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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pedophiles & Privacy: Disturbing News Bits

Just how regulated are we willing to become as a society to keep ourselves and our families "safe"? Two seemingly unrelated news items tell us that some are willing to go pretty darned far in order to harbor that illusion of safety.

From the New York Times online:

Iowa's Residency Rules Drive Sex Offenders Underground

[Iowa's] new state law barring those convicted of sex crimes involving children from living within 2,000 feet of a school or day care center has brought unintended and disturbing consequences. It has rendered some offenders homeless and left others sleeping in cars or in the cabs of their trucks...

And the authorities say that many have simply vanished from their sight, with nearly three times as many registered sex offenders considered missing since before the law took effect in September...

But studies for the Colorado Department of Public Safety in 2004 and the Minnesota Department of Corrections in 2003 have suggested that where an offender lives appears to have no bearing on whether he commits another sex crime on a child.

And from the WashingtonPost.com:

Use of Implanted Patient-Data Chips Stirs Debate on Medicine vs. Privacy

...two D.C. residents are among just a handful of Americans who have had the tiny electronic VeriChip inserted since the government approved it two years ago. But the chip is being aggressively marketed by its manufacturer, which is targeting Washington to be the first metropolitan area with multiple hospitals equipped to read the device..

But the concept alarms privacy advocates. They worry the devices could make it easier for unauthorized snoops to invade medical records. They also fear that the technology marks a dangerous step toward an Orwellian future in which people will be monitored using the chips or will be required to have them inserted for surveillance.

Perhaps they could solve the problem of released sex offenders by implanting them with data chips to track their whereabouts. In fact, law enforcement officials are already talking about special tracking devices for sex offenders. Just remember that the sex offender population could include your teenage son who made the stupid mistake at 18 of having sex with a 17 year old girl whose family decided to press charges.

We could use the chips for more than surveillance. A potential employer could save the time and cost of a pre-employment physical by scanning your medical chip. I'm sorry Ms. Smith, I can't even give you a job application because your medical history indicates that you would be unable to perform your required job duties.

Maybe we could decrease the incidence of teen pregnancies by keeping our daughters on tracking monitors until they turn 21. We could deny drivers licenses to people. We could deny people children based on a social history chip. We could deny entrance to the best colleges and universities based on fitness. We could keep the Beverly Hillbillys out of Beverly Hills.

Oh. I'm sorry. I got carried away. George Orwell already wrote that book. Check this: The world is not, has never been, and will never be a safe place to live. I don't know how much you are willing to give up in order to create the illusion of safety. Me? I'll take a little danger with my morning coffee.

Kinja, the weblog guide


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