Posts tagged The 666 Surveillance System
RELATED STORY: The Mark of the Beast
Northside Independent School District plans to track students next year on two of its campuses using technology implanted in their student identification cards in a trial that could eventually include all 112 of its schools and all of its nearly 100,000 students.
District officials said the Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) tags would improve safety by allowing them to locate students — and count them more accurately at the beginning of the school day to help offset cuts in state funding, which is partly based on attendance.
Northside, the largest school district in Bexar County, plans to modify the ID cards next year for all students attending John Jay High School, Anson Jones Middle School and all special education students who ride district buses. That will add up to about 6,290 students.
The school board unanimously approved the program late Tuesday but, in a rarity for Northside trustees, they hotly debated it first, with some questioning it on privacy grounds.
State officials and national school safety experts said the technology was introduced in the past decade but has not been widely adopted. Northside’s deputy superintendent of administration, Brian Woods, who will take over as superintendent in July, defended the use of RFID chips at Tuesday’s meeting, comparing it to security cameras. He stressed that the program is only a pilot and not permanent.
“We want to harness the power of (the) technology to make schools safer, know where our students are all the time in a school, and increase revenues,” district spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said. “Parents expect that we always know where their children are, and this technology will help us do that.”
Chip readers on campuses and on school buses can detect a student’s location but can’t track them once they leave school property. Only authorized administrative officials will have access to the information, Gonzalez said.
“This way we can see if a student is at the nurse’s office or elsewhere on campus, when they normally are counted for attendance in first period,” he said.
Gonzalez said the district plans to send letters to parents whose students are getting the the RFID-tagged ID cards. He said officials understand that students could leave the card somewhere, throwing off the system. They cost $15 each, and if lost, a student will have to pay for a new one.
Parents interviewed outside Jay and Jones as they picked up their children Thursday were either supportive, skeptical or offended.
Veronica Valdorrinos said she would be OK if the school tracks her daughter, a senior at Jay, as she always fears for her safety. Ricardo and Juanita Roman, who have two daughters there, said they didn’t like that Jay was targeted.
Gonzalez said the district picked schools with lower attendance rates and staff willing to pilot the tags.
Some parents said they understood the benefits but had reservations over privacy.
“I would hope teachers can help motivate students to be in their seats instead of the district having to do this,” said Margaret Luna, whose eighth-grade granddaughter at Jones will go to Jay next year. “But I guess this is what happens when you don’t have enough money.”
The district plans to spend $525,065 to implement the pilot program and $136,005 per year to run it, but it will more than pay for itself, predicted Steve Bassett, Northside’s assistant superintendent for budget and finance. If successful, Northside would get $1.7 million next year from both higher attendance and Medicaid reimbursements for busing special education students, he said.
But the payoff could be a lot bigger if the program goes districtwide, Bassett said.
He said the program was one way the growing district could respond to the Legislature’s cuts in state education funding. Northside trimmed its budget last year by $61.4 million.
Two school districts in the Houston area — Spring and Santa Fe ISDs — have used the technology for several years and have reported gains of hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for improved attendance. Spring ISD spokeswoman Karen Garrison said the district, one-third the size of Northside, hasn’t had any parent backlash.
In Tuesday’s board debate, trustee M’Lissa M. Chumbley said she worried that parents might feel the technology violated their children’s privacy rights. She didn’t want administrators tracking teachers’ every move if they end up outfitted with the tags, she added.
“I think this is overstepping our bounds and is inappropriate,” Chumbley said. “I’m honestly uncomfortable about this.”
Northside has to walk a tightrope in selling the idea to parents, some of whom could be turned off by the revenue incentive, said Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, a Cleveland-based consulting firm.
