Nebula Award winning author of The Speed of Dark and other science Fiction novels, Elizabeth Moon was recently on a BBC radio program where she discussed the merits of “barcoding” infants at birth.

“If I were empress of the Universe I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached – a barcode if you will; an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals.

It would be imprinted on everyone at birth. Point the scanner at someone and there it is.

Having such a unique barcode would have many advantages. In war soldiers could easily differentiate legitimate targets in a population from non combatants.

This could prevent mistakes in identity, mistakes that result in the deaths of innocent bystanders. Weapons systems would record the code of the use, identifying how fired which shot and leading to more accountability in the field.

Anonymity would be impossible as would mistaken identity making it easier to place responsibility accurately, not only in war but also in non-combat situations far from the war.”

I shudder at the thought of the Eric Holder or Janet Napolitano having this sort of technology at their hands… or any government entity, regardless of party association, having that power.

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”