Author Topic: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction  (Read 3149 times)

Offline Naraht

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HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« on: 01/13/2008 01:36 PM »
For quite a while now I've been following the stories on NASA Watch about the JPL scientists and engineers who have been campaigning against the privacy-invading background checks that they are now being forced to go through after decades working at NASA. They have now been granted an injunction so that they can't be fired or forced to fill out the forms until the court decides the issue.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/us/12jpl.html

http://hspd12jpl.org/

Offline STS Tony

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #1 on: 01/13/2008 11:35 PM »
If they have nothing to hide....

Online A_M_Swallow

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #2 on: 01/14/2008 12:23 AM »
Quote
STS Tony - 14/1/2008  12:35 AM

If they have nothing to hide....

They could have got a job with a defence contractor.

Offline Naraht

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #3 on: 01/14/2008 01:34 AM »
Quote
STS Tony - 14/1/2008  12:35 AM

If they have nothing to hide....

I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean that I would be willing to sign an open-ended agreement to allow the government to look into my private life simply in order to keep a job which has been classified as non-sensitive.

Offline Jim

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #4 on: 01/14/2008 01:39 AM »
Quote
Naraht - 13/1/2008  9:34 PM

Quote
STS Tony - 14/1/2008  12:35 AM

If they have nothing to hide....

I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean that I would be willing to sign an open-ended agreement to allow the government to look into my private life simply in order to keep a job which has been classified as non-sensitive.

The job hasn't been classified as non-sensitive.

Offline Naraht

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #5 on: 01/14/2008 01:56 AM »
Quote
Jim - 14/1/2008  2:39 AM

The job hasn't been classified as non-sensitive.

Which job are you referring to exactly. I was under the impression that even those employees in non-sensitive positions have to go through this process. Needless to say, I'd be happy to be wrong about that.

Offline Seattle Dave

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #6 on: 01/14/2008 02:14 AM »
Quote
Naraht - 13/1/2008  8:34 PM

Quote
STS Tony - 14/1/2008  12:35 AM

If they have nothing to hide....

I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean that I would be willing to sign an open-ended agreement to allow the government to look into my private life.

As a Federal officer I can tell you without any shadow of a doubt that by being in the UK they already do. The UK has a model system for tracking its citizens under the anti-terrorism laws. The US needs something similar under the Patriot Act or similar.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #7 on: 01/14/2008 02:18 AM »
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Seattle Dave - 14/1/2008  3:14 AM

Quote
Naraht - 13/1/2008  8:34 PM

Quote
STS Tony - 14/1/2008  12:35 AM

If they have nothing to hide....

I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean that I would be willing to sign an open-ended agreement to allow the government to look into my private life.

As a Federal officer I can tell you without any shadow of a doubt that by being in the UK they already do. The UK has a model system for tracking its citizens under the anti-terrorism laws. The US needs something similar under the Patriot Act or similar.

Slightly off topic, but in answer to the UK point...I was pro-ID cards, until the government showed it was incapable of protecting the data, when they lost 20 million people's bank details in the post!

Offline Jim

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #8 on: 01/14/2008 11:27 AM »
Quote
Naraht - 13/1/2008  9:56 PM

Quote
Jim - 14/1/2008  2:39 AM

The job hasn't been classified as non-sensitive.

Which job are you referring to exactly. I was under the impression that even those employees in non-sensitive positions have to go through this process. Needless to say, I'd be happy to be wrong about that.

Dealing with ITAR material

Offline privacy_advocate

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #9 on: 01/16/2008 05:04 AM »
If you read the documentation in the case, all of the plaintiffs (and most of JPL) have been deemed by NASA to be in non-sensitive positions, and the injunction only applies to those in nonsensitive positions.

Re ITAR sensitive material: the only requirement for access to ITAR sensitive material that isn't classified is that a person be a "US Person" which includes US citizens, green card holders, and (I think) asylees.  US Persons without background investigations can be given ITAR sensitive material.  JPL and NASA have had controls on this for a long time, and verify nationality of employees and visitors, require escorts for most visitors, and have visibly different badges for people who it's not ok to export to without a license or exemption.  All that's necessary to check that is to see someone's passport or green card, not a two-year open ended investigation.

Offline PhalanxTX

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #10 on: 01/16/2008 12:24 PM »
My SSBI for the intel community was handled better than this.  :)
"The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program, and if we become extinct because we don't have a space program, it'll serve us right!"

-- Larry Niven, quoted by Arthur Clarke in interview at Space.com, 2001

One Percent for Space!

Online A_M_Swallow

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #11 on: 01/16/2008 03:18 PM »
Here is an official webpage listing the British military and civil service security clearances.
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/SecurityandIntelligence/DVA/DefenceVettingAgencyTypesOfSecurityClearanceAndChecks.htm

From what I am hearing on Nasaspaceflight.com it sounds like someone is trying to perform SECRET level clearances for unclassified jobs.  Which could mean they are reading the wrong page in the rule book.

For unclassified work the equivalent of a Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) check or possibly a Counter Terrorist Check (CTC) would apply.  A CTC would be treating JPL as an airport or possibly on Al Qaeda's target list.  CTC would also be appropriate if JPL people go on behind the scenes visits to civilian and military airports.

Offline Stowbridge

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #12 on: 01/16/2008 05:03 PM »
Good example AM Swallow, a worthwhile read.
Veteran space reporter.

Offline khallow

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Re: HSPD-12: JPL scientists win injunction
« Reply #13 on: 01/16/2008 05:30 PM »
Quote
Seattle Dave - 13/1/2008  7:14 PM

Quote
Naraht - 13/1/2008  8:34 PM

Quote
STS Tony - 14/1/2008  12:35 AM

If they have nothing to hide....

I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean that I would be willing to sign an open-ended agreement to allow the government to look into my private life.

As a Federal officer I can tell you without any shadow of a doubt that by being in the UK they already do. The UK has a model system for tracking its citizens under the anti-terrorism laws. The US needs something similar under the Patriot Act or similar.

This is drifting off topic, but why does the US "need" a system for tracking its citizens? As I see it, it would be a good thing for the US government to be unable to track me. After all, I have plenty to hide, whether it be my financial data, relationships, creative work, or medical status. A simple solution is to require the federal government to subpoena me for such information, which should require in turn reasonable cause to expect that this information is relevant to a criminal investigation. If that means somewhat more crime or terrorist attacks and subsequent deaths and other harm, then that is an acceptable compromise.
Karl Hallowell

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