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Sign Our Statement of Concerns

Are you a JPLer concerned about HSPD-12? We invite you to publicly affirm your concerns by signing this statement. We invite you to do so whether or not you have already participated in the badging process. Doing this does not associate you with the legal case now pending. It does, however, offer a means for your concerns to be counted.

Inform yourself

The best thing you can do is to become informed. You may be shocked when you find out what is really involved, how dangerous it is, and how much of your freedom you are giving up. To get rebadged, you don't simply provide information on forms-- you provide information that begins an investigation of you. Did you know:

  • That SF85 remains in effect for two years, whether or not you stay at JPL? In other words, federal agents can use your SF85 release as permission to investigate you for two full years, even if you are no longer affiliated with a federal agency.
  • That for each place you have lived in the last five years, you are required to list a neighbor other person who knew you there, and that these neighbors will be contacted with a questionnaire about you?
  • That the release form on the SF85 or SF85P authorizes an investigator to obtain "any information" on you from schools, residences, employers, criminal establishments, and any other sources?
  • That because of the rights you waive, the investigators are explicitly "not limited" in who they can contact about you and what they can ask?
  • That you will be asked whether you have taken illegal drugs? That others will be asked whether you abuse drugs/alcohol?
  • That others will be asked whether you are mentally/emotionally stable?
  • That the new rules prevent JPL from issuing retiree badges?
  • That the official SF85 and SF85P forms describe the process as "voluntary," but that JPL will terminate your employment if you don't fill it out?

Delay filling out the rebadging form

The power of delay is important. Consider what would happen if even 25% of the lab failed to meet the October 27, 2007 deadline for rebadging. The deadline might be extended. It might delay implementation. In the meantime, court challenges or congressional action may cancel the rebadging. If we all participate, and participate early, we will all be investigated, with our fingerprints being sent to the FBI's crminal database, and we'll have lost the battle.

There is no single date we recommend you delay to. You should wait as long as you feel comfortable doing, given the circumstances in your life. The length of time to delay is a personal choice. For someone near retirement, this may mean waiting until October 27, 2007, to see how legal challenges play out, with the acceptance that there is a risk that JPL may force them to retire or resign. For a person in good financial condition (e.g., a single full-time engineer or scientist), this may mean waiting until October 1, with the understanding that there is a risk they may be put on leave without pay (LWOP) in November. For someone in a more constrained situation, it may mean simply waiting until the 15th day of a 15 day deadline given to them by management. Every day of delay helps!

In decided if or by what date you will participate, you should be aware that the deadlines and consequences are ill-defined (see FAQ on deadlines) and frequently changing or being differently interpreted. It is important for you to remain flexible.

Tell your concerns to your supervisor and others

Tell your concerns to your supervisor, and make him or her understand them. Don't use off-topic or vitrolic reasons. Stick to the facts, and use a reasoned argument. Refuse to be pressured into signing the paperwork without first having all your pending questions answered.

Talk to others in your group, and get them informed of the issues by pointing them to information resources. Exchange personal email addresses, in order to have discussions of the topic not bound by JPL's Use of Resources policy (e.g., to discuss letters to Congress). Make rebadging a daily topic, and sneak it into the conversation at every meeting that has new people. We need to promote awareness, otherwise we risk being sheep led to the slaughter of our freedoms.

Write to your Representative or Senators

Several employees have written to federal or local government officials to voice their concerns about the HSPD-12 implementation. Some of those officials are listed below:

Hon. David Dreier, District Office, 2220 East Route 66, Suite 225, Glendora, CA 91740 -- JPL is within his district email form

Hon. Adam B. Schiff, 87 North Raymond Avenue, Suite 800, Pasadena, CA 91103 -- many JPL employees live within his district email form

If you live in another district, you can find your representative and the correct mailing address at House of Representatives. You will need your Zip Code (including +4 in some cases).

