Senators Move To Make ALL U.S. Workers Carry Microchipped ID!

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March 09, 2010

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Lou Dobbs Supports Plan For ALL U.S. Workers Carrying Microchipped ID

Network-centric Warfare by Tom Burghardt

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by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, June 11, 2009
Antifascist Calling…

Dominating entire societies Worldwide through ubiquitous surveillance

What Pentagon theorists describe as a “Revolution in Military Affairs” (RMA) leverages information technology to facilitate (so they allege) command decision-making processes and mission effectiveness, i.e. the waging of aggressive wars of conquest.

It is assumed that U.S. technological preeminence, referred to euphemistically by Airforce Magazine as “compressing the kill chain,” will assure American military hegemony well into the 21st century. Indeed a 2001 study, Understanding Information Age Warfare, brought together analysts from a host of Pentagon agencies as well as defense contractors Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton and the MITRE Corporation and consultants from ThoughtLink, Toffler Associates and the RAND Corporation who proposed to do just.

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Chemists and post offices to take fingerprints as part of national ID scheme (UK)

Dandelion Salad

By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Telegraph
06 May 2009

Post offices, high street pharmacies and photo shops are in talks with the Home Office to offer facilities for customers to have their biometric details taken

The move came as it emerged the estimated cost of the controversial scheme has risen by another £213 million.

Post offices, high street pharmacies and photo shops are in talks with the Home Office to offer facilities for customers to have their biometric details taken for when they apply for an ID card or new passport.

It would mean anyone who wants an identity card or biometric passport will go to their local post office or pharmacy to have their fingerprints read and stored along with a face scan.

Ms Smith said: “While private companies will clearly benefit from the increased footfall from offering this service, their customers will benefit from being able to quickly provide their biometrics while they are out doing the shopping. ”

But Phil Booth, of privacy campaign group No2ID, said: “We are talking about a Government that cannot even look after the data of millions of people now asking your local camera shop to process sensitive personal data, including fingerprints.”

[…]

via Chemists and post offices to take fingerprints as part of national ID scheme – Telegraph.

h/t: CLG

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The New World Order Monetary System

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More info: G-20 Summit: Next Step to Global Economic Gulag

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This is a very interesting and revealing video I got from http://www.youtube.com/purdysw, and was originally posted by http://www.youtube.com/aodscarecrow

I’m sorry about the sudden unexpected ending, the video was obviously cut short. But the info is so real and powerful that it needs to be heard by as many people as possible. Only then can we hope to make the world a better place.
————————————–

Lost in all the Obama furor, the world’s leading economic powers — the so-called G-20 nations — are quietly laying plans for a November 15th summit in Washington, D.C., that may effect a revolution in world finance and global governance, a revolution with potentially much greater long-term impact on America than anything on President-elect Obama’s agenda.

According to an AP report, “EU leaders are set to call on the Nov. 15 summit to agree immediately on five principles: submit ratings agencies to more surveillance; align accounting standards; close loopholes; set banking codes of conduct to reduce excessive risk-taking; and ask the International Monetary Fund to suggest ways of calming the turmoil.”

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The Implanted Radio-Frequency Identification Chip: “Smart Cards” in a Surveillance Society

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, September 6, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

RFID tags implanted in physical objects or human beings

If incorporating personal details into an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip implanted into a passport or driver’s license may sound like a “smart” alternative to endless lines at the airport and intrusive questioning by securocrats, think again.

Since the late 1990s, corporate grifters have touted the “benefits” of the devilish transmitters as a “convenient” and “cheap” way to tag individual commodities, one that would “revolutionize” inventory management and theft prevention. Indeed, everything from paper towels to shoes, pets to underwear have been “tagged” with the chips. “Savings” would be “passed on” to the consumer. Call it the Wal-Martization of everyday life.

RFID tags are small computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be fixed to or implanted within physical objects, including human beings. The RFID chip itself contains an Electronic Product Code that can be “read” when a RFID reader emits a radio signal. The chips are divided into two categories, passive or active. A “passive” tag doesn’t contain a battery and its “read” range is variable, from less than an inch to twenty or thirty feet. An “active” tag on the other hand, is self-powered and has a much longer range. The data from an “active” tag can be sent directly to a computer system involved in inventory control–or surveillance.

But as Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) state in a joint position paper, “RFID has the potential to jeopardize consumer privacy, reduce or eliminate purchasing anonymity, and threaten civil liberties.” As these organizations noted:

While there are beneficial uses of RFID, some attributes of the technology could be deployed in ways that threaten privacy and civil liberties:

* Hidden placement of tags. RFID tags can be embedded into/onto objects and documents without the knowledge of the individual who obtains those items. As radio waves travel easily and silently through fabric, plastic, and other materials, it is possible to read RFID tags sewn into clothing or affixed to objects contained in purses, shopping bags, suitcases, and more.

* Unique identifiers for all objects worldwide. The Electronic Product Code potentially enables every object on earth to have its own unique ID. The use of unique ID numbers could lead to the creation of a global item registration system in which every physical object is identified and linked to its purchaser or owner at the point of sale or transfer.

* Massive data aggregation. RFID deployment requires the creation of massive databases containing unique tag data. These records could be linked with personal identifying data, especially as computer memory and processing capacities expand.

* Hidden readers. Tags can be read from a distance, not restricted to line of sight, by readers that can be incorporated invisibly into nearly any environment where human beings or items congregate. RFID readers have already been experimentally embedded into floor tiles, woven into carpeting and floor mats, hidden in doorways, and seamlessly incorporated into retail shelving and counters, making it virtually impossible for a consumer to know when or if he or she was being “scanned.”

* Individual tracking and profiling. If personal identity were linked with unique RFID tag numbers, individuals could be profiled and tracked without their knowledge or consent. For example, a tag embedded in a shoe could serve as a de facto identifier for the person wearing it. Even if item-level information remains generic, identifying items people wear or carry could associate them with, for example, particular events like political rallies. (“Position Statement on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products,” Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, November 14, 2003)

As the corporatist police state unfurls its murderous tentacles here in the United States, it should come as no surprise that securocrats breathlessly tout the “benefits” of RFID in the area of “homeland security.” When linked to massive commercial databases as well as those compiled by the 16 separate agencies of the “intelligence community,” such as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) that feeds the federal government’s surveillance Leviathan with the names of suspected “terrorists,” it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that the architecture for a vast totalitarian enterprise is off the drawing board and onto the streets.

