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(en) SchNEWS 415, Friday 18th July, 2003

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 17 Jul 2003 23:15:13 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

>From schnews-l@gn.apc.org
"Imagine walking into a store and having a computer take an inventory of
everything you're wearing-right down to the size and color of your
underwear. Store employees could even read the contents of your wallet to
determine whether you're a desirable customer or someone they want to ignore
based on your financial value. The possibilities for discrimination are
quite disturbing." - Katherine Albrecht, director of Consumers Against
Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering.

Good news for anyone who feels like their privacy hasn't been infringed
quite enough yet. There's a new wee beastie come to fill your lives with
joy, RFID (radio frequency identification). If these catch on - and it looks
like they already are - everything you buy could soon have a unique number
that can be transmitted to anyone nearby, without your permission.

RFIDs are tiny chips which can be embedded into almost anything. When a
reading device is placed within 5 metres of them, they transmit their unique
number to the device. The idea is that shops will use them instead of
barcodes, so you just push your trolley through the checkout, and you'll
know how much you owe. Sounds good so far.

Now it gets dodgy, folks. As each chip has a unique number, if someone knows
the number of the chip embedded in your shoes, for example, they will be
able to track exactly what you do. So a supermarket could know when you
enter their store, how long you spend in each section, and what you buy. At
the recent Chinese Communist Party Congress, each delegate had to have a
badge, equipped with RFID chip, that tracked them wherever they went.

"The Auto-ID Centre is designing, building, testing and deploying a global
infrastructure ... that will make it possible for computers to identify any
object anywhere in the world instantly," happily burbles the Auto-ID Centre
press release.

A casino in Sydney has already put 80,000 of these chips into their employee
uniforms in order to reduce theft. Michelin, which make 800,000 tyres every
day, are soon to place RFID chips in each tyre, which will be matched to the
make of car they are fitted to in a huge database. Tesco are just about to
introduce a huge trial of the technology. Other companies testing the
technology include all the SchNEWS favourites: Gillette, Gap and Bennetton.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a network has been created which has the capability to
track anyone going anywhere in the town centre as long as they have an RFID
chip somewhere on them. A company called Applied Digital Solutions has
already developed an RFID chip for people, it's 11mm long, embedded under
the skin and can be read from 4 feet away. And yes, folks, these have
already been implanted into people.

The EU is in the process of putting RFIDs into high denomination bank notes
as a fraud-reducing measure. "RFID tags also have the ability of recording
information such as details of the transactions the paper note has been
involved in," according to analyst Prianka Chopra. In one fell swoop this
would destroy any of the anonymity of using cash. The other great thing
about this is that anyone with an RFID reader (which will become more and
more common) can tell exactly how much cash you have on you... Hooray!

So what's the Home Office doing about this potentially huge privacy risk?
Urging caution and debating the privacy risks? Nah, course not, they're
putting 4.5 million quid up for improving it. There is also much interest in
using RFID in passports, driving licenses, and any other documents you could
name, potentially allowing no-one to opt out of RFID, if documents without
the chip are rejected.

If chips were installed in mandatory ID cards police (and others) could
access extensive information on anyone just by scanning from metres away. In
the US many supermarkets require official state ID to sign up for loyalty
cards. Huge databases can easily be created from this as corporations merge
the personal information of their clients in order to build frighteningly
accurate personal profiles. So your supermarket shares your info with your
bank who shares it with your preferred clothes shops and all of a sudden
they've got a massive database of info on Jo Soap. Impressive huh?

Leaked briefings on focus groups held by Auto-ID, the main people behind
RIFD, reveal people's true perception of this technology, "There are
currently no clear benefits by which to balance even the mildest negative.
While the possible benefits were explained to each group at length, nothing
seemed to really motivate or inspire. In fact, the presentation of benefits
seemed to automatically lead consumers to think of negatives." This dislike
has already prompted concessions from suppliers, such as chips that are
destroyed when they leave the shop, and only attaching chips to packaging
rather than the product itself.

