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Friday, July 16, 2004
So, if this blog goes down, I will be blogging there, and even if this site doesn't go
down, I'll keep blogging here and here too.
Codewarrio'rs Digital Rights and Protection Bill
My bill proposal...---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
. _________To define, enumerate, and clarify the rights of consumers with regard to thereproduction, transmission, usage, storage, manipulation, and other issues concerning digital data, for the purposes of non-commercial, personal use.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembledIN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES(Month) ___, 200__________________________________ introduced the following bill, which was read twice and referred to the Committee on _____________________To protect and outline the rights of consumers of digital media , personal computing devices, and other digital devices, used for non-commercial, private uses, and to provide for the punishment for violations of any provisions of this Bill.SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE: TABLE OF CONTENTSSHORT TITLE. -- This Act may be cited asthe "Digital Consumer's Rights and Protection Act."SECTION 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.A) FINDINGS- Congress finds the following:1. Consumers are using personal home computers as an important means of home entertainment, vehicles for communication, and for storage and manipulation of personal data. Concurrently, they have developed certain reasonable and legitimate expectations concerning the right to store, use, manipulate, and transfer digital data to other home users. They further have certain proper expectations that the constitutional protections afforded to them by the Bill of Rights , should apply to their computer, as it does, in like manner , to their domicile. For example, the protections against unreasonable search and seizure which the constitution applied to a person's residence, and which was later also applied to their personal vehicle or conveyance, should now also be applied to the personal computer.The reasons for these assertions are manifest. Home computers may, and often do, contain personal and private information including such material as personal financial records, medical information, business information, and other personal and private data which may apply to the user themselves, but also, in the case of a shared computer, or a "family computer", the machine may in fact hold personal records for many persons, both of adolescents, and adults.Also, much in the way a personal vehicle allows a person to physically travel outside the home, so does the personal computer, allowing far greater travel and with far greater speed than an automobile. In these cases, the personal computer may be seen as both a home device, and a personal conveyance.========================================================================================Digital Consumer's Rights and Protection ActPage two2. For the foregoing reasons and others, citizens have certain legal rights, and protections, which should extend to their personal digital storage devices. It is maintained that the constitutional protections against abuse by the government, provided to each citizen in the Constitution of the United States, and in other Acts such as the Privacy Act of 1974 , shall be also extended to protect consumers from unauthorized incursion into their digital storage devices, and that private persons, private companies, and any other legal entity, shall be barred from performing unauthorized and warrantless searches of the devices in which citizens store their digital data. Without limitation, all protections afforded to citizens by the government in their homes and vehicles, shall also be extended to their personal data storage and devices which create digital files such as personal computers, personal digital assistances, and other similar devices, currently in use, or which may be brought into use at a later date.3. It is further found that citizens have a right to be protected from having their rights violated by any person, business, enterprise, regulatory agency, or other entity, whether said entity is in the public or private sector. We find that the founding fathers did not intend for private businesses to have powers and abilities to violate the rights of private citizens, in any manner which they found would be improper or unconscionable for the government to do. This bill will thus bar any private or public entity from violation or abridgement of any rights or protections under law. This provision has been deemed to be necessary, as a result of the actions of certain private parties and companies, which have used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, to act in such a manner, as to unreasonably conduct unreasonable searches and seizures within the informational storage devices of personal computers attached to internet connections.4. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 has enabled private individuals, companies, and others, to violate basic, constitutionally protected rights of private persons. The DMCA has enabled private persons and companies to violate the protections afforded citizens by circumventing the traditional methods by which law enforcement officials are legally bound to obtain subpoenas. This circumvention is expected to lead to innocent persons targeted without proper evidentiary procedures being followed. The DMCA has emboldened and enabled the violation of the right to be secure in ones own computer. It is asserted that the reasonable expectation of privacy which are constitutionally guaranteed, have been obliterated by the draconian actions which certain companies and persons have perpetrated upon the public. The alleged raison d'être for the DMCA was to encourage original creation and provide copyright protections to creators in the digital age. This act was an amendment of Title 17, and was an implementation of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) copyright provisions. Due to the fact that the DMCA has resulted in the enabling of people in the private sector to violate constitutionally provided protections and rights, it is now asserted that this Act, through its practical application, has proven to be ill conceived, and is in fact, a threat to the protected rights which citizens of the United States were assured of, by the Constitution. Thus, as the DMCA comes in conflict with the Supreme law of the land, it is hereby found that the DMCA should be repealed.5. In 1984, the Supreme Court of the United States, ruled in a 5-4 decision in the Universal City Studios v. Sony Corporation case, that home recording of copyrighted materials, would be legal under the fair use provision, since the action was a "non-commercial, nonprofit activity".