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  • 23 Jan 2014 8:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ISPLA is grateful to Stateline, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of Pew Charitable Trust that provides daily reporting and analysis in state policy, for allowing us to publish their article below by staff writer David C. Vock

    Nearly a decade after Congress passed the Real ID Act to thwart terrorists from getting driver’s licenses, the law will finally go into effect in April. But 13 states still are not ready.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security repeatedly put off enforcement of the law, as states complained about its costs and civil rights groups objected to it as an invasion of privacy. But in December, while DHS was temporarily headed by counterterrorism expert Rand Beers, the agency unveiled a gradual rollout for enforcing the law.

    Brian Zimmer, president of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, which supports Real ID, praised the agency for its “deliberate approach.” The slow ramp-up will give the agency time to address practical problems and avoid technical or training snafus before the requirements affect the general public, he said.

    “Nobody has ever done this before… so enforcing this law is going to be a major challenge,” said Zimmer, who helped draft the law’s provisions on driver’s licenses as a congressional committee staffer.

    But Chris Calabrese, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the new timetable will do little to convince holdout states to comply with the law.

    “Nothing has changed,” he said. “It is impossible to imagine DHS keeping the citizens of any of those states off of airplanes…I don’t see that most of these states are going to have a whole lot more incentive than they have ever had to do this, which is to say, none.”

    Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma and Washington state do not currently meet the law’s standards, according to DHS.

    Another 15 states do not yet meet the requirements but have asked the federal government for more time to do so. They all have extensions through October and can renew those extensions.

    Soon after Real ID became law, 17 states passed laws restricting or banning its implementation within their borders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Liberals and conservatives alike recoiled at the law in its early years. They objected to the law's costs, federal pre-emption of state practices and the potential threat to personal privacy.

    But two of those statesundefinedGeorgia and Utahundefinednow issue Real ID-compliant licenses. Seven more are among those granted extensions to comply with the law.

    The controversy over Real ID faded in most state capitols as DHS repeatedly delayed enforcement. Technically, the law does not impose new rules on states. But by requiring Real ID-compliant licenses to board commercial aircraft, the law could put a lot of public pressure on states to issue licenses that meet its standards.

    Slow Rollout

    In the final report it issued in July 2004, the 9/11 Commission recommended that states improve driver’s license security, because four of the 19 hijackers in the terrorist attacks used state-issued driver's licenses to board the planes they later crashed.

    The Real ID Act, which President George W. Bush signed into law in May 2005, requires states to verify that an applicant is in the country legally, using federal databases and original documents such as birth certificates and Social Security cards. It also imposes security measures for workers who handle driver’s license information or who produce the physical documents.

    The federal government has delayed enforcement of Real ID four times since it was originally supposed to go into effect in May 2008.

    As those deadlines neared, the law’s proponents raised the specter of residents in noncompliant states not being able to board flights with their state-issued identification. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, often cited that as a reason to bar unauthorized immigrants from getting driver’s licenses there.

    The federal government’s new open-ended schedule would put off that type of widespread enforcement until the waning days of the Obama administrationundefinedat the earliest.

    The consequences for residents living in holdout states will be minimal, at least at first. They will have to present alternate forms of identification (such as a passport) to get into Washington, D.C. headquarters of DHS, nuclear power plants and restricted federal facilities.

    But sometime after 2016, they will no longer be able to board commercial aircraft with only their driver’s license.

    Gradual Compliance

    The federal government relies on information from states to determine whether they comply with 43 requirements under Real ID. In a statement, the agency said states’ progress so far shows that the law’s requirements are achievable.

    Vermont first started issuing Real ID-compliant licenses at the beginning of this year. Michael Charter from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles said his agency gradually put in place more and more security measures over the years to comply.

    “It’s been easier to accomplish than we initially thought it might be. There really hasn’t been tremendous backlash from the public up to this point,” he said.

    The state had to add facial-recognition technology to the computers that store photos from driver’s licenses. The software alerts workers if a new photo matches one that is already in the database for a different person. DMV employees follow up on the potential matches to determine whether there is any fraud.

    The state also had to change how it screens and trains workers who handle driver’s license data, Charter said. The agency lets police and prosecutors use the data, but only if they submit requests to the agency with documentation of ongoing investigations. DMV workers run the actual queries.

    The biggest change to the physical ID cards is for unauthorized immigrants. Vermont has always required driver’s license holders to show they are in the country legally, but the legislature decided last year to grant driving privileges to undocumented immigrants.

    So Vermont lawmakers decided to issue two forms of cards: the typical driver’s license and a separate driving privilege card for the immigrants. The second card states that the ID is not valid for federal identification or official purposes, so that the state would meet the requirements of Real ID.

    In fact, all nine states that passed laws allowing unauthorized immigrants to drive last year specified that cards for those immigrants must have marks to distinguish them from licenses for people in the country legally, according to the National Immigration Law Forum.

    Before last year, only three states allowed unauthorized immigrants to drive, and only one of themundefinedUtahundefinedincluded physical distinctions for the immigrants’ licenses. New Mexico and Washington still do not.

    Remaining Obstacles

    Many technical, legal and philosophical obstacles remain for states that have not complied with Real ID.

    For many, meeting the law’s requirement that states secure the locations where driver’s licenses are produced can be challenging. Many states, such as Tennessee, now issue licenses from a single, secure location. That means applicants get their licenses in the mail, rather than at a state office.

    The law’s many security provisions have prompted states such as California and Texas to consolidate facilities where residents can get driver’s licenses, said Zimmer, from the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License.

    A legal challenge doomed New Jersey’s TRU-ID program in 2012. The ACLU sued to block the state’s rollout of Real ID-compliant licenses, because, the group said, the state did not follow state law for getting public feedback before putting its new license rules into effect. New Jersey officials said they would include the public if they try to roll out similar changes in the future.

    Ohio officials decided last year to stop work on Real ID compliance, because of privacy concerns. They were especially concerned about storing digital copies of sensitive documents and about the use of facial recognition technology, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

    The state’s facial recognition technology generated controversy last year, when it came to light that as many as 26,500 people could access the state’s database of driver’s license photos, far more than in other states. 

    http//:www.pewstates.org

     

  • 20 Nov 2013 2:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ISPLA is grateful to Stateline, the Daily News Service of The Pew Charitable Trust and its staff writer Maggie Clark for this informative article below on license plate readers and emerging privacy issues....

    Police have used cameras that read the license plates on passing cars to locate missing people in California, murderers in Georgia and hit-and-run drivers in Missouri.

    The book-sized license plate readers (LPRs) are mounted on police cars, road signs or traffic lights. The images they capture are translated into computer-readable text and compiled into a list of plate numbers, which can run into the millions. Then police compare the numbers against the license plates of stolen cars, drivers wanted on bench warrants or people involved in missing person cases.

    Privacy advocates don’t object to police using LPRs to catch criminals. But they are concerned about how long police keep the numbers if the plates don’t register an initial hit. In many places there are no limits, so police departments keep the pictures with the date, time, and location of the car indefinitely.

    The backlash against LPRs began in earnest this year, as three more states limited law enforcement use of the systems and in some cases banned private companies from using the systems, for example, to track down cars for repossession. So far, five states limit how the cameras are used, and the American Civil Liberties Union anticipates that at least six other states will debate limits in the upcoming legislative session.

    In New Hampshire, police and private companies (with the exception of the tolling company EZ Pass) are forbidden from using license plate readers. Utah requires police to delete license plate data nine months after collection. In Vermont, the limit is 18 months and in Maine it is three weeks. Arkansas police have to throw out the plate numbers after 150 days and parking facilities are the only private companies allowed to use the technology. 

    “It’s been surprising to find out how license plate readers are being used and how long the data is being kept,” said Michigan state Rep. Sam Singh, a Democrat, who is sponsoring legislation to limit police in his state from keeping license plate numbers for longer than 48 hours. Police are using the cameras in a handful of Michigan cities, including Detroit and East Lansing.

    Singh’s legislation would also make the license plate data exempt from public records requests so that, for example, divorce attorneys couldn’t request license plate reader data to confirm where a spouse was at a particular time. The bill, which is still in committee, also would limit how private companies can use license plate readers to track down cars for repossession. 

