Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Open Letter to Facebook

Disclaimer: a privacy person at Facebook was in touch with me through mutual friends, but at this time has merely reiterated the request for ID. Hopefully, she is working back channels to help.
letter to fb
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted an open letter to Facebook about the social media’s authentic name policy. You can sign this open letter on that link.

“Even though Facebook claims it has improved its policy, users continue to get kicked off the site, losing access to support groups, an essential political platform, and all their contacts and content. Some users have even had accounts reinstated with their legal names, putting their safety at risk.”

This resonates with me on so many levels, especially the loss of access to support groups. I use one support group for my autoimmune disorders and it’s on Facebook. In addition to losing the connection with so many people in one convenient spot, I lost the one support group that truly helped me make it through life’s challenges. Good googli moo! I just admitted that social media is truly a worthy endeavor.

Here are the demands:

• Commit to allowing pseudonyms and non-legal names on your site in appropriate circumstances, including but not limited to situations where using a legal name would put a user in danger, or situations where local law requires the ability to use pseudonyms.

• Require users filing real name policy abuse reports to support their claims with evidence of abusive behavior.

• Create a compliance process through which users can confirm their identities without submitting government ID.

• Give users technical details and documentation on the process of submitting identity information such as where and how it is stored, for how long, and who can access it. Provide users with the ability to submit this information using PGP or another common form of encrypted communication, so they may protect their identity information during the submission process.

• Provide a robust appeals process for users locked out of their accounts, including the ability to speak to a real Facebook employee.

I openly signed the letter and encourage others to do the same. If proof of identity – if real names – were so vital to social media, it would be a requirement to sign up. People would know this openly beforehand.

A variety of groups signed the letter, including the ACLU, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Digital Rights Foundation, One World Platform, Global Voices Advocacy, and Human Rights Watch. Given the incredible amount of damage that this policy can cause to people – from direct threats to indirect – one would think that Facebook would rethink this policy. Perhaps the most frustrating is that once you are blocked for their review….you cannot reach anyone there to discuss it.

To be clear: my real name is K Royal and I support social media. I loved Facebook and its potential.

signed,
Authentically K Royal

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Life takes you to unexpected places. Love brings you home….

sunsetI’ve been radio silent lately – not only did I switch jobs, but I moved states.

I consider home to be in Arizona – a true transplanted southerner. Although I did not move from Mississippi until I was almost 30 years old,  I’ve made up the time in the states I have lived: TN, AZ, TX, and CA (and a short stint in AR as a traveling nurse).  I had moved to Tennessee from MS in 1996 to work as a registered nurse. and was later I admitted to law school at the University of Tennessee, but had to defer. My then husband had a psychotic break and it was dangerous for us to stay in Knoxville. So I gave the best dog I ever owned (a wolf mix named Elliott) to my attorney, packed the girls (ages 7 and 9), and took a one-way non-stop flight to Phoenix.

What a culture shock.

See, my home town is Meridian, MS, population around 30,000 (50,000 with the surrounding area). Not really small. Trust me, I don’t know everyone there. But there is a certain standard of living that is easy to become accustomed. It was the only standard I’d really ever known. Even TN was still the South, so while it was a change. .. the people did not really change.

In AZ, I went to work for a start-up fabless semiconductor company based out of Canada that was working on streaming video on cell phones – unheard of 15 years ago. Loved it!

and then the technology market crashed in 2000. I had put off law school in TN for a year, but fell in love with Arizona. So I applied way past the due date for Arizona State University. They had no obligation to open my envelope…but they did. I suppose a top 3% LSAT is worth something. Not a scholarship, but late admission. I took it.

I met my beloved husband here. Never thought I would marry again – and he broad-sided me. I had mentioned to someone that I wanted a love that soaked into my very cells, a visceral level of love. And he found me.

Then his job took us to Texas in 2008, and forced me to give up one of the best positions that I had ever had working at the College of Law at ASU in student life and pro bono. What a fabulous way to make a living.

But Texas was good to us. We livedin Plano with the second best school district in the nation. The girls received an incredible education. I got into privacy and security at Concentra. If working with students is my first love, privacy is my second. Once the girls graduated, we started looking how to get back to Arizona…and wound up in San Jose, CA. I never was really good at geography.

