BFP Report: Meet the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Distinguished’ Privacy Advisory Committee Members

Let’s See Who is Watching DHS Mega Fusion Center

GovSpyYesterday I came across an article on DHS plans to create its own internal fusion center so that its many agencies can aggregate the data they have and make it searchable from a central location. Let’s read a few excerpts from this typical half-hearted MSM attempt to provide a semi-complete picture of the state of ‘things’ when it comes to our government:

Information sharing (or lack thereof) between intelligence agencies has been a sensitive topic in the U.S. After 9/11, there was a push to create fusion centers so that local, state, and federal agencies could share intelligence, allowing the FBI, for example, to see if the local police have anything in their files on a particular individual. Now the Department of Homeland Security wants to create its own internal fusion center so that its many agencies can aggregate the data they have and make it searchable from a central location…

Of course this is another troubling development in an extremely troubling state of ‘things.’ However, this wasn’t the focus my attention. Here comes the not-really-reported angle in this half-covered story [All emphasis mine]:

The DHS is calling it a “Federated Information Sharing System” and asked its privacy advisory committee to weigh in on the repercussions at a public meeting in D.C. last month…

So what is this ‘privacy advisory committee’ and who are its members? This is what the article provides on that front:

The committee, consisting ofan unpaid group of peoplefrom the world of corporate privacy as well as the civil liberty community, were asked last December to review the plan and provide feedback on which privacy protections need to be put in place when info from DHS components (which include the TSA, the Secret Service, and Immigration Services, to name a few) are consolidated. The committee raised concerns about who would get access to the data given the potentially comprehensive profile this would provide of American citizens…

It sounds good. Doesn’t it? It hits all the rights adjectives and catch phrases: Unpaid, Civil Liberties Community, Corporate Privacy Activists-Experts …Let’s read one more relevant excerpt and then I’ll tell you the ‘real’ significance of this half-covered report:

The committee’s recommendations are available in draft form below. DHS would not provide the original document — a “tasking letter” — that it issued to the committee describing its plans. But DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division did announce this month that it had awardeda contract to Raytheonfor a “new system [that] will enhance how agencies manage, investigate, and report on law enforcement and intelligence activities by improving data sharing between multiple law-enforcement agencies,” reported Information Week. Raytheon’s work started on September 27, a week before the privacy committee got back to DHS with its draft privacy policy recommendations (available below). The committee noted that it had been given an “aggressive timeline” by DHS on coming up with its recommendations…

What got my mind wondering, what should have gotten the wheels turning in MSM reporters’ head, was this question:

Who are the members of this ‘selected’ aka government hand-picked, privacy-integrity advisory committee?

An important and very logical question, no? And I tell you what, not a difficult one to find an answer to. The article even had a link to the DHS website where the members of this ‘select’ committee are listed by name with their background. Check for yourself here. Because the information contained in this page is at least as significant and revealing as the point half-covered in this quasi exposé. Let me show you a few examples of what I am talking about here:

PurcellChairman: Richard V. Purcell, Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Privacy Group, Nordland, Wash. Mr. Purcell runs an independent privacy consulting group, focusing on policies, practices, and education. He is currently Chairman of TRUSTe and was formally the Chief Privacy Officer for the Microsoft Corporation.

Well, Mr. Purcell had served Microsoft Corporations for many years, and only recently left MS to start his ‘vague’ consulting business.

In 2003 Microsoft was chosen as exclusive Department of Homeland Security contractor.

DHS has chosen Microsoft Corp. as its preferred supplier of desktop computer and server software, according to a statement issued late Tuesday…The contract "establishes a key partnership relationship" between the government and Microsoft, the world's biggest software maker, the statement said…The deal is worth $90 million.

The business (and the large dollars involved) between Microsoft and DHS has been growing and prospering ever since. Every year, including this year, 2011, Microsoft is listed as one of DHS’ major private business contractors. Are you with me so far? Now during all these lucrative Microsoft-DHS business marriage years, Mr. Purcell was working as the CPO at Microsoft. Not only that, he was royally exposed in his involvement in the Microsoft-NSA Key-Echelon case and its subsequent cover up. You can read more on this major 2000 exposé and related communications here at Cryptome. Here is the title of the exposé and some background on Microsoft’s and Purcell’s  ‘intimate’ involvement in the NSA Key controversy and the subsequent cover up:

Microsoft Offer to Resolve "Questions About NSA_Key", then Put Up a Brick Wall

Background : Duncan Campbell gave a presentation on Global surveillance and the Echelon network at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy 2000 (CFP2000) conference held in Toronto, Canada from 4-7 April 2000. During the presentation, he instanced the NSA_KEY controversy as one of a number of outstanding issues related to security and surveillance.

