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  • CEI In The Wall Street Journal: E-Verify Is A Threat To Liberty

    February 8, 2013
    CEI founder Fred Smith co-authored an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today on E-Verify -- the electronic employment verification system that will likely become mandatory as part of any immigration reform. Proponents argue E-Verify is the only way to eliminate illegal immigration, but as the piece points out, “the only proven way to address illegal immigration [is] an efficient and effective legal pathway for immigrants to enter and work in the U.S.” E-Verify not only is unnecessary under a free-market immigration system -- it is harmful. Here are six major problems with mandatory E-Verify.
    1. This is the most extensive regulation possible. E-Verify would place burdensome requirements not just on every American employer, but every...
  • National ID Proponents' Bad Arguments

    February 7, 2013
    America’s new national identification system is coming. President Obama and a bipartisan group of senators want to enact a national identification card that would link to a database containing your name, Social Security number and biometric information such as pictures and fingerprints. The Washington Post editorial board wants one too. Two points are central to their argument: 1) this identification system is a necessary, effective and appropriate way to control illegal immigration, and 2) it will be used strictly for employment purposes. Both claims lack any credibility. Is it necessary? The Post claims...
  • The New National Identification System Is Coming

    February 1, 2013
    “Maybe we should just brand all the babies.” With this joke, Ronald Reagan swatted down a national identification card -- or an enhanced Social Security card -- proposed by his attorney general in 1981. For more than three decades since, attempts to implement the proposal have all met with failure, but now national ID is back, and it’s worse than ever. As in 1981, immigration restrictions have provided the justification. In the name of stopping illegal employment, proposals floated by a bipartisan group of senators would create both a physical national ID -- an “enhanced” Social Security card -- and even more menacingly an Internet-based, electronic ID that could be accessed anywhere to confirm identity. After the election, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is leading the Democrats immigration push, told NBC News that one of his top priorities was to “make sure that there is a non-...
  • TSA's Body Scanner Shuffle Continues, Agency Still Flouts The Law On Body Scanners

    January 18, 2013
    A great deal of news coverage today has been given to the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) decision to remove backscatter X-ray strip-search machines from U.S. airports and to replace them with millimeter wave full-body scanners, with many outlets implying that this is somehow a major win for travelers and those concerned about effective air security and privacy rights. This analysis, however, ignores the bigger underlying issues, as well as recent TSA policy. This shuffle actually began in October of last year, when the TSA announced it would begin replacing...
  • In Rejecting EPIC's Petition On TSA's Strip-Search Machines, Court Effectively Orders Rulemaking Timetable

    September 25, 2012
    This afternoon, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Electronic Privacy Information Center's (EPIC) petition for writ of mandamus, which called on the court to enforce its own order that the Department of Homeland Security (the Transportation Security Administration's parent department) begin a legally required notice-and-comment rulemaking regarding the TSA's use of advanced imaging technology (AIT) scanners in airports. CEI earlier submitted an amicus brief supporting EPIC's petition on behalf of Robert L. Crandall, former chairman and CEO of AMR and American Airlines, and a coalition of organizations. Background on this case can be found here in op-ed form and...
  • Science And Technology Policy And The Democratic Convention

    September 4, 2012
    Now it's the Democrats' turn to gather for their convention in Charlotte and one element of the platform in common with basic Republican philosophy is the case for government funding of basic science. The Democrats are much more ambitious, however, in calls for the funding of "investment" beyond basic science. The word "investment," in fact, appears 40 times in the just-released 2012 Democratic National Platform. Indeed most agree with the notion that such a basic science policy is "unimpeachable," as Fareed Zakaria's, "How Government Funding of Science Rewards U.S. Taxpayers," put it in the The Washington Post. But needless problems arise when an institution with the power to tax and compel gets overly involved in the very production of knowledge itself. Problems include seducing industry...
  • CEI Podcast For August 9, 2012: Getting TSA To Follow The Law

    August 9, 2012
    When the TSA installed full-body scanners in airports across the country, they did so illegally. Land-use and Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner explains how a related lawsuit could force TSA to follow the law, and calls for de-nationalizing airport security.
  • When Violations Of The Law Have No Remedy: The Case Of Warrantless Wiretapping

    August 8, 2012
    Yesterday, in Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc. v. Obama, a panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal government did not unequivocally waive its sovereign immunity when it comes to violations of federal wiretapping law, thus leaving violations without a civil remedy. In effect, this leaves the plaintiffs with no ability to hold the government accountable for breaking its own laws. As the opinion itself stated: "This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs’ ongoing attempts to hold the Executive Branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization."

    The dangers of broad immunity are real in both the public and private contexts. Previously, Ryan Radia of CEI and Berin Szoka of TechFreedom have...

  • Update On TSA's Lawlessness Over Body Scanners

    August 3, 2012
    As I noted previously, the Transportation Security Administration has failed to comply with a court order demanding that they initiate a notice-and-comment rulemaking regarding the use of Advanced Imaging Technology body scanners in airports, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act. This Wednesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered TSA to respond to the Electronic Privacy Information Center's petition for writ of mandamus. The Court also ordered that an amicus brief submitted by CEI be accepted. Today, McClatchy ...
  • CEI Podcast For August 2, 2012: Cybersecurity Bill Fails

    August 3, 2012
    Today the Senate shot down a controversial cybersecurity bill that Associate Director of Technology Policy Studies Ryan Radia believes would have been a disaster.


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