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Tag, You’re It!

Posted by Rick · May 18th, 2004 · 10 Comments

One of our more troubled readers — no longer with us because he’s off trying to start his own blog full of panache and style, if not content — frequently worries about the location of “the semen-stained dress.”

Thanks to Wal-Mart, we’ll soon never lose another dress…or the person who wears it.


This month’s CSO: The Resource for Security Executives notes that

During the next year, hundreds of companies will be forced to deploy technology for automatically tracking the movement of consumer goods using radio waves. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been mandated by both the U.S. Department of Defense and — perhaps more important — Wal-Mart. — Garfinkel, “What’s Your Frequency?” (May 2004) CSO: The Resource for Security Executives, p. 55. [Emphasis added.]

RFID uses low-powered transmitters so small they can be sewn right into the fabric of clothing. These devices are capable of sitting, quiescent, until you walk within 1 inch to 100 feet of a reader. The most common use is to track assets or manage inventory. RFID tags can also contain additional information — they’re used, for example, to tag sheep with information about blood lines, date of birth and shot records.

And now Wal-Mart has insisted that manufacturers put these tags into every item they manufacture.

The data store on a 13.56-MHz tag is large enough to contain routing information for the shipping container and a detailed inventory of the products inside. — Brewin, “Radio Frequency Identification,” ComputerWorld (online).

Or information on the name, address and other identifying information of consumers who purchase items laced with RDIF? Wal-Mart, who once sued an elderly woman for her Social Security payments to recover some of their costs after they ran over her with a fork-lift (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Keel (2002) 817 So.2d 1; 2002 La. LEXIS 969), would surely never stoop so low, would they? They couldn’t do that, could they?

While most RDIF tags currently in use are “write once, read many” devices — meaning the information is imprinted at the time of manufacture and is not modifiable afterwards — there are RDIF tags that can be imprinted with fresh information. With the proper devices at each purchasing terminal (e.g., “cash register”) it would be possible to imprint tags hidden in your clothing with information about who you are, where you live and anything else available to the checker. Perhaps if you pay for the item with cash, it would be easier to avoid this, but if you pay by credit card or use a store discount “club” card the checker has your personal information in hand. And suppose you mostly buy using cash and without a “club” card, but one time, you didn’t? It shouldn’t be too difficult to read the clothes you’re wearing which you purchased with a credit or “club” card, while you stand in front of the cashier waiting to pay cash for your new clothes, and transfer information from the clothes you’re wearing to the new clothing. And then…

Indelible tags sewn into clothing or embedded in the soles of shoes would make it possible to track consumers as they enter or leave stores. Readers on store shelves could alert whenever a consumer picks up expensive merchandise — perhaps automatically snapping a picture [or reading their identity from their clothes] if someone gets too many razors at once. Tags on books or magazines would identify what a person is reading by scanning his briefcase or backpack. Tags on banknotes would enable a mugger to figure out who is carrying large amounts of cash. — Garfinkel, supra, at p. 56.

Think this sounds paranoid?

It’s tempting to dismiss these scenarios as ravings from unsophisticated technophobes. Don’t. The glaring mis-uses of RFID technology previously mentioned were first brought up not by privacy activists, but by the RFID industry itself. — Garfinkel, supra, at p. 56.

Some 6 million Americans are already familiar with RFID technology, although they may not realize it. Cars equipped with RFID transponders allow consumers to pull into a gas station, fill up and never so much as remove a credit card from their wallet. And guess what?

[T]ransit authorities in several cities use E-ZPass tags as a way to measure traffic flow. In other words, people are reading the RFID in your car without your knowledge. — Newitz, “Wearing a Wire” (May 6, 2003) Alternet.org. [Emphasis added.]

Remember the scene in Back to the Future II where Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) is walking down the street and the commercials adapt to his presence? This is one of the more innocuous realities made possible by RFID; but it also demonstrates how easy it is to recognize that you are you as you pass by. Surely the government would never monitor ordinary, non-criminal citizens!

Oh? Cities from Honolulu to Miami are currently using cameras to watch citizens 24 hours a day. In Honolulu,

The cameras are mounted on utility poles, and a camera operator watching a video monitor at a police substation can zoom in and out, rotate a camera 360 degrees and even look straight down[.] — Gonser, “Security cameras under repair” (March 5, 2004) Honolulu Advertiser.

