Privacy News Stories
Excerpts of Key Privacy News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important privacy news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up.
Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link should fail to function, click here
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This comprehensive list of privacy news stories is usually updated once a week
. For an index to revealing excerpts of news stories on several dozen engaging topics, click here
Judges OK warrantless monitoring of Web use
2007-07-07, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2007-07-11 11:37:16
Federal agents do not need a search warrant to monitor a suspect's computer use and determine the e-mail addresses and Web pages the suspect is contacting, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. In a drug case from San Diego County, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco likened computer surveillance to the "pen register" devices that officers use to pinpoint the phone numbers a suspect dials, without listening to the phone calls themselves. In Friday's ruling, the court said computer users should know that they lose privacy protections with e-mail and Web site addresses when they are communicated to the company whose equipment carries the messages. The search is no more intrusive than officers' examination of a list of phone numbers or the outside of a mailed package, neither of which requires a warrant, Judge Raymond Fisher said in the 3-0 ruling. Defense lawyer Michael Crowley disagreed. His client, Dennis Alba, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted of operating a laboratory in Escondido that manufactured the drug ecstasy. Some of the evidence against Alba came from agents' tracking of his computer use. The court upheld his conviction and sentence. Expert evidence in Alba's case showed that the Web addresses obtained by federal agents included page numbers that allowed the agents to determine what someone read online, Crowley said. The ruling "further erodes our privacy," the attorney said. "The great political marketplace of ideas is the Internet, and the government has unbridled access to it."
Note: So now every email you send and read can be monitored legally. Why didn't this make news headlines?
FBI Finds It Frequently Overstepped in Collecting Data
2007-06-14, Washington Post
Posted: 2007-06-23 06:47:16
An internal FBI audit has found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years, far more than was documented in a Justice Department report in March that ignited bipartisan congressional criticism. The new audit covers just 10 percent of the bureau's national security investigations since 2002. The vast majority of the new violations were instances in which telephone companies and Internet providers gave agents phone and e-mail records the agents did not request and were not authorized to collect. The agents retained the information anyway in their files. Two dozen of the newly-discovered violations involved agents' requests for information that U.S. law did not allow them to have. The results confirmed what ... critics feared, namely that many agents did not ... follow the required legal procedures and paperwork requirements when collecting personal information with one of the most sensitive and powerful intelligence-gathering tools of the post-Sept. 11 era -- the National Security Letter, or NSL. Such letters are uniformly secret and amount to nonnegotiable demands for personal information -- demands that are not reviewed in advance by a judge. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress substantially eased the rules for issuing NSLs, [leading] to an explosive growth in the use of the letters. More than 19,000 such letters were issued in 2005 seeking 47,000 pieces of information, mostly from telecommunications companies.
Doctors, Legislators Resist Drugmakers' Prying Eyes
2007-05-22, Washington Post
Posted: 2007-06-02 07:23:58
Pediatrician Rupin Thakkar's first inkling that the pharmaceutical industry was peering over his shoulder ... came in a letter from a drug representative about the generic drops Thakkar prescribes to treat infectious pinkeye. In the letter, the salesperson wrote that Thakkar was causing his patients to miss more days of school than they would if he put them on Vigamox, a more expensive brand-name medicine made by Alcon Laboratories. "My initial thought was 'How does she know what I'm prescribing?' " Thakkar said. "It feels intrusive ... I just feel strongly that medical encounters need to be private." He is not alone. Many doctors object to drugmakers' common practice of contracting with data-mining companies to track exactly which medicines physicians prescribe and in what quantities -- information marketers and salespeople use to fine-tune their efforts. The concerns are not merely about privacy. Proponents say using such detailed data for drug marketing serves mainly to influence physicians to prescribe more expensive medicines, not necessarily to provide the best treatment. "We don't like the practice, and we want it to stop," said Jean Silver-Isenstadt, executive director of the National Physicians Alliance. (Thakkar is on the group's board of directors.) "We think it's a contaminant to the doctor-patient relationship, and it's driving up costs." The American Medical Association makes millions of dollars each year by helping data-mining companies link prescribing data to individual physicians. It does so by licensing access to the AMA Physician Masterfile, a database containing names, birth dates, educational background, specialties and addresses for more than 800,000 doctors.