The American Civil Liberties Union fought the use of the technology in 2005 at a rural elementary school in California and helped get the program canceled, said Kirsten Bokenkamp, an ACLU spokeswoman in Texas. She said concerns about the tags include privacy and the risks of identity theft or kidnapping if somebody hacks into the system. Texas Education Agency spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said no state law or policy regulates the use of such devices and the decision is up to local districts. source – My San Antonio
Building the 666 Surveillance System
From DAILY MAIL UK: A new ringtone could make mobiles much more discreet – the only sign someone’s using their phone is that they’ll be scratching their arm.
Nokia has applied for a U.S. patent for a new technology where a magnetic tattoo would transfer a tingling feeling into phone users’ arms when the phone rings.
It’s open to question whether phone users will be willing to go under the needle for the added convenience.
Magnetic material in the skin would ‘vibrate’ in response to signals sent out by a phone – providing a discreet alert that’s impossible to ignore.
Nokia proposes that the magnetic tattoo could be magnetised once users have ‘healed’.
The tattoo would offer single and multiple ‘pulses’ to signal different things.
Nokia’s application suggests that people’s tattoos might buzz to warn them that they have received an SMS, missed a call, or the phone is running out of batteries. The tattoos could also ‘ring’ as an alarm, or to warn phone users of an upcoming meeting.
‘Prior to using the ferromagnetic inks for attaching to human skin, the ink material may be exposed to elevated temperatures to cause demagnetization,’ proposes Nokia.
‘Such demagnetized ink is then used for creating an image by dispersing the ink material on or under the skin to make a functional, tattoo like image. ’Once the apparatus is settled and the skin cured, the user with the functional image may use permanent magnets to magnetize the functional image on the skin again.’
The technology would also depend on mobile phones that could send out magnetic pulses to order.
The patent application, filed this month at the US Patent and Trademark Office, is for a ‘layer’ of material which would detect a magnetic signal from a phone, then transfer vibrations into the skin.
The technology would extend today’s vibration feedback – known as ‘haptics’ – where a phone vibrates to tell you it’s running out of batteries or that someone is calling. source – Daily Mail UK
Building the Mark of the Beast system
When people download a film from Netflix to a flatscreen, or turn on web radio, they could be alerting unwanted watchers to exactly what they are doing and where they are.
Spies will no longer have to plant bugs in your home – the rise of ‘connected’ gadgets controlled by apps will mean that people ‘bug’ their own homes, says CIA director David Petraeus.
The CIA claims it will be able to ‘read’ these devices via the internet – and perhaps even via radio waves from outside the home.
Everything from remote controls to clock radios can now be controlled via apps – and chip company ARM recently unveiled low-powered, cheaper chips which will be used in everything from fridges and ovens to doorbells.
The resultant chorus of ‘connected’ gadgets will be able to be read like a book – and even remote-controlled, according to CIA Director David Petraeus, according to a recent report by Wired’s ‘Danger Room’ blog.
Petraeus says that web-connected gadgets will ‘transform’ the art of spying – allowing spies to monitor people automatically without planting bugs, breaking and entering or even donning a tuxedo to infiltrate a dinner party.
‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,’ said Petraeus.
‘Particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft. Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters - all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.’
Petraeus was speaking to a venture capital firm about new technologies which aim to add processors and web connections to previously ’dumb’ home appliances such as fridges, ovens and lighting systems.
This week, one of the world’s biggest chip companies, ARM, has unveiled a new processor built to work inside ‘connected’ white goods.
The ARM chips are smaller, lower-powered and far cheaper than previous processors – and designed to add the internet to almost every kind of electrical appliance. It’s a concept described as the ‘internet of things’.
Futurists think that one day ‘connected’ devices will tell the internet where they are and what they are doing at all times – and will be mapped by computers as precisely as Google Maps charts the physical landscape now.
Privacy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have warned of how information such as geolocation data can be misused – but as more and more devices connect, it’s clear that opportunities for surveillance will multiply. source – Daily Mail UK
The 666 Surveillance System
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A plan being proposed by three lawmakers in Colorado, Reps. Ken Summers and Tom Massey and Sen. Betty Boyd, would require consumers to submit to a biometric scan of their retina or provide a fingerprint in order to get medication.
