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Senators Push Trump Administration For Clarity On Privacy Act Exclusions (onthewire.io) 136

Trailrunner7 quotes a report from On the Wire: A group of influential lawmakers, including Sen. Ed Markey and Sen. Ron Wyden, are pressing the Trump administration for answers about how an executive order that includes changes to the Privacy Act will affect non-U.S. persons and whether the administration plans to release immigrants' private data. The letter comes from six senators who are concerned about the executive order that President Trump issued two weeks ago that excludes from privacy protections people who aren't U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The order is mostly about changes to immigration policy, but Trump also included a small section that requires federal government agencies to exclude immigrants from Privacy Act protections. On Thursday, Markey, Wyden, and four other senators sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jon Kelly, asking a series of 10 questions about how the exclusion would be implemented, what it would cost, and whether the government plans to release the private data of people affected by the order. "These Privacy Act exclusions could have a devastating impact on immigrant communities, and would be inconsistent with the commitments made when the government collected much of this information," the senators said in the letter to Kelly. In the letter, the lawmakers ask Kelly whether people affected by the order will be allowed full access to their own private data that has been collected by the government. They also ask how the government plans to identify U.S. persons in their databases and what policies DHS will apply to separate them from non-U.S persons. The letter also asks for clarification on how the executive order will affect the Privacy Shield pact between the U.S and the European Union. That agreement enables companies to move private data between countries under certain data protection laws.
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Senators Push Trump Administration For Clarity On Privacy Act Exclusions

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2017 @09:13AM (#53845515)

    Until we reduce the reelection rates in congress you can forget about it.

    • It'll never happen (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2017 @10:25AM (#53845687)

      Until we reduce the reelection rates in congress you can forget about it.

      We have become so partisan in this country - which the ruling class LOVES - that we'll never see that happen.

      My state keeps sending the same old people back every year. Why? because it means voting for a Democrat.

      And that will never happen. In my state, all a Republican needs to do is say "Pro-Life" and "Roe vs Wade has to go" and "Democrats gonna take yer guns!" he's in. And here, Democrats are socialists!

      Privacy and the finer points of civil liberties goes right over their heads. And how those "Conservatives" have gamed the system against them: how their retirement plans are being gouged by financial firms' fees; how they are being gouged by their ISP and cable TV company; why the business up the road can dump just about anything it wants into the ground; just flies through their ears.

      As long as they have their bibles, guns, football on ESPN and F-150, they're happier than the pigs on the McCully farm. You can do anything you want to them politically.

      I really hope my disgust for the American electorate shows.


      • How can we tell by this if you're disgusted or if these are just facts? -speak up god damnit.

        Hope aint a strategy son. Let's see if I can work something out for you.

        Until we reduce the reelection rates in congress you can forget about it.

        We have become so partisan in this country - which the ruling class just LOVES! - that we'll never see that happen.

        My state keeps sending the same old people back. Every. Year, and why!? because it means voting for a Democrat, that's why!

        ...and guess what? that will never happen. In my state, all a knuckle dragging Republican needs to do is say "Pro-Life" and "Roe vs Wade has to go" and "Dem democrats gon'take ma guns!" and he's in regardless of how much of a baboon he is. To add insult ot injury, here (US of A), Democrats are socialists!! -can you friggin get your head around that train wreck?! because I cannot and I live here!

        I mean forget privacy and the finer points of civil liberties cause that goes right over their tiny socialist heads. They go on about how those "Conservatives" have gamed the system against them; how their retirement plans are being gouged by financial firms' fees, how they are being gouged by their ISP and cable TV company, why the business up the road can dump just about anything it wants into the ground. It all just flies in one ear, through their vacatious heads and out the other end FFS!!.

        Without a doubt, as long as they have their bibles, guns, football on ESPN and F-150, they're happier than the pigs on the McCully farm it dobn't even matter if you gonna have bacon soon. You can do anything you want to them politically as long as you aint black.

        If you cannot tell by now the sheer contempt, derision and my disgust for the American electorate then you must be an ecomentalist or a redneck and fuck you and your fat mom.

        Welp, now that you alienated 80% of Americans I hope life in exile without works out for ya fella. All the best.

      • Another option - open primaries. Instead of having separate R and D primaries, have one open primary that all candidates take part in, with the top two going on to the actual election.

        That has a fair chance of breaking the lock-in in highly partisan races, since you may well end up with two R or two D candidates going into the election. At which point you've got the whole electorate voting for whichever candidate they think is best, rather than just voting the party line.

        Of course you may well get a bunch

        • First that's already a state by state issue. Your state may not have them, others certainly do.