===================================================================================Digital Consumer's Rights and Protection ActPage threeAlthough the main issue in this case was that recording programs which were copyrighted (video cassette recorder) were being "time shifted" for viewing at a later time, the central theme of the decision was that it should be legal for home users to make copies of copyrighted material without obtaining prior, written, express permission of the copyright holder to do so.In the 21st century, more and more, the format of storage and transmission of entertainment programming is moving from an analog format to a digital one.Even television broadcasters are now transitioning to a high definition digital format.This transition from primarily an analog to a digital format for data storage necessitates the laws to reflect this technological shift as well. For example, many film rental businesses are moving slowly from offering movies for rent in a VHS format, to a DVD format. People are now recording television programs not on videotape, but on a hard drive (the TiVo is one such device currently in use). There has been an evolution in the storage of music from vinyl discs to "8 track tapes" to audio "mini cassettes" to storage on CD (compact discs).The law needs to reflect this change in technology, and to extend the fair use protection to consumers who wish to copy music from one media (e.g. CDs) to their hard drive, or other media, either analog or digital. To enable this reasonable measure, this is another reason that the wrongheaded DMCA should be repealed, and replaced by a more contemporary law, which serves to protect the American consumer. As it is, the practical application of the DMCA is such that it is making criminals out of millions of citizens. The manner in which certain companies and persons have abused the subpoena powers under the DMCA, it has empowered them to violate the basic and fundamental constitutional rights of American citizens which have been vouchsafed for two centuries, in a mad and unreasonable flight to pursue potential alleged copyright violations for pecuniary interests. The burden of proving that the nature and degree of harm which alleged copyright infringement may exact on complaining parties, must be weighed carefully against the degree of harm which such actions may cause, or have caused. Furthermore, it is the burden of the copyright holder to prove that the alleged infringement is in fact the sole or proximate cause of such harm. It is not sufficient that a copyright holder make unsubstantiated speculations, or "post hoc ergo propter hoc" assertions as to cause and effect.6. Consumers shall hereinafter have certain specific rights with regard to digital data and files which they have legally acquired. It is further understood that these rights shall not exclude nor prohibit the free exercise of any other rights, which are not specifically enumerated nor described in this bill. Consumers shall have exclusive right to perform the following modifications and to exercise the following uses of digital data and media which they have legally acquired.1) Time shift - record digital presentations and store them for use a later time.2) Space or location shift - Consumers have the right to move digital files from location to location, or from one device to another, without losing any legal rights originally afforded to them as an owner or user of the original file in the original location.====================================================================================Digital Consumer's Rights and Protection ActPage four3) Format shift / format translation -Consumers shall have the right to convert digital files and digital media from one format to another. For example, if a customer purchases a music CD, they shall have the right to convert the music tracks from the CD into other formats for storage, transportation, or transmission. Such formats shall include wav files, MP3 files, midi files, au files, aiff files, and any and all other formats which exist currently, or which shall be created. Such format changes shall not diminish nor eliminate any rights which the customer had with regard to the original format.4) Backup of original data legalized- Owners of digital data in any format, hereinafter have the right to make backup copies of original discs or other media, for the purpose of preserving the material, owing to the fragile nature of the CD media, or other media.5) Multiplatform usage - The consumer shall have the right to move digital data from one operating platform to another, e.g. from a Windows PC to an APPLE "Mac" platform, or other operating system platform.6) Consumers shall forthwith have the right(s) to use technological methods, devices, algorithms, software, and other means, to accomplish the above reasonable and proper actions, and to secure the effective usage of the media and files under their care, custody, and control. The right to implement various hardware and software solutions to accomplish these goals, shall not be abridged , modified, nor infringed upon by