Everyone Monitored By Microchip: Soon...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by freebooter, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. freebooter macrumors 65816

    freebooter

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    #1
    A generation is all they need
    One day we will all happily be implanted with microchips, and our every move will be monitored. The technology exists; the only barrier is society's resistance to the loss of privacy
    Dec. 10, 2006. 08:46 AM
    KEVIN HAGGERTY
    SPECIAL TO THE [Toronto] STAR

    By the time my four-year-old son is swathed in the soft flesh of old age, he will likely find it unremarkable that he and almost everyone he knows will be permanently implanted with a microchip. Automatically tracking his location in real time, it will connect him with databases monitoring and recording his smallest behavioural traits.
    Most people anticipate such a prospect with a sense of horrified disbelief, dismissing it as a science-fiction fantasy. The technology, however, already exists. For years humane societies have implanted all the pets that leave their premises with a small identifying microchip. As well, millions of consumer goods are now traced with tiny radio frequency identification chips that allow satellites to reveal their exact location.
    A select group of people are already "chipped" with devices that automatically open doors, turn on lights, and perform other low-level miracles. Prominent among such individuals is researcher Kevin Warwick of Reading University in England; Warwick is a leading proponent of the almost limitless potential uses for such chips.
    Other users include the patrons of the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona, many of whom have paid about $150 (U.S.) for the privilege of being implanted with an identifying chip that allows them to bypass lengthy club queues and purchase drinks by being scanned. These individuals are the advance guard of an effort to expand the technology as widely as possible.
    From this point forward, microchips will become progressively smaller, less invasive, and easier to deploy. Thus, any realistic barrier to the wholesale "chipping" of Western citizens is not technological but cultural. It relies upon the visceral reaction against the prospect of being personally marked as one component in a massive human inventory.
    Today we might strongly hold such beliefs, but sensibilities can, and probably will, change. How this remarkable attitudinal transformation is likely to occur is clear to anyone who has paid attention to privacy issues over the past quarter-century. There will be no 3 a.m. knock on the door by storm troopers come to force implants into our bodies. The process will be more subtle and cumulative, couched in the unassailable language of progress and social betterment, and mimicking many of the processes that have contributed to the expansion of closed-circuit television cameras and the corporate market in personal data.
    A series of tried and tested strategies will be marshalled to familiarize citizens with the technology. These will be coupled with efforts to pressure tainted social groups and entice the remainder of the population into being chipped.
    This, then, is how the next generation will come to be microchipped.
    It starts in distant countries. Having tested the technology on guinea pigs, both human and animal, the first widespread use of human implanting will occur in nations at the periphery of the Western world. Such developments are important in their own right, but their international significance pertains to how they familiarize a global audience with the technology and habituate them to the idea that chipping represents a potential future.
    An increasing array of hypothetical chipping scenarios will also be depicted in entertainment media, furthering the familiarization process.
    In the West, chips will first be implanted in members of stigmatized groups. Pedophiles are the leading candidate for this distinction, although it could start with terrorists, drug dealers, or whatever happens to be that year's most vilified criminals. Short-lived promises will be made that the technology will only be used on the "worst of the worst." In fact, the wholesale chipping of incarcerated individuals will quickly ensue, encompassing people on probation and on parole.
    Even accused individuals will be tagged, a measure justified on the grounds that it would stop them from fleeing justice. Many prisoners will welcome this development, since only chipped inmates will be eligible for parole, weekend release, or community sentences. From the prison system will emerge an evocative vocabulary distinguishing chippers from non-chippers.
    Although the chips will be justified as a way to reduce fraud and other crimes, criminals will almost immediately develop techniques to simulate other people's chip codes and manipulate their data.
