Thursday, September 15, 2005

On the fourth day of opt out a recruiter said to me.....
"Hey folks, it doesn't matter if you fill out those opt out forms, the military WILL find a way to reach your children"
recruiter at school board hearing, 1/13/03 Port Townsend, WA

The 12 Days of Opt Out
September 12-24, 2005

Check out this blogsite as it changes each day during Sept. 12-24 to educate and highlight the various ways schools are militarized.

Pentagon database and student privacy protection

It's illegal for the government to compile a database on citizens- so why is the Pentagon getting away with compiling a student database?

By hiring BeNow, a private company in Wakefield, Massacheutsettes, and working with other private companies, the Pentagon can get around laws that prohibit the government from collecting citizen information.

According to
The Joint Advertising and Marketing Research and Studies (JAMRS), is an "official Department of Defense program for joint marketing communications and market research and studies. JAMRS public programs help broaden people's understanding of Military Service as a career option, while JAMRS internal government programs help bolster the effectiveness of all the Services' recruiting and retention efforts."

JAMRS updates its database every day, and then distributes the database each month to military recruiters. The database contains information such as cell-phone numbers, e-mail addresses, height, weight, ethnicity, areas of study, grade-point averages, birth dates and Social Security numbers.

Privacy experts are especially concerned about the inclusion of social security information in the database, saying the marketing job could still be done without gathering social security numbers. This past year has seen several news reports of stolen databases - and the Pentagon database, which includes social security numbers could be especially damaging if it was used for identity theft.

The Pentagon can share the database for use beyond recruiting efforts, including law enforcement, state tax authorities and Congress.

Even if you try to opt out of the database, it only removes you from the "call" list. It does not remove you from the database.

Efforts to get congress to ban this program are beginning. Contact your congressional representative to let them know you oppose this illegal gathering of citizen information. Just because someone is a student, it doesn't mean they don't have rights- especially a right to privacy!

Boston Mobilization organized leafletting and signature gathering events to protest BeNow's participation in JAMRS. The following was from a call they put out in July:

"The war in Iraq is a disaster; The Army has missed its recruiting targets every month this year and now desperate military recruiters are doing an end run around our privacy rights. The Pentagon is paying a data Services Company in Wakefield, MA called BeNow to collect the names and phone numbers of every 16-25 year old in the country.

The new database will include an array of personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying! What will the Pentagon's recruiters do with those numbers? Their contract with BeNow will let them contact thousands more teenagers and according to many media reports, many of them will

* Call teenagers constantly.
* Lie to them about the job skills they'll acquire in the military, the assignments they'll get, the cash bonuses and college aid they will get.
* Coach them in lying on their applications and beating drug tests... anything to qualify!
* In extreme cases, virtually kidnap them and hold them till they sign enlistment papers

But BeNow isn't just violating people's privacy rights. They are selling young men and women to the Pentagon. Some will die in Iraq - for a war based on lies.

This is happening right here in Massachusetts
We can't let this go unchallenged!

We are putting out a call to MA activists for a meeting to plan an event, action, or demonstration expressing our outrage with BeNow and the Pentagon's policy of ruthless recruitment."

•Pentagon Creating Student Database- Washington Post Article

Background on the Pentagon's illegal database-
Leave My Child Alone


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