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China To Deploy World's Largest People Tracking Network 368

Posted by Zonk
from the big-brother-goes-bigtime dept.
hackingbear writes "News.com reports that China is building the largest and most sophisticated people-tracking network in the world, all to track citizens in the city of Shenzhen. This network utilizes 20,000 intelligent digital cameras and RFID cards to keep track of the 12.4 million people living in the Southern port city. The key to the system is the new residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips. 'Data on the chip will include not just the citizen's name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China's controversial "one child" policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.' While I lived in Shenzhen, there indeed were (and still are) plenty of crimes. One of my friend who lived at the 20th floor of a condo building in a nice neighborhood saw an intruder in the middle of one night while he was sleeping. Still, this will clearly raise the fear of human rights abuses. And ... 'one of the most startling aspects of this plan is that this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings.'"
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China To Deploy World's Largest People Tracking Network

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  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MacDork (560499) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:36PM (#20206089) Journal
    They're getting social security cards. How nice.
  • RFID cards? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:36PM (#20206095) Homepage
    Why bother. Why not inject an RFID implant in the arms off all citizens? I mean, if your going to be treated like cattle, why not go all the way?

    Moo!
    • by Kjella (173770)
      You know, in China they probably in all seriousness think "We'd like to do that, but they need some more softening up first." Make up whatever excuse you want, if they even need excuses, like "This will help solve the problem of identity theft, missing identity papers and make it more versatile."
    • by flyingfsck (986395) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @09:06PM (#20207101)
      Don't try that in India - then everybody will be holy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hoi Polloi (522990)
      Why don't they just put them in pens and bring back slavery? Cut out this free will charade.
  • by saibot834 (1061528) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:38PM (#20206107) Homepage
    I live in Germany and we still got democracy here, but who guaranties me that this will be like that forever? China's use of total surveillance should be a warning to us all, what can happen too us, too.

    People always say: 'I have nothing to hide, so I am not against surveillance'. They don't realize that this might change.
    • by jez9999 (618189) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:48PM (#20206179) Homepage Journal
      People always say: 'I have nothing to hide, so I am not against surveillance'. They don't realize that this might change.

      Do you really think people who say that would change their minds as long as the government could cite some perceived improvements in security as justification for the extra surveillence? I honestly don't think they would. *THAT'S* what's scary.
      • by garcia (6573) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:11PM (#20206345) Homepage
        Do you really think people who say that would change their minds as long as the government could cite some perceived improvements in security as justification for the extra surveillence? I honestly don't think they would. *THAT'S* what's scary.

        No, what's scary is that we sit in the United States talking about saving freedom by fighting terrorists and their supporters in the Middle East when we have an entire country like China who openly tracks and oppresses their people but we stand idly by and let their money pay for our war on the wrong tyrannies. I could go on to say the same thing about Brittan, the United States itself, etc but I won't bother, I'm preaching to the choir.

        What is even more scary is that here in the US, and I'm just as much at fault as anyone I chastise, we are letting more and more occur without standing up for what our country was founded on. We call the true freedom fights protesters instead of patriots. We don't rise up in huge numbers against one of the most evil, horrifying, and ironic Presidents that has ever graced our White House. We sit here on Slashdot, huddled around in our offices and our homes, and talk about serious change by use of our free and democratic process but watch as the President threatens to keep our lawmakers in session past their beloved vacation unless they allow him to spy on Americans and their friends and family some more. Even if they had ignored his bullshit, he would have just passed an Executive Order stating he could do it anyway all while continuing to use precious "Homeland Security" resources finding the source of the leak so that he could jail them indefinitly as a terrorist or traitor while he's the one that is by far the leading example. So much for democracy...

        We're all a bunch of fucking pussies and that's what's scary.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          We're all a bunch of fucking pussies and that's what's scary.

          And the alternative is what? Everyone could end up like me: homeless and monitored post-per-post by slavering account farming trolls demanding "where's the evidence" and screaming "conspiracy theorist" for any statement they make?

          All of the talk, the rhetoric, the grand speeches, and the good will in the world is meaningless against the power of the purse strings. As a total population we have no control left over government taxation and spending.

