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RFID Bracelets to Track Inmates in L.A. County 451

Roland Piquepaille writes "According to RFID Journal, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is about to launch a pilot program to track 1,800 inmates using RFID devices. If the test is successful, the technology will be deployed for the 18,000 inmates of the L.A. county jails. With this system, inmates carry a wrist bracelet which issues a signal every two seconds and is caught by RFID readers installed everywhere in the prison. Officers and staff also carry a RFID device attached to their belts. And a central server keeps track in real time of the position of all prisoners and guardians. Besides tracking locations, the system also intends to reduce violence within the jail and to avoid escapes. If this system works as its promoters think, the potential market to equip all federal, state and county jails in the U.S. exceeds $1 billion. This overview contains other details and references, including a picture of a wristwatch transmitter worn by inmates."
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RFID Bracelets to Track Inmates in L.A. County

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  • My rights? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 77Punker ( 673758 ) <spencr04@hERDOSi ... u minus math_god> on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:11PM (#12571502)
    This has nothing to do with my rights; I am not a prisoner. It is, however, a good use of the technology, and one of the first I've heard of.

    Finally, a reason for RFID to exist.
    • Finally, a reason for RFID to exist.

      Yes, and in other news tinfoil and microwaves have suddenly become more valuable then sharpened toothbrushes and cigarettes. Ah, what would Morgan Freeman have done?

    • Re:My rights? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:16PM (#12571547)
      It is a matter of your rights, as one day you may be a prisoner. Claiming its not about your rights because you're not in jail is like saying slavery wasn't about your rights because you weren't black.
      • Re:My rights? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by zxnos ( 813588 ) <zxnoss@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:19PM (#12571581)
        prisoners gave up many of their rights when they commited a crime against society - theft - murder - etc. personally i dont think a murderer should have the same rights i enjoy - though they should still be treated humanely .ie no cruel and unusual.
        • Re:My rights? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AuMatar ( 183847 )
          Not disagreeing with that. I have no problems with using RFIDs within the prison walls, so long as they are removed upon release. It still is a matter of rights though, so the topic is appropriate.
          • Re:My rights? (Score:2, Insightful)

            Would you still agree if the person released is a two or three time convicted child molester, who happend to move in next door to you and your lovely daughter/son etc. I think these indivduals need to be tracked for life, and ive heard its starting to happen.
            • Re:My rights? (Score:2, Interesting)

              by zxnos ( 813588 )
              you make a valid point. right now i am content just to be informed when they move into the area. that way i can deal with the situation. i dont know if they need to be tracked via gps or anything. i guess, to me, it would depend on if they have a history of abducting kids or just doing it at church / school. good point.
              • Re:My rights? (Score:2, Interesting)

                I live in califonria and using megans laws databse found out that a convicted sex offender ( sodomy by force with a minor under 14 years of age) lives 1 block away from where my kid goes to school. Theres no signs saying sex offender lives here etc. its a crock.
            • Re:My rights? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:46PM (#12571850)
              I think if someone was convicted of being a child molestor three times, we shouldn't let him out. But yes, if someone is released from prison, then he shouldn't be tracked. The idea of letting them out is that they have paid for their crime. They are citizens again. Tracking movements aftwards is a violation of their rights to privacy and free assembly.
              • Re:My rights? (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:54PM (#12571910) Homepage Journal
                They should be tracked for such time as they are on parole or probation. Release from jail is not always a completion of sentence.

                Now, the extent of that tracking may be something to be debated. Right now, most of them just have to check in with their parole/probation officer on a particular schedule, and usually must let law enforcement conduct unannounced searches for contraband. Whether they should be tracked with more detail, such as with a GPS band or other similar instrument is worth discussing.
              • Re:My rights? (Score:3, Informative)

                by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 )
                Felons are not full citizens in the US even after release. They often can't vote, can't hold security clearences, can't purchase firearms, etc.
                • Re:My rights? (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by modecx ( 130548 )
                  And that's part of what I've never really understood either, so they're not allowed to purchase firearms, and can't have signifigant security clearances... That makes sense--they're supposedly rehabilitated, and still not especially trustable. I have no problem with that.