other laws, acts, statutes, or other legislative actions existing now.B) PURPOSE -1) Congress finds that it has a legitimate and mandated purpose to maintain a reasonable consistency in legislation, such that legislation is not passed which allows, through extension and practical application, the violation of the rights of the majority of citizens. A case in point was the Eighteenth Amendment, the National Prohibition Act, or the Vested Act. This act was found to be unenforceable because it was widely regarded as a wrongheaded act, was regularly disregarded and violated by the majority of people who had previously purchased and consumed alcohol, and effectively turned millions of Americans into criminals. When an Act, through its application, enables wholesale violation of constitutionally protected civil, and by extension and application makes millions of Americans criminals, it is asserted that this legislation should be amended to correct the harm, or, if it cannot properly be amended to avoid the harm, should be repealed.It is found that the DMCA has become such a template for a mass violation of rights, and, through a meticulous application and enforcement of its provisions, would make criminals out of millions of Americans, who regularly make digital copies of all kinds of files. In point of fact, each website is copyrighted upon creation, and millions download copyrighted images, text, and code daily upon visiting these sites without prior express, authorization from the copyright owner/ website creator. This technical violation of the DMCA by an ordinary act of internet usage tends to point out that the Act criminalizes benign actions by ordinary citizens.===========================================================================================Digital Consumer's Rights and Protection ActPage fiveThe Congress has to balance the harm which an Act generates, with the benefits it provides. For around two centuries, the Copyright Act which preceded the DMCA, did an acceptable job of protecting the rights of those who wrote, drew, performed, and otherwise created novel and unique works of art and industry. The widespread abuses which the DMCA has enabled, along with the aggressive manner in which certain parties have exploited these provisions, have pointed out with great clarity, the need to correct the harm. It is found that the DMCA is thus, fundamentally flawed by the manner in which it provides for sacrificing the rights of consumers and other citizens, in favor of simple pecuniary interests. It is found that because of the fundamental flaws, the passage of the Digital Consumers Rights and Protection Act is necessary in order to offer a restatement of the rights consumers have, with regard to their ability to copy, store, transfer, and translate digital files and digital data.The purpose is thus to bring the rights of consumers in a digital age into compliance with constitutional provisions and protections, but to define and specify how they may properly and legally accomplish these rights, and the means by which these protections may be ensured.SECTION 3 - DEFINITIONSThe following are definitions for terms used in this Bill. If words are not specifically defined, the ordinary or usual meaning in common parlance will guide the reader in understanding their meaning.1) Person - Any natural and/or legal person or individual who is a citizen of the United States of America.2) Consumer - any natural and/or legal person and/pr Individual who legally purchases, uses, maintains, and/or disposes of products and/or services3) Digital Data -1. Data represented by discrete values or conditions, as opposed to analog data2. Discrete representations of quantized values of variables, e.g., the representation of numbers by digits, perhaps with special characters and the "space" character.3. Time shift - the recording of any digital data in real time, that is viewed or otherwise used at a later period in time, i.e., there is a temporal delay between recording and usage.4. Space shift - the physical transference of digital data from one location to another, or the copying of said data from one location to another. This covers movement from one point on a fixed media to another location, from one fixed media to a different one, from one media to a different media, or any combination thereof, and of transmission and transferal not herein described, but which can logically be inferred from this definition.5. Format shift - the translation from one format or file type to another. This would include any change in a data file or file type which would render the file in any manner changed, and/or any change from one form in which data is stored or used, to another form in which data is stored or used. Encryption and compression are specifically allowed by this provision, and are thus legalized for personal users for non-commercial, nonprofit uses.============================================================================================Digital Consumer's Rights and Protection ActPage six6. Backups (and/or making of backups)- describes any process whereby a consumer engages software, and /or hardware applications, devices, technology, and/or algorithms to make a perfect copy or image of original material. The act of backing up one's digital data can be done in a manner that the backup is a mirror or exact duplicate of the original, and/or an encoded version that is capable, through a technological action, to reproduce the original on demand.7. MP3 - Is the file extension for MPEG, audio layer 3. Layer 3 is one of three coding schemes (layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3) for the compression of audio signals. Layer 3 uses perceptual audio coding and psychoacoustic compression to remove all superfluous information. Thus the MP3 format is considered a lossy type of file compression algorithm, akin to the JPEG format which is used in graphic files compression.8. CD - or compact disc is considered to be a high-fidelity