          Even if they had ignored his bullshit, he would have just passed an Executive Order stating he could do it anyway

          That's the bottom line of it all: "Even if they had...

          • mod this crap down (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Anyone who looks into the content that this guy writes can see right though him. Mods these days make snap decisions on the face value, not actual quality or insight.

            And the alternative is what? Everyone could end up like me: homeless and monitored post-per-post by slavering account farming trolls demanding "where's the evidence" and screaming "conspiracy theorist" for any statement they make?

            That's real telling. You aren't being forced to post under the same identity or any identity at all. You aren't even

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by maxume (22995)
            I don't account farm, I barely troll, and I still think your crazy.
          • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Sunday August 12, 2007 @09:32PM (#20207287) Journal

            [ This post is a Public Service Announcement ]

            - - NOTE: Stevie is not representative of homeless people in general. For example, the fastest growing group of homeless people are women and children [wikipedia.org] in dire straits, whose homelessness is caused by such events as seeking refuge from an abusive relative, death of a spouse, job loss, or illness. The comments below are specific to Stevie, not homeless people in general.

            Stevie blathered:

            "Mostly I just don't want to be homeless anymore but neither am I going to acquiesce to being shoveled back into the animal farm."

            Why not do something radical, like get a job? Oh, right ... you said you won't take a job except for one that meets your conditions. It has to be in exactly the field you claim to be so good in (though if you're that good, why don't you have a job?), at the pay you think you're worth, with the working conditions you think you deserve, that its the employers' responsibility to "give you a leg up", and that anything else is "dishonest."

            Those are your words.

            Take some meds, get a haircut, and start applying for a job more in line with your real qualifications, not your inflated delusion of self-worth.

            The job rules are simple:

            1. After one year out of work, a person with 5 years previous experience is only worth as much as a recent graduate with one or two year's current experience;
            2. After two years out of work, a person with 5 years previous experience is worth less than a recent graduate with no experience;
            3. After three to five years out of work, a person with 5 years experience is no longer a suitable job candidate in their field.

            The other rules are also simple:

            1. Think too highly of yourself, and others will compensate by thinking less of you;
            2. Blame everyone else, and people will see you don't accept responsibility;
            3. Demand that everyone agrees with you, and eventually nobody will.

            You're your own worst enemy. You keep complaining, but you post here under multiple accounts, whine, whine, whine about how unfair employers are and how they owe you a job with specific conditions and pay because that's what you went to school for. Grow up - because with your crap attitude, you're not even qualified for a "do you want fries with that" McJob.

            You say you don't want to go into any of the programs available for the homeless because you "don't want to be stereotyped with the alcoholics and the druggies". How is anyone who thinks they're "too good" any better? You're actually worse - they at least admit they have a problem, and aren't too full of false self-pride to take advantage of an opportunity for some help.

            A lot of people end up homeless due to misfortune, divorce, job loss, medical bills, addictions, bad decisions, whatever. This doesn't make them "bad people" - but your claim that you don't want to be "stereotyped" as "one of them" shows how you think yourself so much better.

            Stop thinking you're better than people who had the guts to take jobs that you would consider "beneath you." You're not. You can't even troll properly, FFS.

            And stop complaining about anyone stalking you; remember how you pulled this BS a couple of weeks ago [slashdot.org] ... if anyone was stalking, it was you, and this isn't the first time you've pulled this crap on someone. You're a hypocritical dickhead [slashdot.org].

            [ This has been a public service announcement. Thank you for your patience ]

        • by E++99 (880734)

          No, what's scary is that we sit in the United States talking about saving freedom by fighting terrorists and their supporters in the Middle East when we have an entire country like China who openly tracks and oppresses their people but we stand idly by and let their money pay for our war on the wrong tyrannies.

          If you're suggesting that China is more oppressive than Baathist Iraq was, then one must conclude you know virtually nothing about either.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gweihir (88907)
          No, what's scary is that we sit in the United States talking about saving freedom by fighting terrorists and their supporters in the Middle East when we have an entire country like China who openly tracks and oppresses their people but we stand idly by and let their money pay for our war on the wrong tyrannies.