Ironically the leaked briefings came from a public part of the Auto-ID
website. If they can't protect their own confidential documents, it's hard
to believe their claims of keeping huge databases of customers' information
As these chips are getting so tiny (less than 0.3mm), they are extremely
difficult to find and destroy. Washing will not destroy them, and they need
to be crushed or micro-waved (with the corresponding fire risk) to make them
ineffective. And you can't exactly go walking round Tesco's with a microwave
to disable all the bloody things.

"RFID technology is moving forward at an incredible pace, and there is an
urgent need for this legislation. Companies have already begun embedding
these chips in products people buy today. For all you know, these chips
could be in your home now. The problem is you have no way of knowing,"
claimed Albrecht.

Luckily this wonderful nirvana of new technology is starting to receive some
very bad press. Wal-Mart quietly started a trial of the technology in one of
its stores, but when the company that made the chips turned up and started
pointing it out to customers, they were horrified. Wal-Mart were so
inundated by complaint calls that they had PR executives answering the
phones, bringing the trial to a sudden end. Hopefully this technology will
be seen in a similar way to GM: big benefits for big business but only
losses for everyone else. They get your personal preferences and all the fat
profits while you lose any morsel of privacy.

More info: www.nocards.org



For being run over.
Two cyclists taking part in a Critical Mass bike ride were hit by a car, one
of them being carried along for 100 yards on the nutter's bonnet. When they
tried to report to the cops what had happened, they were both arrested for
causing criminal damage to the people carrier that'd hit 'em! The police
have now dropped the charges.



Sherwood forest is under attack from a band of corporate thieves and the
Sherrif of Nottingham isn't lifting a finger. The thieves, Belway, are
attempting to destroy a rare limestone habitat and a natural meadowland to
build an unnecessary road junction. The area is supposedly guarded by a Tree
Protection Order as it possesses a 300 year old beech tree yet the council
are refusing to take any action against the developers. This is some of the
last remaining green space in the area and it's being surveyed as a possible
EU site of conservation. There's a desperate need for Robin Hoods and merry
men and women to steal the power from the rich and give it back to the poor

Locals are opposed to the development but help is seriously needed to stop
the destruction going ahead. Contact Cookie on 0789165727.

* Protests in the south of the Netherlands to stop the construction of
hotels and bungalows by the Efteling Themepark in a 100 year-old forest.
Last Sunday was the first open day where over 100 locals and sympathisers
turned up. Much anger was expressed by the local community who are annoyed
with the theme park's constant expansion and its destruction of forest land.
The council has encouraged Efteling to evict the activists illegally camping
on their land. An illegal eviction is unlikely however as the theme park
prides itself on its family image. It is more likely that the activists may
be taken to court and sued. Details: www.entenwoud.nl



Following a recent series of anti-war gigs, the Shoestring Project in
Nottingham began to organise gigs to raise money for community projects and
activism. The gigs have been hugely successful and many contacts have been
made with local people. They're also developing projects working with
refugees and the homeless, hopefully starting in Autumn. They have also
donated money to Medical Aid for Palestinians and have plans for
environmental and peace projects. In September the project will start up a
series of gigs at various venues, and in association with Bored Beyond
Belief, Shoestring will be beginning a regular night at Moog on Tuesdays:

* A similar project has been going on in Brighton. 1st Weds of the month,
there's a Fun-Raiser at the Volks Tavern - the crew have got money together
for a whole range of projects and causes such as biodiesel collectives,
Brighton against the war and animal rights groups.