    “We just fundamentally believe that Americans don’t need to be watched unless there’s probable cause of wrongdoing,” said Shelli Weisberg, legislative director for the Michigan ACLU, which supports Singh’s bill.   “We don’t need a ‘just in case’ database. That just turns democracy and our sense of due process on its head.”

    NSA Fallout

    The debate over license plate readers and other law-enforcement technologies is a local expression of a national wariness about government spying in the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency’s far-reaching data collection on ordinary citizens across the world.

    “People are saying, ‘I can’t control the NSA, but I can rein in what local law enforcement agencies are collecting,’” said Allie Bohm, an advocacy and policy strategist at the ACLU. Last July, the ACLU released a report warning about the lack of policies for license plate reader programs. The group also has promoted model legislation to limit how long police can keep license plate data.

    For proponents of the technology, the timing of the NSA leaks couldn’t have been worse. “I would hate to see that because of bad timing, a great technology is banned or didn’t rise to the level it could have,” said Todd Hodnett, the founder and chairman of Digital Recognition Network, a license plate reader manufacturer which sells the cameras to private companies, including towing firms, banks and insurance companies. An LPR system, which typically includes four cameras, costs between $15,000 and $18,000.

    Lumping license plate readers in with the NSA surveillance system creates a false equivalency, according to Hodnett. “The NSA revelations have created an environment that has people on edge, but it’s unfortunate and quite scary that someone could compare listening to a phone call to photographing a publicly visible license plate,” he said.

    Hodnett also argued the focus on data limits is misplaced, because matching a license plate to a person’s DMV records or driver’s license record is a two-step process governed by the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act passed by Congress in 1994. When law enforcement officers want to make a query of DMV records using a license plate number, they have to show a “permissible purpose,” which includes public safety, motor vehicle theft, court proceedings or notifying owners of towed or impounded vehicles.

    Until a license plate number is matched to DMV data, it’s as anonymous to officers as it is to a person standing on a street corner. That two-step process is what keeps the technology from infringing on privacy, said Robert Stevenson, the executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and the retired police chief of Livonia, Mich.

    “There’s an additional step that has to be taken to find out who the drivers are,” said Stevenson. “People’s pictures and names don’t just pop up when they drive past license plate readers.”

    The U.S. Supreme Court and multiple federal courts have affirmed there is no expectation of privacy for a publicly visible license plate. Hodnett is building a case to argue that prohibiting license plate readers from taking photographs of publicly visible license plates is a violation of the First Amendment.

    Tracking the Marathon Bombers

    In the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers, police used license plate reader data to establish where the Tsarnaev brothers had traveled and where they might be headed, based on places they’d already been. Police used license plate readers to track Dzokhar Tsarnaev to Watertown, Mass., where police found him hiding in a boat in a resident’s backyard.

    Even though LPR data was used in that investigation, Watertown’s state representative is pursuing legislation to limit license plate readers. Under Democratic Rep. Jonathan Hecht’s legislation, police would be required to delete license plates collected after 48 hours, but they could hang on to data longer if it was specifically part of a criminal investigation, like the search for Tsarnaev.

    “Public safety is very important and we want to use new this technology for safety,” said Hecht. “But as has been true throughout our history, public safety has to be balanced against other important privacy values. In wake of the revelations about the NSA, people are concerned that we’re letting technology get away from us.”

     

  • 23 Aug 2012 2:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    An August 22 item in SLATE by Ryan Gallager titled "Criminals May Be Using Covert Mobil Phone Surveillance Tech for Extortion" regarding IMSI Catchers may be of interest to investiigative and security professionals. The Slate piece contains links to a number of U.S. and foreign items. Some of the pertinent facts are noted below it.  
       
    “It sends out a signal that is basically like the one coming from a cellular phone base station, which is why a mobile phone would voluntarily connect to it. If someone uses the device wisely and carefully, and does not stay in one place for too long, it is practically impossible to catch them.”
    IMSI catchers are advanced pieces of hardware that can be used to send out a signal, tricking mobile phones into thinking they are part of a legitimate mobile phone network. The most sophisticated IMSI catchers, such as the one known to have been purchased by London’s Metropolitan Police, allow authorities to shut off targeted phones remotely and gather data about thousands of users in a specific area. They can force phones to release their unique IMSI and IMEI identity codes, which can then be used to track a person's movements in real time.
     
    The use of the technology by policeundefinedlet alone criminalsundefinedis controversial. Recently, some argued that the FBI’s use of an IMSI catcher known as a “Stingray” was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Until November last year, the Department of Justice had claimed the use of a Stingray did not constitute a search. However, the DoJ suddenly changed tack during an Arizona court case, a move the Wall Street Journal reported was “designed to protect the secrecy of the gadgets.”
     
    In the Czech Republic such devices are known as "Agitas. The former head of the Czech Military Intelligence Agency and a security analyst Andor Šándor underscored the danger of the widespread sale of Agátas:
    "It’s been a known fact for a few years now that some companies do sell these devices. But if their use will not be in any way regulated, and access to these devices will not be in any way controlled, then a regular citizen can do absolutely nothing. The only way people can safeguard themselves is if they reveal only the necessary information during their mobile communication. But, obviously that goes against normal behavior of free persons."
    Jan Valos, a radio frequency engineer and hacker explains how an IMSI Catcher works once it is connected to a computer:
    “It sends out a signal that is basically like the one coming from a cellular phone base station, which is why a mobile phone would voluntarily connect to it. If someone uses the device wisely and carefully, and does not stay in one place for too long, it is practically impossible to catch them.”
    Bruce Hulme
    ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
    Resource to Investigative and Security Professionals, to the Government, and to the Media
  • 17 Aug 2012 2:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    An FDCPA amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court may be of interest to those investigators involved in debt collection cases.

    Question Presented:

    WHETHER FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 54(D)(1),

    WHICH PERMITS COST-SHIFTING “(U)NLESS A FEDERAL STATUTE”

    OR ANOTHER RULE “PROVIDES OTHERWISE,” ALLOWS TAXATION OF

    COSTS AGAINST A PLAINTIFF WHO FILED SUIT IN GOOD FAITH UNDER

    THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT, 15 U.S.Section 1692K,

    WHICH AUTHORIZES TAXATION OF COSTS AGAINST PLAINTIFFS ONLY

    WHEN THEY FILE ACTIONS “IN BAD FAITH AND FOR THE PURPOSE

    OF HARASSMENT.”
    A medical assistant student contended that funds she received were grants rather than student loans in the case of Olivea Marx, Petitioner v. General Recovery Corporation No. 11-1178. A 36-page brief by the government asserts that allowing Courts to fix costs against good-faith FDCPA plaintiffs would subvert the balance struck by Congress between encouraging private enforcement and deterring abusive suits. The Court had awarded costs to the collection agency. The Federal Trade Commission joined in the action as indicated in their release below.
     

    FTC Joins Amicus Brief Opposing Federal Court Finding On Consumers' Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act


    The Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a joint amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting consumers' ability to protect their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by suing debt collectors.
    The amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to overturn a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  In this case, a consumer, Olivea Marx, sued a debt collector, General Revenue Corporation, that had contacted her employer to obtain information about her employment status.  Marx believed that the debt collector’s conduct had violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but she lost the case.  The Tenth Circuit ruled that Marx was responsible for paying more than $4,500 to cover the debt collector’s litigation costs, even though she had brought the case in good faith.
    The amicus brief argues that the Tenth Circuit’s decision was inconsistent with the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which specifies that consumers who win lawsuits against debt collectors may recover their litigation costs from the defendants, but that consumers who lose these cases must pay defendants’ litigation costs only if the consumers sued in bad faith or for purposes of harassment.  The amicus brief also argues that these provisions of the Act advance Congress’ intent to help consumers deter abusive debt collection practices by bringing private enforcement actions in good faith.  By contrast, the Tenth Circuit’s ruling would create a disincentive to the prosecution of private enforcement actions, the brief states.  
    Bruce Hulme
    ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
    Your Proactive Voice from State Capitols to the Nation's Capitol
  • 25 Nov 2011 6:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    HR 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011-STRONGLY SUPPORTED By ISPLA!!!

    Sec. 926D. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms

    (a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof (except as provided in subsection (b)), a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and who is carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person, and a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm, may possess or carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, in any State, other than the State of residence of the person, that--

    (1) has a statute that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms; or

    (2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.

