Why Not Implant a Microchip? Articlegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
Something to go along with the current discussions.
Why Not Implant a Microchip? Cato Institute | February 7, 2002 | by Charlotte Twight
Charlotte A. Twight, professor of economics at Boise State University, is author of "Dependent on D.C.: The Rise of Federal Control over the Lives of Ordinary Americans" (Palgrave/St. Martin's Press, January 2002).
Why bother with national ID cards? Some in America have sought such cards for years. The most recent type comes with magnetic strips and biometric identifiers. It's being peddled by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) in concert with federal officials in the Department of Justice, Department of Transportation, the General Services Administration, and elsewhere. Yet these ID cards would be technologically obsolete before the system could be implemented. And think of the problems: physical cards can be counterfeited, damaged, misused, and more. Way too low-tech.
In their struggle to come up with a politically palatable national ID system, proponents of the ID card are being far too timid. So here's a modest proposal: Why not implant a microchip under everyone's skin?
If we mean to fully protect our security we should immediately seek federal legislation to establish standards for the implantation of microchips uniquely identifying each and every individual residing in this country, linked to central databases that could protect all Americans against terrorism. In fact, similar technology has been used in veterinary medicine for years to facilitate the return of lost dogs and cats to their owners.
The system could be voluntary at first, to allow time for Americans to get used to the idea. No doubt many Americans will quickly see the benefits of such an implant for themselves and their children. Think of it: a single microchip linked to a person's medical records as well as financial, tax, employment, Social Security, welfare, criminal and other records--along with appropriate biometric identifiers. It would be so much more convenient and less subject to abuse than physical cards. Even if terrorism does not strike us again, Americans could be sure that if they had a medical emergency in a distant city, authorized physicians could scan the microchip to access the patient's medical history and avoid administering an inappropriate--or potentially life-threatening--medicine.
Sound crazy? Well, it is. But as a thought experiment, it well illustrates how incremental incursions on liberty can lead to dramatic losses of privacy over time. Consider our experience with Social Security numbers.
People worried when the Social Security Act was passed in 1935 that the Social Security number (SSN) would become an all-purpose identifier--an understandable public response, at the time, to a rather dramatic institutional change. But government officials reassured the public that the SSN would not be used for any such purpose. Equally important, they showed restraint and only gradually expanded the federally mandated uses of the SSN--not mandating its use by other federal agencies until 1943. A step at a time, during the 1960s the SSN became the taxpayer identifier used by the IRS, the identifier for federal civilian and military personnel, the Medicare identifier, and more. In the 1970s Congress passed laws requiring the SSN's use for legally admitted aliens and anyone seeking federal benefits--and also gave the states free rein to use SSNs for identification purposes. A series of federal laws passed in the 1980s required the issuance of SSNs to ever-younger children if their parents wanted to claim them as dependents on federal tax forms--by age 5, age 2, age 1, now at any age. People got used to it.
Legislators so far have failed to establish a national ID card with any real public traction--despite extraordinary efforts by some proponents. In 1996 Congress did pass one law to establish what amounted to a national ID card. It was a provision called "State-Issued Drivers Licenses and Comparable Identification Documents," whose passage was achieved by placing it on page 716 of the 749-page Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, tucked between a section entitled "Sense of Congress on Discriminatory Application of New Brunswick Provincial Sales Tax" and another entitled "Border Patrol Museum." But opponents discovered the measure, and it was repealed a few years later.
Now the AAMVA is proposing a similar system--this time initiated by state officials who are seeking federal financial, legislative, and rule-making support for their effort to turn American drivers' licenses into national ID cards.
Over half of the population now supports some form of national identification. if the intrusiveness of such a system expands as did government-mandated SSN usage, ten years from now the idea of a national microchip system may not seem as alien and repugnant as it does today. As with SSNs, people will get used to it.
If Americans accept a National ID system as they accepted SSNs, and if the intrusiveness of such a system expands as did government-mandated SSN usage, ten years from now the idea of a national microchip system may not seem as alien and repugnant as it does today. As with SSNs, people will get used to it.
-- Wendy@GraceAcres (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 19, 2002
Over my dead body, I will never have a chip, I think it is the mark of the beast in the bible. And yes the government will give us a hundred good reasons why we should take it. I expect the indentification card will be first though.
-- Irene texas (email@example.com), February 19, 2002.
Well, if chip implants really catch on, the techno-savy criminals won't be far behind. Today, the fastest growing crime is ID theft. If I can steal the information from various data banks, I can go hog- wild with fradulent purchases of goods and services. Now, fast forward to the near future. Not only will a mugger steal your wallet or purse, they'll be equipped with a chip extraction tool to steal your ID. If they REALLY want to get nasty, they'll implant a countefeit chip so you'll no longer be you.
