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March 29, 2006

Be careful what you wish on your enemies


Think pedophiles and/or illegal aliens should be tagged with RFID?
I'd say that's a very bad idea.

Living in this surveillance and power-mad century, there's a wise Chinese proverb we should all keep in mind:

"The fire you kindle for your enemy often burns you more than it burns him."

While some people may, at first glance, think it's a good idea to tag the more dangerous and unsavory elements of society with a computer chip, it's actually a very bad idea in the long run. An industry that's built around tagging human beings against their will, whether they're illegal immigrants, criminals, or even mass murderers, will grow fat and powerful and bureaucratic from feeding at the trough of our tax dollars. An infrastructure of human tagging will take root, then, like all industries, it will want to see its market expand. (Think of the prison-industrial complex today -- or any powerful lobby.)

The human-implant-prison-industrial-complex will shmooze at political fundraisers and send lobbyists to urge politicians to expand the mandatory chipping program to other "markets." They'll urge the tagging of parolees and ex-felons. In fact, they'll say, society would be safer if all criminals -- rapists, drug dealers, prostitutes, thieves, and domestic abusers -- had a chip implant, along with gun law violators, marijuana smokers, drunk drivers, custody violators, tax cheats, habitual traffic violators, shoplifters, protesters who won't stay in their designated First Amendment zones, rowdy college revelers, and eventually the guy who didn't fill out the right paperwork to add a deck onto the back of his house.

Once the mandatory chipping lobby really gets going, they won't stop at criminals. For our own safety, they'll get the lawmakers to agree that we ought to chip nuclear plant workers, anyone handling biological or chemical agents, drivers transporting hazardous materials, anyone owning a gun, anyone working with children, anyone preparing food for public consumption, anyone...

Get the picture yet?

No matter who you are and how saintly a life you lead, I can almost promise you that if we light this fire to burn the pedophiles, somewhere down the road it will burn us and our children, too.

Big Brother has surrounded us with dried kindling and he's hankering for a match. Don't hand it to him.

- Katherine Albrecht

Posted by Katherine Albrecht at March 29, 2006 5:41 AM


They already create DNA and fingerprint registries for anyone arrested in many jurisdictions. The biggest problem in my mind is that there's no concept of destroying such personal info on people who are cleared or who have served their time if they so request it.

The problem is that neither the people nor the legislative process itself are capable of making the right distinctions that determine when it's appropriate for the state to maintain your personal information, what information is appropriate, and why.

Posted by: Noid at March 30, 2006 2:09 AM

Agreed. In Kansas now, they can digitally take your fingerprints on the side of the road - you don't even have to get out of your car.

Kansas clafiried its fingerprinting policy here:

The policy appears vastly improved in the second piece. I can't help but wonder if the policy was "updated" after the outrage.

Calling and writing helps!


Posted by: Katherine Albrecht at March 30, 2006 5:43 AM

Can we get some sort of 'Action Alert' form on this site for people to use to contact their representatives to show support for stopping use of the Verichip in ALL implantable forms?

The blog is interesting and informative but we really need to rally against this ultimate form of privacy invasion BEFORE it's too late.

Posted by: Steven at March 30, 2006 6:50 PM

It really is a harmless survey. I always buy the
cheapest brand advertised. It doesn't matter what
the product is. It might have something to do with price control. Some stores are using the
information to offer "specials of the month"
But if we all bought ONE brand consistantly we
could end the nonesense competitive pricewar and
boycott junkfood completely. All it takes is
persistence. Is that a bad idea?

Posted by: Edith Toussaint at April 28, 2006 8:36 PM

I agree with Katherine.

The marketing drive to promote chipping of humans will start with sections of the populace that are considered either a risk (eg, criminals of varying types), or at-risk (children, mentally ill and so on). Then, as Katherine points out, it will appear so ‘reasonable’ to extend this sort of ‘protection’ to others, such as those in high security positions and so on.

Of course, these tactics of manipulation are (as always) based on fear, not reason.

Already in Australia, there is promotion of GPS devices that are to be hung around a child’s neck so that parents can know where they are at all times. The idea is also that the kids will be protected from kidnapping and so on. Of course, such a device is easily removed, and as A leads to B, so will the next generation point to RFID chips in the most vulnerable elements of our population.

For those who wonder what ‘life’ might be like if consumers – us – were all chipped (say, from birth), you might have a look at Mallcity14:

“Somewhere past tomorrow, where private thoughts are dangerous, and prisons don’t have bars, is… Mallcity14, where unbridled consumerism and perpetual debt is the only way of life, and nothing can escape the eyes and ears of the BCC – the Bureau of Consumer Confidence – and its affiliate, Eternitybank.”

Posted by: Shaun Saunders at April 28, 2006 9:41 PM

What would be the worst case senerios if there is full scale chipping of our populace over time? I mean, how is the individual affected? How will the world be a more evil place than it is now? You stated the creation of a beauacacy that will drain more tax $...the invisible people in govt. is doing that already... look at the nuclear storage prog. in Wash. ST and other places!!! I'm going to MARS as soon as I can.