          Second it winds up just being an opportunity for voters in opposing parties to game the system. Many people think that Trump getting the nomination was due to Hillary's lock on the Democratic nomination providing opportunity for Democrats to vote for who they thought would be the worst Republican candidate.

          • Indeed, some states do. I don't see how it offers a comparable chance to "game the system" though. I mean if the "good party" is strongly enough dominant that they're likely to fill both spots on the ballot, then generally speaking you're unlikely to try to get an "evil party" candidate onto the final ballot just to improve your preferred "good party" candidate's chances. Doing so lowers the chance of your preferred candidate making the cut, as well as putting an "evil party" candidate one unlikely elect

            • It isn't a question of good or bad, it's more unified vs less unified. To a certain extent primaries are meant to be internal party events to build unity within the party. With open primaries whichever party unifies quickest can disrupt the other party.

              • >disrupt the other party.

                How so?

                Assuming a relatively evenly split electorate you'd have to unify pretty radically to be able to claim both spots on the ballot - after all it doesn't actually matter how much support the favored candidate of one party gets in the primary, it's the second-favorite candidate that the opposition is racing against - and they can't possibly get more than 25% of the vote unless they're attracting a lot of votes from across the aisle. So, as long as both parties can consolidate

                • Granted, that may be an issue if one party has a broad field of candidates and the other has only two, but how common is that, really?

                  2016 ?

                  It isn't even a function so much of the initial state as the rate of convergence. For the sake of argument lets say party A and B both start with 8 candidates but by the time New Hampshire is done party A has one clear front runner and someone left obviously playing for the VP spot. If party B still has 5 or more viable candidates it's a winning strategy for party A to have people tilt Party B towards weaker candidates and less unity.

        • California has open primaries and they generally seem to be working.

          The result has been the election of more moderate and FAR more independent candidates. The are more moderate because the main-line party candidate (both parties) tend toward the extremes of their parties. More independent because the parties have poured vast resources into the main-line candidates and the moderates don't feel at all beholden to them, even though they generally host similar positions on most issues.

      • Charles Murray's book "Coming Apart" talks about the combination of geographic isolation (segregation by income/politics), elite schools (public and private) where their children all socialize, ideological conforming by the "elite" institutions all creating an elite population that has prime access to top corporate jobs, NGOs, government positions under Democrats. They base morality as adherence to the ideology and thus see all who disagree as evil/stupid and look down on those beneath them as at best unen

        • In other words, it's a collection of right-wing propaganda, because "elite" is not the sole provenance of the Democratic Party. If "They" means Democrats, you're generalizing wildly about a varied group of people. The ones I know do not take their morality from ideology, but tend to take their ideology from their ethical and religious beliefs. There are ideologues in the Democratic party, but there's plenty in the Republican party. Republicans actively discriminate against other classes of people.

          Mus

    • The ruling party? Obama did a wonderful job of continuing the Bush/Cheney agenda of invading our privacy and taking away our rights.

      • I agree with the current administration that privacy is counter to keeping us safe and making America great again. Let's start with this document [documentcloud.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2017 @09:20AM (#53845525)

    Meanwhile CIA and FBI staff have confirmed Flynn's discussions with the Russian Ambassador about lifting sanctions, as described in the pee memo. BEFORE the election.

    "A US official confirmed to CNN late Friday afternoon that Flynn and the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, did speak about sanctions, among other matters, during the call....Flynn cannot rule out that he spoke to Kislyak about sanctions, an aide close to the national security adviser said earlier Friday. Flynn, the aide said, has "no recollection of discussing sanctions," but added that the national security adviser "couldn't be certain that the topic never came up."

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/10/politics/flynn-russia-us-sanctions-reports/index.html

    Keep in mind Flynn was a nobody, back in August, when the memo says Putin was grooming him. Which means Putin knew before America that Trump would pluck this nobody for his security advisor, and it confirms Trump conspired with Putin to select people. The Russian Ambassador knew too, before the election that Flynn was to be appointed, again before Trump actually chose him. Proving the two conspired.

    At this point Republicans need to get their shit together, prosecute Trump for treason, put Pence in, get the cyber security bill signed, the one Trump is blocking. Get the generals put back onto the National Security council, after Trump demoted them to occasional consultants... they are Congretional Appointees assigned to the National Security Council FFS, America is vulnerable if the military is removed from those meetings, and only Putin's agents are present.

    The two spies Putin arrested, they fit the profile of the two known agents in the pee memos. These agents were known and considered reliable by NSA, CIA, MI6 etc. Yet they were arrested just after Trump's men entered the CIA. If they are US spies in Russia, then Trump needs to face espionage charges for passing their names across.

    Kick this whiney buttercup out of office and put a Republican in.


    • Fake news. Trump said so.

