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Subject: [IP] Paranoia and George Orwell

  • From: David Farber <>
  • To: Ip Ip <>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 14:50:35 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <>
Date: October 12, 2005 11:25:14 AM EDT
To:, 'Ip Ip' <>
Cc: Hiawatha Bray <>
Subject: Paranoia and George Orwell

I was wondering about the cluelessness of those ads.

Remember that this is the same company that offered use &quot;freedom from choice&quot; as the slogan for OS/2 (at least for a day or so until, I presume, some adult showed and noticed the banner).

I think there's a similar ad for On-Star.

There's also the editorial from the &quot;Progress and Freedom Foundation ( part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdnet) which tells us why DRM via TPM (Technical Protection Measures) is good for freedom. In one familiar example it says that if a text book expires in four months then that&#x2019;s OK because if the provider can make more money by extending it to a year then it will do so. Those aren&#x2019;t the words used but that&#x2019;s how I read it. It&#x2019;s free speech as long as we ask nicely &#x2013; after all why should we complain since no reasonable request will be refused and how can we get creativity if we allow just anyone to create.

-----Original Message-----

From: David Farber []

Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 05:32

To: Ip Ip

Subject: [IP] You need not be paranoid to fear RFID

Begin forwarded message:

From: Monty Solomon <>

Date: October 12, 2005 4:29:51 AM EDT

To: undisclosed-recipient:;

Subject: You need not be paranoid to fear RFID

You need not be paranoid to fear RFID

By Hiawatha Bray  |  October 10, 2005

It's one of the cutest of those cute IBM Corp. TV commercials, the

ones that feature the ever-present help desk. This time, the desk

appears smack in the middle of a highway, blocking the path of a big


''Why are you blocking the road?&quot; the driver asks. ''Because you're

going the wrong way,&quot; replies the cheerful Help Desk lady. ''Your

cargo told me so.&quot; It seems the cartons inside the truck contained

IBM technology that alerted the company when the driver made a wrong


It's clever, all right -- and creepy. Because the technology needn't

be applied only to cases of beer. The trackers could be attached to

every can of beer in the case, and allow marketers to track the

boozing habits of the purchasers. Or if the cargo is clothing, those

little trackers could have been stitched inside every last sweater.

Then some high-tech busybody could keep those wearing them under


If this sounds paranoid, take it up with IBM. The company filed a

patent application in 2001 which contemplates using this wireless

snooping technology to track people as they roam through ''shopping

malls, airports, train stations, bus stations, elevators, trains,

airplanes, rest rooms, sports arenas, libraries, theaters, museums,

etc.&quot; An IBM spokeswoman insisted the company isn't really prepared

to go this far. Patent applications are routinely written to include

every possible use of a technology, even some the company doesn't

intend to pursue. Still, it's clear somebody at IBM has a pretty

creepy imagination.

And it's not just IBM. A host of other companies are looking at ways

to embed surveillance chips into practically everything we purchase

-- and even into our bodies. It's a prospect that infuriates Harvard

graduate student Katherine Albrecht.




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