    (b) The possession or carrying of a concealed handgun in a State under this section shall be subject to the same conditions and limitations, except as to eligibility to possess or carry, imposed by or under Federal or State law or the law of a political subdivision of a State, that apply to the possession or carrying of a concealed handgun by residents of the State or political subdivision who are licensed by the State or political subdivision to do so, or not prohibited by the State from doing so.

    (c) In subsection (a), the term `identification document' means a document made or issued by or under the authority of the United States Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State which, when completed with information concerning a particular individual, is of a type intended or commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of individuals

    BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION

    I. THE CURRENT STATUS OF CONCEALED CARRY LAWS

    In a 2008 opinion striking down Washington D.C.'s district-wide handgun ban, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized `that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms' that stems in large part from the right to protect oneself, as well as `one's home and family,' from harm. See District of Columbia v. Heller, 554

    U.S. 570 (2008). Specifically, the Heller decision found that the right to self defense, as opposed to the creation of a militia or other principles, `was the central component of the right itself.' Id.at 599 (emphasis in original). More recently, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. XX, 130 S.Ct. 3020 (2010), the Supreme Court clarified that the Second Amendment rights discussed in Heller also extend to the states.

    Forty-nine states currently permit concealed carry in some manner. Thirty-five states have `shall issue' permit laws, which generally require states to issue a concealed carry permit or license to people who meet the legal requirements. Ten states--plus the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and

    Guam--have `may issue' or discretionary permit laws that are administered in varying ways. Four states--Vermont, Arizona, Alaska, and Wyoming--permit the carrying of a concealed weapon without any permit or license (although Arizona, Alaska, and Wyomingalso have a permitting process in place). Illinois, the District of Columbia, the Northern Marianas Islands, and American Samoaprohibit concealed carry.

    Twenty-five states allow non-residents to apply for a concealed carry permit or license, and

    Vermontallows non-residents to carry without a permit while in the state. In most instances, the process for permitting in-state and out-of-state persons is the same. However, some states apply a stricter permitting process to out-of-state residents, including requiring that the person have a valid concealed carry permit from their home state.

    A majority of states currently extend reciprocal concealed carry privileges to varying degrees to the residents of other states. Fourteen states grant outright recognition of all valid permits issued by another state. Ten states automatically recognize permits from other states that also recognize their permits. Sixteen states will recognize another state's concealed carry permit if certain conditions are met. Only ten states do not recognize a concealed carry permit issued by another state in any circumstance, although many of these states do allow non-residents to apply for permits to carry a concealed handgun in the state.

    Under current Federal law, certain active-duty and retired law enforcement officers are permitted to carry concealed firearms across state lines, even while off duty.

    II. EFFECTS OF CONCEALED CARRY ON PUBLIC SAFETY

    While there is disagreement over the benefits of carrying concealed weapons, many believe that robust concealed carry laws ultimately deter crime by making criminal acts much more risky and costly for potential law breakers. Statistics show a connection between concealed carry laws and a decrease in violent crime rates. The National Rifle Association estimates, based on data from the FBI's Annual Uniform Crime Report, that `right-to-carry' states (i.e., those that widely allow concealed carry) have 22 percent lower total violent crime rates, 30 percent lower murder rates, 46 percent lower robbery rates, and 12 percent lower aggravated assault rates, as compared to the rest of the country. 

    A study of the effect of concealed carry laws on crime rates, published in 1997, estimated that `[w]hen state concealed handgun laws went into effect in a county, murders fell by 7.65 percent, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by 5 and 7 percent.'


    III. NATIONAL RECIPROCITY UNDER H.R. 822

    H.R. 822 would allow persons with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits or licenses to carry a concealed firearm in all other states that also issue concealed firearm permits or licenses, or in any other state that does not generally prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms. This legislation would not create a national licensing scheme, but rather would require states that currently permit people to carry concealed firearms to recognize other states' valid concealed carry permits.

    H.R. 822, as clarified by the substitute manager's amendment, does not affect a state's ability to set eligibility requirements for its own residents. The bill instead makes clear that a person cannot use this Federal grant of reciprocity to carry a concealed weapon in his or her own state of residence under another state's permit or license, unless their own state's laws permit this. H.R. 822 also does not impact state laws governing how concealed firearms are possessed or carried within the various states. All state, federal, and local laws regarding the possession and carrying of a concealed handgun that would apply to a resident of a state will also apply in equal force to a non-resident. A non-resident who is able to show both a valid identification document and a valid concealed carry permit or license will be permitted to carry a concealed firearm in the same manner as a resident holding a general-use permit or license.

    H.R. 822 addresses concerns regarding law enforcement's ability to confirm the validity of an out-of-state concealed carry permit by requiring that a person show both a valid government-issued identification document, such as a license or passport, and a valid concealed carry license or permit. The states are also currently able to verify the validity of out-of-state concealed permits. The Nlets system, formerly the National Law Enforcement Teletype System, permits federal, state, and local law enforcement to query handgun permit information for 12 states that have elected to participate in the program. Law enforcement can also use Nlets to send inquiries regarding concealed carry permits directly to out-of-state agencies that issue permits but do not participate in the Nlets concealed carry program. Forty states currently grant some form of reciprocity for out-of-state concealed carry permits and all of the states are subject to the Firearms Owners` Protection Act's Safe Passage Provision, codified at 18 U.S.C. Sec. 926A, which provides a process by which non-residents can transport lawful firearms through states where they could not otherwise carry the firearm. Accordingly, law enforcement is already very familiar with handling and verifying firearms carried by non-residents.

    HEARINGS

    The Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held 1 day of hearings on H.R. 822 on September 13, 2011. Testimony was received from Joyce Lee Malcolm, Professor, George Mason University School of Law; David Kopel, Research Director, Independence Institute and Adjunct Professor, Denver University Sturm College of Law; and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, with additional material submitted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Minnesota Chiefs of Police, and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.

    DISSENTING VIEWS

    INTRODUCTION

    H.R. 822, the `National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011,' is a dangerous bill that would override the laws of almost every state by obliging each to accept concealed handgun carry permits from every other state, even if the permit holder would not be allowed to carry or even possess a handgun in the state where he or she is traveling. The law tramples federalism and endangers public safety.

    The harmful impact of this legislation is without doubt. For example, some states require an individual to show that he or she knows how to use a firearm or meet minimum training standards before obtaining a concealed carry license. Under H.R. 822, however, these states would be forced to allow out-of-state visitors to carry concealed weapons even if they do not meet that state's concealed licensing standards concerning basic gun safety or training requirements. During consideration of the bill, numerous amendments were offered by the Minority to address these serious flaws, but none were adopted. Members of the Majority blocked amendments to preserve the application of state laws concerning eligibility to carry concealed weapons within their borders, as well as other amendments that would have allowed states to prevent concealed carrying of handguns by those with out of state permits with convictions for offenses such as misdemeanor assault on police officers and misdemeanor sex offenses against children.

    Recognizing the danger that it would pose to our citizens and to law enforcement officers across this country, this bill is opposed by more than 550 mayors (represented by Mayors Against Illegal Guns),  major police organizations, domestic violence abuse victim advocates, prosecutors, and faith-based organizations.

    Police groups opposing the bill included the International Association of Chiefs of Police; Major Cities Chiefs Association; the Police Foundation, National Latino Peace Officers Association; and National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. Among the state and local police organizations and individuals opposing the bill are the California Police Chiefs Association; the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police; Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers; Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis; Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Douglas Gillespie; the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police; Minneapolis Chief of Police Timothy Dolan; Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay; Burlington North Carolina Chief of Police Michael Williams; New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly; and Portland Maine Chief of Police James E. Craig. Domestic violence abuse victims’ advocates oppose this bill, including the National Network to End Domestic Violence (a coalition of 56 domestic violence victim advocacy groups) and the Minnesota Domestic Abuse Project. Prosecutors opposing the bill, include the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys; the American Bar Association; Minneapolis Office of the City Attorney Susan Segal; Bronx County (NY) District Attorney Robert Johnson; Kings County (NY) District Attorney Charles Hynes; Queens County (NY) District Attorney Richard A. Brown; Richmond County (NY) District Attorney Daniel Donovan, Jr.; New York's Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan; New York County (NY) District Attorney Robert Morris Morgenthau; New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram; Delaware Acting Attorney General Richard Gebelein; Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller; Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan; Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police; Broomfield (CO) Police Chief Thomas Deland; Colorado Springs (CO) Police Chief Richard Myers; and Wheat Ridge (CO) Police Chief Daniel G. Brennan. Faith-based organizations opposing the bill include Faiths United, a coalition of more than 30 religious organizations. Our Lives, Our Laws: People Who Care, http://www.ourlivesourlaws.org/people-who-care.]

