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Your papers please

The little Internet cafe in Rome from which I’m writing this wouldn’t let me go online until I produced my passport, which they then dutifully photocopied. Chilling effect? You betcha.

Get used to it. This is what the digital ID totalitarians want for us. (Note: If you don’t want this type of ID control, then you are ipso facto not a digital ID totalitarian.)

PS: They have also rearranged the keyboard to confuse the enemy. I’ve been copying and pasting angle brackets, not to mention giving a three finger salute to type a @. Damn foreigners!

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5 Responses to “Your papers please”

  1. That happens all over Europe, randomly but pretty consistently, in my experience. I think it’s just something small business owners do, as best I have been able to figure out in case their customer who is a tourist stiffs them .. then they’ll have something to use to have their police contact our / your embassy or consulate. I honetly don’t think it’s more nefarious than that.

    Then again, a number (or most .. don’t have facts at my fingertips) of the western European countries treat passports as national identity cards, and many Europeans carry those with them as a matter of course.

    But I’m probably wrong and these European countries implemented the TIA long before the USA thought of it.

    Notwithstanding Italy’s past, David .. as you are walking around over there, what signs that it is a fascist country / administration do you see (other than the fact that Berlusconi is PM and owns a lot of media power there) ?

  2. welcome to Italy!

  3. it’s become mandatory to give your ID card or passport at Internet cafes in Italy. It’s an anti-terrorist measure (how useful, you judge).

    Jon, this is – officially, at least – not a Fascist country anymore. You guys came and liberated us (for real, unlinke in Iraq) some 60 years ago.

  4. And here we are worrying about identity collection, and yet even this blog invites people to sign in with a TypeKey identity.

    Identity is a problem for the lesser known insurrectionists, not so much for the better known ones. In fact, the latter probably want the local stasi to be particularly aware of precisely which cyber-celebrity is blogging about their glorious state in a particular cybercafe. One wants to help enlightened states avoid embarrassment.

    Demanding identity actually fosters terrorism. It reduces the ability (if not authenticity) of those who wish to communciate with their fellow man. So, instead of enabling the release of tension by permitting dissent to be voiced, it is repressed until it builds up and is expressed more violently.

    If a state wishes terrorists to communicate less violently, if anything it must increase the ability of the general populace to speak without fear of arbitrary, indefinite incarceration.

    If liberty, free speech, and a fair trial are luxuries that suspected terrorists do not deserve, what happens when the state suspects everyone to be a terrorist?

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