As last week’s mass repression of peaceful protest at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul amply demonstrated, the Bush regime’s “preemptive war” strategy has been rolled out in the heimat. As the World Socialist Web Site reports,

On Wednesday eight members of the anarchist protest group the Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee (RNCWC) were charged under provisions of the Minnesota state version of the Patriot Act with “Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism.”

The eight charged are all young, and could face up to seven-and-a-half years in prison under a provision that allows the enhancement of charges related to terrorism by 50 percent. …

Among other things, the youth, who were arrested last weekend even prior to the start of the convention, are charged with plotting to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers and attack airports. Almost all of the charges listed are based upon the testimony of police infiltrators, one an officer, the other a paid informant. (Tom Eley, “RNC in Twin Cities: Eight protesters charged with terrorism under Patriot Act,” World Socialist Web Site, 6 September 2008)

As the ACLU pointed out, “These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the defendants on trial,” said Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience,” he said.

An affidavit filed by the cops in order to allow the preemptive police raid and subsequent arrests declared that the RNCWC is a “criminal enterprise” strongly implying that the group of anarchist youth were members of a “terrorist organization.”

Which, as we have learned over these last seven and a half years of darkness, is precisely the point: keep ’em scared and passive. And when they’re neither scared nor passive, resort to police state tactics of mass repression. While the cops beat and arrested demonstrators and journalists outside the Xcel Energy Center, neanderthal-like Republican mobs chanted “USA! USA!” while the execrable theocratic fascist, Sarah Palin, basked in the limelight. But I digress…

Likened to barcodes that scan items at the grocery store check-out line, what industry flacks such as the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM) fail to mention in their propaganda about RFID is that the information stored on a passport or driver’s license is readily stolen by anyone with a reader device–marketers, security agents, criminals or stalkers–without the card holder even being remotely aware that they are being tracked and their allegedly “secure” information plundered. According to a blurb on the AIM website,

Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM) technologies are a diverse family of technologies that share the common purpose of identifying, tracking, recording, storing and communicating essential business, personal, or product data. In most cases, AIM technologies serve as the front end of enterprise software systems, providing fast and accurate collection and entry of data. (“Technologies,” Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility, no date)

Among the “diverse family of technologies” touted by AIM, many are rife with “dual-use” potential, that is, the same technology that can keep track of a pallet of soft drinks can also keep track of human beings.

Indeed, the Association touts biometric identification as “an automated method of recognizing a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic.” This is especially important since “the need” for biometrics “can be found in federal, state and local governments, in the military, and in commercial applications.” When used as a stand-alone or in conjunction with RFID-chipped “smart cards” biometrics, according to the industry “are set to pervade nearly all aspects of the economy and our daily lives.”

Some “revolution.”

The industry received a powerful incentive from the state when the Government Services Administration (GSA), a Bushist satrapy, issued a 2004 memo that urged the heads of all federal agencies “to consider action that can be taken to advance the [RFID] industry.”

An example of capitalist “ingenuity” or another insidious invasion of our right to privacy? In 2006, IBM obtained a patent that will be used for tracking and profiling consumers as they move around a store, even if access to commercial databases are strictly limited.

And when it comes tracking and profiling human beings, say for mass extermination at the behest of crazed Nazi ideologues, IBM stands alone. In his groundbreaking 2001 exploration of the enabling technologies for the mass murder of Jews, communists, Roma and gays and lesbians, investigative journalist Edwin Black described in IBM and the Holocaust how, beginning in 1933, IBM and their subsidiaries created technological “solutions” that streamlined the identification of “undesirables” for quick and efficient asset confiscation, deportation, slave labor and eventual annihilation.

In an eerie echo of polices being enacted today against Muslims and left-wing “extremists” by the corrupt Bush regime in their quixotic quest to “keep America safe” in furtherance of capitalist and imperialist goals of global domination, Black writes:

In the upside-down world of the Holocaust, dignified professionals were Hitler’s advance troops. Police officials disregarded their duty in favor of protecting villains and persecuting victims. Lawyers perverted concepts of justice to create anti-Jewish laws. Doctors defiled the art of medicine to perpetrate ghastly experiments and even choose who was healthy enough to be worked to death–and who could be cost-effectively sent to the gas chamber. Scientists and engineers debased their higher calling to devise the instruments and rationales of destruction. And statisticians used their little known but powerful discipline to identify the victims, project and rationalize the benefits of their destruction, organize their persecution, and even audit the efficiency of genocide. Enter IBM and its overseas subsidiaries. (IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation, New York: Crown Publishers, 2001, pp. 7-8)

As security and privacy analyst Katherine Albrecht writes describing IBM’s patented “Identification and Tracking of Persons Using RFID-Tagged Items in Store Environments,”

…chillingly details RFID’s potential for surveillance in a world where networked RFID readers called “person tracking units” would be incorporated virtually everywhere people go–in “shopping malls, airports, train stations, bus stations, elevators, trains, airplanes, restrooms, sports arenas, libraries, theaters, [and] museums”–to closely monitor people’s movements. (“How RFID Tags Could Be Used to Track Unsuspecting People,” Scientific American, August 21, 2008)

According to the patent cited by Albrecht, as an individual moves around a store, or a city center, an “RFID tag scanner located [in the desired tracking location]… scans the RFID tags on [a] person…. As that person moves around the store, different RFID tag scanners located throughout the store can pick up radio signals from the RFID tags carried on that person and the movement of that person is tracked based on these detections…. The person tracking unit may keep records of different locations where the person has visited, as well as the visitation times.”

Even if no personal data are stored in the RFID tag, this doesn’t present a problem IBM explains, because “the personal information will be obtained when the person uses his or her credit card, bank card, shopper card or the like.” As Albrecht avers, the link between the unique RFID number and a person’s identity “needs to be made only once for the card to serve as a proxy for the person thereafter.” With the wholesale introduction of RFID chipped passports and driver’s licenses, the capitalist panoptic state is quickly–and quietly–falling into place.

If America’s main trading partner and sometime geopolitical rival in the looting of world resources, China, is any indication of the direction near future surveillance technologies are being driven by the “miracle of the market,” the curtain on privacy and individual rights is rapidly drawing to a close. Albrecht writes,

China’s national ID cards, for instance, are encoded with what most people would consider a shocking amount of personal information, including health and reproductive history, employment status, religion, ethnicity and even the name and phone number of each cardholder’s landlord. More ominous still, the cards are part of a larger project to blanket Chinese cities with state-of-the-art surveillance technologies. Michael Lin, a vice president for China Public Security Technology, a private company providing the RFID cards for the program, unflinchingly described them to the New York Times as “a way for the government to control the population in the future.” And even if other governments do not take advantage of the surveillance potential inherent in the new ID cards, ample evidence suggests that data-hungry corporations will.

