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Security Tape

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Alicat
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since 05-23-99
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0 posted 11-26-2001 12:19 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Tonight, I saw a news article about photo recognition in airports, comparing faces that pass through the scanner with a database of 'known' terrorists. This caused me to wonder about the little black strip found on the back of most, if not all, driver licenses. This was odd, since most of my profound thoughts always seem to occur in the bathroom. Anyhow, and I'm sure the following will incense the ACLU, I think more stingent security should be focused on that little black strip. Currently, I think very little information is contained there, and I know cameras can be tricked. So...how about this:

State transportation agencies, state police, INS, and FBI collaborate to include vital statistics on that security strip, as well as driving and criminal record. The licensee's fingerprint is electronically embossed on the card as well. When purchasing/presenting travel tickets, one must press their finger (the one also on the license) to an electronic reader, as well as presenting their photo ID/passport. This verifies the identity of the ticket holder against their photo and print. Any criminal information, like an outstanding warrant, would not be picked up by the counter agent, but would be forwarded immediately to airport security for interdiction. The photo scanners at the security posts (metal detectors) would not compare actual photos, since external facial features can be altered, but X-rays of the facial bone structure (very similar to dental X-rays), also integrated into the black strip. Passengers would press their aforementioned finger to a small reader when passing through the security checkpoint. The fingerprint and facial are compared to all existing data, verifying identity in the time it takes to walk through the scanner.

I realize this is a bit far-fetched, not to mention prohibitively expensive and highly unlikely. It would, however, cut down on license fraud, stolen credit card usage, stolen identities, people skipping bail/bond, outstanding warrants, and terroristic access (domestic or foreign).

Would you condone the usage of the security strip in this way? Why or why not?

Alicat
Brad
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1 posted 11-26-2001 10:58 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Confused,very confused. Is this a philosophical question?


How does this relate to the Ashcroft moves?


Is that what you're asking?


Brad
Alicat
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2 posted 11-26-2001 01:12 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Sorry about the confusion Brad. Those thoughts stemmed from the security measures being thought about in Capital Hill, especially the face recognition stations by the metal detector gates in airports to compare faces with those of known terrorists.

The main thrust of this topic deals with First Amendment issues versus security issues. P'raps I should have made that a bit more clearer. If, however, you should deem that this thread is more suited for say, the Lounge, feel free to transfer it there with my blessings.   Have a good one!

Alicat
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
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3 posted 11-26-2001 11:48 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I think you're wanting to invoke the 4th amendment there ali... not the first.

What you're actually calling for here though is just increased documentation  -- I don't think it would necessarily impose any constitutional violations (excepting for the fingerprint) but --  A forger is a forger is a forger is a forger.

The premise you suppose here though is that there is some kind of a trade off between freedom and security -- however -- people with no rights are not immune from terrorism.

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (edited 11-26-2001).]

NapalmsConstantlyConfused
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4 posted 11-27-2001 06:41 PM       View Profile for NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Email NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for NapalmsConstantlyConfused

so basically what you're looking for is a LoJack that they have to scan locally instead of from space?
baaaaaaad thinking, there, man. no matter how easy it would be to implement, you're failing to take into account human nature - it's not a matter of whether this SHOULD be abused, it's a matter of the fact that it WOULD be.
Gattaca anyone?
-Dave
hush
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5 posted 11-28-2001 11:26 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Uh.... or they could just tattoo some barcodes on us.

I guess the way I see it is this- how long until the government uses this against political enemies? How long before terrorist hackers learn to alter the information contained themselves? How long until terrorists become security guards in airports and  allow their cohorts right on through?

I think the face-matching idea is stupid, too... they should still be chiefly concerned with the smuggling of weapons onto planes...safety measures there are still sorely inadequate. I mean, if they can't control that, how could they possibly expect to control a system so much more complicated than metal detectors and X-ray conveyor belts?

"this is not who I meant to be
this is not how I meant to feel" -Ani DiFranco

Brad
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6 posted 11-29-2001 02:52 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Devil's advocate:

Why is privacy such a big thing?

