The US government is reported to be pushing ahead with a new ‘Internet ID’ scheme. This will provide people with a unique ID that can then be used to do all kinds of useful things like access health information, check and file tax returns and err… provide linked tracking information to security forces.
That last point is being downplayed by everyone naturally. This is just a way to make it more convenient for citizens to access information – right…
Senator Barbara Mikulski was kind enough to let the cat out of the bag with her somewhat confused comments.
“Protecting civil liberties is important,” Mikulski said. “But the first civil liberty is to be able to have a job, lead a life, and be able to buy what you want in the way we now buy it, which is through credit cards.”
I hadn’t realised that buying things with credit cards was a ‘civil liberty’. I better check my copy of the U.S. constitution to find out where that is. I guess it must be lodged in the section that guarantees that obscenely rich banks must be bailed out when they destroy the economy and that obscenely rich oil companies need tax breaks…
The Senator continues though:
“We’re going to support the FBI,” said Mikulski, who heads the Senate subcommittee that oversees the FBI’s funding. “We’re going to support the growth of the FBI.”
Ah! Now we see it. Forget protecting the civil liberty to consume. What we’re really doing here is helping law enforcement agencies. Bring on that old Police State boys – we’re back in business!
Of course this doesn’t affect people outside the U.S. We’re all safe and cozy, wrapped in the warmth of our own civil liberties. Yet, when we look at some of the recent news here in Canada and elsewhere, how far down the line would it be before we followed the ‘Land of the Free’?