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United States Government Privacy Politics

Trump's Executive Order Eliminates Privacy Act Protections For Foreigners (whitehouse.gov) 952

Long-time Slashdot reader Kernel Kurtz writes : January 28 is supposed to be Data Privacy Day, so it seems fitting in an alternative sort of way that U.S. President Trump just signed an executive order that eliminates Privacy Act protections for foreigners. As a non-American, I find it curious that the person who says he wants to bring jobs to America is simply confirming the post-Snowden belief that America is not a safe place to do business.
The Privacy Act has been in place since 1974. But now section 14 of Trump's "Enhancing Public Safety" executive order directs federal agencies to "ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information" to the extent consistent with applicable law.
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Trump's Executive Order Eliminates Privacy Act Protections For Foreigners

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  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2017 @12:36AM (#53757397)

    Who wants to visit a broken down piece of crap US run by a stupid cunt like Trump. Happy to stay in civillsation.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You describe how I feel about Europe exactly.

      • Re: Meh (Score:5, Informative)

        by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @01:35AM (#53757619)

        Neither place is broken down, but people in the EU certainly shouldn't throw stones from glass houses. The EU has for several years now been putting MANY self-described fascists into its parliament, and very recently, participating in it in an official manner:

        http://www.euractiv.com/sectio... [euractiv.com]

        As for Trump, I'm not sure what to make of him. I think his actions are boneheaded because they're going to create international retaliation against US IT firms, thus likely harming the domestic tech sector (Trump seems to like mercantilism as well, which will have a similar impact in other industries) however we can at least definitively say that Trump isn't a fascist, and anybody who says otherwise is either using hyperbole or has no idea what fascism is actually about. The most obvious difference is Trump still favors the individual (and individual liberties) whereas fascism is founded on the premise of a single national identity and almost no individual identity.

        • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

          Trump still favors the individual (and individual liberties) whereas fascism is founded on the premise of a single national identity and almost no individual identity.

          Do you have any proof of this? I think a few hundred million people have been following Trump's statements and actions pretty closely for the past year and there hasn't been many indications he has any concept other than his own identity...

        • Re: Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Stephan Schulz ( 948 ) <schulz@eprover.org> on Sunday January 29, 2017 @05:10AM (#53758369) Homepage

          The most obvious difference is Trump still favors the individual (and individual liberties) whereas fascism is founded on the premise of a single national identity and almost no individual identity.

          Right. I nearly forgot his slogan. "Make American Individuals Great Again", right? And his wall is not separating Mexico from the US, but just Mexican individuals from US individuals. And he is creating not "American jobs", but jobs for individual Americans. Just as he is not applying a blanket ban on entry against people from certain nations, but carefully targets this to individuals.

          If he is not a full-blown facist, it's not for lack of inclination, it's because he does not know history well enough to understand the pattern.

        • Re: Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by KeensMustard ( 655606 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @05:16AM (#53758383)

          As for Trump, I'm not sure what to make of him. I think his actions are boneheaded because they're going to create international retaliation against US IT firms, thus likely harming the domestic tech sector

          Also, he is blowing up the very foundational concepts of the country that happen to be the things that made America powerful and great (like freedom of movement, freedom of speech, immigration etc) - he is fundamentally anti-American.

          • Re: Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:58AM (#53759325) Homepage

            Also, he is blowing up the very foundational concepts of the country that happen to be the things that made America powerful and great (like freedom of movement, freedom of speech, immigration etc) - he is fundamentally anti-American.

            Furthermore, the core philosophy of America was that all men are created equal and have inalienable rights, not just its own citizens. The US government can only ensure that those rights are protected for people living within its borders but even somebody living under a totalitarian regime is, according to to this philosophy, endowed with the same rights as the most privileged US citizens (it just happens that that poor schlub's government is preventing him from exercising those rights. US intervention is often based on the philosophy that we must remove these unlawful government so that the innate freedoms of those foreigners can be practiced).

            Within the confine of the United States, however, the rights of all can be protected. Yes, in certain cases We-the-People might have to sacrifice some of those rights for the common welfare (so though I may have the right to yell "Fire" in a crowded room, we've agreed - in the form of law - that this would be a bad idea and have laid that right aside). Certain privileges and responsibilities (voting, holding public office) are restricted to citizens, but these are quite limited. It is possible through criminal action for certain individuals to abrogate some of their rights, but these will only be lost through a decision of the courts, and made on a case-by-case basis.

            Specifically targeting a group - whether because of race, creed, sexual orientation or citizenship - and saying "No rights for you!" is contrary to the basic concepts of America. It's why slavery was so wrong, it is why the incarceration of the Japanese-Americans in WW2 was wrong, it is why it is wrong to deny homosexuals marriage, and it is why it is wrong to specifically say that foreigners are not afforded the smae privacy protections as the USA's own citizens.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              Specifically targeting a group - whether because of race, creed, sexual orientation or citizenship - and saying "No rights for you!" is contrary to the basic concepts of America.