digital audio recording medium. A standard CD is 12 centimeters (approximately 5 inches) in diameter, with an identifying label on one side. See also CD-ROM. This has become a popular distribution medium for both music and software due to portability and storage capacity.9. Hard drive - a computer term for hardware that holds and spins circular discs , usually made from metal or even glass, that reads and writes data to the disc. A hard drive is usually a fixed drive, although modern technology has made hard drives in a removable form as well.10. Personal computer - This tem has come to represent a computer (or computing device) which is primarily used by home users for non-commercial, private use. Companies also use personal computers, but most of these are connected with larger computers called "servers" which connect and facilitate communication between these individual personal computers. The term is usually in reference to the hardware, as opposed to the operating system. Home users employ various brands and types of operating systems from Windows, to System X (Mac), to less well known ones such as Linux, Unix, BeOS, and others.11. DVD - This shall identify a digital storage medium which has a larger storage capacity than that of the compact disc, or CD. The term DVD originally referred to a Digital Video Disc, since the original content of these discs was that of prerecorded video. The term which is more properly used now is "Digital Versatile Disc" due to the increased availability of devices which are used on personal computers, which can write and rewrite to, the DVD media. These digital media are being used to store a multitude of data files, formats, and media files. The digital versatile disk (DVD) holds4.7 gigabytes of information on one of its two sides, although, this storage parameter may certainly change as technology becomes more advanced.12. CD or DVD player - This shall be understood to mean, and identify, any , and/or all devices which are capable of reading one or both of these digital media, and of translating the media into a usable form.=========================================================================================Digital Consumer's Rights and Protection ActPage sevenSECTION 4 - Punishment for violation of any provisions of this BillIt is self evident that for legislation enacted by a governmental body to be enforced, that there be needs to be provisions , establishing punishments for any person , group of persons, business, or other entities who may act in such a manner as to violate the Act.It is hereby held that the rights established under this bill are of such importance to the individual consumer, that the punishment(s) for any violation of any provision of this bill need to be of a magnitude to deter potential violators of this bill.It is hereby stipulated that, any willful or intentional violation of this bill en toto, or any provisions thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of one hundred fifty thousand United States dollars ($150,000.00) and that concurrent and/or consecutive violations, will also carry a fine of one hundred fifty thousand dollars per incident or per violation, whichever is the largest in number. For example, if a company was to conduct five illegal searches of a consumer's hard drive within a period of five minutes, this would constitute five violations, each resulting in a fine of one hundred fifty thousand dollars each, resulting in a fine for that event of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000). Furthermore, individuals who opt to violate the provisions of this act, upon a true conviction for violation of this Bill, would be subject to imprisonment, with a term not to exceed three (3) years in federal prison, per violation. This term of three years, could be assessed for one violation, and multiple violations, could expose any person convicted of multiple violations, to receiving either concurrent, or consecutive terms of imprisonment, of up to three years per violation, depending on the findings of the Court.SECTION 5 - Changes in current laws.Passage of this bill shall repeal the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.Passage of this bill shall extend the protections afforded citizens under the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution, to protect all citizens from any violation by any private person, group(s) of persons, private companies, or other entities operating within the confines of the continental United States or any geographic area under the control of the government of United States.SECTION 6 - Time at which the bill shall be in effectThis bill shall be in effect, ninety one (91) days after passage.END===========================================================================================
He received the knighthood in recognition of his services to the development of the Internet through the invention of the Web, a system to organize, link and browse pages on the Internet.
The Queen made the 49-year-old scientist a knight commander, the second-highest rank of the Order of the British Empire, in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace."
A knight commander? Isn't that a character in one of those computer games?
But seriously, " Bout Damn Time !"
Uh, well, we're living in a nightmare world, stressed to the gills, economy in the toilet,
and being watched, tagged, and monitored night and day, with a madman running the
country off the cliff....HOWS THAT FOR STARTERS?
By Charles Arthur, Technology Editor
16 July 2004
Young male prisoners were filmed being sodomised by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to the journalist who first revealed the abuses there.
Seymour Hersh, who reported on the torture of the prisoners in New Yorker magazine in May, told an audience in San Francisco that "it's worse". But he added that he would reveal the extent of the abuses: "I'm not done reporting on all this," he told a meeting of the American Civil Liberties Union.
