Government Identification and Control

by on July 15, 2007 · 6 comments

Here‘s a sign of where we’re headed with uniform government identification systems and social control.

No, it’s not some futurist’s musings about the coming dystopia. It’s S. 1788, a bill introduced in Congress Friday to revoke people’s passports it they’re more than $2,500 in arrears on their child support payments. Bill text isn’t available yet, but what due process is given before the government revokes a person’s ability to travel internationally? Do we want to discuss whether this is an appropriate penalty for being in debt?

What other good purposes might de-identifying people promote? Simson Garfinkel wrote a good article on this back in 1994. In a Wired article called “Nobody Fucks with the DMV,” he wrote:

The driver’s license has become something it was never intended to be: a badge of good citizenship. Pay your bills to city and state, pay your child support, don’t get caught using drugs, and the state will let you keep on trucking. Screw up, and they’ll clip your wings.

Now for the futurist’s musings: Your margin of error for getting cross-ways with government regulations will get narrower and narrower as government identity systems get stronger and stronger.

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