    For these reasons, and those stated below, we urge our colleagues to oppose this seriously flawed legislation and respectfully dissent.

    DESCRIPTION AND BACKGROUND

    H.R. 822 disregards state laws by forcing states to allow the carrying of loaded, concealed weapons by any individual permitted to carry concealed weapons in another state. Section 2 of H.R. 822, as amended by the Committee, sets forth the bill's operative provisions and makes clear that the intent of this legislation is to override the will of the states with regard to who may carry concealed handguns within their borders. It provides that an individual who is not prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms and who is carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of such individual and a valid concealed carry permit issued by a state, may carry a concealed handgun in another state if the other state has a statute that allows the issuance of concealed carry permits or does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms. Section 2(b) provides that an individual carrying a concealed handgun in a state must be permitted to carry the gun subject to `the same conditions and limitations, except as to eligibility to possess or carry,' imposed by federal, state or local law that apply to the possession or carrying of a concealed handgun by residents of that state.

    In effect, the bill would reduce all states to the lowest common denominator of concealed carry laws, and would subject citizens to unnecessary public safety risks, contrary to the judgments made by the individual states. As Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey stated, `We have a uniquely diverse nation. What works where I currently serve as Commissioner in Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, does not work for our neighbor across the river in

    New Jersey. Our laws for obtaining a permit are vastly different, based on well-debated decisions made at the state level.'

    The Courts have found that States are within their lawful constitutional power to set minimum public safety standards for carrying concealed guns. The Supreme Court has stated that even prohibitions on concealed carrying are permissible. In

    District of Columbiav. Heller, a case in which the Supreme Court held that the District's handgun ban was unconstitutional, Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, specified that the Court's holding did not `cast doubt' on other gun laws and noted that `[w]e identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.'  In discussing long-understood limitations on the right to keep and bear arms, Justice Scalia noted that `the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.' 

    The Court thus reaffirmed its ruling in Robertson v. Baldwin that `the right of the people to keep and bear arms (article 2) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons.'

    Since Heller, courts throughout the

    United States have rejected the argument that there is a right to carry concealed guns in public. In Kachalsky v. Cacace, the court upheld New York's restrictions on concealed carry, and stated:

    This emphasis on the Second Amendment's protection of the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of `self-defense in the home' permeates the Court's decision and forms the basis for its holding--which, despite the Court's broad analysis of the Second Amendment's text and historical underpinnings, is actually quite narrow.

    The language of Heller makes clear that the Court recognized `not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose' but rather a much narrower right--namely the `right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.

    In

    U.S. v. Masciandaro, the Fourth Circuit rejected the claim that there is a constitutional right to possess a loaded handgun in a car in a national park. The court explained, `This is serious business. We do not wish to be even minutely responsible for some unspeakably tragic act of mayhem because in the peace of our judicial chambers we miscalculated as to Second Amendment rights.'

    The Fourth Circuit cautioned further that the danger posed by guns `would rise exponentially as one moved the right from the home to the public square. If ever there was an occasion for restraint, this would seem to be it. There is much to be said for a course of simple caution.'

    Many other courts have similarly reached this conclusion. 

    In sum, the courts are in accord that there is no constitutional right to carry loaded guns outside the home, and certainly not to carry concealed guns in public spaces. State laws governing such conduct, directly bearing on questions of public safety, should therefore not be nullified by Congress.

    See, e.g, People v. Aguillar, 944 N.E. 2d 816 (Ill. App. Ct. 2011) (stating `the decisions in Heller and McDonald were limited to interpreting the second amendment's protection of the right to possess handguns in the home, not the right to possess handguns outside the home'); Gonzalez v. Village of W. Milwaukee, No. 09cv0384, 2010 WL 1904977 (E.D. Wis. May 11, 2010) (stating that the `Supreme Court has never held that the Second Amendment protects the carrying of guns outside the home'); United States v. Hart, 725 F. Supp. 2d. 56 (D. Mass. 2010) (`Heller does not hold, nor even suggest, that concealed weapons laws are unconstitutional.'); In re Factor, 2010 WL 1753307 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Apr. 21, 2010) (stating that the `United States Supreme Court has not held or even implied that the Second Amendment prohibits laws that restrict carrying of concealed weapons'); Dorr v. Weber, 2010 WL 1976743 (N.D. Iowa, May 18, 2010) (stating that a `right to carry a concealed weapon under the Second Amendment has not been recognized to date'); Teng v. Town of Kensington, No. 09cv8jl, 2010 WL 596526 (D.N.H. Feb. 17, 2010) (`Given that Heller refers to outright `prohibition on carrying concealed weapons' as `presumptively lawful,' far lesser restrictions of the sort imposed here clearly do not violate the Second Amendment.'); United States v. Tooley, 717 F. Supp. 2d 580 (S.D.W.Va. 2010) (`Additionally, possession of a firearm outside of the home or for purposes other than self-defense in the home are not within the `core' of the Second Amendment right as defined by Heller.'); Riddick v. United States, 995 A.2d 212 (D.C. 2010) (stating that Second Amendment does not `compel the District to license a resident to carry and possess a handgun outside the confines of his home, however broadly defined'); State v. Knight, 218 P.3d 1177 (Kan. Ct. App. 2009) (`It is clear that the [Heller] Court was drawing a narrow line regarding the violations related solely to use of a handgun in the home for self-defense purposes. [The defendant's] argument, that Heller conferred on an individual the right to carry a concealed firearm, is unpersuasive.').

    CONCERNS WITH H.R. 822

    I. IMPOSING NATIONAL CONCEALED CARRY RECIPROCITY INFRINGES STATES' RIGHTS TO PROTECT THEIR CITIZENS FROM GUN VIOLENCE

    A. ÌH.R. 822 Would

    Override StateLaws Regarding Who Is Eligible To Carry A Concealed, Loaded Gun

    H.R.822 eviscerates the authority of states to set their own eligibility standards for who may carry a concealed, loaded gun in public. State officials, law enforcement, and legislators are in the best position to decide crime-fighting policies for their respective jurisdictions. For example, rural areas may not fit the needs of big cities and vice-versa.

    States often set standards for carrying handguns on city streets that include criteria that exceed the requirement that an applicant pass a federal background check. For instance, many states, including those with strong gun rights traditions, have enacted laws that prohibit concealed handgun carrying by certain categories of individuals. These include teenagers, alcohol abusers, and individuals who pose a danger to others, or those who have not completed basic safety training. Some states also include individuals who have been convicted of certain violent misdemeanors, providing an even greater degree of protection than the prohibition in Federal law against gun possession by felons. 

    The following identifies the various state requirements on applicants for concealed carry permits:

    Thirty-five states require gun safety training, of which require live fire drills or other proof of competency with a firearm. The following states require training: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and

    Wyoming. In addition, Virginia and Maryland explicitly state that internet-based training can satisfy their requirement and North Dakotarequires certain permittees only to pass an open book exam to satisfy its requirement.

    The following states require live fire training: Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

    Thirty-eight states prohibit individuals convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes from carrying concealed firearms, including Pennsylvania, which bars carrying by those who have been convicted of stalking, impersonating a law enforcement officer and other dangerous misdemeanor offenses. Research supports these restrictions. For example, one study found handgun buyers who have been convicted of just one misdemeanor are almost five times as likely to be convicted of a serious violent crime as handgun buyers with no criminal record.

    Garen Wintemute et al., Prior misdemeanor convictions as a risk factor for later violent and firearm-related criminal activity among authorized purchasers of handguns, J. Am. Medical Ass'n 1998, 280:2083-2087.

    Thirty-six states prohibit youths age 20 and under from obtaining a concealed carry permit, including Colorado and

    Missouri.

    The following states prohibit carrying by people under the age of 21: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida,

    Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

    Twenty-nine states prohibit alcohol abusers from obtaining a concealed carry permit, including

    South Carolina, which prevents `habitual drunkard[s]' from carrying guns.

