Category Archives: Protest

4 mile tracking RFID to be piloted on children in US school distict

The RFID Journal reports that a company in California, Iotera, is developing a 900MHz RFID tag that has a 4 mile range and that “a school district will use it to track students arriving on campus or traveling to and from school“.  Rather than just being able to track students on campus this new geographical tracking takes tagging children one step further.
Iotera child case study
Iotera have visions of smart cities with the Internet of Things (IoT) long-range “sensors to increase safety and efficiency” – in this company’s eyes this involves tagging humans.

The figures on how dangerous it is for children attending school are unknown but it seems that participating in the activity of schooling is relatively safe otherwise why would governments insist children attend school and parents willingly send them?  There is inherent risk in all activities humans do and carrying RFID chips, emitting frequencies that have unquantifiable health effects and “smart”ing cities up, bathing us all in electrosmog does not sound any safer than the situation we have now – where children are free of RFID tags.

With the possible risk to health of carrying emitting RFID and the added risk of other people tracking RFID tags that children carry, by hacking into their RFID emitting signal, the “increase safety” that Iotera claim is disputable.

But yet again we see the next generation via school being conditioned to use technology and be advised it is for their safety/convenience and learn that it is perfecting acceptable for others to track their whereabouts.  Apart from the risks mentioned above associated with carrying RFID technology, a recent article by Slyck NewsStudent Monitoring by Schools, is it Really Necessary or Far Too Controlling?” addresses the glaring privacy issues that surveilling the next generation raises.

With companies gearing up for the Internet of Things another company DecaWave also are preparing themselves with ultra wideband (UWB) RFID chips to monitor humans, stating that “children and infirm adults will be monitored for their safety and security“.  Their website goes on to say:  “And in the future, DecaWave’s chip will be incorporated into cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices not yet thought of, to interact with our surroundings in ways not yet imagined.”

Many will embrace this ubiquitous living as convenient but as our privacy quickly becomes eroded so does the erosion of any form of freedom to protest against corrupt systems.  Do we have a right to refuse to use or would our anomalous behaviour flag us up non compliant citizens?

RFID Protest, San Antonio, USA

Texas, USA – From We Are Change San Anotonio featuring a couple more students who have decided to reject John Jay High School’s RFID system.

Steven Loredo, is the student who wrote a newpaper article for the school magazine about Andrea Hernandez and was suspended for a few days to trying to publish his story. Here he goes into more detail of how the school treated him.

These students should be applauded for having their own points of view and being brave enough to voice them – not prejudiced against for refusing to comply with the school’s RFID system.

The school’s behaviour sets a dangerous precident of discrimination.

‘You can’t be writing about that’

A video by We Are Change (WAC) Texas Hill Country protesting about John Jay High School’s use of RFID real-time tracking students and expulsion of Andrea Hernandez.

Yet another defiant move by the school to quash dissention about the RFID scheme saw another student suspended for 3 days for attempting to publish an article about John Jay High School’s RFID tracking scheme.

Wise words spoken by WAC at the end of the clip:
“This is a civil rights, a privacy, a religious, a health issue.  It must not be ignored.  You really need to do the research on the health effects and the unconstitutionally of this.
We know that this is a fight and a fight we must fight now.”     (Video link broken)

School refuses students request

A recent Federal Court ruling sided with a Texan school, John Jay High School, Northside 01-18-2013_Hernandez_Letter from Rutherford Institure1Independent School District, in that it was acceptable to discriminate – to the point of expulsion – a student, Andrea Hernadez, for refusing comply with the RFID programme the schools runs.

This image to the right is a letter Andrea wrote yesterday to her school – which speaks volumes. (From the Rutherford Institution’s website.)

From the Rutherford InstituteOn January 18th ‘in a phone call delivered near the end of the day before a long holiday weekend, school officials at John Jay High School informed Andrea Hernandez that they would not be granting her request to stay at the magnet school.

In coming to Andrea’s defense, Rutherford Institute attorneys alleged that the school’s attempts to penalize, discriminate and retaliate against Andrea violate her rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.’