                  But what's with the no-voting? That seems like a basic human right sort of thing to me. In US law, you're a felon if you may be imprisoned for more than a year, at least that's what I understand. So, if you could be sentenced for more
              • Re:My rights? (Score:3, Insightful)

                by mcrbids ( 148650 )
                I think if someone was convicted of being a child molestor three times, we shouldn't let him out. But yes, if someone is released from prison, then he shouldn't be tracked. The idea of letting them out is that they have paid for their crime. They are citizens again. Tracking movements aftwards is a violation of their rights to privacy and free assembly.

                You don't even see the contradiction in this, do you?

                The idea of letting them out is that they have paid for their crime.

                I think if someone was con

            • Re:My rights? (Score:3, Insightful)

              by NeoBeans ( 591740 ) *
              Would you still agree if the person released is a two or three time convicted child molester, who happend to move in next door to you and your lovely daughter/son etc. I think these indivduals need to be tracked for life, and ive heard its starting to happen.

              Then the problem isn't the issue of removing the wristband, but the need to keep certain types of criminals locked up to protect society.

              In my opinion, if we feel a need to "track someone for life" because they are such a menace, then why are they

        • Re:My rights? (Score:2, Insightful)


          prisoners gave up many of their rights when they commited a crime against society - theft - murder - etc. personally i dont think a murderer should have the same rights i enjoy - though they should still be treated humanely .ie no cruel and unusual.


          Smoking crack in the leisure of your own home is not a crime against society...

          Downloading MP3s is not a crime against society...

          Crime != murder/rape ONLY...

          With more and more draconian laws being passed in the US these days, anyone has an increasing chance
        • Re:My rights? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by xchino ( 591175 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @07:04PM (#12572523)
          What you all seem to not understand, is this in NOT a prison. Jail and Prison are two completely different things. A prison is where you get sent after being found guilty and sentenced to hard time. A county jail is where you go if you got a little too drunk and ran into a cop on the walk home. A county jail is where you go if you got busted for smoking a joint (at least around here). A county jail is where they hold you BEFORE you have your day in court. At any time I guarantee you there is at least 1 innocent person in county jail. You give up your rights only when you commit a felony, not a misdemeanor. Well over %50 of the people in any county jail are still 100% full citizens of the US, and as such deserve every single right they are entitled to.

          At any rate, I don't see this as a particular invasion of privacy, you have to wear those wrist ID bands anyways, this one just identifies remotely.
      • Re:My rights? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ichthus ( 72442 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:19PM (#12571582) Homepage
        I think there might be a slight difference bewteen being black and being incarcerated. One of them has to do with biology. Can you tell which?

        • Well, there's more evidence for genetic predisposition to being incarcerated than there is to being black, so i'll go with incarcerated?
          • Re:My rights? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by ichthus ( 72442 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:32PM (#12571711) Homepage
            Really!? Fascinating. Can you provide supporting links? I'd like to read about this, especially since being incarcerated depends on the criminal actions of the subject (according to the local law,) the economic status of the subject, and the celebrity status of the subject (ie. OJ Simpson) to name a few. So, genetics also play a role, in combination with the above mentioned? If this is true, then do defense lawyers offer genetic disposition as a defense? Is there really a jail gene? Or, are people actually responsible for their own actions?

      • (Apologies if you meant this as a joke and the mods were the ones who were dumb.)

        I intend to live as a generally moral and law-abiding citizen. If I get in prison unjustly, then the problem is the unjust punishment, not the RFID tags once I happily walk in the prison.

        Prisoners neither have nor deserve all the rights of citizens. That's like saying that prisoner's free speech rights are being violated.

