Deal 713: Disguised

Phone booths used to be a thing. People with shady business to conduct could stop at random phone booths around town and use a pay phone as if they had a temporary number. Most would even ring if dialed, so they could receive calls for a time as well. (Phone booths also provided the needed smidge of privacy to Superman, but that is another story.) They were not as convenient as a burner implant hack is today, if only because they were about as non portable as it was possible to make them.

Progress happens, of course. While phone booths went out of style before universal surveillance became possible, the fact that the number was temporary but the position was not did provide the needed clue to link criminal intent to action from time to time. The well-lit phone booth was also something of a lure for passerby on a dark night. Later, bank access points called “ATM Machines” also became such a lure. In both cases, it was always possible for the criminal element to use these well-lit lures much like a lantern fish does in the deeps. The bank access points were more useful for that purpose, of course, because their purpose was to distribute unmarked and effectively untraceable currency, which itself was like a juicy meal for the criminal lying in wait.

Today, we have perfect identification from implanted assistive technology, beginning shortly after birth. This provides the means for immediate contact with any authorised other people or services without visible action. It also provides for nearly complete loss of privacy in our selection of friends, associates, and interests. Identification is nearly perfect between implants, even between strangers in chance meetings in dark alleys.

This has produced a strong market need for identity disguises. Officially, all but a few bits of identity can be withheld in public from most passerby. Enforcement gets more unmasked bits without asking, and can ask for additional without cause, and complete identity with cause. Unofficially, there are those who would prefer to go unrecognized, even to Enforcement. This has, we believe, always been so. And we also believe it will always be so.

True anonymity is criminal.

Only criminals are anonymous.

Do you have something to hide?