The Weekly Report Cornerstone

   WEEK 47 Nov 12th to 18th 2001

   BEYOND 1984

   Yet another threat to human dignity and freedom is arising these days.
   What lies beyond 1984, beyond "Brave New World". Those worlds are past. Now we're moving into something different… and worse.
   Amsterdam Airport - Schipol in the Netherlands started using a system for retina scanning in September, a system designed to recognize people's individual and unique retina pattern. You don't need to stick your finger forth or rather put your eyes into a scanning device. The pattern is read as you make your way through the gates, "to save time", as officials put it.    Science fiction has once more become science fact.
   A "test-run" is also done on Heathrow Airport in London these days. No one is foreseeing any problems and the "test-run" is expected to be permanent.
   Tony Blair, the British Prime minister wants to sample genetic material from everybody connecting with the police, The Law, even people speeding. One part of his vision of "a terrorist-free world". Among his other plans are registration and sampling of all e-mail finding its way to the British isles. Similar plans of registration and surveillance are afoot all over the world. Especially after September 11th those plans have speeded up. They were on their way anyway, but now the people at the top got the excuse they needed to implement them.
   And very few people are raising their voice in protest. As were the case when the video surveillance started in Newcastle, the "test-run" of that particular project. And the project spread quickly and decisively.
   Big brother and sister can not only see you wherever you go, whatever you do… but they will very soon be able to know everything about you.




   A proposed British anti-terror legislation is met with heavy opposition from human rights organizations. The proposal is making it legal to imprison foreigners without using the courts, in addition to a number of other "unfortunate" results, according to some of the more conservative statements from the opponents.
   The EU and other European nations are also considering new legislation, which will give police and prosecution far wider authority to imprison and contain suspects. Amnesty International and other organixation are advising strongly against the proposal, claiming it will make the cure worse than the disease.





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Entered 2001-11-15