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United States

Airlines Have to Ask Permission to Fly 72 Hours Early 596

twitter wrote to mention that the TSA (Transport Security Administration) has released a new set of proposed rules that is raising quite a stir among groups ranging from the ACLU to the American Society of Travel Agents. Under the new rules airlines would be required to submit a passenger manifest (including full name, sex, date of birth, and redress number) for all flights departing, arriving, or flying over the United States at least 72 hours prior to departure. Boarding passes will only be issued to those passengers that have been cleared. "Hasbrouck submitted that requiring clearance in order to travel violates the US First Amendment right of assembly, the central claim in John Gilmore's case against the US government over the requirement to show photo ID for domestic travel. [...] ACLU's Barry Steinhardt quoted press reports of 500,000 to 750,000 people on the watch list (of which the no-fly list is a subset). 'If there are that many terrorists in the US, we'd all be dead.' TSA representative Kip Hawley noted that the list has been carefully investigated and halved over the last year. 'Half of grossly bloated is still bloated,' Steinhardt replied."
United States

NID Admits ATT/Verizon Help With Wiretaps 299

Unlikely_Hero writes "National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has confirmed in an interview with the El Paso Times that AT&T and Verizon have both been helping the Bush Administration conduct wiretaps. He also claims that only 100 Americans are under surveilance, that it takes 200 hours to assemble a FISA warrant on a telephone number and suggests that companies like AT&T and Verizon that "cooperate" with the Administration should be granted immunity from the lawsuits they currently face regarding the issue."

Going to Yosemite? Get Your Passport Ready! 969

rev_media writes to tell us that CNN has a few updates to the Real ID act currently facing legislators. The Real ID acts mandates all states to begin issuing federal IDs to all citizens by 2008. Costs could be as much at $14 billion, but only 40 million are currently allocated. Several states have passed legislation expressly forbidding participation in the program, while others seem to be all for it. The IDs will be required for access to all federal areas including flights, state parks and federal buildings. People in states refusing to comply will need to show passports even for domestic flights.

U.S. K-12 Schools Must Comply With e-Discovery Rule 166

Lucas123 writes "K-12 school districts throughout the US have a daunting IT homework assignment over the summer: Develop systems that ensure their electronic documents, email and instant messages are in compliance with new federal e-discovery regulations, much in the same way corporations have been preparing over the past year. The new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) are expected to be widely enforced by the end of 2007, according to a Computerworld story. '"A lack of preparation could prove dire for K-12 school districts, which oftentimes lack technical proficiency, funding and legal expertise," said Robert Ayers, technology coordinator for the Kingston, Pa.-based Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18 school district.'"

DHS Wants Master Key for DNS 266

An anonymous reader writes "At an ICANN meeting in Lisbon, the US Department of Homeland Security made it clear that it has requested the master key for the DNS root zone. The key will play an important role in the new DNSSec security extension, because it will make spoofing IP-addresses impossible. By forcing the IANA to hand out a copy of the master key, the US government will be the only institution that is able to spoof IP addresses and be able to break into computers connected to the Internet without much effort. There's a further complication, of course, because even 'if the IANA retains the key ... the US government still reserves the right to oversee ICANN/IANA. If the keys are then handed over to ICANN/IANA, there would be even less of an incentive [for the U.S.] to give up this role as a monitor. As a result, the DHS's demands will probably only heat up the debate about US dominance of the control of Internet resources.'"

White House Specifies And Mandates Secure Windows 242

twitter writes "The Register is reporting on an effort to bring order to the wild world of Windows patching, at least in the US Federal Government. The White House has issued a directive to federal CIOs throughout the country, issuing a call for all new PCs to use a 'common secure configuration.' 'Registry settings and which services would be turned on or off by default [are specified and] the directive calls for suppliers (integrators and software vendors) to certify that the products they supply operate effectively using these more secure configurations. "No Vista application will be able to be sold to federal agencies if the application does not run on the secure version of Vista," explained Alan Paller, director of research at The SANS Institute.'"

FBI Says Paper Trails Are Optional 244

WerewolfOfVulcan writes "According to this Washington Post article, the FBI says that it doesn't have to comply with even the unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act when asking for phone records. Apparently that whole due process thing doesn't include them. Funny thing is, they've apparently already been doing it for years." Quoting: "Under past procedures, agents sent 'exigent circumstances letters' to phone companies, seeking toll records by asserting there was an emergency. Then they were expected to issue a grand jury subpoena or a 'national security letter,' which legally authorized the collection after the fact. Agents often did not follow up with that paperwork, the inspector general's investigation found. The new instructions tell agents there is no need to follow up with national security letters or subpoenas. The agents are also told that... they may make requests orally, with no paperwork sent to phone companies. Such oral requests have been made over the years in terrorism and kidnapping cases, officials said."

Gates Foundation Revokes Pledge to Review Portfolio 236

NewsCloud writes "After the LA Times reported that the Gates Foundation often invests in companies hurting the very communities Bill and Melinda want to help, the Seattle Times reported the foundation planned 'a systematic review of its investments to determine whether it should pull its money out of companies that are doing harm to society'. Shortly after that interview, the Gates Foundation took down their public statement on this and replaced it with a significantly altered version which seems to say that investing responsibly would just be too complex for them and that they need to focus on their core mission: 'There are dozens of factors that could be considered, almost all of which are outside the foundation's areas of expertise. The issues involved are quite complex...Which social and political issues should be on the list? ... Many of the companies mentioned in the Los Angeles Times articles, such as Ford, Kraft, Fannie Mae, Nestle, and General Electric, do a lot of work that some people like, as well as work that some people do not like. Some activities might even be viewed positively by some people and negatively by others.'"

Small Businesses Worry About MS Anti-Phishing 291

prostoalex writes "Ever get that warm feeling of safety, when the anti-phishing toolbar on Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 turns green, telling you it's safe to shop on the site you're visiting? Well, you probably don't, but the millions of Internet users who will soon be running IE7 probably will be paying attention to the anti-phishing warnings. is reporting on how Microsoft is making it tough for small businesses to assure they're treated properly by the anti-phishing algorithm." From the article: "[S]ole proprietorships, general partnerships and individuals won't be eligible for the new, stricter security certificates that Microsoft requires to display the color. There are about 20.6 million sole proprietorships and general partnerships in the U.S... though it isn't clear how many are engaged in e-commerce... 'Are people going to trust the green more than white? Yes, they will,' says Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner Inc. and an expert on online payments and fraud. 'All the business is going to go to the greens, it's kind of obvious.'"

US Citizens To Require ''Clearance'' To Leave? 987

jo7hs2 writes "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has proposed a system which will in essence make it mandatory for you to have permission before leaving or entering the country, effectively putting everyone on a no-fly list unless the government says otherwise. Interestingly, the proposal does not seem to cover personal travel, only that on some sort of carrier like an airline or cruise vessel. While this certainly is concerning, it isn't exactly new, as a passport is already required for circumstances covered under the proposal."

Bush Signs Bill Enabling Martial Law 1594

An anonymous reader writes to point us to an article on the meaning of a new law that President Bush signed on Oct. 17. It seems to allow the President to impose martial law on any state or territory, using federal troops and/or the state's own, or other states', National Guard troops. From the article: "In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law. It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions." Here is a link to the bill in question. The relevant part is Sec. 1076 about 3/4 of the way down the page.

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