Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cheaper than a big fence? Perhaps we could start this in our boarder states? Can you see Texas asking, “Papers, y'all.”
Dana Smith reports:
Those who call for the introduction of a national identity card “must also understand there are civil liberty implications” that can arise as a result, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell said yesterday.
Such implications, he explained, could include being stopped on the street at any time and asked by authorities to show a national ID card as proof of legal residency.
It was last Thursday that National Security Minister Bernard Nottage said “the time has come” for the country to consider the introduction of such a card, considering the Bahamas’ long-standing illegal migration problem.
Read more on Tribune242.

“We respond with complete indifference. We don't process your data, we have a contractor in Addis Abeba who does that for us. As does Twitter and Facebook and a bunch of others.”
It’s been a good day for consumers in California. Governor Brown signed SB-46 into law, expanding business’s data breach notification obligations to consumers whose online account data has been breached. He also signed AB-370 into law. The law requires a site operator to disclose how it responds to “do not track” signals or other mechanisms that provide consumers a choice regarding the collection of personally identifiable information and the collection of their activity across sites.
The bill also requires the operator to disclose whether other parties may collect personally identifiable information when a consumer uses the operator’s site or service.
AB-370 amends Section 22575 of the Business and Professions Code by adding the following three requirements:
(5) Disclose how the operator responds to Web browser “do not track” signals or other mechanisms that provide consumers the ability to exercise choice regarding the collection of personally identifiable information about an individual consumer’s online activities over time and across third-party Web sites or online services, if the operator engages in that collection.
(6) Disclose whether other parties may collect personally identifiable information about an individual consumer’s online activities over time and across different Web sites when a consumer uses the operator’s Web site or service.
(7) An operator may satisfy the requirement of paragraph (5) by providing a clear and conspicuous hyperlink in the operator’s privacy policy to an online location containing a description, including the effects, of any program or protocol the operator follows that offers the consumer that choice.

(Related) California is “solving that Internet problem”
Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 46 into law today.
Dominique R. Shelton and Paul G. Martinoof of Alston & Bird had a good summary of the changes the law makes:
Read more of Alston & Bird’s advisory. The amendments go into effect in January, 2014.

Is anyone keeping score? Has the government actually won any of these? Do they have to give up when their record hits 0-99?
Mark Jaycox writes a welcome government transparency smackdown by the courts:
A federal judge ordered the government to unseal more documents concerning the NSA spying programs by December 20, 2013. The judge issued the ruling in EFF’s lawsuit, Jewel v. NSA, which began in 2008 over the NSA spying program initiated by the Bush Administration, which continues to this day.
In light of the declassifications inspired by the June leaks, Judge Jeffrey White ordered the government to unseal any declassified material, like exhibits, declarations, and other ex parte submissions that the government had previously submitted to the court under seal.
Read more on EFF.

We knew that, didn't we?
Adam Klasfeld reports:
The FBI has been deploying unmanned aircraft for domestic surveillance for seven years, though the agency first acknowledged their use in July, the Justice Department’s inspector general reported Thursday.
FBI Director Robert Mueller revealed the program’s existence during congressional testimony. The inspector general’s first audit of the program reveals that it did not develop specific policies to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens or the integrity of the evidence the drones purport to collect, the audit found.
Read more on Courthouse News.

I wonder if there is a mathematical formula that establishes a cutoff level of risk insurers are willing to accept? If so, do they ever share it with customers before they deny coverage? reports that St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company wants a court to rule it’s not responsible for $7 million in liability coverage in a class action lawsuit brought against online ticket broker Vendini. Subscription required to read the article.
Coverage of the Vendini hack can be found in these posts.

Perspective. I'm not sure yet what this means, but I am sure it is important beyond the first Blackberry President being scooped. Imagine if one president had contradicted the other...
Today in Modern Diplomacy: The U.S. President Gets Scooped by a Tweet
Earlier today, President Obama and the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani had a phone call. The discussion was, it seems, substantial: Among its topics was Iran's nuclear program. But the content of the conversation was only one thing that made the call a big deal; even more significant was the fact that any conversation took place at all. The talk marked the first direct communication between a U.S. president and an Iranian president since 1979, when the Islamic Republic was installed and the Shah ousted and the diplomatic relations between the two countries all but severed. The talk itself – the gesture of it, the meaning of it -- was, in other words, big news.
Which was why President Obama, a few minutes ago, called a press conference to announce the conversation to the media. "Just now I spoke on the phone with President Rouhani," Obama told convened reporters. The call, he added, "underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but also indicates the prospect of moving on that difficult history."
Again: big news! Except that the call was not news to many of the people who were gathered to hear it. Minutes before Obama began his speech, today at 3:35 pm Eastern time, Hassan Rouhani, via his (unverified) English-language Twitter account, tweeted the following:
Phone conversation between @HassanRouhani and @BarackObama

