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welcome to the era of Demolition Man... low-jack tracking of citizens goes online

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  • welcome to the era of Demolition Man... low-jack tracking of citizens goes online

    well, this certainly makes me terrified enough to take a shit right where i'm sitting.

    Wisconsin sex offenders face lifelong tracking
    Wisconsin has enacted a law that requires paroled child molesters to wear a Global Positioning System tracking device for at least 20 years. "Expanded GPS will help law enforcement know exactly where these people are every minute of every day," said Gov. Jim Doyle as he signed the bill into law Monday in Madison.
    besides the fact that sexual assault and molestation charges can vary in definition and enforcement from one jurisdiction to another (a high school senior who is dating a sophomore and gets a hand job from her in the bathroom during the prom... is that a sex offender? depends largely on whether or not the district attorney is planning on running for a local congressional office in the future, i'd say) i have a huge problem with the increasing notion that somehow criminal status in the justice system is not a binary (or trinary) matter.

    deep breath, calm & clear enunciation...

    in a free society a person either IS a criminal being punished by the justice system or they HAVE CONCLUDED their punishment and are a free citizen again. i recognize the whole matter of "parole" but i simply define this as still being recognized as a criminal who is undergoing punishment... restrictions of liberty and so forth are still in play. however, once a sentence has been fully served (and all parole has concluded) you are NO LONGER part of the criminal justice system (in my idealized reality, which i admit does not parallel completely with our own) and therefore CANNOT be legally subjected to such infringements of liberty

    the heart of my argument here is a slippery-slope concern. once we start dividing a person's criminal status into a myriad of small designations (incarcerated, paroled, monitored, watch-listed, documented, etc) there is no certainty as to what a person's future is at the hands of the state. as it stands right now (as far as i know) parole is a relatively flexible matter. not all criminals are given the same parole terms (just as not all those who commit the same crime are given equal prison terms)... i am shocked and appalled by the possibility of one criminal in the future winding up with an all-inclusive stretch (of the above hypothetical categories) lasting 30 or 40 years while someone else might be out of the system and have their rights completely back in only 10.

    this multiple category breakdown can lead to a great deal of arbitrariness in sentence length... and if governments become willing to invest in invasive technologies (like the GPS proposal here) instead of actually paying police and prison workers (to keep people locked up and keep tabs on parolees) we will slide down that slope even further. GPS, by its relatively cheap and versatile nature, can be easily adapted to provide many automated layers of control and permission.

    imagine auto-generated e-mail alerts to these people... "hello, this is a reminder that today is the 3rd of september and therefore your radius of permission has extended to 50 miles from your home, provided you return home after any 3 day stay outside of your green zone unless it is a holiday weekend" etc etc. instead of making their parole and monitored life restrictions concrete... there could even be vagary and blurring of lines there... "hello, this is an email to notify you that our system detected that you strayed 500 yards outside of your yellow zone for more than two hours on wednesday. please note that subsequent infractions of this nature will result in a reduction of your permission radius by 5 miles" etc etc.

    computers and code work in cut-and-dry, black-or-white logic. switches are either on or off... however, computer-aided bureaucracy increases vagueness and impersonal decision making by orders of magnitude. i predict it would become increasingly difficult to comply with directives and it would take increasingly long periods of time to get one's life back together upon release from prison with such a system in place.

    of course, i think all of this is overshadowed by the larger issue which is, as mentioned above... in an ostensibly-free society citizens are either incarcerated or their not. they're either criminals or they're free. the state doesn't get a bunch of middle-of-the-road rest stops to sort matters out. pay the expense to keep people behind bars until it's appropriate for them to be out, then leave them the fuck alone.

    [EDIT: this particular article discusses GPS (which i assume is your typical "out on bail" bracelt-based technology) but i'd be happy to hear people's comments about the use of RFID for such tracking. after all, it was proposed recently that we RFID tag and track immegrants and guest workers. once something is foisted upon a marginalized populace, it's that much easier to press it upon the rest of the population, as well. that is, of course, unless the rest of the population is already asking to have their rights taken away in exchange for shiny toys and meaningless entertainments. (i.e. - this cartoon)
    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; May 24, 2006, 09:43.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
    well, this certainly makes me terrified enough to take a shit right where i'm sitting.]
    Who left this warm apple pie in my chair?...at least i hope it is pie....

    I will agree and leave it at that in the interest of maintaining the politics rule......
    <rant
    On another note: walmart now going widespread with rfid tags in their merch, complete disregard to privacy i smell coming young jedi? They will of course say they will disable them at the checkout with some pad they swipe over it, but how do we know that it is even on? They can track you by your groceries, it will become more and more popular in commerce, with the savings cards combined it is information/ anti-privacy goldmine. They will be able to determine when you throw out your box of lucky charms and send you a damn coupon for buy 1 get one free. It is simply insane. Those damn safeway cards, I have one myself, i am cheap, but i have found out some things that will scare the hell out of you. Finding and gathering information about a person is so seriously easy with all of our convinces available to us in 30 minutes or less. Next time you forget your club card and put in your phone number think really hard about how many people know your phone number, that will get you started. I could talk for hours on this stuff.../rant.
    Last edited by Nikita; May 24, 2006, 20:28.
    "Haters, gonna hate"

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    • #3
      While I find this thread very interesting and could go on for days in endless debate about my opinions and those of others I feel that until the mods have cleared this topic as not being too political I have but 1 simple recourse and that is to say "No Comment."

      P.S. - No offense is meant to anyone by my previous statement however I don't feel like treading on thin Ice, however I thought that this topic did warrant a response.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Gobniu
        While I find this thread very interesting and could go on for days in endless debate about my opinions and those of others I feel that until the mods have cleared this topic as not being too political I have but 1 simple recourse and that is to say "No Comment."
        Wise decision. :-)

        P.S. - No offense is meant to anyone by my previous statement however I don't feel like treading on thin Ice, however I thought that this topic did warrant a response.
        I can't speak/write for the other mods, but I didn't move it right away, as I thight it might move into a discussion on RFID/GPS/Human tracking and technical issues on how viable it is at this time, and methods to defeat such systems.

        Issues of individual privacy (like the walmart citation) are quite on-target for Defcon and defcon presentations. With an updated RFID database, it would be possible for citizens to spy on each other and determine what any target is buying without walking up to them to look in their cart.

        Complaints about the legal system with respect to penalties, conditions of parole, probation, or court direction for criminals of sexual crimes or illigal immigrnts just do not seem to be things that would be on-topic at a Defcon presentation. These seem to be more about politics and changing laws or calling people to action.

        There is opportunity for on-topic discussion.

        I'll give it 24 more hours unless some other mod decides it should go sooner.

        I'll just close the thread if it doesn't take off, otherwise it'll act like a landmine waiting for an uninformed user to discover it.

        [Added:]
        See below. Spawned here

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TheCotMan
          Issues of individual privacy (like the walmart citation) are quite on-target for Defcon and defcon presentations. With an updated RFID database, it would be possible for citizens to spy on each other and determine what any target is buying without walking up to them to look in their cart.
          ..........................

          There is opportunity for on-topic discussion.
          I suggest we open a new thread. Let's continue the on topic portion whilst allowing this one to die out/or move it. Thus eliminating the potential for rehashing polital no no's. I will be happy to write endlessly about the possiblities and how much danger is involved in globalising rfid in commercial products etc. etc.
          "Haters, gonna hate"

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