SchNEWS in Brief

Last Thursday (10th) Earth First! and others blockaded AMEC's office in
Warrington, demanding that they pull out of the Baku pipeline project in
Georgia. A chain of people locked themselves together across the entrance
causing deliveries to be cancelled and company workers to climb over the
blockade to get to work. Manchester Earth First! has a list of over seventy
offices of companies involved in the pipeline. Wherever you live, there will
be somewhere nearby deserving a visit.
www.earthfirst.org.uk/manchester/baku/bgpalms.htm ** Jeremy Hardy v. The
Israeli Army, a feature documentary about the International Solidarity
Movement in Palestine as experienced through the eyes of the British
comedian opens July 18th at the Prince Charles cinema (Box office
02074943654) then throughout London and Nationwide.** All-day Palestine
benefit for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) at the Brixton
Windmill on Sunday 27th July 2003 - 3pm till late with poetry, comedy, film,
food, politics and music. Only £3! www.eyelessingaza.org.uk** Benefit roast
dinner this Sunday (20) for a Palestinian family whose house was blown up by
the Israeli Defence Force. 3pm Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton.
Members and guests only ** There's an anti-WTO meeting in the splendid
nature of Larzac, South France, from 8-10th August. It is organised in
response to the next WTO meeting in September. The Larzac meeting will have
forums, stands, workshops, cinema etc, focusing on the environment, public
services, people's empowerment, GATS etc: www.larzac2003.org **A
permaculture weekend for beginners runs from the 22-24 August and covers all
you need to know about a sustainable existence with loads of practical hands
on activities. In North Weald, Essex, £75. Info:
landandliberty@ukonline.co.uk or 01702 303259** From September there'll be a
West Country radical bookfair happening every month in Bristol at the
Cornubia Pub, Temple Street. First one is on September 6th 12-4.30pm More
details: gardsteingang@yahoo.co.uk ** Disarm DSEI public meeting on July
26th at ULU, Malet St, London WC1 at 2pm. The DSEI is one of the world's
biggest arms fairs and is coming to London in September: 07817 652 029,



Simon Shaw was arrested at an anti war demo in Edinburgh in March for
displaying an upside-down US flag with the words "Fuck Bush" and a swastika.
The arresting officers said Simon's flag was likely to "incite racial
hatred" despite the message being aimed at Bush and his administration and
not the American people.

Following this, the Mark Thomas Comedy Product produced 13,000 postcards of
the flag for the public to send to the local police station. On Thursday
Mark and 60 friends arrived at the police station to hand themselves in,
with a variety of "Fuck Bush" banners (including one carried by an American
apparently inciting racial hatred towards himself!).The police were also
covered in "Fuck Bush" confetti, but refused to make any arrests. Simon Shaw
's trial is at 9:30am next Friday (25) at Edinburgh Sheriffs Court, Chamber
St. Please bring your "Fuck Bush" banners, t-shirts and flags.


* The people selling the Fuck Bush t-shirts have said they'll donate half to
the SchNEWS rent fund. More info from fuck_bush@warpmail.net (but mention us
when contacting them).



"I've just been banged up on a 9 monther for 'affray'. I got nicked at the
free party in Rode on Glastonbury weekend for violent disorder of all
things! They had to drop this charge . but then they pulled me on a warrant
for affray from a party last year where I was involved in another
confrontation . Thankfully I had a copy of SchNEWS and other
disinformation . I had to go up in front of a crown court judge in a pair of
ripped jeans and, no top and loads of piercings - you should have seen his
face!! I would be grateful for any letters, copies of SchNEWS or any other
literature that will help me remember what it's all about . Sorry, I'm Daz
by the way, got a dog called Giro." Write to him! Prisoner LH 4272 HM Prison
Ford, Ford Rd, Ford, Arundel, W Sussex BN18 0BX


Arms dealers Lockheed Martin (see SchNEWS 402/3) are demanding $44,000 from
52 protesters who were arrested as hundreds blocked Lockheed's factory
entrances in San Francisco in April because, as one of the demonstrators put
it, "They were unable to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but we
found them right here in Sunnyvale."