I would disagree with Albrecht on one salient point: governments, particularly the crazed, corporate-controlled grifters holding down the fort in Washington, most certainly will take advantage of RFID’s surveillance potential.

In 2005 for example, the Senate Republican High Tech Task force praised RFID applications as “exciting new technologies” with “tremendous promise for our economy.” In this spirit, they vowed to “protect” RFID from regulation and legislation. Needless to say, the track record of timid Democrats is hardly any better when it comes to defending privacy rights or something as “quaint” as the Constitution.

Under conditions of a looming economic meltdown, rising unemployment, staggering debt, the collapse of financial markets and continuing wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. imperialism, in order to shore up its crumbling empire, will continue to import totalitarian methods of rule employed in its “global war on terror” onto the home front.

The introduction of RFID-chipped passports and driver’s licenses for the mass surveillance and political repression of the American people arises within this context.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10097

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RNC in Twin Cities: Eight protesters charged with terrorism under Patriot Act

RNC 8 Charged with “Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism”

8 Members of RNC Activist Group Lodged with Terrorism Charges

RFID

Biometric database to be formed in Israel

Dandelion Salad

by Attila Somfalvi
http://www.ynetnews.com
08.03.08

Government approves bill calling for creation of database of all Israeli citizens. Data to include fingerprints, computerized facial features embedded on IDs, passports

The government approved Sunday a motion calling for the establishment of a biometric database by the Ministry of Interior and the Public Security Ministry.

The motion, dubbed the “identification card, travel papers and biometrics database bill,” will now be referred back to the various Knesset committees, which would ready it for its Knesset votes.

…continued

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Bush Executive Order Expands Data Collection – Will Share Data with “Foreign Partners”

“Big Brother” Presidential Directive: “Biometrics for Identification & Screening to Enhance National Security”

Bush pushes biometrics for national security + NSPD-59 & HSPD-24

The microchipped licence will tell all

Dandelion Salad

by Tim Wees
RoadWarrior
http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com
July 23, 2008

There is a new and developing twist in the movement to microchip humanity. This one is called the “enhanced driver’s licence.” British Columbia is currently trying it out with 500 volunteers and someday the microchip may show up as integral to all driver’s licences. If you don’t have a driver’s licence you may be included in the microchipped club with a microchipped identification card issued to everyone. The enhanced driver’s licence is being tested in B. C., with Ontario watching from the wings.

The new twist is that each of these driver’s licences will broadcast a number which, when picked up with an appropriate receiver, will translate into a screenload of data about you with access to everything from your birth date to what you had for breakfast at the local greasy spoon. The present design gives the chips a broadcast range of 10 metres.

This has come to the fore as a way of easing border-crossing issues between Canada and the United States. As you cruise up to the gate the border guard will not even need to have you stop. He will have your number before you even get to the gate and can decide to stop you or just give you the wave if he determines that you are one of the good guys.

But from there, where? Give the chip just a little extra oomph and it is entirely possible for the cop who is following you on the 400 to run the data on everyone in the car. He will not even need to stop you and he will know who’s who. Maybe by then someone will have thought to chip the car as well and the cop will be able to see if everything matches.

…continued

h/t: The Resistance

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

DHS Announces $79 Million in State Grants for REAL ID

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Department of Homeland Security
Release Date: June 20, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today Fiscal Year 2008 REAL ID Demonstration Grant awards totaling nearly $80 million to assist states in improving the security of state-issued driver’s licenses (DL) and identification documents (ID). Grants will fund state-specific projects like improving the physical security of licenses, upgrading facility security, and modernizing document imaging and storage. Funding will also be provided for the development and testing of a verification hub that will enable states to query federal and non-federal document-issuing authorities and verify applicant source documents.

“Americans overwhelmingly want secure identification, and this funding will help those states working to provide it,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “We’ve made it more affordable for states to implement REAL ID by dramatically cutting costs and providing various and considerable funding options, and we’re requesting additional funding next year.”

The REAL ID Program addresses a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to enhance the security, integrity and protection of licensing and identification systems across the country. More than $58 million has previously been allocated for state-specific implementation projects that facilitate REAL ID compliance.

Each of the 48 states and territories who applied for Fiscal Year 2008 REAL ID Demonstration Grants will be awarded a portion of the available funding. Awards are based on an application’s overall effectiveness in meeting criteria identified in the grants application kit, and the number of DLs and IDs issued. Projects will focus on achieving material compliance, such as collecting applicants’ photos at the start of the application process and incorporating additional physical security features into DLs and IDs. Other funded projects that advance REAL ID implementation, include transitioning to centralized DL and ID production, improving data records for driver’s licenses, and upgrading source document imaging and storage.

The department has also pledged to fund in this grant cycle the implementation of a verification hub to be built and governed by the states. The hub will act as a central router to provide timely, accurate, and cost-effective verification to motor vehicle departments of an applicant’s source documents. States will be able to seamlessly verify the identity, lawful status and social security number of an applicant through this common interface.

The department has awarded $17 million to Missouri to lead the development of the verification hub. Four other states – Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin – will each receive $1.2 million to partner with Missouri for verification hub testing and implementation. Other states and territories will eventually connect to the verification hub and have the capability to verify applicants’ source documents.

These investments are essential to reducing and impairing the use of stolen, borrowed, altered, or counterfeit source documents widely used to obtain state-issued documents. For more information on the REAL ID Demonstration Grant program, or to learn more about REAL ID, please visit www.dhs.gov/realid.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Britain: An “Endemic Surveillance Society”

Dandelion Salad

Thanks to

Socialist Standard

by John Bissett
http://www.worldsocialism.org
Socialist Standard
May 2008

The control freaks in power who would monitor our every movement, conversation and transaction have had a busy time of late.

This year began with Privacy International, a London based human rights group and watchdog on surveillance and privacy, reporting that Britain and the US are in the lowest category when it comes to privacy and state intrusion into our lives. Greece, Romania and Canada had the best privacy records of 47 countries surveyed by Privacy International. Malaysia, Russia and China were ranked worst.

And there has been a constant stream, in the daily press and on radical websites, of reports of new and advancing methods in surveillance technology.