Posted by: Charlie at May 1, 2006 3:28 PM

Is the intent behind chipping humans ultimately different from that of tatooing numbers on their arms?

Posted by: Dave at May 5, 2006 9:44 PM

Charlie, there will be no 'individuals' if the whole populace is chipped.... tax is the least of the problems.


Posted by: Linda Saunders at May 6, 2006 2:32 AM

The downside of chip implantation seems to involve mandatory (involuntary) implantation. I have no problem with voluntary implantation (like tattoos and body piercings, I wouldn't do it to myself, but I don't favor bans to prohibit others from mutilating their own bodies; how many opponents of chip implantation have tattoos, or piercings?)
I'm far more concerned about the rampant and expanding abuse of Social Security numbers as identification, leading to an epidemic of identity theft, than I am about allowing felons to opt for implantation as a condition of release on probation or parole.
As far as chip coding, I prefer 24-bit encryption keys, or alternatively, so-called "public keys" (look it up if you don't understand).
As a security precaution, it isn't perfect but could be used to replace "username" as long as it's used WITH a password (I work in an industry that provides security for customers' cash; our equipment uses sophisticated electronics, secret procedures, special keys, and a strong steel housing. The electronics helps prevent most kinds of "insider" theft, most thefts are due to physical break-ins involving brute force- this tells me the electronics are doing their job. I can reasonably see implants being successfully used in such a system).
I see the implanted chip as a possible replacement for easily-defeated "ankle monitors," especially if used as a voluntary part of a probation/parole agreement. I believe I need to point out that parole and probation are NOT rights, but a priviledge offered to convicted criminals in exchange for their promise to behave properly in the future. I don't believe it violates a prisoners "rights" to offer a choice between parole-with-implants and continued imprisonment; the implant monitor is merely a tool to assist the felon to behave, as he has promised as condition of his release from jail.

I WOULD draw the line at involuntary implantation, regardless the situatation, and would support legislation that prohibits INVOLUNTARY implantation for any purpose.

Posted by: Beaugrand at June 24, 2006 11:25 AM

Even the thought of voluntary RFID implants terrifies me.

Posted by: Sophie at July 8, 2006 3:27 PM

Technology is a drug, with all the properties of addiction. There's a saying that if there's something to do, then someone's gonna do it - so this microchipping/RFID implant scenario should really not come as a surprise to any person who has a basic grasp of how the world has changed since the 1950's. So, yes, we can surely curse the darkness, but let's also keep in mind that this "darkness" (creeping totalitarianism and erosion of the freedoms that we Americans have for too long taken for granted)did not just "happen": it HAD to happen as a result of technology replacing spirituality, rather than co-exisiting peacefully with it. Add that to a cartel of people under the power of gold - rather than God - and "Brave New World", "1984", and "Gattaca" become less sci-fi and more reality. The question remains: Is this acceptable, will we allow ourselves to be collectively-lulled that ". . . maybe it ain't all that bad . . ." and pass that contorted view of things to our kids? It's an uncomfortable question, particularly if one is approaching upper-middle age and older, but if we want a free society for our kids and THEIR kids, it's a question we damn well better ask.

Posted by: Raj at December 17, 2006 5:43 PM

Implantation, whether voluntary or not, is just the beginning of a diabolical plan hatched by the power-elite to control every single person on the face of this earth. This is how they're going to start the ball rolling: first, we start implanting the extremely-dangerous criminals, then your Aunt Sadie who's in a nursing home and has the tendency to wander, then Johhnie and Susie to "protect" them from the predators lurking behind every tree, then . . . you fill in the blanks.

Was there life before the onset of these chips? Indeed there was! We humans got along quite well without them: The Good Lord gave us all the inner tools we need to have a rich and abundant life without any further need for "security", "protection", and "the furtherance of our evolution" via any intrusive devices.

I've heard ostensibly intelligent people actually say that these implanted chips would make them feel safe and protected, and I can't for the life of me wonder what they can be thinking.

Posted by: Raj at December 22, 2006 7:27 PM

Tattoos and piercings are somewhat different and depends on the individual on placement and design. To me the issue isn't body modifications; the issue I have with RFID is privacy.
I think we have enough tracking devices without inserting it into our skins. It's bad enough my blackberry has a GPS tracker in it, I'm quite sure I do not want it for myself. I can put the blackberry down or leave it at home when I go out. We have enough invasion of privacy as is without adding fuel to the fire.

"The downside of chip implantation seems to involve mandatory (involuntary) implantation. I have no problem with voluntary implantation (like tattoos and body piercings, I wouldn't do it to myself, but I don't favor bans to prohibit others from mutilating their own bodies; how many opponents of chip implantation have tattoos, or piercings?)"-->Beaugrand

Posted by: Sela at April 12, 2007 11:15 PM

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