A Few Good Kids? | Mother Jones:
One interesting item here that is new to me is that the US has signed an international treaty that does not allow recruiting under the age of 18 without parental consent. and yet many of the ads and video games and other recruitment tools being used here are actually indoctrinating kids under 18. My Scholastic Science World magazines have full page recruiting ads and are being used by my 11 year old 6th graders. I have called Scholastic and complained and we have stopped ordering that magazine but it is read all over the country by literally millions of young kids.
"John Travers was striding purposefully into the Westfield mall in Wheaton, Maryland, for some back-to-school shopping before starting his junior year at Bowling Green State University. When I asked him whether he'd ever talked to a military recruiter, Travers, a 19-year-old African American with a buzz cut, a crisp white T-shirt, and a diamond stud in his left ear, smiled wryly. 'To get to lunch in my high school, you had to pass recruiters,' he said. 'It was overwhelming.' Then he added, 'I thought the recruiters had too much information about me. They called me, but I never gave them my phone number.'
Nor did he give the recruiters his email address, Social Security number, or details about his ethnicity, shopping habits, or college plans. Yet they probably knew all that, too. In the past few years, the military has mounted a virtual invasion into the lives of young Americans. Using data mining, stealth websites, career tests, and sophisticated marketing software, the Pentagon is harvesting and analyzing information on everything from high school students' GPAs and SAT scores to which video games they play. Before an Army recruiter even picks up the phone to call a prospect like Travers, the soldier may know more about the kid's habits than do his own parents."
"NCLB is just the tip of the data iceberg. In 2005, privacy advocates discovered that the Pentagon had spent the past two years quietly amassing records from Selective Service, state DMVs, and data brokers to create a database of tens of millions of young adults and teens, some as young as 15. The massive data-mining project is overseen by the Joint Advertising Market Research & Studies program, whose website has described the database, which now holds 34 million names, as "arguably the largest repository of 16-25-year-old youth data in the country." The JAMRS database is in turn run by Equifax, the credit reporting giant."
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