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DHS now knows about one's medical records (even for a non-US citizen)

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by ATCclears, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    Note that I posted this article here since I think it has long-term implications for gun control. Organizations such as the DHS and NSA are becoming obviously good at correlating data from multiple sources back to the individual. One must ask how long until they flag a gun owner as being of concern (e.g. due to mental-health issues) and then coming knocking...

    Peter

    Homeland Security is watching you.jpg

    http://rt.com/usa/dhs-canada-depression-richardson-495/

    Canadian denied entry to the US after agent cites private medical records

    Published time: November 29, 2013

    A wheelchair-bound Canadian woman was denied entry to the United States this week because she was previously diagnosed with clinical depression. Now she wants to know why the US Department of Homeland Security had her medical history on file.

    The Toronto Star’s Valerie Haunch reported on Thursday that 50-year-old author Ellen Richardson was turned away from the city’s Pearson Airport three days earlier after DHS officials said she lacked the necessary medical clearance to cross into the US.

    “I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,’’ Richardson told the Star.

    The woman, who has been paraplegic since an unsuccessful suicide attempt in 2001, was planning to fly to New York City to start a 10-day Caribbean cruisein collaboration with a March of Dimes group, and had already invested around $6,000 into the trip, she told the paper.

    “I was so aghast. I was saying, ‘I don’t understand this. What is the problem?’ I was so looking forward to getting away . . . I’d even brought a little string of Christmas lights I was going to string up in the cabin. . . . It’s not like I can just book again right away," she said.

    But according to what American officials told her, it would take the permission of US government-approved doctor and around $500 in fees in order to enter the country. Richardson soon left the airport defeated, but only afterward did she begin to raise questions about what the DHS knew about her.

    "It really hit me later — that it's quite stunning they have that information,” she told CBC.

    Richardson said she has been on numerous cruises since 2001, and traveled through the US for all of them. Only this week, however, did the DHS cite the June 2012 hospital stay, spawning questions about how much personal information American officials hold on foreign persons.

    According to Richardson, the border agent told her that the US Immigration and Nationality Act allows the government to deny entry to anyone with a physical or mental disorder that may pose a “threat to the property, safety or welfare,” and that her “mental illness episode’’ from last year warranted extra attention.

    “The incident in 2012 was hospitalization for depression. Police were not involved,’’ her attorney, David McGhee, told the Star, adding that he approached Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews as well “to tell me if she’s aware of any provincial or federal authority to allow US authorities to have access to our medical records.”

    “Medical records are supposed to be strictly confidential,” McGhee said.

    "We don't know how deep the connection is between US customs" and Canadian authorities, Richardson’s member of Parliament, Mike Sullivan, told CBC. With her story quickly going viral, however, others hope to soon find out the full scope of the data being managed by the DHS.

    “This is scary,” MPP France Gelinas told the Star for a follow-up published Friday morning. “They got access to information that should never have been accessible to anyone.”

    “Canadians must be assured that their personal records are kept confidential, as intended,” Sullivan added to Hauch’s latest report.

    As RT reported previously, employees of the DHS’ Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, have access to huge databases, both federally and privately run, which contain information on travelers including tax ID numbers, past itineraries and even physical characteristics. As for hospital visits in other countries, however, Richardson and others generally expect that information to be not on file.

    According to Star reporter Jack Lakey, an Ontario health ministry official said Thursday that US authorities “do not have access to medical or other health records for Ontarians travelling to the US.”

    “If the province didn’t knowingly hand over the information, it only leaves the federal government as the source, possibly in some kind of information sharing agreement with the US that we aren’t supposed to know about,” Lakey speculated. “Given its recently revealed complicity in allowing the U.S. to spy on G8 and G20 leaders when they gathered here in 2010, it is no stretch to believe Ottawa is also playing ball with them on this.”

    Homeland Security is watching you.jpg
     
  2. PiratePast40

    PiratePast40 Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Don't know how the U.S. got hold of records from Canada but it does raise questions about American contractors with security clearances.

