Kyodo: GOJ proposes GPS tracking of criminals. SITYS.


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Hi Blog. Regarding those dismissive of my Japan Times article last week, describing how IC Chips in the proposed new Gaijin Cards could be used for remote tracking and targeting of NJ, as “tinfoil-hat alarmism” etc.:

Can’t help it, but I’ll say it:

See, I told you so.

I posted this on Facebook last night, and got people saying GPS and RFID are two separate technologies, so it doesn’t matter.  Those who wish to discuss that here, go ahead.  My point remains that the political will is there to bell the cat, er, the criminal.  And given the GOJ’s propensity to treat all foreigners regardless of status as criminals (as opposed to immigrants), and to give the police free reign to rein in crime, to me  it’s only a matter of time before fitting the transponders leads to tracking them, by whatever means necessary.

Read on and comment.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo


GPS studied as tool to track ex-convicts

Kyodo News/Japan Times Sunday, May 24, 2009, Courtesy of Mark M-T
The Justice Ministry will begin research on how other countries employ satellite-based global positioning systems to locate people released from prison and to see if the systems work at discouraging repeat offenders.

Officials said they will not set the development of a similar system for Japan as the goal of the research, but said the move is likely to spark criticism among those who believe such surveillance violates human rights.

Countries including the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Canada already use GPS-based monitoring systems to track some former prisoners, and the ministry is planning to learn by the end of fiscal 2010, or March 31, 2011, why they did so, the purpose of their use, who is being targeted, what devices are used, and how the systems operate.

Some countries use GPS to prevent sex offenders visiting specific locations, while others use the technology to ease overcrowding in prisons by releasing offenders tagged with the devices.

The use of GPS was included as an item for study in an action plan finalized at a meeting of Cabinet ministers concerning crime prevention in December.


3 comments on “Kyodo: GOJ proposes GPS tracking of criminals. SITYS.

  • If you want an idea of how sensitive the RFID issue is and how little information is being released by people who know anything about it, all you have to do is take a look at this clip about what happened when Mythbusters tried to do a report on RFID and its vulnerabilities and tracking abilities. This clip is chilling in its implications.

    — Let’s not beat around the bush. According to this clip, when the credit card companies learned that Mythbusters was about to do a show on RFID, they leaned on the Discovery Channel (the sponsors of MB) to quash the show. Advertising dollars and all that. There is something that the issuers of RFID don’t want to be made public. Probably vulnerability. As your link in your next post makes clear.

  • Also, RFID-chipped cards can be hacked and decrypted with materials worth a little over $8 US. See this clip from boingboingtv to learn just how simple an RFID chip can be hacked. All you have to do with the material is get close enough to someone’s wallet and all the information from the RFID is yours.

  • Your point doesn’t still stand, because RFID can only be detected from extremely short distances, which means that RFID *can’t* be used for global positioning, unless you are required to swipe your gaijin card through a machine (or wave it over a sensor) every 20 feet. There is an immense technical difference. It’s akin to saying “shoes cushion shock, and car bumpers cushion shock, so it’s only a matter of time before shoes have big chrome bumpers”.

    What, I gather, you are advancing is the idea that a new card would be issued to replace the upcoming new card, which in addition to (or instead of) an RFID chip would also have a GPS unit. However, GPS units require considerable power, so it wouldn’t be a card, it would be a little unit, like a tiny watch or beeper. And I think there’s an important psychological block, which would make that seem unreasonable enough that it wouldn’t happen. Authorities can easily hand-wave over “it’s just a little card, it’s not an imposition”, or “you don’t even have to carry anything, it’s just your fingerprints”, but “you have to carry, and maintain charged (including bringing a generator if you go camping or there is a power outage) a GPS unit at all times” is something that would tip the balance in favor of folks in power admitting that it’s just plain unreasonable.


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