Get the Facts and Decide – Boarder Patrol Search of Electronics

cellphonewarrantToday I got a message from OpenMedia.com (why, I don’t know) professing that the Boarder Patrol can take your computers or laptops away at will and make you unlock them so they can search your electronic files. Nowhere in their email did it say where they got this information from, but they did want donations to help in the effort to fight this law. So I did some digging because, well, I don’t trust chicken little screaming that the sky is falling.

I went to the US Boarder Patrol’s website and got the following information (it’s a bit long).

Privacy Impact Assessment for the Border Searches of Electronic Devices

Search
At primary or secondary inspection, a CBP [Customs and Boarder Patrol] Officer and/or ICE Special Agent may perform a quick, cursory search of the electronic device in front of the passenger. This may be as simple as turning on the device to establish that it is a working device, rather than a shell for concealed contraband, weapons or explosives. CBP or ICE may direct the traveler to turn on the device to establish that it works, or may take the device from the traveler and perform the task itself….
If CBP and ICE are satisfied that no further examination is needed, the electronic device is returned to the traveler and he or she is free to proceed. In this situation, no receipt to document chain of custody is given to the traveler because the device has not been detained or seized. CBP or ICE may also examine the information on the electronic device outside of the presence of the traveler. If no further search is needed, and the electronic device is not seized, the device is returned to the traveler. There is no specific receipt given to the traveler if the contents of the device are detained for further review, but the device is returned to the individual. Where CBP performs the search, a supervisor is notified or present for the search.

Detention of Electronic Devices
In most cases, when CBP or ICE keeps the device and the traveler leaves the port without it, the electronic device is considered “detained.” For CBP, the detention of devices ordinarily should not exceed five (5) days, unless extenuating circumstances exist. The CBP Officer or ICE Special Agent notes the detention in TECS and provides Customs Form (CF) 6051D to the traveler as a receipt. This form contains contact information for the traveler and the CBP Officer or ICE Special Agent to ensure each party can contact the other with questions or for retrieval of the electronic device at the conclusion of the border search. The CF 6051D is kept with the electronic device and records the chain of custody between the traveler and CBP and/or ICE until final disposition of the case. From the time the electronic device is detained to the time it is returned to the traveler, the device is kept in secured facilities with restricted access at all times….
1-16When CBP detains an electronic device under its border search authority, the device may be shared with ICE or another federal agency for analysis. If there is no evidence of criminal activity relating to laws enforced by ICE or CBP, or of a violation of law that subjects the device to seizure for civil forfeiture, the electronic device is returned to the traveler in its original condition, and any copies of the information from the device are destroyed as explained below…

Instead of detaining the electronic device, CBP or ICE may instead copy the contents of the electronic device for a more in-depth border search at a later time. For CBP, the decision to copy data contained on an electronic device requires supervisory approval.

NBC News in March of 2017 ran a report on increased activity at our boarders utilizing this law.

What CBP agents call “detaining” cellphones didn’t start after Donald Trump’s election. The practice began a decade ago, late in the George W. Bush administration, but was highly focused on specific individuals.

The more aggressive tactics of the past two years, two senior intelligence officials told NBC News, were sparked by a string of domestic incidents in 2015 and 2016 in which the watch list system and the FBI failed to stop American citizens from conducting attacks….

The current policy has not been updated since 2009. Jayson Ahern, who served in CBP under both Bush and Obama, signed off on the current policy. He said the electronic searches are supposed to be based on specific, articulable facts that raise security concerns. They are not meant to be random or routine or applied liberally to border crossers. “That’s reckless and that’s how you would lose the authority, never mind the policy.”…

CBP also searches people on behalf of other federal law enforcement agencies, sending its findings back to partners in the DEA, FBI, Treasury and the National Counterterrorism Center, among others. [Mary Ellen Callahan, former chief privacy officer at the Department of Homeland Security.] thinks that CBP’s spike in searches means it is exploiting the loophole “in order to get information they otherwise might hot have been able to.”

A bill called the  “Protecting Data at the Border Act” was introduced on April 5th 2017 that, if passed would require Boarder Patrol Agents to obtain a search warrant for electronic devices, much like police need within our boarders due to the 2014 Supreme Court Ruling Riley v California .

From FCW.com :

search_warrant-optimizedThe bill seeks to define a clear difference in the applicable privacy law between “the digital contents” of online accounts and the physical contents of closed containers.

The bill states that government officials “cannot deny entry to Americans who refuse to surrender passwords, though it does allow law enforcement to delay entry up to four hours to determine whether the United States person will consensually provide an access credential, access, or online account information.”

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) introduced the legislation in their respective chambers.