    The following states prohibit carrying by alcohol abusers: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida,

    Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

    Twenty-four states grant law enforcement agencies discretion to approve or deny carry permits to an applicant who appears to be dangerous, including Alabama, which allows sheriffs to grant or deny licenses based on whether `it appears that the applicant . . . has any . . . proper reason for carrying a pistol, and [whether] he or she is a suitable person to be so licensed.

     Ten states grant broad discretion to approve or deny concealed carry permits (Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island); 14 states granted limited discretion to do so (Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming).

    Some states have voluntarily entered into reciprocity agreements with other states. These agreements vary from state to state. Ten states honor concealed carry permits issued in any other state and three states allow carrying by nonresidents without a permit. These states are the following: Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and

    Utah.  Nine states, however, choose not to recognize any out-of-state permits. These states are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island. And, 27 states recognize permits only from certain other states, typically states with equivalent or higher standards. The breakdown of these states is as follows: Alabama (23 states); Arkansas (37 states); Colorado (29 states); Delaware (18 states); Florida (35 states); Georgia (23 states); Kansas (23 states); Louisiana (36 states); Maine (6 states); Minnesota (15 states); Mississippi (25 states); Montana (40 states); North Carolina (34 states); North Dakota (35 states); Nebraska (35 states); New Hampshire (21 states); New Mexico (19 states); Nevada (15 states); Ohio (21 states); Pennsylvania (25 states); South Carolina (17 states); Texas (40 states); Virginia (27 states); Washington (11 states); Wisconsin; West Virginia (21 states); and Wyoming (33 states).  Note that Massachusetts allows non-residents with valid out-of-state carry licenses to carry concealed firearms in Massachusettsin limited circumstances- hunting, attending an organized firearms collectors' exhibition, or the person is participating in a firearms competition.

    Some states have recently tightened the requirements for their residents to obtain out-of-state carry permits and cancelled reciprocity agreements with states that no longer meet minimum standards. For example, New Mexico and Nevada both stopped recognizing concealed carry permits issued by

    Utahbecause it does not include live-fire instruction as part of its training requirement. Nevada also stopped recognizing carry permits issued by Florida, which only requires permits to be renewed every 7 years. 

    H.R. 822, however, would override these State determinations and would force States to recognize all concealed carry permits regardless of the issuing State's standards.

    H.R. 822's infringement on states' rights is underscored by the substitute amendment, offered by Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), which the Committee adopted. The amendment exempts the possession and carrying of concealed handguns under the bill from state conditions and limitations `as to eligibility to possess and carry.

    Unfortunately, by a vote of 12 to 18, the Committee failed to adopt the amendment offered by Ranking Minority Member John Conyers to eliminate this specific provision from the substitute amendment. As a result, this legislation would override all of these carefully deliberated state and local policies, reducing concealed carry permitting to a new federal lowest common denominator.

    Many states have determined that persons convicted of certain misdemeanors should not be allowed to carry concealed handguns within their borders. This is their considered judgment based on debate within their legislatures. As one study shows, misdemeanants who buy handguns are more likely to commit future crimes than other handgun buyers:

    Buyers who had at least one misdemeanor conviction were 7.5 times as likely to be charged with a new offense as buyers who had no record.

    The more past misdemeanors a gun buyer had, the more likely he or she would be charged with a further offense after the purchase.

    Men who had one violent misdemeanor conviction were 9.3 times as likely to be charged with a new offense as men who had no record.

    Men with two or more violent misdemeanor convictions who bought a handgun were 15 times as likely to be charged with a serious violent crime as men with no record who bought handguns.

    Misdemeanor sex offense against a child: Federal law prohibits possession of guns by felons, including people convicted of felony sex crimes, but not by individuals convicted of misdemeanor sex crimes. Some states have nonetheless decided to deny permits to carry concealed, loaded guns to individuals convicted of dangerous misdemeanors, including sex crimes against children. For example,

    New Yorkprohibits people convicted of certain sex crime from carrying or possessing a gun, including the misdemeanor sex crimes of sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse in the third degree, and sexual abuse in the second degree.

    In addition, 14 states require concealed carry permit applicants to demonstrate good moral character, including--for example--a record free of criminal convictions and 10 states grant law enforcement broad discretion to deny permits to carry concealed, loaded guns based on an applicant's record or other factors. 

    Bruce Hulme, ISPLA Director of Government Affairs www.ISPLA.org

    The Definitive Organization Lobbying For Investigative and Security Professionals

  • 16 Aug 2011 9:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    Click here to read the Administrative Office news release:  FEDERAL REGISTER ANNOUNCEMENT.pdf

    ISPLA has learned of a shocking development within the US District Court system that will eliminate the ability of professional investigators to search federal court records created before 1995.  The implications of this new policy are far reaching and potentially devastating to the people we represent. 

     

    The Administrative Office (AO) of the United States has announced that on April 1, 2011, it will begin destroying archived records of federal district court cases which were filed after 1969 and which were archived during the period 1970 to 1995. For example, more than 25,000 cases from the Western District of Michigan alone will be destroyed.   In addition, myriad other federal records are also slated to shredded, including records of the Federal Maritime Commission, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, and the US Bankruptcy Court.

    When a case filed in the district court has been closed, the file is maintained by the District Court for a period of time, but it is ultimately transferred to the National Archives. To reduce the cost of preserving these records, the AO has decided to discard approximately 80% of them. The AO has no plans to preserve these records electronically. Only the Judgments and the docket sheets of the discarded cases will be kept.

     

    Imagine the consequences of this proposed action.  Background checks on litigants, potential business partners and prospective employees will be seriously hampered;  critical appellate information will be erased; 

     

    The wanton destruction of an entire generation of public records is utterly unacceptable and action must be taken to prohibit this from occurring.

     

    Since there was no public comment period, ISPLA is preparing a response to the National Archive and Records Administration and will represent the profession in objecting to this poorly conceived policy.

  • 20 Jul 2011 9:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today, Representative Mary Bono Mack [R-CA-45], Subcommittee Chair of House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to mark up her H.R. 2577, the Secure and Fortify Electronic (SAFE) Data Act which will require companies to notify law enforcement of security data breaches without "unreasonable delay" and  notify each person affected by such breaches within 48 hours. Her bill would preempt a patchwork of state data breach security laws, setting one national standard. As written, it is the best one presently being offered from the perspective of investigative and security professionals. It does not reference pretexting, as others do. ISPLA and other like-minded stakeholders are lobbying to ensure that any onerous amendments offered to this bill fail. We also note that our NCISS-PAC colleagues have recently contributed to the re-election campaign of Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, their first and only PAC contribution since forming their PAC last year.

    As a follow-up to ISPLA's ongoing comments about the phone hacking scandal in the U.K. a further example of how that scandal has implications here in the U.S. and elsewhere is reflected in a letter written yesterday by Representative Bono to telecommunication industry groups. She posed a number of questions to which she seeks answers. She wrote:

    "We have all seen the headlines about the rapidly spreading phone hacking and police bribery scandal in the United Kingdom. According to press reports, a growing number of individuals in the United Kingdom are accused of unscrupulous and potentially illegal activities. Understanding that the events in the United Kingdom have not been connected to any activity within the United States, I nonetheless believe it’s critically important to ask American industries involved in all parts of the communications stream of commerce from device manufacturers to fixed wire and wireless providers whether they are satisfied that sufficient safeguards are in place to prevent similar privacy breaches here in the United States. As a result, I respectfully request an answer to the following questions no later than August 2, 2011.

    1. As communications through voice over internet protocol (VOIP), smartphones and other mobile devices become more integrated in our daily lives, do you expect to see a rise in phone hacking here in the United States (involving both personal conversations and voicemails) as criminals search for new ways to steal valuable information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers?

    2. At present, what safeguards do your member companies employ to ensure that American consumers are adequately protected against the type of phone hacking scandal currently being investigated in the United Kingdom?

    3. In the wake of this scandal, do your member companies believe it is necessary to adopt new practices to ensure that consumers in the United States are better protected in the future?

    4. Do you believe existing laws and regulations adequately protect consumers in the United States from phone hacking and similar privacy breaches?

    5. Approximately how many phone hacking incidents are reported by your member companies in a year? Are the number of incidents growing or declining?

    6. As a matter of practice, are phone hacking incidents, or suspected incidents, reported to law enforcement agencies and regulatory agencies?

