Posts tagged surveillance
Posted by Laissez Faire Today
Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using sophisticated cameras, called “automated license plate readers,” or ALPRs, to scan and record the license plates of millions of cars across the country. These cameras, mounted on top of patrol cars and on city streets, can scan up to 1,800 license plate per minute, day or night, allowing one squad car to record more than 14,000 plates during the course of a single shift.
Photographing a single license plate one time on a public city street may not seem problematic, but when the data are put into a database, combined with other scans of that same plate on other city streets, and stored forever, it can become very revealing. Information about your location over time can show not only where you live and work, but your political and religious beliefs, your social and sexual habits, your visits to the doctor, and your associations with others. And according to recent research reported in Nature, it’s possible to identify 95% of individuals with as few as four randomly selected geospatial data points (location plus time), making location data the ultimate biometric identifiers.
To better gauge the real threat to privacy posed by ALPRs, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Southern California asked the LAPD and LA Sheriff’s Department for information on their systems, including their policies on retaining and sharing information and all the license plate data each department collected over the course of a single week in 2012.
After both agencies refused to release most of the records we asked for, we sued. We hope to get access to these data, both to show just how many data the agencies are collecting and to show how revealing they can be.
Automated license plate readers are often touted as an easy way to find stolen cars — the system checks a scanned plate against a database of stolen or wanted cars and can instantly identify a hit, allowing officers to set up a sting to recover the car and catch the thief. But even when there’s no match in the database and no reason to think a car is stolen or involved in a crime, police keep the data.
According to the LA Weekly, the LAPD and LASD together already have collected more than 160 million “data points” (license plates plus time, date, and exact location) in the greater LA area — that’s more than 20 hits for each of the more than 7 million vehicles registered in LA County. That’s a ton of data, but it’s not all — law enforcement officers also have access to private databases containing hundreds of millions of plates and their coordinates collected by “repo” men.
Law enforcement agencies claim that ALPR systems are no different from an officer recording license plate, time and location information by hand. They also argue the data don’t warrant any privacy protections because we drive our cars around in public. However, as five justices of the Supreme Court recognized last year in U.S. v. Jones, a case involving GPS tracking, the ease of data collection and the low cost of data storage make technological surveillance solutions such as GPS or ALPR very different from techniques used in the past.
Police are open about their desire to record the movements of every car in case it might one day prove valuable. In 2008, LAPD police Chief Charlie Beck (then the agency’s chief of detectives) told GovTech magazine that ALPRs have “unlimited potential” as an investigative tool. “It’s always going to be great for the black-and-white to be driving down the street and find stolen cars rolling around… But the real value comes from the long-term investigative uses of being able to track vehicles — where they’ve been and what they’ve been doing — and tie that to crimes that have occurred or that will occur.” But amassing data on the movements of law-abiding residents poses a real threat to privacy, while the benefit to public safety is speculative, at best.
In light of privacy concerns, states including Maine, New Jersey, and Virginia have limited the use of ALPRs, and New Hampshire has banned them outright. Even the International Association of Chiefs of Police has issued a report recognizing that “recording driving habits” could raise First Amendment concerns because cameras could record “vehicles parked at addiction-counseling meetings, doctors’ offices, health clinics, or even staging areas for political protests.”
But even if ALPRs are permitted, there are still common-sense limits that can allow the public safety benefits of ALPRs while preventing the wholesale tracking of every resident’s movements. Police can, and should, treat location information from ALPRs like other sensitive information — they should retain it no longer than necessary to determine if it might be relevant to a crime, and should get a warrant to keep it any longer. They should limit who can access it and who they can share it with. And they should put oversight in place to ensure these limits are followed.
Unfortunately, efforts to impose reasonable limits on ALPR tracking in California have failed so far. Last year, legislation that would have limited private and law enforcement retention of ALPR data to 60 days — a limit currently in effect for the California Highway Patrol — and restricted sharing between law enforcement and private companies failed after vigorous opposition from law enforcement. In California, law enforcement agencies remain free to set their own policies on the use and retention of ALPR data, or to have no policy at all.