The Ron Wyden for Senate website says:

The bipartisan, bicameral bill shuts down a legal Bermuda Triangle that currently allows law enforcement agencies to search Americans’ phones and laptops – including pictures, email, and anything on the device and possibly the cloud – when they cross the border without suspicion or a warrant. Press reports indicate these searches have spiked over the past year.

This is the situation in a nutshell. I present this information to you today because I personally hate it when a “chicken little” starts telling me that the sky is falling and that politicians are trying to take my rights away without citing sources. I especially resent it when they do it with their hand out for money ( as Open Media did. ) So this is what I could glean about the situation from as many reputable and government websites as I could find. I’ve also tried to present the facts as neutrally as possible. Read it for yourself, do your own research, and then decide for yourself if CBP needs a search warrant for electronics.

Don’t trust other people to think for you.

Current Law

Protecting Data at the Boarder Act

Other Websites

https://fcw.com/articles/2017/04/05/border-data-bill-congress.aspx

Get the Facts and Decide – Health Care

MH900427703A LOT is coming out about Trump’s new H.R.1275 – World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017 (Not a joke. That is what it is called).

Again. I make no opinions or judgement. I post this to make it easier for people to get the facts and come to their own conclusions. This is a long one so I’m just going to post the very top part with a link to the full bill.

H.R.1275 – World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017
Sponsor: Rep. Sessions, Pete [R-TX-32] (Introduced 03/01/2017)
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1275/text

A BILL

To eliminate the individual and employer health coverage mandates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to expand beyond that Act the choices in obtaining and financing affordable health insurance coverage, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; PURPOSES; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) Short Title.—This Act may be cited as the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017”.

(b) Purposes.—The purposes of this Act are as follows:

(1) ELIMINATION OF INDIVIDUAL AND EMPLOYER MANDATES UNDER ACA.—To eliminate mandates on individuals and employers, and other tax requirements, imposed under Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(2) PROVIDING STATES WITH ALTERNATIVE, AFFORDABLE COVERAGE OPTIONS.—To provide greater flexibility in providing States with options in making affordable health insurance coverage available by eliminating certain mandates under PPACA, while retaining essential consumer protections, by promoting health savings accounts to pay for such coverage and long-term care coverage, while permitting States to continue coverage as provided under PPACA.

(c) Table Of Contents.—The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; purposes; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.


Sec. 101. Repeal of individual health insurance mandate.

Sec. 102. Repeal of employer health insurance mandate.

Sec. 103. Clarifying employer’s ability to reimburse employee premiums for purchase of individual health insurance coverage.


Sec. 121. Limiting application of requirements to consumer protections.

Sec. 122. Offering of basic health insurance; protection of assets from liability or attachment or seizure.


MH900316868Sec. 131. Health insurance tax benefit.

Sec. 132. Application of portion of unused tax credits by States for indigent health care.

Sec. 133. Medicaid option of enrollment under private plan and contribution to an HSA.


Sec. 201. Transition to non-deductible HSAs.

Sec. 202. Elimination of medical expense deduction.

Sec. 203. Treatment of HSA after death of account beneficiary.

Sec. 204. Treatment of concierge medicine.


Sec. 301. State flexibility in regulation of health insurance coverage.


Sec. 401. Medicaid payment reform.


Sec. 501. Ensuring access to emergency services without excessive charges for out-of-network services.

Sec. 502. Publishing of cash price for care paid through health savings accounts.

Sec. 503. Liberating the local practice of health care.

Get the Facts and Decide – Abortion, Education, Immigration

Capitol HillIn an age where you can’t trust what the news reports and misinformation is rampant on social media I’m going to post the just the facts on many laws that are being proposed and possibly have passed.  I don’t necessarily agree with these bills.  I will only post what actual Government Agencies are posting. This is in an effort to educate. I will let you decide for yourselves if you agree with these bills or not.

H.R.147 – Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2017
Sponsor: Rep. Franks, Trent [R-AZ-8] (Introduced 01/03/2017)
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/147

This bill imposes criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly or knowingly attempts to: (1) perform an abortion knowing that the abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent; (2) use force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion; (3) solicit or accept funds for the performance of such an abortion; or (4) transport a woman into the United States or across a state line for the purpose of obtaining such an abortion.

Violations or attempted violations shall result in fines and/or imprisonment for up to five years.

The bill authorizes civil actions (for verifiable money damages for injuries and punitive damages) by: (1) fathers, or maternal grandparents if the mother is an unemancipated minor, of unborn children who are the subject of an abortion performed or attempted through any of the above violations; or (2) women upon whom an abortion has been performed or attempted with a knowing or attempted use of force or threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion.