He said: "The boys were sodomised with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking. And this is your government at war."
He accused the US administration, and all but accused President George Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney of complicity in covering up what he called "war crimes". "
"Kids sodomized at Abu Ghraib, Pentagon has the videos - Hersh
by Gryn Wed Jul 14th, 2004 at 23:33:32 EDT(From the diaries -- kos)
Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
"The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."This is a summary of Hersh speaking at the ACLU 2004 America At A Crossroads conference according to EdCone.com (via Oliver Willis). I verified by watching the video myself (it starts at 1:07, the "worse stuff" part starts at 1:30).
There's more bad stuff in here, read Ed Cone's summary.
I'll try transcribing some of the more important bits.
[my transcription from 1:31 - 1:32]
Some of the worse that happened that you don't know about, ok. Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib which is 30 miles from Baghdad [...]
The women were passing messages saying "Please come and kill me, because of what's happened". Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out.
It's impossible to say to yourself how do we get there? who are we? Who are these people that sent us there."
"Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
"The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."
(I transcribed some of his speech from this streaming site. Hersh starts at about 1:07:50.)
He called the prison scene "a series of massive crimes, criminal activity by the president and the vice president, by this administration anyway…war crimes."
The outrages have cost us the support of moderate Arabs, says Hersh. "They see us as a sexually perverse society."
Hersh describes a Pentagon in crisis. The defense department budget is “in incredible chaos,” he says, with large sums of cash missing, including something like $1 billion that was supposed to be in Iraq.
"The disaffection inside the Pentagon is extremely accute," Hersh says. He tells the story of an officer telling Rumsfeld how bad things are, and Rummy turning to a ranking general yes-man who reassured him that things are just fine. Says Hersh, "The Secretary of Defense is simply incapable of hearing what he doesn’t want to hear."
The Iraqi insurgency, he says,was operating in 1-to-3 man cells a year ago, now in 10-15 man cells, and despite the harsh questioning, "we still know nothing about them...we have no tactical information.”
He says the foreign element among insurgents is overstated, and that bogeyman Zarqawi is "a composite figure" hyped by our government.
The war, he says, has escalated to "fullscale, increasingly intense military activity."
Hersh described the folks in charge of US policy as "neoconservative cultists" who have taken the government over, and show "how fragile our democracy is."
He ripped the supine US press, pledged to bring home all the facts he could, said he was not sure he could deliver all the damning info he suspects about Bush administration responsibility for Abu Ghraib.3:29:18 PM "
Readers, ask yourself some questions.
1) Why did this alleged sodomizaton of children happen (and some say this was done IN FRONT OF THEIR PARENTS)
2) Why has the government NOT come clean with the American public ?
3) For God's sake...how, HOW can American soldiers be ordered or persuaded to engage in this.
Soldiers have the legal and ethic duty to refuse to abide by, or execute, orders that are illegal or go beyond what is authorized under the Geneva accords.
4) I've heard estimates that around 80 percent of the police, are ex-veterans. You may remember a case in New York where officers sodomized a man with the wooden toilet plunger dowel. Do you REALLY want to live in a country where the police are populated by people who learned this kind of conduct, and came to believe this was authorized by their superiors?
For God's sake...DEMAND a total, independent investigation, and not one in which the current administration selects who is on the panel, nor selects who will be the "independent counsel".
It can deliver a sudden shock of 50 thousand volts.
Police departments across East Texas have used tasers to subdue violent suspects.
It's been a last resort before using lethal force.
But nationwide more than fifty people have died after being subdued by a taser, including one person in North Texas.
Law officers go through training before handling tasers in the field, something that will be hard to regulate in the public.
Sergeant Richard Fulford of the Smith County Sheriff?s
Department is concerned with the public sale of tasers.
It's going to be a great detriment to the law enforcement, he said. For an officer to come up to a disturbance scene for instance and have someone come out with a taser and make a charge at him, you'd have to use force to defend yourself.
It's such an electrical charge that it will incapacitate a person, Fulford said. With an officer you are carrying a firearm, ammunition, mace, a night stick, all these items are restricted as far as law enforcement use. If someone was to incapacitate me they would have access to these weapons.
