National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Sometimes, its the unheralded steps, that take you most quickly to your destination. On October 7, 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and their associated domains announced the first release of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Version 0.1. NIEM "establishes a single standard XML foundation for exchanging information between DHS, DOJ, and supporting domains, such as Justice, Emergency Management, and Intelligence." The release of this specification, and the development of the systems that utilize it may actually be the cataylst for more 'progress' in information mining on the individual than most other, well publicized efforts. NIEM Mission: "To assist in developing a unified strategy, partnerships, and technical implementations for national information sharing — laying the foundation for local, state, tribal, and federal interoperability by joining together communities of interest." When you say it like that, it sounds sort of cool!
Reading this article in the American Conservative Magazine regarding the Secret Service's use of "Free Speech Zones" drew my attention to the case of USA v. Bursey. (more inside)
Attorney General Is Closely Linked to Inquiry Figures Karl Rove, President Bush (news - web sites)'s top political adviser, whose possible role in the case has raised questions, was a paid consultant to three of Mr. Ashcroft's campaigns in Missouri, twice for governor and for United States senator, in the 1980's and 1990's, an associate of Mr. Rove said on Wednesday. Jack Oliver, the deputy finance chairman of Mr. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, was the director of Mr. Ashcroft's 1994 Senate campaign, and later worked as Mr. Ashcroft's deputy chief of staff. No wonder 69% of Americans think that an independent counsel should conduct the investigation.
Anti-sanctions group sanctioned. Anti Iraq-sanctions group Voices in the Wilderness is being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for bringing relief supplies to Iraq before the war. ViTW has issued an initial response and filed an answer and counterclaim. Does the DoJ have a leg to stand on? What moral and legal obligations do we have to refrain from giving aid and comfort to "enemy" civilians? How about if they live in sunny Cuba?
DOJ Introduces New Threat Levels Citizens should be alert, but continue to go about their normal daily spending activities.
Register as a Patriot! Quote: As part of the Bush Administration's ongoing efforts to obliterate all traces of terrorism in the United States, the Department of Justice has commenced registration* of each and every American Patriot. By registering all non-terrorists within our borders, it is our intention to make use of the process of elimination to identify the evil ones who walk among us. If you are a non-terrorist (American Patriot), your participation is required. " (It's a joke kids, John Ashcroft doesn't really expect you to register...yet.)
Microsoft, DOJ settlement close... but the deal apparently would not place significant limitations on functions that Microsoft could "bundle" into its Windows operating program. The judge is said to be concerned about the "national psyche," but will slapping Bill on the wrists really help things?
The U.S. Department of Justice issued a revised memorandum for how to treat requests received under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that establishing a "sound legal basis" rather than the existing "foreseeable harm" standard for defending FOIA request refusals in court, John Ashcroft FOIA Memorandum, October 12, 2001. This was part of the EFF link below, but it's probably disturbing enough to have it's own discussion.
It looks like the Microsoft vs. DOJ case might be worth paying attention to again, as their settlement talks have ended. "After more than four months, it is apparent that the disagreements among the parties . . . are too deep-seated to be bridged," said mediator, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson will probably issue a verdict any day now.