Working for Align Technology (Invisalign) in the Silicon Valley as a global privacy attorney – WOW. Not much I can add to that. Amazing colleagues. Amazing company.  And amazing location. We thought we were set.  We bought a house. Done.

But circumstances drove us back to Arizona. My family is everything to me. So we are here. And I was lucky enough to be recruited by one of my best friends into a growing company that focuses on securing mobile communication (voice and text) for regulated industries (CellTrust Corporation). So not only am I the privacy attorney, I am also the subject matter expert for privacy in product and service delivery. It’s quite a rush.

Further, being back in Arizona has worked well for my girls, who are both doing amazing. My husband started working here before I did with another start up that appreciateshis incredible talents. And I am getting back involved in local activities – volunteering for Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education, appointed back to the state bar committee for minorities and women in the law, reconnecting worn the Volunteer Lawyers Project, adjunct teaching at the law school – the fun just keeps coming. We close on a house in Scottsdale next week and it’s a dream house!

My lesson – life takes you to unexpected places. Love brings you home. I am where I am supposed to be.

You have arrived: how does one define success?

I once had a navigation system that when I reached my programmed destination, it would say “You have arrived.” I would circle the block just to hear that over and over.

success

In a professional world, when do you know you have arrived? Is there ever a point where an individual who has accomplished much thinks “this is enough” and stops trying to accomplish more?

As a hospice nurse, I worked with many patients who faced their last months, weeks, days and were able to look back over their lives and say they did well, they were happy with the totality of their lives if not some particular details. Outside that environment, it seems to be rare.

How do you define success?

Some undeniably successful people define it in this article:

  • Success is more than wealth and power – it is wellbeing, wisdom, wonder, and giving according to Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Press.
  • Maya Angelou believes it is about enjoying what you do.
  • Deepak Chopra says success means constantly growing.

Oprah provides this article of the ten signs of success – or rather, that your life is on the right track. It includes such things as:

  • Your reputation precedes you;
  • Having a deep connection to those you love – like picking up the phone to call each other at the same time; and
  • To not be burnt out.

That’s all well and fine, but this is not about recognizing if you are doing the right thing or have become successful as measured by wealth, title, accomplishments, awards, or recognition. It’s about knowing when is enough enough? When should it be enough?

This study by Princeton University in 2010 says that the pivotal salary is $75,000 annually.

The lower a person’s annual income falls below that benchmark, the unhappier he or she feels. But no matter how much more than $75,000 people make, they don’t report any greater degree of happiness.

The Wall Street Journal helpfully converted that salary for cost of living in different locations.

So, once you make $75,000, then that is enough? And enough for what? Do we strive for a meaningful job, to help other people, for future stability, to have good health, to ensure your family has food, shelter, and the other necessities of life? At what point can you determine that all your needs are met – be it the basic necessities, the desired luxuries, or satisfaction in one’s actions?

Let’s return to the original question: In a professional world, when do you know you have arrived? Where is the point where you can honestly feel that you have accomplished what you wanted in your career and stop clawing to reach the top – and who defines the top?

For each individual, this is an intensely personal decision. I do believe that for most people, career gain tends to wain and gives way to some level of altruism. Some people may never view a career in an ambitious manner. They take pride in what they are doing and are happy  doing that for as long as necessary – a job is a way to earn the funds required to live in our world as well as fulfill some need of which there is a value assigned.

My grandfather James D. Fairchild never seemed to be ambitious. He delivered gas in rural Mississippi most of his life. There never seemed be his goal to advance to management. He spent his days delivering gas to people’s homes – for their residential gas tanks (propane). He knew everyone. Everyone knew him. I don’t recall him bragging on any accomplishments, winning awards, or getting big promotions or titles. He was proud of the service he provided. And he was valued by customers and the company. In fact, the company – when ready to shut down – refused to close its doors until the last member of family retired. It’s a Southern thing.

My younger self had a goal – to be able to walk into a convenience store to buy a coke without having to balance my checkbook first. I have accomplished that.

My other goal was to live somewhere other than Mississippi. I accomplished that.

Then I developed professional goals – to do something i enjoyed. To be intellectually challenged. To help others. And to travel internationally. Most I have accomplished. One I have not – not really. I don’t think Costa Rica truly counts.