On 23 February, BBC Online reported that the Home Office had rejected calls by the police to introduce a mandatory DNA database of all UK citizens, arguing that the suggestion “would raise significant practical and ethical issues.”

Already there are 4.5 million people in Britain on the DNA database, earning Britain the ominous title of the most DNA profiled country on the planet. Since 2004, the data on everyone arrested for a recordable offence (all but the most minor of offences) has remained on the system regardless of their age, the seriousness of their alleged offence, and whether or not they were prosecuted. In countless cases, if you go to court and you’re found totally innocent, they still have your DNA, a profile of your personal genetic make-up.

Not enough, say the police who, to highlight their case, point to recent solved murders thanks to the national DNA database. Right-wing reactionaries have backed police calls for such a database, citing the hackneyed argument that if you’re doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. Which misses the point by a mile.

There’s nothing radical at the moment in the government resisting police pressure for a DNA database. They simply realise it will be one huge palaver to get DNA samples from almost 6o million people, a lot of whom will kick off big time were they to be threatened with penalties for failing to comply. Just how do you get a DNA profile on every human in Britain? For the moment they are biding their time until they come up with a better way to get around this.

So if you’re thinking that here is the British government defending our civil liberties, forget it. They’re still after their surveillance society. The Guardian (23 February) for instance, told us that:

“Passengers travelling between EU countries or taking domestic flights would have to hand over a mass of personal information, including their mobile phone numbers and credit card details, as part of a new package of security measures being demanded by the British government. The data would be stored for 13 years and used to ‘profile’ suspects.”

One thing few us were aware of was that last summer the EU made a deal with the US Dept. of Homeland Security to provide Washington with 19 pieces of information on all passengers between Europe and the USA, including credit card details and mobile phone numbers.

Not enough, says the British government, who want the system extended to sea and rail travel, to domestic flights and those between EU countries. And is the reactionary British Labour government the only one in Europe to argue for this measure? Yes! Twenty-seven member states were questioned on whether the system should be extended for “more general public policy purposes”, aside from the alleged ‘war on terror’ and crime, and only Britain put its thumbs up. Britain further wants the authority to exchange the information gleaned, your most personal details, with third parties outside the EU.

The Daily Telegraph (7 March) reported: “All British citizens will have their fingerprints and photographs registered on a national ID database within 10 years under plans outlined by the Government”.

The Government announced that a national ID card, carrying 49 pieces of information about us, will be phased in within two years and that millions of workers in “sensitive jobs”, like teachers, carers and health workers, will be among the first to have their most personal details stored on to the national identity register.

The first unfortunates to be targeted will be foreign nationals working in Britain and who will possibly be issued with cards from this November. Then, next year, they predict that the first British citizens will be enrolled beginning with some airport staff, power station employees and people working on the London Olympics site.

The Daily Mail (11 March) reported that some one-and-a-half-million 10 to 18-year-olds will have had their genetic profiles stored by this time next year, which strengthened arguments that the Government is moving towards a DNA database of all British adults “by stealth”.

“Since 2004 police have had the power to take DNA samples from anyone over the age of ten who is arrested, regardless of whether they are later charged, convicted, or found to be innocent.… But analysis by the campaign groups Action on Rights for Children and Genewatch has found that the figure conceals a far larger DNA-gathering operation, since the profiles of juveniles who have since turned 18 are no longer counted in the official total.”

Earlier, the Independent (17 February) informed us that schools will be very much preparing kids for life in the police state, where cops have increasing powers. An article on knife crime in schools commenced:

“Parents will be told that they must allow their children to be searched at any time within school premises if they want to get them into the schools of their choice, under new plans to rid Britain’s classrooms of the scourge of knives.

The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, will put the battle against illegal weapons at the top of her agenda when she unveils her Tackling Violence Action Plan tomorrow. The blueprint for tackling knife-related violence will include a radical move to give police hundreds of metal detectors to catch young people carrying hidden weapons in schools, clubs and pubs.”

Three days later the Independent reported that teachers had backed the introduction of metal detectors in schools:

“Although the initiative carries disturbing echoes of some US cities, where high-school pupils are routinely scanned for weapons, head teachers said it could help to tackle violence in high-crime areas. Metal detectors are still relatively rare and hugely controversial in US schools, but they have been used, particularly in rougher inner-city neighbourhoods, for at least 20 years with some success.”

This is a disturbing vision of the future. Not only does your kid get to be fingerprinted at school, as now, their details stored and their having to have their dabs scanned before even getting a school meal (as was done by stealth at my son’s comprehensive school, without the prior knowledge of parents) but they will face spot searches, yanked from class to be frisked by some over-zealous teacher, as well as having to go through metal detectors.

How long before kids are urged to report to staff on any subversive comment heard at home, being rewarded with a medal when they do? If you’re aiming on implementing a total surveillance society, then what better way than to start with kids and acclimatise them to incessant surveillance from an early age.

And if you can target kids, who are all too ready to accept the ‘wisdom’ of their elders and superiors, and who are in no position to object, then why not also target another section of society who have fewer rights – prisoners – who can be conned into having their movements monitored if they think its will result in a non-custodial sentence?

Less that two weeks after Privacy International announced that Britain was an “endemic surveillance society” we had the Independent on Sunday (13 January) reporting with a front page headline: “Prisoners to be chipped like dogs”. All that was missing was the subheading: Welcome to the police state Britain.

In a bid to implement home curfews on the more ‘errant’ members of our society and to create more space in Britain’s overcrowded jails, ministers have come up with plans to implant ‘machine-readable microchips’ beneath the skin of thousands of offenders as part of an expansion of the electronic tagging scheme.

The system is already in place for dogs and cats, cattle, cars and airport luggage, for instance, so it was really only a matter of time before someone came up with the bright idea of using ‘spychips’ on humans. Said one senior minister: “We have wanted to take advantage of this technology for several years, because it seems a sensible solution to the problems we are facing in this area…. We have looked at it and gone back to it and worried about the practicalities and the ethics, but when you look at the challenges facing the criminal justice system, it’s time has come.”

So much then for the battle cry of the Labour Party when it came to power: “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.” The latest move is tantamount to admitting Labour policies have failed, that crime cannot be controlled within the context of capitalism and that class inequality will forever throw up a “criminal element”.

The Independent observed:

“More than 17,000 individuals, including criminals and suspects released on bail, are subject to electronic monitoring at any one time, under curfews requiring them to stay at home up to 12 hours a day. But official figures reveal that almost 2,000 offenders a year escape monitoring by tampering with ankle tags or tearing them off. Curfew breaches rose from 11,435 in 2005 to 43,843 in 2006 – up 283 per cent. The monitoring system, which relies on mobile-phone technology, can fail if the network crashes.”

