Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Which is Fiction & Which is Reality?

Excerpt from the book "What So Proudly We Hailed":

In 2010 we took a couple more steps. Just little ones, mind you, but steps nonetheless. And every step, no matter how little it is, still moves you forward.

Identity theft was nothing new, but the positive ID on the driver’s licenses was supposed to help curb it. It was supposed to prevent imposters from living in our midst.

Forget cleaning out bank accounts, we were talking about safety. We were still fighting a war on terror you know, and the bad guys were just looking for a way to get at us. The ease at which it turned out a fingerprint ID could be forged was a glaring issue that needed to be resolved, and we all knew it.

The only question was, how?

Oh, my babies, I can solve this for you, yes, I surely can. I can take the problem away from you forever. But . . . well, I shouldn’t have said anything. I shouldn’t have even mentioned it . . .

“What? What is it? Tell us! Tell us!” we cried.

Oh, no, nooo. It just wouldn’t do. You wouldn’t like it. It makes some people afraid. No, it just wouldn’t be right. Besides, there must be another way. Somehow, someway, we’ll find it. But I’m afraid for now we’ll just have to keep looking . . .

“No! Tell us! Tell us! We want it now! We want it now!” rang the chant.

Okay, okay, shhhhhhhhh! Hush now, hush, hushhhh. I’ll tell you my babies, I’ll tell you. But only if you insist . . .

“We do! We do!” we insisted.

And you have to remember that it was you who asked . . .

“We will! We will!” we shouted.

And so, along with the colors and fonts and information that was standardized across the board, the fingerprint ID was replaced with a micro-thin radio frequency tag that was embedded into the laminate of the card.

Excerpt from Associated Press article, 28 July 2008:

It is the size of a credit card or driver's license, and has a photo and identification information printed on it, like a driver's license. It also contains a chip with a random number that allows border officials to instantly retrieve your data.

"When you come to the border, hold your card up to your window, and on the border patrol screen, up will pop your name, your picture, the fact that you are a U.S. citizen, and the number of your card. They'll peek in to see if you're the same person, and speed you on your way."

Read full AP article here.


Ladyfromthewoods said...

NPR reported yesterday that Britain is trying to decide who should have control of their DNA database (currently with 4 million entries): should it go to an independent agency or stay in the hands of the police and government?

Blaine Staat said...

If Britain has the same revolving door between its government and corporations as the US does (and I suspect they do), does it really even make a difference who "controls" it?