Note: For more reliable, verifiable information about major corruption in the drug industry, click here.
A third 'will refuse ID checks'
2007-04-04, BBC News
Posted: 2007-04-12 22:56:22
One in three people are expected not to cooperate with identity card checks, Home Office papers from 2004 suggest. The working assumptions were revealed in the documents published by the Department for Work and Pensions under the Freedom of Information laws. They show that the assumption was that the cards, due to be introduced on a voluntary basis from 2008, would become compulsory to own - though not carry - in 2014. Lib Dem MP Mark Oaten had asked for the information to be made public when he was the party's home affairs spokesman in 2004. The department had resisted his request, which came under the Freedom of Information Act. But the department was ordered to release the data by the Information Commissioner - a decision which was subsequently backed by the Information Tribunal.
Note: Why do you think the government was so keen on keeping this information secret? For more, click here.
Man with tuberculosis jailed for not wearing mask
2007-04-03, CNN/Associated Press
Posted: 2007-04-04 14:46:16
Behind the county hospital's tall cinderblock walls, a 27-year-old tuberculosis patient ... sits in a jail cell equipped with a ventilation system that keeps germs from escaping. Robert Daniels has been locked up indefinitely, perhaps for the rest of his life, since last July. But he has not been charged with a crime. Instead, he suffers from an extensively drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis. It is considered virtually untreatable. County health authorities obtained a court order to lock him up as a danger to the public because ... he did not heed doctors' instructions to wear a mask in public. "I'm being treated worse than an inmate," Daniels said. "I'm all alone. Four walls. Even the door to my room has been locked. I haven't seen my reflection in months." He said sheriff's deputies will not let him take a shower -- he cleans himself with wet wipes -- and have taken away his television, radio, personal phone and computer. His only visitors are masked medical staff members who come in to give him his medication. Though Daniels' confinement is extremely rare, health experts say it is a situation that U.S. public health officials may have to confront more and more because of the spread of drug-resistant TB and the emergence of diseases such as SARS and avian flu.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. What possible reason is there for taking away this man's TV, radio, cell phone, and computer? Are we being prepared for mass quarantines and imprisonment due to disease? For more, click here.
Police Log Confirms FBI Role In Arrests
2007-04-03, Washington Post
Posted: 2007-04-04 14:42:37
A secret FBI intelligence unit helped detain a group of war protesters in a downtown Washington parking garage in April 2002 and interrogated some of them on videotape about their political and religious beliefs. [Washington] D.C. police said authorities only recently found the logs of police responses to that day's events. That discovery came after three years of police assurances in federal court that no such records or logs existed showing the FBI's role. The FBI and D.C. police said they had no records of such an incident. And police told a federal court that no FBI agents were present when officers arrested more than 20 protesters that afternoon for trespassing; police viewed them as suspicious for milling around the parking garage entrance. Similar intelligence-gathering operations have been reported in New York, where a local police intelligence unit tried to infiltrate groups planning to protest at the Republican National Convention in 2004, and in Colorado, where records surfaced showing that the FBI collected names and license plates of people protesting timber industry practices at a 2002 industry convention.
