August 19, 2013. New York. The Big Apple’s public housing residents were outraged this weekend and Mayor Bloomberg appears to be surprised. His longtime pet project of biologically marking people, similar to Orwell’s 1984 or the Bible’s Mark of the Beast, has raised its head again. Bloomberg proposed a Bio ID program for all public housing residents. He says it’s for their protection. They say no thanks.
This isn’t the first time New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pushed the idea of a “biometric security measure” to protect the American people from themselves. Readers may notice that the term ‘biometric security measure’ wasn’t mentioned in the few news reports that mentioned the Mayor’s Friday announcement. Most, like the CBS New York affiliate, called it a simple “fingerprinting” initiative. It wasn’t until the very last sentence of the story that CBS finally quoted a Bloomberg spokesman who was more than happy to call it what it is, “a biometric security measure.”
Bloomberg’s biometric security measure
If Mayor Bloomberg’s Bio ID requirement becomes reality, it will affect 600,000 New Yorkers living in public housing. As courts have already ruled, residents of government subsidized housing have few civil rights and wouldn’t be able to refuse what some are calling a violation of privacy, as well as a violation of religious beliefs.
But the precedents are firm. In Texas recently, a public school student was forced to have an RFID microchip implanted into her student ID, which she was required to carry on her person at all times during school. It didn’t matter that she and her family, as well as hundreds of thousands of online protesters, believed it was nothing more than the Biblical Mark of the Beast.
The other aspect of the issue – invasion of privacy – has also been decided by the courts. A decade or two ago in Chicago, the courts ruled that the Chicago Police could enter any and every public housing residence without cause, warrant or announcement. Since the homes were owned by the government, government agents could come and go as they pleased. The residents were given the legal status of little more than tolerated squatters.
The Bloomberg proposal
During a Friday press conference, reporters asked Mayor Bloomberg about the recent court decision striking down the city’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ police program. With it, police would literally stop and frisk anyone that fit their perceived notion of a possible offender. Crime dropped, but opponents criticized the fact that police stopped a higher percentage of blacks and Hispanics than their corresponding percentage of the population. Supporters however, insisted that blacks and Hispanics were stopped and frisked at a lower percentage than their corresponding make up of criminal offenders. Civil liberties advocates tipped the scales and the court ruled the program must cease.
Following up on that PR blow, Bloomberg took questions from the press Friday. One of those questions drifted toward the Mayor’s historic support of universal ID programs. He suggested the housing projects needed some kind of ID to keep unwanted criminal elements out.
“Five percent of our population lives in NYCHA housing, twenty percent of the crime is in NYCHA housing, numbers like that,” Bloomberg explained, “And we’ve just got to find some way to keep bringing crime down there. And we have a whole group of police officers assigned to NYCHA housing. The people that live there, most of them, want more police protection. They want more people. If you have strangers walking in the halls of your apartment building, don’t you want somebody to stop and say, ‘Who are you? Why are you here?’”
Residents angrily pointed out that many of the public housing buildings have broken doorways, doors, locks and other simple fixes that would go a long way in keeping the criminals out. News outlets like KSRO 1350 reported a clarification by a Bloomberg spokesman after the press conference. Each outlet quoted the Mayoral aid calling the proposed program a, “biometric security measure.”
"The news shouldn't be left wing or right wing, conservative or liberal. It should be the news. It should be independent" - Mark Wachtler, Whiteout Press founder
In a 2011 article from Secure ID News, Mayor Bloomberg is featured with his proposal to revamp America’s Social Security card using biometric identification methods instead of a simple printed number. At the time, Bloomberg insisted it would be a good way for the nation’s employers to verify the employment eligibility of job applicants including legal immigrants.
In that particular proposal, the Mayor suggested using electronic fingerprints as one possible identifier embedded into the card’s microchip. Products from Apple and Samsung have recently made fingerprinting someone without the mess of ink as simple as touching your smart phone’s screen. It was also suggested the new Social Security card include an eye scan and a photo of each person.
Ironically, two days before Mayor Bloomberg’s announced support of biometric ID products, his Bloomberg News reported that the iPhone maker was about to release a smart phone that could take someone’s fingerprints. The software and app are the result of Apple’s $350 million purchase of digital fingerprint design corporation AuthenTec Inc. last year.
As detailed in the Bloomberg report, smart phone makers aren’t looking at national ID programs when acquiring multi-million dollar companies. Instead, they’re hoping to design a new future where consumers use their cell phones as cash, credit cards and ID’s, all in one. Such a foothold on society, commerce and national security would guarantee cell phone makers and carriers a lock on multi-billion dollar profits for decades to come.
In addition to making it easier for Americans to spend their money, the technology has already been incorporated into test programs for legal immigrants. One corporation called ImageWare Systems has already sold biometric ID systems to one anonymous government.
In a 2010 report from Stock Markets Review, ImageWare Chairman and CEO Jim Miller said, "This is the long planned continuation and expansion to the border control project announced in October, 2009. As a result of a successful implementation, the host government requested ImageWare to combine the remainder of Phase 1 work with a significant expansion in Phase 2.”
So while the 600,000 residents of New York’s public housing fight Mayor Bloomberg on his proposal, biometric IDs are rapidly becoming a required part of American society. And as long as the American media continues to call it ‘fingerprinting’, the American people won’t even know they’ve been chipped.
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Are RFID Chips the Number of the Beast? (Special Report)
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