California's Senators can be reached via snail mail or email at the locations below:

Hon. Barbara Boxer, 312 N. Spring Street, Suite 1748, Los Angeles, CA 90012 email form

Hon. Dianne Feinstein, 11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 915, Los Angeles, CA 90025 email form

Keep the letters short and to the point, reference previous news stories if possible. Also note that submitting your request via email tends to expedite the process significantly. JPL does depend on the efforts of Dreier and Schiff to ensure it's portion of the NASA budget; therefore writing to your representatives will have substantial effects.

Original letters are more convincing and are preferable if you have the time. You can also use a form letter such as the one provided with "A Recourse to HSPD12".

Inform Other Government Employees and Contractors

The HSPD-12/FIPS-201 implementation is not just a JPL or NASA program. It is happening to employees and contractors across all agencies of the government. You likely know other people who will be affected. Tell them of your concerns about the process and encourage them to take action, especially in contacting their representatives in the House and Senate. Point them to this site so they can start getting informed, and be prepared to discuss how this affects them and their colleagues. Action by Congress is more likely if many members of the House and Senate are hearing from their constituents.

"A recourse to HSPD12" provides an easy way to recruit for new members, with a minimum amount of effort.

Ask tough questions and insist on answers

Advertise this web site to your colleagues

Send the URL of this web site to your colleagues. They might thank you!

Join the HSPD12JPL list server to share information

Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HSPD12JPL/ and click on "Join This Group!" or send an email to Peter Eisenhardt, group moderator, at prme@charter.net to get on the group email list or join the group.

Email sent to HSPD12JPL@yahoogroups.com goes to all members of the list. Replies to such messages will also go to the whole list, so think twice before replying. New members must be approved, so that it doesn't get taken over by spam.

To be approved, ask Dennis Byrnes, Bob Nelson, Susan Foster or anyone you know who is already on the group to send an email vouching for you to one of the list moderators.

Contact advocates

There are several organizations dedicated to promoting civil liberties, preserving our privacy rights. Please consider writing to them and pleading our case:

Fight the rebadging in court

Some people have suggested that they feel like hiring a lawyer. If you do, please share your experiences. A group of like-minded individuals is joining forces and combining resources to explore legal action. Please consider joining the HSPD12JPL Yahoo Group, described above.

An alternate strategy is to fight in the court of public opinion.

Leave the laboratory

If you decide to leave the laboratory, by either resigning or retiring, and at least part of the reason involves concerns about the rebadging process, you are to be admired for taking strong action! Do not let your strong action speak for itself, however. You need to document that rebadging is the reason you left, otherwise it will have little effect. Dan McCleese, the JPL chief scientist, understands that there are concerns about the rebadging process, and has asked people to send him written evidence from people that the rebadging process played a role in their decision to leave the laboratory or decline an offer of employment. When JPL sees their talent pool draining before their eyes, it can have a big effect. Verbal information, especially if it is not first-hand, is not going to have an effect.

For those who are leaving, letters to the L.A. Times and Pasadena Star-News may also be effective ways of raising awareness of this issue. In fact, this is more effective than hiring lawyers; institutions, particularly universities, will avoid bad publicity at all costs -- and will be more responsive as a result.

File a FOIA request to see your investigation data

You normally would not have access to the information that the investigation found about you. However, you may request a copy of your investigation file under provisions of the Privacy Act. For an investigation request, write to OPM-IS, FOIP, Post Office Box 618, Boyers, PA 16018-0618. You must include your full name, Social Security Number, date and place of birth, and you must sign your request. Call OPM's Federal Investigations Processing Center, Freedom of Information / Privacy Act Services, at 724-794-5612 if you have any questions.

Everyone should do this, for a couple of reasons. First, just as with a credit report, you want to be sure that the information gathered about you is correct. If it is not correct, you want to insist that it be corrected, and verify that it is corrected. This is serious. You don't want to accidentally get on a no-fly list when your name has been confused with a terrorist (this has actually happened).

Secondly, you want to insist that the government operate transparently. It is shameful that a FOIA request is necessary to get this information. Compare this with credit reports-- credit agencies are required to share your credit information with you, but with the rebadging investigation, which has much more personal information, the subject must go through a more difficult process. Until the law changes, we need to press the issue by forcing them to deal with as many FOIA requests as possible.

Last updated: September 23, 2007
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