[conspire] Idiot waiver demands

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Sep 24 21:00:58 PDT 2010

Quoting Keith Wood (kw6 at xmission.com):

> I used to volunteer with the American Red Cross, and probably spent
> a couple of thousand hours over the years working disaster
> communications.
> That ended a couple of years ago, when they demanded that all
> volunteers go through a background AND CREDIT check, with a waiver
> which allowed the third-party credit place to do ANYTHING THEY CHOSE
> with the private information that I was supposed to provide and
> anything that they turned up in the checks.

I remember when that happened.

I was so aghast that I actually have, since then, favoured doing my
blood donations pretty much anywhere _other_ than at American Red Cross
chapters.  I've considered ceasing to give donations to them entirely,
and writing to the national leadership explaining why.  

I still may do so, actually -- now that blood banks want my blood again,
after a year's deferral in 2008-9 for medical reasons that are now
history and need not be detailed here.

For a long time, the 'American Red Cross' link on the front page of
linuxmafia.com (in the 'Dept. of Web-Search Juice' area on the bottom
that's basically a Hall of Shame box) has for a long time pointed to an
ARRL _The Amateur Amateur_ news item, 'ARRL President Airs Concerns
about Required Red Cross Background Checks'.  ARRL seems to have 404'ed
that 2006 piece, but here's an archive copy:


At that time, American Red Cross was _claiming_ to require only a
'criminal background check' but was in fact 'requiring permission to
draw a consumer and/or investigative consumer report on the volunteer
[...] that could also include a credit check and a mode-of-living check.'

Here's a more-recent ARRL article (March 2010) where American Red Cross
made the _slightly_ less ridiculous concession that 'ARRL volunteers may
arrange, at their own initiative and expense, to have the criminal
background check performed by a state or local law enforcement agency'
The Red Cross also has agreed that ARRL volunteers shall not be asked or
required to consent to credit checks, mode of living investigations or
investigative consumer reports in order to provide a communications

However:  'The ARRL and the Red Cross encourage interested volunteers in
their respective organizations to become members and to participate in
the activities of the other organization. ARRL volunteers should be
aware that if they wish to become Red Cross volunteers, they may be
required to consent to additional background checks in accordance with
Red Cross policy that may include credit checks, mode of living
investigations or investigative consumer reports.'


You know, yeah, screw that.  I'd laugh, too.

And I think I may get around to writing that letter.

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