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Number of Americans Renouncing their Citizenship Near Record Highs

circa 1938: Sir Robert Hodgson arriving at Croydon from Paris on an Imperial Airways flight. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)

A total of 508 Americans renounced their citizenship in the second quarter of the year, according to information published by the Internal Revenue Service, putting the country on track to lose at least the second highest number of citizens on record.

That brings the total number of expatriates for the year to 1,666, according to data published on Friday, just below the 1,795 who renounced during the same period in 2015. Yet because the number of expatriates tends to increase toward the end of the year, 2016 could still set another record for the number of Americans it sends packing. A total of 4,279 left over the duration of 2015, which was the third consecutive year to set a new annual record.

1936: Passengers enjoying a drink and a game of cards in the cabin of an Imperial Airways plane. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

Tax experts have suggested the uptick is due, in part, to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. The 2010 law was aimed at forcing nonresident citizens, estimated to be between 2 and 7 million, to report more of their income for tax collection. Read the rest of this entry »

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IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Teen Stoner Says He Hacked CIA Director’s AOL Account 

CIA Director John Brennan’s private account held sensitive files — including his 47-page application for top-secret security clearance — until he recently learned that it had been infiltrated, the hacker told The Post.panic-betty

“I think they’ll want to make an example out of him to deter people from doing this in the future.”

Other emails stored in Brennan’s non-government account contained the Social Security numbers and personal information of more than a dozen top American intelligence officials, as well as a government letter about the use of “harsh interrogation techniques” on terrorism suspects, according to the hacker.

The FBI and other federal agencies are now investigating the hacker, with one source saying criminal charges are possible, law enforcement sources said.

“I think they’ll want to make an example out of him to deter people from doing this in the future,” said a source who described the situation as “just wild” and “crazy.”

“I can’t believe he did this to the head of the CIA,’’ the source added. “[The] problem with these older-generation guys is that they don’t know anything about cybersecurity, and as you can see, it can be problematic.” Read the rest of this entry »


Corruption of Government Officials is Currently Americans’ Number One Fear

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Here’s What Americans Are Most Afraid Of 

Corruption of government officials is currently Americans’ number one fear, according to a recent survey by researchers at Chapman University.

The researchers asked a random sample of 1,541 adults to rate the level of fear for 88 different fear options across a variety of domains (like crime and natural disasters). Based on their findings, here were the top 10 fears for 2015:

  • Corruption of government officials (58.0%)
  • Cyber-terrorism (44.8%)
  • Corporate tracking of personal information (44.6%)
  • Terrorist attacks (44.4%)
  • Government tracking of personal information (41.4%)
  • Bio-warfare (40.9%)
  • Identity theft (39.6%)
  • Economic collapse (39.2%)
  • Running out of money in the future (37.4%)
  • Credit card fraud (36.9%)

More….

Source: TIME


15 Million T-Mobile Customers Affected by Experian Data Breach, Including Social Security Numbers, More 

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T-Mobile has confirmed this evening that as many as 15 million of its customers have been affected by a data breach. As the company is quick to point out, however, the breach did not occur on its servers, but rather its credit partner’s, Experian.

While Experian and T-Mobile both confirm that no credit card or banking information was compromised in the breach, a variety of other sensitive information was. Customer names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, and ID numbers were all leaked as part of the attack.

The attack affects approximately 15 million people who required a credit check when signing up for device financing through T-Mobile. Perhaps most notably, however, the vulnerability was open for more than two years, from September 1, 2013 though September 16, 2015.

T-Mobile says that it is offering two years of free credit monitoring to anyone who fears they could have been affected by the breach. T-Mobile CEO John Legere wrote in an open letter on the carrier’s website that he is “incredibly angry about this data breach” and that T-Mobile will be reevaluating its relationship with Experian.

