Monday, September 19, 2005

MoveOn's latest initiation: Urging "opt out" of military recruitment lists

I have not verified the accuracy of the claims in this email from MoveOn. However, if you read the recent interview with Supt. Bill Travis at Mount Greylock Regional High School, you will know that, by law, the school is providing data about upper class members to military recruiters upon


This missive from MoveOn seems to suggest the government is then turning over that information to private marketing firms. Mount reylock is unwilling to give such information to other, local non-government organizations with useful services to offer students. Travis has said the school will allow organizations with legitimate post-high-school options to come on campus and present information to seniors -- such as colleges. But Travis was not sure about letting "counter recruiters" to appear at the same time military recruiters appear.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 15:36:55 -0700
From: "Joan Blades, Civic Action" <>
Subject: Protect your kids from exploitative military recruiting.

Dear MoveOn Member,

A little known provision in the federal Leave No Child Behind law is forcing public high schools all across the country to disclose the personal information of 30 million teenagers and young adults to a private marketing firm and the military. The Pentagon announced just this summer it had been collecting and using the data--including such sensitive personal information as Social Security numbers, ethnicity, GPA, personal email addresses, height, weight, and even the cell phone numbers of our kids, without their parent's permission. They had been keeping this announcement secret for more than two years--a violation of federal privacy laws and the privacy of tens of millions of young Americans.

While the law compels schools to violate the privacy of ordinary Americans it also creates a way for families to "Opt Out" to stop the mega-database from being used on your child. If you know someone between the ages of 16 and 25, spread the word: you can "Opt Out" of the database by clicking on the link below:

Working Assets, Mainstream Moms and ACORN have put together a useful website called that helps you easily write a letter to your local school district so you can opt-out of this database. If you are a parent interested in protecting the privacy of your child or if you're between the ages of 16 and 25 this is an easy way to protect your privacy. Just like with the federal "Do Not Call" list the data will be "suppressed" for use, but not removed.

While government intrusion on our privacy is bad enough, the use of a corporate marketing firm for this work is even worse. The government has hired private marketing firm BeNow, Inc., to manage the data, known as the Joint Advertising and Marketing Research Services (or JAMRS) database. BeNow, Inc., has no statements on their web site regarding their own security or privacy policies. With increasing reports of identity theft and security breaches at private data collection firms, compiling such a vast collection of sensitive data without consent, particularly on minors, is irresponsible--even dangerous.

The JAMRS database is updated daily and distributed monthly to the four branches of the military for military recruiting purposes. Information is collected from a variety of sources, including DMV records, SATs, and ASVAB test results. Use the "Opt Out" tool to stop JAMRS from using your data or the data of your child, or forward the tool to other parents or students you know [2].

Congress is just starting to realize the implications of what they have done by going around parents in this way, to get at their kids. People are really mad about this. Join the effort at for action alerts related to this issue.

Thanks for all you do.

--Joan, Tom, Noah, Marika and the Civic Action Team
Monday, September 19th, 2005

P.S. Learn more about the organizations sponsoring

Working Assets [3]

Mainstreet Moms Operation Blue [4]



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