Some have asked why we would seek public disclosure of the actual license plate data collected by the police — location-based data that we think is private. But we asked specifically for a narrow slice of data — just a week’s worth — to demonstrate how invasive the technology is. Having the data will allow us to see how frequently some plates have been scanned; where and when, specifically, the cops are scanning plates; and just how many plates can be collected in a large metropolitan area over the course of a single week. Actual data will reveal whether ALPRs are deployed primarily in particular areas of Los Angeles and whether some communities might, therefore, be much more heavily tracked than others. If these data are too private to give a week’s worth to the public to help inform us how the technology is being used, then isn’t it too private to let the police amass years’ worth of data without a warrant?
After the Boston Marathon bombings, many have argued that the government should take advantage of surveillance technology to collect more data, rather than less. But we should not so readily give up the very freedoms that terrorists seek to destroy. We should recognize just how revealing ALPR data are and not be afraid to push our police and legislators for sensible limits to protect our basic right to privacy.
Jennifer Lynch and Peter Bibring
A version of this article was originally posted here.
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
Despite the fact that the FBI was accused of hiding information from judges when obtaining authorization for use of the secretive “Stingray” cell phone tracking device, a judge has ruled that the use of the device by federal agents was lawful.
This case could quite unfortunately have wide-ranging effects on how the government conducts the type of dragnet surveillance enabled by the Stingray device.
Interestingly, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) also recently received a new batch of documents from the FBI about the Stingray.
On Wednesday, Judge David Campbell dismissed the motion to suppress the information gathered through the Stingray device in the case of Daniel Rigmaiden.
Campbell refused to dismiss the motion even though the ACLU pointed out in an amicus brief that by “failing to apprise the magistrate that it intended to use a stingray, what the device is, and how it works, it prevented the judge from exercising his constitutional function of ensuring that warrants are not overly intrusive and all aspects of the search are supported by probable cause.”
This is precisely the issue that has been raised in previous coverage of this technology.
Campbell ruled that the warrant was valid and the suspect “did not have an expectation of privacy society is willing to accept as legitimate.”
According to Campbell, since Rigmaiden allegedly rented the apartment and purches the computer fraudulently using false identities, Rigmaiden could not “credibly argue that he had a legitimate expectation of privacy.”
While that ruling is quite understandable, it gets troubling when one realizes that Campbell’s ruling goes much further.
Campbell ruled that the use of the Stingray did not in fact constitute a “severe intrusion” and ruled that “no Fourth Amendment violation occurred.”
The ACLU said that this ruling “trivializes the intrusive nature of electronic searches and potentially opens the door to troubling government misuse of new technology.”
According to the ACLU, the judge dismissed the significance of the Stingray’s ability to gather data from innocent third parties who just happen to be in the area.
“The violation arises from the fact that the government searched people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing,” the ACLU stated. “This is a violation even if the government doesn’t later use the information against those third parties.”
[Editor’s Note: The following post is by TDV contributor, Wendy McElroy]
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is tightening its grip on domestic travcel. I don’t mean the random, unpredictable security checks at bus, subway and train stations which already exist. I mean a coordinated and systematic police control of internal travel within America. Groundwork is being laid.
APPLICATION TO MAKE U.S. INTO AN AIRPORT SCREENING ZONE
The application was tucked away on page 71431 of Volume 77, Number 231 of the Federal Register (November 30). It was surrounded by soporific references to forwarding “the new Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).”
The application for funding from the TSA constitutes a preliminary step toward systematically expanding TSA’s authority from airports to highways and almost every other means of public travel. The expansion would erase one of the last remaining differences between the US and a total police state; namely, the ability to travel internally without being under police surveillance. The total police state you experience at airports wants to spill into roads and bus stops, to subways and trains. Or, rather, the TSA wants to solidify and spread the fledgling and erratic presence it already has.
The official request reads, “TSA’s Highway BASE program [Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement] seeks to establish the current state of security gaps and implemented countermeasures throughout the highway mode of transportation by posing questions to major transportation asset owners and operators.” An example would be an owner and the employees of a long-haul truck company. The application continues, “Data and results collected through the Highway BASE program will inform TSA’s policy and program initiatives and allow TSA to provide focused resources and tools to enhance the overall security posture within the surface transportation community.”
Meanwhile, the Government Security News Service provides additional details on TSA’s plans. TSA wants funding to conduct “security-related assessments” on about 750 “transportation assets” including “140 public transportation agencies.” An example would be bus depots or train stations.