Isn't this rather old school or even Ludd-esque? Shouldn't we be encouraging anything that makes health care (especially mental health care) more widely available? Skype should be easy to secure. There was no indication the diagnosis was wrong in any of the articles...
Telemedicine has always held great promise. In my field, it could allow experts in movement disorders to actually observe a patient in a remote area where no experts were available to see what the abnormal movements look like and to interview the patient. And I’ve often had patients request therapy sessions by Skype or FaceTime (I’ve always declined such requests). State laws regulate the use of telemedicine and the communications systems, and practitioners need to know their state’s laws. They also need to be aware of the privacy and security concerns associated with various communication systems. See, for example, this somewhat frightening report by Declan McCullagh on how NSA can eavesdrop on Skype.
Mike Stinebiser writes:
Just as the September 23 enforcement deadline of the new HIPAA rules arrives, The Oklahoman reports a case of a doctor who did not take heed of state health regulations for practicing telemedicine. Dr. Thomas Trow is being disciplined for prescribing powerful meds to mental health patients over Skype video chat without ever having seen them in person. With few exceptions, most state health laws require an initial in-person visit to establish a patient-physician relationship before before a doctor can treat a patient over video conference. This includes prescribing drugs, rendering diagnoses, and performing other medical services during a virtual visit. In addition, medical board documents also show that Skype video chat, which Dr. Trow was using, is not an approved telemedicine communication system.

I know I've mentioned this before...
– is free and multi-platform dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education that joins geometry, algebra, tables, graphing, statistics and calculus in one easy-to-use package. Graphics, algebra and tables are connected and fully dynamic. It has an easy-to-use interface, and an authoring tool to create interactive learning materials as webpages. It’s open source software freely available for non-commercial users.

For my programming students. Free is good!
Powerful Python IDE PyCharm Community Edition Now Available For Free
Developer JetBrains is well-known for their sophisticated IDEs (integrated developer environments), but their tools usually cost money to use. That is not always the case, however. The company has recently released a new version of their PyCharm IDE in two different flavors, one of which is entirely free.
Aimed at helping developers create scripts and applications using the Python programming language, PyCharm is now offered in a Professional Edition (starting at $99 for a personal license), as well as in a Community Edition which anyone can download and just use to their heart’s content under the free and open-source Apache 2 license.

Every week, free humor. It's wonderful.
… Students in Indiana managed to bypass the security on their school-issued iPads within hours of receiving them, reports Education Week. [Same thing in LA Bob]
California has passed a law (SB 568) that would require websites and apps aimed at minors to give them the ability to erase their personal data or any information they post. Although it might sound like a win for privacy, there are lots of concerns about how exactly this will be implemented. A critical look at why the bill won’t work via Forbes. [I hadn't seen that. Bob]
Indiana state lawmakers are weighing whether to expand “Stand-Your-Ground” laws to schools, “changing the law to protect a person who may resort to deadly force to prevent a school massacre.” WTF. [Contrast with the next one Bob]
… Darnell Hamilton, age 17 with a 4.0 GPA, has been charged as an adult with two felonies – unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a firearm in school – for bringing a gun to his Chicago school on Tuesday. Hamilton's mother said that he felt he needed the gun to protect himself from the gangs he must pass through in order to commute to and from his school. That's Urban Prep, a charter school that boasts all its seniors get into college. Hamilton has already been promised a scholarship to Ohio State; no word from the school if they will take disciplinary action.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has partnered with the startup NovoEd to offer a MOOC for remedial math students. NovoEd does boast more student support with its online offerings, and the Cargenie Foundation claims it has a good track record with its developmental math offerings. So we’ll see…
Nearly 200 colleges and universities have cut adjunct hours in order to avoid having to pay for their employees’ healthcare as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

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