My National Security Letter Gag Order
2007-03-23, Washington Post
Posted: 2007-04-04 14:24:04
The Justice Department's inspector general revealed on March 9 that the FBI has been systematically abusing one of the most controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act: the expanded power to issue "national security letters." It no doubt surprised most Americans to learn that between 2003 and 2005 the FBI issued more than 140,000 specific demands under this provision. It did not, however, come as any surprise to me. Three years ago, I received a national security letter (NSL) in my capacity as the president of a small Internet access and consulting business. The letter ordered me to provide sensitive information about one of my clients. There was no indication that a judge had reviewed or approved the letter, and it turned out that none had. The letter came with a gag provision that prohibited me from telling anyone, including my client, that the FBI was seeking this information. Based on the context of the demand -- a context that the FBI still won't let me discuss publicly -- I suspected that the FBI was abusing its power. Living under the gag order has been stressful and surreal. Under the threat of criminal prosecution, I must hide all aspects of my involvement in the case -- including the mere fact that I received an NSL -- from my colleagues, my family and my friends. When I meet with my attorneys I cannot tell my girlfriend where I am going or where I have been. I hide any papers related to the case in a place where she will not look. When clients and friends ask me whether I am the one challenging the constitutionality of the NSL statute, I have no choice but to look them in the eye and lie. At some point -- a point we passed long ago -- the secrecy itself becomes a threat to our democracy.
[N.Y.] City Police Spied Broadly Before G.O.P. Convention
2007-03-25, New York Times
Posted: 2007-03-28 12:51:05
For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention, teams of undercover New York City police officers traveled to cities across the country, Canada and Europe to conduct covert observations of people who planned to protest at the convention, according to police records and interviews. From Albuquerque to Montreal, San Francisco to Miami, undercover New York police officers attended meetings of political groups, posing as sympathizers or fellow activists. They made friends, shared meals, swapped e-mail messages and then filed daily reports with the department’s Intelligence Division. In hundreds of reports stamped “N.Y.P.D. Secret,” the Intelligence Division chronicled the views and plans of people who had no apparent intention of breaking the law. These included members of street theater companies, church groups and antiwar organizations. Three New York City elected officials were cited in the reports. In at least some cases, intelligence on what appeared to be lawful activity was shared with police departments in other cities. In addition to sharing information with other police departments, New York undercover officers were active themselves in at least 15 places outside New York — including California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montreal, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. — and in Europe. To date, as the boundaries of the department’s expanded powers continue to be debated, police officials have provided only glimpses of its intelligence-gathering.
Whistle-blower Had to Fight NSA, LA Times to Tell Story
2007-03-06, ABC News
Posted: 2007-03-10 23:30:57
Whistle-blower AT&T technician Mark Klein says his effort to reveal alleged government surveillance of domestic Internet traffic was blocked not only by U.S. intelligence officials but also by the top editors of the Los Angeles Times. Klein describes how he stumbled across "secret NSA rooms" being installed at an AT&T switching center in San Francisco and later heard of similar rooms in at least six other cities. Eventually, Klein says he decided to take his documents to the Los Angeles Times, to blow the whistle on what he calls "an illegal and Orwellian project." But after working for two months with LA Times reporter Joe Menn, Klein says he was told the story had been killed at the request of then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and then-director of the NSA Gen. Michael Hayden. Klein says he then took his AT&T documents to The New York Times, which published its exclusive account last April. In the court case against AT&T, Negroponte formally invoked the "state secrets privilege," claiming the lawsuit and the information from Klein and others could "cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States." The Los Angeles Times' decision was made by the paper's editor at the time, Dean Baquet, now the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times. As the new Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, Baquet now oversees the reporters who have broken most of the major stories involving the government surveillance program, often over objections from the government.
Note: So after the NY Times has the guts to report this important story, the man who was responsible for the censorship at the LA Times is transferred to the very position in the NY Times where he can now block future stories there. For why this case of blatant media censorship isn't making headlines, click here.
Going to Canada? Check your past
2007-02-23, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2007-03-02 14:16:50
Welcome to the new world of border security. Unsuspecting Americans are turning up at the Canadian border expecting clear sailing, only to find that their past -- sometimes their distant past -- is suddenly an issue. There was a time not long ago when a trip across the border from the United States to Canada was accomplished with a wink and a wave of a driver's license. Those days are over. Take the case of 55-year-old Lake Tahoe resident Greg Felsch. Stopped at the border in Vancouver this month at the start of a planned five-day ski trip, he was sent back to the United States because of a DUI conviction seven years ago. Not that he had any idea what was going on when he was told at customs: "Your next stop is immigration." Felsch was ushered into a room. "There must have been 75 people in line," he says. "We were there for three hours. One woman was in tears. A guy was sent back for having a medical marijuana card. I felt like a felon with an ankle bracelet." Or ask the well-to-do East Bay couple who flew to British Columbia this month for an eight-day ski vacation at the famed Whistler Chateau, where rooms run to $500 a night. They'd made the trip many times, but were surprised at the border to be told that the husband would have to report to "secondary" immigration. There, in a room he estimates was filled with 60 other concerned travelers, he was told he was "a person who was inadmissible to Canada." The problem? A conviction for marijuana possession ... in 1975. This is just the beginning. Soon other nations will be able to look into your past when you want to travel there.