          Well, here is a bit of news for you: It is not about freedom. The US administration does not care to establish freedom somewere else, it is too busy removing it at home. And it is also not about terro
        • by StikyPad (445176)
          ...ever graced our White House.

          Not to be a grammar Nazi, but I think you spelled "defaced" wrong.
    • by Gazzonyx (982402)

      I live in Germany and we still got democracy here, but who guaranties me that this will be like that forever? China's use of total surveillance should be a warning to us all, what can happen too us, too.

      People always say: 'I have nothing to hide, so I am not against surveillance'. They don't realize that this might change.

      My friend, as someone's sig puts it (my apologies, I can't remember whose sig it is): "You have 4 boxes to be used in this order: soap, jury, ballot, ammo".

      I assume, perhaps erroneously, that Germany is very cautious of things like this because of Hilter's usurping of power; we Americans have not learned this lesson yet, and are in a much worse position. Governments should be afraid of their people, not the other way around. I don't think the German people would take very kindly to RFID chips, so you

    • by westlake (615356)
      I live in Germany and we still got democracy here, but who guaranties me that this will be like that forever? China's use of total surveillance should be a warning to us all, what can happen too us, too.

      China has a tradition of centralized, bureaucratic, government that goes back to the Ch'In Empire ca. 200 BC. The right way to approach this question is to look at your own history and culture.

    • by Hooya (518216) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:59PM (#20206697) Homepage
      To those that regurgitate "I have nothing to hide..", I ask them: "So when can I come by and install a web cam in your bedroom?" That usually shuts them up pretty quick.
    • In some cases there's half an excuse for government to track ethnicity along with other physical characteristics, e.g. if the picture on your ID card shows your white face, blond hair, and blue eyes, and the data fields in the card say you're black with brown eyes and black hair, that's a hint that the card's been tampered with. And sometimes there are other very specialized reasons for tracking it, such as (in the US) if you're a registered member of an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian, then there's some r
  • Old News (Score:5, Funny)

    by stevedcc (1000313) * on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:40PM (#20206117)
    I heard this was implemented in 1984!
  • A company out to make money, does it really matter where the company is from?

    I'm sure if there are any problems or abuses, we're not likely to hear about it for a long time.
    • Protection of State, and thereby The People, is *NOT* abuse!

      - Chairman Mao
  • Weird... (Score:4, Funny)

    by martinelli (1082609) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:42PM (#20206135) Homepage
    "One of my friend who lived at the 20th floor of a condo building in a nice neighborhood saw an intruder in the middle of one night while he was sleeping." Something doesn't add up here.
    • Re:Weird... (Score:5, Funny)

      by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:45PM (#20206157) Journal

      In China, people have to sleep with at least one eye open.

    • Surprisingly yes.

      There have been numerous accounts of "spiderman" perpetrators who scale the walls of high-rise dwellings. For example, in Xiamen China, I've seen many condos with iron bar cages covering the windows from ground to top. Freaky, I know!
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      "One of my friend who lived at the 20th floor of a condo building in a nice neighborhood saw an intruder in the middle of one night while he was sleeping." Something doesn't add up here.

      In China, they're so afraid of crime they even *dream* about it.
    • Seems perfectly straight-forward to me - the intruder was taking a power nap before carrying on with his nefarious work, it's hard work intruding on people, especially if you've had to climb 20 floors to get there.
    • Maybe they saw the sandman enter.
  • by Token_Internet_Girl (1131287) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @06:45PM (#20206155)
    "It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself--anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face... was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime..." - Orwell
  • "Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China's controversial "one child" policy."

    This is creepy. In that documentary called China Blue [pbs.org], it was stated by one of the factory owners that most of it's workforce is ignorant and too stupid to think for themselves. They really regard people there as illiterate simpletons. I don't know how well educated the population is, but it's a pretty crappy attitude and kind of epitomizes the human rights problems in China.

    I wonder how lon
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jez9999 (618189)
      China's "one child" policy is about the only thing their government got right. Human overpopulation is the elephant in the room, and I actually applaud them for standing up and doing something to stop it there.
      • You moron. We're about to face a crisis of underpopulation that will cause widespread societal collapse in all first world nations.

