Thursday, March 02, 2006

Today's dose of paranoia

I guess I should've been more disturbed when Britain's government approved national ID cards last month. I'm sure the anti-freedom brigade tapping our phones and running (ruining) our government can't wait to institute such a plan for the sheep who comprise our populace.

I predict there will be little uproar when the plan is instituted. Right-wingers will write letters to papers like The Indianapolis Star bashing them commie groups like the ACLU when they make a last-ditch attempt to challenge the government in court. Maybe the question will go all the way to the Supreme Court. Now that's reassuring.

We'll all get cards with little RFID chips that will let the government know our whereabouts at any moment. Get stopped by the cops without your card? You may be in big trouble. All our purchases will be laid bare for the world to see: “Boxers or briefs?” will no longer be in question.

After a few years, most people will forget there was a time when we were free to roam without carrying our ID cards. It will become commonplace to put RFID chips in babies’ necks right after they're born, and people will think that's simply more convenient and less aesthetically intrusive than tatooed barcodes.

This is stuff I used to read about in Sci-Fi novels and think implausible. I thought people would stand up and fight a government that tried to impose such a system. How wrong I was.

Paula Scher, one of my favorite designers created the image above in 1992. Jessica Helfand writes about this disturbing idea in an article called, Give Me Privacy or Give Me an ID Card at Design Observer, one of my favorite web publications.

A reminder, from Benjamin Franklin: “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.”



At 11:12 AM, Blogger DetroitGirl said...

Your link to the Desiing Observor is broken--(insert scary music here. . .)


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