        And it's interesting that you consider black rights to be on par with prisoner rights.
        • Re:My rights? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kadin2048 ( 468275 )
          Finally, a sensible response.

          Preserving prisoner's rights because they either might not be guilty, or are guilty only in the minds of a limited number of jurors, is a distraction from the real problem: why the system imprisoned them in the first place.

          If I was imprisoned as an innocent man, I'd be pretty pissed off regardless of whether they had me wearing a locating transponder or not. In fact, I can't imagine I'd care one whit.

          Actually, as a basically non-aggressive person, I'd probably SUPPORT ev

    • I agree that using these on imates is OK, after all they are already not free.

      However it's a little disturbing the guards wear them as well. While I can see some useful things coming of this it makes you wonder how long before the prox-cards that get lots of people into work also track them as well. I don't like where that trend heads.
      • However it's a little disturbing the guards wear them as well. While I can see some useful things coming of this

        Sure - it makes escapes easier, if an inmate can get ahold of a guard's rfid.

      • Tracking the guards allows a display of where they all are, so as to identify gaps in the patrol structure. Knowing where they should be is helpful; knowing where they are exactly is even better. In addition, this may allow rapid action if several personnel are seeing congregating rapidly on one location (perhaps stopping a fight) just in case transmission is difficult or impossible due to circumstances.
      • I think guards (and police) are perfectly happy to give up a little bit of their privacy knowing that if bad things happen, help can find them.
    • > This has nothing to do with my rights; I am not a prisoner.

      "I am not afraid!"
      "Oh... you will be." [yodajeff.com]
      - Some Muppet

  • You will... (Score:4, Funny)

    by admactanium ( 670209 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:11PM (#12571505) Homepage
    great! now i can walk straight out of my local grocery store without the inconvenience of having to stop and pay for my prison inmate!
  • by gringo_john ( 680811 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:12PM (#12571515) Journal
    Make them out of plastic, and yellow. Then all the inmates will want to wear them!
  • by deft ( 253558 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:13PM (#12571517) Homepage
    but isn't it just slightly weird they dont know where they are now?
  • Purpose of Prisons? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jgardn ( 539054 ) <jgardn@alumni.washington.edu> on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:16PM (#12571549) Homepage Journal
    I have been thinking lately about crime and punishment. We have two reasons for sending people to prison in the first place:

    (1) To punish them.

    (2) To reform them.

    Both of these purposes have been lost completely.

    We punish the prisoners by secluding them from society, cutting them away for a period of time in proportion to the seriousness of their crime.

    We reform them by teaching them new habits and skills that will help them survive beyond the prison walls without returning to crime.

    What does this have to do with either? Absolutely nothing. I'd rather we spent our prison budget on working to enhance the education and reformation of the prisoners rather than keeping track of where they are at all times, something that we don't have a problem with right now.
    • I'd rather we spent our prison budget on working to enhance the education and reformation of the prisoners rather than keeping track of where they are at all times, something that we don't have a problem with right now.

      Note that no democratic state has such a large portion of it's citizens in prison than USA. US prison system is big business, and reformation of prisoners is not part of that.

      • You know, that statistic is always thrown about (and has been at least twice in this document already), and I'm just curious as to _why_ we're the biggest. Do we have that many more laws or more criminals? Or more poeple we classify as criminal? I'm thinking drug use is a big seperator, but as far as I know in most western countries you can't legally buy herion or crack in a store. So what is it? The greater number of working poor? Does having more people in jail mean more crime? Could the US have as
        • by rizzo420 ( 136707 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:41PM (#12571806) Homepage Journal
          the punishments don't fit the crimes in the US. while drug use/possession might be illegal elsewhere, it's not as major an offense as it is here. prison time for possession of marijuana. it's a non-violent crime. how about a fine or community service instead? the's why our prisons are over-crowded, there's too many non-violent "criminals" locked up. drugs shouldn't even be illegal here. and don't go and say "your username contains 420, so of course you think that" because i just got in the habit of adding that after my name when "rizzo" didn't work. there's just no really good reason for drugs to be illegal while alcohol and cigarettes are legal.
          • there's just no really good reason for drugs to be illegal while alcohol and cigarettes are legal.

