biometric surveillence

honestly you guys need to stop misapplying intersectional theory. since you base your ideas on identity politics you seem to think that each “identity” holds the same weight, but in reality our lives are determined by race, class, and gender (and also ability and nationality). but these things don’t have equal predictive effects on people’s lives. you guys seem to think that if a working-class person of color is also “neurotypical” and able-bodied and cishet that the count of “privileges” to “disprivileges” makes them “less oppressed” than a white person who is not-cis, not-straight, and not-neurotypical at the same time, but that’s absolutely not how oppression works. trying to quantify oppression “levels” means you’ve already lost. even then, we have to understand this through historical transformations and labor relations under capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy. 

wrt to the working-class cishet poc, their cishet status doesn’t really grant them grand material benefits at the end of the day. they’re still oppressed by the state and denied access to material goods. like, cathy cohen talked about this in her pivotal essay in which she criticized queer theory for this exact dichotomy (queer vs cishet) in her essay “punks, bulldaggers, and welfare queens”. 

whereas even if a white person is a woman and also lgbt, their race is a huge shield against certain forms of material violence that cishet men of color face despite being cishet or male. 

oppression is continuous and sustained and it’s determined by labor relations/class relations. if there is no class or race in your analysis then it is faulty. 

we have to analyze these things through a materialist lens. so for example, a white lgbt woman may be oppressed because she is denied access to material goods either because she’s a woman (so being denied employment bc she doesn’t wear makeup, for instance) or because she’s lgbt (so being denied housing, for instance). but is she susceptible to sustained poverty, or environmental/biological racism, or urban racism, or biometric surveillance, or state violence? probably not. class has to factor into this. 

a working class cishet poc who may appear neurotypical and able-bodied (i say appear bc it’s necessary to chart the physical and mental effects of poverty onto a person and that doesn’t become immediately apparent) is not less oppressed or more privileged because they have “three” or “four” privileges (cis, het, able-bodied, neurotypical). let’s say they live in flint, michigan. they are targeted by an onslaught of environmental racism that has trickled down into the very cells of their body. so in addition to living in abject poverty, which the state ignores and even exacerbates, the environmental racism that characterized the flint water crisis affects them physically and psychologically on a daily basis. this prevents them from working, from providing for their children, from saving and investing. they have low assets and disposable income. their income probably decreases because of outrageous healthcare costs and their difficulty working due to health problems. 

their supposed “neurotypical” status or their cishet status neither shield them from this violence nor gain them any benefits. on the contrary, a white lgbt woman living in a middle-class town may have “fewer” privileged identities (if you’re using the identity politics privilege chart) but her life isn’t impacted by environmental racism or police brutality or class violence, and so she can navigate her material reality with far greater ease. of course she can still be exposed to the violence of misogyny and homophobia, but that violence is quite unlikely to come from that working-class cishet poc in flint, michigan. 

we can an apply a similar analysis to the dakota access pipeline and how that is an example of the settler colonial state oppressing indigenous people. it doesn’t matter if the indigenous person in question is straight or not - their people are universally targeted by environmental racism and state violence. 

so when like you guys call cishet poc “heteronormative” or cishet moc “patriarchal” it makes no sense bc they aren’t oppressing you and if they are enacting homophobic or patriarchal violence it’s probably and primarily against women or LGBT people in THEIR community, not against white women or white LGBT people. 

sure they can be homophobic or misogynistic. but if we’re going to analyze something such as “straight” privilege or “male” privilege in their context, we’d have to compare it against lgbt poc and women of color, not against the lgbt community or women at large. and that’s when you see like cishet moc being privileged against lgbt woc. 

oppression is not a simplistic algebra equation. it’s not like “okay, i have three privileges, and you have four, so your privileges cancel out your oppression”. it’s a complicated, interconnected matrix, primarily determined by race and class (and gender).  

Minority Report Eye Scan On The Way

by Michael Keller

The eye is more than the window into the soul, it’s also the best identity card you can carry. A good photo of the colored part around the pupil called the iris contains so many unique features that researchers say it can tell who you are with an accuracy of about one in a billion people. Even the irises of identical twins are different because the finer points of its structure aren’t based on genetics alone.

