Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts in USA Privacy

“PTSD was once thought to be something that was peculiar to Vietnam vets,” says Matt Warshauer, a history professor at Central Connecticut State University. ”We then figured out not surprisingly, that no, combat fatigue existed during World War II, shell shock existed during World War I, and Soldier’s Heart existed in the Civil War.”

There are many more books — now under lock and key — that Warshauer is eager to see. They’re about the size of a photo album and their covers, made of burlap and leather, have started to fall apart. Each contains the records of 325 or so patients and perhaps, of some Civil War veterans who walked across the lawns of the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane in the late 1800′s.

“They mean the motherlode,” Warshauer says. “Those are the books that we need.”

This past February, Warshauer thought he might soon have access to what he needed. Connecticut legislators drafted a bill, allowing the release of medical records 50 years after a patient’s death. But then, with backing from mental health advocates as well as the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, lawmakers inserted an amendment: all names would be redacted, or blacked out, making patient files of little use to historians.

Warshauer’s research is now at a standstill. He says one reason he’s not giving up is that he wants to help returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD understand they’re part of a long line of soldiers who have suffered.

“They’re the ones who told me you have no idea how important this work is, how important it is for us to be able to tell this story,” he adds.

Source.

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There’s no doubt in my mind that we, as an Internet community, need to take back our state legislatures. We need our current legislators to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, to focus their energies on the problems that they properly understand and are best suited to solving (which almost never involve Internet regulation), and to find another job if they can’t wield their power wisely. Before you just vote for your incumbent state legislators next election, ask yourself if they have been doing right by the Internet.

Why State Legislatures Shouldn’t Regulate Internet Privacy from Whittier Law School on Vimeo.

Whittier Law School, 2013-14 Colloquia and Distinguished Speaker Series
Distinguished Speaker in Privacy Law:
Prof. Eric Goldman, Santa Clara Law School
"Why State Legislatures Shouldn't Regulate Internet Privacy"

Slides and audio.

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In an effort to increase campus security, TSU will require students, faculty and staff to wear Identification Cards while on campus. This is part of a broader effort to increase campus safety for the University community.

After a spate of break-ins and vandalism, officials at the university instituted the new ID requirement as a way to ensure safety on campus, a TSU release said.

So, instead of doing some actual police work to find those responsible or admitting that break-ins and vandalism happen all the time all over the world and not all are solvable, they institute draconian measures to track everyone.

“Our primary concern is always to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our students, employees and visitors,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management. “Safety on our campus is priority number one, and with the new policy we want to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff are safe at all times.”

Notice that this is being implemented in the name of safety. Everyone is buying into “it must be a good thing” and “they’re looking out for us.”

Those at the university should also be looking into who is storing the information and for how long. Then, they might want to look at who the university is giving access to the data and how it’s going to be monetized.

If you don’t want to be tracked, you could simply make a copy of your ID, put it on display and keep the real ID in an RFID blocking wallet. That’s what the criminals are going to be doing as well as cloning IDs for whatever nefarious things they think of.

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The appeal is obvious, especially for cash-strapped, high-crime cities such as Oakland, Calif. City leaders there say they simply don’t have the tax base to pay for the number of police officers they need, so they’ve looked toward “domain awareness” as a kind of force multiplier.

For the past couple of years, the city of Oakland has worked with the Port of Oakland to build its own version of the system. It’s called the Domain Awareness Center, or DAC. The federal government is paying for it with Homeland Security grants. But as the project grew, so did opposition.

After last summer’s revelations of domestic spying by the National Security Agency, protesters started showing up en masse at Oakland City Council meetings. One signed in for the public comment period as “Edward Snowden”; another stood up to videorecord the council while supporters cheered and jeered. In November, protesters became so raucous, they forced the council to clear the hall.

Source.

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How and why the US government surveils on its citizens.

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