            We can't remove alcohol and tobacco from our society, they are too much a part of it now. However, just because our great grandparents did a stupid thing, that doesn't mean we should start letting every man and his dog start shooting up.

            In 100 years time, our great grand children will be pushing the same argument - "We should be legalising "Zoglanoff Red", because our parents legalised heroin and coke. An

            • by Nf1nk ( 443791 )
              Deep down inside, I don't care if yousmoke dope or not a long as you do it on your own time. The dude who flips my burgers or sweeps my floor could be stoned out of his mind and not change his performance, but the anti drug folks always bring out the surgeon strawman (which is funny because I know a few doc's that are half in the bag most the time.
              In fact to be stuck with a mind numbing job like watching a cash register and not be blotto seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
              Oh and to the folks that poin
            • you haven't told me why drugs should be illegal? the facts are out there that they can mess you up when abused. people should be held responsible for their own actions, not protected from themselves. the government is protecting me by making pot illegal, yet i can use it and not cause harm to others or myself. same goes for a slew of other drugs... heroin is an exception because you're practically hooked once you shoot up the first time.

              people like you make me sick.
            • by Pete ( 2228 )

              If marijuana should be illegal because it's harmful, then alcohol and tobacco should definitely be illegal too because they're much more harmful than marijuana. And probably coffee should be illegal because that's in the same harmfulness ballpark as marijuana.

              Marijuana is an interesting case - it's the classic example of a currently illegal drug for which there is no good reason (not even the poor reason of "it'll hurt you!") for its illegality. It's mildly intoxicating and it's not addictive (perhaps h

            • by mpe ( 36238 ) on Thursday May 19, 2005 @01:27AM (#12574936)
              We can't remove alcohol and tobacco from our society, they are too much a part of it now. However, just because our great grandparents did a stupid thing, that doesn't mean we should start letting every man and his dog start shooting up.

              What the US's experiment with alcohol prohibition proved is that the effects of prohibition are likely to be worst than the banned drugs themselves.
      • It will be interesting to see if the number of inmates begins to decline in the coming years as three-strikers begin to get released at the end of their sentences, or die in prison. Not sure if there will be quite as many of them going in, barring something like a new crack epidemic.
    • by eggnet ( 75425 )
      1. The primary purposes of jails are to deter crime and to keep criminals off the street. Punishment is a means to an end, and reform is just a good idea.

      2. Sometimes, law enforcement doesn't even know what jail someone's in, where they need to be transferred to, when they need medical attention, or what their release date is.
  • by RealAlaskan ( 576404 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:17PM (#12571562) Homepage Journal
    If you can take it off without sending a signal, then they think they know where you are, but they don't. They have a false sense of security, and you have a perfect alibi.

    From TFA:

    Thus far, no inmates have attempted to escape or tamper with their bracelets in the jails where the system has been deployed, says Oester. Knowing that an alarm would be activated if the bracelet is removed or destroyed has been a deterrent for inmates,Oester says. The bracelet includes several built-in tamper-proof safeguards. The braided stainless steel wire that runs the length of the bracelet will cause the RFID tag to stop transmitting it is cut. The device also has a sensor that is designed to set off an alarm in 15 seconds if it loses contact to skin.
    So, if you lose some weight, you could slip it off, pass it to your buddy who gets it in contact with his skin within 15 seconds, go do your crime, and get away with it.
    • "So, if you lose some weight, you could slip it off, pass it to your buddy who gets it in contact with his skin within 15 seconds, go do your crime, and get away with it."

