Law and Disorder Radio – Supreme Court Decision on Arizona Immigration Law – Dr. Katherine Albrecht on RFID Chips and Search Engine Privacy – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

Supreme Court Decision on Immigration Discussion

Supreme Court Decision on Immigration

Last week the Supreme Court delivered a split decision on Arizona’s 2010 immigration law, upholding the most controversial section of that law, the so-called “show me your papers” provision. The provision requires police officers to check the immigration status of all people stopped, detained, or arrested presuming there is “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the person is an undocumented immigrant. Reasonable suspicion can include objective factors but it also includes subjective factors such as the person appearing nervous or not looking the officer in the eyes. Despite people claiming the Supreme Court decision was a victory for immigration advocates, it wasn’t at all.





Attorney Cathy Albisa:

  • My reaction is that we’re not having the right conversation.
  • There was an involved technical decision regarding the federal government and the state government.
  • The one thing that was lost except for a couple of lines, was the people at the heart of this problem.
  • The people who’ve been displaced from their home countries through the global economy, and stripped of legal personhood, and who are now living in a constant state of fear. It’s a reflection of what a degraded state of politics we’re in.
  • That if you pass a law that shocks the conscience, the fact that you got rid of some of it or most of it becomes a victory.
  • The claims of victory are in themselves very troubling signs.
  • Our expectations have become so low, that we consider it a step forward.
  • At the heart of the law is an intent to treat this group of people differently from other groups of people in the state of Arizona.
  • What does that kind of racism do, what does that kind of living under constant threat do to a community, to a person and to a set of human rights, that we all should be defending?
  • Immigration has always been a divide and conquer issue from the xenophobic side of the isle.
  • If we insist that we live in a global economy, then rights cross borders. If people and capital can cross borders, protection can cross borders.
  • Why are they here? If you look at the reason they cross borders, it’s economic.
  • They’re displaced for economic reasons. We don’t look at the grinding poverty that displaces people as a rights question.
  • The ones that want to hold on are organizing and demanding their rights.
  • There are sheriffs across the country who object to these policies and refuse to implement these policies, who say this does not keep our community safe.
  • ICE can literally create a life of ongoing terror for people, because they know they can be deported at any time.

Guest – Attorney Cathy Albisa, constitutional and human rights lawyer with a background on the right to health. Ms. Albisa also has significant experience working in partnership with community organizers in the use of human rights standards to strengthen advocacy in the United States. She co-founded NESRI, the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, along with Sharda Sekaran and Liz Sullivan in order to build legitimacy for human rights in general, and economic and social rights in particular, in the United States. She is committed to a community-centered and participatory human rights approach that is locally anchored, but universal and global in its vision. Ms. Albisa clerked for the Honorable Mitchell Cohen in the District of New Jersey. She received a BA from the University of Miami and is a graduate of Columbia Law School.

RFID: Microchips and US Soldiers / Search Engine Privacy

Today we get an update on the extent to which RFID technology is intruding in our daily lives. As many listeners may know, RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. In past shows we’ve discussed how big companies are embedding, or plan to embed, the so-called “spychip” into clothes, credit cards, shoes and even into human flesh, all in the name of convenience, safety and commerce. The breach of civil liberties from spychip implantation is wide-reaching. Now, however, plans to develop implantable microchips for use in U.S. soldiers has taken a step forward. The U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has confirmed plans to create nano-sensors to monitor the health of soldiers on battlefields.

Dr. Katherine Albrecht:

  • What I discovered in 2003 was that 500 of the largest corporations had gotten together to come up with a plan to replace the barcode with tiny microchips hooked with tiny antennas.
  • Now this initially was the brainchild of Proctor and Gamble to take the universal product code or the bar code and turn it into the EBC, the Electronic Bar Code. Their concept is that we would create, or the manufacturers and retailers of the world would create, an internet of things.
  • I was once going off to give a speech on RFID and I stopped and made an inventory of all the things I was wearing and carrying in their vision of the future, that would have an RFID tag. It was my shoes, the underwear, my stockings, my skirt, my purse, my briefcase, my notebook.
  • Proctor and Gamble came up with an idea we detailed in our book to equip your refrigerator to the coming smart grid with RFID readers. They describe that – we would know when the consumer drank the last Pepsi and as if by magic ads on their TV would appear for Coke. The idea is that they would monitor what you’re eating.
  • Monitor what you would run out of. There definitely are patents and plans, some of them creepier than others.
  • I actually worked closely with the Associated Press to release the information about the implantable Verichip, you can take this microchip antenna and encapsulate in glass, and inject it into people.
  • It’s the identical technology they put in to dogs and cats nowadays.
  • There is a company that keeps changing its name – Verichip / Applied Digital Solutions / Digital Angel
  • They are trying to market this product for use in human beings. We did a 6-month investigation that revealed that these implantable microchips were causing cancer.
  • We’ve got communities all around the country that have mandated the use of microchips in dogs. There have been a number of dogs that have died from the microchip causing a cancerous tumor.
  • Privacy is not an end. It’s a means. Privacy is a way of you maintaining control over your own information.
  • Don’t put anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want put up on a billboard in Times Square.
  • Where I get concerned is places where your privacy is invaded, that you don’t know what’s happening and you don’t have control over it.
  • That’s not Facebook, that’s getting in to Google.
  • When you log on to Google, you think you’re logging on to a search engine that’s a helpful tool that’s going answer a question that you have.
  • Google doesn’t view the search box as a helpful tool for you.
  • They’re not your Mom, they’re not your Dad, Google is a company that is in business to make money.
  • The reality is if they came at us with guns and tanks, and laws and regulations forcing us to do that, we’d all say heck no.
  • When Google gives us a little window that we type in what’s in our minds, we voluntarily do it and we thank them for it.
  • Google is a multi-billion dollar corporation. When is the last time a multi-billion dollar corporation gave you all of its products for free? The answer is never, because those aren’t products they’re bait. You are the product.
  • Every Gmail email that you receive is read and copied and keywords are placed into the profile from both the sender and the recipient of every email.  You’re not doing anything wrong but you certainly don’t want that information out there in a giant database.
  • If you’re using a Gmail account, if your client is using a Gmail account, if you are transmitting sensitive information, I believe you’re not only in violation of attorney-client privileges but potentially even violation of the law.
  • In exchange for free email service you are allowing them to copy everything that you send.
  • We recently ran across a DARPA proposal, a request for contractors to develop a system to inject microchips into the bloodstream of soldiers that would allow them to remotely monitor the physiological processes of the soldier.

Guest –  Dr. Katherine Albrecht, who along with Liz McIntyre authored Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your Every Move with RFID.