Tuesday AM ~ thefrontpagecover

~ Featuring ~  
Hacking Americans' Health Data
Arnold Ahlert  
Misleading While Muslim
YBj1mG6lwtHT8ejA5pqn64WMKl-dQ6_O8hCsEdQ1VoA7GFR7MIaw5BYsdhaXUPBf5EDQTphRAsfz3dnwlkmk8IyQZhkRAdpWG6FnqKTDZYevfoRXdRHvxRsmOQfNLbVKMzbUX8iNXZuFZhQ1y3PE7OLnVQ=s0-d-e1-ft#%3Ca%20rel%3Dnofollow%20href=?profile=RESIZE_710xby Andrew Harrod
spectator.org } ~ At a recent appearance in Washington, D.C., leading Muslim-American educator Debbie Almontaser hawked her new book, Leading While Muslim... The Experiences of American Muslim Principals After 9/11. The book grew out of her own personal experiences as the founding principal of the long-troubled Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA), a New York City public high school with a focus on Arabic instruction. In 2007, Almontaser resigned from KGIA after praising a t-shirt bearing the phrase “Intifada NYC” — an apparent reference to violence against Jews in Israel and the Palestinian territories. “Intifada,” Almontaser insisted, “basically means ‘shaking off. ’” Almontaser argued that although the word was “developing a negative connotation due to the uprising in the Palestinian-Israeli areas,” it was nonetheless “an opportunity for girls to express that they are part of New York City society” and are “shaking off oppression.” Her comments sparked  storms of protest from the New York Post, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and local parents. The group that produced the t-shirt, Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media (AWAAM), shared office space with the Saba Organization of American Yemenis, of which Almontaser was a board member and spokesperson. AWAAM also shared officials with Al-Awda, an anti-Israel organization that the ADL has accused of openly supporting terrorism and violent anti-Semitism. Following her resignation from KGIA in 2007, in the wake of immense public pressure, Almontaser only developed her reputation for radicalism further. In 2008, she worked with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to oppose the NYPD’s counter-terrorism efforts. At the time, CAIR had just been named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted coconspirator in a prominent terror financing case, leading the FBI to cut off all contact with the organization. Since then, Almontaser has become a prominent activist in New York City, where she helped organize a 2017 protest against President Donald Trump’s temporary travel restrictions. That protest, during which Yemeni-Americans closed their bodegas, gave rise to the Yemeni American Merchants Association (YAMA), where she now serves as board secretary. Most recently, YAMA launched a bodega boycott of the Post after it published a sensational cover denouncing Representative worthless-Ilhan Omar for remarks trivializing the 9/11 attacks. Despite her scandalous behavior while at KGIA, Almontaser is still mixing Islamist activism and educational issues. She appeared on April 16 at the American Federation of Teachers’ (AFT) Albert Shanker Institute, where AFT President Randi Weingarten moderated a discussion before an audience of about 35. The next day Almontaser addressed about 25 listeners at Georgetown University’s Saudi-established Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). ACMCU director Jonathan Brown moderated. In February 2017, Brown came under fire for a speech defending sex slavery, in which he claimed that “the Sharia understanding of slavery” is “not comparable at all” to America’s past slavery. Almontaser’s message is one of victimhood. At the Albert Shanker Institute, she reiterated the falsehood that an “Islamophobia industry” has “so much funding” to attack people like her. She passed off KGIA as a high school “to develop global citizens to compete for international careers,” that struggled against an “astonishing” onslaught of demands about the teaching of issues such as Israel...
John Dean Hearing Showed Democrats 
In Full Cover-Up Mode  
by Carter Page
