My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Posts Tagged ‘Lockheed Martin’

Brazil’s Census is way more technologically advanced than ours. This is pathetic.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

It is a pretty pathetic and sad story when a developing nation’s ability to integrate technology with governance far exceeds our own. Brazil’s strategy saves massive amounts of both time and money. Yet, this is something that I’ve discussed for quite some time with regard to other nations, like Australia. Here’s some news from Brazil which makes you wonder why more people who made decisions about the 2010 Census in the mid 2000s weren’t fired on the spot:

The Harvard Business Review‘s Daily Stat for Tuesday, April 6, 2010, highlighted a disruptive innovation in, of all things, census-taking. According to the publication:

    It’s a national census of hundreds of millions of people across 8 million square kilometers, using a workforce of 230,000 and budget of $1.4 billion. The 2010 U.S. Census? No, it’s Brazil’s 2010 census. The current U.S. headcount, by contrast, requires 3.8 million workers and $14 billion. Census takers in Brazil use PDAs and laptops; those in the U.S. still rely mainly on paper. – Source: Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatístic

While the United States tends to be seen as the technology innovation capital of the world, it seems we’re falling down in “government services innovation.” Doesn’t the US Census fall under the administration’s social innovation program? What other program is intended to have an impact on every single citizen of the US, if not this one?

On any corner of a typical US city, one can buy GPS-enabled, off-the-shelf, 3G-powered mobile devices, with local storage for data collection and Web-enabled connections to the back office. In short, the perfect mobile device for census collections is almost a commodity.

But it seems the US Census Bureau made the classic Innovator’s Dilemma mistake of choosing the slow, safe (and expensive) player, while the consumer mobile world blew by.

The supplier in question is Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS), which started work on the mobile census project in 2006. It turns out that four years is an eternity in the modern mobile world, and Harris simply couldn’t match the speed of the market with its own proprietary, custom-built devices.

In contrast to the US approach to having custom devices built, Brazil partnered with LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , as noted in TechTicker: “Brazil will start taking its population census in the second half of this year and to ensure a smooth and efficient counting, the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica (IBGE) has roped in LG to supply 150,000 GM750 phones.”

The GM750 is ruggedized and comes with its own application; but otherwise, the core phone itself is a device anyone with $100 or less could buy at the corner mobile store.

You may be thinking, who really cares? Perhaps we all should. According to CNN, Hermann Habermann, a former deputy director of the Census Bureau, thinks that without handheld data collection via mobile phone, the government is missing out on a chance to get information more quickly and cheaply than through the mail.

The technology would also help to better identify which Census tract a home is in, which determines an area’s representation in Congress and the distribution of more than $435 billion in federal funds every year. With GPS, according to CNN, the Census Bureau’s Daniel Weinberg, assistant director for the decennial census, anticipated placing residences within a 0.5 percent error rate into the correct tract. Without GPS, the Census Bureau places approximately 5 percent of residences in the wrong tract.

Unfortunately, with the fallback to paper, the error rate is likely to remain, as is the (inadvertent) mis-distribution of funds. While a 4.5 percent error differential may not seem like much, when you’re distributing billions of dollars each percentage point is quite significant in its effect on the local and state economies.

Lessons learned? Pay attention to the trends happening in parallel to your “normal” business and technology world — or you may find that your technological innovation has been disrupted by the fast movers you couldn’t be bothered to notice.

Whether in private, public, government, or other spaces, look around, and you’ll see disruption creeping up on you. Be aware of the technology environment and evolve! Or suffer the costs.

— Dan Keldsen is a Principal and Strategic Advisor at Information Architected.

Earth Day Special: How much waste is there at the Census Bureau?