And The Miami Herald reports that,

One of the nation’s richest towns has decided to digitally record the license plate of every car that meanders through its small stretch of mansions on the Palm Beach County coast and to run an automatic background check on each driver. — Bierman, “Just passing through? In this town, the cameras will know” (April 24, 2004) The Miami Herald. [Emphasis added.]

Combine that with RFID technology now being built into nearly every new automobile (16 million vehicles have this feature today) and you get a lot more than instant background checks on every driver — RFID technology could be used to disable the automobile by changing the RFID code in the ignition system. And for those who have no problems with the government keeping tabs on all people within our geographic reach twenty-four-by-seven, don’t forget that the same technology would be within the reach of criminals. Imagine being out in the middle of a deserted area in the middle of the night when someone disables your car’s ignition system.

These applications are only the tip of the iceberg. Do you think periodic drug testing is intrusive? Employers in the private sector — who are not bound by constitutional restrictions the way some governments (theoretically) are — have utilized RFID for such functions as monitoring the number of calories consumed by their employees versus the amount of exercise the employee has gotten.

Privacy activists, such as the Electronic Frontier Federation, which has a section on RFID have noted this massive potential for invasion of privacy. And I’m pointing out the potential for government monitoring of citizens’ activities. Peace Fresno won’t have to worry about the sheriff’s department infiltrating their group when they can easily be tracked by the clothes they wear and the cars they drive. Fashion Fair’s guards could be alerted to their presence the minute they step on the property by RFID tags hidden in the shoes they bought from manufacturers who bowed to Wal-Mart’s demands.

Garfinkel notes that California has legislation pending which would require businesses selling consumer goods to kill item-level RFID tags at check-out — similar to what happens now when security devices are removed from clothing at the purchase point. But as Garfinkel’s article points out,

The problem with the “all tags must die” approach, says Henry Holtzman, a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab, is that tags on stolen property won’t be killed. That means that having an item on your body containing a live tag might be taken as circumstantial evidence that you are a shoplifter. It’s not hard to imagine police walking the sidewalks in some neighborhoods with high-powered RFID readers, searching for anybody giving off the right signals. And it’s not hard to imagine anti-RFID activists going into stores and killing every tag they can find with covert tools. — Garfinkel, supra, at p. 58.

Nor is it difficult to imagine the police using RFID readers simply to identify and run background checks on everyone passing a particular ad hoc security checkpoint. It’s the next-best-thing to Minority Report.

RFID technology is here to stay. In reality, it’s been available for decades. But never has it been as cheap, ubiquitous and potentially threatening as it is today, in an era where the USA PATRIOT Act and other legislation that strips restrictions from governmental spying on citizens is increasingly viewed as normal and beneficial by a government that views each of its citizens as potential miscreants or, worse, enemies. Unless citizens are aware of the issues outlined in this article, they cannot act responsibly to deal with it.

So what do you do? The threat to privacy is very real, but is accentuated by the absence of government regulations limiting the use of RFID technology. What needs to happen is for concerned citizens to write their congressional representatives and express their concerns. Don’t sit back and wait until it’s too late. Stores like Wal-Mart, who consider you not so much as customers as cash cows, are ready and waiting to say, “Tag, you’re it!”

Categories: Corporations · Privacy · Social Issues

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nat // May 18, 2004 at 7:20 pm

    In the 32 years that I’ve ben watching Presidential elections in this country, I have NEVER encountered such intense hatred of any one candidate as is evidenced by the daily outpouring of pure poison being directed at President Bush by the political left in this country.

    I personally love George W Bush and think he is a standup guy. He has been dealt a very difficult hand with the 9-11 attack and the results of the preceding 8 years of total neglect of the build-up of terrorist organizations dedicated to overthrowing the US government.

    I believe that the actions he has taken have all been in the interests of defending the United States and preventing future 9-11, or worse, type attacks.

    It mystifies me why, if W is such an obviously decent guy doing a terrific job of leading the country in these very dangerous times, people on the political left hate him SO MUCH that they are willing to align themselves with the enemies of this country in order to try and bring about his downfall.

    I don’t get it. It’s not like Theresa Heinz’s poodle is any great shakes as a potential replacement. If anything, the changeling Kerry is totally unfit to lead this nation. If Kerry was running things, 9-11 would be a daily occurrence and he would surrender this country to the UN. The people on the left are not pumping this much vitriol into the public discourse in order to just promote the French-looking Funeral Director’s campaign. They seem like they don’t even care for him. No, it’s their intense hatred of W is what motivates them.