      This is a post truth world. Trump is bigger than facts. Proof? some dumb fuckers still support him cause he's gonna MAGA.

      Trump is a waste of time.
    • Kick this whiney buttercup out of office and put a Republican in.

      Then give us a real Republican to vote for. Seriously, between Trump and Clinton, Trump was the only sane choice.

      Here is the REAL kicker, Trump was an insane choice overall; he only looked like a sane next to Clinton. Seriously, what the fuck is going on when the best person presented for the office of President of the United States of America is an outright scoundrel and thief?

      The people who influence this country are deeply troubled. Too many groups are willing to outright slaughter in the name of an ideo

  • by Anonymous Coward

    He doesnt know what any of his policies are.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Saturday February 11, 2017 @09:37AM (#53845559) Homepage Journal

    No one is going to share data with the US if it goes ahead with this. The EU is already reluctant.

    • by johanw ( 1001493 )

      The EU executive branch (the Euro commissionars) are greatly in favor of pleasing the US more and more. The chosen representatives and the courts don't agree. This "privacy shield" agreement was stillborn, it will live just as long as it takes to get shut down by the European supreme court (which, unfortunately, can be quite long because legel processing it has to start all the way up from lower courts).

      • This "privacy shield" agreement was stillborn, it will live just as long as it takes to get shut down by the European supreme court

        And what would happen in that case? Google, Facebook, and Microsoft cloud services would be forced to stop providing most of their services because they couldn't finance them anymore through advertising. Small European advertisers would lose the ability to target people online by interest and would therefore face bigger barriers to entry. Europeans would lose big time. On top of

        • Re: Less secure (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mmell ( 832646 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @03:30PM (#53846711)
          It seems more likely to me that this will create opportunities for European companies to clone US based services (including everything down to the business model). What person in Europe would choose a Gmail account when they could get a Euromail account which works just well and includes European-style privacy guarantees? You know, Protonmail [protonmail.com] suddenly comes screaming to mind.
          • Spying is about control, and Euro politicians want control as much as American ones. This means the spying will happen regardless of any "Agreement" with the USA.
          • What person in Europe would choose a [US-hosted mail] account when they could get a Euromail account which works just well and includes European-style privacy guarantees?

            Well, what threats are you concerned about? If you are concerned about the US government reading your email, you are probably better off hosting in Europe. If you are concerned about European governments reading your email, you are probably better off hosting in the US or Switzerland. No matter where you host, you should be under no illusio

    • No one is going to share data with the US if it goes ahead with this. The EU is already reluctant.

      This has nothing to do with the EU Privacy Act, it has to do with data collected from and about illegals in the US.

      • Are you really so blind that you believe it'll end there? If the US government can abuse one set of people, it can abuse anybody. This is why pro-Trump forces are so interested in assuring that Constitutional protections are interpreted as only applying to US citizens. Once you accept that falsehood, it becomes a simple matter to begin defining certain citizens (e.g., convicted felons, individuals on the terrorist watch list) as also not being entitled to Constitutional protections.

        A very few Constituti

        • This is why pro-Trump forces are so interested in assuring that Constitutional protections are interpreted as only applying to US citizens.

          Which "Constitutional protection" do you think denying entry to the US to non-citizens from specific countries violates? It doesn't violate due process either under the Fifth or Fourteenth amendments. Nor does it violate the equal protection clause, which only applies to persons within the jurisdictions of states.

          This is why pro-Trump forces are so interested in assuring

          • The Trump administration has tried to impose a temporary ban on the entry of people from countries that the US has been actively bombing, that don't have functioning governments, and that have been the source of terrorism. It's what the president is authorized to do because it's a rational and reasonable thing to do.

            Just curious, but where do idiots like you think refugees flee from? Canada? Belgium? The Netherlands?

            Forget about the constitutionality for a second, do you not think that it's a blatant v

            • Forget about the constitutionality for a second, do you not think that it's a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention to ban people from entering this country on the basis that they live in the kind of country that people would need to flee from?

              No. Most of the people fleeing those countries don't even seem to meet the definition of "refugee" under the convention. Refugee status is for persecuted minorities, not merely people who leave their countries because they are violent shitholes. Jews fleeing from

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          Once you accept that falsehood, it becomes a simple matter to begin defining certain citizens (e.g., convicted felons, individuals on the terrorist watch list) as also not being entitled to Constitutional protections

          To add to that list Trump has already made noise about people who have previously been citizens of other countries. Apparently they are not real Americans to him. He's also made tweets about revoking citizenship - not just residency, citizenship.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2017 @09:40AM (#53845567)

    This is political crap.

