[Politech] John Gilmore on the homeless, RFID tags, and kittens [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Thu Apr 01 2004 - 11:24:10 PST

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    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] HHS announces program to implant RFID tags in 
    homeless [priv]
    Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 11:13:21 -0800
    From: John Gilmore <gnu@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    CC: politech@private
    Last year I found it almost impossible to adopt a kitten or cat that
    didn't have an RFID tag implanted under its skin.  The city animal
    shelter and the SPCA both "chip" all their animals -- and pet
    hospitals who offer adoption get all their pets from these shelters.
    The people we spoke with in the shelters were confused by our
    opposition to their "safe, sane, and humane" policy of RFID-tracking
    every animal that came within chip-gun range of them.  When a cat is
    lost, they scan 'em like a bag of potato chips, pull 'em up in the
    database, and call their owner.
    Eventually by reading the bulletin boards in pet stores, we found a
    local Mexican family who had two litters of kittens.  They had been
    born at home and never subjected to "chipping".  Our kittens are now
    grown and healthy (and untracked).
    I would not be a bit surprised to see bureaucrats at any level
    advocating RFID tracking of the homeless.  They're already taking
    blood samples of every newborn, storing them away "just in case we
    ever need to check their DNA".  And giving every infant their own
    Social Security Number, just to make sure they get tracked from birth
    to death.  A kitten or an infant who comes to the attention of the
    authorities can't tell you who they are or where they belong.  So why
    not chip the homeless, who frequently can't or won't answer the same
    question?  It's a fair question.  What's YOUR answer?
    PS:  If Larry Hiibel had had a chip implanted in him, Deputy Dove wouldn't
    have had to arrest him.  This would have saved the Supreme Court some work.
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