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

We didn’t cover Earth Day (which was earlier this week) on this site, so here’s our belated Census Bureau Earth Day tribute…The Census Bureau is now printing the address listing pages and other assignment-related materials for the massive  non-response follow-up (NRFU) operations. It seems like the Census didn’t care because all the printers ran non stop 24 hours to print out many documents (details of which are coming soon)…

*Apologies for an earlier version of this post that only semi-listed the materials printed. We will hopefully have a complete list by Monday…

In Focus: How your $timulus package money is being $pent by the Cen$u$ Bureau

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

H/t to Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporting outlet Pro Publica for sharing the following data with us. Here are some screen captures that depict how your taxpayer dollars are being spent (…interestingly, Census Bureau Communications Director Steve Jost’s former boss Carolyn Maloney represents New York City and the areas where $125,000,000 in stimulus money is headed in communications contracts!). The amount of money being spent on partnership support is particularly disturbing as I have received multiple reports of partnership materials being DISCARDED by the palette!

Press Release: Lockheed Martin Team Prepared for Peak U.S. Census Data Capture Production

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Here’s a press release update from our friends at Lockheed Martin:

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 1, /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —  With the U.S. Census now underway, Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) team is receiving up to 12 million census forms daily, processing as many as 2.5 million forms every 24 hours and answering more than 56,000 telephone inquiries per hour during peak production expected between the end of March and April 2010.

The DRIS contract was awarded in September 2005 to the Lockheed Martin team, which includes major partners and a large small business component. The DRIS team is responsible for the people, process, technology and infrastructure needed to receive, capture and standardize data from potentially more than 300 million U.S. residents as well as provide telephone assistance to support data capture efforts.

The Lockheed Martin-lead team hired and trained more than 13,000 temporary personnel, conducted intense testing and dress rehearsals and primed itself for one of the largest and most sophisticated data capture jobs in the country.

“Based on our experience with the 2000 Census, we partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau and the nation’s top companies to develop a solution that embraces information technology and automation to accurately, efficiently, securely and quickly count the nation’s growing and changing population,” said Julie Dunlap, director of Lockheed Martin’s Census Practice and program manager for the 2010 Census DRIS. “During exhaustive planning and testing, the system and associated employees and processes performed flawlessly and fully confirm the team’s readiness,” added Dunlap.

Three data capture centers support this massive effort to process all Census forms within a 6-month period. Centers in Baltimore, Md., managed by CSC, and Phoenix, Ariz. managed by Vangent, Inc., are bigger than four football fields put together. The third center is located at the Census Bureau’s National Processing Center in Jeffersonville, Ind.

In addition, the team established 11 call centers managed by IBM and Vangent across the country to answer respondents’ questions and to follow up to ensure no one is missed. “Between now and August, there will be an estimated 6.6 million inbound and 8.1 million outbound calls to ensure we are obtaining the most accurate data from respondents,” said Dunlap.

The results of the 2010 U.S. Census are due to the President in December 2010 as mandated by U.S. law.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.

U.S. Census Bureau and Lockheed Martin Open 2010 Census Data Processing and Call Center Facilities in Phoenix

Friday, November 20th, 2009

As MyTwoCensus has reported on numerous occasions (such as here, here, here, and here), we are extremely suspect of the lax standards for employment at the Census Bureau’s three data capture facilities, such as lack of drug testing and the use of subcontractor after subcontractor being hired to perform tasks that they may not be qualified to perform. These factors are recipes for sensitive-information related disasters:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 18, 2009

Jack Martin
CB09-CN.34
Public Information Office
301-763-5937
e-mail: <jack.m.martin@census.gov>

U.S. Census Bureau and Lockheed Martin Open 2010 Census Data Processing and
Call Center Facilities in Phoenix

The U.S. Census Bureau today opened its last of three data capture
centers that will process 2010 Census questionnaires as they are mailed
back by households across the nation next spring. The 212,000 square-foot
facility in Phoenix will bring more than 2,800 jobs to the area.

“Processing the 2010 Census questionnaires accurately and safely at the
data capture centers is a crucial step to a successful census,” said Census
Bureau Associate Director for Decennial Programs Arnold Jackson. “The
responses from each form processed at the facility will help provide a
complete count of the nation’s population and a new portrait of America.”