    Who is the political left? They are the Hollywood hypocrites, University professors, teachers, Union bosses, homosexuals and sexual perverts of every stripe, Time, Newsweek, USAT, LAT, WP, NYT and of course, CBS, PBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and MSNBC. Throw in some extreme leftwing agitators such as Jesse “The Shakedown” Jackson, Charles Rangel, Maxine Waters, The Swimmer from Massachussetts, Barbra Streisand and the abominable Clinton woman and you have the political left on display.

    You can’t watch a single news show on any of the above stations without one or more these people being given the stage to voice their shrill, vitriolic, hate-laced diatribes against W.

    What the heck did a nice guy like W do to deserve this? He’s only trying to protect America from being wiped out by a bunch of madmen!! The way these people on the left go on about him you would think he was a regular Saddam Hussein.

    I’m telling you, guys I have never seen anything like this. It is so un-American it makes me want to throw up each time I hear one these vile people spewing their hate all over my TV screen.

    But I think there’s an upside to it all. My theory is that America is watching these people in total disbelief and when the election comes there is going to be a backlash of landslide proportions against these hateful Liberals. This is 1994 all over again. The angry males are going to come out and vote to restore some decency to the political process and these people who have preached nothing but a diet of hate are going to be punished in the voting booth.

    I see 45-5 for W if this barrage of Bush hate from the Liberals continues.

  • 2 Rick // May 18, 2004 at 7:53 pm

    Welcome back, Nat.

    You asked what President Bush did to deserve my disapprobation (well, you said “Liberals,” but I’m pretty sure you were reacting — if not responding — to my post which you didn’t read, and you said “hate,” but surely you recognize the difference between what I said about President Bush and what you said, so I’ll express it more correctly as “disapprobation”).

    Firstly, to make it clear, I do not, however much you wish to insist upon it (read my words for a change) side with “our enemies” — even though that increasingly means “the rest of the entire world” — but rather I question the wisdom of the current path of our administration.

    Are you, truly, seriously, pleased that what I wrote in the article to which your comment is attached (I accidentally originally wrote “to which you are responding,” but, as usual, you aren’t doing that), is the case? You’ve no problem with the 24-by-7 monitoring and potential abuses?

    You’re happy to live in a fishbowl? “Us,” citizens of the United States, against our own government, which is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people”? This doesn’t bother you?

    We are the United States. The President is the President of the United States. He is not the “ruler” of the United States. On the contrary! He is the most significant public servant! He, of all people, is supposed to be more beholden, more accountable, more responsible than any other official. For what? For this: He, above all others, is to answer to the people to whom he owes his position.

    You seem to have things exactly backwards. The President answers to us and not the other way around.

    I am a citizen of these United States.

    And he owes me far more than I owe him. He has a duty, by law, to me.

    Figure it out, guy. I recognize you’ve been brainwashed as have many others, to think of it the other way around. But I am a born citizen of this country. He is merely an elected administrator of my country. The privilege runs from me, and you, and every other citizen, to him. Not the other way around.

  • 3 Mark // May 18, 2004 at 8:40 pm

    Hatred? To me, spending $60 million in taxpayer money to investigate a blow job — THAT’S hatred. Paying countless clowns and stooges to lie about someone — THAT’S hatred.

    No one has had to pay anyone to lie about pResident Bush. No one has to lie about him. The lies he tells himself and the truth about him and his cronies gives any rational person plenty of reason to distrust the guy (a view that now most Americans apparently share).

    Congress has not appropriated one red cent to investigate the fabrications and lies that led us to a no-win situation in Iraq that the Army’s own War College calls a terrible mistake. Congress has not appropriated one penny to investigate just who in the White House commited treason by outing a CIA agent. I could go on, but I don’t have all night.

    It seems to me like the appointed pResident has been getting an extremely easy ride from a sadly ignorant general public and the very compliant news media.

    When our side starts having to pay people to lie about this low-brain in order to get people riled up (and that will never happen), THEN you can talk about hatred. Unitl then, I think you should reflect on the reprehensible behavior displayed by members of the G-O-P during the eight years preceeding the current administration. You’re preaching against hate to the wrong crowd, Nat.