        China should be encouraging them all to have 3, then when the population of North America is cut in half in ten years, they do the same thing the Europeans did.

        Birth control and feminism are to thank for that. If only we could turn rats and cockroaches on to these ideas... they'd exterminate themselves in a few generations. Just like we've been doing.
        • by dbIII (701233)
          ????

          Mod above should get out more before ranting. Lifestyle changes do have consequences and there is no point blaming small numbers of feminists for the situation where in western countries you need two working parents to have a high quality of life for a small family.

          The one child policy wasn't univeral either. I have a Chinese freind with several brothers and sisters who grow up in the far less populated northeast. Actually I get the impression now that nothing is really univeral in China and it is a

      • by gweihir (88907)
        China's "one child" policy is about the only thing their government got right. Human overpopulation is the elephant in the room, and I actually applaud them for standing up and doing something to stop it there.

        This is a tricky one. The problem is very, very real. However the solution is not possible in a free society today. Maybe mandatory contraceptive implants for every child, along with the usual vaccinations. Not medically possible at the moment and would still be a huge reduction of personal freedom.

        So
    • goldfish (Score:3, Insightful)

      by roesti (531884)

      This is creepy. In that documentary called China Blue, it was stated by one of the factory owners that most of it's workforce is ignorant and too stupid to think for themselves. They really regard people there as illiterate simpletons.

      Wow, that's nothing like Australia, Britain or the US at all. Corporations and governments treat us not as ignorant, illiterate simpletons but as ignorant, illiterate simpletons with short memories. It's hard to believe we have it so good.

      I wonder how long the chinese pe

      • by StikyPad (445176)
        Hey, at least China calls a spade a spade.

        It's well known that the biggest problem with democracy is people. The problem is that as yet, there's no better solution.
  • Consider if China was supplying the tech to the USA.

    That applies in many ways. Who wants to be watched? Assuming the supplier's government has a backdoor, do you want one government or two governments watching you?
    • When it comes here, believe me China will be supplying the tech to the USA. Who do you think already manufactures CCD imagers and most of the other components required to build such a system? China. And if they aren't yet capable of providing all of it, by the time we're ready to buy into it wholesale they will be.
  • by frup (998325) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:06PM (#20206297)
    1) Remove oponents. (Tick)
    2) Dumb down the population (remove the individual). (Tick)
    3) Monitor & Track. (Tick)
    4) Step 1.
    5) Use data to make Step 2 more effective.
    6) Step 3.
    7) MIND CONTROL.

    Now you and your friends live in luxury with 6 billion slaves at your dispense. What a warm fuzzy feeling :).
    • by QuantumG (50515)
      1. Popularize conformity.
      2. Ban altered states of mind.

      The rest takes care of itself.

       
  • one of the most startling aspects of this plan is that this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings.'

    For us Americans, there should be two fundamental questions on our minds: Who is this company, and how do we stop them?
  • "this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings"

    god i'm sick of this bullshit. seriously, stop trying to blame the white man for EVERYTHING. this whole scheme is made possible by communist control freaks in china. they would make this happen with or without this company.

    i mean come on, now it's america's fault when china does fucked up things? i'm not even american and even i'm sick of the retarded american bashing.

    • by p0tat03 (985078) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:32PM (#20206513)

      It's not America's fault, it's the American company's fault. I think you're being a bit oversensitive - that sentence doesn't bash America, it raises alarm that our corporate community is knee-deep in China's systematic oppression of their people.

      Yeah, the oppression will continue regardless of American companies' involvement, but that doesn't justify being involved.

      • the point should be that criticism should rightfully focus on china. but there exists a certain set of kneejerks who hear something is bad is happening somewhere in the world, plot a line to the usa through some creative incrimination, and think no more of the subject, instead all of their energy winds up in typical anti-american rants

        the point should be solving problems in the world. on a case by case basis, sometimes the usa DOES deserve blame. but for some people, that's not the point. for them, the poin
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by p0tat03 (985078)

          I'm not criticising the US in any way, nor does the article. Should China be held accountable for the oppression of its people? By all means yes. It is a terrible tragedy what is happening to political and religious dissidents in that country, and as a Chinese I feel a great deal of empathy towards the people who endure that regime (which, thankfully, I'm out of).

