The Panopticon Expands, or, David Brin, Call Your Office…

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…on second thought, don't bother, the office will call you–it knows where you are.

Very soon there won't be any more of these sorts of firsts to notice and it will all be business as usual. But for now, I'll take a moment to note this Financial Times report on what they are saying is the first (though I wouldn't be surprised to learn it wasn't) use by a company of Verichip RFID skin implants to help control where its workers are going. The company in question is CityWatcher, a video surveillance outfit from Ohio.

Reason became the first magazine to prove with visual evidence that it knew where all its readers were back in June 2004, with our groundbreaking and eye-opening customized cover featuring a picture of each individual subscribers house, from the air, accompanied by this excellent Declan McCullagh story on the possible upsides on the coming (or here) "zero privacy" society. I told the story of John Gilmore, the leading paladin fighting legal battles for more citizen privacy–including the struggle to not have to show i.d. to get on a plane–back in our August-September 2003 issue.

NEXT: Hand Jobs for the Greater Good

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  1. My issue had a photo of Nick Gillespie’s house, due to “technical difficulties.” Speaking of which, I never got the promised free copy of Choice for that foul-up…

    Mr. Gillespie, do not anger me, I know where you live. And I know that your pool has a nasty algae problem… 😉

  2. I never understood gilmore’s crusade. I’m glad they ask for id’s at airports. That way no one can steal another person’s ticket and get on board (at least it makes it harder).

  3. Gillespie has a pool? Journalism must pay better than I thought.

  4. I never understood gilmore’s crusade. I’m glad they ask for id’s at airports. That way no one can steal another person’s ticket and get on board (at least it makes it harder).

    There are those of us who believe our freedom to travel without having to show government documents overrides the security state justifications. X-ray scanners and secure cockpits are far more effective securtity precautions than “papers, please”. Besides, a part of Gilmore’s beef is that the regulations in question are kept secret, which is even more disturbing than the regulations themselves.

  5. I never understood gilmore’s crusade. I’m glad they ask for id’s at airports. That way no one can steal another person’s ticket and get on board (at least it makes it harder).

    And it also makes it impossible[*] to sell your ticket to someone willingly, which is a big win for airlines and a big loss for travellers.

    *: I know there’s some whole e-ticket change the name on the printout trick, but whatever.

  6. “I know there’s some whole e-ticket change the name on the printout trick”

    That’s no minor footnote. Are you saying there shouldn’t be names on tickets at all?

  7. Are you saying there shouldn’t be names on tickets at all?

    There was a time when I could get a ticket in the name of Isaac Bartram without having to prove I was Isaac Bartram. I see no reason why I can no longer do that.

  8. I don’t know about Mike, but I’ll say that. “There shouldn’t be names on tickets at all.”

  9. So you guys prefer being able to sell your tickets anytime you want to the peace of mind of knowing that no one can jack your tickets and your place on the flight (unless they take your ID and look like you too)?

    The arguements against government databases and secret regulations are valid, but those things aren’t mutually inclusive with a simple measure to reduce ticket thefts.

  10. That’s no minor footnote. Are you saying there shouldn’t be names on tickets at all?

    You’re quite right, Andy. If there ever comes a day when a person can board an airplane – or indeed any mode of transport whatever including skateboards – without not only proving his identity and that his papers are in order but actually submitting to anal examinations, MRI and psychic probing, the terrorists have clearly won. Why do these people hate America?

    [geezer alert] The first time I got on a commercial airliner back in the sixties, they not only didn’t demand that I prove who I was, the stewardess asked me if I’d like her to put the rifle I was holding in the closet for me. (summer vacation, and if I couldn’t take my rifle I wasn’t going to go.)[/geezer alert]

    I remember America. It was a pretty nice place.

  11. So you guys prefer being able to sell your tickets anytime you want to the peace of mind of knowing that no one can jack your tickets and your place on the flight (unless they take your ID and look like you too)?

    The arguements against government databases and secret regulations are valid, but those things aren’t mutually inclusive with a simple measure to reduce ticket thefts.

  12. So you guys prefer being able to sell your tickets anytime you want to the peace of mind of knowing that no one can jack your tickets and your place on the flight (unless they take your ID and look like you too)?

    You must be joking. Ever buy concert tickets? Bus tickets? Train tickets? They all have the same theft issue, and they seem to get along just fine without government mandated ID checking. And they’ve found ways on their own to prevent fraud to (bar code scanners at concerts/sports events).

    There is no good reason to check IDs for planes beyond some weak justification to the need for a security state. As I stated before, ID checking is unnecessary for the security state apparatus in light of the other preventative measures that can be taken.

  13. I don’t know about Mike, but I’ll say that. “There shouldn’t be names on tickets at all.”

    Sure! No names at all! It’s not like it does anything except make it harder to transfer the ticket to someone else. I say let them check ID at the gate — i’ll show them my papers, fine. But Why does it matter if my ID matches what’s printed on the ticket? It adds almost nothing to security, while making the unplanned changes in itineraries much more costly.

  14. John DeWitt

    Yeah, I just a book on hunting from the late 50s. The author advised hunters travelling by air to carry their rifles on the plane rather than checking them and risking damage or loss. I had to smile at how things have changed.

  15. I have no problem with the pan-opticon society, so long as it applies to the government as well. I want to see Dick Cheney’s interviews with the oil companies, all the minutes of meetings leading up to the Iraq war.

    I’d also like to know the personal details of the lives of all those nice folks at credit bureaus. But it seems that their personel lists are not public….

  16. mac,

    That’s just adorably cute.

    I predict that not everyone will lose privacy.

    The government will maintan its own, and those business’s that align with governments.

    But libretarians should rejoice, everything will be for sale after all. Even us, I hope my government controller sets a nice price for me. I wonder what my kids will be worth?

  17. your kids? Good question….. hmmm, have you taught them to spell?

  18. Tight! How about little chips to protect the journalists in Iraq!!??

    http://pherecydes.blogspot.com/2006/02/lojack-for-journalists.html

  19. So you guys prefer being able to sell your tickets anytime you want to the peace of mind of knowing that no one can jack your tickets and your place on the flight (unless they take your ID and look like you too)?

    Why can’t we have both? You get your peace of mind for an extra charge, and I get to fly cheap.

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