    And YOU? Preaching against HATE? With the vitriolic comments you have posted on this blog?

    That is as farcical as it would be if I were to try to tell people to avoid golf, a glass of quality bourbon on the rocks, or spending Saturday afternoons watching college football. There are some who are sadly blind to the virtues of those three activities, and those poor, misguided fools might preach against them. But not me! Those three activities (among others) are things in which I indulge with great pleasure.

    NAT preaching against HATE? You can’t possibly be serious.

  • 4 Nat // May 19, 2004 at 5:56 am

    I have made no secret of my dislike for the Clintons. Well, “dislike” is putting it mildly. Let me just say that my feelings for the Clintons are akin to those you would experience if you woke up tomorrow morning and found a 2lb Palmetto bug sitting on your toothbrush.

    But, to me, revulsion at mention of the Clintons is totally justifiable. These are some of the most unethical people to have ever been part of the Washington scene. Their entire track record is one of dirty dealings, betrayal and corruption. There is absolutely nothing honorable about them. They have accomplished exactly nothing for the good of the country. They are merely opportunists who exploit government office for personal gain.

    George W Bush, by comparison, is a Boy Scout. A thoroughly decent individual with a sense of propriety and a sense of patriotic honor. There are no actions in the Bush White House that portray a culture of anything other than a classic Norman Rockwell type of family. Laura Bush is a lovely, picture perfect First Lady. You could not ask for a more gracious, elegant and yet caring First Lady.

    Contrast this with the culture of moral filth and degradation that existed under the Clintons. The betrayal of nuclear missile technology to our enemies. The semen-stained dresses. The reports of the evil Clinton woman throwing lampshades at Clinton in one of her vile, angry tantrums over his adulterous behavior. On and on and nauseatingly on.

    None of that in the Bush White House.

    So why is there so much hatred on the left? Is it W himself? I don’t think so. I think it’s an expression of the left’s self-loathing. These people can’t possibly believe the Socialist claptrap they spout everyday. After all, their ideology has never worked in any country in the world. It must be hard to have to spout all that false Socialist dogma everyday knowing, in your heart, that you don’t really believe it. This guilt eventually manifests itself in feelings of self-hatred and self-loathing which they then turn outward. George Bush is simply a convenient excuse for these people. The real problem is with themselves.

    It’s a shame that the media covers these people publicly working out their neuroses, in the guise of “news”. It’s not news at all. It’s just the ranting of a bunch of politicians who have gone mental over the fact that the American people no longer trust them to be the majority party.

  • 5 Rick // May 19, 2004 at 7:12 am

    It’s pretty interesting that you (Nat, who I thought had left to start his own blog based on private emails to me) can’t stay off the topic of Bush. That in spite of the fact that the quite serious topic about which I was writing never once mentions the President.

    Nevertheless, I commend you because your last comment, Nat, is less vitriolic than the normal fare from you. Good job. I was beginning to think you couldn’t write anything that didn’t verbally rake everyone over the coals.

    At the same time, you’ve provided an opinion — as with all your other opinions — that doesn’t appear to have any back-up for the claims you’re making.

    Did Clinton engage in illicit relations with a willing partner, Monica Lewinsky? I think he did, based on what he said and what’s been shown. But how does anyone as corrupt and immoral as you claim the Clintons are manage to survive more than eight years of the vilest attacks, the legal investigations and the millions of dollars thrown at them without one substantive criminal charge against them holding up?

    Sure, people like you insist that Clinton raped someone. Rapists live in jails, not in the Clintons’ homes. All accusations made by people who — to use a word no one on this blog uses more than you — hate the Clintons with an unending passion have failed in every court of law of the United States in which they’ve made any appearance.

    You — and, again, you aren’t the only one — talk about other illegal and immoral acts of the Clintons. And, yet, despite more than eight years of investigations by the most dogged of prosecutors, what, after all that, did they nail either Clinton for?

    Oh…yeah…they caught Bill Clinton lying about having had an affair with an intern.

    And everyone knows that no other American man would ever lie about such a thing! None. Only Bill Clinton.