T-Mobile CEO on Experian’s Data Breach

I’ve always said that part of being the Un-carrier means telling it like it is. Whether it’s good news or bad, I’m going to be direct, transparent and honest.We have been notified by Experian, a vendor that processes our credit applications, that they have experienced a data breach. The investigation is ongoing, but what we know right now is that the hacker acquired the records of approximately 15 million people, including new applicants requiring a credit check for service or device financing from September 1, 2013 through September 16, 2015. These records include information such as name, address and birthdate as well as encrypted fields with Social Security number and ID number (such as driver’s license or passport number), and additional information used in T-Mobile’s own credit assessment. Experian has determined that this encryption may have been compromised. We are working with Experian to take protective steps for all of these consumers as quickly as possible. Read the rest of this entry »


Oregon Resident Sentenced for Fraud; Worked as Woman, Collected Disability as Man

“I think of a man, and I take away reason, and accountability.”

PORTLAND, Ore. –  An Oregon resident who transitioned to a woman more than three decades ago continued collecting Social Security disability checks under her male identity, fraudulently raking in $250,000.

Congressional investigators say Social Security has made more than $1 billion in improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work. In a report issued Friday, the Government Accountability Office estimated that 36,000 workers got improper payments from December 2010 to January 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Congressional investigators say Social Security has made more than $1 billion in improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work.  AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Court records show Richelle McDonald was born Richard McDonald in 1945. In 1974, Richard claimed disability because he was unable to work after suffering a serious arm injury when hit by a San Francisco bus. Read the rest of this entry »


NSA Chief: ‘More Cyberattacks Likely’ in Wake of Office of Personnel Management Hack

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The U.S. should brace itself for more attacks like one on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management—in which millions of sensitive government records were stolen, the director of the National Security Agency warned on Wednesday. As WSJ’s Robert Wall and Alexis Flynn report:

The U.S. government last week said that two cyberattacks on the agency compromised more than 21 million Social Security numbers, 1.1 million fingerprint records, and 19.7 million forms with data that could include a person’s mental-health history.

“I don’t expect this to be a one-off,” said Navy Adm. Mike Rogers,who heads the NSA and the U.S. military’s Cyber Command. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: OPM Director Resigns over Hack

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Cory Bennett The embattled director of the Office of Personnel Management has resigned, bowing to mounting pressure from Capitol Hill for her to step aside over a devastating government hack.

Also see – Katherine Archuleta and the Accountability Problem

“Archuleta made clear to the president that she believed it was best for her to step aside and allow new leadership that would enable the agency to move beyond the current challenges and allow the employees at OPM to continue their important work.”

Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), stepped down a day after she revealed that multiple breaches at her agency had exposed more than 22 million people’s sensitive information.

resign-OPM

The chorus on Capitol Hill calling for her firing have been growing since shortly after the breach was first revealed in early June. Read the rest of this entry »


Kevin D. Williamson: The GOP Should Turn its Attention to Prosecutorial Misconduct

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Kevin D. Williamson writes:

“…The Democrats have long been acculturated to the climate of corruption that attends government agencies that are largely free of ordinary accountability, where a carefully cultivated lack of transparency shields operatives from scrutiny and normal oversight. Republicans can rouse themselves to action, if only barely, when this involves the federal Internal Revenue Service or Environmental Protection Agency. But deference to police agencies and prosecutors is so habitual among the members of the law-and-order party that they instinctively look for excuses when presented with obvious examples of police misconduct, and twiddle their thumbs in the 99 percent of cases of prosecutorial misconduct that do not involve a Republican elected official.…”

[Read the full article at NRO]

National Review Online


Phyllis Schlafy: Democrats Plan To Win Elections With Illegal Immigrant Votes

David Simas, right, in the White House last year. His new job is political director, and his goal is to help Democrats do well in political campaigns, even if it means violating the Hatch Act, because White House counsel W. Neil Eggleston believes Simas is immune from congressional process and can refuse to respond to subpoenas. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Phyllis SchlafySchlafly_Phyllis_big.jpg.cms writes: The Obama Democrats have an audacious scheme for winning future elections. They just plan to import 5 million non-citizens and credential them as voters who will, in gratitude, vote Democratic.

The way this devious formula works is stunningly simple. Just get the new Republican Congress (under Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell) to pass a full-funding bill for Homeland Security without any exception for the funding of Obama’s illegal executive amnesty, which will allow Obama to give work permits, Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses to 5 million illegal aliens.

Once the 5 million so-called undocumented persons are given those valuable documents, there is no way to stop them from voting. That conclusion is drawn from the testimony of voting experts such as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who told the U.S. House Oversight Committee on Feb. 12, “It’s a guarantee it will happen.”

