In case you missed my appearance on CNN International to talk about President Trump’s move on the Travel Ban and his baffling statement on Sweden last night, here it is! Also, it was a pleasure to join guest host Sara Sidner for the first time alongside California Republican Committeeman, Shawn Steel.
Supporters of President Trump (and the President himself) will attempt to paint the ruling as a purely political decision. Further, some will claim that this ruling means Constitutional rights apply to all people, not just U.S. citizens.
First, the court clearly defines who receives due process rights based on precedent. They include permanent residents, previously admitted aliens who are temporarily abroad now or who wish to travel and return to the United States, and aliens who are in the United States unlawfully (p. 23 ¶ 3.) That last one will upset some people but it is precedent from Zadyydas v. Davis.
That first point means the President’s team did a poor job writing the Executive Order, per the court ruling. They could have stopped all visa issuance for those seven countries, but because the order didn’t carve out exceptions for the three categories above, the order didn’t meet Constitutional requirements.
Second, this ruling never even got to the question of national security and the President’s “good cause” ability to circumvent certain rules. It failed before even getting there.
Third, for those who think the Constitution is a static document and exists only in a vacuum as it was originally written, you don’t understand how the law works. We start with the Constitution which is a framework, then the legislature writes laws that extending how our country functions, and then courts hand down rulings determining the validity of those laws while interpreting and applying the facts of cases setting precedent. That is an exceptionally simplistic description of how it works.
So, just because you read the Constitution and think you know exactly what it says, you don’t. Have you read all the U.S. Supreme Court cases that give you an idea of how it all actually works? If not, then you are mistaken.
Fear not, our system works. If you are happy with today’s decision, then it works well. If you are mad about today’s decision, ask President Trump to have his team rewrite the Executive Order so it can withstand the court challenges. And if you don’t like how the system works, vote and ask for change.
But most of all, it is not the end of the world today. Our Constitutional system is reasonably intact while our broken duopoly of a political setup continues to duke it out in Washington D.C.
President Obama ended the embargo of Cuba and now JetBlue has started regularly scheduled flights. I remember seeing glamorous pictures of Havana from the 1950s and always wanted to go, but couldn’t because of the nearly world-ending, Cold War Era Cuban Missile Crisis.
If you haven’t yet heard, a massive vulnerability in a key piece of security software was announced this week. Researchers call it the Heartbleed bug.
Simply put, it is not your fault. Web servers at banks, airlines, and shopping sites use a type of encryption called Secure Sockets Layer or SSL. Your browser will display a lock icon in the address bar and maybe even change colors to green demonstrating you have a secure connection. Many websites use a piece of Open Source software, meaning nobody owns it and everyone can see the code, called OpenSSL.
OpenSSL is where the vulnerability was found. The problem is that 2/3 of all internet sites using SSL to secure the communication between your browser and their server use OpenSSL.
Why is that a problem? This bug means hackers can intercept what is supposed to be encrypted information between your browser and the bank’s server. In other words, what is supposed to be unreadable is readily readable to criminals.
And it gets worse.
In the past 24 hours or so word has leaked out that the core equipment used for the internet itself and most corporate networks has this bug too. According to Network World, Cisco and Juniper routers are affected.
This is where it gets really ugly.
Fixing the OpenSSL bug on a website is relatively easy and the majority of websites have already put in the patches. Tracking down every router, taking it offline, and installing patches from the vendors is a very time consuming and difficult process that might take months.
Initially I wasn’t too concerned about you and me. This latest round of news truly has me worried and you need to take action now.
I am now suggesting to you and everyone you know that you take the time to change your password on every bank, shopping, travel, etc. website where you transact business with username/password and/or credit card information.
And then do it again in a week and then again in a month.
Too difficult to remember all of your passwords? There are tools to help you besides sticky notes on the side of your monitor.
Protect your passwords using software like Password Safe, 1Password, or pwSafe. Those applications are a securely encrypted safe in which to store all of your passwords. Use the random password generator in the software for creating your passwords.
When you use software like those three, use an entire password phrase as the master password. Something you can remember like the old “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, but make sure to use spaces and capital letters, even use the quotation marks if you’d like.
Here are some basic rules:
• Always use a password, never let a password be blank
• Always change a password immediately after receiving one that was given to you
• Use as many characters as possible when creating a password, don’t just use eight use 16 or 20 or more
• Use different passwords everywhere, at least for sensitive information like banks or anywhere they might store your credit card information
UPDATE 4/12/14 11:30 PDT – McAfee has a handy tool for testing websites for the Heartbleed vulnerability. You can use it to test a site you might visit BEFORE you go to the website. Click HERE for McAfee’s tool