The Phoenix Data Capture Center is expected to process about 30 percent
of the census forms mailed back by respondents. The remaining forms will be
sent to the Census Bureau’s National Processing Center in Jeffersonville,
Ind., and the data capture center in Baltimore. The 2010 Census forms will
be mailed in March, and the majority of the data processing will occur
between March and July.

The call center is one of only 11 facilities to serve as an information
resource/hotline for questions people may have when completing their forms.
The Phoenix professionals will answer questions about the process and
completing the questionnaire, and will follow-up with respondents if their
returned forms are not complete or potentially inaccurate.

Both facilities will be managed by Lockheed Martin. Its subcontractor
partner, Vangent, will manage the hiring efforts for the 2,830 new
employees, most of whom will be hired starting in January 2010. Each worker
will take an oath for life to keep census information confidential. By law,
the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with any other
government or law enforcement agency. Any violation of that oath is
punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison.

MyTwoCensus Investigation Part 1: Security Concerns At Data Processing Centers

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Background: The United States Census Bureau will be operating three data capture centers to process the information collected from the approximately 300 million Americans who will be counted in the 2010 Census. These data capture centers are located in Baltimore (Maryland), Jeffersonville (Indiana), and Phoenix (Arizona).

After speaking with human resources professionals who have significant knowledge of US government and subcontractor practices, MyTwoCensus is concerned that the screening processes for people who will have access to highly sensitive information is inadequate.

Here are the criteria for employment at the Baltimore data capture center, which is ostensibly similar to the procedures at the other facilities as well:

Job Title: SCA General Clerk I – Paper Data Processing
City: Essex
State/Province: Maryland
Post Type: Full-Time/Part-Time
Requirements: There are basic requirements for BDCC employment which include:

• U.S. citizenship with documentation or Permanent Residency status (requires valid documentation from the past 2 years authorizing employment)
• 18 years of age or older
• High school diploma or GED
• English literacy
• No felony convictions
• Submission of personal information and fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a suitability assessment. All applicants are required to meet Department of Commerce suitability requirements before employment.

MyTwoCensus is extremely concerned that mandatory drug tests are not part of the criteria for these positions because of the access to sensitive material that will inevitably come with the job. We are also concerned that the lax “no felony convictions” clause means that people who have been accused of felonies but have plead guilty to misdemeanors will likely be working in these facilities. In Maryland, the following crimes are considered misdemeanors:

  • Driving with a Revoked License
  • Reckless Driving
  • Petty theft
  • Prostitution
  • Public drunkenness
  • Resisting arrest
  • Failure to appear in court
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism

With so many Americans who have no criminal records currently unemployed, it is even more ludicrous that the standards for these positions are so low.

Another major loophole is that recruiters are trying to fill these positions now (September and October), but the jobs won’t actually begin until the spring (after Census Day – April 1, 2010). This means that during the next 6 months, people who pass background checks may surely be involved in criminal activities, but because of the time lag, their employers will likely never be aware of the situation.

It should be noted that the “Baltimore Data Capture Center will be managed by Lockheed Martin. Its subcontractor partner, CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation), will manage the hiring efforts for the 2,500 new employees, most of whom will be hired starting in December of this year.”

IBM, Lockheed Martin, GPS, and the 2010 Census

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

We stumbled upon this most interesting piece on OpEdNews.com:

From April 1st, 500,000 census workers, part of a $700 million taxpayer-funded contract, will travel all known streets and roads to identify every living quarter where people live or could potentially live. Each structure also will receive Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates to make sure it is recorded in the right location.

Below are excerpts from a video of the US Census Bureau ad, A New Portrait of America:

“On April 1st, 2010, our nation will be counted, every person whoever they are, wherever they live, and what we learn will transform what we know about ourselves. The 2010 Census, it’s a new portrait of America.  The 2010 Census is an exciting milestone for America. It promises to deliver accurate information about our diverse and growing population. And it’s important for the future of each community. Census Data will be used to allocate $300 billion in Federal funds every year.  It is the foundation of our Constitution. Communities use the data to plan for their future, like disaster and emergency services, health care services, schools, transportation, libraries, senior centers and more.

