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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

National ID: now and later

Counter I was recently reading from a dystopian novel that got a lot of bad reviews due to the shallowness of the story line. I generally notice a lot of defects in fiction books, which is only one reason why I don't recommend them. At any rate, one defect not mentioned was the idea that in some future Big Brother state, a person could stay off the government's radar by living in a rural location. Ha.

I'll give a brief glimpse of my view of the future when I am an old man, sometime in the middle of this century.

Every adult will have a cell phone. But it won't just be a simple cell phone, it will be a computer registered to and usable by only one person. Everyone will have a Facebook account, and only one; it will be linked to the person's ID Number (formerly known as Social Security Number). There will be no such a thing as anonymous web surfing (except for geeks and/or Party Members with an incognito override password); everything anyone does online will be subject to instant recall for investigation, coercion, or prosecution. Logging on will be automatic; one's palm will be scanned to ensure identity as soon as the phone is picked up.

It will no longer be necessary to give your Social Security number over the phone, or to enter a credit card number for a purchase. This information will be part of your login. If your phone is stolen, it won't be able to be used without your unique palm print. There will be no pay phones or private land lines, making it virtually impossible to make an anonymous phone call. All remaining phones will have a finger scanning device that must be activated to make a call, facilitating Caller ID on the other end.

Physical credit cards won't be necessary; at checkout, you'll have your fingerprint scanned and your designated account will be debited the correct amount. Library cards likewise.

As you can see, it won't be possible to 'hide' from Big Brother by living in a remote location. All stores will be linked to the National ID, so it won't be possible to buy or sell without one. Nor will it be possible to have Gainful Employment, or even to receive payment for goods or services rendered. Or to own property, or to drive, or to take public transport. Or to pass through any checkpoint. Or to vote. Without a National ID, even the most basic medical care will be unobtainable. Not having an ID will require the utmost in reclusivity: such a person will be subject to arrest at any time for vagrancy, and anyone whose finger scan comes up blank will be immediately suspected of terrorism.

I started thinking about this recently when I decided to test the theory that it's impossible to be paid by bank draft. Having in hand a draft made out to my order by a share draft account holder at a credit union, I headed into the local branch to be paid. The building was indistinguishable from a bank, even down to its designation as a "banking location" on the front door. I went up to a teller and presented the share draft. She asked for my account number, explaining that no one can collect on any of their drafts without an account number at their credit union (or one of the credit unions in their joint association). If I could prove that I had no such account, I would have to provide 2 pieces of ID and would be assigned a "guest account" through which to process my payment. But since it's impossible to have 2 forms of ID without a National Identification Number, the teller was admitting that it is now impossible to do business without one. And there is now no difference whatsoever in banking at a bank, versus banking at any other financial institution under the national thumb of the Patriot Act.

As of yet, it is not a crime to be without a National ID Number. But there's no need to make it one. Without having the number to serve as a gateway into the entire financial system, it is increasingly impossible to legally participate in society.


  1. Do you believe that there is a difference between a National ID number and the mark of the beast?
    Some people feel that this IS the mark, others feel it will be very obvious that it belongs to antichrist, as you are able to make a conscience choice against it.

  2. JM, this deserves a post of its own. Stay tuned.


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