Oklahoma Criminal Defense Weekly_Biometrics, the Global DMV and Kaye Beach

www.ocdw.com                               08.15.11                      James L. Hankins, Publisher

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM OCDW

FEATURE ARTICLE .

 Biometrics, the Global DMV, and the Oklahoma City Fusion Center:

And no, Homeland Security does not need a warrant

Kaye Beach, a young wife and mother, made the decision this year to not renew her Oklahoma driver’s license.  The digital photos on driver’s licenses are now cutting edge biometrics easily read by facial recognition software. Once an image has been captured by CCTV cameras, handheld scanners, or other devices, it can be linked to a comprehensive database of your personal information, no warrant required. 

 Ms. Beach was recently cited for driving without a license, so she raised the retainer needed for excellent counsel who obtained a dismissal of the charge in a Norman, OK, courtroom.  No longer has a defendant, Ms. Beach now become a plaintiff: she is suing the State of Oklahoma for the right to opt for a driver’s license that does not contain biometric information.  A photo not of biometric quality, but still adequate for identification purposes, can easily be substituted for the digital, high resolution image.

 The presumption of innocence that is the foundation of any free society comes with a corollary right to privacy and anonymity. You may give up your right to privacy in a public place – anyone can photograph you – but all nine justices of the Supreme Court have acknowledged a citizen’s right to anonymity. As long as you are not behaving in a way that gives rise to a suspicion of criminality you are not required to state your name or show identification.

 A co-author of YOUR BODY IS YOUR ID toured the Fusion Center located in Oklahoma City, and asked the former OSBI director, DeWade Langley, who oversaw the fusion center, if the federal government needs to provide a warrant to obtain information about citizens directly from the Oklahoma Fusion Center or from any of the databases the fusion center has access to, ( law enforcement databases, motor vehicle databases, public-private partnerships, corrections databases, public health databases, corporate databases, data mining companies such as Acxiom, ChoicePoint, and LexisNexis, The International Justice and Public Safety Network, and many others)  Agent Langley replied a warrant is not necessary.   

 L-1 Identity Solutions, the largest provider of biometrics in the United States, is involved in the creation of state driver’s licenses and passports, and contracts with nearly every intelligence agency in the United States. Past and current members of the company’s Board of Directors include a former head of the CIA, a former director of the FBI, the former head administrator of the TSA, among other members of the intelligence community. The company, which has in the past provided Chinese nationals with facial recognition software that was used to track dissidents, is currently up for sale and the potential buyer is a French company, Safran.  The Safran group has 55,000 employees worldwide and has partnered with China for forty years.

 Essentially, what our government is doing by collecting and centralizing ever more information about each of us, is increasing what privacy expert Bruce Schneier refers to as the value of the prize for hackers and identity thieves. In July, 2010, the Washington Post published a disturbing series of articles indicating that the massive intelligence being gathered by the government, a large part of which is personal information on its citizens, is impossible to manage and therefore largely ineffective for national security purposes or to fight terrorism. There are, however, other purposes for which governments surveil their own citizens. In THE END OF AMERICA, Naomi Wolf lists ten steps always taken by the government in countries undergoing a fascist shift toward authoritarian rule. Fourth on the list is “surveil ordinary citizens”.  Subsequent to the events of 9/11, the other nine steps have also been put into place, or are in the process of being implemented, in America. 

 For further information refer to YOUR BODY IS YOUR ID, available at www.constitutionalalliance.org or visit the Axxiom For Liberty website created by Kaye Beach at www.axiomamuse.wordpress.com , or visit www.stoprealidcoalition.com . To view the EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) Amicus Brief on Fusion Centers visit:  

 http://www.scribd.com/doc/21970412/EPIC-Amicus-Brief-on-Fusion-Centers

 The information in this article has been largely distilled from YOUR BODY IS YOUR ID by R.U. Free with permission from the authors.    Patty Hankins, pattyhankins@yahoo.com

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