          So while criticism of China's policies should rightfully be directed at China, companies from any other country complicit in the government's cr

        • Yes, China asked for the thing - it's only relevant that it's from a US company if you both object and you are in the USA.

          It's on a lot of tshirts - think globally, act locally. Ultimately people overseas do not care a lot about you no matter where you are so that all you can do is complain to the locals that do these things for them. Also there is the fallout of people that do nasty staff overseas eventually come home and may do it locally. For instance (in an extreme example) the USA is in no way resp

  • by Spiked_Three (626260) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:13PM (#20206363)
    China is deploying the worlds largest 'known' people tracking system. There are plenty of secret ones just as big already deployed.
  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:27PM (#20206467)
    This kinda thing freaks me out in so many ways.

    Keeping track of 'minor purchases'?? Whose business is it that I buy a pack of cigarettes or some condoms or whatever? Why is the government so interested in this petty stuff unless it intends to use this info against me someday? Why does the government have cause to know who I hang with, who I sleep with?

    How long until cards like this are used to replace hard currency in order to 'fine tune' the economy and strip the last vestiges of privacy? How long until having legal tender in your possession is considered a crime because 'only terrorists have untracable cash'?

    • this will move to the US for our kids or, worst case, our kids' kids.

      we ain't going back. power is catchy and all governments want a piece of that action, don't kid yourselves.

      mcnealy was right - the age of privacy is gone (RIP).
    • by Nasarius (593729)
      This freaks you out? We're talking about *China*. You know, Tiananmen Square China. It is utterly unsurprising that they're using technology to extend their oppressive totalitarian state that much further.
  • by iamacat (583406) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:28PM (#20206471)
    While this is scary, use of computers in everyday life necessarily equals loss of privacy as everything you do can be automatically scanned for patterns, archived indefinitely and disclosed to 3rd parties. If we don't want to be under constant surveillance, we as geeks should abandon our jobs and insist that critical functions in our society are performed by direct interaction between humans who, unlike computers, can be taught discretion.
  • I've heard stories of EU CEOs brought to tears at the sight of so many disciplined, docile and productive individuals. China is the testing ground for productivism, although it has a distinct taste to EU citizens, many don't learn lessons. WWII didn't really wipe out the idea, just made it clear that some extremes and a certain marketing strategies don't make good press. But as Mussolini used to say: "the media is the 4th armed force"... and we'll soon cheer at the Olympics and praise... and admire and cry
  • by SplatMan_DK (1035528) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:35PM (#20206535) Homepage Journal
    Why go through all that trouble?

    Store it on the SIM card of the citizens cellphone and remove the OFF switch from the phone (force companies to only manufacture/import cellphones without OFF switches). Make the phone send an SMS to the nearest police station with the text "ARREST ME PLS" if the users neglects to charge it.

    In that way, the existing cellphone network can be extended to tracking all citizens 24/7 using their SIM and EMEI id's (no need for upgrades anywhere except logfile data storage), no matter where they go. It even works without setting up new RFID scanners and without buying fancy new tech from contracting companies.

    How many places do you think such a system is already in place? Do you always carry your cellphone with your without thinking about it? Do you ever turn it off?

    (Hint: several hundred western cities in both the US and EU have near-similar systems for "polulation movement research" which they claim only saves anonymous data. Yeah right!)

    - Jesper
    • there are areas where you get no or a weak voice only cell network link. And this in in big city area and in the US cell phone DATA and text messing costs to much for that and some people have that tuned off so they don't pay for incoming texts yes you pay when someone sends you a text.
  • Technology of the last few years has made this sort of tracking possible and governments everywhere will begin doing it. It's only a matter of time. Would Americans ever go for this? Maybe they would if it was sold to them as a way to fight crime, protect their children, combat terrorism, and prevent illegal immigrants from taking their jobs. Once it's in, like driver's license identification, income tax forms, or social security numbers, it will never leave.
  • I know that I come from a fairly small town and there are "safety cameras" popping up all over the place! How far are we in the United States from a security camera on every corner?