Immigration

Kobach’s warning was reinforced by testimony before the same committee by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who noted that the 5 million non-citizens would receive the “same documents that federal law requires the states to recognize as valid forms of identification for voter registration.” And once an alien registers to vote, Kobach said, it is “virtually impossible” to remove him from the voter rolls.

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A third witness, Hans von Spakovsky, suggested that Social Security numbers issued to the 5 million illegal aliens should contain a code (such as “N” for non-citizen) that would instantly reveal their ineligibility to vote. But that simple fix would happen only if the Obama administration sincerely wants to keep them from voting, which I doubt.

A large group of Immigrants, guided by two "coyotes" or guides, walk on the desert of Sonora bound for the border with Arizona. This group consisted of 37 border crossers, from four different countries- They included people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and one Brazilian. Sasabe, Mexico. 01/23/05

A large group of Immigrants, guided by two “coyotes” or guides, walk on the desert of Sonora bound for the border with Arizona. This group consisted of 37 border crossers, from four different countries- They included people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and one Brazilian. Sasabe, Mexico. 01/23/05

In case the illegal aliens need spending money, they can collect a special handout from the U.S. taxpayers called Earned Income Tax Credit, which was designed to help parents who are working to support their families. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 3 that as soon as the illegal aliens receive their Social Security numbers, they will be allowed to go back and claim the EITC for up to three previous years in which they worked illegally. Read the rest of this entry »


Refresher Course: White House Promise of Immigration ‘Background Checks’

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November 20, 2014, Michelle Malkin writes: You will hear over and over again tonight from President Obama — and repeated ad nauseum by the gullible, open-borders media — that only illegal aliens who pass “background checks” will be eligible for the massive new administrative amnesty.

Two words: Bull. Crap.

For the past two decades, I’ve reported on the systematic sabotage and incorrigible incompetence of the federal government when it comes to immigration background checks. Instead of instituting a moratorium and fixing enforcement of the current system, both political parties have piled on and exacerbated the problem with endless new amnesties that overwhelm the homeland security infrastructure.

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Obama’s DHS abandoned criminal background checks wholesale for DACA/”Dreamers” after promising they would be vetted.

Flashback 2013:

Judicial Watch announced today that documents obtained recently through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCISabandoned required background checks late last year, adopting, instead, costly “lean and lite” procedures in effort to broken-meter--numbers_19-96788keep up with the flood of amnesty applications spurred by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive, which grants illegal aliens a two-year deferment from deportation.

Acting on a tip from a whistleblower at a federal law enforcement agency, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request with DHS, for “all communications, memoranda, emails, policy guidance, directives, initiatives, and any other correspondence respecting the scope and extent of background checks to be performed (or not) on aliens applying to the Obama administration’s DACA program.” The FOIA was filed on October 26, 2012. The Immigration and National Security Act (INA) mandates a “coordinated, uniform, and efficient,” system of background checks. Instead, the FOIA documents reveal a costly, haphazard process, with only cursory review for the backgrounds of illegal aliens seeking “deferred status.” Document highlights include:

In a series of agency memos beginning in September 14, 2012, field offices were told to expect the National Benefits Center (which collects all DACA applications) to conduct only “lean & lite” background checks on illegal alien applicants, and that, henceforth, “NBC will not perform full TECS checks or any evidence review on these cases before we ship to the field.” An October 14 memo reiterated that under the new “lean and lite” policy, “Hits will be sent to the field without resolution.” On October 25, the St. Paul Field Director conceded to staffers that the new “lean & lite” procedures were for an indefinite period of time, saying, “I just can’t tell you when things will revert back to the way they used to be.”…(read more)

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And here’s my 2008 refresher on the long pattern of throwing background checks out the window for bipartisan open-borders expedience. Washington never learns:

McClatchy reporter James Asher has a new piece out detailing how DHS is clearing massive application backlogs by skipping the background checks.Before we get into the meat of that story, let me refresh your memories about a few michelle-malkin-bookthings.

