YOU ARE A CRIMINAL UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT—A BEDTIME STORY

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Rosa KoireJust a few days ago the Mia­mi Her­ald, Flori­da, news­pa­per ran a sto­ry head­lined: Law­mak­ers To Con­sid­er Ban­ning Bio­met­rics in Schools.  The Pinel­las Coun­ty school dis­trict start­ed using bio­met­rics (iris scans, fin­ger­print scans, and palm readers…not the ones wear­ing tur­bans and ear­rings…) in the school cafe­te­rias.  When the Polk and Semi­nole Coun­ty school dis­tricts insti­tut­ed their own pro­grams Flori­da leg­is­la­tors start­ed get­ting the mes­sage that there was oppo­si­tion to data col­lec­tion on minors. Now some Flori­da leg­is­la­tors are propos­ing a bill to block bio­met­ric data col­lec­tion in the schools.

Real­ly?  Now we need a bill to pro­tect our first amend­ment rights?  We need a leg­is­la­tor writ­ing a bill in order to stop a school dis­trict from vio­lat­ing the rights of chil­dren?  For the peo­ple who think that this is a tem­pest in a lunch bag, let me remind you that these ele­men­tary, junior, and senior high school stu­dents are a few years away from adult­hood.  They are being fin­ger­print­ed.  Their iris­es are being scanned.  Their palm prints are being record­ed.  These peo­ple have not com­mit­ted a crime.  Right now, in Amer­i­ca, you only have to give your fin­ger­prints to the ‘author­i­ties’ if you com­mit a crime (or are accused of com­mit­ting a crime). You may vol­un­tar­i­ly give this infor­ma­tion if you want a ‘sen­si­tive job’ or a pass­port, but THIS ACTION IS VOLUNTARY. In Pinel­las, Semi­nole, and Polk coun­ties, chil­drens’ iden­ti­ties are being data mined pri­or to the age of con­sent. Not only do the school offi­cials not have the right to take their infor­ma­tion, but I posit that their par­ents don’t have the right to give this infor­ma­tion to the gov­ern­ment either. This deci­sion is one that should be made by each indi­vid­ual.

Here in Amer­i­ca, a school dis­trict bureau­crat can jus­ti­fy vio­lat­ing civ­il rights to pri­va­cy because “The biggest ben­e­fit of hav­ing this sys­tem is that it allows stu­dents more time to eat their lunch,” Mar­quez Par­ra said. “That’s what this is all about.

But this is not ‘what this is all about’.  This is all about INVENTORY, MONITORING, AND CONTROL.  This is UN Agen­da 21.

RESIST.