Professor has nightmare vision of global positioning technology
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of WantToKnow.info/Kansas City Star (Leading newspaper of Kansas City)
Posted: December 23rd, 2006
Jerome Dobson is not joking. The University of Kansas research professor, a respected leader in the field of geographic information technologies [speculates about] "geoslavery" -- a form of technological human control that could make "George Orwell's `Big Brother' nightmare ... look amateurish." He's talking about overlords electronically punishing errant workers. He's talking about the possibility of people hooked to, tracked by, and potentially shocked or burned using inexpensive electronic bracelets, manacles or implants. Dobson worked for 26 years at Tennessee's Oak Ridge National Laboratory creating, for the government, the maps used in global tracking. He is the president of the American Geographical Society. And he is not alone in his thoughts. [In] the journal published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a paper titled "Geoslavery" is co-written by Dobson and Peter F. Fisher, British editor of the International Journal of Geographical Information Science. "Human tracking systems, currently sold commercially without restrictions, already empower those who would be masters. Safeguards have not yet evolved to protect those destined to be slaves," they wrote. With a laptop computer, employers can keep track of their drivers' every move. Implanted chips ... keep track of livestock or pets. Whereify Wireless Inc. sells its GPS Kids Locator for $400. The device, which also looks like a watch, can be locked to a child's wrist. Dobson said that ... none of the companies was thinking of anything nefarious. [Yet he] worries that where there is an evil will, there is an evil way. He hopes [to ] create debate and perhaps legislation or safeguards around the technology that will keep it from being misused.