      Only if the jail is stupid enough to use it as their ONLY security measure. In the context of layered security, even defeatable measures can help. Each layer of security you have, increases the likelyhood of a desired outcome. I see this as a really good idea, as long as the guards splot check the prisoners with something that can pul
    • Bah. The braided stainless steel wire probably only ensures that connectivity exists. Put a jumper wire around where you plan to cut the wire, cut it and hand it to a buddy.
    • Seriously. Did you see the 60 minutes report this week on the confined inmates of Pelican Bay? These guys aren't retarded criminals. These guys are genuis masterminds. It's a shame they use their brains for crime rather than for the good of society. I'm talking learning an extinct Nordic language for communication, and hiding codes inside intricate artwork. Granted, LA County houses more burglars and drug users than Gang lords, so let's hope this helps. Believe it or not, LA County "loses" inmates all the t
    • So, if you lose some weight, you could slip it off, pass it to your buddy who gets it in contact with his skin within 15 seconds, go do your crime, and get away with it.

      So ... losing weight will reduce the size of your hand so that it's circumference is the same as or less than that of your wrist?

      Not bloody likely.

      Now if you'd said inmates who know Kung Fu may be able to slip off the bracelet, I'd offer a different response.

      No more TV for you.

      Most people would be unable to remove a simple plastic hosp
    • my thoughts exactly. The problem I see with this is that the guards are going to start relying on it too much. Here's a bunch of guys with literally nothing else to do all day but find ways to exploit the system.

      I'll bet it gets pushed into wide use. The prison system is a booming business.

    • So, if you lose some weight, you could slip it off, pass it to your buddy who gets it in contact with his skin within 15 seconds, go do your crime, and get away with it.

      A few years ago there was a story about a guy on home arrest with a tracking bracelet (part traditional home arrest system, part Lojack). The bracelet would detect the lack of movement over a certain amount of time along with leaving the house. So this guy gets the bracelet off and hooks it to his dog's collar. What seemed like a good id

  • by IntelliTubbie ( 29947 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:24PM (#12571631)
    Using RFID to track inmates? What are they trying to do, turn our jails into prisons?

    Cheers,
    IT
  • by payndz ( 589033 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:27PM (#12571660)
    Didn't they have this system in Face/Off?

    And what happened to the magnetic boots? Can't run a future prison without magnetic boots!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:28PM (#12571676)
    Now all they gotta do is rig an explosive charge to it so that it'll go off if the prisoner strays beyond the prison perimeter... ... oh wait, that was Running Man...

    "Here is your Sub Zero, now, just plain Zero!"
  • We need training programs [tampabaylive.com] to maximize the effectiveness of this program.
  • by joeldg ( 518249 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:37PM (#12571767) Homepage
    this article reminded me I need to make up a greasemonkey script to block all stories submitted by Roland Piquepaille

    thanks
  • Why am I getting Harry Potter flashbacks all of a sudden?

    (Seriously, get like a tablet pc or a pda that can be voice activated, "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good" and bang, a map of the (prison) comes up, with little footsteps and scrolls showing where everybody is)
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:39PM (#12571794) Homepage
    It wasn't so long ago the Sheriff released a bunch of convicts because they couldn't afford to keep them in jail. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20050419- 0444-ca-labudget.html [signonsandiego.com]

    It wasn't so long ago (months?) that inmates were dying at a rather alarming rate in L.A. Sheriff's jails too. I wish I had a link, but it was very news-worthy on LA public radio. (KPCC covers L.A. news great) The phrase "Sheriff's excessive use of force" never quite stuck.

    I wonder what the resource requirements are for a system that "tracks convicts wherever they go in real-time" claim. Presumably thousands of reader devices always on and connected to some server. Is there a database backend? Or, does it just store locations temporarily. Could you /. the server connected to the network of readers?
  • Slippery slope (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davidwr ( 791652 )
    First they RFID'd the prisoners. I was not a prisoner, so I did not care.
    Then they RFID'd the paroles and probationers. I was not a parolee or probationer, so I did not care.
    Then they RFID'd the sex offenders. I was not a sex offender, so I did not care.
    Then they RFID'd the ex-felons. I was not an ex-felon, so I did not care.
    Then they RFID'd everyone. There was nobody left to care about me.

