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Implanting British Prisoner with Computer Chips

chicago dyke's picture

God Save the Queen! I'm sure we won't be far behind. The original link is 404 now, but there were about a million blog posts on it, including no less than Wired's Bruce Sterling. I found it via Helen and Harry. Heh, grrl, I'm "hungry, angry and horny" too.

Ministers are planning to implant "machine-readable" microchips under the skin of thousands of offenders as part of an expansion of the electronic tagging scheme that would create more space in British jails.

"Amid concerns about the security of existing tagging systems and prison overcrowding, the Ministry of Justice is investigating the use of satellite and radio-wave technology to monitor criminals.

"But, instead of being contained in bracelets worn around the ankle, the tiny chips would be surgically inserted under the skin of offenders in the community, to help enforce home curfews. The radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, as long as two grains of rice, are able to carry scanable personal information about individuals, including their identities, address and offending record.

The tags, labelled "spychips" by privacy campaigners, are already used around the world to keep track of dogs, cats, cattle and airport luggage, but there is no record of the technology being used to monitor offenders in the community. The chips are also being considered as a method of helping to keep order within prisons.

As our own Xenophon is fond of pointing out, we never did completely end slavery in this country. Next time you read about people in prison, replace the word "prisoner" with "slave" in your mind. Then review all the articles and blog posts about all the new ways our government has been busy inventing these last few years, to turn citizens into "prisoners."

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