National Security and Medical Information
Electronic Frontier Foundation (no date)
When exploring medical privacy issues, it's very useful to have an overview of the laws that affect control and privacy of medical information. We encourage you to read our legal overview.
The government has many options for obtaining your medical records on the grounds of national security. And if your medical records are swept up in a national security investigation, you likely won't be asked to consent and potentially won't ever know your medical records were accessed.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule that went into effect in 2003 included a national security exception that permits doctors, hospitals, and any other "covered entity" to disclose individual health information "to authorized federal officials for the conduct of lawful intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by the National Security Act." This exception overrides the normal requirement that your authorization is needed before your medical information can be disclosed for anything other than your treatment, bill payment, or your health care provider’s business operations.
This national security exception appears to allow covered entities to disclose health records, at their own discretion, to any federal agency that plays a role in intelligence, counter-intelligence, and national security activities. This includes but isn't limited to the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA.
For example, a hospital could disclose any or all of the patient medical records in its possession to the NSA on the hospital’s own initiative, and could even allow the NSA or other federal agencies to access the hospital’s health record system on a permanent, ongoing basis. This could be done without a court order, without any procedural or substantive protections or barriers, and even without any request from the agency. . . .
Bio-terrorism, Central Intelligence Agency, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Federal, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Health Records, Intelligence Community, Medical, Medical Records, Military, National Security, National Security Act, National Security Agency, Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP), Patriot Act, President, Privacy, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, Secret Service, Surveillance
The Government Had to Approve This Op-Ed: Prepublication review of the writings of current and former federal employees violates their First Amendment rights.
The New York Times April 2, 2019
By Mark Fallon
Mr. Fallon worked for the federal government for 31 years.
Between the time I wrote these words and the time that you are reading them, a team of government censors decided how much of what I wrote you would get to see. Fortunately, it was cleared without redactions. But I haven’t always been so fortunate.
There are millions of others like me who face this scrutiny as present and former employees of the armed services and a dozen other government agencies, from the C.I.A. and F.B.I. to the State and Energy Departments. We have faithfully carried out our duties and upheld our oaths of allegiance to the Constitution. Many of us earned the highest trust of our country, serving in roles that brought us in contact with government secrets and classified material. We have honored and repaid that trust, guarding sensitive information and fulfilling the obligations associated with our security clearances. . . .
9/11 Terrorist Attacks, American Civil Liberties Union, Censorship, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Federal, Federal Employees, First Amendment, Government, Government Transparency, Knight First Amendment Institute, Lawsuits, Prisoners, State Department, Torture
Is Big Tech Merging With Big Brother? Kinda Looks Like It
Wired, David Samuels Opinion, 1.23.19 07:00 AM
A FRIEND OF mine, who runs a large television production company in the car-mad city of Los Angeles, recently noticed that his intern, an aspiring filmmaker from the People’s Republic of China, was walking to work.
WHEN HE OFFERED to arrange a swifter mode of transportation, she declined. When he asked why, she explained that she “needed the steps” on her Fitbit to sign in to her social media accounts. If she fell below the right number of steps, it would lower her health and fitness rating, which is part of her social rating, which is monitored by the government. A low social rating could prevent her from working or traveling abroad.
China’s social rating system, which was announced by the ruling Communist Party in 2014, will soon be a fact of life for many more Chinese.
By 2020, if the Party’s plan holds, every footstep, keystroke, like, dislike, social media contact, and posting tracked by the state will affect one’s social rating.
Personal “creditworthiness” or “trustworthiness” points will be used to reward and punish individuals and companies by granting or denying them access to public services like health care, travel, and employment, according to a plan released last year by the municipal government of Beijing. High-scoring individuals will find themselves in a “green channel,” where they can more easily access social opportunities, while those who take actions that are disapproved of by the state will be “unable to move a step.” . . .
Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Azure Government Cloud Service, Big Brother, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Democratic Party, Dragon Fly, Facebook, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Google, GovCloud, Intelligence Community GovCloud, Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative, Microsoft, National Security, National Security Agency, Privacy, Security Classifications, Silican Valley, Social Rating System, Surveillance, Venezuela, Washington Post, Wired, Yahoo
The Hill 11/05/18 08:45 AM EST
Maybe you once thought the CIA wasn’t supposed to spy on Americans here in the United States.
That concept is so yesteryear.
Over time, the CIA upper echelon has secretly developed all kinds of policy statements and legal rationales to justify routine, widespread surveillance on U.S. soil of citizens who aren’t suspected of terrorism or being a spy.
The latest outrage is found in newly declassified documents from 2014. They reveal the CIA not only intercepted emails of U.S. citizens but they were emails of the most sensitive kind — written to Congress and involving whistleblowers reporting alleged wrongdoing within the Intelligence Community.
The disclosures, kept secret until now, are two letters of “congressional notification” from the Intelligence Community inspector general at the time, Charles McCullough. He stated that during “routine counterintelligence monitoring of government computer systems,” the CIA collected emails between congressional staff and the CIA’s head of whistleblowing and source protection. . . .
Central Intelligence Agency, Federal, Government Employees, Intelligence Community, Obama Administration, Surveillance, Whistleblowers
The Intercept July 23 2014, 2:45 p.m.
Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Devereaux
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted. . . . .
Blacklisting, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Known or Suspected Terrorists", "Known Terrorists", Law Enforcement, March 2103 Watchlisting Guidance, National Counterterrorism Center, National Security Agency, No Fly List, Obama Administration, Police, "Reasonable Suspicion", Secondary Security Screening Selection, "Suspected Terrorists", Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, Terrorist Screening Center, Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, Watchlisting, Watchlist Sharing
NEWS and publications
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