Richard Purcell, Microsoft’s Director of Corporate Privacy, also attended the CFP2000 conference. After the presentation, Purcell approached Campbell. He said that he wished to resolved the doubts about NSA_KEY. He would see that this was done.

Campbell then put a number of key questions, politely but persistently. After three weeks, Microsoft backed off. They refused to answer outstanding questions. They declined even to explain why they were unwilling to continue contact. They stopped answering e-mail.

I encourage you to read the entire communication-correspondence between the investigator and Purcell’s unit at Microsoft here. Also check out this article on ‘How NSA Access was Built into Microsoft Windows.

You see, our government, the Department of Homeland Security, could not have cherry-picked a better candidate as its Chairman of Privacy-Integrity Advisory Committee. With his long years in Microsoft as an executive until recently, with his stocks and shares tied to Microsoft, with his proven track record in covering up privacy and liberty-violating government-private business collusion and practices, Mr. Richard Purcell appears to be the best candidate to chair the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.’

Let’s check out another hand-selected colluder by DHS for its mockery of an advisory board on ‘privacy and integrity’:

Christopher Pierson, Chief Privacy Officer and Senior Vice President, Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (Royal Bank of Scotland- RBS). Dr. Pierson was President and Chairman of the Board of the Intraguard Phoenix Member's Alliance, Inc., from 2003-2007 and served on the Arizona Office of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Coordinating Council from 2003-2006.

Well, right off the bat, this dude used to directly work for the Department of Homeland Security; 2003-2006. Now, what is this the Intraguard Phoenix Member's Alliance, Inc.? Here are a few noteworthy excerpts from its website:

Arizona InfraGard is an alliance between the Arizona Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and individuals committed to protecting the nation’s infrastructure and its people. The members, who are representative of all infrastructure sectors, public and private, identify and mitigate physical and cyber threats through information sharing. Arizona InfraGard promotes best practices, security awareness and training, community outreach, and the exchange of information between law enforcement and infrastructure owners and operators.

So we have Mr. Christopher Pierson hand-picked by the DHS to watch over DHS practices and objectively advise on whether certain policies and practices violate the people’s privacy and integrity. The man used to work for them-the DHS, he worked with the FBI to help ‘share data,’ and now he will watch out for your privacy and mine!

Let’s check out other member:

David A. Hoffman, Director of Security Policy and Global Privacy Officer, Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, Ore. Mr. Hoffman has experience in privacy policy issues at the business and technical level, working on issues of interoperability, improved data quality, and data retention. He serves on the board of directors for the non-profit privacy compliance organization, TRUSTe.

Where do I begin? Let’s begin with Intel Corporation’s business and services to the federal government as a contractor. They had so much that they had to form a wholly owned subsidiary ‘Intel Federal LLC.’ Of course Intel has major contracts and advisory positions with DHS. Oh, interestingly he is closely connected to Richard Purcell, the Chairman of this DHS mockery privacy advisory committee. Purcell is the chairman of this TRUSTe, and Hoffman serves on its board of directors. And here is another blurb on Hoffman from a release only 3 months ago:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a nonprofit public-private partnership focused on cybersecurity awareness and education for all digital citizens, today announced that David Hoffman, director of security policy and global privacy officer at Intel Corporation, has joined the organization's board of directors.

NCSA board includes all our government partners and contributors to its surveillance program:

NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, Cisco Systems, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Google, Intel, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Symantec, Verizon and Visa…

Please check the list of this laughable privacy advisory board and continue this thread. Whether it is a member from other government contractor moguls like IBM, or academics from University departments generously and heavily funded by our governments, or lap-dog watch-dog organizations funded by the shadow government players such as Rockefellers, Soros, Carnegie, Ford…you’ll see a board of clowns juggling self-interest and profits while faking advisory roles on the 99% absent-privacy and long-gone integrity committee.

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