    7. From a technological standpoint, how difficult is it to hack into cell phones or other mobile devices?

    8. What steps can consumers take on their own to better protect their personally identifiable information when communicating through either fixed wire or wireless devices?"

    ISPLA's belief is that this issue involving the Murdoch media empire has the potential for creating regulatory and legislative ramifications having detrimental consequences for professional investigators. It will adversely affect some of the proactive work ISPLA has been undertaking these past two years in Washington.

    To support the ongoing work of Investigative & Security Professionals for Legislative Action please visit www.ISPLA.org

    To donate to ISPLA-PAC only personal check or personal credit card accounts may be used.

    Thank you.

    Bruce Hulme

    ISPLA Director of Government Affairs

    235 N. Pine Street

    Lansing, Michigan 48933

    Tel: (212) 962 4054

  • 19 Jul 2011 9:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The phone hacking episode rocking the Murdoch Empire and widely covered by
    the media in the UK and Europe has finally crossed the Atlantic. With the
    permission of the investigative reporting organization ProPublica, below is
    an item by Braden Goyette. There is no doubt that increased media coverage
    of this scandal will provide fodder for proposed privacy legislation,
    including anti-pretexting legislation. The FBI has opened a preliminary
    investigation here in the U.S. at the request of members of Congress. We
    can expect that there will be call for hearings -- similar to what is
    presently taking place by Parliament. The criminal acts of a private
    investigator in Great Britain may also have been requested by Newscorp of an
    American PI regarding the deaths of 9/11 victims as well.

    The Phone Hacking Scandal By The Numbers

    The U.K.'s phone hacking scandal seems to keep getting bigger, with more
    revelations, resignations and arrests. Here's a quick breakdown of some
    important stats in the scandal so far. For background on how the scandal
    developed, see our reader's guide [1] and our collection of related
    MuckReads [2].

    The number of people who have been arrested [3] in the current
    investigation: 10. (It's worth noting that an arrest means something a bit
    different in the U.K. [4] than it does in the U.S.)

    The number of people who have resigned over the scandal [5]: 7, including 4
    top News International executives and 2 Scotland Yard officers.

    The estimated amount of money Rebekah Brooks reportedly received as a
    severance package [6]: 3.5 million pounds ($5.6 million)

    Number of Murdoch sons [7] who has admitted to misleading parliament: 1

    The number of people on Scotland Yard's press team [8] who used to work for
    News International: 10, out of a total 45 staffers

    Amount of email investigators suspect was deleted by a News International
    executive: according to The Guardian, about half a terabyte's worth,
    "equivalent to 500 editions of Encyclopedia Britannica [9]."

    Number of pages of information about the phone hacking scandal that were
    sitting in a Scotland Yard evidence room [10]: 11,000. The documents were
    seized from the home of the private investigator who hacked phones for NotW,
    Glenn Mulcaire, during the first phone hacking investigation.

    Number of hours the head of Scotland Yard's first phone hacking
    investigation, John Yates, spent reviewing the documents [11] before
    deciding they weren't worth looking into: 8

    Number of years before that evidence was thoroughly examined: almost 4

    Number of phone numbers [12] listed in those documents: 5,000 landlines and
    4,000 cell phones

    Number of phone hacking victims prosecutors initially identified in 2007: 8

    Estimated number of total phone hacking victims [13]: about 4,000

    The number of phone hacking victims who've been notified so far [10]: 170

    Number of detectives now working on the investigation: 45

    The number of phone hacking victims Scotland Yard is now contacting per
    week: 30

    Estimated time it will take Scotland Yard to contact all phone hacking
    victims: 2 years

    The value of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire's original year-long
    contract with NotW [14], for providing "information and research": 104,988
    pounds ($169,167 at today's exchange rate)

    The amount of money that News International has reportedly paid [15] to
    settle lawsuits from phone hacking victims [16]: at least 2 million pounds
    ($3.2 million). The documents in these cases were sealed, and some of the
    plaintiffs agreed to stay quiet.

    The amount of money that News of the World allegedly spent bribing Scotland
    Yard officers [17]: 100,000 pounds ($161,130), paid to up to five officers.

    Number of News of the World whistleblowers found dead [18]: 1. Sean Hoare,
    the first News of the World journalist who came out and said that former
    Editor Andy Coulson knew about phone hacking, was found dead in his home
    yesterday. Hoare previously had drug and alcohol problems and police said
    that while his death is so far "unexplained" it's not "suspicious."

    The number of people working at News of the World [19] when it closed: 200

    Number of people pied in the face [20] during today's parliamentary hearing:
    1

    See anything we missed? Send your favorite stats about the phone hacking
    scandal to braden.goyette@propublica.org [21].

    Stay tuned as more developments unfold.

    Bruce Hulme
    ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
    www.ISPLA.org

  • 23 May 2011 9:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    S 1011, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments of 2011, which was finally introduced May 17 by Senator Patrick J. Leahy [D-VT], is a 25-page bill that ISPLA is presently reviewing. It is an extensive amendment to the ECPA since it was first introduced in 1986.  However, that law did not address social networking sites and smartphones. The Senator, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated: "Updating this law to reflect the realities of our time is essential to ensuring that our federal privacy laws keep pace with new technologies and the new threats to our security." Although this bill is directed primarily at law enforcement, ISPLA will be watching how Section 2713 – Location tracking of electronic communication devices or use of such devices to acquire geolocation information might in the future impact private sector investigations in some areas.

    Comments by Senator Leahy on the Senate floor included the recent data breaches involving Sony and Epsilon that impacted the privacy of millions of American consumers. “We are also learning that smartphones and other new mobile technologies may be using and storing our location and other sensitive information posing other new risks to privacy.  When I led the effort to write the ECPA 25 years ago, no one could have contemplated these and other emerging threats to our digital privacy. Updating this law to reflect the realities of our time is essential to ensuring that our Federal privacy laws keep pace with new technologies and the new threats to our security.”

    Under the current ECPA law, a single e-mail could be subject to as many a four different levels of privacy protections, depending upon where it is stored and when it was sent. The proposed bill gets rid of the so-called “180-day rule'' and “replaces this confusing mosaic with one clear legal standard for the protection of the content of e-mails and other electronic communications.” Under the proposed bill, service providers are expressly prohibited from disclosing customer content and the government must obtain a search warrant, based on probable cause, to compel a service provider to disclose the content of a customer's electronic communications to the government.

    The bill also provides consumer privacy protections for location information that is collected, used, or stored by service providers, smartphones, or other mobile technologies. It will require that the government obtain either a search warrant, or a court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, in order to access or use an individual's smartphone or other electronic communications device to obtain geolocation information. Senator Leahy stated there are well-balanced exceptions to the warrant requirement if the government needs to obtain location information to address an immediate threat to safety or national security, or when there is user consent or a call for emergency services. The bill also requires that the government obtain a search warrant in order to obtain contemporaneous, real-time, location information from a provider. There is an exception to the warrant requirement for emergency calls for service.

    To address the role of new technologies in the changing mission of law enforcement, the bill also provides new tools to law enforcement to fight crime. It clarifies the authority under the ECPA for the government to temporarily delay notifying an individual of that fact the fact that the government has accessed the contents of their electronic communications, to protect the integrity of a government investigation. The bill also gives new authority to the government to delay notification in order to protect national security.

    The ECPA Amendments Act, according to Leahy, strengthens the tools available in ECPA to protect national security and the security of computer networks. It creates a new limited exception to the nondisclosure requirements under the ECPA, so that a service provider can voluntarily disclose content to the government that is pertinent to addressing a cyberattack. To protect privacy and civil liberties, the bill also requires that, among other things, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security submit an annual report to Congress detailing the number of accounts from which their departments received voluntary disclosures under this new cybersecurity exception.

    S 1011 defines the kinds of subscriber records that the Federal Bureau of Investigations may obtain from a provider in connection with a counterintelligence investigation. This reform will help to make the process for obtaining this information more certain and efficient for both the government and providers. The Electronic Communication Privacy Act must carefully balance the interests and needs of consumers, law enforcement, and our Nation's thriving technology sector. The balanced reforms in this bill will help ensure that our Federal privacy laws address the many dangers to personal privacy posed by the rapid advances in electronic communications technologies” stated Senator Leahy.