It is difficult to believe that in this day and age, with the knowledge of what discrimination can potentially do in our society, that the school district have pursued this course of action.  It is clear to me that the school district’s priority does not lie in the care of education, or respect for the teaching the children in it’s community but in budgets and stamping their authority to a point of overriding children’s and families religious beliefs.

Andrea with her family and supporters I think here have exposed that there is a desperate need for an open and honest discussion of issues on the use of RFID in schools.

(The ‘Position Paper on the Use of RFID in Schools ‘ August 21, 2012 details issues surrounding RFID in schools)

Judge rules that religious beliefs not enough to refuse to be part of RFID system

In Texas a 15-year-old student, Andrea Hernandez, refused to wear a trackable RFID tag and then refused to wear a pretend RFID tag that Northside Independent School District offered her.  The school district then insisted Hernandez wear this pretend tag or face suspension.   (You almost couldn’t make it up).  So Andrea took the school district to court.

Religious rights?However a federal judge’s 25 page ruling on violation of her rights to religious freedom in that wearing the pretend RFID would amount to showing support for the programme, stated “The accommodation offered by the [school] district is not only reasonable it removes plaintiff’s religious objection from legal scrutiny all together,” U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia wrote.

Northside Independant School District’s insistance for Andrea to wear pretend RFID is presumably to give the impression to students and parents that no one dissents.  There is no room for objection.  It is good to be tagged and tracked.  Look!  Everyone is wearing a RFID tag – life must be good, right?

Why the school’s dogged insistence?  Does the school district have such little regard for their students religious beliefs and privacy that they are willing to sell out for a few budget dollars?

What exactly is the price do you put on the next generations beliefs and privacy? 1 million dollars, 5 million dollars?

Surely respect and tolerance for peaceful religious, spiritual beliefs and a right to be private is priceless to a decent society and a basic respect we should pay to each other as human to human, especially adult to child?

Andrea plans to appeal so this is not the last we will hear of this.

Judge rules against school on RFID tracking case

Student Wins Tracking ID Case reports Frontpagemag.com

Sanity, thankfully, has prevailed in the case of Andrea Hernandez who has been incredibly brave standing up to the school’s absolute instance that she wears RFID chip or pretends to and that she stops protesting or she gets expelled. This plucky teenager said no!

This from the Rutherford Institute who took Andrea Hernandez’s case to court:  “A court has temporarily blocked The Northside Independent School District from suspending high school sophomore, Andrea Hernandez, for her noncompliance with a neck badge that monitors student movement throughout the campus via a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) chip.

A federal court judge ruled that John Jay High School principal Robert Harris’s actions were a violation of Hernandez’s rights to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. Hernandez will also receive compensation, the amount of which will be determined during a trial, according to court documents.”

After enduring threats from the school district:
 “As we discussed, there will be consequences for refusal to wear an ID card as we begin to move forward with full implementation.”  Andrea and her family have done really well in this instance, with privacy groups and alternative media highlighting her situation and  drawing attention to this heavyhanded approach from the school and school district.

A surprising aspect of this case was that the school and the school district were so unwavering in their insistence that Andrea wore RFID.  Insistence which seemingly will involve the school paying compensation to Andrea for their discrimination and disregard for civil liberties.

The question has to be asked, just what was the school and school district trying to achieve here because this dogged insistence did not seem solely about attendance figures and financial gain.  Was the school that desperate to throw away civil liberties for cash?  Just what, exactly, are we teaching our kids?

Andrea is a shining example of a human spirit standing up for what she believes is right and this has been a very valuable lesson for all students.  Children have most probably learnt more from this brave individual than any teacher could have taught them in school about civil liberties.

‘Anonymous’ takes down Texan RFID-tracking school

This from the Register – http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/27/annymous_takes_down_northside_independent_school_district_as_revenge_for_rfid_tracking/

“Activist group Anonymous, or persons using its insignia and name, claim to have taken down the website of the US schools that have made it compulsory for students to wear RFID tags.”