Canadian City Wants To Solve Crime Problem By Using Tracking Technology That Doesn't Exist

from the selling-fear,-buying-pipe-dreams dept

Williams Lake, British Columbia apparently has a bit of a crime problem. According to CTV News, it consistently ranks towards the top end of the violent crime charts for communities of its size. Early last week, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police released a video of a man pulling a gun on a Williams Lake resident and stealing his bike.

The city council has now sprung into action. It has a solution — one that has received unanimous support from council members. It’s a dystopian sci-fi solution with the emphasis on the “fi” part.

Williams Lake city council voted unanimously on Tuesday on a proposal to inject high-risk offenders with a GPS tracking device.

“Whether they’re walking downtown, whether they’re having a bath, whether they’re having dinner, we don’t care. We want to know where they are and what they’re doing,” Williams Lake Coun. Scott Nelson, who introduced the motion, told CTV Vancouver.

The use of monitoring devices to track the movement of “high-risk” criminals is nothing new. Here in the US, ankle bracelets are used to track parolees and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals — somewhat in opposition of a 2015 Supreme Court ruling — declared that lifetime monitoring of sex offenders is perfectly constitutional.

Canada’s constitutional requirements may be bit different, but there’s nothing particularly unusual about monitoring the movements of recently-released felons. Lifetime monitoring may be asking a bit much, but the underlying concept is not new.

The problem with the Williams Lake Solution is that what the council wants it can’t actually have… at least not at this point.

Despite Nelson and the rest of the Williams Lake council’s hopes, the proposed technology doesn’t appear to exist.

Radio frequency implants, a type of microchips, have been implanted in pets but they only contain data, not the ability to provide a tracking ability.

Biohackers have recently been able to install microchips in humans, roughly the size of two grains of rice, but they only contain personal identification details.

The B.C. government says it’s unaware of the technology desperately wanted by city officials.

So, never mind the constitutional questions. This tracking simply can’t be done, at least not in the manner city officials unanimously believe it can. But fearful times call for fearful measures, as council member Scott Nelson so aptly — and somewhat ironically — explains:

“Prolific offenders are in every community across British Columbia, and the biggest problem we’ve got in Williams Lake is that they’re putting fear into people,” Nelson said.

Someone’s definitely “putting fear into people” and I don’t think it’s just the criminals. Wanting to know where a person is at all times on the off chance that they might commit a crime is no way to solve this problem. There are numerous other approaches that should be explored before the city starts injecting tracking devices into people using guidelines developed by the same people who unanimously voted to utilize technology that doesn’t exist.

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Comments on “Canadian City Wants To Solve Crime Problem By Using Tracking Technology That Doesn't Exist”

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37 Comments
That One Guysays:

"A good citizen is an obedient citizen, and only criminals object to being tracked. Remember, this is for your safety."

Ignoring for the moment the idea that a plan like this means that once convicted always punished, say they get what they want, they can now track ‘at risk’ criminals in real-time… then what? Do they assign a cop to tail them any time they leave the house? Prohibit them from entering certain areas of the town?

At most a chipped person is recorded as being in the general vicinity of a crime that occurs, which might help to narrow down the list of suspects some, but provides no definitive evidence that they were responsible, which means a plan like this does absolutely nothing to prevent crime, it just makes it slightly easier to solve it in a best case scenario.

And all that for the low price of completely stripping someone of privacy and tracking them 24/7(something which I’m sure would have no negative psychological impact whatsoever), what a steal huh?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: "A good citizen is an obedient citizen, and only criminals object to being tracked. Remember, this is for your safety."

And the criminal will inevitably feel persecuted and with less freedom and fewer opportunities based on this tracking, they will feel they have less to lose and make more desperate decisions that won’t be good for them or for society. When you treat people like they’re always going to do wrong, they’re going to eventually embrace doing wrong as the only option. If you’re gonna do the time, you might as well get something out of doing the crime anyway.

TasMotsays:

Oh COME ON. Their criminals. Just cut them open and grant the tracker to a bone with a long term battery and let them start broadcasting their location. Just think, as a side benefit all of the electro-sensitives will have to leave town because of all the criminals walking around broadcasting their locations. IT’S A HUGE WIN-WIN………

Roger Strongsays:

Re: Re: Are you sure we are talking about Canada?

Dems only say that in crack-fueled NRA fantasies.