If you're not doing anything wrong, why do you have to keep it private?

Right?  
Poet deVine
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7 posted 11-29-2001 08:09 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

I can see it now, bar codes tatooed on our rear ends. We just pull down our pants and slide down a conveyor belt like in the grocery store. When we hear the little beep, it means we're ok.

"Um, that'll be $56.98, Ms. Poet deVine."

Just a bit of levity.

And to add to the discussion, I think privacy is something to protect not throw away. I don't want anyone knowing my private business! And I don't do anything wrong (except poetically).    
serenity blaze
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8 posted 11-29-2001 08:26 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

ROFL @ Sharon...I WISH I DID have a bar code on my rear...and a credit card machine in... well,   Nevermind, but I'd be RICH I tell ya!  

But Brad, I value my privacy too....even tho I'm the first to tell my business to the world, I like to be the one to decide!

Gotta say, Ali...normally I'm with you, but I have to vote "nay" on this, politely of course, my guru poet brother!  
Alicat
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9 posted 11-29-2001 10:46 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

And it's OK to agree to disagree. I still luvs ya Serenity-Sis.  

Part of the thinking behind my view above was based on some complaints a friend of mine who works for ADOT gets at her counter. She gets a lot of people who want the computer networks connected between states so they can easily prove their RV is registered in Montana, even though it has Arizona plates and tags. What some people will do to get out of fees... However, they don't like the idea of those same computers being linked to show something bad, like multiple DUI's and a suspended license. (And it's usually the same person...strange dichotomy, but true.) Human nature I guess.

But, I still go for the security tape being used more, though for some it would be invasion of privacy. Medical information, including allergies, criminal record, and driving record are the main things I'd like there. As for other add-ons, I guess that'd be up to personal tastes. I wouldn't mind seeing my credit report, voter registration, selective service, and vital stats kept there as well...so long as there is a security measure in place to prevent forgery...or to make forgeries very difficult. Something like digital fingerprint scan.

On a side note, I don't feel that privacy is a right, but a privilege, like most things in life we take for granted. If you screw up, you lose the privilege. If you want it back, you've got to take steps to earn it back. And if the choice were between privacy and security, well, I'd rather be safe than secluded.
Ron
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10 posted 11-29-2001 02:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If you screw up, you lose the privilege (to privacy).

So, if you get busted for possession, it's then okay for "them" to put cameras in your bathroom? I mean, just to make sure your not using drugs again?

Far fetched? Personally, I think the adage "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" was invented to describe governments. When you allow Person A to infringe your rights "just a little, and for the common good," you set a dangerous precedent. And Person B will invariably go a little farther. Human Rights cannot be bartered, cannot be traded for greater security. Were that the goal, there would never have been any reason to fight for them in the first place. When personal safety becomes more important than freedom, our enemies have won.

Interestingly, the right to privacy is not mentioned in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that several of the amendments create this right (not a privilege, like driving).

quote:
If you're not doing anything wrong, why do you have to keep it private?

For the same reason the authorities must have "probable cause" or "due process" before conducting a search - even if you don't have anything illegal to hide. The power to intrude into your life is, indeed, a power, and one that easily equates to the power to DISRUPT your life.

The old argument that, if you have nothing to hide, you should allow the police to search your trunk is inherently dangerous. Because the next logical step is to conclude that those who refuse are automatically guilty.

We often look at the rights afforded by the US Constitution and decry the way they protect the guilty. That was never their purpose, but rather was their cost. It's an absolutely necessary cost, because without protection for everyone, there cannot be protection for anyone.

So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.
— Voltarine de Cleyre

Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


11 posted 11-29-2001 08:26 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Yes, yes, we all want to live our lives with as little interference as possible.

But is this a valid argument for society, or, more correctly, for those who administer/lead society?

After all, he/she has to worry about millions of other individuals who don't do anything wrong either.

How do we explain the value of a procedural system of intrusion when all he or she wants to do is the right thing?

If we had good people in positions of power, would the right to privacy be necessary?

Can we make this argument:  that even if the person in power is a good person, there are still good reasons to keep privacy intact?

Are there good and bad systems of government independent of individuals?

Brad
Ron
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12 posted 11-29-2001 10:21 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Lots of questions, Brad. Good questions, too.

Seems to me, though, they all boil down to just one question. Is the right to privacy as important as other human rights? Would anyone suggest giving up the right to free speech to make it easier to get the bad guys? Would it be reasonable to force everyone to worship the same God if that eliminated some or even most evil? Would we willingly relinquish life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Mmmm. Come to think of it, in the past twenty years, fear has prompted just about every one of those suggestions.

At the risk of a very bad cliché, I think human rights are not unlike dominoes. And I'm not crazy about seeing that first one topple.

Your final question, I think, probably deserves its own thread, separate from the issue of privacy or rights. Briefly, though, I'll admit that I've always believed a benevolent dictatorship was the most humane and certainly the most efficient form of government. But they've never offered me the job, and I've never found anyone else I trust quite that much. (The first part is a joke, and the second proves you're not the only cynic at the table.   )
Local Rebel
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13 posted 12-03-2001 07:59 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

(rubbing my eyes)

Gee Ron... did you write all that or did I?  
Brad
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14 posted 12-04-2001 07:10 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Hmmmm, both LR and Ron don't see value in privileging the Right over the Good?



More later,
Brad

PS I have a story from Rorty on this -- about a drunken Indian -- that might be useful here (of course it might not, it is a bit off topic). I'll  try to get it up later.

Brad
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15 posted 12-04-2001 08:17 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Two quick assumptions:

If everybody were evil (defined here as socio-pathic), government and society would be impossible.

If everybody were good (people do what they say and say what they do for starters), government would be unnecessary.

Since government does seem necessary and possible (more or less), we have to assume that human beings are neither.

I think we have to start from this point.

Alicat, I'll try to bring all this back to your original question, honest.  

Brad
Local Rebel
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16 posted 12-05-2001 12:04 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The world goes on because civilized men exist.
Without them it would collapse into mere dust.

Though their minds are as sharp as a rasp,
Men without human decency are as wooden as a tree.

-Tirukkural 100:997-8
Excerpted from the Tirukkural, translated by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Copyright Himalayan Academy Publications, www.himalayanacademy.com.

because people are not good or bad -- and because people are what governments govern, and because people are what governements are -- it is important to maintain the individual rights above all else -- no one person is completely good -- no one person is completely bad -- even a mostly good person is tempted to abuse power -- and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Brad
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17 posted 12-13-2001 04:29 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Yes, but those corrupted by power rarely think they are corrupted. They think they're doing good or at least trying to get to the good.

Unreformed criminals often see their acts as a kind of justice against the injustice of "the system".

Brad
Midnitesun
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18 posted 12-14-2001 12:15 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

When I envision  multiple layers of scanners and identifiers and "authorities" weeding out "possible " terrorists, I cannot help but think of the yellow stars and number tattoos of WWII, of Internment camps for Japanese Americans, segregation of races, not to mention all those Reservations for all the Injuns that got in the way of Manifest Destiny. Leave our freedoms alone. Too many people have died already to give us the rights to privacy, freedom to assemble, freedom to accept or reject religion, freedom to speak out against government intrusion into our daily lives, freedom to think, and speak in the pursuit of happiness.
The bar codes on the butt sound funny until you get branded. I worked side-by-side for  a year with Jews in Israel who still wore the tattoos the Nazis gave them. The stories I heard convinced me that all people, not just Americans, deserve the same basic freedoms. And isn't that what our Liberty Lady and the flag stands for? Or is it just freedom for those who follow a certain mainstream socially-accepted path?
We are already over "identified" and "categorized."  Next thing you know,  someone will be suggesting all newborns have a computer chip implanted in their head, to make it easier to track them anywhere at anytime by whomever happens to be in the King of the Day. And the official government statistics can show how often these citizens defecate, and if they are doing it in a socially  acceptable manner.
Of course now I am beginning to rant. It's a good thing I didn't have to put this into an alliterative rhyming sequence. Thanks for that freedom.
 
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