“The 2010 Census builds on the success of previous Censuses and is the best plan and most well researched Census ever.  The 2010 Census is important. This census is the commitment to the American way of life. To Be Counted as a resident of the United States I think is one of the proudest things that can happen to you in this country. It’s important to stand up for yourself, be counted. Let people know you’re out there. It’s a new portrait of America.”

Cue to the American flag….A video shot of diverse and multicultural people ranging from Hispanics, Asians to African and echoing the words, “It’s easy, it’s important, it’s safe!” Flashes on the screen pacify the end user: “It’s safe!”  The words, the mantra: “It’s safe!” burn into your subconscious.  Let’s remember that.

September 20, 2007 marked the day the U.S. Census Bureau awarded IBM Global Business Services a contract worth $89.5 million over nine years to provide data tabulation and dissemination services in support of the 2010 Census Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) program.  Fantastic news to one of the biggest IT companies in the world, otherwise known as Big Blue. It’s also known as the Nazi Nexus Hollerith Machine company to the Jewish families and other non-compliant races who lost their loved ones in WWII to the Third Reich. We will focus on the IBM Nazi nexus later in the article; let’s focus on what is currently happening with the US Census.

As we speak, US Census Bureau agents are pounding the pavements in the USA. Armed with a device, the HTC Census running on an Intel Bulverde 416MHz processor. Yes sir! Census agents are getting on with their business with an attitude of ‘I’m just doing my job’ as they capture your GPS front door coordinates. The catch phrase of these public servants echoes the hand that feeds them, the USA Census Bureau. “What are we doing on your doorstep?” Um, we are “Helping YOU make informed decisions,” replies the USA Census Agent, and don’t you think anything else!

Each US Census Bureau worker is assigned a funky HTC Census dual-band CDMA/EV-DO device that is WiFi but also comes with a phone jack, allowing it to be connected to a land-line network. The HTC Census is biometrically protected to the user, as this Census Bureau YouTube video explains. The ‘worker Census bees’ must have no problem with biometric harvesting, and soldier on collecting GPS co-ordinates for the Queen bee.

Once the GPS (Global Positioning System, formerly known as GNSS – global navigation satellite system developed by the US Department of Defense) co-ordinates are matched to the mapping address, the HTC spits out a ‘you have successfully completed this address’ which motivates the Census worker bee onto the next address.

This little viewed YouTube US Census Bureau video depicts a lovely lady who courteously knocks on the door and introduces herself. “Hi! My name is Elizabeth from the US Census Bureau.  We are in the area today, verifying addresses for the 2010 census. Here is a copy of our privacy act along with my purpose here today. What is your address? Is this also your mailing address. Great. Okay, thanks, that sums it up. If you don’t mind, I’ll be up front updating my maps.” The Census worker thanks the resident and they bid farewell to each other. How lovely!

Now back to the real world.  The reality is that US Census Bureau Agents are conducting themselves in a covert, shifty and stealthy manner. US citizens who have experienced US Census Bureau agents first hand have commented they seem untrustworthy, reveal very little when questioned and get the job done regardless.  In this home video, a Census worker gets upset he is being video taped. ‘Getting the job done’ means getting your GPS coordinates. But remember the US Census Bureau advertisement: “It’s easy, it’s important, it’s safe!” “It’s safe!”  Ah, I feel better after drinking the GPS Census Kool Aid.

The US Census Bureau goes on to say, “We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.” Who exactly are these customers? A bit of a clue to our readers who are not up on their history: the customer is NOT you. It’s DARPA, the CIA, FBI and other domestic spy agencies.

