“Saudi Arabia has started forming special security units to protect the kingdom’s oil infrastructure from terrorist attacks, Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz said Sunday,” according to wire service reports. In unrelated news, oil prices were up 2.2% last month with Brent crude reaching a ten-month high of US$71.60. The failed car-bombings in London and a decline in US gasoline inventories – which would increase demand for crude oil – were cited as the main drivers for the increase.
Speaking of those car-bombings, how long will it be before you have to have valid papers, or electronic permission, to drive a car in the business district of major cities like London, New York or Sydney? We’ve been moving to permission-based traffic under the guise of urban congestion and greenhouse gasses. Now you can add a third element to the mix that will contribute to restricted access to city centres.
Car bombings have not become a daily fact of life in Western cities. And we dearly hope they won’t. But in order to prevent that from happening, it probably means a huge increase in the amount of identity management that takes place in open societies. The first-generation of identity management has been largely confined to the tracking of goods and services for the purposes of better inventory management.
Wal-Mart, among others, pioneered just-in-time inventory management, with the use of radio frequency identification tags (RFID). This logistical triumph, along with low-cost labour in China, is why Western shoppers enjoy every day low prices on consumer goods. But is inventory management about to morph into population management?
Our guess is that it’s only a matter of time. The only way to really prevent the kind of suicide car bombings that we see in the Middle East is to “lock-down” city centres, effectively turning them into high-security business prisons. This means strict control of the people and vehicles that enter. This will be accomplished through permission-based identity management, in which cars, people and goods, are tagged, tracked and detained when necessary.
Doesn’t exactly sound like an open society, does it?
Markets and Money
Will increased identity management decrease the risk of a terrorist attack? Leave a comment below.