So is this enough? And if something is enough, do you stop? One lady informed me that her professional goal was to take a start-up to IPO. And she did that. She was still not in a position to retire, so she looked for something she enjoyed doing and stopped focusing on professional ambition.

It is a reality that even if most of us accomplish our career goals, that we are not independently wealthy enough to stop working. Some may have independently wealthy as their professional goal, but for most of us, it is not realistic.

Some of us would never stop working even if we acquired status of being ridiculously wealthy. Maybe our career goals then change and we work to be busy, help others, improve the world in some fashion – or maybe to indulge personal passions such as traveling, writing, or designing homes.

Some people have no drive to accomplish something professionally. They are content and fulfilled in their lives – and their job is a means to an end in which they take pride in doing. They may be the happier people.

If you are using professional recognition and success to serve as personal validation, you may never reach enough. You must learn to value yourself as a person.

If work is your escape from your personal life, you also may never reach enough; but you may not care. Your drivers are different.

The rest of us (not in the three groups above), the point the we reach enough is driven by who we are, what we are looking for, what we need and/or want, and how we balance the rest of our lives. “Enough” may never be reached.

Set specific career goals and anything beyond those – you’re gravy.

Can you be yourself at work?

Recently, I spoke to an executive coach who says she works with executives for years before many can finally accept who they are – and let themselves be themselves.

I tried to find a really good quote for this – and there were so many on being yourself, yet none fit what I’d like to discuss. This one by Political Animals comes close: “It’s like you put on this expensive tailored suit and everybody tells you how great you look in it, but it doesn’t fit quite right unless you stand perfectly still.”

Frankly, I struggle with this concept. Not that I struggle to be me, but that being me is acceptable to those around me. As an attorney, a certain amount of presence is expected. And of course, I am a woman working in a male-created field – and one that largely remains male-dominated.

The picture below (from the Association of Corporate Counsel annual meeting, Health Law Committee wins small committee of the year) is a visual of what I struggle with.

Do I not fit in … or … do I stand out? Which one of these is least like the others?

I truly struggle with this. I have worked with and do work with amazing professionals – professionals that while I may try to emulate some traits that I admire, I don’t feel that we mesh. Don’t get me wrong, I also have worked with and do work with professionals that mesh very well. scarily well.

When I am comfortable, I have no trouble expressing my opinions on a matter. Have I mentioned that I am ADD? So I am hyper, my logic takes a different path, and I speak with passion, sometimes eloquently, sometimes not so much. I usually wind up apologizing for being me.

Why do I feel I need to apologize? Is this a me thing? Is it a woman thing? Is it an awkward geek thing? Is it a manifestation of my disabilities (which are systemic and do impact affect, emotional lability, and expressiveness)?

Typically, when I feel that I have said something in a meeting that I should explain more or apologize for, I draw on advice that I received in the State Bar of Arizona’s Bar Leadership Institute: Man Up. To be fair, they did not say it that way. But I learned a lot about differences between the genders. In general, women tend to worry about what they may have said  – and agonize, apologize, follow up, bring it up again, etc. (anyone relating to this?). Men don’t. By bringing it up repeatedly, following up to apologize, women actually make it an issue that others then do remember – whereas generally, they likely never noticed it. Please keep in mind that these are generalities and may not apply to every situation.

On the other hand, a female professional I once worked with – on a restroom break during a meeting where we were the only two females in a group of about 20 people – this woman made the comment that the two of us had bigger balls than anyone in the room. Pardon my crassness.

Am I too feminine at some times – yet too assertive at others?

Do men even worry about these things – not the being too feminine part, but how to strike the right note professionally?

Is the real problem one I mentioned earlier? The legal field was built by men. All the expectations on behavior, dress, attitude, work-life balance, etc. were all defined by men. Women, to enter the field, adopted those expectations – wearing black, navy, gray, and brown – working long hours – and in some part, distancing themselves from the idea of femininity (which is not to say these colors are not feminine, just look at the picture above, the other two women are gorgeous and feminine and wearing traditional legal colors). A female professional I know – in the generation before me – wears a tuxedo to black tie events rather than a dress. I think it’s cool. But I wonder if that desire was formed because she developed professionally in a field that is decidedly unfeminine.