    The comparatively small size of the incarcerated population, however, means that prisons would be simply a brief stopover on a longer voyage. Commercial success is contingent on making serious inroads into tagging the larger population of law-abiding citizens. Other stigmatized groups will therefore be targeted. This will undoubtedly entail monitoring welfare recipients, a move justified to reduce fraud, enhance efficiency, and ensure that the poor do not receive "undeserved" benefits.
    Once e-commerce is sufficiently advanced, welfare recipients will receive their benefits as electronic vouchers stored on their microchips, a policy that will be tinged with a sense of righteousness, as it will help ensure that clients can only purchase government-approved goods from select merchants, reducing the always disconcerting prospect that poor people might use their limited funds to purchase alcohol or tobacco.
    Civil libertarians will try to foster a debate on these developments. Their attempts to prohibit chipping will be handicapped by the inherent difficulty in animating public sympathy for criminals and welfare recipients — groups that many citizens are only too happy to see subjected to tighter regulation. Indeed, the lesser public concern for such groups is an inherent part of the unarticulated rationale for why coerced chipping will be disproportionately directed at the stigmatized.
    The official privacy arm of the government will now take up the issue. Mandated to determine the legality of such initiatives, privacy commissioners and Senate Committees will produce a forest of reports presented at an archipelago of international conferences. Hampered by lengthy research and publication timelines, their findings will be delivered long after the widespread adoption of chipping is effectively a fait accompli. The research conclusions on the effectiveness of such technologies will be mixed and open to interpretation.
    Officials will vociferously reassure the chipping industry that they do not oppose chipping itself, which has fast become a growing commercial sector. Instead, they are simply seeking to ensure that the technology is used fairly and that data on the chips is not misused. New policies will be drafted.
    What might Hitler, Mao or Milosevic have accomplished if their citizens were chipped, coded, and remotely monitored?
    Employers will start to expect implants as a condition of getting a job. The U.S. military will lead the way, requiring chips for all soldiers as a means to enhance battlefield command and control — and to identify human remains. From cooks to commandos, every one of the more than one million U.S. military personnel will see microchips replace their dog tags.
    Following quickly behind will be the massive security sector. Security guards, police officers, and correctional workers will all be expected to have a chip. Individuals with sensitive jobs will find themselves in the same position.
    The first signs of this stage are already apparent. In 2004, the Mexican attorney general's office started implanting employees to restrict access to secure areas. The category of "sensitive occupation" will be expansive to the point that anyone with a job that requires keys, a password, security clearance, or identification badge will have those replaced by a chip.
    Judges hearing cases on the constitutionality of these measures will conclude that chipping policies are within legal limits. The thin veneer of "voluntariness" coating many of these programs will allow the judiciary to maintain that individuals are not being coerced into using the technology.
    In situations where the chips are clearly forced on people, the judgments will deem them to be undeniable infringements of the right to privacy. However, they will then invoke the nebulous and historically shifting standard of "reasonableness" to pronounce coerced chipping a reasonable infringement on privacy rights in a context of demands for governmental efficiency and the pressing need to enhance security in light of the still ongoing wars on terror, drugs, and crime.
    At this juncture, an unfortunately common tragedy of modern life will occur: A small child, likely a photogenic toddler, will be murdered or horrifically abused. It will happen in one of the media capitals of the Western world, thereby ensuring non-stop breathless coverage. Chip manufactures will recognize this as the opportunity they have been anticipating for years. With their technology now largely bug-free, familiar to most citizens and comparatively inexpensive, manufacturers will partner with the police to launch a high-profile campaign encouraging parents to implant their children "to ensure your own peace of mind."
    Special deals will be offered. Implants will be free, providing the family registers for monitoring services. Loving but unnerved parents will be reassured by the ability to integrate tagging with other functions on their PDA so they can see their child any time from any place.