Security Magazine (May 30th) offered a sense of how sweeping the definition of “assets” might be, including “trucking, school bus, and motor coach industries, privately-owned highway assets that may include bridges and tunnels, and other related systems and assets owned and operated by state departments of education and transportation.”
At this point, the goal is merely “an assessment.” But when did a government agency ever conclude that it didn’t need funding, expansion and more power? This is especially true of the militarized TSA that treats the public as “hostiles.”
The fact that the agency lamented the lack of a “single database” on public transportation is not reassuring. (Federal Register, Vol.77, No.104, pg. 31867, May 30.) The entire push seems aimed at not merely expanding but also centralizing information, efforts and authority, with BASE itself being a consolidation of several other TSA programs.
By Laura Payton, CBC News
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says controversial Bill C-30 won’t go ahead
Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says the controversial Bill C-30, known as the online surveillance or warrantless wiretapping bill, won’t go ahead due to opposition from the public.
The bill, which was known as the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, was designed to help police combat child pornography. But civil liberties and privacy groups — even the federal privacy commissioner — said the bill violated the rights of Canadians.
Opponents lobbied strenuously against C-30, saying it was an overly broad, “Big Brother” piece of legislation that would strip all Canadians of the right to privacy.
The bill would have required internet service providers to maintain systems to allow police to intercept and track online communications without a warrant.
Canadians rallied against the bill after Public Safety Minister Vic Toews famously told an opposition MP that he could “either stand with us or with the child pornographers.” Those explosive comments outraged many Canadians and helped to galvanize the opposition to C-30.
“We will not be proceeding with Bill C-30 and any attempts that we will continue to have to modernize the Criminal Code will not contain the measures contained in C-30, including the warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capability within their systems,” Nicholson said.
“We’ve listened to the concerns of Canadians who have been very clear on this and responding to that.”
OpenMedia, which waged a vigorous online campaign against C-30 through its stopspying.ca website, hailed the decision to kill the bill.
“It came as a quite a surprise,” said Lindsey Pinto of OpenMedia.ca.
“It looks like the government has finally heard the voices of Canadians who have been expressing themselves online in stating that C-30 is invasive, costly and poorly thought out,” she said.
Nicholson made the announcement after introducing a bill to update provisions that would allow for warrantless phone tapping in emergencies.
Canadian law allows police to wiretap without authorization from a court when there is the risk of imminent harm, such as a kidnapping or bomb threat, but the Supreme Court last year struck down the law and gave Parliament 12 months to rewrite another one.
The new bill, C-55, would give peace officers the right to secretly intercept private communications without a warrant in relatively rare, urgent situations. Someone whose communications had been intercepted in situations of imminent harm would have to be notified by police within 90 days.
With files from The Canadian Press
Republished with permission
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
The new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone authorization list obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit reveals more than 20 additional public entities allowed to fly drones over the United States.
This news comes as Charlottesville, Virginia passes a resolution banning drones, the entire state of Virginia might pass a drone moratorium, a Justice Department white paper was leaked outlining the supposed legal justification for the drone assassination program, the Obama administration is reportedly going to release legal memos to intelligence committees and the location of a CIA drone base in Saudi Arabia was revealed after two large media outlets withheld it at the government’s request.
This brings the total to 81 public entities authorized by the FAA to fly drones as of October 2012, according to the list obtained by the EFF. Keep in mind, documents obtained by the EFF reveal that drones are already flying over the United States.
Furthermore, we now know the military is operating drones domestically and sharing data with law enforcement, at least one National Guard unit uses drones, the Department of Homeland Security has embraced small spy drones and colleges and universities are offering more drone piloting programs to keep up with this drone boom.
End the Lie contacted the EFF’s media liaison by phone, confirming that this list is not merely applicants but indeed entities that have been authorized to fly drones over America.
Some of the newly approved agencies include the State Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several sheriff’s departments including Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (Idaho), Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Northwest Oregon), Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department (North Dakota) and King County Sheriff’s Office (covering Seattle, Washington).
Another interesting new addition highlighted by the EFF is the Barona Band of Mission Indians Risk Management Office (near San Diego, California).
Interestingly, Ohio had several new entities approved, including the Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Department of Transportation, Sinclair Community College and Lorain County Community College.