dailycaller.com } ~ Instead of figuring out why America’s intelligence community is protecting partisan political operatives... House Democrats would rather keep undermining justice. That’s the takeaway from today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with John Dean, President Nixon’s disgraced White House Counsel. Instead of calling witnesses who could expose the corrupt figures in the U.S. intelligence community who tried to take out President Trump, House Democrats called Dean to talk about “parallels” between Trump and Watergate.The hearing is part of a disturbing trend in which Democrats and certain intelligence officials have worked to prevent the public from learning more about their misdeeds. Following the announcement of President Trump’s decision to authorize declassification of documents related to the illicit surveillance of innocent Americans, CNN analyst and former Director of National Intelligence scumbag-James Clapper said that this decision could put “people’s lives at risk.” MSNBC analyst and former CIA Director scumbag/commie-John Brennan also expressed concern, saying the information “could in fact put people’s lives in great jeopardy as well as put very sensitive and very exquisite U.S. intelligence capabilities at risk.” For decades, I served as one of those very sources that they belatedly claim a desire to protect. While they now use lofty rhetoric to portray themselves as guardians of national security, the detailed history of the coup attempt against President Trump reveals a different reality...
The Left’s Lousy Grasp of Science
ZcM4NmzJUY1VXTGR3QFSPSFjr0avyU68FUV5Na1c4-71ststm8BRhXUMEN3rIWVU2u6gdhSQNzwwJWV7iQUK1LEI_FXLOTq18oEGFsLejSW4nu8HIM1pH7xB_-QWaFAs1DgyPIQ9VOjedB1tXo_s2DFagRHBHKtYSqMvHV156sn8LX1z_6zAig=s0-d-e1-ft#%3Ca%20rel%3Dnofollow%20href=?profile=RESIZE_710xby Greg Jones
spectator.org } ~ The left has long fancied itself as the champion of science, insisting for years now that the tools of logic and reason belong to no one else... By extension, it often considers conservatives Neanderthalic savages who place their faith in invisible beings rather than reality. What rot. After all, it’s today’s left that is thumbing its nose at long-settled biology by recognizing a spectrum of genders to rival the Pantone color wheel. And these same zealots, clearly devotees of rigorous investigation, now insist that life begins when a woman says it does, not when the heart begins to beat or features start to form. Despite the scientific consensus on life, to say otherwise would advance “the patriarchy,” whatever that is. But their ineptness in the natural sciences pales in comparison to their absolute disdain for the softer sciences, particularly history and economics.In the natural, or hard sciences, researchers attempt to re-create nature, usually in laboratory experiments. The idea is that any fundamental understanding of a particular phenomenon requires conditions that mimic the natural world as closely as possible. Such a methodology won’t work in the softer sciences, for obvious reasons. While it’s indeed possible to replicate in a controlled setting the chemical reactions that occur in, say, photosynthesis, scientists cannot simply reproduce the dynamics of global trade and human migration with beakers and Bunsen burners. Luckily they don’t have to, as human history has provided the ultimate laboratory in which to examine the softer sciences ad nauseam. And that greatest of experiments has produced some interesting findings, almost all of which are wholly ignored by today’s science-loving left for the simple reason that they directly contradict its agenda. Take, for instance, the ongoing debate, sadly occurring even now in this country, on the merits of capitalism and socialism...
Iran Has Accelerated Production 
of Enriched Uranium IAEA Says
by Benjamin Weinthal, Herb Keinon 
and Seth J, Frantzman
jpost.com } ~ Iran has followed through on a threat to accelerate its production of enriched uranium, the head of the UN atomic watchdog said on Monday... departing from his usual guarded language to say he was worried about increasing tension. Recent weeks have seen the US-Iranian confrontation sharply increase, a year after the United States withdrew from an agreement between Iran and world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international financial sanctions. Washington tightened sanctions at the beginning of May, ordering all countries and companies to halt all imports of Iranian oil or be banished from the global financial system.  The US has also begun discussing military confrontation, dispatching extra troops to the region to counter what it describes as Iranian threats. Iran has also responded with a threat to increase its enrichment of uranium, saying it was up to Europeans who still support the nuclear deal to save it by finding ways to ensure Tehran receives the economic benefits it was promised. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano, whose agency is responsible for monitoring Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal, said Iran was now producing more enriched uranium than before, but it was not clear when it might reach stockpile limits set in the pact. “Yes, the production rate is increasing,” he told a news conference when asked if enriched uranium production had accelerated since the agency’s last quarterly report, which found Iran compliant with the nuclear deal as of May 20. He declined to say by how much it had increased. Iran said last month it was still abiding by the deal, but would quadruple its production of enriched uranium – a move that could take it out of compliance if stockpiles rise too high. On Monday, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas became the most senior Western official to visit Iran since the new war of words erupted last month between Washington and Tehran. “The situation in the region here is highly explosive and extremely serious,” Maas told a news conference alongside Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. “A dangerous escalation of existing tensions can also lead to a military escalation.” “Israel’s right to exist belongs to the German raison d’être and is not negotiable,” Maas said. “It is a result of our history. It is unbreakable. And that certainly does not change anything because I’m here in Tehran.”...
The Questionable Fun of Yelling, Boo, Hiss!
KVqo7BapK6k_nhb3U7_zEC1KG2im_4yPLRbg3KfAZ5mqrFcaFmY12OQiyL7QL2N-RabOcBAI5xE-_yZl7aa5PtXKnMiafS_2Vskqi9SrENrToRVSwqZwzWhXoywjKteaQFnuRLWMfFr3PkMd=s0-d-e1-ft#%3Ca%20rel%3Dnofollow%20href=?profile=RESIZE_710xby William Murchison
spectator.org } ~ Now hear this, now hear this: Anti-Chick-fil-A San Antonio mayor narrowly reelected this past weekend over Pro-Chick-fil-A candidate! Proving… Come on, my eyelids are drooping. The lack of an answer proves what? That the Era of the Non-Issue Issue has yet a ways to run? Yes, that may be it. Alas. I can’t believe I’m writing about a fast food franchise. It’s come to that. In the eyes of my progressive friends, some of them, the dividing line between righteousness and evil passes through the drive-thru window. We’re reduced to a love of ideological bickering over what a free-born American does with his hard-earned money, I guess. And therefore, in a democratic republic launched by the likes of Hamilton, Madison, and Jefferson, informed debate turns to nattering and accusation. Civic commitment means personal readiness to yell: “You’re a rotten person — boo, hiss!” The founders hoped for much more. Some are surely spinning in their graves. San Antonio’s city council was both praised and blasted a couple of months ago due to banning Chick-fil-A service at the local airport. A kick in the tail feathers, this, to a nationwide fast food chain distinguished by its customer service flowers on the table, avoidance of “No problem“ as a server response along with high culinary quality; a chain faulted, nevertheless, for contributing money to operations like the Salvation Army ! that some progressives blame for impeding the LGBTQ agenda. Proving what, I say again? Mostly that the historic terms of civic virtue require refurbishing. While there’s time. Before we forget entirely that the terms of our life together as a people relate theoretically to the furtherance of virtuous freedom and a spirit of general happiness. “To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Wasn’t that the Constitution’s challenge to us? We’ve wandered; which isn’t the fault of scumbag/liar-Hillary voters specifically or of Trumpians specifically. The product boycott as symbol of moral virtue? Pass the smelling salts. What about, alternatively, the production of useful civic ideas? Any halfwit, such as the author of these present lines, can boycott. The present author, perversely, declines to pay a pfennig or a slot machine slug for Ben and Jerry’s bolshevik ice cream. What’s that got to do with anything, other than the working off of some undoubtedly narrow antagonisms? What the author would really prefer is for those filthy-rich bolshies up in Sandersland to work with the U. S. Chamber and the Republican Study Committee on ways of keeping entitlement excesses from taking us down as a prosperous nation. Wouldn’t that make a lot more sense than treading underfoot a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s? I admit it...  https://spectator.org/the-questionable-fun-of-yelling-boo-hiss/  
Hacking Americans' Health Data
Arnold Ahlert:  Last Monday, Quest Diagnostics revealed that the personal information of approximately 11.9 million patients — including medical data, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account information — may be have subjected to a data breach.