    Paralleling these developments will be initiatives that employ the logic of convenience to entice the increasingly small group of holdouts to embrace the now common practice of being tagged. At first, such convenience tagging will be reserved for the highest echelon of Western society, allowing the elite to move unencumbered through the physical and informational corridors of power. Such practices will spread more widely as the benefits of being chipped become more prosaic. Chipped individuals will, for example, move more rapidly through customs.
    Indeed, it will ultimately become a condition of using mass-transit systems that officials be allowed to monitor your chip. Companies will offer discounts to individuals who pay by using funds stored on their embedded chip, on the small-print condition that the merchant can access large swaths of their personal data. These "discounts" are effectively punitive pricing schemes, charging unchipped individuals more as a way to encourage them to submit to monitoring. Corporations will seek out the personal data in hopes of producing ever more fine-grained customer profiles for marketing purposes, and to sell to other institutions.
    By this point all major organizations will be looking for opportunities to capitalize on the possibilities inherent in an almost universally chipped population. The uses of chips proliferate, as do the types of discounts. Each new generation of household technology becomes configured to operate by interacting with a person's chip.
    Finding a computer or appliance that will run though old-fashioned "hands-on"' interactions becomes progressively more difficult and costly. Patients in hospitals and community care will be routinely chipped, allowing medical staff — or, more accurately, remote computers — to monitor their biological systems in real time.
    Eager to reduce the health costs associated with a largely docile citizenry, authorities will provide tax incentives to individuals who exercise regularly. Personal chips will be remotely monitored to ensure that their heart rate is consistent with an exercise regime.
    By now, the actual process of "chipping" for many individuals will simply involve activating certain functions of their existing chip. Any prospect of removing the chip will become increasingly untenable, as having a chip will be a precondition for engaging in the main dynamics of modern life, such as shopping, voting, and driving.
    The remaining holdouts will grow increasingly weary of Luddite jokes and subtle accusations that they have something to hide. Exasperated at repeatedly watching neighbours bypass them in "chipped" lines while they remain subject to the delays, inconveniences, and costs reserved for the unchipped, they too will choose the path of least resistance and get an implant.
    In one generation, then, the cultural distaste many might see as an innate reaction to the prospect of having our bodies marked like those of an inmate in a concentration camp will likely fade.
    In the coming years some of the most powerful institutional actors in society will start to align themselves to entice, coerce, and occasionally compel the next generation to get an implant.
    Now, therefore, is the time to contemplate the unprecedented dangers of this scenario. The most serious of these concern how even comparatively stable modern societies will, in times of fear, embrace treacherous promises. How would the prejudices of a Joe McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, or of southern Klansmen — all of whom were deeply integrated into the American political establishment — have manifest themselves in such a world? What might Hitler, Mao or Milosevic have accomplished if their citizens were chipped, coded, and remotely monitored?
    Choirs of testimonials will soon start to sing the virtues of implants. Calm reassurances will be forthcoming about democratic traditions, the rule of law, and privacy rights. History, unfortunately, shows that things can go disastrously wrong, and that this happens with disconcerting regularity. Little in the way of international agreements, legality, or democratic sensibilities has proved capable of thwarting single-minded ruthlessness.
    "It can't happen here" has become the whispered swan song of the disappeared. Best to contemplate these dystopian potentials before we proffer the tender forearms of our sons and daughters. While we cannot anticipate all of the positive advantages that might be derived from this technology, the negative prospects are almost too terrifying to contemplate.
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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  3. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #3
    That dude in the bible knew about this, like 2000 years ago.:cool: Number of the beast... yada yada... no one can buy, sell, or trade without 'the mark'... etc...
     