Let us remember these public servants responded to the US Census Bureau job ad which read: “Thousands are needed for temporary jobs. Conducting the census is a huge undertaking. Thousands of census takers are needed to update address lists and conduct interviews with community residents. Most positions require a valid driver’s license and use of a vehicle. However, public transportation may be authorized in certain areas.”

Would these temporary public servants be as gun ho if they were made aware that IBM had a dark and sinister story hiding in their blue chip closet?

What if the US Census advertisement read as follows?

If we stepped back in time, we would realize that census data is extremely powerful in anyone’s hands, but what if those hands were Hitler’s? That infamous war criminal relied on IBM Census data in WWII to fuel the war machine. The census data provided by IBM to Nazi Germany was used for planning invasion and occupation plans for Europe and provided key information to the Nazis to exterminate the non compliant races.

Edwin Black, author of IBM and the Holocaust, and an award-winning, investigative journalist for the New York Times, painstakingly documented how IBM’s Dohemag subsidiary was integral to the Nazi killing machine by providing the necessary automation to ‘locate all the Jews of Europe.’ As the Third Reich embarked upon its plan of conquest and genocide, IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies, step-by-step, from the Census, to identification and cataloging programs of the 1930′s, to the selections of the 1940′s.

According to IBM’s historical archives, German inventor Herman Hollerith developed and patented census tabulating equipment in the late Nineteenth Century. The mock-up below represents the machine used by the U.S. Census Bureau in compiling the 1890 Census.


This equipment is representative of the tabulating system invented and developed by Herman Hollerith (1860-1929) and built for the U.S. Census Bureau. These machines were first used in compiling the 1890 Census. IBM History.

Hollerith’s patents were acquired by the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. (which later became IBM), and this work became the basis of the IBM Punch Card System.  But when IBM Germany formed its philosophical and technological alliance with Nazi Germany, census and registration took on a new mission. IBM Germany invented the racial census–listing not just religious affiliation, but bloodline going back generations. This was the Nazi data lust. Not just to count the Jews–but to identify them. Hooray for IBM work experience and double hooray for an IBM proven track record!

“We appreciate the Census Bureau’s continued confidence in IBM to support their efforts,” said John Nyland, Managing Partner, IBM Global Business Services, Public Sector obviously reflecting on the fact “Working with our business partners, IBM is helping the Census Bureau with innovative approaches to flexible and timely data analysis and dissemination.” IBM is also supporting the Census Bureau as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin on the Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) 2010 data collection contract. Yes that’s right, the world’s largest defense contractor by revenue is working with IBM to ensure America is counted.  But let’s not get alarmed. Let’s remember the US Census Bureau advertisement….”It’s easy, it’s important, its safe! … It’s safe!”

In 2005, Lockheed Martin won the contract to develop the Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) in order to:

• Receive, capture, and standardize census data provided by respondents via census forms and telephone agents;
• Provide assistance to the public through the telephone; and
• Receive standardized data collected via hand-held computers.

In 2007, IBM joined the team, subcontracting with BAE Systems, ESRI, Space-Time Research, SAS, M-Cubed, Roundarch, Dataline, FWG, Measurable Results, RCM, PKW, Fenestra, and Acumen Solutions. [12]

In 2009, ACORN – the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also joined the Census team.

So what exactly are we concerned about? Are we saying that IBM and Lockheed Martin have used temporary public servants to undertake their cloaked military GPS Census operation?  That’s precisely what we are saying. Let us be crystal clear: if US Census workers were armed with their GPS and dressed in IBM/Lockheed Martin military apparel, there would be an outcry and perhaps an awakening on what is happening to the constitutional rights of Americans. But IBM has shown great veiling expertise and US citizens have  barely noticed  a massively organized militarization of their information quietly occurring, shrouded in a cloak and dagger US Census Bureau marketing campaign. It can’t get any more intimate and personal than your front door GPS coordinates, can it?

The question we must now ask, ‘Why are they doing this and what will they do with the information?’

