Friday, July 02, 2004

Technology and Law: Coming National Ident System?

The oldman has blogged before, about the threat to privacy from the encroaching RFID technology. Now, Colorado is making it mandatory to implant such tracking devices in dangerous dogs.

Posted 6/30/2004 8:56 PM

Colorado to require microchip implants in dangerous dogs
By Nick Summers, USA TODAY

Colorado dog owners beware: A state law goes into effect today that requires implanting a microchip in dogs that injure someone. It's the latest use of the tiny device already inserted under the skin of millions of pets across the country.

These microchips are commonly used for reuniting lost pets with their owners. Each chip, about the size of a grain of rice and implanted between the dog's shoulder blades, contains a unique code that can be detected by a handheld scanner. National databases can match that number with an owner.

If a court decides after an attack that the dog is dangerous, it would require a microchip implant.

Minnesota enacted a similar law in 2001. Illinois last year allowed each county to decide whether to require microchips for registering all dogs and cats. In Virginia, dangerous dogs must have either a microchip or an identifying tattoo on the inner thigh.

Surely I'm making a big leap aren't I? I mean there's a big difference between dogs, tracking goods, and people right?

Well the oldman isn't exactly sure. After all it's been ruled legal to enforce sexual offender registration. Furthermore, there is already a solid history in case law of the use of electronic monitoring devices on criminal offenders. With the problem of prison overcrowding, how much longer before some enterprising judge gives criminal offenders a chance to stay in the community and be under "house arrest" if they agree to have a RFID tracking device implanted in them for cybernetic electronic monitoring?

Well so what if a few criminals get implanted with these ID's? Well even if it remains limited to criminals, who decides who is the criminal? These devices could also be used to track dissidents, public agitators, political enemies, etc. In addition, there is the highly creepy Supreme Court ruling deciding that it is a crime against the state in order not to identify yourself to a law enforcement officer. (CNN)
Hiibel had violated a Nevada statute that requires persons temporarily detained on "reasonable suspicion" of criminal activity to identify themselves to a police officer.

Hiibel -- who claimed he had done nothing wrong and was simply the victim of mistaken identity -- believed he had no obligation to tell the officer his name.

But the Court found that neither Hiibel's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, nor his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, was violated. (The high court's ruling)

In so doing, the Court took some liberties in construing its own past precedents, prompting four justices to dissent. But despite its technical deficiencies, the Hiibel decision does not threaten civil liberties.

Nor does it, as some commentators have suggested, pave the way for a system of compulsory national identification cards. Moreover, even if it did, such a system would not necessarily be unwise or unconstitutional.[emphasis added]

Translation: Anyone who says that a system of National Identification threatens civil liberties is a crackpot. But it might be a good idea anyway now that we think about it. And you have no Constitutional right that could stop it. So maybe we'll do it anyway. But it won't threaten your civil liberties.

Okay I'm not a conspiracy theorist but when the lying by the proponents of national identification is so sloppy, it raises the hairs on the back of my neck because like nothing else could this convinces me that they really are serious about this crap.

Yes, make no mistake, what that commentator just admitted without coming out and saying it explicitly was that this Supreme Court ruling is legally consistent with setting a precedent for a mandatory system of national identification. Further he argues that there is no Constitutional safeguard against it. Then people will complain of forgery, loss of identification, etc. In an age of terrorism how on earth could we prevent this sort of trying to get around the system? Well how much trouble is it to have a chip for radio tracking prevented in you. You don't got nothing to hide right? Only the guilty want to hide stuff! This is no big deal. We'll make it mandatory.

You see? That's how the 'slippery slope' works. Frankly I've always thought that anyone suggesting national identification was a crackpot conspiracy theorist. Until now when I see the freaking Supreme Court start paving the way. Don't make any mistake, we're not there yet but we're not that far off. The only thing preventing this from happening now is public sentiment. A few more terrorist emergencies however and ...

Well then they're going to come and chip us all. I hate this. This isn't even the country I grew up with anymore. How could people do this to their country? It's madness. I'd say it was impossible. Except that slowly, step by step, I'm seeing it happen right in front of my eyes. Man, this sucks!


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