While You Were Sleeping

Have you committed a crime? No? You’re still in a police database somewhere. It’s not supposed to happen according to our laws, and according to American law, but it’s happening and it’s called TRAPWIRE. 9/11 is often the excuse used, but it’s actually simply the state using its latest tech toys in the most obvious way possible, which is why Orwell wrote fiction about it. It didn’t take a whole lot of imagination to dream up a world where our every move is government monitored. Yet you can expect that crime will not be eliminated in such a world.

When democracy is lost, and the power of the ballot box to bring change is gone, what’s left for oppressed people? Crime gets worse. People get desperate. It’s not an untested societal model, even if the technological pervasiveness of the state has not bee quite as acute. It’s not a country I want to see, let alone live in.

I can’t stop the slide into fascism that Canada is facing, not by myself. It took the Greatest Generation to defeat it previously, and it will take another generation to overcome again. Yet our tools of truth are under attack by governments, by our representatives. Well, they claim to represent the people, anyway.

It’s 2012. We don’t have flying cars, but we do all carry tracking devices (cell phones), and the state watches where we go in multiple ways. I think I’d rather have the flying cars, even given the naive pre-9/11 view that they’d not be used as missiles.

“The best thing about PRIME, from my perspective, is the sharing of knowledge across North America,” says Insp. Bruce Imrie, who is in charge of informatics operational support for the RCMP.

Yeah, that’s super.
For those wondering if this is really a big deal or not, you should realize that we have the technological capability to automatically hand out speeding tickets anytime a vehicle exceeds a posted speed limit. Ask yourself if you deserve an automatically calculated fine each time you’ve gone 102 in a 100 max zone.

Just because we have the technology, doesn’t mean we’re solving a problem people want to solve, by using it in a marketed manner.

On the weekend, someone blew up at me on facebook when I pointed out that traffic cameras are not capable of “retina scanning”. It’s pretty much moot for that invention to exist, when there’s facial recognition, license plate recognition, and GPS in vehicles and peoples’ pockets. It’s fine to be wary of technology that can be used maliciously by the state, but there’s no need to embellish what is actually out there today on street corners.

3 responses to “While You Were Sleeping

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