Thursday, October 2, 2008

ACLU Comments on Fate of Two Landmark RFID Bills in California

To close out my three or more day run discussing the two RFID bills that made it all the way to Governor Schwarzenegger's desk I thought it fitting to post the ACLU's reaction. I was sent their press release on the issue this morning and I thought I'd share it with everyone, as not only were they the sponsors of the bills, they have been the most effective advocates on their behalf. I would point everyone to the last line of the release...that's our next challenge, SB 31 is only the beginning of what must be done.

Click here to check out ACLU's "Don't Chip our Rights Away" page.

Now to their press release:

Governor Takes Important Step To Protect Privacy and Safety of Californians;
Signs RFID Anti-Skimming Legislation Into Law

Governor Schwarzenegger took an important first step to protect the privacy, personal safety, and financial security of millions of Californians by signing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) anti-skimming legislation into law this week.

SB 31, authored by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and supported by a broad bipartisan coalition including the Gun Owners of California, Consumer Federation of California, California Eagle Forum, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), makes it a crime to surreptitiously read information stored on tiny electronic devices known as RFID tags.

The information stored on unsecured RFID chips embedded in identification cards like drivers’ licenses, medical ID cards, or student IDs, can be read from a distance, without an individual’s knowledge and consent and then misused for tracking, counterfeiting, and identity theft.

“Just as we don’t let a stranger to sift through our wallets and take our driver’s license, our private information should not be accessible without our knowledge or consent,” said Nicole Ozer, Technology and Civil Liberties Policy Director at the ACLU of Northern California. “Until now, there has been no law to prevent anyone from skimming our information. By signing SB 31, Governor Schwarzenegger has taken an important step to safeguard the privacy, safety, and financial security of millions of families.”

In an experiment, the information on the RFID-embedded identification card that Senator Simitian uses to access the California State Capitol was skimmed and the information copied by a hacker in a split second. Minutes later, using the information from the Senator’s card, the hacker was able to walk right into the Capitol through a members-only, locked entrance. The experiment helped Simitian see the need for legislation.

“Right now if someone steals your ID card, it’s a crime. But if they steal the information on your ID card by ‘skimming,’ it’s not. That makes no sense whatsoever,” Simitian said. “The problem is particularly serious because we’ve got millions of IDs and access cards out there with no limitation on the kind of information they carry, and no requirement that they use any of the privacy protection technology that’s readily available.”

SB 768, Senator Simitian’s 2006 legislation to ensure that any RFID tags used in government-issued IDs made use of these readily available privacy and security protections, such as encryption and shielding, was overwhelmingly passed with bipartisan support by the California legislature, but vetoed by the Governor.

The privacy and security of Californians is not a liberal or conservative issue, it’s an issue for everyone. We are pleased that the Governor signed SB 31 into law and hope that he comes to understand why robust RFID privacy protections are necessary for all Californians,” said Sam Paredes, Executive Director of the Gun Owners of California.

Simitian began to look at the use of RFID in identification documents after an elementary school in Sutter, California required its students to wear identification badges that contained RFID tags that broadcast the students' information. With the help of the ACLU, parents successfully petitioned the school to remove the RFID tags. “The ACLU is disheartened that the Governor vetoed a related RFID bill, SB 29, that would have provided for notice and consent from parents about the use of RFID in school identification documents. We're looking forward to working with the Administration to implement real protections for students and their parents,” said Valerie Small Navarro, Senior Legislative Advocate for the ACLU in Sacramento.

SB 31 is an important first step, but enforcing laws on RFID skimming will be an ongoing challenge,” said Ozer. “Because an RFID tag can be read at a distance, it may be very difficult to catch people breaking this law. The next step in protecting our privacy safety will be to ensure that our driver’s licenses and other government ID only use secure RFID technology.”


JackJack said...

Created on 8/26/2008 2:35:00 PM

To whom it may be concern

I contacted the President regarding issues occurring here in Everett Washington to no avail.
In my most recent letters I disclosed the facts of The Department of Health & Human Services had illegally(illegally meaning without our consent or prior knowledge.=. WE DID NOT VOLENTEER TO BE IMPLANTED,WE DID NOT SIGN A CONSENT FORM.) we are implanted with animal tags/microchips into nine members of my family this is including minor age children as young as three months. The Department of Health & Human Services investigation department (Seattle) was provided these micro chips by Washington Manufacturing Services known as (WMS) who supplies consulting services to several State and Federal agencies, this includes The FDA,USAD,DSHS and local housing authorities to name a few.

It is my understanding these micro-chips are reserved for United State Army use only however WMS is taking these micro-chip from one client (the local manufacturers) and providing them to another client who in turn are using them on civilians/US Citizens, disadvantage minority women and children who attempt to utilize there services. As if verichipping us citizens isn’t harsh enough, (According it’s inventor they are micro-chip used on solders in combat designed to increase adrenaline flow into the bloodstream causing anger and erratic behavior) These chips are being enhanced to emulate deadly diseases and when combined with FDA approved drugs this chips are killing African American at in alarming rate.

The diseases are commonly associated with African Americans but not restricted to others ethic groups these diseases are (Heart disease (Heart Attacks), High blood pressure,(Stroke), diabetes, depression, obesity, and our children there are increasing cases of Autism and ADHD.

They are also outfitting these chips with GPS tracking systems and RFID transponders which allow two-way communication; which is definitely responsible for most if not all cases of schizophrenia here in Washington State . This disease has cost the United State over 33-billion dollars and has collapsed our SSI benefits. They also causes hallucinations and will make a healthy person feel as if they’re hearing voices if they’re not aware of this micro-chip in there system, These “five micro millimeter microchips are smaller then a strand of hair” and are virtually undetectable.

Ours microchips enter through our left ear and sits behind our left optical nerve of our eyes. In short just as the Rambo chip allowed the U.S. National Security Agency to hear and see what a solder experienced in the Middle Ease, this microchip is allowing a complete strangers to hear and see our family in our day to day life this do not exclude showering, private conversations, or intercourse. Through the RFID transponder, the communication is so harsh, derogatory and racially insensitive. I refuse to repeat it. The visual aspect of this micro chip is so graphic I dare not explain.

This device is clearly illegal. I have reported this HATE CRIME AND CRIME AGINST HUMANITY to several law enforcement agencies, which includes the SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT,EVERETT POLICE DEPARMTNET, LOCAL SHREIFF’S OFFICE, THE FBI, CIA, FDA, NSA, Along with members of congress and The State of Washington’s senators, congress members, and our current Governor’s who signed the law making it a class C felony to utilize RFID. Who have all failed to respond to this epidemic. Below there are statements by the creator (Dr. Carl Sanders) regarding this device affects on humans. Please help save me and my child.

Anonymous said...

RFID tags are also being used at trade shows and conventions to track attendees everywhere they go. This information is sold to the exhibitors and used like an internet "cookie" for sales and marketing. Most attendees have no idea they are being tracked. Can they be marketed or sold to without their request? Without RFID, an attendee would have to request information mfrom an exhibitor. With RFID, they are secretly being skimmed. These RFID systems also indicate the time and duration of every place an attendee was located throughout the exhibit hall. WIll the police use this information to investigate stolen property from trade shows? Will people be falsely accused? Why doesn't the RFID law include this

ZJK said...

Thanks for the post. Now, let me apologize to everyone. Due to issues with my account, for the past year and a half (discoverd this problem on June 5, 2009) I was not aware of all the comments that were being submitted!! I'm so sorry. I went back and approved some, but others were so long ago it just didn't make much sense. At any rate, thank you, and I will be aware of comments in the future so comment away...Zack