    Apologies to Martin Niemoeller.

    Seriously, this does have utility in prisons and perhaps with high-risk parolees,
    • PS: Will the next version be an implant with the number 666 on it?

      Of course not.

      It has the number 616 on it instead.

    • by Nf1nk ( 443791 )
      Your argument requires a strong leap at the last step, also worth note the last step is the largest step and the least likley, in the original argument the steps were smaller and the last one not so big. My only worry about these is that it might make the guards complacent, or more likley cut the number of guards leading to scary new problems that will be hard to resolve with the fewer guards.
    • There is no slippery slope. A fundamental part of any civilized society is a social contract (Locke); if an individual in the society chooses to break that contract by comitting a crime, he/she is ostracized from the society. Over the past few hundred years we've codified this into penal codes. Granted, there are injustices in the penal code (i.e. crystallized crack is punished more harshly that powdered crack, but both have the same potency - guess which type of crack minorities have more access to), but o
  • Oh, come on. Your government has only your best interests at heart. With these RFID tags that they also want to embed in our clothing, our food products, and just about everything else, the'll know where all of us are at any given moment.

    Why, it'll become impossible to cheat on your spouse, as she'll only need to go to an online tracking system with her mouse, type in your National ID number, and see who you are boinking.

    If your political views differs from the Status Quo, yes, your government will be

  • by milimetric ( 840694 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @05:53PM (#12571909) Journal
    Ok, so check out what's going to happen. A dude is going to chop off like 20 people's hands and toss them down laundry chutes, catapult them over fences, attach them to radio controlled cars, etc. just to simulate as if these people are escaping. Then he/she is going to escape quietly via some other route when the guards are all chasing hands. Or am I crazy?
  • by Vegeta99 ( 219501 ) <rjlynn.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @06:04PM (#12572009)
    People in prison have lost their liberty.

    They do not have freedom. They committed some violation of rules that society has deemed it neccesary that they be locked up. Away from society. It is VERY important to public security that their whereabouts be known at all times while in prison. It is also VERY hard to do with 18,000 inmates and only a few hundred (maybe thousand) correctional officers.

    This is NOT the first step on a slipperly slope. The government doesn't really care that at 1PM every day, I go take a shit. There's no way even if they DID care that they could seriously mark every citizen with an RFID and track their whereabouts, Real-ID or not. They can't even keep track of how many illegal immigrants there are!

    Remember, we still do afford a certain amount of control on our government. If they DID try to monitor every citizen's whereabouts, it would be shot down by the general public even if the only reason is their taxes would go up.

    Please remove the tin foil hat, because in this case, it's too damn expensive.
  • Disturbed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interstellar_donkey ( 200782 ) <pathighgate@NOSPAM.hotmail.com> on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @06:30PM (#12572283) Homepage Journal
    This last weekend, I was robbed at gunpoint. The assailant took my wallet and my cell phone. The first thing I did after calling the police (at a land line) was call my banks to turn off my various cards. As the police officer was writing down his report, my sister on the phone with the bank discovered that someone had tried to use one of my cards 5 minutes after the robbery at a 7-11 down the street from the hold up.

    The 7-11 had a video camera recording everything, and now that the cops had my description and a video surveillance image to go off of, their chances of catching the criminal are pretty high (though I was told that it was highly unlikely that I'd ever see my phone, wallet, or the IDs in the wallet ever again).

    Because of modern anti-theft measures, the man who stuck a gun in my stomach is most likely going to end up in jail. The fast-acting real-time monitoring of credit card usage, the ever present video surveillance, and the fast response time of the police from my initial 911 call all are aiding to the apprehension of this guy who, all told, ended up with about $30 in cash and a phone that can never be activated again.

