Our guest blogger, Peter Swire, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and served as the Clinton Administration’s Chief Counselor for Privacy.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has badly stumbled in discussing the Bush administration’s push to create stricter identity systems. Chertoff was recently in Canada discussing, among other topics, the so-called “Server in the Sky” program to share fingerprint databases among the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia.
In a recent briefing with Canadian press (which has yet to be picked up in the U.S.), Chertoff made the startling statement that fingerprints are “not particularly private”:
QUESTION: Some are raising that the privacy aspects of this thing, you know, sharing of that kind of data, very personal data, among four countries is quite a scary thing.
SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Well, first of all, a fingerprint is hardly personal data because you leave it on glasses and silverware and articles all over the world, they’re like footprints. They’re not particularly private.
Many of us should rightfully be surprised that our fingerprints aren’t considered “personal data” by the head of DHS. Even more importantly, DHS itself disagrees. In its definition of “personally identifiable information” — the information that triggers a Privacy Impact Assessment when used by government — the Department specifically lists: “biometric identifiers (e.g., fingerprints).”
For da rest of da story:
Now look at the above picture real close and say to yourself, "I feel secure now, I feel secure now"Add to Technorati Favorites
April 21, 2008
Re: SB1992/HB 1111
This is being sent to you both, due to the speed with which the bills, SB1992 and HB 1111, are moving and the numerous changes they are undergoing in the legislative process. It is feared that without personal intervention, from one or both of you, many constitutionally questionable items will become law. Many of these items will result in further restrictions on the liberties of the citizens of Florida. As you know, the press has been having a field day with what has become known as the “Bull Nutz” provision of SB1992 and many are asking, in this time of financial crisis, if our legislators have lost their minds.
I have concerns with both bills in their totality and the potential cost to the state of court challenges to the absurdities contained in them. However, I would like to specifically draw your attention to the provisions in SB 1992 allowing for stiffer penalties for those who injure or a kill a motorcyclist. A large number of motorcyclists would love to see justice done to those who negligently or carelessly violate the right of way resulting in injury or death. However a large number of us believe that it cheapens our lives, threatens our lifestyle and is tantamount to “blackmail” to have “stiffer penalties” thrown into “catch all” bills that offer us presumed safety while further restricting our freedoms.
The trade off , safety for rights, was unacceptable to the founders of this country. It is also unacceptable to those of us who appreciate the sacrifices made throughout history to insure that our rights are protected. We believe that our lives are important enough to justify a stand alone bill addressing our grievances.
It is my understanding that ABATE of Florida has indicated it's support of the stiffer penalties provision as included in SB 1992. However what you may not be aware of, is that ABATE of Florida represents a small percentage of the registered motorcyclists (1%+/-) in Florida. There are other motorcycling organizations active in Florida and the nation that that have differing thoughts on the matter. For example are you aware that the American Motorcycle Association, one of the oldest and largest motorcycle organizations in the country has sent out an action alert re: SB 1992
Bikers Of Lesser Tolerance (B.O.L.T.) is a national organization with a presence in Florida. B.O.L.T.'s emphasis is on preserving bikers rights and liberties and operates from a different perspective.
My concern is the blind eye that our elected officials turn to issues of constitutional concern. Two examples of this are : a) lines 544 through 548 in SB 1992 which state, “(7) If any provision of this section is deemed unconstitutional by any court, such unconstitutional provision shall be deemed severable and such determination shall not affect the enforceability of all remaining constitutional provisions of this section.” and b) lines 499 through 502 in SB 1992 which state, “regardless of whether or not the offense was committed in the presence of the officer or whether the officer's determination is based upon information provided by anonymous tipsters, citizen informants, or any other source.”
Based on constitutionally questionable issues and the fact that the bills primary purpose is not to address stiffer penalties for negligent drivers I would request that one or both of the following actions be taken:
1.Both these bills be withdrawn and/or
2.All references to motorcyclists and motorcycles be stripped from these bills.
rcAdd to Technorati Favorites
Foxy Rider send in the following relating to the Road Runners Luau run Saturday.
Road Runners 7th Annual Luau Run was a little wet to begin with, but we had a great group to ride with. Met some new friends and saw some old ones. Once the clouds and fine drizzle lifted, it turned out to be a great day. Riding County Road 12 is so beautiful. I usually have the worst hand and this time it would have won me the whole pot..... but, I didn't have the worst someone else did. (Now I really shouldn't be complaining.) The shrimp & crawfish boil, sausages and potatoes, and ears of corn were great. Uwe Krock was doing some cooking and Cheryl was looking pretty in her lai helping out with signups. And the best thing, is that everyone got lai-ed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now back to our regularly scheduled diatribes.Add to Technorati Favorites
According to representative Evers office it's companion bill HB 1111 has not yet been agendized for it's final it's final committee. Which if you were one that might be concerned with your liberties you would hope will not happen. You could then say ah ha we are done. Not so fast grasshopper.
HB1111 although not yet in alignment with SB1992, among other things to date it comes without reference to offensive anatomy, does not have to make it through the house.
IF????? the Senate is actually insane enough to pass 1992, otherwise known as the collective insanity of expenditures of YOUR tax dollars to restrict YOUR liberties, the senate can then message the bill to the house where it will then be taken up by the house policy and budget committee which can then pass it send it to the house floor and bingo, the insanity becomes law.
Now all is going to happen like really fast.
As much as "Bikers" would love to have the stiffer penalties clause in this bill addressing those who run over us on a daily basis, are YOU willing to have your life cheapened by blackmail this bill ask for to get it. In other words would you trade your freedom for your safety? If so be reminded of this quote from Samuel Adams:
- Samuel Adams
If it is liberty you love might I suggest ye get up off thine collective asses and and start calling and e-mailing the hell out of Representative Evers (hmmm what was that deal he made with ABATE of Florida) and the Budget and Policy council.
You may also wish to try letting the Senators know prior to Wednesdays vote via the AMA rapid response center. Or just call them up and ask, "are ya all full of BULL NUTZ"????Add to Technorati Favorites