These facts have made this single feature of the eye the subject of intense study in the world of biometric identification, which uses physical features like the face or palm and behavioral characteristics like how someone walks to figure out who a person is. And the technology is starting to be used around the world because iris scans can be done with a camera, require no contact with the subject and don’t carry the same stigma as being fingerprinted. For example, India’s Unique Identification Authority, a national government agency, is working to issue a national ID card that includes an iris scan to India’s 1.24 billion citizens in the next several years.

But projects like India’s and others happening around the world to identify individuals through their irises have at least one major limitation—subjects have to let their irises be photographed. Current technology needs to be close to the face and the lens has to be pointed almost straight at the eye.

That might be a slightly better situation for privacy advocates, but it’s just not good enough for biometrics researchers, companies and military and security officials. Several groups are working on what’s called long-range standoff iris recognition systems, which have to be neither close nor directly in front of the subject.  

Keep reading

Ted Cruz is a bigger threat than Donald Trump

While you were laughing at/worrying about Trump, a much worse man is gaining power.

On Google, I found many of his personal quotes which, after the nice icing of political words are removed, are actually quite disturbing. 

On immigration:

As President, I will stop illegal immigration, build a wall that works, triple border security, and put in place the surveillance and biometric tracking to secure the border. Border security is national security. We need to stop Obama’s amnesty and enforce the rule of law. And we need to reform legal immigration to protect American workers.

(This sounds a lot like Trump, except instead of JUST a wall, he wants expensive, fancy technology and keep them darn Mexicans out because they are terrorists who threaten social security and steal our jobs.)

On gun control:

The right to self-defense is an essential component of the liberty we enjoy as Americans and is embodied in the Second Amendment. From successfully protecting law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights at the Supreme Court, to defeating legislation that sought to take away this right, I have always championed the right to keep and bear arms.

(This sounds very republican. Keep reading.)

On foreign policy:

As Commander-in-Chief, I would adopt a foreign policy strategy that follows three principles; Restore leadership on the global stage, rather than withdrawing from it; Fiercely defend our allies and interests; Judge each challenge through the simple test of what is best for America, because what is best for America is best for the world.

(Yes, you heard that right. What’s best for America is best for the world.)

On healthcare: 

If I am elected President, I will repeal Obamacare and propose commonsense reform that makes health care personal, portable, and affordable. I will expand competition in the marketplace, empower consumers and patients to make healthcare decisions with their doctors, and disempower the government from getting in between doctors and their patients.

(Expand competition in the marketplace? In other words, health is a business?)

On law enforcement:

I’m proud to stand with law enforcement, to stand with the police and firefighters and first responders. They are American heroes. And they need a President who doesn’t vilify them and who doesn’t seek to tear us apart along racial lines and inflame racial divisions. Instead, we need a President who works to unify us behind shared American values.

(Yes, he did just defend the police by saying all the recent issues were not race based.)

On environment:

The federal government has imposed far too many regulations that stifle growth, and often protect special interests more than the environment. As president, I will end regulations such as the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule and foster economic growth by restoring authority to the states. I will end the backlog of maintenance of our national parks.

(In other words, the government should NOT help the environment.) 

On national security;

We need a Commander-in-Chief who will prioritize U.S. national security interests. That starts by calling the enemy - radical Islamic terrorism - by its name, defeating ISIS, rebuilding the military, and securing the border. Border security is national security. And on day one, I will rip to shreds the catastrophic Iran deal.

(I don’t believe this needs a caption.)

On energy: 

I will embrace an energy policy that utilizes the bountiful resources in this land - from oil to natural gas to ethanol - producing abundant and affordable gas and electricity resources. We are on the verge of an American energy renaissance, and I will lift the regulations that are prohibiting exploration, the Keystone pipeline, and job creation.

(He just said that non renewable resources are ABUNDANT and AFFORDABLE. We are on the verge of an ENERGY RENAISSANCE. THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE.)

On top of these, he is extremely homophobic and says only four states actually have to follow the supreme court ruling from last year. He wants to completely abolish abortion and destroy the IRS.

This man is disgusting. Spread this around.