Ze bobbLebot has heardeth of the scary, scary tales of biometrics, but never for once believed it could touch those purple mountains majesty or sea to shining sea. But if biometrics WERE to happen, living in a post-9/11 world, we’d probably be the first place to git it.
Oh wait. We already did.
In fact, according to Security Info Watch:
In late June, the president signed HSPD-24, which directed federal agencies to integrate processes and interoperable systems to the fullest extent permitted by law - like the FBI’s IAFIS and the DHS’ US VISIT programs — and make available to other agencies all biometric and associated biographical and contextual information associated with individuals who pose a reasonable suspicion of threat to national security. HSPD-24 was a result of the 9-11 Commission’s report that was strongly critical of federal agencies’ lack of communication and data sharing during the national crisis.
Whaaaaat? And where was the bobbLebot??!
Oh yeah, living under a rock.
::shrugs:: it's comfy.
But HOLD UP. WHAT IS BIOMETRICS?!
Well YouTube’s glad you asked.
And it’s not just fingerprints – it’s a system of biological data, from the patterns in our irises to our blood samples, that will be used to create profiles for a larger, national database so that, eventually, every citizen’s movements can be tracked via ID cards or even implanted microchips. Sound unlikely?
YO! Workers are being implanted with chips! And we’re not talking Fritos! Mmmm… Fritos…
But yeah, the defense is that the technology for implantable chips are so rudimentary that they can’t yet track movement and location.
::makes a face::
1st of all, how do we know this? 2nd of all, does this mean that this technology will always be out of reach? 3rd of all, couldn’t what is being purported to be for our own protection in fact be for our own enslavement? To jail us? To put us in a position where our own information can be misconstrued and used against us?
So what can this biometric system be used for? Well, W explained it best back in 6/6/06:
Sounds a little Big Brother and Conspiracy Theory.
And it’s going beyond sea to shining sea. In fact, it’s starting to be implemented in the form of ID cards in Britain. RIGHT NOW. Think about how fast this will spread in 2 years… and by that time, I wonder if the biometrics utilized will hold more sophisticated technologies.
i always feel like... somebody's watching meeee...and i've got no privacy - whoa-oh!
Cory Doctorow, your average, everyday weird/COOL! news and gadgetry blogger explains his experience via boingboing:
Earlier this year, I married my British fiancee and switched my visa status from “Highly Skilled Migrant” to “Spouse.” This wasn’t optional: Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, had unilaterally (and on 24 hours’ notice) changed the rules for Highly Skilled Migrants to require a university degree, sending hundreds of long-term, productive residents of the UK away (my immigration lawyers had a client who employed over 100 Britons, had fathered two British children, and was nonetheless forced to leave the country, leaving the 100 jobless). Smith took this decision over howls of protests from the House of Lords and Parliament, who repeatedly sued her to change the rule back, winning victory after victory, but Smith kept on appealing (at tax-payer expense) until the High Court finally ordered her to relent (too late for me, alas).
Now, it seems, I will become one of the first people in Britain to be forced to carry a mandatory biometric RFID card in a pilot programme being deployed first to foreign students and we spousal visa holders (government is looking to curtail spousal visas altogether, capping all visas at 20,000 per year, including spousal visas, denying Britons the right to bring their spouses into the country once the quota has been filled). The card will be eventually linked to all of the national databases — credit, health, driving, spending. These are the same databases that the government has been repeatedly losing and haemmorhaging by the tens of million (literally).
And so it begins.
Many of my British friends act as if I’m crazy when I say that we must defeat Labour in the next election. We’re all good lefties, and a vote for the LibDems is considered tantamount to handing the country over to the Tories. But what could the Tories do that would trump what Labour has made of the country? The Labour Party has made a police state with a melting economy, a place where rampant xenophobia makes foreigners less and less welcome — where we are made to hand over our biometrics and carry papers as we conduct our lawful business. The only mainstream party to speak out against this measure is the LibDems, and they will have my vote.
To my friends, I say this: your Labour Party has taken my biometrics and will force me to carry the papers my grandparents destroyed when they fled the Soviet Union. In living memory, my family has been chased from its home by governments whose policies and justification the Labour Party has aped. Your Labour Party has made me afraid in Britain, and has made me seriously reconsider my settlement here. I am the father of a British citizen and the husband of a British citizen. I pay my tax. I am a natural-born citizen of the Commonwealth. The Labour Party ought not to treat me — nor any other migrant — in a way that violates our fundamental liberties. The Labour Party is unmaking Britain, turning it into the surveillance society that Britain’s foremost prophet of doom, George Orwell, warned against. Labour admits that we migrants are only the first step, and that every indignity that they visit upon us will be visited upon you, too. If you want to live and thrive in a free country, you must defend us too: we must all hang together, or we will surely hang separately.
Would the bobbLebot be correct in assessing that this sh*t is bananas?
This is REAL, people! This is NOW, people! And what will it take for us to wake up to see what is going on right in front of us? We all have the power to say NO.
We’ve already heard of China’s All-Seeing Eye, the US government is already implementing biometrics while private companies are voluntarily implanting their workers with chips. Meanwhile, in Britain, the government is using biometric data to track immigrants and foreign nationals.
Is something wrong with the picture here?