To prevent an abortion provider from performing or attempting further abortions in violation of this bill, the bill authorizes injunctive relief to be obtained by: (1) the women upon whom such an abortion is performed or attempted, (2) a maternal grandparent of the unborn child if the woman is an unemancipated minor, (3) the father of such an unborn child, or (4) the Department of Justice.

Violations of this bill are deemed to be prohibited discrimination under title VI (Federally Assisted Programs) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Violators of title VI lose federal funding.)

Medical or mental health professionals must report known or suspected violations to law enforcement authorities. Criminal penalties are established for a failure to so report.

A woman having such an abortion may not be prosecuted or held civilly liable.

Courts must make such orders as necessary to protect the anonymity of any woman upon whom an abortion has been performed or attempted if she does not give her written consent to such disclosure. In the absence of such a woman’s written consent, any party, other than a public official, who brings an action must use a pseudonym.

For purposes of this bill, “abortion” is defined as the act of using or prescribing any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to terminate the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman, with knowledge that the termination by those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the unborn child, unless the act is intended to: (1) save the life or preserve the health of the unborn child, (2) remove a dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion, or (3) remove an ectopic pregnancy.

capitaldomeH.R.354 – Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2017
Sponsor: Rep. Black, Diane [R-TN-6] (Introduced 01/06/2017)

This bill prohibits, for a one-year period, the availability of federal funds for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any of its affiliates or clinics, unless they certify that the affiliates and clinics will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion during such period. This restriction does not apply in cases of rape or incest or where a physical condition endangers a woman’s life unless an abortion is performed.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture must seek repayment of federal assistance received by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any affiliate or clinic, if it violates the terms of the certification required by this bill.

Additional funding for community health centers is provided for the one-year period described above.
See Fact Check.org concerning a similar bill Obama signed in 2010


H.R.83 – Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act

Sponsor: Rep. Barletta, Lou [R-PA-11] (Introduced 01/03/2017)
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/83?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22HR+83%22%5D%7D&r=1

This bill prohibits a state or local government from receiving federal financial assistance for a minimum of one year if it restricts or prohibits a government entity or official from: (1) sending to or receiving from the responsible federal immigration agency information regarding an individual’s citizenship or immigration status, or (2) maintaining or exchanging information about an individual’s status.

The bill restores assistance eligibility upon a Department of Justice (DOJ) determination that the jurisdiction no longer restricts or prohibits such actions.

DOJ shall report each year to Congress regarding state or local jurisdictions that restrict or prohibit such actions.

congress2H.R.610 – To distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools. [Choice of Education Act of 2017]
Sponsor: Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4] (Introduced 01/23/2017)
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/610?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22HR+610%22%5D%7D&r=1

This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states.

The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.

To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child.

No Hungry Kids Act

The bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. (In general, the rule requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet children’s nutritional needs within their caloric requirements.)

A letter to those I thought I knew…

backstabI’ve known for awhile that certain individuals have been talking behind my back, saying horrible and hurtful things about me. Things that are not true. This has come from family, friends, people who I love. When I confront them, I’m met with silence, deflection, even the outright pretending not to hear me.

So this is my last attempt to get through to YOU, those who have come to believe the worst about me.

I am not a bigot.

I am not a racist.

No, I don’t suffer from “internalized misogyny”.

No, I do not want to see Mexicans,Muslims or Homosexuals rounded up and put in camps.

When have I EVER supported such hateful, insane views?

The answer is NEVER.

It is true I am not a Hillary supporter. I have never made that secret. I voted for Bernie. I supported Bernie in the election. Bernie is and was the best candidate for the job.

So you’re upset about Trump’s victory. Fine, but I refuse to be a target for your rage. Direct your anger towards those who are deserving.

Direct your anger toward the DNC for propping up the only Democrat on the planet capable of losing to a reality TV star.

Allow me to make one last thing perfectly clear: As a proud citizen of the United States I will fight to preserve the freedoms and liberties this country was founded upon. If our government does start rounding people up and putting them into camps I am more than willing to pickup a rifle and defend the rights of EVERYONE, regardless of race or creed—include you, the friends and family who accuse me of wanting to take away rights from minorities, gays, Muslims, women, Mexicans etc.

All Beauty Destroyed by Aesthetic Perfection

And everyone is so kind
With the lies that they tell themselves
‘Cause everyone is so blind

To the truth that they’re ugly inside
When the mirror’s laughing
Time takes over
You should know
We’re rotting away

There’s no
Nothing left for me
When all beauty’s destroyed
There’s no
Nothing left to see
Once all beauty’s destroyed

And everyone is so torn
Between truth and a false veneer
Well no one wants to be alone
In the wake of their faults and fears
If you don’t stop scratching
Wounds reopen
As we slowly start to decay

Lie for you
Die for you
Beg for you
Bleed for you

It’s all you want
It’s all you need