The concerns raised by this new list are legion. One of the most significant concerns is the privacy and civil liberties implications of domestic drone use, especially given the advances in drone technology.
Among the most worrisome advances are: the capability of potentially constant surveillance thanks to solar power and laser-based charging methods, drone-based facial recognition technology, automated tracking systems, a drone-based camera capable of capturing 36 square miles of imagery at once, ultra-stealthy drones and even fully automated weapons systems.
The EFF also points out, “Even the smallest drones can carry a host of surveillance equipment, from video cameras and thermal imaging to GPS tracking and cellphone eavesdropping tools. They can also be equipped with advanced forms of radar detection, license plate cameras, and facial recognition.”
The EFF hopes that the release of the new list will “spur more people to ask their local law enforcement agencies about their drone programs.”
Thanks to a partnership with MuckRock, it’s even easier to request this information from your local agencies.
The EFF is encouraging people to “ask hard questions of government officials about who is funding drone development in their communities and what policies the government will demand agencies follow if they fly drones.”
“We need greater transparency and citizen push-back to protect Americans from privacy-invasive domestic drone use,” the EFF concludes.
About Madison Ruppert
Madison Ruppert is a Los Angeles-based independent journalist and researcher as well as the founder, owner, administrator and editor of EndtheLie.com. He has no affiliations with any government agencies, political parties, non-governmental organizations, or economic schools. He is available for freelance writing assignments and appearances or interviews in any format. He can be reached by emailing Admin@EndtheLie.com
UK officials plan to monitor Britons’ online activities by placing surveillance devices on the country’s telecom networks, a Parliamentary report says. The program would keep tabs on which websites were visited as well as who contacted whom.
On Tuesday the British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee published the report outlining a massive, national surveillance program based in the country’s very electronic infrastructure. The report does not specify the number of so-called “probes” to be installed across Britain’s telecommunications networks, but says it would be part of a regime stockpiling information on nearly every move Britons make online.
“It’s been in the media and on the table of the government since last April and it’s been receiving quite a lot of attention, as you can imagine the people in Great Britain don’t like the thought of the government collecting all of their communications in this way. From their point of view, it goes against the very basis of the democratic institution that is our parliament in Britain,” deputy director of Big Brother Watch, Emma Carr, told RT.
The new program will go beyond just keeping tabs on the Brits. If anyone abroad communicates online with someone in the UK then it will allow surveillance of their personal information as well, stretching the program’s geographical reach.
The government says the installation of the probes will be critical in the online fight against terrorism and other crime, and that the content of emails or Skype calls would not necessarily be collected. Instead, they say, the program would keep track of so-called “outside the envelope” information – such as a message’s origin and recipient. An email’s contents would be accessible with a court order, though time and date of sending and receipt would be available with the authorization of a senior law enforcement or intelligence officer.
Which online services the probes would monitor were not identified in the report. However, Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, and Google Chat are all widely used in the UK and are mentioned in other sections of the report.
However, people use encryption more and more during communicating with others on the web. It could significantly complicate the life of those, who will be trying to keep track of every word sent or received vie internet, believes Carr.
“One of the things, that came out of the evidence when was being gathered for this bill is that encryption is a very widely used tool by people who communicate via internet. And actually that’s going to make the kind of inspection of the communications that we have very difficult for the government and the internet service providers, who are going to be asked to gather all of this information,” she added.
The report said the surveillance regime would function on deep packet inspection, a monitoring method that lets an individual who intercepts data to search its contents. Though the project is still in draft form, the committee generally rejected critics’ claims that it would constitute an oppressive domestic spying program, saying that without such new security measures, rapidly developing technologies would soon “have a serious impact on the intelligence and security agencies.”
“Under current European data retention laws, deep packet inspection is not only legal, but also widely used by the private sector,” the report notes. “Whilst legislation is not a perfect solution,” it states elsewhere, “we believe it is the best available option.”
Likening the new surveillance program to an Orwellian vision of the future, investigative journalist Tony Gosling told RT that the UK should “protect the people from this Big Brother state” rather than shutting them in an “electronic cage.”
“There is great commercial pressure for this intrusion since much of this information can be sold quietly to rich corporations and commercial concerns. This is something the public cannot compete with, this lobbying power backed by commercial interests,” noted Gosling. He went on to say that this dark side to big business that “leads to a dictatorial fascist system similar to that in Nazi Germany.”