Taser International distributes the X-26 to law agencies.
Now, interested buyers can log on to the company's web site and purchase the product.
The company does have a memorandum on its web site addressing legal restrictions.
It says, A TASER conducted energy weapon is not classified as a firearm by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Therefore, fire-arms related regulations do not apply to the sale and distribution. Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham believes tasers should be regulated in the same manner as concealed handguns. "
Now, at the end of the article they note personal ownership by citizens of Tasers is not illegal, but since they cost around a grand, that this would limit the public buying them.
Notice this...number one, the article talks about 50 people DYING as a result of Tasers applied to them. Then, although the Taser company wants to portray these devices as being non-lethal and except for eye damage and damage from falls, causing no long lasting "effects" (read "injuries"), LAW ENFORCEMENT, as they call themselves, don't want civilians to get them.
"If someone was to incapacitate me they would have access to these weapons. "
WHY, if they are really just all that harmless?
"If someone was to incapacitate me they would have access to these weapons. "
Now, that has to be one of the most ingenuous statements I've read in a while. It indicates that a potential stun gun (read Taser) owner, would use it to incapactitate law enforcement just to get their hands on his "Batman utility belt" tools. That is RETARDED.
Do you think someone is going to pay a thousand dollars so that they can zap a cop and get his baton or pepper spray?
For less than a grand, you can buy a Glock 9 mm legally, and that is far more effective a weapon than a Taser.
Published Friday 16th July 2004 09:18 GMT
The Dutch Department of Justice yesterday suffered bitter defeat in a court case against thirteen West African men, who allegedly sent thousands of 419 or advance fraud fee letters through the Amsterdam cable network of UPC. The court ruled that there wasn't enough evidence to link the suspects individually to the scams.
Earlier this year Dutch police arrested 52 Nigerian email scammers at 23 locations in Amsterdam in what was believed to be the biggest raid of its kind. Police confiscated several PCs, mobile phones, false documents and € 50,000 in cash, as well as illegal cable modems provided by a UPC employee who is still at large.
The Dutch fraud squad believed the criminals sent more than 100,000 messages to victims in Japan and the USA, offering them vast profits in return for their help in a dubious business scheme. Some of the suspects were deported immediately by the Dutch alien registration department, while others were kept detained.
Altough Dutch police was able to confiscate several cable modems, mobile phones, PCs with spamming software and an ironing board with a list of names of fake companies and directors, none of the suspects were caught red-handed. And not a single PC was switched on when the police searched their houses. The fact that people were present in these buildings, the court ruled, was insufficient for a conviction.
The Department of Justice has yet to decide if it will appeal the ruling.
Last year, Dutch prosecutors had more success when the courts sentenced six Nigerian scammers to between 301 days and 4.5 years for email fraud. The evidence in this case provided enough support for a conviction: police had tapped their phones. "
Now see, if this happened in the good old United States of George, A$$Crap would have declared them all hackers and foreign terrorists and they would be shuttled off to an "undisclosed location" for "interrogation" (nudge nudge wink wink say no more). And, that would be the end of that. Those Europeans aren't "enlightened" like we are with our Patriot Act (please note this is said with sarcasm, meaning the Patriot Act is a stinking heap of manure).
"RFID tags enable remote, even surreptitious identification. Their use generally requires the creation of databases containing identity information and RFID use is easily integrated into database systems and other technologies," Steinhardt said.
He added, "Congress must act to lay to rest the privacy fears surrounding this technology so that it will be smooth sailing for us all to enjoy its benefits."
Linda Dillman, Wal-Mart's CIO, told the panel her company plans over the next two years to focus on case and pallet tagging, although there will be instances where RFID tags are applied directly to individual items.
"Opponents to this technology are wrong for two reasons. First, the technology does not exist for a retailer to drive through a neighborhood, 40 feet from a home and read passive RFID tags." Dillman said. "Second, and more importantly, there is no desire on the part of retailers to be able to do that." "
Look for a great site with plenty of information on
The Lawrence, Mass.-based company combines radio-frequency identification technology with what it calls an indoor version of the Global Positioning System. Traditional GPS does not work indoors.