Me. Well, I wear purple cowboy boots to work. And ones with peacock feathers. I love pink. and lace. and frills. I laugh too loud and talk with my hands. And my work accepts it. I am hyper, scattered, ADD, some OCD, and frankly, way too freaking perky for anyone’s good. And yet I worry. I worry if I am accepted and RESPECTED for who I am. I am highly intelligent but not scholarly. I am well-educated but not an academic. I am ambitious but won’t sacrifice my family. I am emotional but not vindictive. I am outspoken but not mean. I am honest to a fault but I do love playing with words. I cannot abide stupidity (unless it is truly a case of low IQ and the inability to learn) or people who do not deserve respect (no exceptions on that one). I am passionate and creative. I am not demure or understated.

So can you be yourself at work? I say yes in most cases. It won’t come without some cost. If you are a psychotic killer, I’d say no. Please don’t be yourself. But in general, the average person should know who they are and not be willing to sacrifice him or herself for the job. You might worry if you strike the wrong note, but hiding your personality where you spend a large part of your waking hours does not serve you well in the long run.  In the end, unless there are significant drivers to the contrary, I recommend finding somewhere you can be you. You will be a better professional and perhaps feel like a better person.

There may be some compromises, but they should not compromise your foundation as a person. For example, just because you love 80s rock does not mean wearing Metallica t-shirts and ripped jeans to court is acceptable for an attorney. But if your personality truly demands that freedom and it impacts who you are as a person, choose a career avenue that suits you better (pardon the pun).

 

ERMAGOSH – my 2008 Phoenix FBI Citizens Academy Graduation Speech

This was the speech – nearly verbatim – from my 2008 Phoenix FBI Citizens Academy. I am positive that a few words were changed in the delivery. Janet Napolitano, Arizona’s then governor was the “professional” speaker. I was the highly honored elected student speaker.

the Phoenix FBICA class of 2008

the Phoenix FBICA class of 2008

Thank you

When we were told that I had been elected the class speaker, I was deeply honored and deeply troubled – there was some talk about using the redneck as target practice.  I must remind you that I am a business invitee of a commercial venture participating in the specific activity for which I was invited…in other words, I expect FBI agents to throw themselves in the line of fire.  Heck, someone could be on a hill a mile away with a 50 caliber.  I guess I’d better speak quick.

I am honored and I must say a few thanks. Scott is one of the few people I tried to talk into going to law school – and who has done an amazing job in the two years since.  Connie, thank you for your support and encouragement that helped get me accepted.

I am a member of an incredible citizens academy class, we have made history this year. This is the 100th year for the FBI, and we have the first foreign citizen in the classes – and a Canadian consul no less.

About 15 years ago, the counterintelligence team was sitting around a table complaining about the lack of resources to maintain surveillance on their top 40 people.  So they decided to get them all together at the same place at the same time – every week.  It was so successful; they have done it every year since.  Welcome to the Citizen’s academy – and its alumni association!

I think it was the fourth class when we were listening to the guest from the US Atty office.  SAC John Lewis came in and made an announcement.

“Ladies and gentlemen.  Do you recall when we explained that there are times when our suspicions of a person rise to the point that we can get a warrant.  Sometimes these are a sneak and peek  – we have to get in quickly while they are gone and see what is there.  Other times, we have enough reason to be able to take their computers or something with us.  Well, today, we have an unexpected occurrence.”

I was thinking “Oh crap, they found my 4000 pictures of porno.”  And I wasn’t the only one.  We’re a scary class.

No, we’re safe – for now.  It was the DC guy who comes to ensure they follow all protocols and procedures for collecting and handling the evidence.  It was an unplanned visit and so we had an unexpected treat.

The whole program is like that.  We learn so much that many of us never imagined.  But that’s the purpose.

You – the FBI – stand on a wall.  You stand on a wall we don’t even see.  And whether your weapon is a semiautomatic, a keyboard, or a credit card to pay for lunch for a Mexican official – you use that weapon with precision and effectiveness.

We’ve learned so much.

We learned that Hostage negotiators don’t lie. And that polygraphs are a scientific tool that could test that for us.

We learned no one is safe online.  No one.

