Terminally Incoherent

Utterly random, incoherent and disjointed rants and ramblings...

Monday, August 01, 2005

US uses RFID to mark foreigners

You might have heard that we will be now giving out little RFID devices to people visiting US at the selected border crossings. If Homeland Insecurity office decides that this procedure is successful this might be introduced all over the place.

This actually scares me shitless. If that doesn't just scream "police state" I don't know what does. I have absolutely no clue how this helps to prevent terrorism. What this could be used for is streamlining border crossing hassle - so that they can just scan you when you pass through a gate the next time you come in or something. But that does not make sense because they will still want to see your passport, visa and whatever.

No, this device can be easily used for racial profiling and similar. All they have to do is to make carrying that card mandatory, and require police to scan it whenever they check your id. This way someone can easily walk into the room, and scan it for foreigners. Even if this device does not allow you to zero in on an individual, this still can help the police to harass visitors. They will know exact number of RFID cards present within 12 meters - which means they can just ID every single person in that range till they find all RFID card carriers.

Of course a terrorist will probably have a good fake ID (or even real green card or citizenship) and will live his RFID in a deposit box somewhere. So this in no way will prevent him from blowing things up. What this will do is subject innocent people to unwanted attention from anyone with RFID scanner and connection to DHS databases.

RFID is a great concept but governmental agencies should be banned from using it to track information about people. There is just to many possibilities for abuse here.


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