HLM Venture Partners of Boston and Partech International of San Francisco each pledged $3.25 million to the round. Ascension Health Ventures, a subsidiary of the Catholic health ministry Ascension Health, pledged $2.5 million.
Matt Hermann, director of Strategic Health Venture Investing for Ascension Health Ventures, said many hospitals thought the technology could cut costs and streamline workflow. "During our diligence, several Ascension Health hospitals expressed an interest in Radianse and its unique approach to indoor positioning. The Radianse approach breaks through the barriers of cost and accuracy that have plagued other location technologies," he said in a written statement.
Radianse estimates that its systems cost from $500 to $2000 per bed, depending on the coverage area and the number of items and people tagged. According to the company, the systems will pay for themselves between one and two years.
A Radianse system has already been installed at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital as part of a program for innovative care. The systems rely on small, battery-powered ID tags that are attached to equipment, worn by people, or integrated into other assets. Each tag transmits a unique identifier. Two buttons on the tag allow personnel to transmit information about patients' and equipment's status.
Radianse receivers work by hooking into a hospital's existing LAN network; information is conveyed using common Web and interface standards such as XML and SMS, as well as Java and ODBC. The system is intended to prevent patient misidentification; ensure that patients are in their rooms or ready for a procedure during doctor rounds; increase patient throughput for various clinical procedures; and reduce labor costs by quickly identifying where people and equipment are. In addition, the system can track patient wait times and equipment use.
Radianse was initially founded as Sentinel Wireless Inc. in November 2000 by former managers from Hewlett-Packard Co. and Philips Medical Systems. "
Oh yeah, and by the by, RFID chips can be installed on lab coats, or in the SKIN (see story on Atty Gen of Mexico and 160 of his staff getting "chipped") and track docs, nurses, and technicians ....that's coming boys and gals...that's coming!
Four of the five House ethics committee Republicans investigating Majority Leader Tom DeLay have accepted money in the past from the fund-raising operation involved in the complaint against him.
While leaders in both parties maintain organizations to raise money for candidates, the appearance of a conflict in DeLay's case is enough alone to warrant hiring an independent counsel of the type that investigated dethroned former speakers Jim Wright and Newt Gingrich, watchdog groups said Thursday.
"Mr. DeLay's stature as one of the most powerful members of Congress - with the capacity to extract retribution from anyone - makes it especially difficult for his peers to sit in judgment of him," said Common Cause president Chellie Pingree.
DeLay, who has denied the charges against him, said through a spokesman that an independent counsel is unnecessary. "We have full confidence the ethics committee will handle this in a proper manner," said aide Jonathan Grella.
The Texas Republican's political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, or ARMPAC, contributed $38,731 to four standing ethics committee members in the 1994 to 2004 election cycles, according the Center for Responsive Politics and PoliticalMoneyLine, groups that track political money.
Ethics committee members who got money include Doc Hastings of Washington, $5,930; Judy Biggert of Illinois, $1,764; Kenny Hulshof of Missouri, $14,964; and Steven LaTourette of Ohio, $16,073. Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colo., the ethics panel's chairman, did not receive any contributions from ARMPAC during the period.
In 2001, DeLay used $75,000 from ARMPAC to establish another campaign cash chest, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC).
Rep. Chris Bell, D-Texas, filed a complaint last month charging that DeLay illegally solicited and accepted political contributions from Kansas-based Westar Corp. for TRMPAC in return for legislative favors.
Bell's complaint also alleges that DeLay abused his office by getting the Federal Aviation Administration and FBI agents to help track down Texas Democratic legislators when they left the state to prevent Republicans from passing a redistricting bill DeLay wanted. Bell was defeated in a March primary for re-election after he was redistricted.
Hefley expressed confidence that the Republicans on his committee who received money from DeLay's political committee would not be influenced by the contributions - a view echoed by two of the four GOP recipients.
"I know them well," Hefley said Thursday. "I don't have any question that they will do a fair and honorable job, without letting the contributions affect their judgment." But he also said he would support hiring an independent counsel if there was an "overwhelming reason."
The watchdog groups said the ethics cloud over DeLay's head can be removed only through an independent counsel.
His "political opponents would be deflated and accusations of partisanship on the part of the (ethics) committee would be meritless," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics."
Hmmmmm....Tom DeLay...aptly named as far as his surname.
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