[Flashback – click for full-size memos]

[Order Michelle Malkin’s book “Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies”  from Amazon.com]

During the shamnesty debacle, we were told to shut up about our national security concerns because McCain and company were going to guarantee that all illegal alien guest-workers would get thorough background checks. We were told to calm down about the proposal because there was nothing to worry about. But the background check process was a fraud.(read more)

In 2003, an INS center in Laguna Niguel solved the massive backlog problem by putting tens of thousands of applications through a shredder. Read the rest of this entry »


WH Mass Pardon for Identity Thieves

Identity-theft

“Good news for deferred action applicants: If you used a false Social Security card, you need not reveal the number on your deferred action application forms.”

Michelle Malkin writes: President Obama is poised to show his “compassion” this week by granting work cards to an estimated five million illegal immigrants through an imperial executive order. As for the vast, untold number of law-abiding citizens whose identities have been stolen by foreign law-breakers, two words: Tough luck.Social Security card fraudsters have made out like bandits thanks to the White House. Their victims are about to get kicked in the teeth again.

WhiteHouseEmptyPodium600AP_600.jpg.cms

Two years ago, when Obama launched his first administrative amnesty known as “DACA” (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the White House gave aid and comfort to illegal alien applicants who were concerned that their previous felony identity theft and fraud crimes would preclude them from the new non-deportation benefits. The Department of Homeland (In)security made clear that illegal workers who wanted coveted employment documents would not have to disclose to the feds whether they used stolen Social Security numbers.

“Children are prime targets. In Arizona, it is estimated that over one million children are victims of identity theft. In Utah, 1,626 companies were found to be paying wages to the SSNs of children on public assistance under the age of 13. These individuals suffer very real and very serious consequences in their lives.”

— Center for Immigration Studies

Center for Immigration Studies analyst Jon Feere reported at the time that ethnic lobbyists and open-borders businesses lobbied the Obama administration hard “to keep American victims of ID theft in the dark while shielding unscrupulous businesses from enforcement.” As an Obama official told The New York Times, DHS employees are “not interested in using this as a way to identify one-off cases where some individual may have violated some federal law in an employment relationship.”

Translation: See no identity theft. Hear no identity theft. Speak no identity theft. Read the rest of this entry »


Charles C. W. Cooke: Voter ID and Gun Rights

Voter-ID-and-Gun-Rights

Rules for voting, firearms, and government services should all be heavy — or light.

For NROCharles C. W. Cooke  writes:  Insofar as it is a case at all, and not merely a political cudgel, the brief against voter ID is simple. Minorities and the poor, advocates charge, disproportionately lack government-issued identification documents, and, as a result of the allegedly arduous process that is required to obtain them, they may struggle in perpetuity to remedy this. In consequence, laws that make presentation of ID the price of exercising a fundamental right are unacceptable — disenfranchising the marginalized, removing their voices from the public square, and imposing obstacles to their equal enjoyment of constitutional protections. Given America’s difficult record on such issues, this is a potent indictment, and one that both sides ought to take a little more seriously than they do.

Although in practice it is wildly overstated and tends to descend rather quickly into hysteria, I should say that I have some sympathy with at least two facets of this argument. First, as someone who has had to acquire from scratch the various imperatives of modern life in America — a driver’s license, a Social Security number, a bank account, and so forth — I am keenly aware that obtaining endorsements can be a bureaucratic and painful process and one that should not be too quickly played down. Activists wantonly exaggerate the number of Americans who cannot find the requisite documentation to get hold of an ID card, yes. But there are undoubtedly some, and even if they are very few, as a rule we tend not to judge the violation of rights by number alone.

Read the rest of this entry »


Las Vegas Casino Caper: Websites of Venetian, Palazzo Casinos Hacked

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hannah Dreier reports:  Hackers breached the websites of all Las Vegas Sands Corp. websites Tuesday morning, and the home pages of some of the world’s largest casinos remained down through the day.

The Nevada State Gaming Control Board was investigating the breach, and the FBI was also aware of the matter.

Patrons got error messages when they tried to visit the home pages of the Venetian casino, famous for its ersatz canals, and the Palazzo casino, which is next door on the Las Vegas Strip. The company’s corporate site was also hacked, as were websites for Sands casinos in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Singapore, and the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau.