The idea now is for offenders to have tags, consisting of a toughened glass capsule holding a computer chip, injected into the back of the arm with a hypodermic needle.

It goes without saying that human rights campaigners should be the first to expostulate. Liberty’s Shami Chakrabarti commented: “If the Home Office doesn’t understand why implanting a chip in someone is worse than an ankle bracelet, they don’t need a human-rights lawyer; they need a common-sense bypass.”

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers, said: “This is the sort of daft idea that comes up from the department every now and then, but tagging people in the same way we tag our pets cannot be the way ahead. Treating people like pieces of meat does not seem to represent an improvement in the system to me.”

One company plans deeper implants that could vibrate, electroshock the implantee, broadcast a message, or serve as a microphone to transmit conversations. What is being proposed, then, in some quarters is the tasering of offenders, via satellite, from outer-space. Step outside the confines of your curfew area and ZAP! How long before we find Gordon Brown and Co. contemplating the idea of each and every one of us carrying a vein deep implant, with defenders of the idea regurgitating the old line: “if you’re doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to worry about?”

Consumer privacy expert Liz McIntyre said: “Some folks might foolishly discount all of these downsides and futuristic nightmares since the tagging is proposed for criminals like rapists and murderers. The rest of us could be next.”

Most workers are totally oblivious to the creeping surveillance society, the full police state, where people with powerful interests to defend can track us 24-7. It is done so slowly, so subtly, that the majority of people don’t realise what is going on. Indeed, many who are cognisant of future surveillance proposals believe it is harmless and is done with their best interests at heart – so wise are our leaders. Little by little, workers are becoming acclimatised to the Big Brother Society, in which they will have your DNA, your fingerprints your credit card details… everything… Everything will eventually be known about everyone.

They’re telling us all that we are not to be trusted – none of us – and that we need to be surveilled constantly and that it is all in our own interests, for the good of society. They want our genetic profiles logged, our financial transactions, our medical history, and our telephone, email and web-surfing habits catalogued and shared with security agencies all over the world. Well, trust is a two-way thing, so why should we trust them one inch?

see

Big Brother: RFID – Putting “Radio Tags” on Americans

Prisoners ‘to be chipped like dogs’ by Brian Brady

Big Brother: RFID – Putting “Radio Tags” on Americans

Dandelion Salad

By Kristi Heim
Global Research, April 7, 2008
Seattle Times

UW team researches a future filled with RFID chips

By Kristi Heim

Seattle Times business reporter

Some University of Washington students, faculty and staff are being tracked as they move about the computer-science building, with details of where they’ve been, and with whom, stored in a database.

Professor Gaetano Borriello checks a computer to find graduate student Evan Welbourne’s last location: on the fourth floor, outside room 452 at 10:38 a.m. Wednesday. He opens another screen to reveal the building’s floor plan, and a blinking green dot representing Welbourne shows him walking down the hall.

If it seems a bit like Big Brother, that’s the intention. The project is meant to explore both positive and negative aspects of a world saturated with technology that can monitor people and objects remotely.

“What we want to understand,” Borriello said, “is what makes it useful, what makes it threatening and how to balance the two.”

The technology, radio frequency identification, or RFID, is rapidly moving into the real world through a wide variety of applications: Washington state driver’s licenses, U.S. passports, clothing, payment cards, car keys and more.

The objects all have a tiny tag with a unique number that can be read from a distance. Many experts predict that the radio tags, as an enhanced replacement for bar codes, will soon become ubiquitous.

Leaders of the UW’s RFID Ecosystem project wanted to understand the implications of that shift before it happens. They’re conducting one of the largest experiments using wireless tags in a social setting.

“Our objective is to create a future world where RFID is everywhere and figure out problems we’ll run into before we get there,” said Borriello, a computer science and engineering professor.

RFID has been used primarily to track goods in supply chains, and the RFID Ecosystem works as a kind of human warehouse.

For more than a year, a dozen researchers have carried around RFID tags equipped with tiny computer chips that store an identification number unique to each tag. Researchers installed about 200 antennas throughout the computer-science building that pick up any tag near them every second.

The researchers hope to expand the project, funded by the National Science Foundation, to include participation by about 50 volunteers — people who regularly use the building. Volunteers will have the option of removing their data at any point.

The system can show when people leave the office, when they return, how often they take breaks, where they go and who’s meeting with whom, Borriello said.

The technology seems less intrusive than a camera, but it’s much more precise.

It’s a lot easier to fool a camera with a blurred image or disguise. But the latest RFID tags contain a 96-bit code meant to uniquely identify an object or person.

Yet if people don’t see the tags, it’s easy to forget they are giving out information whenever they come within range of a reader.

“One of the most surprising things is how invisible these tags can be,” said Welbourne, who stashed the paper-thin tags in his jacket and bag nine months ago and doesn’t always remember he’s carrying them. “It’s a risk for people. I built part of the system, and I’m caught off-guard.”

Lessons learned

UW researchers are gaining some valuable lessons on how to make the technology useful while protecting privacy. Radio tags add a new dimension to social networking. The key is allowing subjects to control who sees what information about them.

They created an application called RFIDDER that lets people use data from radio tags to inform their social network where they are and what they’re doing. The feature can be used on the Web and on a mobile phone, with a connection to the social-networking service Twitter.

Borriello can let Welbourne, the project’s lead graduate student, see where he is all day, or he can modify settings so Welbourne can only see where he is within 15 minutes of their scheduled meeting. The system is transparent, so each can tell if the other has checked his whereabouts.

The lab’s Personal Digital Diary application detects and logs a person’s activities each day and uploads them to a Google calendar. Users can search the calendar to jog their memories about when they last saw someone or how, where and with whom they spent their time.

Potential pitfalls

Yet the UW researchers also recognize many potential privacy pitfalls.

Some systems, including new U.S. passports and driver’s licenses, have been designed to divulge more information than necessary, opening the door to security and privacy problems, Borriello said.

Experts from the UW RFID team went to Olympia to testify on privacy issues related to the state’s Enhanced Driver’s License.

“There’s no reason to have remotely readable technology in a driver’s license,” Borriello said. He recommends a system that requires contact with the surface of a reader, so the license-holder knows when information on his license is being read.