We learned that there are some agents here who have never kissed a girl – but they can quote star trek episode 138.

We learned that military recruiters cheating on tests are never simple cases or cheap to solve.   Seven steps from the ASVAB to airplanes and border incursions.

And we learned that sharphooters do NOT use red laser sights.  How could they possibly tell which one is theirs?

Speaking of which –

These agents have hearts of gold, nerves of steel, and a dead-on aim.  I would have no problem sitting in a chair when the SWAT team takes a building.  

And what can we do with our newfound knowledge?

  • We can support our officers when we hear of a shooting.  We understand the actions and reactions called for in such situations.
  • We can make sure pot never becomes legal – it finances the drug cartels.
  • We can maintain a degree of suspiciousness if we see something “just not right” at work or in our neighborhoods.  Leads do come from everyday people.
  • We can defend these brave men and women when the public starts attacking them when the news reporters find ONE event of the 200 other events the FBI stopped and the public never knows about. That’s doing their job.
  • We can support a bill to require reporting purchases of more than one gun (not just pistols, but all guns).
  • We can join the citizens’ academy alumni association and participate in the various events, such as baseball games, golf, and the new 5k run in the fall.

So what do we take away from this unforgettable experience – How are we changed?

  • No more road rage.  There is no need.  When some idiot cuts you off in traffic.  Just say to yourself.  “I know people.  I can arrange to have you killed.”
  • We can talk the talk.  The SAC did a CIA on the ERT and found H&K MIA on the Legat with MS13.
  • And we can walk the walk – just not 90 degrees horizontal off a building face first.
  • We get to show our shirts with FBI and our nifty bags and people treat us nice.
  • We are weapons certified.  NOT.
  • FATS is now a good thing.  In fact, we should have a FATS meeting every week.
  • And when we watch all those TV shows and movies, we can spot the fakes.  No one collects evidence in the field wearing tank-tops and stilettos.  But the superglue thing to get fingerprints is real.  and cool.  From 20 feet downwind.

So in closing.

I don’t sing, but this is so fitting.  See if you can pick up the tune.

Bye Bye. To the FBI.
We shot our shotguns at the levies and the levies were dry.
So to the agents and staff of the FBI
We say thank you for the day we don’t die.

 

 

Twitter Disassociative Personality Disorder

Do you tweet? Happy to follow you – with all my handles.

See – I have multiple Twitter personalities. Well, they are all pretty much the same thing…I just can’t decide. Of course, I was way late to the party having started tweeting a few months ago. Now one @privacyqueenK is starting to get followers, but turns out people confuse me with @privacyqueen. So I went on a journey to find one that was uniquely me. I already knew that @kjustk was not available and many people confuse that with me. Understandably as I have multiple emails with kjustk@something and license plates in multiple states with KJUSTK…but the twitter is not me.

@RedneckPrivacy was my next attempt. now THAT is me. I’m a redneck born and bred and I wear purple cowboy boots to work  silver ones, too – and ivory ones. They rock. Turns out that professionally, my colleagues don’t like referencing that twitter handle. The only people who don’t like being called a redneck are those who are not a redneck. Rednecks love it.

So okay, I am now on to @heartofprivacy and I am committing to it as evidenced by the blog with two entries. Ha.

But I don’t want to send out notices yet again that I am switching twitter handles. This will be a journey to resolving my disorder. Thank you for joining me. Oh – and follow me @heartofprivacy

at the Heart of Privacy

Privacy is increasingly becoming more important to the average person, but we do not live in a world that values individual privacy. Technology makes the idea of privacy even more incredulous. To effectively create and to maintain privacy for individuals, we need people, governments, and businesses to work together. There are many professionals out here who claim to advocate for and protect the rights of individuals, but nothing truly replaces awareness and education. The only person who can actively protect your privacy is you. Yes, those who have the technology and wherewithal to circumvent the steps you put in place will always take advantage of their capabilities – sometimes, rightly so. But until you care about your own privacy and affirmatively take action to protect that privacy, you cannot expect others to do it for you.

I am not a scholar.

I am simply a person who has found her way into privacy as a career field and found it a natural fit. Perhaps in this blog, I can manage to keep sharing my own thoughts and opinions- and perhaps someone will find it useful.