              What if a group of people come in who'll start denying rights to people already living there ? Check out the no-go areas in Malmö where immigrants are now calling for Sharia law and have moral police patrolling the streets and harassing women who dare to walk around in jeans.

            • As I've been informed many times by pro-choicers in debates, the Declaration of Independence, as a philosophical document, has zero force of law and no bearing on the laws of the United States after 1973.

              We haven't protected individual rights in a very long time- all of your examples are special privileges based on identity groups.

    • Pot, Kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shane_Optima ( 4414539 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @11:02PM (#53763339) Journal
      Do you live in the UK? Remind me... isn't that the country with all of the CCTVs? The one that's trying to collect and bank DNA evidence on everyone every chance they get? The one that routinely tries to ban people with unpopular opinions from setting foot in the country? The one with the ASBOs? The one without a right to remain silent[1] without it being held against you? The one that is banning all "deviant" pornography, including any image or video showing any female orgasm that looks a bit too moist? The one that has made it flatly illegal to refuse to provide your password to the police/courts?

      Please. If you want to criticize the American government's attitude towards privacy and individual liberty, you should first try moving to a country that didn't regard 1984 as a goddamn instruction manual. Our healthcare system may be a fucking joke, but privacy rights are still a hundred times better over here even if this order stands.

      (if you live in AU or somewhere else, please let me know so I can adjust this rant accordingly.)


      1. Granted, ours has frayed a bit recently.
  • Key Phrase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @12:40AM (#53757403)
    "to the extent consistent with applicable law"
    • Re:Key Phrase (Score:5, Interesting)

      by shanen ( 462549 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @01:38AM (#53757625) Homepage Journal

      "to the extent consistent with applicable law"

      Once he exercises his free (AKA stolen) pick for the SCOTUS, "applicable law" will mean whatever #PresidentTweety wants it to mean. My prediction is that he will pick whichever candidate can convince him of the highest personal loyalty. It's a variation of how the Donald hires his accountants:

      Trump: "How much is 2 + 2?"
      Winning accountant: "How much do you want it to be?"

      Trump: "Are my executive orders legal?"
      Winning judge: "How legal do you want them to be?"

      Welcome to the Donald's latest pseudo-reality program. The ratings are YUGE. It's on ALL the channels and in ALL the newspapers. Even international!

      I actually see this as a market opportunity. Whereas CNN promises the most disaster porn, I'm looking for a news source that promises the least possible amount of Trump news. Only the stuff that REALLY can't be ignored.

      Oh, wait. That's just what he wants, isn't it?

      (Prior search for "funny" was disappointed. Ditto "insightful", but maybe it's just too early.)

  • by bit trollent ( 824666 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @12:43AM (#53757407) Homepage

    Donald Trump's bigoted and idiotic executive orders are blocking legal visitors at airports, and spreading chaos at tech companies.

    Seriously - when someone manages to escape a civil war and work his way into the tech industry - we shouldn't send him or his family back at the airport when he's traveling or living here on a valid visa.

    These are our friends and colleagues. If we don't speak up for them, we have no honor.

    • by gijoel ( 628142 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @01:40AM (#53757637)
      From the SMH [smh.com.au]

      Key phrase.

      In the 40 years to 2015, not a single American was killed on US soil by citizens from any of the seven countries targeted - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - according to research by the conservative-leaning Cato Institute.

      When the Cato Institute is calling you out on racist policies you know you're up shit creek.

      • by Freischutz ( 4776131 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @07:57AM (#53758903)

        From the SMH [smh.com.au] Key phrase.

        In the 40 years to 2015, not a single American was killed on US soil by citizens from any of the seven countries targeted - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - according to research by the conservative-leaning Cato Institute.

        When the Cato Institute is calling you out on racist policies you know you're up shit creek.

        The real irony here is that Trump and his alt-right claque are banning travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and justifying it by citing 911 but the countries that the 911 terrorists came from are not on the list, especially Saudi Arabia and the UEA and keep in mind these are the same countries whose citizens are covertly funding ISIS. On top of that Trump set up a series of shell companies to handle a hotel deal in Saudi Arabia and he did it after his bid for president: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-... [thehill.com] at the same time as he was lambasting Clinton for taking donations from the Saudis.

        My favourite parts:

        "They [Saudis] buy apartments from me, ... They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

        "I would want to protect Saudi Arabia, ... But Saudi Arabia is going to have to help us economically. They were making, before the oil went down ... they were making $1 billion a day.”

