Student - May 28, 2020

Blog: An Islamist interested in Netanyahu

The – hopefully – final period of my Bachelor’s is upon me, and I have eight weeks in which to concoct a thesis. I’m concocting one about biometric identification.

'Research something you don’t know much about, then at least you’ll learn something,’ was one of my teachers’ advice when I had to decide what to write my thesis about. I took that advice and ended up with a thesis on biometric identification. Which is certainly educational.

Wait, what is biometric identification, again? Well, you know the chip in a European passport? It contains biometric data with which you can be identified, like your fingerprint. With a comparison of the fingerprint with one stored centrally, we can be identified quickly and be across a border in no time. Criminals can be identified faster too, because there can be no quibbling about the authenticity of a fingerprint, apparently. All very efficient and safe, you might think, but we don’t feel that way about it because we live in a democratic state here and are not oppressed by our government. And a fingerprint could be used against you.

Control
In Israel and Palestine, which I’m doing a literature study on, not everyone has the same rights. An oppressed Palestinian with a particular political affiliation or a particular background is automatically seen as a security risk in the system, leading to restricted mobility and extra attention at army checkpoints. We are not talking here about a handful of exceptions: in 2006, nearly half the Palestinian population were registered as security risks. So a biometric database turns the ID card with a fingerprint into an instrument of control, and with the state of emergency Israel has had in place since 1948, such measures are easy to legitimize.

Corona crisis
What happens in a conflict zone such as Israel and Palestine seems a distant reality, and we can’t imagine power being used like that here. But in these coronavirus times we are actually in a real state of emergency, which has led to some tougher power play in many states. Since early May, for instance, Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro no longer count as democratic states, according to the democracy watchdog Freedom House. I wouldn’t entertain critical thoughts about President Orban of Hungary if my identity could be revealed through my fingerprint, especially if Facebook and Google already have it, as is often the case.

Personality
Another convenience is being able to unlock your mobile phone with your fingerprint. But we don’t stop to think about the fact that this links your online activities to your body. Those advertisements you see on Facebook are especially for you, because your surfing behaviour is monitored. Take a look under ad preferences on Facebook and you’ll find a complete analysis of your personality waiting for you. According to Facebook, my top interests are: Islamism and the Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu.

An Islamist interested in Netanyahu? Sorry, Facebook, you haven’t got my number yet. But the techniques to do so already exist. We had better be aware of that before our democracy slides down the slippery slope as well.'

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  • Grapjes

    En ik bel de politie natuurlijk niet!. het was een grapjes.

  • Wietse

    Wacht maar even met bellen:

    Een aanhanger van islamisme wordt islamist genoemd. Deze term moet volgens het AP stijlboek niet worden gezien als synoniem voor een militante, radicale of terroristische islamiet.

    (https://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/04/ap-stylebook-revises-islamist-use-160943)

    • Grapjes

      islamisme leidt tot terroristische islamist. Ik woon in een land vol met islamists.
      islamisme is een terroristische ideologie. islamisme is tegen vrouwenrechten en mensenrechten en vrijheid.

    • Grapjes

      Niet alle islamisten zijn terroristen, maar degenen die dat jarenlang zijn, zijn waarschijnlijk terroristen. Islamisten met een nog zuiver hart zullen het islamisme opgeven.

    • Grapjes

      En ik bel de politie natuurlijk niet!. het was een grapjes.

  • Jacques

    Facebook, hoe achterhaald.

  • Poes Minoes

    Een islamist? Ik bel de politie.

  • Frans Wagenaar

    Een islamist? Ik bel de politie.

  • Koert

    Een islamist? Ik bel de politie.

  • Grapjes

    Een islamist? Ik bel de politie.

  • Witze

    Een islamist? Ik bel de politie.


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