July 19, 2012
In July, the Department of Homeland Security announced it has branched “out from fingerprint matching to iris and facial recognition for identity verification” and is considering “additional biometric modalities” in an aggressive push to establish a sprawling Stasi-like data network.
In antiquity, slaves often had “tax paid” tattooed on their foreheads. Government implementation of biometric technology has come to the attention of Congress. On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law dealing with facial recognition and civil liberties.
Concerns about civil liberties, however, will not slow down Big Brother.
The FBI has announced it is working to establish a tattoo “symbols” database as part of an overarching effort to “foster collaboration, improve information sharing, and advance the adoption of optimal biometric and identity management solutions within the FBI and across the law enforcement and national security communities.” The agency is serious about “ongoing work in other modalities including voice and face recognition, handwriting, palmprints, scars, marks, and tattoos.”
As NSA whistleblower William Binney revealed, the government is “pulling together all the data about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country and assembling that information, building communities that you have relationships with, and knowledge about you; what your activities are; what you’re doing.” Face recognition, handwriting, palmprints, scars, marks, and tattoos – in addition to your email, web destinations, medical and credit records, and cellphone GPS coordinates – are all part of the dossier process.
Tattoos, of course, are a natural addition to this ongoing effort to establish a high-tech mega-Stasi surveillance and control network. The Nazis tattooed Jews and political prisoners for easy identification. In the Roman Empire, soldiers were required by law to have identifying tattoos on their hands in order to make it difficult to remain anonymous if they deserted. Slaves and gladiators were also required to be tattooed. It was a common practice to tattoo “tax paid” on the forehead of slaves prior to the rule of Emperor Constantine, who banned the practice.
In America, circa 2012, no such law or requirement is needed – the act of tattooing is now wildly popular. This will make it easy for the state to further identify and control the populace.