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
FBI’s Facial Recognition Programs Under Fire Over Privacy, Accuracy Concerns: The bureau has largely ignored the Government Accountability Office’s concerns about its use of facial recognition in criminal investigations.
Nextgov APRIL 18, 2019 04:08 PM ET
The FBI still has not assessed whether its facial recognition systems meet privacy and accuracy standards nearly three years after a congressional watchdog—the Government Accountability Office—raised multiple concerns about the bureau’s use of the tech.
Since 2015, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have used the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System, which uses facial recognition software to link potential suspects to crimes, pulling from a database of more than 30 million mugshots and other photos. . . .
Amazon, Civil Rights, Department of Justice, Facial Recognition Systems, Federal, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Government Accountability Office, Law Enforcement, Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System, Privacy, State, 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
Jurist MARCH 1, 2019 04:21:01 PM
A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled Thursday that a federal district court improperly limited the scope of a lawsuit alleging that the FBI had illegally targeted mosques and Islamic individuals for surveillance on a basis of religion.
The suit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California on behalf of an Imam and two Muslim parishioners, charged that the FBI had illegally and unconstitutionally conducted espionage of their mosque based solely on their religion, violating due process and First Amendment protections. The FBI countered that their activities were protected by state secret privileges and that to defend against the allegations in court would threaten national security by exposing the FBI’s anti-terrorism activities to public scrutiny. The district judge agreed with the FBI’s defense and dismissed the majority of the claims in 2012. . . .
American Civil Liberties Union, Civil Rights, Federal Bureau of Investigation, First Amendment, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Law Enforcement, Muslims, National Security, State Secret Privileges, Surveillance, Terrorism
OPB Feb. 13, 2019 5 p.m. | Updated: Feb. 14, 2019 6:57 a.m.
Portland is out of the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force again.
The Portland City Council voted 3-2 Wednesday to withdraw the city’s police officers from the JTTF, a partnership between federal agencies and local law enforcement.
Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty, Amanda Fritz and Chloe Eudaly supported the change. They worry there is not enough civilian oversight to ensure Portland officers abide by civil rights laws and say there isn’t enough evidence to show the task force has made Portland safer. . . .
Civil Rights, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Law Enforcement, Police, Portland
Revealed: FBI investigated civil rights group as 'terrorism' threat and viewed KKK as victims: Bureau spied on California activists, citing potential ‘conspiracy’ against the ‘rights’ of neo-Nazis
The Guardian Fri 1 Feb 2019 03.01 EST
The FBI opened a “domestic terrorism” investigation into a civil rights group in California, labeling the activists “extremists” after they protested against neo-Nazis in 2016, new documents reveal.
Federal authorities ran a surveillance operation on By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), spying on the leftist group’s movements in an inquiry that came after one of BAMN’s members was stabbed at the white supremacist rally, according to documents obtained by the Guardian. . . .
Anarchist Extremism, By Any Means Necessary, Civil Rights, Civil Rights Organizations, Domestic Terrorism, Federal Bureau of Investigation, First Amendment, FOIA Requests, Ku Klux Klan, Law Enforcement, Neo-Nazis, Police Brutality, Property of the People, Rape and Sexual Assault, Sacramento, Surveillance, Traditionalist Worker Party, White Supremacists
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
BuzzFeed News April 6, 2016, at 2:46 p.m. ET
Peter Aldhous, Charles Seife
Each weekday, dozens of U.S. government aircraft take to the skies and slowly circle over American cities. Piloted by agents of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the planes are fitted with high-resolution video cameras, often working with “augmented reality” software that can superimpose onto the video images everything from street and business names to the owners of individual homes. At least a few planes have carried devices that can track the cell phones of people below. Most of the aircraft are small, flying a mile or so above ground, and many use exhaust mufflers to mute their engines — making them hard to detect by the people they’re spying on.
The government’s airborne surveillance has received little public scrutiny — until now. BuzzFeed News has assembled an unprecedented picture of the operation’s scale and sweep by analyzing aircraft location data collected by the flight-tracking website Flightradar24 from mid-August to the end of December last year, iden, tifying about 200 federal aircraft. Day after day, dozens of these planes circled above cities across the nation. . . .
American Civil Liberties Union, Augmented Reality, Border Security, Cell-Site Simulators, Cell Phones, Department of Homeland Security, Drug Smuggling, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Flightradar24, Human Trafficking, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Law Enforcement, Muslims, Planes, Privacy, Stingrays, Surveillance, Warrants, Video Cameras
Keystone protesters tracked at border after FBI spied on 'extremists': More than 18 months after federal investigation violated internal rules, activists say they were still watchlisted at the airport, visited at home by a terrorism task force and . . .
The Guardian Mon 8 Jun 2015
An activist was placed on a US government watchlist for domestic flights after being swept up in an FBI investigation into protests of the Keystone XL pipeline, linking a breach of intelligence protocol with accounts of continued tracking that environmentalists fear could follow them for life. . . .
But before the internal violations were discovered, information on Stroot and several other activists was included in FBI files. Now, interviews with Stroot, who was held up at Chicago’s O’Hare airport six months after the investigation was closed, and other protesters indicate that they are still being monitored by law enforcement. . . .
Activists, Department of Homeland Security, "Environmental Extremists", Federal Bureau of Investigation, Guardian Threat Tracking System, Keystone XL Pipeline, Law Enforcement, Non-violent Civil Disobedience, Policy Violations, Secondary Security Screening Selection, Transportation Security Administration, Watchlisting
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
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