Schoolchildren on an electronic leash

A Japanese city wants to play a pioneering role

Total Information Awareness was a program for which Darpa, the Pentagon’s research agency, wanted to develop various projects. However, the program went too far for Congress, and it cut off funding for many of the planned projects (Congress cancels funding for Pentagon surveillance project). The title of the program, however, still seems to be important for the development and implementation of the monitoring technology (The Monitored City). A Japanese municipality now wants to pioneer the world by locating all school children with GPS.

It is not necessarily the Big Brother who is gradually eroding the boundaries between private and public, towards a panoptic presence and a disappearance of the private sphere "dark", unobserved spaces. Already the flood of surveillance cameras in public spaces showed that many people are willing to pay for security with a reduction of privacy (Like a plague). Classrooms have also been equipped with surveillance cameras (The Panoptic School). Meanwhile, in the media, people practice living under the permanent eye of surveillance or controlling events as a watchdog.

However, new monitoring technologies are often first applied to objects or animals, or even to the environment. introduced in situations or for populations that do not raise serious concerns in the general public. Electronic shackles for criminals who are to serve their sentence or part of it, or who are to be released from prison. to serve their remand at home are such an example. Now one already discusses whether it would not be meaningful to put also sex offenders their life long or asylum seekers on the leash, which produces in addition with GPS localization an exact movement profile (asylum seekers on the electronic chain). Also in the medical field, people at risk (confused old people or, for example, patients with increased risk of heart attack) serve as pioneers, for example, also with implantable chips (Implantable chips: the new ID procedure?). Other candidates include soldiers in action, high-ranking politicians or rich people in danger of being kidnapped, and celebrities.

In Japan, the city of Murakami now wants to set an example. The City Council has already talked to manufacturers of surveillance technology that offer GPS devices for localization, in order to offer for parents who have school children. After a fifteen-year-old girl in a small town was kidnapped by a 26-year-old man last month and held in his house for 11 days, the city council is recommending that parents put their schoolchildren on an electronic leash so that they can keep track of their children’s whereabouts via the Internet.

The security check, which, however, also includes other, for the "Chained" The fact that the new technology could probably entail unpleasant aspects of monitoring is of interest to 2.700 schoolchildren of the city remembered. Parents should rent the transmitters and make sure that children carry them with them, at least on the way to and from school. The devices can be used to determine the whereabouts of schoolchildren with an accuracy of up to five meters, and can also be used to sound an alarm. The monthly fee for it amounts to 5.000 yen (38.8 euros), with the city contributing a rather symbolic amount of 2.3 euros. The city expects 200 to 300 parents to take part in the monitoring campaign, especially those whose students have a long way to go to school.

Of course, the city council still has to approve the measure; one provider has already offered a discount of 30 percent. After all, Murakami would be a good advertisement. However, the surveillance take-down might also be a good opportunity for a padophile cracker …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *