AND NATIONAL ID AS ELECTRONIC STALKING
Part I: The Flea.
PRIVACY is an American Safeguard against mistake, abuse and retaliation. The Personal Data Portability removal of this safeguard – for any reason – opens the door to a whole family of predatory cottage industries. The cost is not in how to pay for these, the cost is in the loss of privacy first.
Though the reasons may sound good at first — fighting crime, violence and even terrorism — the removal of the protection of Privacy as a safeguard of our way of life will usher in unstoppable predatory industries promising to rectify problems, furnish solutions and even guide Americans into newer monstrosities of electronic surveillance.
With Political Correctness already having its own boot on the throat of American thought, intrusion of electronic surveillance will not only keep open files on what you buy and how much you have, but it will soon presume to dictate what you must become.
For health, safety of yourself and others, knowledge of your behavior and habits will soon come to dictate how you must change, and that means morphing you into what you must be. For your own good and for the good of society, you will be compelled to change.
RFID Chips — one of two leading means of electronic surveillance — promise dreams of convenience, but they will deliver nightmares of conformity. The PC influence can already force parents into unwelcome injections for their children, or go to jail for ten days. Too much milkfat or animal fat in your diet will soon be known, and the insurance underwriters will soon be able to know – not guess, but know – your consumption, and it is they who will cite the figures on heart disease and animal fat and how much is good or bad for you, not you.
Let’s take a look at one of the earliest applications as I recall it from the seventies when I first heard about portable data embedded in a chip which is to be embedded in people — the medical records data to accompany the patient wherever he or she goes.
The Flea – the tiny thing you really don’t want on you – was originally touted in the middle seventies for keeping medical records with the patient at all times, specifically on their person, indwelling. In the seventies and before, the MedicAlert Tag was more than sufficient in furnishing vital information to doctors, volunteers and others. This was before EMS was even called EMS.
The newer concept was that, with the arrival of greater technology, longer history and more complex treatments and medicines, there was — supposedly – the greater complexity of records to keep, and the need for the right platform to disgorge it all to the practitioner who would see the patient in time of emergency.
But this is not how emergency treatment works. Then or now.
Much of emergency medical care is commonly without a complete medical history. It is... well, emergency. Much of emergency treatment is supportive, life-saving, and generally straightforward from patient to patient. Airway, breathing, circulation, whether shortness of breath is from heart attack, choking, bee sting, electric shock or even myasthenia gravis in the field, it’s all the same. First things first.
Paramedics in the field are trained to assess the patient in 90-seconds. In that time, the nature and degree of the emergency is understood and life-saving treatment has begun in Advanced Life Support. That’s pretty damned fast. Any other medical professional in the same situation as Paramedics operate in their world would not delay his or her assessment and treatment of an emergency patient for want of further information. There would be no wait-and-see delay, as the insistence on a portable, embedded medical history suggests.
Furthermore, what a professional needs to know at the most urgent moments is not contained in a chip, but in the physical exam and presentation of the patient. Signs, symptoms and findings of what is happening at the present are generally much more important than a miniature past embedded somewhere in the patient’s muscle.
Once the door is opened for portable medical history data — as unimportant as it is — others will push it open for all sorts of applications for the portability of other personal data — data which is a lot less urgent than medical data, but certainly more useful to predators. RFID rings the dinner bell for predators. Those predators are worldwide.
And this is where the second problem emerges. Supposing that our sovereignty is in fact dead and we cannot stop the Flea from jumping on us – first problem — the second problem is identity theft, or theft of all portable information.
Remember that once the Flea is embedded in you, you can’t get rid of it. Even if you can precisely locate the thing, it’s harder to remove than a tattoo.
One may not have anything to hide per se, but everyone has something to protect.
Privacy, not Piracy
Some of us remember cell phone piracy of the nineties, and we remember the assurances officials gave. Pirates would stand over freeways and scan passing cars below to capture their cellular codes electronically. Within minutes, they could make calls billed to Joe and Josephine Caller. Only when millions of customers began denying they made all those phone calls did the industry catch on. Meanwhile, officials denied that it was possible. It was more than possible — it was done and gone. As with most such theft, most of the predators are not found.
Today, with handheld technology available to read RFID chips at a distance, no rational person can assure Americans that their personal data will not be stolen and abused. With today’s technology, a person with an RFID Chip containing any information at all could find their data stolen, and not ever know where, when nor by whom. Never. It’s as fast as a snapshot and just as anonymous.
The genius or the horror of human implanted RFID Chips is that they can be read at a distance and through solid objects. Alright, we know this. But did you know how easy it is for a predator to pick up a few parts and steal your portable data from even greater distances than the manufacturer's parameters?
It’s not a question of encoding your chip for protection – codes are universal to some extent or the chips themselves are useless in any industry, or incompatible with various scanners. Besides, your installer may not have preferred the more expensive options of encoding, no matter what he says. It’s easier to say they did than to do it, just like it’s easier to obtain forgiveness than permission.
Once your personal, portable data is captured, it’s in the wind, and you’re toast. The technology makes it possible to pick up a few parts, make up a yagi antenna and you’re in business. Now, the useful range of the RFID Chip – about 30 feet – is extended by a sensitive lurking antenna and circuit to 300 feet or more. That can put it on a freeway overpass, outside a restaurant, or even your home.
The patent for human implantation of the RFID Chip was granted in 1973, with plenty of time to dream up many applications since then. Sounded good, but two things prevented it: privacy concerns and miniaturization technology. Now, the Flea is tiny enough to be lost among several grains of pepper on the tip of your finger, and privacy concerns can go to Hades.
But this is only the beginning. This is not your father’s reading your portable data for one medical emergency application, it is shared for many applications. It is placed on shared databases, and it is to be shared worldwide. Airports, retailers, public buildings, foreign stations are gearing up to read RFID Chips as visitors, patrons and members pass through their doors hourly.
Shared databases mean your data is shared worldwide.
As with all looting in this country, Liberty and Sovereignty must be pushed aside somehow, because they are the last bulwark against that kind of predatory industries — looting. These industries depend heavily on adversity for their customer base and very survival. Whole industries large and small tend to sprout up not only to furnish the Flea, but to manage the problems anticipated and unanticipated in an enchanting transfer of wealth. All in the name of fighting crime, or some other purported necessity. Pick one.
If you like the credit reporting bureaus and the cottage industries who promise to clean up the errors, you’ll love RFID and all other surveillances and what they charge. But the cost to America is not in the repair bills for errors – it’s in the loss of sovereignty that paves the way for the Flea to begin with.
In Part II, we’ll elaborate even greater potential for abuse (as if this wasn’t enough?) defiance of citizen authority, and what defiance and electronic surveillance mean to the American of tomorrow — your children and their children after parents have had the chip as the norm for a generation.
© 2007 - John Longenecker - All Rights Reserved
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John Longenecker was one of the first Paramedics in Los Angeles EMS. Today, he a father of three, author, columnist, talk show guest and founder of the Good For The Country Foundation, a 501(c)(3) patriotic think tank examining policy adverse to the public interest.
Today, with handheld technology available to read RFID chips at a distance, no rational person can assure Americans that their personal data will not be stolen and abused.