    Okay... yes... I am paranoid but sometimes I connect the dots pretty well too. It's never a good idea to blindly trust that your liberties will be protected by the government. Hell, now days we have to protect our liberties FROM the government.

    I think that the destruction of the middle class is going to leave a lot of people r
  • While Communist Party officials already have a big dating advantage, think of it now! They can scan the items of interest and get full details on children, employment, ethnicity.... Truly, for the modern Chinese Communist Party functionary, it's a wonderful life!
  • From the article: "Michael Lin, the vice president for investor relations at China Public Security Technology, the company providing the technology. Incorporated in Florida, China Public Security has raised much of the money to develop its technology from two investment funds in Plano, Tex., Pinnacle Fund and Pinnacle China Fund. Three investment banks--Roth Capital Partners in Newport Beach, Calif.; Oppenheimer & Company in New York; and First Asia Finance Group of Hong Kong--helped raise the money."

    If
  • no wonder it's being implemented in China.
  • by gweihir (88907)
    Police state done right! Impressive! Stalin would have been so proud!

    Seriously, people, look at this. This is what is possible today. Even more will be possible tomorrow. And with all this terror-meme going round, this is what every right-wing politician wants. Pity the states that have only right-wing left, like the US. Time to think about whether you want to live under such conditions. And to start doing something about it if you do not want to.
  • just reading this, because next month, or next year, some enterprising young congressman/senator/governor is going to suggest the same thing. and that folks, will be the day i leave the US for good, not that it might not happen sooner.

    this has nothing to do with the security of the populace, and everything to do with making them afraid of ever doing anything to threaten the government. thats its only value. your credit rating? (by the way, those of you who don't live somewhere like new york might find it in
  • Mark of the Beast? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by night_flyer (453866) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @09:10PM (#20207137) Homepage
    doesnt sound too far fetched now...

    There are only a few steps left to make this the mark of the beast. making all purchases possible on the card/chip and to implant the chip... and all that technology is already here...

    Revelations 13:16-17
    "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads, that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark..."
  • The Transparent Society [davidbrin.com].

    In a few years people are going to be taking advantage of Google's storage to upload everything pretty close to 24/7 from their phonecam to broadcast on Google's video servers, and you'll be be able to mashup this with Google maps street level and redirect it to your VR-of-choice and it'll be just like being there (if you look past the lag and compression artifacts), except with a rewind button.

    I can think of worse guardians of the transparent society.
  • by Superfarstucker (621775) on Monday August 13, 2007 @12:02AM (#20208165)
    I feel the best use of it would be the surveillance of our protectors and elected officials while on duty. It will never happen of course, but it should. Fuck, our vice president seems to think that the number of state secrets he is keeping is a state secret. Top level government officials should not have any form of privacy that cannot be audited. It's not that we don't believe that they're honest folks. "trust, but verify", that's one of many conservative parenting ethos, is it not?
  • by starglider29a (719559) on Monday August 13, 2007 @10:08AM (#20211607)
    In '94, I was discussing biometrics with a programmer. He was the owner of a software firm, and was the world's biggest skeptic. (Though he doubts that claim). I said "This mark of the beast technology is great idea, except for the downside, which you don't even believe. We should get into it."

    "It will never happen here..." he said. "If someone ever did begin to develop it, the cry of 'MARK OF THE BEAST' from the Christian Right (US and abroad) would be so stigmatizing* that this whole '666' thing would become a self UN-filfilling prophecy."
    Ok, so where is it? If this is not precisely what all the wacko Christian right idiots (like me) have been saying all along... chips in the hand (The card is a courtesy), tracking, surveillance... If this is not it, what is? And if so, where is the hew and cry from the Christians. Or are they (ok, ok... we) just sitting back, shaking our heads saying... "We told you so..."

    And what if this works? What if no "Beast" arises from the sea? What if this is really a good idea and they benefit and no evil Neo-Mao rises to enslave them? THEN what is to stop it from happening here? Anybody??? If "U.S. companies like IBM, Cisco, H.P., Dell**" are in on this, what is to stop it from happening "here"?


    *He didn't realize the pun he unleashed here
    **Say, we're missing a OS company in this list. Any volunteers?

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