    H. R. 1841, the Data Accountability and Trust Act (DATA) of 2011, introduced May 11 by Representatives Cliff Stearns [R-FL-6] and Jim Matheson [D-UT-2] seeks to protect consumers by requiring reasonable security policies and procedures to protect computerized data containing personal information, and to provide for nationwide notice in the event of a security breach. This 17-page bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.  If passed, it will seriously affect information brokers.  Some investigative colleagues fear that investigators fall under this definition, even if they are not customarily viewed as being information brokers. ISPLA takes exception to that view, especially when one carefully reviews the Congressional intent and various specific provisions of the proposed bill. The following is the bill’s definition of an information broker.

    INFORMATION BROKER- The term `information broker' means a commercial entity whose business is to collect, assemble, or maintain personal information concerning individuals who are not current or former customers of such entity in order to sell such information or provide access to such information to any nonaffiliated third party in exchange for consideration, whether such collection, assembly, or maintenance of personal information is performed by the information broker directly, or by contract or subcontract with any other entity.

    LIMITATIONS- An information broker may limit the access to information required under subparagraph (B) in the following circumstances:

    (I) If access of the individual to the information is limited by law or legally recognized privilege.

    (II) If the information is used for a legitimate governmental or fraud prevention purpose that would be compromised by such access.

    H.R. 1895, the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 a 32-page bill to amend the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA)” was introduced on May 13 by Representatives Edward J. Markey [D-MA-7] and Joe Barton [R-TX-6], Co-Chairman of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus.

    This bill will extend, enhance and update the provisions relating to the collection, use and disclosure of children’s personal information and establishes new protections for personal information of children and teens. Currently, COPPA covers children age 12 and younger, and it requires operators of commercial websites and online services directed to children 12 and younger to abide by various privacy safeguards as they collect, use, or disclose personal information about kids.
     
    “Over the past several months, there has been a deluge of data leaks, breaches, and other exposures of children’s personal information,” said Rep. Markey. “When it comes to kids and their use of the Internet, it is particularly important that stringent privacy protections are applied so that children do not have their online behavior tracked or their personal information collected or disclosed.
     
    “Since 1998 when I was the House author of COPPA, children are more likely to be poked, liked and friended online than on the playground. Now is the time for new legislation to protect kids and prevent them from being tracked online.
     
    “The 'Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011' will ensure that kids are protected and that sensitive personal information isn't collected or used without express permission,” said Markey. “I have long believed that consumers – not corporations – should have control over their personal information, and this legislation will protect parents and kids from the dangers that can lurk in the online environment.  The Internet is like online oxygen for many kids – they can’t live without it.  We want kids to have Internet access; we also want to ensure there are appropriate safeguards. I look forward to working with Rep. Barton and my colleagues to move this much-needed legislation forward.”

    “Today, I am proud reach across the aisle and join with Rep. Markey to officially introduce the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011,” said Rep. Barton. “I believe that every American has the right to choose what they believe to be best for themselves and their children. But often times in our digital world that right is lost because your personal information is collected and stored without you ever knowing.

    “This bill is a first step in putting consumers back in control.  It lets you know what types of information are being collected about your kids online and how it is being used. If you don’t like what you learn – you will now have the authority to change it with just the click of a mouse.”

    “It is unacceptable for a website operator to act as a dictator with no consequences, and this bill ensures this type of behavior will not be directed toward our children,” said Rep. Barton. “I look forward to the next steps in the legislative process, and I look forward to future proposals to ensure protections of all Americans.”

    The “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011” strengthens privacy protections for children and teens by:

    Requiring online companies to explain the types of personal information collected, how that information is used and disclosed, and the policies for collection of personal information;

    Requiring online companies to obtain parental consent for collection of children’s personal information;

    Prohibiting online companies from using personal information of children and teens for targeted marketing purposes;

    Establishing a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” that limits the collection of personal information of teens, including geolocation information of children and teens;

    Creating an “Eraser Button” for parents and children by requiring companies to permit users to eliminate publicly available personal information content when technologically feasible.

    “We commend Representatives Markey and Barton for listening to the concerns of families and taking action by introducing a ‘Do Not Track Kids’ privacy bill that places kids and teens front and center,” said Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media. “As it stands now, the nation’s tech privacy policies are outdated, as they do not include protections for mobile and geolocation technologies. Kids and teens are being tracked even more than adults, and marketed to without permission while companies make huge profits off the data – and that is wrong. It is promising to see leaders of both parties come together to address these issues on behalf of children and families, and we hope the bill continues to gain bipartisan support.”

    “Today’s teenagers are growing up in a ubiquitous digital media environment, where mobile devices, social networks, virtual reality, interactive games, and online video have become ingrained in their personal and social experience,” said Dr. Kathryn C. Montgomery, Ph.D., Professor, School of Communication American University. “Members of this generation are, in many ways, living their lives online. But while youth have embraced new media, they cannot be expected to understand the subtle, often covert techniques that digital marketers use to track and influence their behaviors. Many teens go online to seek help for their personal problems, to explore their own identities, to find support groups for handling emotional crises in their lives, and sometimes to talk about things they do not feel comfortable or safe discussing with their own parents. Yet, this increased reliance on the Internet subjects them to wholesale data collection and profiling.  By instituting fair information practices for teens now, we can help ensure they are treated with respect in the rapidly growing digital marketplace.”

    “Today’s youth and their parents confront a pervasive and unaccountable digital data collection system,” said Jeff Chester, Executive Director, Center for Digital Democracy. “When young people are online, including on mobile phones, playing games, or using social media, they are subject to a wide-range of stealth practices that can threaten their privacy and health. Congressmen Ed Markey and Joe Barton’s Do-Not-Track Kids bill will create much-needed safeguards for both children and adolescents. It will usher in a new Internet era for America’s youth, where their privacy is protected and marketers cannot take unfair advantage of them.”

    “In today’s world many children spend as much time on the Internet as they do on the playground,” said Jim Pierce, President, Childhelp. “The Markey-Barton Do Not Track Kids Bill is an important first step in protecting our children from predatory tracking – giving them the freedom to be children not consumers.”

    ISPLA notes through its state legislative tracking system that similar legislation was offered in California in February and recent amendments to that state’s bill have now stricken reference to children and made their proposed legislation applicable to all citizens of all ages of

    California.  From our past dealings with the offices of both Markey and Barton, we find that they are very much in the camp of privacy advocates and that any legislation offered by them should be carefully scrutinized.  Both congressmen are very influential on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, before which much privacy legislation reviewed.

    Bruce Hulme, ISPLA Director of Government Affairs

    To support the proactive work of ISPLA from State Capitols to the Nation’s Capitol please visit www.ISPLA.org

    “Doing more than just keeping the profession informed”

  • 05 May 2011 3:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A long-awaited bill has finally been introduced by Rep. Bobby L. Rush [D-IL-1] relating to information brokers and security breaches. The 38-page HR 1707, the "Data Accountability and Trust Act" introduced May 4 pertains to information brokers and is cosponsored by Rep. Joe Barton [R-TX-1] and Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky [D-IL-9]. All three sponsors are members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to which this bill has been referred.

    Some of the pertinent areas of the bill which ISPLA has concerns are contained in portions of the language which follows:

    (b) Special Requirements for Information Brokers-

    (1) SUBMISSION OF POLICIES TO THE FTC- The regulations promulgated under subsection (a) shall require each information broker to submit its security policies to the Commission in conjunction with a notification of a breach of security under section 3 or upon request of the Commission.

    (2) POST-BREACH AUDIT- For any information broker required to provide notification under section 3, the Commission may conduct audits of the information security practices of such information broker, or require the information broker to conduct independent audits of such practices (by an independent auditor who has not audited such information broker's security practices during the preceding 5 years).

    (3) ACCURACY OF AND INDIVIDUAL ACCESS TO PERSONAL INFORMATION-

    (A) ACCURACY-

    (i) IN GENERAL- Each information broker shall establish reasonable procedures to assure the maximum possible accuracy of the personal information it collects, assembles, or maintains, and any other information it collects, assembles, or maintains that specifically identifies an individual, other than information which merely identifies an individual's name or address.