In the future, if the changes are implemented Gosling concluded that “people will think twice before emailing Orwellian Britain” and speculated that there could be a boost to the old-fashioned postal services.
South Korean leader Lee Myung-Bak has urged the country’s officials to ‘stand well prepared’ for a third nuclear test by North Korea, according to Yonhap news agency. The test is believed to take place before Lunar New Year starts on February 10.
The calls followed the South Korean President’s meeting with his top security advisers, who reportedly passed him information, which could indicate North Korean preparations for another nuclear test.
Recent satellite photos showed unusually busy activity at the north-eastern nuclear test facility Punggye-ri, which is the country’s only atomic test site, South Korea said. North Korea has allegedly covered the entrance to a tunnel there in an apparent attempt to block satellite monitoring.
The North has meanwhile installed two lookout towers equipped with surveillance cameras, Seoul also says. Both 60-meter-tall installations are designed to monitor the activities of the South Korean army in the demilitarized zone, which divides the two countries.
Seoul’s chief nuclear envoy Lim Sung-Nam left for Beijing on Sunday to meet his Chinese colleague as part of last-minute diplomatic efforts to dissuade Pyongyang from another atomic test.
“We will assess the actions of the North after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution No. 2087 (2013) and discuss our response”, Lim Sung-Nam declared before leaving.
Over the past week Pyongyang has issued a series of daily warnings threatening action over the UN sanctions imposed for a long-range rocket launch last December. North Korea has pledged the “toughest retaliation” if these are not lifted.
The North also slammed the upcoming joint naval drill by the US and its ally South Korea as “war exercises” aimed at invading the isolated state. The military exercises, widely considered by observers as a warning to the country, are due to start on February 4 in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) off the South Korean port city of Pohang. A US nuclear-powered submarine and other warships are expected to take part.
This is yet another example of the government police state gone wild, and it’s on top of seemingly countless other stories of similar police state insanity such as armed government raids on raw milk distributors.
Click here for more details on this story from ABC News.
Click here for the Facebook support page calling for charges to be dropped against the couple.
Who wants to kill the deer and imprison the couple? The DNR
The bastard a@#holes behind this action are, predictably, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This is the same name as the department in Michigan that forced small farmers in that state to murder their own baby pigs.
What we are seeing today across America, both at the state and federal levels, is big government gone BAD, ignoring the real criminals at the top while threatening, fining and imprisoning the “little people” who are only trying to do the right thing.
Michigan gardener Julie Bass was threatened with jail time for teaching her young son gardening skills in a home garden planted in her front yard.
A woman in Tulsa, Oklahoma had her medicinal garden destroyed by thuggish government “officials” who waited until she was gone before gutting her entire plot of edible herbs.
James Stewart, the California “raw milk man,” was subjected to unbelievable jail torture in LA county for the “crime” of distributing fresh farm milk to happy customers. His “Rawesome Foods” was hit with an armed multi-agency government raid during which $50,000 in fresh eggs, milk, fruit and meat was confiscated and then destroyed. As he was held in jail in LA county, he was subjected to starvation, hypothermia and having his jail cell intentionally flooded with raw human feces as punishment.
These are just a few of the many examples of the government police state gone mad in America. There are many more for anyone who dares to look.
Government has become too large, too powerful, too arrogant and too dangerous
The big picture in all this? America’s current government is a grave danger to America herself. We are living under increasing tyranny, total government surveillance of our emails, texts and phone calls, and selective enforcement of laws in order to punish the little people while the powerful elite run free.
As an example of that, New York Mayor Bloomberg insists that everyone in New York should be stripped of all their firearms, but he walks around with five armed goons who intimidate journalists for daring to ask questions about Bloomberg’s outrageous hypocrisy.
America is being divided into the “privileged” class versus the working class. The privileged elite are immune to virtually all prosecution of existing laws while the working class are subjected to every nit-picking technical violation of every law imaginable. Nearly every person alive today commits three felonies a day without even knowing it. In fact, that’s the title of an eye-opening book by Harvey Silverglate.
As the book’s description states:
The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior.
That’s why this couple is being terrorized by their government for saving a little Bambi. The government wants to remind them who’s in charge, and the way to do that is to abandon all common sense and compassion and engage in the raw exercise of brute force power.