However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security required states to use an RFID chip that is readable from a distance to be compatible with its REAL ID initiative.

Washington state went along so it could offer an optional Enhanced Driver’s License as an alternative to a passport for residents crossing the Canadian border.

Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a bill last week that attempts to mitigate security and privacy concerns by making it a felony for unauthorized users to read or possess information on another person’s identification document without that person’s knowledge or consent.

Piecing a profile

Without the right safeguards, data from radio tags can be pieced together to offer a detailed profile of a person’s habits without his or her knowledge.

“People don’t understand the implications of information they’re giving out,” Borriello said. “They can be linked together to paint a picture, one you didn’t think you were painting.”

If someone carrying the new RFID-chipped driver’s license visits a store that has an RFID reader and then uses a credit card, the store can start to form an association between the ID number and the credit-card number.

That information can be used to send targeted advertising messages to the customer, a scenario depicted in the film “Minority Report.” A man is recognized as he walks by a store and given a personalized sales pitch.

RFID readers placed around shopping malls and airports could help government agencies collect information about visitors’ travel patterns, shopping habits and relationships.

“People might think maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe it will make me safer,” Borriello said. But he added, “You can see this inching forward until we’re tracking people wherever they go.”

That might sound far-fetched, but it’s going on in other parts of the world. Last year, the number of police requests for information from London’s RFID-based transit card rose from four per month to 100, Borriello said. Police use the data in criminal cases.

In southern China, the government is installing RFID readers throughout the city of Shenzhen to track movements of citizens, and U.S. companies are helping deploy the technology, The New York Times has reported. Chips in national ID cards contain not just a number, but a person’s work history, education, religion, ethnicity, police record and reproductive history.

“You could argue for any of this stuff in the name of security,” Borriello said. “It’s important to understand what the technology can do and we, collectively, have to decide what we’re going to use it for.”

The lessons from the UW RFID project point to the need for consent and transparency, informing people what data are being collected and giving them a way to review, correct or delete it.

The technology alone can’t be made to do the right thing without a good system of laws and policies around it.

Protection lacking

So far, there are few such legal protections in the U.S., Welbourne and Borriello say.

While RFID is relatively new, one technology with a potential to track people is well-established: cellphones.

“Most of us trust that information is not being tracked by anyone, but in fact it is,” Borriello said.

Large U.S. telecommunications companies are in the middle of a bitter dispute over their role assisting in government wiretapping, and whether they can be sued or be given legal immunity.

Right now RFID is following a typical technology cycle, moving from obscurity into popular usage. The UW researchers are trying to stay ahead of that cycle.

“As soon as it becomes widely used, then it’s more attractive and people start attacking it,” showing its vulnerabilities, Borriello said. The trouble is “by that time, it’s hard to change.”

Kristi Heim: 206-464-2718 or kheim@seattletimes.com

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

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© Copyright, Seattle Times, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8582

Real ID: Obama/Clinton/McCain passport breach poetic justice

Dandelion Salad

Note: there is a commercial at the end of this video. ~ Lo

RidleyReport

Real ID update: MT governor beats Washington, NH holds firm, moving to anti-Real ID states, candidate ID breach damages Fed ID scheme,Michael “Skeletor” Chertoff backs down.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

.

see

Olbermann: Obama’s Passport Breach + Clinton Campaign Connection

Olbermann: More on Obama Passport Story + The LIES that BIND!

Olbermann: Once More Unto The Breach + Richardson Endorsement + Worst + Bushed!

RFID

Stop the Social Security Surveillance Act (HR 5405)

Dandelion Salad

Mark Kirk for Senate 2010 Campaign Ad

Gary Franchi on Mar 5, 2008

Trying to get around the state’s rejection of REAL ID, Congressman Kirk is proposing we transform our SS card into a National ID card. Contact your Congressman and tell them to vote NO on H.R. 5405.

Stop the Social Security Surveillance Act (HR 5405)

Continue reading

UK Government to begin rolling out ID cards ‘by stealth’ within a year

Dandelion Salad

Daily Mail
6th March 2008

The Government has been accused of introducing identity cards by stealth after it was revealed the first of the controversial IDs will be issued early next year.

Workers in sensitive jobs will be required to apply for the compulsory cards in 2009, despite the Home Office postponing the overall scheme until 2012.

Some 100,000 British airport staff and others working in sensitive locations are expected to be affected by the move.

It is thought that “airside” workers including airline staff, baggage handlers as well as workers in duty-free shops, bars and cafes would all have to apply.

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Agenda for the North American Summit by Andrew G. Marshall

by Andrew G. Marshall
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Feb. 29, 2008

The next North American Summit is set to be held on April 21-22, 2008, in New Orleans, as a fitting memorial – returning to the location where the state turned its back on the people, literally leaving them to die; and where they now meet to turn their backs once again on the people, leaving them in the dark and their countries near death.

In preparation for the next North American (leaders’) Summit, the designated ministers from Mexico, the United States and Canada, met February 28 under the auspices of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). Industry Canada issued a press release February 28, 2008, which stated, “This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA has been a tremendous success: trade and commerce among our countries have grown exponentially.” Then the press release made the statement that, “Trilateral merchandise trade is approximately $900 billion in 2007, significantly contributing to economic growth and increased standards of living in all three countries.” Given the past few months of economic turmoil, record-breaking oil prices, a collapsing US dollar, and fears of a “1930’s style Depression,” it’s a little premature to be saying our standard of living is on the rise.

After giving lip service to, “respecting the sovereignty, laws, unique heritage, and culture of each country,” it states, “we have reviewed progress achieved since Montebello and have directed officials to” five key areas of integration, “Competitiveness, Safe Food & Products, Energy and Environment, Smart & Secure Borders, [and] Emergency Management and Preparedness.”

Competitiveness:

The press release states that they will direct officials to, “Continue to implement the strategy to combat piracy and counterfeiting, and build on the Regulatory Cooperation Framework by pursuing collaboration through sectoral initiatives, with an emphasis on the automotive sector.” So, it’s now time to cement together the already extremely integrated automotive industries of Canada and the US, as currently the Canadian “auto and parts makers export more than 85 per cent of their production south of the border.”

It was recently reported that, “More than three-quarters of Canada’s exports — including oil, minerals, lumber and passenger vehicles — are sold to Americans. The U.S. housing collapse already has slashed sales of Canadian lumber. Now, as a historic decline in home values causes American consumers to retrench, U.S. auto sales this year are headed to a 10-year low, according to TD Bank Financial Group in Toronto.”