    (ii) LIMITED EXCEPTION FOR FRAUD DATABASES- The requirement in clause (i) shall not prevent the collection or maintenance of information that may be inaccurate with respect to a particular individual when that information is being collected or maintained solely--

    (I) for the purpose of indicating whether there may be a discrepancy or irregularity in the personal information that is associated with an individual; and

    (II) to help identify, or authenticate the identity of, an individual, or to protect against or investigate fraud or other unlawful conduct.

    (B) CONSUMER ACCESS TO INFORMATION-

    (i) ACCESS- Each information broker shall--

    (I) provide to each individual whose personal information it maintains, at the individual's request at least 1 time per year and at no cost to the individual, and after verifying the identity of such individual, a means for the individual to review any personal information regarding such individual maintained by the information broker and any other information maintained by the information broker that specifically identifies such individual, other than information which merely identifies an individual's name or address; and

    (II) place a conspicuous notice on its Internet website (if the information broker maintains such a website) instructing individuals how to request access to the information required to be provided under subclause (I), and, as applicable, how to express a preference with respect to the use of personal information for marketing purposes under clause (iii).

    (ii) DISPUTED INFORMATION- Whenever an individual whose information the information broker maintains makes a written request disputing the accuracy of any such information, the information broker, after verifying the identity of the individual making such request and unless there are reasonable grounds to believe such request is frivolous or irrelevant, shall--

    (I) correct any inaccuracy; or

    (II)(aa) in the case of information that is public record information, inform the individual of the source of the information, and, if reasonably available, where a request for correction may be directed and, if the individual provides proof that the public record has been corrected or that the information broker was reporting the information incorrectly, correct the inaccuracy in the information broker's records; or

    (bb) in the case of information that is non-public information, note the information that is disputed, including the individual's statement disputing such information, and take reasonable steps to independently verify such information under the procedures outlined in subparagraph (A) if such information can be independently verified.

    (iii) ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURE FOR CERTAIN MARKETING INFORMATION- In accordance with regulations issued under clause (v), an information broker that maintains any information described in clause (i) which is used, shared, or sold by such information broker for marketing purposes, may, in lieu of complying with the access and dispute requirements set forth in clauses (i) and (ii), provide each individual whose information it maintains with a reasonable means of expressing a preference not to have his or her information used for such purposes. If the individual expresses such a preference, the information broker may not use, share, or sell the individual's information for marketing purposes.

    (iv) LIMITATIONS- An information broker may limit the access to information required under clause (i)(I) and is not required to provide notice to individuals as required under clause (i)(II) in the following circumstances:

    (I) If access of the individual to the information is limited by law or legally recognized privilege.

    (II) If the information is used for a legitimate governmental or fraud prevention purpose that would be compromised by such access.

    (III) If the information consists of a published media record, unless that record has been included in a report about an individual shared with a third party.

    (v) RULEMAKING- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate regulations under section 553 of title 5, United States Code, to carry out this paragraph and to facilitate the purposes of this Act. In addition, the Commission shall issue regulations, as necessary, under section 553 of title 5, United States Code, on the scope of the application of the limitations in clause (iv), including any additional circumstances in which an information broker may limit access to information under such clause that the Commission determines to be appropriate.

    (C) FCRA REGULATED PERSONS- Any information broker who is engaged in activities subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act and who is in compliance with sections 609, 610, and 611 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 1681g; 1681h; 1681i) with respect to information subject to such Act, shall be deemed to be in compliance with this paragraph with respect to such information.

    (4) REQUIREMENT OF AUDIT LOG OF ACCESSED AND TRANSMITTED INFORMATION- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate regulations under section 553 of title 5, United States Code, to require information brokers to establish measures which facilitate the auditing or retracing of any internal or external access to, or transmissions of, any data containing personal information collected, assembled, or maintained by such information broker.

    (5) PROHIBITION ON PRETEXTING BY INFORMATION BROKERS-

    (A) PROHIBITION ON OBTAINING PERSONAL INFORMATION BY FALSE PRETENSES- It shall be unlawful for an information broker to obtain or attempt to obtain, or cause to be disclosed or attempt to cause to be disclosed to any person, personal information or any other information relating to any person by--

    (i) making a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation to any person; or

    (ii) providing any document or other information to any person that the information broker knows or should know to be forged, counterfeit, lost, stolen, or fraudulently obtained, or to contain a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation.

    (B) PROHIBITION ON SOLICITATION TO OBTAIN PERSONAL INFORMATION UNDER FALSE PRETENSES- It shall be unlawful for an information broker to request a person to obtain personal information or any other information relating to any other person, if the information broker knew or should have known that the person to whom such a request is made will obtain or attempt to obtain such information in the manner described in subparagraph (A).

    (c) Exemption for Certain Service Providers- Nothing in this section shall apply to a service provider for any electronic communication by a third party that is transmitted, routed, or stored in intermediate or transient storage by such service provider.

    In this Act, the following definitions apply:

    (1) BREACH OF SECURITY- The term `breach of security' means unauthorized access to or acquisition of data in electronic form containing personal information.

    (2) COMMISSION- The term `Commission' means the Federal Trade Commission.

    (3) DATA IN ELECTRONIC FORM- The term `data in electronic form' means any data stored electronically or digitally on any computer system or other database and includes recordable tapes and other mass storage devices.

    (4) ENCRYPTION- The term `encryption' means the protection of data in electronic form in storage or in transit using an encryption technology that has been adopted by an established standards setting body which renders such data indecipherable in the absence of associated cryptographic keys necessary to enable decryption of such data. Such encryption must include appropriate management and safeguards of such keys to protect the integrity of the encryption.

    (5) IDENTITY THEFT- The term `identity theft' means the unauthorized use of another person's personal information for the purpose of engaging in commercial transactions under the name of such other person.

    (6) INFORMATION BROKER- The term `information broker'--

    (A) means a commercial entity whose business is to collect, assemble, or maintain personal information concerning individuals who are not current or former customers of such entity in order to sell such information or provide access to such information to any nonaffiliated third party in exchange for consideration, whether such collection, assembly, or maintenance of personal information is performed by the information broker directly, or by contract or subcontract with any other entity; and

    (B) does not include a commercial entity to the extent that such entity processes information collected by and received from a nonaffiliated third party concerning individuals who are current or former customers or employees of such third party to enable such third party to (1) provide benefits for its employees or (2) directly transact business with its customers.

    (7) PERSONAL INFORMATION-

    (A) DEFINITION- The term `personal information' means an individual's first name or initial and last name, or address, or phone number, in combination with any 1 or more of the following data elements for that individual:

    (i) Social Security number.

    (ii) Driver's license number, passport number, military identification number, or other similar number issued on a government document used to verify identity.

    (iii) Financial account number, or credit or debit card number, and any required security code, access code, or password that is necessary to permit access to an individual's financial account.

    (B) MODIFIED DEFINITION BY RULEMAKING- The Commission may, by rule promulgated under section 553 of title 5, United States Code, modify the definition of `personal information' under subparagraph (A)--

    (i) for the purpose of section 2 to the extent that such modification will not unreasonably impede interstate commerce, and will accomplish the purposes of this Act; or

    (ii) for the purpose of section 3, to the extent that such modification is necessary to accommodate changes in technology or practices, will not unreasonably impede interstate commerce, and will accomplish the purposes of this Act.

    (8) PUBLIC RECORD INFORMATION- The term `public record information' means information about an individual which has been obtained originally from records of a Federal, State, or local government entity that are available for public inspection.

    (9) NON-PUBLIC INFORMATION- The term `non-public information' means information about an individual that is of a private nature and neither available to the general public nor obtained from a public record.

    (10) SERVICE PROVIDER- The term `service provider' means an entity that provides to a user transmission, routing, intermediate and transient storage, or connections to its system or network, for electronic communications, between or among points specified by such user of material of the user's choosing, without modification to the content of the material as sent or received. Any such entity shall be treated as a service provider under this Act only to the extent that it is engaged in the provision of such transmission, routing, intermediate and transient storage or connections.

    Although HR 1707 would preempt state information security laws, there are still avenues for State attorneys general to direct their activity, such as consumer protection laws. ISPLA will be working to insure that the activities of investigators do not fall under the definition of an information broker under the provision in this proposed legislation. ISPLA is carefully reviewing all aspects of this bill and will keep you apprised of further developments and our ongoing lobbying work in Washington, DC.

    Bruce Hulme
    ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
    To join us and support our proactive efforts please visit www.ISPLA.org
    We do much more than just keeping the profession informed!

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