Central versus local storage of information/verifiablity:

``If Big Brother wants you to become an unperson, all he has to do is to fiddle with the data in the combined INS-social security database (Section 113) and have your Social Security number flagged as an invalid number.''

From raymie@blizzard.lcs.mit.edu Tue Feb 14 20:52:10 1995
To: libertarians@MIT.EDU, objectivism@MIT.EDU
From: Raymie Stata 
------- Forwarded Message
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 15:59:29 PST
From: vince@ott.ucop.edu (Vincent Cook)
Subject:  Concentration camps for Mexicans 
Just when you thought you were safe from Janet Reno and her band of baby-killers, leave it to Congress to think of something new to expand the frontiers of the incipient police state. Senator Alan Simpson, R-Wyo, has introduced legislation (S269), currently pending before the Judiciary Committee, that would make even a 1930's Nazi blush for its brazen denial of basic human rights on the basis of nationality.

For those of you who read my previous posts about the national ID card for employment, you be glad to know that this legislation also incorporates a national identification system (Section 111). It also effectively strips all rights from aliens whose papers are not in order. So what happens to those persons accused of the horrible crime of being Mexican? Section 151 says-

>. . . the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of 
>State, shall establish a pilot program . . . which provides methods to 
>deter multiple unauthorized entries by aliens into the United States. 
>The pilot program may include the development and use of interior 
>repatriation, third country repatriation, and other disincentives for 
>multiple unlawful entries into the United States. 
So instead of being sent back to Mexico, illegals will be shipped to the interior or to cooperative third countries (like Panama) and subjected to unspecified 'other disincentives'. Should any of them complain about their treatment, Section 142 will deny them the basic habeas corpus rights that protect American citizens in government custody.

So where in the 'interior' will illegals be sent to? Section 152 says that closed military bases can be studied for their feasibility for use as 'detention centers' by the INS. The existing INS concentration camps in Texas, in Guantamo Bay, and in Panama will presumably serve as a model for similar facilities all around the US. Under this legislation, the INS will have unlimited power to abuse the inmates in these facilities without interference from the courts.

The prospect of Mexicans undergoing 'interior repatriation' to 'detention centers' with unlimited use of 'other disincentives' without the slightest bit of legal protecton sounds a great deal like the 'relocation' of Jews in the Third Reich. Nobody has suggested using cyanide on illegal aliens yet, but this legislation certainly doesn't rule out the possibility.

From the point-of-view of an American citizen, this system creates the danger that you have to prove your citizenship in order to stay out of the camps and to get a job. If Big Brother wants you to become an unperson, all he has to do is to fiddle with the data in the combined INS-social security database (Section 113) and have your Social Security number flagged as an invalid number. You will then be at the mercy of the Waffen-INS.

Another danger for Americans is that the system might serve as a model for dealing with other undesirables, such as blacks (as drug dealing gangsters) or Middle Easterners (as terrorists) or radical laissez-faire dissidents (as tax-evaders). In view of the fact that the Republican leadership of the Senate supports Simpson's legislation and another half dozen equally odious bills that further undermine civil liberties and personal privacy, and that the call to get tough on illegals and on drug dealers is very popular, it seems that the totalitarian version of law and order will now get serious consideration in high places.

-Vincent Cook

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Privacy issues of wearable cameras versus surveillance cameras.