All government operates with the threat of violence against us all
Remember: All government operates at the end of a gun. Government achieves compliance solely by the threat of violence against the People. This is what is brilliantly revealed by Lew Rockwell and other intelligent critics of big government.
The reason government wants all Americans disarmed right now is because it wants a monopoly of violence that can be used against people to destroy their home gardens, criminalize saving animals, mandate forced vaccines, shut down medicinal herb companies and routinely terrorize the people. Even while the government wants us all to be disarmed, it is buying up thousands of full-auto assault rifles as well as over a billion rounds of ammunition to be used domestically, inside the USA.
Have you figured it out yet? There is no Al-Quaeda. There is no Bin Laden. The real terrorists are power-hungry government berserkers within our own government, and they will stop at nothing to usurp power and enslave the masses.
I’ve been shouting this for years, and with each astonishing transgression of this liberty-crushing government, more and more people are waking up. Every time the government threatens another innocent gardener, parent or animal rescue person with imprisonment, tens of thousands of people hear about it and wake up to the reality that government in America has gone rogue. It no longer serves the People. Instead, it considers the People to be its enemy, and it is dedicated to crushing the People.
It’s time we put government in its place. It’s time we took a stand for all the innocent victims of the terrorist government currently running things in this country. It’s time we stopped the government bailouts to rich, wealthy banksters and the criminalization of routine human activities like saving wounded animals or growing home gardens.
I’ve had enough. Have you? Are you ready yet to call for the end of tyrannical government and the restoration of justice, liberty and the Bill of Rights? Keep reading Natural News because this story has only just begun.
The video below shows how easy it is for a hacker to turn on the webcam on your computer and watch your every move. It’s reasonable to deduce that if a low-grade hacker can do this, then it is likely to be child’s play for government spy agencies to do the same.
(NaturalNews) All Americans who have been prescribed psychiatric medications could be denied their constitutional rights under gun control legislation expected to be introduced into the U.S. Senate on January 22nd. Although the actual text of the bill is not yet available to the public, the heavy emphasis on “mental health” in recent gun control discussions echoes the present-day denial of Second Amendment rights to veterans diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
In an effort to deny gun ownership “privileges” to as many Americans as possible, Sen. Feinstein and other proponents of total citizen disarmament could simply expand the definition of those deemed “mentally unfit” for gun purchases to include anyone who has ever been prescribed an antidepressant or a drug for ADHD.
I give credit for this realization to Jon Rappoport, editor of No More Fake News. In a phone conversation yesterday evening, he brought this to my attention, even describing psychiatrists as “the new cops” who get to determine whether you have any rights at all.
Conducting further research on the subject, I found that a national database of prescription drug users already exists. It was created by the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (NASPER) signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2005.
A government prescription drug surveillance program is already in place
The intent of the NASPRE law was to stop patients from “doc hopping” from one city or state to another in a scam to acquire prescription “controlled substances” such as powerful painkillers. But the effort to monitor controlled substances has morphed into something far more insidious: a multi-state, data-sharing prescription drug surveillance program now run by 48 states.
The website for that program is www.pmpalliance.org which lists its board members as heads of the very same pharmacies that sell controlled substances for profit. And guess where PMPalliance.org gets its funding? The U.S. Dept. of Justice.
This means Obama can simply issue an executive order requiring the DOJ start using the patient prescription surveillance data for a whole new reason: To add people to a “NO GUN BUY list” in much the same way people are mysteriously added to the TSA’s “no-fly lists” today. (Once you’re on the no-fly list, there’s no way to remove yourself from it, no way to challenge being on the list, no due process and absolutely no ability to sue the government to try to get off the list.)
If you take antidepressants, you could be denied the right to self defense
The upshot of all this is that if you ever have purchased prescribed antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs, that record already exists in a government database that could soon be used against you as a weapon to deny you your constitutional rights.
All the government has to do is copy the entire database of psychiatric medication patients it already possesses, then paste that list into the FBI’s instant gun-purchase background check system known as NICS.
Once flagged in the NICS database, you will never be able to legally purchase a firearm again in America.
Importantly, this action does not require any new laws to be passed by Congress. Obama can simply invoke this with an executive order, then demand the FBI and ATF begin to immediately enforce this new regulation, even if it is utterly unconstitutional.