16th August 2007

Landlords As Government Enforcers?

posted in City Government |

So, today I ran across an interesting article onGeorge Orwell's 1984 Digg.com about how in one Chinese city the government will be installing some 20,000 cameras on the streets linked by a computer system programmed to recognize faces of “police suspects” and all supplied by a US company, no less. From the article:

Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number.

Ok Wait! The landlord’s phone number will be encoded in the data chip!? Is it just me or does anyone else think that this is just 1984 scary? Why does the landlord have to be involved?

But this is China you say. Not the good old US of A.

Oh Really? Well what about all the illegal immigration talk going on in the US right now. Like in this article recently in USA Today:

…So Barletta proposed a law that fines landlords for renting to illegal immigrants and punishes employers for hiring them. The City Council passed the measure, and Barletta signed it into law last month. To implement it, Barletta wants to require renters to go to City Hall and obtain a permit assuring landlords that they are in the USA legally. That would require a background check with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Ok, so now the landlords have to do the dirty work of the Department of Homeland InSecurity and its minions? What in the hell people?!

Pretty soon they’ll have to change the words in the national anthem to:

…And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave
(if you have a chip in your arm and check out with our database.)

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