Identity Tag Implants

The more I read and see on TV about recidivist criminals, the more I like the idea of implanted ID tags into convicted criminals. I know this sounds big brother and the late Philip K Dick, one of my favourite authors, spent a lifetime warning us against this sort of technology and the risks of abuse. But what about law abiding citizens and our rights to live in a safe and wholesome environment where we don’t have to be afraid to go for a beach walk on a hot summer’s evening?

I’m starting to think not only that this is a good idea, but I think at least for certain types of crime, particularly violence and sex crimes, convicted criminals should have these devices implanted as a condition of parole. Why should they have all the rights and we have to pay to support them after they have hurt us and our society and thereby taken away our freedom?

In the Sci-Fi books you read about implants that include RF transmitters that send out an alert if the implants have been surgically removed without authority and the underground businesses that find ways to do that, but having been able to read about all the ways that people envisaged the technology being nullified, I’m sure that we could create secure devices.

We already have electronic anklets for criminals under house arrest or on bail, so the concept has already begun, but I’m after something that is more pervasive. Way over 50% of criminals who go to prison for violence, sex and theft will return to prison again. It becomes their way of life. We should be able to harness technology that makes this more difficult. In a connected world we could have all sorts of preventative measures based around RFID or similar technologies.

For example:

  • Sex offenders could have a code set up in their tags which sets off an alarm if they are in proximity to schools or locations where they might offend and part of their parole conditions would be that they are not allowed within a certain distance of at risk locations.
  • Burglars could have a code that tells an activated burglar alarm who they are and simultaneously through the alarm’s monitoring service alerts police that John B(ad) Citizen has just tripped an alarm that was active at 15A Smith Street. Even if they made a getaway, they could be located through their tags and of course they have already been accurately identified, so a conviction would result with a minimum of police time and cost and of course reduced court/litigation costs.
  • People who have non-molestation orders against them would trigger alarms and an automated arrest warrant issued if they come into proximity of addresses they have been forbidden to approach.
  • Going a step further, serious recidivists,criminally active gang members etc and those under strict probation or parole orders could also be fitted with a GPS transmitter so that they can no longer hide. Imagine how much time, grief, lives and cost could be saved if repeat criminals could no longer hide their whereabouts!

You get the idea?

I was remarking to a friend the other day that every election year, crime and violence are election issues and all sorts of promises are made, but it never matters who is elected, because their stance instantly softens and we are so PC that it is always the poor criminals with their harsh upbringings who are looked after, while the victims fight and argue with the insurance companies who were so eager to win their premiums. The good guys lose and crime often does pay.

Our police do a wonderful job and I take my hat off to them. It is a tough life and they do their best to make the country a safer place, but the problem is that by the time they are called in, the crime has already been committed. Our jails are now safe havens where people can live an orderly life, with 3 square meals at a huge cost to the taxpayer. If they break a leg trying to escape, they get compensation! Then afterwards they are put back on the street where the majority will offend again. Let’s make it really difficult for them to do that.

Some people will say, they have done their time and they should now be treated as a normal everyday citizen. For people who do silly things as an odd abheration that doesn’t physically hurt or traumatise their victims, maybe I’d give them one chance. But if they are repeat offenders then as far as I am concerned, they have become career criminals and they lose their rights.

For all our great ideas, rehabilitation, training, discipline, encounter groups, counselling etc, our prison population is growing faster than our national population even though we have very low unemployment and we have a welfare state.

So what about the rights of the peaceful law abiding citizens. Remember us? If they aren’t protected, we may start to see the public fight back as we have seen in the last week where a peace abiding citizen chased after a tagger with a knife. The tagger is dead and both his and the citizen’s lives have been devastated. If you break into my house and I attack you to defend myself, my property or my family, I end up treated as a criminal, yet the criminal says the ‘system’ is unfair.

The PC brigade will talk about the risk of this technology being abused by corrupt people, and of course there will always be a degree of corruption, but on the whole we employ people in the forces who earn and deserve our

Tag ’em I say.