  • "devastating impact" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by l0n3s0m3phr34k ( 2613107 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @09:41AM (#53845569)
    That's the entire point of Steve Bannon, the "President behind the curtain". He wants to destabilize the entire planet and destroy civilization as we know it. This is an exact quote from him:

    “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

    He's the one who's really writing many of these Executive Orders. He wants to burn it all down, and rebuild it in his own twisted image that fits his into his alt-right image. He knows that our society is held together by very fragile bonds formed through trust, past promises, monetary policy; attack these pillars and the whole thing will collapse.
    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @09:58AM (#53845609)

      "It's easy to burn down the outhouse; the hard part is putting in new plumbing.”

    • He wants to destabilize the entire planet and destroy civilization as we know it. This is an exact quote from him:

      “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

      Do you equate "the planet" and "civilization as we know it" with "the state" and "all of today's establishment".

      Isn't that what Democrats and progressives keep saying? Don't they keep claiming that the US is in the hands of "the 1

  • _________ press Trump administration for clarity on _________ .

    There were multiple plausible solutions to the puzzle when it was merely the Trump campaign, and what they learned then is that clarity is the enemy. It wasn't necessary to win the election, and it's not going to be a high priority now.

    Bilaterally, the Democratic campaign was no better at it.

    • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @09:59AM (#53845613)

      You give Trump too much credit, there was no clarity because there can be no clarity from someone of such limited intellectual prowess. You can see that in his nominees for cabinet positions. They are not the A-Team, they are a reflection of Trump's idea of how to run an organization. There is no consistent ethos among the lot of them except hating the very agencies they are to lead. And Trump doesn't even trust them, he's got minders for each of the agency heads and those minders report to Trump and Bannon.

      You can also see the effect of his lack of intellectual depth when he's admitted signing orders that he never read. Bannon shoved them in front of him and he signed because Bannon told him to. When the shit hit the fan on the immigration order, he went nuts trying assign blame to everyone but himself. He is without honor.

  • and I doubt they even wrote the executive order.

  • Trump didn't make any "changes to the privacy act", nor could he if he wanted to.

    What they are saying is clear from these paragraphs:

    about the executive order that President Trump issues two weeks ago that excludes from privacy protections people who aren’t U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

    So, citizens and immigrants are excluded.

    Next:

    “These Privacy Act exclusions could have a devastating impact on immigrant communities [=people illegally present in the US], and would be inconsistent with th

    • The solution is obvious - make all the US look like Gitmo.
      • The solution is obvious - make all the US look like Gitmo.

        No, the solution is obvious: deport people illegally present in our country. You know, just like other civilized countries do.

    • Immigrant communities does not mean illegal immigrant communities, and Obama devoted a lot of resources to deporting illegal immigrants. If you read the Fourth Amendment, it doesn't mention "citizens", although other parts of the Constitution do. It applies to people in general. If this refers to laws that are in conformance with the Fourth, the question is what the laws say, because in this sort of thing the authority of the President is that conferred on the office by Congress. I'm not a lawyer, per

      • Immigrant communities does not mean illegal immigrant communities,

        Precisely, but the EO only applies to illegal aliens within the US, yet Markey and Wyden misrepresent it as if it applied to "immigrants", and then they misrepresented it again as if it applied to Europeans. These senators are a bunch of dishonest pricks.

        I'm not a lawyer, personally, so I'll leave it to the legal system.

        We're not talking about the legality of the EO here, we're talking about the fact that Markey and Wyden are misrepresenting

        • Precisely, but the EO only applies to illegal aliens within the US,

          That's not what you said in GGP: "that excludes from privacy protections people who aren’t U.S. citizens or permanent residents". There are people legally in the US who are not citizens or permanent residents, so any actual visa holders would appear to be excluded.

          • Markey/Wyden: "These Privacy Act exclusions could have a devastating impact on immigrant communities"

            Me: No, it only applies to illegal immigrants/aliens.

            That is, my comment was within the context of Markey/Wyden's lies.

            The privacy situation for non-immigrant visa holders is a separate issue; it's an issue Markey and Wyden didn't comment on at all.

  • ...than just question that part of the EO. Senators should stop waving clearly unqualified and utterly inept chronic liars through into cabinet positions. Are the Republican Senators so afraid of orange Trump that they just fold like a cheap tent? What do I expect from folks who for a year outright refused to do their job!?
  • The privacy act offers a level of protection in the USA for citizens, legal non citizens in the USA from intrusive gov searches over vast shared gov databases.
    The US State department officials will keep on allowing refugees, students, workers, random people into the USA from nations that are on watch lists.
    So the travel aspect of getting valid US paperwork cant be changed thanks to massive amount of travel paperwork still been issued by US bureaucrats.
    The good news is people entering the US on such pa

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