Do You Have Your I Am Not A Terrorist Card?

from the verified-by-Steven-Brill dept

Steven Brill, creator of CourtTV and various other media properties, has started a new company that tries to "solve" some of the annoyances created by our current government's premise that you're a suspected terrorist until proven innocent. He's basically come up with the "Verified by Steven Brill" plan, where, after going through a certification process (for a fee, of course), you get the coveted "I Am Not A Terrorist" card, which you can flash to speed your way through long security lines at airports, secure buildings and such. Brill believes that this company, Verified Identity Card Inc., presents a better option than having the government create national identity cards. For instance, this is completely voluntary - though, if enough people use it, you'll look guilty by association if you "voluntarily" decide not to use it (or if you don't qualify for some random reason). Meanwhile, consumer advocates are already concerned about the privacy implications of the system, with Mark Rotenberg, at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, saying: "I don't think it will necessarily come as an assurance to most Americans that a Big Brother card is being minted in the private sector and not in the government." Besides, all of this assumes that it's a binary sort of thing. Either you are a suspected terrorist or you're not. Assuming a single potential terrorist makes it through the "screening" process, it basically ruins the point of the whole system. I doubt there's a screening process that's that good.
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  • identicon
    aNonMooseCowherd, 23 Oct 2003 @ 8:25am

    liability?

    If someone with one of these cards turns out to be a terrorist and kills a bunch of people, can the survivors sue Brill?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    OldYeller, 23 Oct 2003 @ 8:36am

    Pointless exercise

    When I saw this post the first thing that flashed through my mind was the memory of a Colorado outfit in the mid-80's that tried offering a 'Certified AIDS-Free" card' to people submitting blood samples and a processing fee. (Yeah, like THAT would make a good impression on a first date...)

    Being a terrorist or having AIDS is not a static state, so assuming that you could credential someone as if it was is just pointless.

    Even if I condoned privatizing Big Brother (a new interpretation of "Big Business"?), I doubt the traveling public, myself included, would tolerate some of our follow passengers being screened by a different security standard operated as a 'black box' service. Our current screening is slow and imperfect, but there's a psychological comfort in seeing it applied consistently to all as sort of baseline.

    Even non-techies have been exposed to enough media stories about imperfect technology products and services to not accept a vendor's "Just Trust Us" as the reason a shady-looking character skips checkpoints with the swipe of a card.

    Besides, the article mentions that this relies on biometric (fingerprint) scans at the secured points to make sure it's your card. If the service has to synch with government watch lists to be effective, you might as well cut out the middleman and data inconsistencies by having ALL passengers scanned by fingerprint and matched against the current Govt watch list in real-time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Beck, 23 Oct 2003 @ 9:36am

      Re: Pointless exercise

      Right. All it can do is certify that so far, to this point in your life, you have not done anything that would identify you as a terrorist.

      Kind of like handing out certified "I am not a murderer" cards to everyone who has never committed a murder.

      In reality I don't care if the guy sitting next to me on a plane IS a terrorist, as long as the cockpit door is reinforced and TSA has made sure he is not carrying any weapons or explosives.

      (And also assuming of course that some college kid hasn't hidden any weapons in the bathroom.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Hat, 27 Oct 2003 @ 8:40am

        Re: Pointless exercise

        The VeriCards will start out as an anti terrorism measure .. then it will lead to more and more of our civil liberties being taken away at every moment .. then in turn the cards are only the start of the process .. if you do your research you will find that Steven Brill is also developing a rice grained sized computer chip called the "VeriChip", it is to be inserted into the right hand of everyone "both young and old, rich and poor, or they shall not do business with you" .. i dont know if anyone else is at least bit interested in the bible .. but these tiny rice grained sized computer chips sound alot like the infamous mark of the beast .. read revelations - repent the end is near

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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