How to check cops checking your driver's license! Plus full texts of Anne Marie Rasmusson lawsuit settlements for cop ID checks
Yet another nasty branch on the poisonous tree of data abuse in Minnesota is bearing its digital fruit. Anne Marie Rasmusson, a former law enforcement officer, got 'checked out' by an absurdly sprawling array of Minnesota law enforcement officers illegally abusing their driver's license lookup systems. Three major legal documents from the settlements are included below, I believe for the first time on the web (I might be wrong but didn't spot anything on Google).
For the backstory of the weird law enforcement gangstalking of Rassmusson & subsequent litigation, see Nov 2 2012: Anne Marie Rasmusson's settlement haul now over $1 million - Aaron Rupar / CityPages.
From a clever data-fishing colleague, here is one proven method for promptly obtaining your own DVS data:
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with "Hi Kim! This is a request to inspect public data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act using my own equipment, in electronic form. I would like to inspect all records and logs of when my driver's license and motor vehicle information on file with DVS was accessed, along with date, time, request detail and requesting agency. My driver's license number and license plates are: X. Thanks!"
100% Lulz virtually guaranteed. Not a horrible time lag either, from what I am hearing from people.
Better Know An Acronym: Mpls PD's ALPR & MnDOT's MBUF, the Parallel DataSchemes: Better get yr DVS records while they're hot: the government has a habit of clamping down on these kinds of data flows, legislative authorization be damned!
On another critical but separate mass surveillance & data control issue, IPAD | Information Policy Analysis Division, Minnesota Department of Administration is taking public comment until January 30, 2013 on the issue of the automated license plate reader system which Minneapolis has semi-extralegally shifted from public to non-public data classification. The PDF is here: www.ipad.state.mn.us/docs/mplsappalpr.pdf. One idea: let IPAD know that this tech is dangerous for data regardless of who is supposed to have access. As the burgeoning DVS omnishambles indicates, 'sensitive' data should be minimized in government, and even 'authorized' personnel actually shouldn't be trusted to operate these systems without granular and public systems of accountability.
Again it is worth pointing out that the City of Minneapolis itself argued in the PDF above that the data generated by the Minneapolis Police Department's Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) system is dangerous and must be made non-public for the same reasons that MnDOT's Mileage Based User Fee (MBUF, aka Intellidrive) data is dangerous.
MBUF is a story I have been following for several years - it would send extremely frequent location/direction/velocity info to the government & its military-industrial contractor, Battelle, for every user in order to generate a dollar figure for taxing the vehicle - only nuking all your remaining privacy in the process. After many months, much MnDOT MBUF data was released via a Mn Data Practices Act Request, though it is difficult to work with. See Nov 30 2012: EXCLUSIVE MnDOT info cake: 2.97gb emails/docs on the Mileage Based User Fee (MBUF)- Minnesota's GPS vehicle taxing regime in the works
Previously: Jan 9 2013: MPD Tracking OccupyMN Facebook BBQs: Minneapolis "secret" Strategic Information Center / Emergency Operations and Training Facility 25 37th Ave NE in Fridley // MPD Homeland Security Unit at Cruz House: Minneapolis Police Department data request on Occupy Minnesota finally released; sketchy anti-Occupy fusion-style police material from Nevada // Dec 14 2012: Mordor Mayor Rybak makes moves to hide Minneapolis panopticon: Total Minneapolis Awareness Automatic License Plate Reader records form 'retroactive surveillance' empire. Ye Gods we keep catching substantial fish!
The issue of abusive operations in the MN Department of Public Safety-controlled DVS database is becoming a major issue recently, with the decidedly unlikely duo of Republican-aligned Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and indefatigable Star Tribune reporter Randy Furst both finding highly indefensible query activity on their records. Minn. driver’s license data snoopers are difficult to track | StarTribune.com:
Despite widespread misuse of driver's license records in Minnesota, determining just who is peeking into your files can prove nearly impossible.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, which oversees the driver's license database, refuses to tell people the names of users -- generally public employees -- who have looked up their information. Perhaps the most high-profile citizen getting stonewalled by the state is Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who is sparring with the department over what he believes were inappropriate queries into his driver's license records.
The Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) database, which contains addresses, photographs and driving records on nearly every Minnesotan, is protected under state and federal law. State records show that public employees frequently have misused the database by running people's names without a business purpose. That is the subject of a major lawsuit that recently ensnared police officers across Minnesota, as well as a criminal case pending against two Minneapolis employees.
Stanek learned in June that employees at 21 agencies, including his own office, had accessed his records over several years. Some of the queries came from as far away as Wells, Minn., a small town 117 miles south of Minneapolis that he has never visited. The Department of Public Safety would not provide him with the names of the users.
"I believe that some or all of these requests may have been without a legitimate government purpose," Stanek wrote in a December letter to the Department of Administration, asking for an advisory opinion on the matter. The Department of Public Safety "and DVS appear to have purposely created obstacles to deny me an opportunity to track illegitimate access."
Stanek had made two previous requests for his lookups out of curiosity, and was surprised by how many agencies had queried his name.
This time, he says, a security concern prompted his request for the lookups.
He believes the state has an obligation to show that the lookups had a legitimate purpose, even if they do not hand over the names.
Anyhow, a source provided a great deal of the Rasmusson legal paperwork obtained via the Minnesota Data Practices Act. I don't think it's around elsewhere on the Internet, so here it is. I haven't looked over too many settlements myself, so this is overall just funny stuff about a serious topic -- nothing like a government formally conceding abuse and paying out hard-collected taxpayer cash to cover for some ridiculous abuse of officially "necessary" authority.
I wonder what kind of world we'd live in if our government units were actually run by people who never screw up like this, wasting all these resources and being generally abusive. There will surely be more inquiries along these lines...
Leaving it there for now, but hell, something will probably turn up yet again before I even have time to deal with it!!