REVIEW: National Identification Systems, Essays in Opposition

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Egypt, internet, national ID, NSTIC, Real ID, WikiLeaks

Essay anthology gives context on the use, history of national identity conventions

BTC – The public is the constant witness of electronic data streaming 24/7 on the Internet. The next line of temptation for governments is to initiate power plays with cyber information and attempt to organize it into a convenient remote controlled system of rulership over the inidividual.

It may be that our base, human ethical ecology doesn’t have the bandwidth to assume such responsibility without successive, spontaneous revolutions happening. Social networking technology and the Internet are speeding up the natural process of a nation’s people dumping bad government and taking their power back. If we were to pen a verse text respecting sacred Internet cows and their boundaries, it might read like,

And ye shall know your despots by the manner they handle Internet users and their personal information.

A Wikileaks cable uncovered the role of Egyptian dictator Mosni Mubarak’s role in allowing harbor for illegal torture of US rendered prisoners.  The last straw snapped for Egyptians when Mubarak interrupted mobile communications and the Internet. Mubarak opting for an aggressive Internet kill switch is more than simply grounding Egyptians without electronic amenity. His actions now define despotism to the generations.  The net was the last bastion for Egyptian freedom of speech. Civil unrest simply errupted from the cold space of the web directly onto the hot streets of Cairo. After that, the revolution was live in real time and the web caught up later.

Egyptians have endured 30 years of dictatorship rule and a normalized “state of emergency” status to control the people. Egyptian youth lately were seen flippantly displaying their national IDs and passports to televised media, demonstrating dissent, and bonafide evidence of an oppressive totalitarian government.

National Identification Systems: Essays in Oppositon, a heavily sourced 2004 essay anthology, has been astonishingly precognitive of the times we now live in. The text gives first gives historical context of what national identity articles have been used for and then delves into its current applications and the projected effects in public affairs. It would be a profoundly effective text for professors and adjuncts to use in curriculum about why and how national identity is used to capture and restrict power of the individual.

Here’s an example of how the book illuminates current events. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), a national digital authentication initiative, is moving ahead with hires for a national program office.  One essayist, Sunni Maravillosa, explores national identity authentication in society in the chapter titled, “National ID without Big Brother”.  After reading this, one might gather the purpose of the national program office is to provide government oversight or regulation to an existing organic national identity system designed for business.

Other important topics include the prospective use of nanotechnologies, microchips, biometric devices, computers and efforts to centralize digital data; which leads back to the identified person.

The anthology’s expository tour of government methods, history and social context is a comprehensive critical view of national identity systems in government. It is recommended reading for any identified person seeking the long view.

National Identification Systems: Essays in Opposition is available through McFarland publishing. [800-253-2187]

Remind anyone of the Real ID Act?

ALSO AVAILABLE from  McFarland
American Zombie Gothic, The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture

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