"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Friday, August 5, 2011

Big Brother - coming soon to a city near you

In the great Philip K. Dick's Minority Report you watch the government watching you.

"Certainly it constitutes bad news when the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit."
— Philip K. Dick

"There will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore.  Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me."
— Philip K. Dick

"This is a mournful discovery.
1)  Those who agree with you are insane
2)  Those who do not agree with you are in power."
— Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick's nightmare of the future is coming to Mexico . . . and then soon to a city near you

Life imitates art . . . or is it, art imitates life?  Maybe both are right.

Mexico's sixth-largest city, Leon, is on the road to becoming a real-world version of Philip K. Dick's Minority Report, the movie and short story that envision a future in which everyone is tracked wherever they go, reports USA Today.

U.S. biometrics firm Global Rainmakers and its Mexican partner announced that they have begun installing iris-scanning technology in the city of more than 1 million in Guanajuato state, which the press release touts, without irony, as the place "where Mexican Independence was born." The companies aim "to fortify all aspects of life" to create "the most secure city in the world."

Philip K. Dick
The first phase concentrates on law enforcement and security checkpoints. Then the iris scanners, which the firms say can "identify humans in motion and at a distance while ensuring liveness," will fill malls, pharmacies, mass transit, medical centers and banks, "among other public and private locations."

"In the future, whether it's entering your home, opening your car, entering your workspace, getting a pharmacy prescription refilled, or having your medical records pulled up, everything will come off that unique key that is your iris," says Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers. Before coming to GRI, Carter headed a think tank partnership between Bank of America, Harvard, and MIT.

"Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected [to the iris system] within the next 10 years," he says.

Leon is the first step. To implement the system, the city is creating a database of irises. Criminals will automatically be enrolled, their irises scanned once convicted. Law-abiding citizens will have the "option" to opt-in.

When these residents catch a train or bus, or take out money from an ATM, they will scan their irises, rather than swiping a metro or bank card. Police officers will monitor these scans and track the movements of watch-listed individuals.

"If you've been convicted of a crime, in essence, this will act as a digital scarlet letter. If you're a known shoplifter, for example, you won't be able to go into a store without being flagged. For others, boarding a plane will be impossible."

Life imitates art.  In Minority Report the government tracks you with eye scans in public and private places.  Now that nightmare technology is being put into place by the government "for your own protection".

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