Similar to counterparts in Afghanistan, the craft will deploy from rural South Dakota and reach a maximum altitude of 65,000 feet. From there, they will drift across unspecified regions of Minnesota, Iowa, Central Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. The balloons program, first reported by The Guardian, will likely outfit surveillance balloons with high-powered radar systems.
At least with our homes we have some reasonable ways to know whether or not a government agent has entered it. With our technology, however, they could enter our computers, phones, tablets, etc., take whatever they want, and we would never know unless they decided to tell us. And there have been too many instances of that happening for the American people to feel comfortable giving the government even more tools to access our technology.
Perhaps if the government had behaved more responsibly with our civil liberties to date, this wouldn’t be much of an issue.
The demands come following a News 3 investigation into an incident in April where a Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs employee, using a federal VA.gov email address, sent an email with the Social Security numbers of hundreds of Wisconsin veterans to a random citizen. News 3 has learned the email that contained the disability claims of Wisconsin veterans was sent unredacted and unencrypted at least three other times since June 2014 to people who weren’t authorized by the VA to view that material….
“I am concerned that the federal VA seems to lack proper information technology and software protocols to protect veterans’ private health information,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wrote in a statement to News 3 [pdf]. “I am particularly concerned that this seemingly isolated incident in Wisconsin could potentially be part of a much larger nationwide problem.”
….”Our office has raised a number of questions with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald about the VA’s implementation of tools to protect veterans’ personally identifiable information,” wrote Meghan Roh, spokeswoman for Sen. Tammy Baldwin, (D-Wis.), in an email to News 3 [pdf]. “We look forward to getting answers from the VA so that veterans can be assured the VA is doing everything possible to protect their private information from unintended disclosure.”
Johnson gave VA staff until Nov. 11 to respond to numerous questions. He said the issue fell under the purview of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that he heads…..
Combined, the four data reports contained the disability claim numbers of nearly 2,000 Wisconsin veterans. An open records request to learn who received the emails from June 1, 2014-April 1, 2015, has not been answered by the WDVA.
“The WDVA has tightened protocols regarding privacy to safeguard sensitive information,” Vigue wrote. “We no longer share the report in question.”
The internal investigation recommended Michalowski and his subordinate, Colin Overstreet, who actually sent the email, be suspended for one day. Both have since left their positions at the WDVA. Neither Michalowski nor Overstreet agreed to comment on what happened.
Multiple requests for an on-camera interview with Scocos were denied. An on-camera interview with his deputy, Kathy Marschman, was canceled less than two hours before it was scheduled. In a meeting to discuss an interview, Marschman said protecting the personally identifiable information of Wisconsin veterans was one of the department’s top priorities, but a review of the department’s 2015-16 strategic plan does not mention that.
“How much phone metadata does the government (and soon the phone companies) actually collect?… What other kinds of data does the government gather in bulk?… What are the costs of collecting all this data?…” Via “Three Big Questions About the N.S.A.’s Patriot Act Powers.” @ Althouse.
Via Scott “Big Government” Walker supports NSA domestic spying program @ Blogging Blue.
School choice advocates have requested the names, addresses, phone numbers and grade levels of every student enrolled in 30 different public school districts, gearing up for a marketing campaign should lawmakers lift the enrollment cap on Wisconsin’s statewide voucher program. Via School choice group seeks personal data on students @ JSOnline.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice still has little to say about the release of personal information on Capitol protesters by state lawyers who are prosecuting permit violations at the Capitol.Isthmus reported Monday that Capitol protester Craig Spaulding and others who are demanding jury trials recently received confidential information on other activists from DOJ attorneys. Spaulding…