  4. Kalns macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #4
    That dude would be the apostle John who wrote Revelation while in exile on Patmos.
     
  5. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #5
    They can chip my corpse, but there's no way I will ever allow me or my daughter to be chipped. I'd move to any other country, and give up any wealth I have rather than tolerate that.

    I do agree with the idea that it will be pushed on parents, playing on their fears. There are already phone services to locate your child through his/her mobile phone.
     
  6. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #7
    yeah. amen brother. :)
     
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #8
    I agree, I would never let this happen to me or to my family.
     
  8. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

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    #9
    Until you're convinced the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

    The rhetoric is very Unabomber, but then his theory wasn't all that whacked.

    There's a direct ratio between safety and privacy. The less safe you feel, the more privacy you're going to be willing to surrender.

    And just to be pathetic, this, after all, would be for the good of the children.
     
  9. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #10
    Okay. I give up. The foil hats have won.

    No matter how many times I whack this particular mole with reason and facts it pops it's brainless little mechanical head back up.

    The chips are PASSIVE radio devices requiring a LOCALIZED IMPULSE to energize them for reading. The statement that "consumer items are currently tracked by satellite using such tiny devices" is an outright lie. Some cars come with the option of cellular-based tellemetry and some public agencies use beefed up satellite versions for their vehicles but the actual devices being used are at least the size of a cell phone and more often bigger than a shoebox.

    The chips used for "consumer items" are mostly even lower quality than the ones getting so much attention that are currently used with pets. The reader range? Usually no more than a few inches. Ever wonder why even newer department stores have those wierd "gates" at the exits? It's because the range on those little chips is CRAP. the ones in pets? no more than about six inches using a handheld reader about the size and shape of a geiger counter.

    IN ADDITION. it's important to remember that it's NOT just a matter of cultural heebeejeebies being overcome by some shadowy evil force, it's a matter of: NO AGENCY WANTS TO OWN THE COST AND LIABILITY OF DEPLOYMENT. The alternative system of iris-scanning (reads the unique features of the surface of one's eye(s)) is much preferred by all parties as it is less prone to failure and requires no implantation of any kind. The added benefits of the iris system is that it can read BAC, pulse and capillary dilation when used at very close range (eyecup style reader) and can differentiate a live citizen/customer from a dead one at even a fairly impressive meter or so.

    Would some reasonable poster care to link any of the twenty or so responses I've posted on this topic in greater depth? I'm thoroughly sick of it.

    If this sort of thing really scares you... Please: have some Prozac, buy a Foil Hat™ and remember; the boys from Brazil will be by at about 3AM to brainwipe you, let the Greys have their perverted alien way with you and then move your navel just to mess with you when you wake up sore and confused in a cornfield.

    Jeez people, must we do this?:confused:
     
  10. freebooter thread starter macrumors 65816

    freebooter

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    #11
    Like the proverbial frog placidly cooking in the slowly heated pot of water, we have been gradually herded, step by step, with little awareness, toward a social order our grandparent's generation (the people of Huxley's and Orwell's time) would have considered monstrous--a system of technical control so complete that contrary thought will be not only socially unacceptable but physically impossible.

    The heat under the pot was turned up back in the '90s, and more so in 2001.

    Governing Elite Sanctioned Media: "Terrorism! Terrorism! Terrorism!" "Epidemic! Epidemic! Epidemic!" "Crime! Crime! Crime!"

    The Pacified, Dumbed-Down Masses: "Save Me!" "Save Me!" "Save Me!" "Please Take Away My Rights to Save Me and my T.V.!" "Uh...what time does American Idol start?" "Did you hear that O. J. Simpson is...."

    The distracted pleas for "Big Brother" in his various Brave New manifestations will become ever more strident when they blow out the economy, or blow up another city. People in fear and/or without the means to support themselves and their family are much more pliable. Take the chip or fend for yourself.

    As the article points out, one will need the chip to work for most organizations, to travel on public transport, to get your social assistance benefits, etc, etc, etc, etc... To refuse the chip, if that will even be possible, will mean a life on the margins.

    For the hold outs... Just try saying no...thank you...to the black-helmeted troops that kick down your door when you refuse to take the chip-containing "flu" shot.

    As to the "foil hats" comment: Name calling is belittlement, a rhetorical device often used by people for whom open debate is anathema. The aim of mud-slinging is to stop thought.
     
  11. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #12
    I rest my case.:rolleyes: ;)

    As to "Name calling is belittlement, a rhetorical device often used by people for whom open debate is anathema. The aim of mud-slinging is to stop thought."

    What would be the use of wasting my time debating you on a topic you'll quite obviously slide sideways into paranoid rhetoric and greasy pseudo-facts from prisonplanet.org that have no substance other than the oddly Rush-Limbaugh-esque endorsement of Alex Jones?

    No use at all I'm afraid. I thought I'd skip to the chase now and save us all a twelve page sequel to Chicken Little.
     
  12. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #13
    As regards the passive chip, as you say, they are activated by a localised source;

    What's to stop technology from advancing to allow them to become active chips?
    What's to stop localised impulses being used in banks etc to see who's there as a security measure?
    What's to stop police from using such a localised source to get the name and address of every protestor in a rally?
    What's to stop entire city districts being flashed with an impulse every so often to determine the location of citizens?