[4 Film Favorites: Ocean’s Collection (Ocean’s 11 (1960), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen) at Amazon]

Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said the company was working with law enforcement to determine who was behind the hacking, and assessing the damage. The company could not say whether customer credit-card records had been breached…

Calling Danny Ocean…

Read the rest of this entry »


‘Winners and Losers’: 90,000 patients affected by UW Medicine security breach

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SEATTLE — UW Medicine officials are alerting roughly 90,000 patients that their personal data was compromised in an October security breach.

Early last month, a UW Medicine employee opened an email attachment that contained malicious software. The malware took control of the computer, which happened to be storing personal information from approximately 90,000 UW Medicine and Harborview Medical Center patients, according to a UW Medicine news release.

The compromised patient data included names, phone numbers, addresses, medical record numbers and Social Security numbers, among other information.

UW Medicine is now reaching out to the affected patients and has also set up a call center to work with victims.

Read the rest of this entry »


Priorities: While Conducting Politically-Targeted Audits of U.S. Citizens, IRS Officials Paid $4 BILLION to Identity Thieves

Scandal-ridden agency sent 655 tax refunds to a single address in Lithuania

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Katie McHugh reports:  The Internal Revenue Service sent $4 billion to identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns in 2012, at the same time it was devoting resources to invasive politically targeted audits of not-for-profit groups, according to a recent report released by Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George.

The IRS, which is now overseeing Obamacare’s complicated implementation and collecting its tax penalties, sent 343 tax refunds to a single address in Shanghai, and another 655 tax refunds one in Lithuania, according to CBS News.

statement detailing a similar report filed by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found 1.1 million fraudulent tax returns were filed with clearly fabricated Social Security numbers that IRS could have detected, costing taxpayers $3.6 billion in 2011.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Future of Health Care

Obamacare security breach leaks data of 2,400 customers

oopsSarah Hurtubise reports: An employee of Minnesota’s Obamacare exchange, MNsure, sent an unencrypted file to the wrong person and left 2,400 people’s private information at the mercy of a nearby insurance agent.

One exchange staffer’s simple mistake gave insurance broker Jim Koester access to an Excel document of Social Security numbers, names, addresses and other personal data for whole a list of insurance agents. Luckily for the 2,400, Koester was cooperative — and unnerved.

“The more I thought about it, the more troubled I was,” Koester told the Minnesota Star Tribune. “What if this had fallen into the wrong hands? It’s scary. If this is happening now, how can clients of MNsure be confident their data is safe?” Read the rest of this entry »


Obamacare as Big Brother

Who will have access to millions of Americans’ financial and health data?

By  Michael Tanner

Think the NSA data collection on your phone calls and Internet use is scary? Well, here comes Obamacare.

On October 1, the law’s insurance exchanges are scheduled to start open enrollment in all 50 states. In order to help people sign up for insurance and to determine which applicants are eligible for subsidies or Medicaid, the exchanges will need to collect both tax and health-care data for more than 7 million Americans. This means a new government bureaucracy will be in possession of these people’s financial, employment, and health information — everything from their income last year to the prescription drugs they take. What could possibly go wrong?

Start with the application process itself. Applicants will be assisted by thousands of “navigators,” who will provide advice and information about the program, help consumers differentiate between the types of insurance plans available, and assist them in completing the application process. Many navigators are expected to be drawn from pro-Obamacare organizations, such as Organizing for America, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Planned Parenthood.

If you are among the millions of Americans forced to purchase insurance through an exchange, these navigators will have access to such sensitive information as your Social Security number, date of birth, bank account number, place of employment, and medical history. Some of the funds needed to hire and train the workers aren’t expected to be released until the end of August. This means that, in the 34 states where the federal government is running the exchanges, there will be just a month to hire and train thousands of workers. In a rush to have sufficient numbers of navigators in place by the October 1 deadline, the administration has reduced the amount of training required from 30 hours to just 20. Three training courses will be conducted online.

The majority of states don’t have any process in place for running criminal-background checks on applicants for these jobs, and there are no requirements that navigators be bonded. In fact, they don’t even need to have a high-school diploma. (The government does plan to use credit-rating agencies to check on the applicants, if that’s any comfort.)

In fact, the potential for identity theft is so great that even California’s insurance commissioner, David Jones, a Democrat and an ardent Obamacare supporter, recently warned, “We can have a real disaster on our hands.”

Read the rest of this entry »