If anyone thinks that chip technology will provide greater security, they are sadly mistaken.
-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), February 19, 2002.
I would bet that many of you here read Backwoods Home magazine. I have been very interested in the "Coming American Dictatorship" series, and in the conclusion he predicted that the National ID card would be a reality very soon, voluntary at first, and would be "sold" by offering special benefits to the holders. Within a month, Tom Ridge, our Director of Homeland Security, was talking about a special Frequent Traveller ID Card" (not the exact name) that would allow holders to get through airline security faster. Pretty appealing carrot to dangle in front of the masses right now! Jack
-- jack (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 19, 2002.
It is my feeling that the chip WILL be implemented, but that the recent announcement of the first family to proudly march to hell is really just a way to get people to more readily accept the biometric Nat'l ID card. It will be seen as "the lesser of two evils" is my guess. Frankly, for myself, this is a very large part of the reason to homestead and become as self reliant as possible. I won't play the game. So if I cannot feed myself (at least moderately) I will be in a whole world of hurt. Hungry people will readily do things they would otherwise be terrifically opposed to doing. Desperation ain't pretty in any scenario.
-- Doreen (email@example.com), February 19, 2002.
"If anyone thinks that chip technology will provide greater security, they are sadly mistaken."
I agree Craig.
Security will never be acheived through external measures (the kind of security people are seeking now.) The more we hanker for safety, while rejecting that which brings the necessary internal change(which reveals itself in the external), the less secure and safe we become.
As for me and my house ----- no, no and no.
The times they are a changin' -- the exciting part is we are here to "view" these times.
-- Wendy@GraceAcres (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 20, 2002.
Jack, I love Backwoods Home Magazine! And the "Coming American Dictatorship" series is a must read! I am saving them to use in the study of Government, in our home-schooling efforts. Great, great stuff!
-- Wendy@GraceAcres (email@example.com), February 20, 2002.
Why not??? Revelations 13:16-18, quoting from the New living Translation, "He required everyone- great and small, rich and poor,slave and free- to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. "And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark,which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed to understand this. Let the one who has understanding solve the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666." I may not know enough to know WHO, but I know enough to leave anything like this alone.
-- kathy boice (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 20, 2002.
AS all you faithfull readers know Doreen & I will the first ones in line to receive.... where is that line?????
-- Jim-mi (email@example.com), February 20, 2002.
"If we mean to fully protect our security we should immediately seek federal legislation to establish standards for the implantation of microchips uniquely identifying each and every individual residing in this country, linked to central databases that could protect all Americans against terrorism. In fact, similar technology has been used in veterinary medicine for years to facilitate the return of lost dogs and cats to their owners."
Yep. Get a chip. Become "property" to be managed, traded, or discarded at whim. Uh huh. [heavy sigh]
-- JCL Jockey (WeThriveOn@stress.com), February 22, 2002.
I agree with all the believers that this is a sign of the times. Thank God for the wisdom that we have to see this as what it is. And for the strength to withstand this temptation and make others aware by sharing the truth.
-- Maryona (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 15, 2002.
I had a dream. In this dream, there were many, many bad men. No bad women, just bad men.
The bad men were very frustrated, because they could no longer steal people's purses. They could no longer steal people's wallets. They couldn't even steal their plastic.
They were forced to steal people's hankerchiefs and the small items most men carry in their pockets: frogs, pen knives, pebbles, even their "red badges of courage". Times were tough; it was hardly worth being a mugger or a pick pocket.
All this because the "peoples" were safe from crime. They had all their "currency" in the form of implanted microchips. They felt smug. They felt safe. They felt secure. And they were, when they were able to ignore that nagging feeling that their "rich uncle" was watching their every move.
Basically, life was good for the peoples. Things were really looking good. There were no burglaries. There were no muggings. There were no purse snatchings. There were not even any more drug dealers, because the dealers were unable to carry on any transactions, without giving up their secrets to Uncle. Most important, there were no deadbeat dads or tax evaders. The IRS made sure that EVERYONE paid their fare share! (The fair share, due to the fact that there were no tax evaders, was supposed to be reduced by almost 19%, but for some reason, it ended up being a flat rate of 90%. But that was ok, because everyone was feeling so safe.
The world was really quite nice! But then, the Peoples started noticing that lots of folks were wandering around, holding out their right hands--begging for alms. What can this be, thought the Peoples. There was never to be any more begging, now that everyone pays a Faire Share. And why do these Peoples only have one (the right) hand?
Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion, same time, same station, next week. If I can still type with only one hand.
-- joj (email@example.com), April 16, 2002.
Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times."
-- Rose Anna Soprano (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 26, 2002.