Keeping an eye on you
In Brazil -– a huge surveillance/spying radar system has
been set up to scan a massive rainforest, an area the size of Western Europe.
The Amazon has long been a nest of illegal drug, diamond and rare timber dealers
-– it's taken more than a decade to set up this US1.4 billion technology to
try to deal with the problem.
"The system will fill a security hole over half the Amazon
that has exposed Brazil's borders to international crime and rebel activity.
The intelligence web will scan 5.2 million sq km of the world's largest
rainforest, as well as catalogue its diverse wildlife and pinpoint Indian
Critics allege that US intelligence, with the help of
Brazilian officials, obtained inside information to secure the contract for
Raytheon, giving the US a Big Brother-type eye over the Amazon and the border
with cocaine-producing Colombia." NZ Herald, 20/07/02.
Meanwhile in New Zealand, legislation has been
introduced allowing police and security agencies to work with telecommunications
companies to spy on emails and listen in on phone calls. Keep that in mind next
time you are discussing one world Government secrets with friends -– the
computerised system is tripped by certain words or phrases of interest (of
course you personally need to be of interest to them in the first place to
NZ Herald, 13/11/02 "The Telecommunications (Interception
Capability) Bill states that the companies will be legally obliged to ensure
their systems are capable of isolating and intercepting suspect emails and
mobile calls while still protecting the privacy of others.
The government will pay $3 million towards modifying
telephone networks so they are capable of eavesdropping on suspicious
conversations. Most of that money is expected to be spent on upgrading Telecom
and Vodafone services over the next 18 months...they have been given 5 years to
implement the changes...
Green MP Keith Locke said...'there were more serious
concerns such as the impact the new legislation would have on people's right
to privacy'. He said 'the proposed new law and another bill amending the
Crimes Act to allow police to hack into computers and intercept emails gave
security agencies a dangerously high level of power to intrude into the lives of
I agree with Mr Locke -– but am probably now under
surveillance for having agreed...
Of course, there are so many good reasons to adopt new ID
technology, all privacy issues aside. Versatility, efficiency, ease of use -–
and now, as a discrimination eliminator.
Retina scanning machines have been installed in the cafeteria
of the Venerable Bede School in Sunderland. The cashless system has been
established in a bid to eliminate the stigma 'poorer' students face because
they receive free lunches. The cashless system identifies and bills individuals
privately and according to their socio-economic status. Headmaster Dr E Yates
said "We think we are the first (school) in the country to use this. This is
not science fiction. It is technology that exists."
Another UK school pioneering 'smart card' scheme
In Cornwall, £25 million has been
invested into a local and district council initiative to create an electronic ID
/smart card system -– the 'Cornish Key'. 50,000 Cornish residents will try
out the scheme which will enable them to use a smart card to borrow
library books, park their cars, buy bus tickets -– or pay for school dinners at
Cape Cornwall School. Incentives such as discounted parking fee's will help
promote usage of Cornish Key card. Other benefits include being able to use the
cards to gain access to main (council) buildings instead of using separate
identity cards -– eventually it will be used to log onto PCs.
Convenience, ease of use and practicality! Imagine how easy
it will be to forget the smart card and progress to the most convenient and
secure format of them all -– a mark on the forehead or right hand....