Here in reality, making guns harder to get merely reduces gun crime. Just compare similar Canadian and US cities. Washington, D.C. consistently has a murder rate over ten times that of Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, despite roughly the same population.

“Handguns are available for self protection in Seattle, but not in nearby Vancouver, Canada; handgun killings are five times more common and the handgun suicide rate is ten times greater in Seattle. Guns make impulsive killing easy.”
– Carl Sagan, Demon Haunted World

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Are you sure we are talking about Canada?

I would think that if a country doesn’t have guns then crimes rates would be higher in other areas. For example:
Higher crimes against the elderly?
Higher crimes with a knife or blunt object?
Higher home invasion crimes?
I am not sure if it would be possible to look at Washington D.C. and Ottawa and compare overall crime.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Are you sure we are talking about Canada?

It is nearly impossible to compare one culture to another. America doesn’t have a gun problem, it has a culture problem. Guns are inanimate objects. Making something hard to get does not prevent it. Just look at Prohibition and drugs in the US. Both only drove the substances underground, neither prevented their use or spread. In fact, drugs are about as easy to get as a pair of tennis shoes. Guns would be the same except everyone will be less safe because now the entire country will be a “gun free zone” and not just our schools.

Roger Strongsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Are you sure we are talking about Canada?

It is nearly impossible to compare one culture to another

That argument might work for Ottawa vs. Washington, but I don’t buy it for Vancouver vs. Seattle. And yet…

“Handguns are available for self protection in Seattle, but not in nearby Vancouver, Canada; handgun killings are five times more common and the handgun suicide rate is ten times greater in Seattle. Guns make impulsive killing easy.”
– Carl Sagan, Demon Haunted World

> Guns are inanimate objects. Making something hard to get does not prevent it. Just look at Prohibition and drugs in the US. Both only drove the substances underground,

In this case making something (guns) harder to get does indeed prevent it. See Carl Sagan’s quote above is just one of example – one that’s still valid when you look at both countries as a whole. And it gives a good explanation why.

And no, handgun killings and suicide haven’t been “driven underground.”

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Are you sure we are talking about Canada?

So Carl Sagan is a gun control expert? LOL.

Comparing gun suicides is ludicrous. So if they didn’t have access to guns they wouldn’t commit suicide? People will commit suicide if they want to regardless of the method.

Not sure what you mean by the statement that handgun killings haven’t been driven underground. Nobody said anything about that. What they did say was that gun sales would go underground like alcohol and drugs.

ClementCsays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Are you sure we are talking about Canada?

Factually incorrect, but people tend to believe what they want to believe about guns regardless of the evidence.

http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/sites/actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/files/Reducing%20a%20Suicidal%20Persons%20Access%20to%20Lethal.pdf

Reductions in access to quick and effective means of suicide are very strongly correlated to reductions in suicide rates. The causal connection is also clear: most suicides are impulsive, and the urge can last only a few minutes. One second with a loaded gun is long enough to commit suicide.

The more difficult and time consuming it is to commit suicide by a given method, the more likely it is that the urge will pass and the person will decide not to kill themselves.

Gun advocates have no way to counter the fact that gun ownership increases suicide except to ignore the evidence that the correlations exist in multiple cultures and multiple suicide methods, to ignore the evidence that suicidal impulses are usually momentary, and to ignore the fact that it is much, much, much easier and quicker for someone to kill themselves with a gun than by virtually any other common method.

Only by blinding oneself to facts and to logic is it possible to believe that ready access to guns does not lead to substantial numbers of people committing suicide who otherwise would not have.

Certainly, some people can and do commit suicide by other methods. That does not justify the common yet false belief that all of them would. Ideology is not knowledge, and belief is not understanding.

The Second Amendment makes private firearm ownership legal. It does not now, nor has it ever made private firearm ownership sensible.

ijuinsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Are you sure we are talking about Canada?

The problem is not the guns, but the attitude of treating them as a “golden hammer”. If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail, and if the only weapon you have is a lethal one, then everybody looks like they need killin’.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Are you sure we are talking about Canada?

Canada doesn’t have a gun and violent crime problem — Williams Lake does. It was also an area where hitchikers would mysteriously disappear. It’s a community of 10,000 people, but has some fairly militant native reservations around it. Violence in that area predates the existence of Canada — it was formed to stabilize the area during the Yukon gold rush.