So my question is, if it’s the integrated economies between Canada and the US, specifically in the auto industry, that with a falling US economy threaten Canada’s own economy to such a great extent, why is the solution more “deep integration”? Looking at this from a perspective of looking out for the interest of Canada’s economy, if the ailment we are facing is a result of our near-total dependence and integration with the US economy, why is the cure more of the same? If you stick your finger in an electric socket, you get shocked. If, after doing that, you decide to continually put your finger in the same socket over and over again, expecting different results, you’re insane.

Safe Food & Products:

Of this the SPP press release stated that the ministers would advise officials to, “Strengthen cooperation to better identify, assess and manage unsafe food and products before they enter North America, and collaborate to promote the compatibility of our related regulatory and inspection regimes.”

Of course, this has already started to be integrated, as it was reported in May of 2007 that, “Canada is set to raise its limits on pesticide residues on fruit and vegetables for hundreds of products,” and that, “The move is part of an effort to harmonize Canadian pesticide rules with those of the United States, which allows higher residue levels for 40 per cent of the pesticides it regulates.”

Energy and Environment:

Here the ministers state they will advise officials to, “Develop projects under the newly signed Agreement on Science and Technology; and cooperate on moving new technologies to the marketplace, auto fuel efficiency and energy efficiency standards.”

On July 24, 2007, it was reported that, “The first trilateral framework agreement on energy science and technology was inked Monday by the energy ministers for Canada, Mexico and the United States,” focusing on, “ways to increase cooperation on research and development and to reduce barriers to the deployment of new technologies in biofuels, gas hydrates, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, clean coal, and electricity transmission.” It further stated that, “the three countries will exchange scientific and technical personnel to participate in joint studies and projects.” The news report further stated that, “The ministers discussed increasing the region’s energy security, recognizing the critical contribution that an integrated energy market makes to the North American economy.”

Smart & Secure Borders:

Here the press release reports that ministers will aim to, “Strengthen cooperation protocols and create new mechanisms to secure our common borders while facilitating legitimate travel and trade in the North American region.”

Creating “new mechanisms” is the most important part here. On January 22, 2008, it was reported that, “B.C. is about to become the first province to use a high-tech driver’s licence. For an extra fee, it will enable drivers to cross the border into the U.S. without a passport and still comply with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerns,” and that, “The enhanced driver’s licence or EDL has a radio-frequency identification chip that will broadcast a number linked to a computer database, allowing a border guard to assess data and flag security issues as drivers approach the booth.” It then stated that, “Name, address, place of birth, citizenship and photo will appear with a quick scan of the coding of the back of the licence.”

On February 28, 2008, it was reported that BC made this move “in conjunction with Washington State,” and that, “Ontario and other provinces with high-volume border crossings are expected to follow suit in the near future. Under the U.S.’ Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), passports will be required for all travellers entering the U.S. starting June 2009, but RFID-enabled EDLs are being introduced on a voluntary basis as an acceptable alternative to speed up border crossings.” The report elaborated that, “the Real ID Act enacted in 2005 calls for the harmonization of drivers’ licences across states in the U.S,” which are, in turn being harmonized with Canada’s licenses, and that the real agenda with this is to create a North American ID card. Andrew Clement, a professor of information studies at the University of Toronto was quoted in the article as saying:

The EDL scheme is seen as a way to sneak it [the ID card] through the back door by turning state licences, through U.S.-wide harmonization with biometrics, into de facto identity cards. And the Privacy Commissioner has pointed out that Canada’s EDLs will be made compatible from a system point of view with Real ID standards, so Canadians will in fact be enrolled in the U.S. apparatus via licences. There are several steps to get there but this seems to be the direction it’s heading towards

On top of this, it was reported on February 14 that, “the Garden River First Nation (an Ojibway Tribe of North American Indians), headquartered at the eastern boundary of the city of Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada, has signed an agreement to license and use Veritec’s 2-D VSCode(TM) Biometric technology for multi-purpose cards which will serve as Tribal Member ID, Border-crossing (from and to Ontario, Canada) control and passport-backup ID cards,” and that, “[t]he technology stores the individual’s fingerprint minutiae.” So, while BC is introducing this as a (for now) voluntary move, it’s being introduced elsewhere first for First Nations peoples, then, undoubtedly, for everyone.

Emergency Management and Preparedness:

Under this heading, the press release states that SPP minister will work to, “Strengthen emergency management cooperation capacity in the North American region before, during and after disasters.”

This comes right on the heels of the announcement that, “Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other’s borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.” It was further reported that, “Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas,” and that, “The U.S. military’s Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.”

Soon after this was announced, in the Canadian House of Commons, “the NDP couldn’t get an answer out of Defence Minister Peter MacKay on why his government didn’t release details about a new agreement recently signed with U.S. military,” and that:

According to what little is known of the agreement (the actual document hasn’t been made public and no word if it ever will) it will be up to civilian authorities on whether military assistance is needed and whether U.S. troops will cross the border to help in Canada in the event of a terror attack, flu pandemic, earthquake or some other domestic emergency. Same goes if Canadian troops were needed in the U.S. to deal with similar situations.

Calls for Further, Faster Integration:

The day of this press release from the SPP Ministers, the Canadian newspaper the Globe & Mail reported on the previous night’s debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in which they both threatened to leave NAFTA if they didn’t get certain concessions from Canada and Mexico, and the article stated that if NAFTA was torn up, “Canadians would lose their jobs; companies would go out of business, [and] our standard of living would decline.” However, it is actually that, “NAFTA has been responsible for growing poverty, the creation of a new underclass called the ‘working poor,’ and the concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people.”

The Globe & Mail article reports that regarding Obama’s comments toward NAFTA, “CTV reported last night that the Obama camp contacted the Canadian embassy to give them a heads-up about the upcoming rhetoric and to reassure them there was no cause for concern.” Continuing on the idea of a theoretical end to NAFTA, the article states that, “Our politicians can wait with fingers crossed, hoping that Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, if one of them does become president, won’t follow through,” or, “we can act, as we have acted in the past, to revitalize the Canada-U.S. relationship and turn crisis into opportunity.”

It further states that, “Since 1993, when Jean Chrétien and Bill Clinton ratified NAFTA, Canadian prime ministers have largely ignored issues of economic integration,” which is, of course, an obvious lie. However, it does give mention to, “Incremental efforts at harmonizing regulatory regimes – the once-much-vaunted Security and Prosperity Partnership – have been quietly shelved, left to the bureaucrats to work on, unperturbed by deadlines.” So the problem, according to the Globe and Mail, is that the process of integration is not happening fast enough.

