DHS/Coast Guard want to track EVERY boat to improve “navigational safety”.
“The Coast Guard’s Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) enhances maritime domain awareness with a focus on improving security, navigational safety, search and rescue, and environmental protection services.”
“The NAIS program exceeds the stated purpose of marine safety and constitutes an ongoing risk to the privacy and civil liberties of mariners across the United States.”
The Coast Guard & DHS have been quietly spying on boats since 2004…
According to the Coast Guard, the NAIS Project was initiated and officially chartered in December 2004.
“NAIS facilities have now been installed in 51 major U.S. ports and nine coastal areas. Seven other ports and two coastal areas currently have an interim NAIS capability and will have full systems installed by the end of 2015. The NAIS system currently receives 92 million AIS messages per day from approximately 12,700 unique vessels.”
There are over 200 VHF surveillance sites throughout the country, spying on boats in rivers and along the coast:
“The NAIS consists of approximately 200 VHF receiver sites located throughout the coastal continental United States, inland rivers, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.”
“The system combines AIS data — such as vessel location, source and speed — with other government information and sensor data to form a holistic view of maritime vessel traffic near the continental U.S. and its territorial waters.”
According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC):
“A ship equipped with AIS broadcasts a regular stream of voiceless data, including the vessel’s name, course, speed, classification, call sign, registration number, and Maritime Mobile Service Identity. Most vessels over 65 feet that operate in U.S. waters are required to carry AIS, and owners of smaller craft can also opt to use it.”
“Once NAIS transceivers receive AIS data from a vessel, that information is stored, processed, and transmitted to the USCG and other agencies and entities. The system currently receives about 92 million AIS messages a day from 12,700 unique vessels.”
DHS is planning to transfer detailed location data on boaters to other federal agencies, to state agencies, and to foreign governments!
How long before DHS/Coast Guard require EVERY boat to have one?
In an attempt to justify their latest spying scheme to track EVERY boat, DHS, sorry I meant the Coast Guard attempts to justify it by using our governments famous excuse ‘it’s for our safety’.
“Informed by a comprehensive view of traffic on the nation’s waterways, decision makers are better positioned to respond to safety and security risks. NAIS improves the safety of vessels and ports through collision avoidance and strengthens national security through detection, identification and classification of potential threats while they are still offshore.”
According to EPIC:
BoatU.S., the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters, said that the NAIS program “raises an array of confidentiality concerns with regard to the recreational boating public” and pointed out that few boaters would be aware that their boat location information would be made available to parties other than boaters and the Coast Guard.
DHS and the Coast Guard are creating a National Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)program and DHS has EIGHT plans to spy on every boat in the country…
“The National Plan to Achieve Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) outlines the national priorities for achieving maritime domain awareness, drawing on the insights and expertise of a range of federal agencies and departments that came together to create this plan. It includes near-term and long-term objectives, required program and resource implications, and recommendations for organizational or policy changes. It is one of eight plans developed in support of the National Strategy for Maritime Security, as directed by National Security Presidential Directive-41/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-13.”
“The Domestic Outreach Plan is one of eight plans developed to support the National Strategy for Maritime Security, as directed by National Security Presidential Directive-41/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-13.”
But who stands to profit by this? Not the public, even though our taxpayer dollars are being used to create another national surveillance program! If you guessed it’s DHS “stakeholders” who stand to profit from this, give yourself a gold star, read more below:
DHS/Coast Guard began educating stakeholders about their strategy and asked for their support since 2002 most likely through DHS grants.
– Maritime stakeholder feedback was crucial in ensuring that non-federal interests were addressed in the supporting plans. Domestic Outreach objectives relied heavily on coordination with a variety of public- and private-sector partners to identify and engage appropriate maritime stakeholders during each phase of outreach.
– Early outreach sought to gain fair, representative feedback on behalf of the broad range of individual stakeholders who have an interest in maritime security. During the development phase, outreach focused on key individuals and organizations representing the interests of hundreds of thousands of maritime stakeholders. Targeted activities, such as focus groups, made it possible for other working groups to gain fair, representative input from the private sector, the maritime industry, and state/local/tribal/ territorial governments.
Here’s how these DHS ‘schemes’ work:
Private DHS stakeholders of which their are hundreds if not thousands, dream up new ways to spy on EVERYONE and claim it’s for our ‘SAFETY’ trust them. Then, they pitch their plan to private companies and non-profits which stand to make millions in cash (grants) to develop and eventually implement new spying programs.
DHS and private companies work together to send lobbyists to wear down Congress until they get what they want. Often times these corporations have no-bid contracts with DHS that are worth millions and ‘poof’ like magic we have another national surveillance program in place. Not soon after one of these DHS schemes is completed, the winning corporation(s) hire DHS personnel to secure future contracts etc. It’s this vicious never ending profit driven monster that’s responsible for destroying our privacy!
Click here, here, here & here to find out more about DHS stakeholders.
To discover more about DHS’s plan to create a national boat spying program read:
“National Plan To Achieve Maritime Domestic Awareness” and DHS’s”Domestic Outreach Plan.”