Greg Nikolettos writes for We The People Will Not Be Chipped, a group of Neo Luddites who campaign for privacy and the irrefutable fact that humanity has inalienable human rights that are absolute and cannot be debased nor perverted. Human life cannot be degraded to a RFID chip number embedded under your skin under any circumstance.

Australia’s Paperless Census

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

The Australian government has invested a significant amount of money in creating a do-it-yourself, web-based eCensus, that will save not only the environment, but millions of taxpayer dollars as well.

This makes us wonder, why isn’t America a technological leader when it comes to implementing new census technology? Is it because lawmakers like to see taxpayer money redistributed within their districts to Census Bureau field workers? Is it because lobbying efforts from private firms like Lockheed Martin that have won contracts to work with the Census Bureau?

Here are some highlights from the article about Australia’s superior headcounting technology:

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has virtualized its server infrastructure to form its own private cloud with the potential to host the 2016 eCensus thus avoiding a $9 million outsourcing contract.

In 2006, the ABS introduced the option of either completing the Census on the traditional paper form or electronically via the Web-based eCensus, which provides the potential for improved data collection and faster processing of the results.

The ABS chose IBM to develop and support its eCensus program because of “IBM’s expertise in Web-based solutions and scalable infrastructure”, but that is changing with the advent of virtualization technology which has provided the opportunity to host the application in house, according to the ABS director of servers, operating systems and storage, Tony Marion

According to the ABS, eCensus information is encrypted at all times while in the system and even IBM does not have the keys required to decrypt the data, but running it in-house would reduce the perception of secure information being managed by a third-party.

Lockheed Martin & The 2010 Census

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Last week, a report came out that a Canadian man, Todd Stelmach, was fined $300 for failing to participate in Canada’s 2006 Census. His reason for avoiding the surveys: His religious and antiwar beliefs made it such that he couldn’t support Lockheed Martin, the American defense technology firm that was contracted by the Canadian government to provide the services responsible for the Census.

American anti-war advocates are most likely unaware that Lockheed Martin has a contract to “develop and deploy the Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) to carry out the 2010 Census. The Lockheed Martin Team was selected by the U.S. Census Bureau last year (2005) o implement the most technically advanced Census in the history of the United States.” Who awarded Lockheed Martin this contract? Was it a no-bid contract? What other firms sought to provide the 2010 Census with its necessary technology?

Here’s Lockheed Martin’s description of the Census services that they have provided for governments around the world:

The Lockheed Martin Census Business Practice team is a premier international provider of integrated census data collection, processing and analysis solutions. More than 10 years of unmatched experience, resources, methods, systems and commitment ensure that our census solutions are flexible, secure, accurate and cost effective.

Our Census Business Practice successes include the U.S. 2000 Census, the United Kingdom’s 2001 Census, and Canada’s 2006 Census, which was the first census in North America that allowed citizens nationwide the choice to submit their census via a secure Internet solution. The team is currently supporting the U.S. Census Bureau with the Decennial Response Integration System for the 2010 Census.

In the United States, the Corporation supported the Census 2000 with the Data Capture System (DCS). The U.S. Census 2000 was the largest, most sophisticated – and most accurate – census undertaken; encompassing 120 million forms with 98 percent accuracy. It represented the first census to use scanned optical character recognition (OCR) technology to process the handwritten forms.

For the 2001 UK Census, Lockheed Martin’s team provided data capture and coding services, including form printing, dress rehearsal services and census services for nearly 30 million forms with an accuracy rate of better than 99 percent.

Lockheed Martin provided hardware and software integration for Statistics Canada’s dress rehearsal and full 2006 census, including the first successful use of the secure Internet channel.

In every census we support, Lockheed Martin’s team strives to:

• Provide the general public with multiple, easy-to-use and secure methods of response.
• Help census authorities collect and capture the data accurately and completely.
• Employ robust processes and tools to ensure complete protection of individuals’ personal information.

Lockheed Martin’s Census Business Practice represents technology expertise that make census taking highly accurate, more automated and efficient, and easier for citizens as well as for governments to use.