        So rich countries that can make tribute payments to the Trump regime and whose citizens are financially benefitting Trumps companies are not destined for 'the list' even though these countries are financing terrorist organisations that attack and kill US citizens but others including some that are actually fighting ISIS in Syria make the list. I suppose Trump supporters have a hard time spelling 'hypocrisy'.

    • First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak outâ" Because I was not a Socialist.

      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak outâ" Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak outâ" Because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for meâ"and there was no one left to speak for me.
    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @10:43AM (#53759545)

      Au contraire! I think president Trump is displaying great vision and great awareness of the US role in history! Its current role is to decline and eventually collapse. Trump has realized this and is doing his very best to ensure it is happening soonest, no matter the cost. I, for one, salute his efforts!

  • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @12:45AM (#53757413)

    Seriously, ban legal, visa-holder residents for 90 days? Was he expecting that not to turn into a shitshow?

    This is what happens when you let Bannon write foreign policy.

  • The Privacy Act does not protect non-US persons, which is problematic for the exchange of Passenger Name Record information between the US and the European Union.

    The privacy act already doesn't apply to non-US persons.

    • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @04:12AM (#53758179) Homepage
      But the Privacy Shield agreement between the E.U. and the U.S. demands similar protections as spelled out in the Privacy Act for E.U. citizens. And if the U.S. don't comply, the E.U. is forced by a court decision to forbid any processing of E.U. citizen data in the U.S., which means that Google, Facebook. Amazon and Microsoft are in a ton of shit.
  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @12:48AM (#53757423)

    let him unilaterally decide whatever he wants.

    I don't remember the United States being a monarchy.
    At what point does Congress tell him he's not a king?

    • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @12:56AM (#53757449) Journal

      Trump has to follow either the US Constitution, or whatever Congress decides he's allowed to do.

      What happens if he doesn't adhere to the above? I get the feeling we're about to find out.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Well, in the short term, I'm assuming Federal Courts will step in, which is what has happened with those who were in transit who had visas. So while that's not a perfect solution, it demonstrates that the checks and balances mean that the President isn't an absolute monarch whose executive orders carry the weight of some sort of royal proclamation.

        Now, as to Congress, well I'm assuming here that these executive orders are based on powers bequeathed to the President by Congress, in which case if Congress doe

        • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @01:17AM (#53757549)

          Well, in the short term, I'm assuming Federal Courts will step in, ...

          And... Trump and Fox News will label them "activist" judges, denigrate their heritage or gender, etc... and the shit-show will continue.

          • Well of course they will. That's what those brave Congressmen and women do, they sit on their hands and let judges do the heavy lifting and take the flack.

        • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @02:16AM (#53757779) Journal

          Now, as to Congress, well I'm assuming here that these executive orders are based on powers bequeathed to the President by Congress, in which case if Congress doesn't like how Trump is using the powers that have been been granted to him by legislation, then they can amend or repeal any said legislation,...

          Close. But let me pick a small, but inprotant, nitl

          The Presiden't powers don't come from the Congress. The President's powers come from the Constitution. Some of them do amount to some component of "implementing the laws as passed by Congress". But not all of them are of that form; The others aren't generally subject to congress adding a "Do it this way / don't do it that way" prescription, and even their ability to specify HOW he executes that laws that they DID pass is limited.

          The President is head of the Executive branch of the government - one of three co-equal branches. Rule of thumb: If ONE of the branches gets out of hand, it takes BOTH of the other two to override it - and it's a major boat-rocker to do so. When two branches disagree and the third sits it out, the first two each get to run their branches' things their own way.

          Having said that: Much of the current over-power of the President and the Executive Branch IS the result of Congress shirking their own hard decisions by handing some of their OWN legislative power off to the Executive, in such forms as rule-making and war-powers preauthorizations. Those do act much as you describe. And they've been used to create the monumental overweening bureaucracy and set of "administrative rules" that Trump is now trying to dismantle, using the same mechanisms as were used to create it.

          Trump inherited Obama's "Pen and Phone". The executive order is the writing of the pen. Presidents before him created a set of juggernauts. Trump gets to disassemble them (much to the joy of his supporters) to his heart's content - at least until the Congress takes its own delegated power back. As you point out that's not likely to happen any time soon (and his party has the majority in both houses for the next two years).

          Meanwhile, the courts alone are limited in what they can do to counter him, both by the Constitution and their own rules of deferring to the executive unless there's good reason not to, avoiding an override of a law or executive action if a case can be decided on some other basis, limiting the scope of the laws or actions overridden to the minimum needed to decide a case, and not accepting a case for a ruing unless the prayug party is suffering real harm from the law or action being complained about. Further, the top court is tied 4 conservative 4 liberal, and Trump gets to appoint the ninth.