Quest didn’t formally announce the breach. Instead, the company released an 8-K form filed with the U.S. 

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), stating that the American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), a Quest billings collection vendor based in Elmsford, New York, had informed the company about the breach. Quest insists it hasn’t received all the information from AMCA about the eight month period during which an “unauthorized user” had access to patient data, nor have they been able to independently verify AMCA’s assertions. Regardless, Quest has suspended sending collections requests to AMCA and is working with law enforcement and with UnitedHealth to address the issue.

“Quest Diagnostics takes this matter very seriously and is committed to the privacy and security of patients’ personal, medical and financial information,” the company said in the filing.

Really? According to Bloomberg News, “Quest said it was informed of the incident on May 14.” Moreover, according to AMCA, the breach itself occurred between Aug. 1, 2018, and March 30, 2019.

Why the delay in making the information public? Apparently no one was curious enough to ask, despite the reality that access to such information is an identity thief’s dream. AMCA maintains it is still investigating the incident. In the meantime, it has also hired security experts, taken down its payments page and has relocated online payments to a third-party collector. Optum360, a unit of UnitedHealth Group, was also notified of the breach, but UnitedHealth said its computers were not affected.

Optum360? Columnist Nicole Laskowski explains the linkage. “Quest Diagnostics uses Optum360 LLC for revenue cycle management services, which uses the American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA) for bill collection services, which experienced a breach,” she writes.

She further notes that Clyde Hewitt, executive advisor at health care cybersecurity consultancy CynergisTek Inc, refers to such an arrangement as a “nesting of vendors,” where each level of service becomes more specialized.

Ominously, such specialization makes it more difficult for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to know where their organization’s data goes.

Hewitt agrees. “The lack of visibility and accountability up and down the food chain is where CIOs really need to go back and take a second look,” he said, “especially when it’s going to involve millions and millions of records like this, where they’re all collected together.”

Unfortunately, Quest wasn’t the only victim. One day after its filing, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) also filed its own 8-K form with the SEC  revealing a data breach that may have affected as many as 7.7 million additional patients. That breach also originated with AMCA, which told Lab Corp that its web payment page was breached during the same time period an unauthorized user had access to Quest’s patient data.

Kate Borten, a health IT and information security expert, characterized the LabCorp breach as “horrifying.” “Business associates need to recognize the responsibility they have and the fact that they are absolutely subject to Health and Human Services,” she said. “They’re required to have all the security components in place of a good security program that a covered entity would have.”

AMCA has not yet provided LabCorp with a complete list of the customers affected. But according to the SEC filing, it has begun sending notices to 200,000 LabCorp consumers whose personal information may have been accessed. Like Quest, LabCorp has also stopped sending collection requests to AMCA, and stopped them from working on any pending collection requests involving LabCorp customers.

Borten believes any company using a web portal and dealing with confidential information should be far more buttoned up with regard to security. “You should be doing penetration tests, you should be doing all kinds of monitoring of that site because we all know that’s the entry point into your private network, your confidential assets,” she explains. “Any organization that’s got this direct connection to the Internet should have these things in place.”

In April of 2018, Quest Diagnostics, along with insurers Humana, UnitedHealthcare, Optum and MultiPlan launched a pilot program using “blockchain” — defined as a “continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography” — to facilitate the management of health care data. In announcing the pilot program, the companies maintained that because physicians, information service providers, managed-care organizations, and health systems keep separate copies of health care provider information, reconciliation is both challenging and expensive.

Whether that particular type of security is effective remains unclear. Nonetheless, as this hack indicates, patient data remains vulnerable — again. In 2016, a total of 134,000 Quest customers had their data breached. At the time, the company assuredthose customers “it immediately addressed the vulnerability.”

Talk is apparently cheap, and some members of Congress expressed their concern. “As the nation’s largest blood testing provider, this data breach places the information of millions of patients at risk,” New Jersey Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker stated in a letter sent to Quest chairman and president Stephen Rusckowski. “The months-long leak leaves sensitive personal information vulnerable in the hands of criminal enterprises. Moreover, such breaches force victims to contend with identity theft that may lead to irreparable harm to their credit reports and financial futures, and to confront the real possibility that their confidential medical information and history has been exposed.”

Who’s kidding whom? If one’s data was breached, and all the gut-wrenching permutations of identity theft are realized, what recourse does one have? It is virtually impossible to prove where one’s data was accessed, and there is little doubt large health care companies have the legal resources to fend off any assertions that they are at fault.

Thus, as always, it’s the public that will bear the brunt of what amounts to corporate malfeasance.

It gets worse. A third company, OPKO Health, Inc. filed  yet another 8-K form with the SEC announcing that 422,600 customers may have been impacted by a data breach through its subsidiary, BioReference Laboratories, Inc. — which also used AMCA as its bill collection entity.

In other words, it’s now as many as 20 million patients who are potentially affected.

Kristina Podnar, digital policy consultant and author of The Power of Digital Policy, believes these filing are “just the tip of the iceberg.” She asserts, “I think we’re going to see a lot more coming out in terms of 8-K filings.”

Hackers and identity thieves couldn’t be happier.  ~The Patriot Post


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