    In the face of that, we have the Last Boy Scout in Government (again borrowing some of your verbiage), who never lied to anyone. Well, unless you count Weapons of Mass Destruction. Oh, and unless you count that we were going to get the terrorists for what they did to the World Trade Center. (We got some of them, but almost immediately shifted our attention to Iraq, which nearly all news sources — not just the handful that were not already busy cheerleading for the President — agree did not appear to have connections with al Qaeda until after we deposed Saddam Hussein, with whom al Qaeda would apparently not associate. And although we likely have the Big Guy, bin Laden, we’re still more than 30-45 days from the election, so it’s not official yet — how much do you want to be that if we catch him at all, it’s either right before the election, or done by a Democrat? I’m not saying a Democrat will win the Presidency. I’m saying if a Democrat doesn’t, we won’t catch bin Laden, unless it’s right before the election. I’ll eat my words if I’m wrong.)

    And now we have news coming out that abuses in contravention of the Geneva Convention were approved at much higher levels than we’d been previously told. Well, unless you talk to people normally identified as conservatives,

    As photos (and maybe even video!) trickle out documenting the misdeeds of American soldiers, conservatives are scrambling to find an acceptable party to blame. A few, like George Will, have risen brilliantly to the occasion, offering the administration a tough-love critique. But most have treated the two most logical candidates — the Pentagon and the White House — as off-limits. For them, the current unpleasantness must be somehow pinned on a reassuringly liberal villain. You can actually hear the gears whirring in their heads as they cycle through the usual suspects: Bill, Hillary, unions, tree-huggers, taxes, the French — surely some left-wing bogeyman can be found to take the heat off poor Rummy!

    Fortunately, a trio of right-wing chicks — Linda Chavez, Peggy Noonan, and the perennially unbalanced Ann Coulter — have leaped into this breach, peddling the ideologically soothing notion that Abu Ghraib is the sad, but predictable, by-product of permitting women in the military. (Ah, feminism! The perfect fall gal!) Coulter, true to form, doesn’t bother with logic. In her recent sit-down on “Hannity and Colmes,” the blonde bomb-lobber simply asserted that women should not be allowed in the military because, “in addition to not being able to carry even a medium-sized backpack, women are too vicious.” — Cottle, “G.I. Jane – The Perfect Fall Gal” (May 18, 2004) CBS News.

    Now, most of what the Bush Administration has done in Iraq is miscalculation and mistake — just as with Clinton’s personal foibles which would normally be considered immoral, but not illegal, this Administration’s actions in Iraq don’t necessarily run to anything so venal as high crimes and treason — but a lot of the attempt to deal with it is somewhat venal.

    Behind all the novel theories is this basic truth: The Bush administration never makes a mistake. Sure, American personnel in Iraq have been stretched dangerously thin thanks to a certain defense secretary’s reluctance to call up more troops. It’s also true that terrified, inexperienced reservists received virtually no training in preparation for sensitive postings. And military intelligence probably did “request” that internees be softened up a bit to aid interrogations. But all of this was part of a brilliant plan that would surely have succeeded if not for some misguided lefty notion about gender equality. Which is why the most important task the Pentagon faces these next few months isn’t upping our troop count, or investing the international community in Iraq’s future, or even ferreting out who ordered the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. It’s drumming every coarse, vulgar, uppity, sexually corrupting woman out of the military. And, if that doesn’t work, we can always blame the gays. — Cottle, supra.

    And, of course, there’s the constant prattling about “our” — meaning most of the people on this blog who’ve given facts to address your unsupported claims — hatred for Bush, even on a post that dealt with a significant social issue and never mentioned Bush’s name or directly addressed his Administration until it came up in your comment.

  • 6 bunny // May 19, 2004 at 7:14 am

    I don’t get it. I thought one of the purposes of a blog was to generate discourse on various topics. The topic of this post certainly does not warrant Nat’s diatribe, yet once again, about Bush and the Clintons.

    I like to get information on different topics and it was a nice change to read something different today. However, when I started reading the comments, I knew it was back to the same old thing.

    Perhaps I don’t know enough about blogs but I think it would be proper to comment on the post itself and not go off on a tangent about another topic.

  • 7 Bob // May 19, 2004 at 7:48 am

    I, for one, am very happy that Nat is off to create the blog of his dreams.

    I, for one, am damn tired of having every word of this blog dedicated to an attention deficit adult.

    Too many articles have been hijacked by this guy and turned into the only topic he knows: the worship of the incumbent.

    Kids, church is out. Let’s just wish this guy well and send him on his way. No more responses.