          So I would expect Trump to rapidly and selectively smash away. (There's so MANY of these structures to smash, and so little time in no more than two Presidential terms.) And if Congress DOES try to take its power back before he leaves office, tweet about being thrown into briar patches and ROTFLMAO.

      • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @01:21AM (#53757569) Homepage Journal

        What happens if he doesn't adhere to the above? I get the feeling we're about to find out.

        It's already become clear that the White House explicitly overrode a DHS determination that contended the ban didn't apply to Green Card holders and other valid, vetted residents. The ACLU is reporting that some officials are not abiding by a number of stay order issued at courts in at least three locations.

        As a legal instrument, at least one scholar sees these particular orders as so incredibly flawed that they won't stand up [lawfareblog.com] to a sustained legal attack by the ACLU, CAIR and others.

        Most worrying though are the reports circulating that the drafting process bypassed the normal interdepartmental and legal review stages, and that DHS was only briefed on the content of the Executive Orders as they were being signed. This doesn't sound like an administration that's particularly worried about adhering to the letter of the law, or bringing a lot of people into the conversation. Not sure how that will stand up over time. Politics is often petty and vengeful, and the White House is already leaking like a sieve. It might be that their incompetence is what does them in. It may be that their unwillingness to share power will do it.

        My personal feeling is that neither one will stop them. I think people severely underestimate the lengths that this administration will go to to see this through. When Donald Trump promised the people of America that he would never back down, that he would do everything to advance the cause... I think he was speaking literally. When Steve Bannon says that we're at war with Islam, I think he believes it fervently. When Flynn and others portray their work as an existential fight, I think they're sincere in that.

        Left-leaning people and other opponents have mobilised quickly, but they're expecting the administration to react the way they would react. They think that public shaming, legal action and political activism will drive Donald Trump's administration back. I fear they're wrong. They will be seen as traitors and subversives, and they'll be treated accordingly, through formal and informal means. They don't realise that their resistance will ultimately have to be physical. They should be reading up on their Thoreau right about now....

        • The resistance will have to be legal. The courts are the best shot, and the only one which can really hold the Administration to account, until Congress finally decides that Trump is going to do more damage than good. Already the Senate has made Trump and his bright lights back down on the Mexican 20% tariff over that stupid fucking wall, so I expect the muscle flexing to continue, but cautiously. But if Trump is still behaving this way in 18 months, he'll alienate a lot of members of Congress. This isn't j

          • by shanen ( 462549 )

            You seem to have forgotten that the so-called Republican Party stole a Supreme Court seat for the Donald to fill with whichever candidate is most successful in convincing the Donald of undying love and loyalty. The only problem #PresidentTweety has is that it's so hard to love and trust such a liar.

            Not a problem with blaming the court system for slowing him up. It's often convenient to have someone to blame for your failings. Like the way the Chinese communists are about to start blaming Trump for their own

        • My personal feeling is that neither one will stop them. I think people severely underestimate the lengths that this administration will go to to see this through.

          That's probably because polls suggest that this is what Americans actually want. E.g.:

          http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-... [thehill.com]

          Now, you can argue that the majority of Americans are deluded fools, but that's the way the cookie crumbles in a democracy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bongey ( 974911 )

          Consular nonreviewability, end of story. Non-citizens at the border, have no legal standing, ie not even a right to sue.

          Obama similar executive order in 2011 for Iraq for 6 months and then signed the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 https://www.congress.gov/bill/... [congress.gov] , which restricted Libya, Somalia, and Yemen 3 of the 7 countries .

          Where was the up roar then? Same action, I guess Obama was Hitler too by the liberal left logic.

        • This doesn't sound like an administration that's particularly worried about adhering to the letter of the law.

          No shit! From the order:

          the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall prioritize for removal those aliens described by ..., as well as removable aliens who: ... (b) Have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved;

          From the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

          No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ...

          Either Trump is completely ignorant of justice principles like not punishing a person without t

    • let him unilaterally decide whatever he wants.

      Trump issues executive orders for what Congress has authorized him to issue executive orders for. Border security is one of those areas.

      Obama did the same thing, when he unilaterally decided to loosen requirements for refugees and immigrants, not to mention to reduce enforcement against illegal migrants.

  • by bongey ( 974911 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @04:42AM (#53758285)

    Obama similar executive order in 2011 for Iraq for 6 months and then signed the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 https://www.congress.gov/bill/... [congress.gov] , which restricted Libya, Somalia, and Yemen 3 of the 7 countries .

    Consular nonreviewability applies to this case. Legal Aliens at the border have virtually no constitutional rights, this settled case law. The judge is way out of line shooting down the other order.

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