Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It won't need a tyranny to deprive us of our freedom

RFIDGeorge Monbiot has a good piece in the Guardian on RFID tags and the way that surveillance technology creeps from the margins of society to the mainstream with no need for compulsion from government:

As it is with all such intrusions on our privacy, it won't be easy to put your finger on exactly what's wrong with this technology. It won't really amount to a new form of control, as all the people who accept the implants will already be subject to monitoring or tracking of one kind or another. It will always be voluntary, at least to the extent that anything the state or our employers want us to do is voluntary. But there is something utterly revolting about it. It is another means by which the barriers between ourselves and the state, ourselves and the corporation, ourselves and the machine are broken down. In that tiny capsule we find the paradox of 21st-century capitalism: a political system that celebrates choice, autonomy and individualism above all other virtues demands that choice, autonomy and individualism are perpetually suppressed.

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