obama administration scandals demanding the public’s attention all at once almost works in the administration’s favor; before the full implications of one scandal sink in, another one erupts. While the NSA has managed to bump the IRS from the headlines this week, it’s worth noting that the Environmental Protection Agency is busy doing its part to erode what’s left of the public’s trust in the government.

The Free Beacon reported this week that 24 senators signed a letter demanding to know why the EPA leaked the personal information of more than 80,000 farms, includes names, phone numbers and personal addresses, to left-wing environmental groups like Earth Justice, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Ten states caught sending the personal data recalled it for redaction and then resent it; Montana and Nebraska, however, ended up mistakenly resending the personal information.

Much more here.

The Conversation Prism - 2010
The Conversation Prism (2010 version) by Brian Solis and JESS3:
The grabbermint is watching and collecting it all

We stay tuned.