5 thoughts on “Identity Tag Implants

  1. Hey Simon. Do you have a solution? When someone gets out of jail on bail for a violent crime and breaks into your house and attacks your family and steals your family heirlooms.

    Which is the worse evil?

  2. Thanks for the comments. I guess the reason I love Philip K Dick stories is because I relate to the rebels who are always the heroes in his books, fighting the corrupt society or ‘the system’ as we know it more commonly.

    Interestingly Chippy, I believe that we will soon be taking DNA samples from all children at birth in NZ. As they are mapping DNA and identifying genes they will soon know who has a disposition towards crime and could deal with them at birth.

    Please note, that there is a strong element of tongue in cheek in my debate, but we do have a problem and New Zealand has historically prided itself on having a peaceful society, with very little crime, especially at a business level, we come out of surveys as having amongst the lowest levels of corruption in the world. But things are changing slowly and we are catching up with other countries in the ‘civilised’ world.

    A nice example of the good things here ‘and I appreciate the influence of weed as a peace keeping tool’ but I was one of over 35,000 people at the RaggaMuffin reggae music festival over the weekend and the only incident I noticed despite huge quantities of drugs and alcohol, was one person who fainted, probably from dehydration as it was a nice warm summers day.

    I take your point about 1st time criminals, but in NZ it seems from my limited experience that first time crimes tend to be burglery where they crim doesn’t come into contact with his victim rather than serious crime, but a majority of criminals are recidivist. Those are the ones that I would like to be able to somehow discourage. I may be naieve, but I feel a responsibility as a citizen to seek a solution, none the least in order to protect myself, my family and loved ones from habitual criminals, where society does know who they are.

    Our penalties are not deterrants and a lot of people seem more comfortable in prison than in their disfunctional homes. They can get benefits, they can get education, they can get a roof over their heads and food. They just don’t have enough money for the lifestyle they want to live and feel that everyone else ‘in the system’ owes them, so its not really crime is it? If I want your car more than you, then I shall have it. What are you going to do to stop me Chippy?

  3. The idea of implanting RFID chips in all criminals does not protect society from first time criminals or those who have not been apprehended. Those individuals would still be free to commit any vicious crime they choose, and run from the law.

    Think about how many criminals are never caught, how many crimes go unsolved!!! Also, remember some of the most vicious crimes are the first for the perpetrator.

    The only true protection is to chip EVERYONE at birth, or at least by the age of 8. This is the ONLY way we can REALLY be safe and monitor people who might commit a future crime.

    These chips should include the technology to measure heart rate and other vital statistics. By monitoring the location and physiological changes in suspicious individuals “authorities” can potentially STOP the crime BEFORE it even occurs. We already have the technology to do this.

    To provide even more safety I propose a video monitoring system as well. Yes, we have it now on many public streets, but in order to be truly safe we need to monitor private households also. (They are doing this a bit with phones now in rare cases, but we need to add video and do it with everyone.) If an individual has nothing to hide why should he or she mind, right? Anyone who opposes it is either is hiding something or is a radical leftist conspiracy theorist, don’t ya think?

    Well, these are just a few good ideas. Yes, we must stop this “corruption.” I’m sure that’s what our founding fathers had in mind when they risked, and in some cases sacrificed, their lives for our freedom. AS long as we let the government monitor everything we do, along with letting the grocery stores monitor everything we buy, we should be fine.

    Certainly it’s true that it’s very easy to hack into those RFIDs and readers and databases. Every time a new one comes out it is immediately hacked just to show how easily it can be done. But certainly if we were using it to monitor everyone no one would dream of hacking it right? Only a criminal would do something like that!

    Oh wait,… hmm…

    Well, either way what a great way to track everyone – give us all chips. How does that saying go, “If you let the people choose between freedom or sandwiches, they will choose sandwiches.” Ya, let’s pick sandwiches. That’s the solution.

  4. “The PC brigade will talk about the risk of this technology being abused by corrupt people…”

    The PC brigade is likely to want to get into this kind of thing. That’s scary.

    All of this is possible technologically. The big – crucial – fundamental question is who’s in control, who watches the watchers, how do you stop it getting abused. You can’t. Therefore don’t tag ’em I say.

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