Lockheed aren't short of a bob or two ($30 billion worth of Pentagon
contracts and $142 billion worldwide since 1992), but say they need the
money to cover security costs. However, if Lockheed succeed, a legal
precedent will be set in the US that says a corporation can sue protesters
for costs. As one of those facing costs commented "They're the ones who are
criminals, not us. And they're the ones who should be paying restitution -
to all the children, lovers, families and communities they've helped destroy
with landmines, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, and nuclear missiles. Don't
let them get away with this." See: sf.indymedia.org

* Damacio A.Lopez: US airforce veteran, former professional golfer, and
author and expert on depleted uranium is on a speaking tour of the UK. He's
at Fairford Community Centre this Saturday (19) 12-2 pm; Birmingham (21)
8pm, Friends of the Earth, 24 Allison Street; Wimbledon Community Centre, St
Georges Road (22) 8pm; Bristol (24) 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Hampton
Road; Manchester (25) Friends Meeting House, Mount Street 7pm.



Thanks to the generosity of a couple of readers our first two months rent is
covered and we have been promised another £60 a month in standing orders.
(If you do make an order - details on our website - please let us know so we
stop panicking). But we still need a lot more (£240 to be precise) to cover
our monthly rent and that's without phone bills, printing, postage,
biscuits. As one of our readers said if just 300 of you lot gave £1 a month
we'd be sorted.



'Casualty of War - 8 weeks of counter-terrorism in rural England' is a new
report out by human rights group Liberty into the policing of demonstrations
at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire (see SchNEWS 396). During the recent
invasion of Iraq Liberty found a clear policy of using anti-terrorism laws
to prevent legitimate protest. Between 1 March and 30 April, 61 people were
arrested at Fairford - 27 were subsequently charged with public order (but
not terrorist) offences.
At its most extreme an anti-terrorist order was served on an 11-year-old
girl (her father is now seeking legal redress) and a coach load of
demonstrators were 'kidnapped' by police (also the subject of a legal
action). So how much did the whole thing cost? Glos. cops dished out £3.26
million and the MoD police, £3.79 million - to stop protestors trying to
prevent planes from flying out of the airbase and bombing the people of
Iraq. For copies of the report call 020 7403 3888,


SchNEWS Annual 2003
Wednesday 23 July 8.30pm
with Mark Thomas and Rob Newman
at The Old Market,
Upper Market Street, Hove.
Tickets £10 from box office (01273 736 222)


...and finally...

Looking for a job but can't be bothered to get off your arse? Well look no
further because Berlin or Sydney may be the places for you! In Berlin an
unemployed woman, 25, received a letter offering her a job as a barmaid and
was told to get in contact with her potential employer. When she looked up
the company's website, she found its services included "hot kisses, tender
and cuddly massages or uninhibited sex". The head of Berlin job centres has
apologised, adding that the woman was not obliged to accept the job.

In Sydney Tom, an unemployed Aussie, was told to apply to an agency looking
for female escorts by the government's job network last week. An employment
agency contracted by the government matched Tom to two advertisements
seeking "Ladies of all ages". "I don't think the government should be
expecting jobseekers to apply for a job as a prostitute," said a
not-so-blow-jobseeking Tom. Well, Tom, at least the state's being honest: if
you want a decent job you should go get fucked.


SchNEWS warns all readers that we're used to fishy chips, having to use the
takeaway round the corner. Honest.

NEW BOOK!!!! PEACE DE RESISTANCE IS NOW OUT. It costs £10 INC. p&p per book,
further details as below...

SchNEWS Of The World - issues 301-350 for £6!! Past books are goin' cheap...
SchNEWSround issues 51-100 - SOLD OUT; SchNEWS annual issues 101-150 - going
for £2!! Survival Handbook issues 151-200 - also at £2; SchQUALL issues
201-250 - almost sold out - £6; Yearbook 2001 issues 251-300 - bargain £3.
Add £1.70 p&p for each book, cheques to Justice? Honest!

In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles,
photos, cartoons, subverts, a "yellow pages" list of contacts, comedy
etc. You can also order the books from a bookshop or library.

Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues)or
donations (payable to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription, or the
SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals" if you plan to copy
and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.

SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England
Phone/Fax: +44 (0)1273 685913
email: schnews@brighton.co.uk

@nti copyright - information for action - copy and distribute!


SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England
Phone/Fax (call before faxing): 01273 685913

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FOR CORRESPONDENCE USE schnews@brighton.co.uk THANK YOU.

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