Most of the violent crimes in the area tend to be due to repeat offenders who are prone to substance abuse. Hence the tracking idea — the town has grown too large for people to track known dangerous people by word of mouth.

sorrykbsays:

Alternatively, Williams Lake city council could work more on planning and support for community services, education, and employment opportunities.

But, sadly, chances are this tracking technology — despite the fact that it doesn’t exist — would be easier to implement. And council will then be able to say that they did something.

Ninjasays:

Oh but the smart heads at Silicon Valley surely can produce a Magic Golden Tracker ™ if they think hard about them, right? Just like they are perfectly able to develop the Golden Key (tem) that only the good guys can use to catch criminals. Guaranteed to work the intended way due to high purity pixie powder magically bound to the key magical elvish metal alloy. And leprechauns (because if we are gonna toss magical devices in the mix why not add leprechauns?).

sorrykbsays:

Re: Re: How about a wall?

Wouldn’t it be easier to just build a wall around the city, put armed guards on the wall, prevent anyone from leaving, and call it it a day?

I realize you’re joking, but I suspect that a fair percentage of the crimes in Williams Lake are committed by people who already feel trapped there.

Anonymoussays:

No Worries. The FBI and DOJ will use the All Writs Act to force Apple to invent such a device, because…terrorism…and our border protection.

However, soon after Apple “invents” this, a thicket of patent troll will start filing suit against Apple and Canada, in East Texas.
The patent’s they will use will describe the following method:

“A system to track a person by doing something, with a computer.”

And the trolls will win, resulting in more constitutional protections for the US people.

Udomsays:

Tracking

The chip idea is absurd, of course. But this is about more than technology and is certainly aimed at the Native bands that live in the area. Natives there as elsewhere in Canada have been targetted for violence and abuse by both citizens and the criminal justice system for over a hundred years. Their situation mirrors that of Blacks in various parts of the US.

oiaohmsays:

This tech does part exist at least enough to 90 percent implement it.

How to implement what the Canadian City has requested.

1) inject subject with bluetooth implant that gives one time keys.
2) bind bluetooth implant to phone device. If bluetooth implant gets too far from phone device the phone device either 1 does not report in or raises alarm.

The phone device of course contains the GPS unit. GPS units are power hungry so not suitable for human embedded.

Issue police with high power bluetooth scanners. Embedded device attempting to connect to phone or connecting to phone will be detectable at max of 5kms line of sight.

Yes bluetooth scanners could be placed around critical areas.

People with medical implants already with bluetooth really don’t understand how track-able they are.

Wifi and bluetooth can both be used for triangulation.

Its a lot simpler to find a person when you only have to get inside 1 km and find a signal.

Also due to the fact that bluetooth implants can basically use complete body as aerial so shield to hide is shield complete body.

To get better the most evil this is take a standard off the shelf bluetooth enabled pace maker and modify slightly. Now if it goes out of range of it reporting device or reporting device does not get back approval signal. Pace maker could massive restrict heart rate even possible kill.

So the question is not if they can embedded something into a human forcing human to report their current GPS location the question is should they be allowed to. Yes pace maker forces reporting GPS location by external device or you don’t live with no option to run because you will not be sent the signal to keep you heart going if you run.

Most people are not aware that a lot of pace makers use for medical reasons bind to phones so if there is a issue they can report the person current GPS location so medical attention can head there. What I am suggest here is altering existing used tech for a different task. Its not going back to the drawing board and developing from scratch. So what I have describe you could possible implant in someone in about 6 months time after reworking the software. Zero new hardware would have to be made.

Comparing gun suicides is ludicrous. So if they didn’t have access to guns they wouldn’t commit suicide? People will commit suicide if they want to regardless of the method.
There is a factor here out of all suicide methods gun is the most likely to be effective first time. Now if a person fails there attempt at suicide this normally leads to medical intervention. The question is not if the person will attempt to commit suicide but how successful they will be at the attempt. Lower the success rate lower the death rate will be from suicide.

Guns with suicide also have another horible fact. Out of most of the suicide methods people choose Guns is the most likely for anyone disturbing suicide attempt to be harmed. Yes person attempting to commit suicide by gun and accidentally shoots the person who disturbs them.

Hang, Down, Overdoes, Stab self mostly self contained harm. That fairly much rounds out the top 5 methods people kill self only one is a ranged item being a gun. Maybe some education on risks to third parties by chosen suicide method would reduce gun usage in suicide. How many people committing suicide want to risk harming other people?

oiaohmsays:

Re: Re: Re: This tech does part exist at least enough to 90 percent implement it.