    There is just too much to notice on a daily basis to get dragged back in time to a previous administration. THIS administration has its hands full and the NEXT admonistration, whoever that may be, will have their hands full.

    Lets just all reach a collective closure and say good bye.

  • 8 Mark // May 19, 2004 at 9:22 am

    If a Democrat had used his Daddy’s connections to get into the National Guard, deserted his post, refused to take a medical exam and thus lost flight certification (flushing about one million dollars worth of training down the toilet), then begged to be released from his obligation before his time was done — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat in the White House had a wife with a conviction for manslaughter on her criminal record — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat raised daughters who were apparently so desperate for attention that they had to act out by violating drinking laws at a young age — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat drove the deficit up to record levels, thus (among other things) severely weakening the value of our dollar around the world — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat had used “push polling” to spread outrageously false rumors about a primary opponent in his own party, a man who was a true war hero — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat had used what by all appearances looks like illegal insider trading tactics to screw honest people out of their money, but was let off the hook because his daddy was President at the time — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat lied and used doctored intelligence and forged documents to make a case for attacking a country that was no threat to us, thus diminishing our abilities to go after our real enemies — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat had made sure that Osama bin Laden’s family was gathered up in planes and flown out of the country when American citizens were not allowed to fly in the days after 9/11 — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat ran away on 9/11 and hesitated in returning to the White House — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat had ignored the passioned pleas of those in his own administration and had stubbornly ignored the threat of coming attacks from a known terrorist who had made no secret of the fact that he intended to attack us on our soil — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat ran a television advertisement for his campaign that contained images of the of the victims of the 9/11 disaster and hired actors portraying firemen at World Trade Center — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat gave out no-bid government contracts to his buddies at wildly inflated prices (such as a cellular phone system provided to Iraq by WorldCom at a cost of SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS per cell phone) — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat had started a war, then cut combat pay for troops, reduced benefits to their families, and refused to supply troops with body armor that instead had to be purchased by their own families — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democratic administration had outted a CIA operative — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat had been appointed to the White House by a Supreme Court that wanted a state’s laws about deciding an election circumvented, and if subsequent examination of the ballots had revealed that the voters of that state had in fact cast more ballots for man who was not appointed by the court — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat threatened to fire members of his administration unless they lied to Congress about the true cost of government programs — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat changed his positions on the issues on a daily basis because of what his handlers told him the polls were saying — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    If a Democrat who could not speak the English language properly and could not be trusted to speak before a Congressional committee by himself — Nat would be screaming bloody murder.

    I could go on all day, but I have to get some work done.

    There’s a man in the White House about whom everything I mentioned above is true (and that’s only a small portion of the facts I could recite). Nat claims to believe this man is a “boy scout” and is “decent.”

    Does anyone think that Nat truly believes what he says? For one, I have to think Nat is too intelligent and too capable of rational thought to honestly believe that the scoundrel in the White House is a good and decent man. I have come to the conclusion, first proposed to me by another individual who posts on this blog: this guy has to be pulling our legs.

  • 9 nick meyer // May 19, 2004 at 9:27 am

    Okay, Lets try again. I tried to comment earlier and was instantly thrown off and then not allowed to log back on for some reason. Your story does not surprise me in the least bit. A couple of years ago there was a story about the state considering putting chips in parolees before they were released from prison to help keep track of their movements. This was not a rumor, I have friends very high up in the Parole dept. who tell me this is still on the burner while they work out all the legalities of such an undertaking. This morning I was told of a website where you can put in your address and they will send back a satallite picture of your neighborhood and more alarming a picture of your house. I am trying to verify this presently. All to say Big Brother is watching and collecting data. We cant blame this administration or another, this has been in the works for decades, it is just now technology that allows such an intrusion on our privacy. Can you imagine what J. Edgar Hoover would have done with this technology? Oh Well!!

  • 10 Rick // May 19, 2004 at 3:40 pm

    Well, the thing is, Nick, I’m hoping people won’t say, “Oh well”! That’s why some of this stuff happens.

    If we just sit back and let Wal-Mart, the DoD, police departments, or “whoever” make this stuff happen because they want to track people better, then it’s going to happen.

    If we express our opinions to the right people (e.g., congressional representatives, city hall, wherever), then it doesn’t have to happen.

    Remember, you are the government. You. But if you don’t say anything, then the people who say something get what they want, because they, too, are the government.

    And only the voices that speak are the voices heard.

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