Monday, June 13, 2005

Corporate fascism and National ID concerns

By way of Kevin Carson's blog, I came across an excellent post on Claire Wolff's blog about Coporate fascism:

"free-market" ideas are being used and twisted by the same politicians and bureaucrats who would once have marshalled behind the banner of some -ism. Now we have "free-markets" in the form of statist monstrosities like NAFTA and the WTO. And who would have thought, all those years ago when Reason magazine was extolling the virtues of "privatization," that privatization would mean such cruel insanities as private prison companies lobbying the federal government to give them more, more, more, more? Or private contractors delegated by the IRS to go out and collect taxes? Or "private" corporations, founded and funded by government, running government programs like AmeriCorps?

It was better, in some ways, when the "-ismists" were more open about their plans to control everything and everybody. Now, their motives are exactly the same, but their free-market rhetoric twists our minds into a Mobius strip of endless propanda.

If I still sometimes wonder how Rand or Von Mises withstood the days of socialism, I also wonder how today's freedom lovers endure an era in which everything we once touted as a solution to big government is being twisted by governments into an excuse for more centralized power and greater oppression.

Somehow, I won't feel one bit better about national ID if Oracle is given a "private" contract to develop its databases. Or if the Department of Homeland Security is someday turned into the "Corporation for Homeland Security" with a board of directors drawn from Microsoft, Boeing, Amtrak, and the CIA.

This is great stuff. Especially about the minimum wage. I checked through the rest of her recent blog entries, and came up with loads that I only reproduce in full here because once they are put together we can see great concerns emerging over the idea of a national ID that have implications for all of us:

Wolfe follows the first blog entry with another:

EARLIER TODAY, I WAS SPEAKING OF ECONOMIC FASCISM. Well, HP is just as happy as FedEx to partner with government to enslave people.

Hewlett-Packard plans to launch a product on Friday that helps governments check the digital identity of citizens.

The technology, called the HP National Identity System, is designed to be used in conjunction with a number of Microsoft products, including its .Net line of server, database and middleware programs. The companies plan to jointly develop, market and offer training for the authentication system.

Looks as if they're trying it out with ex-communist countries before trying it out on our ex-free country.

Why would states be interested in such a thing? (duh?!!!), well, here's one possibility, from another entry:

THE STATES MAY BE GETTING CLOSER to achieving their long, leering dream of taxing the Internet. A coalition of 43 governments says they could have a system in place by October to get "their" $16 billion cut of the Net take.

Never seems to occur to them that 1) it isn't "theirs" and 2) they're planning to take away a lot of the incentive for Net-buying.

But, of course, we know that a National ID will strengthen our security against ID fraud and against theft of our ID's. Just look how the beneficiaries of state capitalism manage existing forms of government ID, in another post:


New York-based Citigroup said the data were stored on computer tapes, and lost while UPS, the world's biggest package carrier, was shipping them to an Experian credit bureau in Texas.

The tapes, which also contained Social Security numbers, covered CitiFinancial Branch Network customers and about 50,000 customers with closed accounts from CitiFinancial Retail Services. Customers of CitiFinancial Auto and CitiFinancial Mortgage are unaffected.

Citigroup on Saturday mailed a letter to customers about the problem. It said it has received no reports of unauthorized activity, and said there is "little risk" of the accounts being compromised.

Most fascinating of all, CitiGroup claims the tapes were being moved using "an enhanced security procedure" worked out with UPS. But:

Citigroup said its missing tapes were shipped from Weehawken, New Jersey on May 2. It said it first learned of a possible problem on May 20 when Experian called to request a tracking number.

An enhanced security procedure in which priceless data on individuals can be missing for up to 18 days without anybody being aware there's a problem??? Criminy, that sounds more like government security!

Also worth noting: It appears that all this customer data was put at risk in the first place solely because CitiGroup was selling it to a third party.

So, we can trust the state and its allies to guard our liberty!


Blogger AK said...

Hi nice blog, just found it while searching around

also lucky you dont live in UK, we are almost certainly being forced to have an ID card

good luck with blog

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