The article then went on to attack those who have attacked the North American Union, stating, “the American economy deteriorated and manufacturing jobs disappeared, prompting xenophobic fears over immigration and trade. Anti-trade zealots such as CNN’s Lou Dobbs promoted paranoia. Their poisonous message has filtered throughout the industrial heartland of the United States.” In explaining a solution to this “crisis”, the article states, “The challenge today is the same; the answer is the same. Prime Minister Stephen Harper should propose a second round of Canada-U.S. trade negotiations.”

The purpose of proposing a new trade negotiation agreement would be for the next President of the United States, presumably a Democrat, and if the Democrats want new environmental regulations, “Then let’s propose a bilateral carbon market based on a cap-and-trade agreement aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” This idea would likely follow upon another trend being set in British Columbia. As reported by the Leader-Post, “Driving and other fuel-dependent activities are about to get more expensive in British Columbia as B.C. becomes the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce a consumer-based carbon tax,” and that BC Finance Minister “Taylor said the new carbon tax will begin July 1, starting at a rate that will have drivers paying about an extra 2.4 cents per litre of gasoline at the pumps.” It elaborated, “The tax will apply to virtually all fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane and home heating fuel. It will increase each year until 2012, reaching a final price of about 7.2 cents per litre at the pumps.”

The article finishes by stating, “An activist government will get ahead of the story, with proposals to advance both economic and security integration with the United States as soon as the new president takes office.”

Funny, that sounds like what every government since Mulroney’s has been doing, so how is doing more of the same, activist? Brian Mulroney, who signed onto the initial Canada-US Free Trade Agreement with George HW Bush, has since been rewarded with a seat on the International Advisory Board of the US-based Council on Foreign Relations. Chrétien signed onto NAFTA with Clinton. Paul Martin signed onto the SPP with Bush and Fox, Harper went further with the SPP with Bush and Calderon. Now, Harper is urged to go further with the next American President.

So, what else is new?

see

Ohio Democratic Debate 02.26.08 (videos)

Canadian Embassy: Report On Obama And NAFTA Is False

NAU North America Union

Marshall-Andrew G.

You Think You Are Free? By Linda S. Heard

Dandelion Salad

By Linda S. Heard
28/02/08 “ICH

Watching old movies makes me sad. I’m inevitably reminded of a kindlier, gentler world without cameras that spy on populations, where overseas travelling was pleasurable and privacy was an individual’s right.

Nowadays, states are usurping responsibilities that are rightfully those of their citizens. Western so-called democracies, in particular, are supposed to have governments that are servants of the people, whereas, in fact, the opposite is true. Under the guise of doing what’s best for us or ensuring our security, governments are exercising more and more control over our lives. And, tragically, we are facilitating this erosion of our own freedoms, mostly because we’re not even aware it’s happening.

The US and Britain are leading the pack in this encroaching Orwellian nightmare. “War is peace; Freedom is slavery; Ignorance is strength,” wrote George Orwell in his book 1984. In recent years, they have waged wars in the name of peace, put entire populations under their thumb in the name of freedom while government spin and a compliant media serve to keep people ignorant about their leaders’ true motives.

If we only knew we are being indoctrinated to offer up our personal freedoms to save ourselves from a horrible fate at the hands of nicotine, calories and Al Qaida. We are being taught to fear asylum seekers, climate change, crazed terrorists and even each other. Western governments are perfecting the politics of fear because fearful populaces will do their bidding without question and willingly subject themselves to control.

Britain has become a master of this technique. It currently holds a database containing the DNA of 4.5 million people, arrested for both serious crimes and minor infractions. The police have found this tool so useful they are pushing to expand it to cover everyone in the country although the Home Office has rejected the idea for the moment.

By 2012 Britons over 16 will be required to hold biometric ID cards checkable by police, immigration and customs officials, as well as public and private bodies such as travel agencies, airlines, banks and even retailers.

By 2010, Britain is also expected to incorporate Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips in passports designed to carry a wealth of personal data on travellers.

Embedded

Further, there is a plan to embed RFID chips in vehicle number plates allowing authorities the capability of identifying any vehicle anywhere in all weather. RFID chips have been embedded on every packet of cigarettes manufactured in the UK since October last year, while others have been fitted to trash cans officially to boost the rate of garbage recycling. Pets entering Britain from abroad are also chipped.

Apparently, the government is also considering injecting prisoners with RFID tags. If that goes ahead it’s surely the slippery slope to babies being chipped at birth.

The US has forced European airlines to hand over 19 pieces of information on travellers prior to their departure and wants to extend this one-way data flow to passengers over-flying the US en route to Central America and the Caribbean. The UK wants the system to be used throughout Europe and domestically.

Not only do authorities want to control Britons’ movements, they are also after their thoughts. Remember the Orwellian Thought Police, who used surveillance methods and psychological profiles to interpret the future goals of potential dissenters and deviants? This is already happening in the UK where people can expect to be caught on camera up to 300 times per day and where their phone calls and Internet browsing is routinely monitored.

Earlier this month, three British appellate judges had the good sense to quash the convictions of five young Muslims prosecuted for simply downloading “extremist propaganda” from the Internet. There was no other evidence against them and no proof they intended to act on any message contained in such material. In other words, their initial conviction was purely based on thought crime. The judgment read: “Literature may be stored in a book or on a bookshelf, or on a computer drive, without any intention on the part of the possessor to make any future use of it all.”

Big Brother Britain isn’t working. Indeed, the prisons are overflowing and violent crime is on the up-and-up, much of it fuelled by drugs and alcohol. You’ve surely heard the expression “give a dog a bad name . . .” Could it be that when law-abiding citizens are prejudged as criminals some of them might conclude, “What the heck”?

But Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four isn’t exactly where Britain is headed. The reality is a combination of Orwell’s theories and those set-out in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

As the American author Neil Postman wrote in his book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, whereas “Orwell feared the truth would be concealed from us, Huxley feared the truth would be droned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture” consumed by “an almost infinite appetite for distractions”.

In a way they were both right. Unless we tear ourselves away from our pretty toys and distractions just long enough to remove our rose-coloured specs, freedom will be obsolete except as a slogan above the gate of the Ministry of Truth.

Linda S. Heard is a British specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She welcomes feedback and can be contacted by email at heardonthegrapevines@yahoo.co.uk.


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