Does the tech exist enough to un-implement it, though?
Pace makers due to placement in body are designed to be medically removable at later date. But not all medical implants are in that camp. Of course you could use a bluetooth drug release pump instead of a pace maker as well. Medically induced coma if you don’t report in. So there is more than 1 exist medical device that could be re-purposed to force reporting. All this existing in use medical blue-tooth enabled stuff is designed to be able to be removed and replaced.

The problem is the next generation medical stuff.

Latest generation neural implement experiments.
http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/health/article/2016/02/09/brain-power-could-restore-mobility-paralysis-patients
These are not removable and possibly usable to disrupt motor control sections of brain but this would be using experimental tech. And worst of all powered by chemicals in the implanted person blood stream so will not go flat until person dies. Yes this item is bluetooth enabled.

We need to have the debate now if it acceptable and when it acceptable because the means to tag someone for life is just around the conner. Yes the USA mil is also look at neural implement tech for a brain modem not only to get data out of brain to put data into brain.

Yes what is becoming possible is getting very scary.

ClementCsays:

Re: Re: This tech does part exist at least enough to 90 percent implement it.

Harlan Ellison’s classic ??Repent, Harlequin!? Said the Ticktockman? describes the very society of which you speak. Everyone has a ?cardioplate? installed in their bodies. The authoritarian government, personified by the Ticktockman, can stop anyone?s heart at the press of a button, no matter where they are. The story begins with a relevant quote.

There are always those who ask, what is it all about? For those who need to ask, for those who need points sharply made, who need to know ?where it?s at,? this: ?The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailors, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purposes as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the Devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.?

Henry David Thoreau, ?Civil Disobedience?

AC720says:

DOA

This idea is DOA. Criminals assigned to ankle-trackers have repeatedly demonstrated great skill in defeating, evading and otherwise getting out of the tracker and back into whatever sort of crime they wish. And often the people paid to monitor those trackers don’t even notice.

SO even if a rice-grain injectable device existed, we can assume that crafty criminals would likewise find ways of removing the tracker and going about things as they wish.

Injected things are easy to remove with a knife. Surgical implants might be harder but no cheapass police agency is going to pay for surgeons to work on this.

It DOES remind me of a sci-fi story I read years ago, and I cannot remember the name or author and I cannot find the damn book. But the premise involved a couple human astronauts who ended up in prison on an alien planet for some sort of contraband charge. Stuff in the ship medkit was illegal or something. Anyway these alien prison critters would inject a device into their inmates. It caused some sort of change to the blood which was harmless until or unless the inmate tried to remove the thing, at which point their blood would instantly crystallize and kill them. Or something like that.

I wish I’d actually read that book. All I remember is reading the first chapter or so.

oiaohmsays:

Re: Re: DOA

http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/health/article/2016/02/09/brain-power-could-restore-mobility-paralysis-patients

Ok this tech is not instantly crystallize. But embedded in brain is kinda not removable. Also not hard to extend to create blood malfunction in brain with any attempt to remove or any other nasty brain effects.

Cost of brain implants due to method is going to be quite low and very not removable. Paying a surgeon to put a brain implant in is less than 1 months keeping person in jail.
no cheapass police agency is going to pay for surgeons to work on this.
I would put this in the camp of wishful thinking. When cheapass police agency can release person sooner because they have more solid tracing so saving them over all money they will pay surgeon to-do hopefully.

Current medical tech you are looking at about 3 months jail time to match the cost of surgeon implanting them. Still possible cost saving if it works.

Something to remember people getting lethal injection on USA death row is done by some under-trained person. So nothing to say they will not do the same with brain inplants and not care about the few extra deaths.

http://healthland.time.com/2013/12/22/erasing-painful-memories-with-shock-treatment/

Scary part is shock treatment has been showing to prevent memory create. So mil could attempt to use this to prevent post traumatic stress by the person not ever being able to remember what they did.

Brain inplants are technically injectable device just with a guide cable to correct placement. Once in place they expand and lock to the vein wall and once locked there is no unlocking them.

Yes to get them out will require surgical skill massive. Putting them in is just guide them to correct place and say expand. Not much more complex of a process done for death row now by mostly untrained. Yes placing the existing in use medical implants require true skill and anything else is too removable.

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