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Was Department of State form DS-5513

2011-04-25 17:49:07.943905+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

You know what, I've decided that I flew off the handle and don't have enough supporting information on this. I'm going to move the original contents to the comments.

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comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-04-27 12:20:55.320065+00 by: jeff

Oh, how we have become a police state!

Osama has won...

Or perhaps the "hidden hand" which "made" Osama has won...

#Comment Re: made: 2011-04-26 12:06:16.564748+00 by: meuon [edit history]


News releases from 2012:


Mike Rochenle of Chattanooga reportedly "accidentally" left his cell phone at home, but was spotted by licenses plate cameras and face recognition software attending a meeting of the subversive activist group CHUGALUG. Mr Rochenle was arrested for trying to avoid DHS tracking.

Chugalug, a group whose whose spiritual leader Linux Torvalds, son of a foreign (Finnish) socialist, is know for a goal of "total world domination" by promoting an ideology of sharing information in an attempt to undermine copyright, patent laws and capitalism.

Daniel Likeness was arrested while attempting to renew his passport shortly before a "business trip" to Chindia because he could not provide verifiable proof of his employment as a "white water river guide" during a several year period of his youth. DHS contends he was attending a special training camp promoting terrorist ideologies and methodologies during that period, possibly under the influence of drugs and sexually oriented torture.

Eric Canine was arrested at a DHS/TSA checkpoint for traveling with high resolution aerial photographs of areas of strategic importance, including several cemeteries, on his laptop. His laptop and phone also contained encrypted containers which he is not willing to provide passwords to. Reportedly Mr, Canine works for the government and is authorized to have encrypted file systems and detailed GIS data, but he was traveling without his government credentials when arrested. DHS assumes he was trying to avoid tracking as his cell phone was off and he had not used any online services in over 4 hours prior to his capture.



#Comment Re: made: 2011-04-26 09:33:48.172111+00 by: DaveP

Well, they've already made flying so distasteful that I won't do it, so the only thing I lose by not renewing my passport is ease of travel when driving to Mexico or Canada. The good side is that the surveillance state is getting obtrusive enough that there's a lot more folks starting to notice and get pissed off by it.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-04-25 18:06:06.769604+00 by: ebradway

I've always wondered why my Department of State-issued birth certificate only ever seems to slow down things like this... I'm sure you've run into the same thing. My background check to work at the USGS took about six months, despite the fact that my childhood is well-documented by the Department of Defense.

#Comment Original post contents made: 2011-04-25 17:57:18.462887+00 by: Dan Lyke

The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new biographical questionnaire for U.S. passport applicants. Among the things that the new Form DS-5513 asks for are addresses of all residences since birth, lifetime employment history including supervisor and telephone, and:

  1. Please describe the circumstances of your birth including the names (as well as address and phone number, if available) of persons present or in attendance at your birth:


  1. Was there any religious or institutional recording of your birth or event occuring around the time of birth? (Example: baptism, circumcision, confirmation or other religious ceremony. Please provide details including the name, location of the institution, and date)

The real knee-slapper:

Average Hours Per Response: 45 Minutes.

Now apparently this will only be administered "On occasion.", which really means "when the prejudices of the person dealing with forms decides to impose a shitload of work on the citizen". Here's where to file comments on this form, and my comment:

I am reading through the proposed BIOGRAPHICAL QUESTIONNAIRE FOR A U.S. PASSPORT, and I'm shocked that anyone would propose that filling out the history information for this would take only 45 minutes.

Finding valid phone numbers for employers twenty-five years ago? Trying to remember names of supervisors? Address and phone number of people who might have been present at my birth?

Most of that information is long-gone from history. Furthermore, it's largely irrelevant to U.S. citizenship status if the applicant can provide a birth certificate, either local or consular if born outside of the U.S.

The news reports claim that this form may only apply to a subset of applicants. If so, then the Department of State should make those criteria very clear on the top of the form so that intermediate processors don't end up using personal discretion to use this form to impose their own prejudices or attitudes on applicants.