Bloggers I Have Met

Privacy Policy

Legislators Thumbs Mailed to the Capital

This posting by me under a somewhat obscure email address on the Biometric Consortium Electronic Discussion List got me prohibited from further postings.  In addition to the grammar errors in my posting I mistakenly referred to Yona Flink as "her" when in fact Yona is a male name.  I plead ignorance -- sorry Yona.

Although it was never explained what about my posting caused me to be banned, I suspect it was my reference to something an acquaintance once told me about his anticipated method of opposition to a biometric ID card.  It is the last sentence of my post.

Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 23:23:50 -0700
Reply-To: The Biometric Consortium's Discussion List
Sender: The Biometric Consortium's Discussion List
Subject: Re: Strange Bedfellows

I don't have a problem with the science of biometrics. I think it's pretty
nifty stuff in certain applications. It's the abuse and potential abuse of
it that worries me. And what I read in this forum doesn't ease my worries
any. What I read here says, "It can't happen with our governments. The US,
or the UK, or whatever your favorite government is would never abuse it.
The government is our friend, our protector, let it protect us better by
giving it more power. Our government is elected! We will have laws that
protect us from any abuse!"

Have you ever talked to any of the Americans of Japanese descent put into
the concentration camps during WWII? I have. A friend who was born a month
after his parents were released from a camp has one of the original posters
ordering his parents and others of Japanese descent to the camps framed on
his living room wall. The US census information on individuals was supposed
to be sealed for 70 years, only statistical data was to be released, not
info on individuals. That law and promise was broken to send people to the
camps in the US. Who enforces the laws that are to protect us from the
government? The government? If you believe that, please grow up and don't
bother to try and convince me of that.

Yona expressed her bewilderment about corporations gathering vast amounts of
data on individuals without the individuals being concerned yet those same
individuals hesitate to give their own government data that lets them
reliably, uniquely, and quickly identify them. I can deal with an abusive
corporation far, far, more easily than I can deal an abusive government.
You see, a government has an exceedingly firm grasp on something no
corporation can but dream of wielding. It has the power to seize you, your
property, to imprison you, and even to kill you with only the slightest bit
of effort. In the last century over 60 million people where killed by THEIR
OWN governments. That's what governments do. That is what government is.
Government is force. It is like fire, a wonderful servant, but a terrible
master. Yes, we have some decent governments on this planet, places I don't
hesitate to live because the governments are benign. But throughout history
that is an abnormal state of government. Things change and the power you
willingly gave one government for your protection and imagined security
becomes the tool of the tyrant. The government of Germany was benign --
then Hitler was elected.

I don't know about you, but when my government wants my fingerprints on an
ID card I'll be rooting for my acquaintance that will be mailing the thumbs
of the legislators that voted for that law to the capital.