    Members of congress and government employees still have a reasonable expectation of privacy under HIPA. However, all others now have their medical records available to any authorized person under O-care. I can understand that you would want privacy for those with security clearances to prevent blackmail or pressure from outside sources. But since many government contractors have high level clearances, and have access to sensitive information, and they don't have the protection that government employees have, there is now an opening for widespread abuse of their health information.
     
  3. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    I just came out of four years in the healthcare sector, and my faith in HIPAA is crushed. Moreover, our own Fed government threw HIPAA under the bus with their national website https://www.healthcare.gov/ when they put clauses on there indicating that one should have no expectation of the security of their own data entered on that website.

    Peter
     
  4. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    Wheel Chair Bound Canadian + March of Dimes - glad the DHS is on guard and really protecting us.

    Sounds like a bad actor to me.:rolleyes:
     
    Riot, Caveman Jim, Grunwald and 3 others like this.
  5. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    Something in this story set off my BS detector, and two seconds of Google searching confirmed it.

    For a start, the Canadian woman is an author. An author with a public website that describes her mental problems and attempts at suicide, and she published a book on her story in 2009.

    Ellen Richardson authour of Hope for the Heavy Heart


    So it's not exactly a top secret health record, is it?

    I'm betting this story is debunked by end of the week.
     
  6. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    And that disqualified her from travel.....how ???
     
  7. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Yea a case of DHS having THIS ONE PERSONS MEDICAL HISTORY not everyones.
     
  8. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    I thought it was fairly well known that the USCIS will turn back people with mental illnesses who may harm themselves or others. It's been the law since the 1952 update to the Immigration Act.

    In the case of this women, with over 60 emergency admissions, and a long history of delusions and suicide attempts, she certainly fit the criteria. You can certainly argue with the intent of the law, but you can't argue that DHS isn't doing exactly what the law says they should.

    INA: ACT 212 - GENERAL CLASSES OF ALIENS INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE VISAS AND INELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION; WAIVERS OF INADMISSIBILLITY

    Maybe the lesson here is that if you suffer from a terrible mental illness and write a book about it, there may be unforeseen consequences? I'm not saying that's great, but it appears to be what happened.
     
  9. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    SO file this one in the same bin as LAST LEAD REFINERY IN THE USA TO CLOSE DOWN..........something else none of us actually need to worry about.
     
  10. Grunwald

    Grunwald Out of that nut job colony of Seattle, WA Well-Known Member

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    The book came out in 2009, but they based the denial on a 2012 hospitalization.
    I don't know what sort of modern math you are applying, but using good old basic arithmetic that even an ancient Greek would have no trouble of recognizing (except for the funny looking Arabic numbers) I have calculated that she could not have possibility written about it in her book.
     
  11. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    For which she almost certainly called 911 or had a police report filed, which would come up on any sort of DHS check. They've been doing it for years.

    Canadians with mental illnesses denied U.S. entry - Canada - CBC News (from 2011)

    Regardless, the woman from the original story is clearly ineligible to visit the US under current law. She has posed a threat to her own welfare. She needs to get a waiver to enter the US.

     
  12. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    But they will let undocumented terrorists, drug dealers, drug runners, cartel members, murderers rapists, child molestors into the country and then order local LE not to arrest or deport them.
    Oh yeah, makes a lot of sense............................................................
     
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  13. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

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    I spent 15 years in healthcare billing and was doing it all through HIPAA and it doesn't surprise me they blatantly disregard it. This corrupt group in charge now do virtually what they want. How many servers are their in Canada??? Probably not that many. Tons of info are on US servers and let's face it, DHS/NSA has an uber google that they can use to keyword your name and associated "areas of possible concern. ACA is built to gain access to every shred of personal information possible. 52% of the population sold out 100% of the population and most of them are too busy with current baby bumps or the tragedy of a "star" killing himself in an auto accident.

    Brutus Out
     
  14. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    Not true.

    PolitiFact | Healthcare.gov users 'waive any reasonable right to privacy,' Rep. Barton says

     
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  15. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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  16. fd15k

    fd15k Tigard,OR Well-Known Member

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  17. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    The DHS can stop a Canadian, suicidal woman in a wheelchair- but not two Boston bombers from the USSR with ties to Chechen extremists. The mind boggles.