    Saying it will never happen is like someone in the sixties saying the internet will never be of any use because there will never be a stage where enough peole will have computers for it to be useful.

    Society is moving towards closer monitoring of its citizens. We already have triangulation of mobile phone signals, security cameras and people listening to phone conversations. Eventually they will want to monitor citizen location
    As for cost, if they can be put on a tin of beans, they can't cost too much.
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    And 20 years ago, if you told someone that they would have their own computer in their house they would have laughed, me included. Some of us are old enough to remember how quickly technology progresses. Do you really think this technology won't get better and more efficient? And you think iris scanning is a good idea? I'm confused.
     
  14. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #15
    Alex Jones? Ok, pass. I get people are a little paranoid, lost of stuff that used to be tin foil hat is now happening. Albeit not as bad. We just aren't this bad. Yet. I'm not ready to move to another country yet. Yet. Doesn't mean we can't go all V if it starts to.

    Especially England. You guys are doing this worse than we are at the moment aren't you? And that's pretty bad.
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #16
    20 years ago i had a mac.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #17
    Ah, an early adopter. Please go to the line on the left for your chip. Don't worry, it won't hurt.
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #18
    Yeah! I worked on the one before that one! :) The Apple 2E I believe. What was out in 1984? And still, at that time, no one saw a use for them. They thought it was all "Star Trek" and such. ;) Plus, I only used them at school. No one I knew could afford one.
     
  18. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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  19. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #20
    Point 1:

    Scale. These things are the size of a grain of rice. It's not a particularly pleasant sensation to have someone jam a needle 2" long into a part of your body that has a bit of extra skin (but not fat! too much insulation, it must be at the surface and not drift). If you gave it it's own power source it'd wind up the size of a hearing aid (at least) and you'd have to cut it out every so often to change the batteries (even rechargeables need changeing eventually).

    Point 2:

    You're all assuming that this particular variant is the ticket. Go look around. NONE of the agencies and organizations you're all so concerned about like the idea of chips. they're too much hassle. Banks and governments both would rather scan your iris. There's less risk, no invasive device and the incidence of hacking would be astronomically small.

    Point 3:

    Read my first post. Do you really think police are going to want either 1: to dedicate officers to going around and scanning a huge group of people like groceries at Costco? I think not, 2: Spend already increasingly tight budget money on big assed microwave transcievers that'd have to be vehicle mounted and have multiple antennas to be reliable that could still be nulified with a bit of aluminum foil and some tape? Not bloody likely! Not to mention that COPS ARE NOT SIMPLY THE THUGS OF THE EXECUTIVE. Law enforcement officers are not motivated by power and do not have an unwavering allegience to the federal executive. For the most part they're guys doing their jobs and quite resent the executive currently. These are NOT George Lucas' storm troopers, get over it already.

    Point 4:

    Triangulation, point 3, point 2, and a little thing I like to call The Bill of Rights. Even if the exec doesn't fell that they have to abide by it, law enforcement agencies are still pretty careful of it. The very few instances you can find of genuine law enforcement (DOHS is not law enforcement, they really ARE the thugs of the executive) doing so are isolated and not systemic or universal by any stretch of the imagination.

    I'm not saying that better tracking and ID isn't inevitable I'm saying you're all panicking over the least likely mechanism and the least likely usages.

    If you're going to argue with me DO NOT PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH. I'm annoyed enough that there's such a veign of paranoia out there that reason and facts have no impact.
     
  20. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    Up the irons
  21. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #22
    That'd make a ****ing lump! ;)

    I could see an eyephone maybe....:rolleyes: ;) :p
     
  22. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #23
    that would work...people bring their ipods everywhere :rolleyes:
     
  23. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #24
    Were there rumors of the iPhone back in Dec of '06? Yeah, I'm aware this is one hell of a bump.
     
  24. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #25
    What have you done, you opened up a black hole. Long way to go for an iPhone joke.:p
     

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