    And yet, the more I think about it, the more I'm deeply disturbed. Yes, it was nice to know that because of our modern world, the guy didn't end up running up thousand dollar bills on my credit card. And yes, I do take comfort knowing that it's highly likely the guy will go to jail.

    But at what cost? Every day we are giving up more and more privacy under the auspicious of safety, yet nobody in any position of power seems to consider that perhaps the government and corporate organizations of America shouldn't have that much access to our private lives.

    I asked myself the question: What if I was on the other side of that technological dragnet? What if the government was after me because I said something that the government didn't agree with, or saw as a "threat", despite my benign intentions? What if, say, I made a remark publicly that I didn't think the current presidential administration was pursuing policies that have America's best interests in mind? What if I was in a position where people respected what I had to say, and would take it to heart? What if the administration decided to find me and silence me?

    Granted, these "what ifs" are generally the bread and butter of the tin foil hat crowd, but it does make me uneasy. When I was a kid, my parents had a chip put in my dog. Now they're putting them on wrist bands of prisoners. It doesn't take a genius to come to the conclusion that eventually all prisoners will have these, then all prisoners will have these implanted, then the citizenry will have them.

    I can hear someone saying "Look, if you had a chip implanted in you with your ID and bank account information on it, you would have never been mugged, and you wouldn't have to be going through the hassle of getting your IDs and life back in order right now". Then again, the guy could have just shot me and dug out my chip with a dull knife. I'm not sure.

    What I am sure of is this: We still live in a pretty good country. As misguided as I think their policies are, I still think most of the current government's activities are still in the best interests of the American people. But what is the otherwise respectable "done nothing wrong" citizen supposed to do if America's power is seized from them by people who don't mind trampling on personal liberties one bit to serve their own purpose? Things like RFID tags just adds to our impotency if the time comes when decent Americans have to raise up against our own government and set things right again.

    I for one am willing to lose a little more money in a robbery, or have the knowledge that the chances that the guy who robbed me gets caught is lower in exchange for the safety in knowing that if things ever get really bad, I have some options in standing up to the government.

    • Re:Disturbed (Score:3, Informative)

      perhaps the government and corporate organizations of America shouldn't have that much access to our private lives.

      I understand what you mean, but please note that none of the situations you mentioned had anything to do with private life.

      1- Credit card. To use a credit card you are using the CC company's network. They let you use their property, but it's still theirs to use as they please within the terms of the contract.

      2- CCTV in a shop. A shop is the property of the shop's owner (well quite often it
  • Linked (Score:3, Funny)

    by OgGreeb ( 35588 ) <og@digimark.net> on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @06:33PM (#12572309) Homepage
    And then link every two inmates together, so that if they ever get separated, both get fried!

    That might make a good movie.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @09:38PM (#12573691)
    I've seen several posts in this topic that make comments like "why do we need this to know where the inmates are...we already know that easily".

    The reason I'm posting this reply as an AC, something I normally never do, is because I've been on the other side. I'm an ex-con. And no, I'm not kidding. I did slightly over two years in prison, and then 8 years on parole, for credit card fraud. Now you know where my experience on this subject comes from.

    In anything less than a maximum security prison, you'd be amazed at how easy it is to get somewhere undetected and do something bad (usually violent) to another inmate. And it can happen in front of 50 other inmates, and I'll bet you money that no one saw a thing.

    Anything that could narrow the location of a particular inmate down to a room or a particular area, quickly, automatically and with a high degree of accuracy, would be a massive improvement over current systems. And it wouldn't necessarily save the lives of just inmates. Guards are around the inmates every day.

    However, I do agree with a point a couple of others have already made. If these chips are in an arm-band or something of that nature, some smart guy with a lot of time on his hands (and everyone in a prison has lots of time to think) is going to figure out how to get the arm-band off. If they're going to do it, they need to do it right. Implant the chip under the skin upon the start of the prison sentence, and remove it upon the day of release.

    You can sign me "been there, done that, got the black and white stripped t-shirt too".

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