The plan is HB12-1242 and is under consideration by the Colorado Assembly, which is deliberating the demand that “practitioners and PDOs (prescription drug outlets)” install and maintain “biometric scanning devices and to use those devices to obtain a biometric scan of a person’s biometric identifier, such as a fingerprint or retinal scan, and to submit the scan to the database.”
The pharmacies would have to “prior to prescribing or dispensing a prescription drug or dispensing a restricted over-the-counter substance … submit specified information to the [state] database.”
That information would include details about the drug and the doctor who prescribed it as well as the “name and address of the person receiving the substance.”
Officials with Colorado’s Independence Institute noted that the plan is in addition to another proposal regarding the existing “All-Payer Health Claims Database” which already allows officials to “collect whatever medical data [they wish] from every health care ‘payer’ in the state. … Fines may be levied on the noncompliant.”
“As if the APDB isn’t enough, Reps. Summers and Massey, along with Sen. Betty Boyd are sponsoring HB12-1242. Under that bill, you won’t be able to get prescription medications or controlled over-the-counter medications without providing a biometric identifier like a fingerprint or a retinal scan. Failure to comply would be a Class 1 misdemeanor, a crime as serious as the possession of child pornography or third degree assault,” said a commentary by Linda Gorman and Amy Oliver of the Institute.
“If requiring voters to show ID is an unacceptable infringement of rights, so is requiring people to choose between health care and personal privacy. Officials who fail to repeal the APDB enable the ongoing assault on individual liberty,” they said, citing the ongoing battle between concerned lawmakers who want voters to provide ID to protect the integrity of elections and judges who repeatedly have thrown out such requirements.
The lawmakers’ own description of their plan says the state would have to set up an “electronic system to monitor and store in a secure database” information about prescriptions.
The information that is collected would be stored by the state, and in addition would be used to raise alerts about medications that may “overlap.” Additionally, “The database may retain encrypted personal protected health care information in the case of electronic prescriptions if the only entity able to decrypt the information is the intended prescription drug outlet for delivery or dispensing.
“This section does not preclude practitioners and prescription drug outlets from retaining personal information about their patients that is collected and maintained in their regular course of business in compliance with applicable law.”
The Institute commentary noted that the APDB, now two years old, now is planning to privatize, and then “sell your health data to commercial interests at $50,000 a pop, and to charge providers for providing required data.”
“Medical privacy? They’e pretending about that, too,” the commentary aid. “CEO Phil Kalin recently wrote, ‘No identified data will be available in the datasets or reports we provide. Social Security numbers and personal health information will be stripped, a unique identified assigned.’ But he also wrote that ‘public health agencies want to understand patterns of disease diagnosis and treatment, and whether public education campaigns are followed by increased preventive services provided to patients.”
The commentary noted this observation from University of Colorado law professor Paul Ohm: “Data can be either useful or perfectly anonymous but never both.”
“In short, a database used to evaluate treatment efficacy and value must include all the data of a clinical trial. That means all of the information available to your physician, pharmacist, and hospital, and information about your personal habits, income, education, and family life,” the commentary warned.
“With all this data it won’t be hard to figure out, or steal, the identity of the unidentified married white female teacher who is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds, was born on Jan. 2, 1985, is married, has two children aged 5 and 7, had appendicitis treated at Poudre Valley Hospital 6 years ago, had her second child at Memorial Hospital North in Colorado Springs, had an abortion three years ago, is in therapy, contracted giardia on a trip to New Zealand, is on the pill, and lives in zip code 80908.”
The commentary warned that while data on paper in an office is hard to steal, “It becomes insecure when it is uploaded to an electronic database.”
The proposal is just the latest in an ongoing fight over medical records as Obamacare is being implemented. The federal plan is to require online records and has raised concerns among privacy advocates.
The Colorado lawmakers also specify the urgency of their proposal: “The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.” source – WND