An Orwellian solution to kids skipping school
2007-02-20, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2007-02-22 23:14:49
Let's say your teenager is a habitual truant and there is nothing you can do about it. A Washington area politician thinks he might have the solution: Fit the child with a Global Positioning System chip, then have police track him down. "It allows them to get caught easier," said Maryland Delegate Doyle Niemann (D-Prince George's), who recently co-sponsored legislation in the House that would use electronic surveillance as part of a broader truancy reduction plan. "It's going to be done unobtrusively. The chips are tiny and can be put into a hospital ID band or a necklace." Niemann's legislation mirrors a bill sponsored by state Sen. Gwendolyn Britt (D-Prince George's). Both would provide truants and their parents with better access to social services, such as mental health evaluations and help with schoolwork. Electronic monitoring would be a last resort. Still, the prospect of tagging children and using them in some "catch and release" hunt by police casts a pall over everything that's good about the plan. Odd how billions and billions of dollars keep going to a war that almost nobody wants, but there's never enough to fund the educational programs that nearly everybody says are needed. Aimed solely at students in Prince George's — the only predominantly black county in the Washington area — the truancy effort is called a "pilot program," a first-of-its-kind experiment. It would cost $400,000 to keep track of about 660 students a year.
Note: For more reliable information on the push to microchip the entire population, click here.
Gonzales says the Constitution doesn't guarantee habeas corpus
2007-01-24, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2007-01-31 18:15:35
One of the Bush administration's most far-reaching assertions of government power was revealed quietly last week when Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified that habeas corpus -- the right to go to federal court and challenge one's imprisonment -- is not protected by the Constitution. "The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas," Gonzales told Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Jan. 17. Gonzales acknowledged that the Constitution declares "habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless ... in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." But he insisted that "there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution." Specter was incredulous, asking how the Constitution could bar the suspension of a right that didn't exist -- a right, he noted, that was first recognized in medieval England as a shield against the king's power to dispatch troublesome subjects to royal dungeons. Later in the hearing, Gonzales described habeas corpus as "one of our most cherished rights'' and noted that Congress had protected that right in the 1789 law that established the federal court system. But he never budged from his position on the absence of constitutional protection -- a position that seemingly would leave Congress free to reduce habeas corpus rights or repeal them altogether.
Passports go electronic with new microchip
2004-12-09, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2007-01-05 21:22:32
The US passport is about to go electronic, with a tiny microchip embedded in its cover. The chip is the latest outpost in the battle to outwit tamperers. But it's also one that worries privacy advocates. The RFID (radio frequency identification) chip in each passport will contain the same personal data as now appear on the inside pages - name, date of birth, place of birth, issuing office - and a digitized version of the photo. But the 64K chip will be read remotely. And there's the rub. The scenario, privacy advocates say, could be as simple as you standing in line with your passport as someone walks by innocuously carrying a briefcase. Inside that case, a microchip reader could be skimming data from your passport to be used for identity theft. Or maybe authorities or terrorists want to see who's gathered in a crowd and surreptitiously survey your ID and track you. Why not choose a contact chip, where there would be no possibility of skimming, asks Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Project. "There was another way to go, which was to put an electronic strip in the passport that would require contact." The State Department says it's just following international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), under the umbrella of the United Nations. The ICAO specified the RFID ... at the behest of the United States. All countries that are part of the US visa-waiver program must use the new passports by Oct. 26, 2005. Mr. Steinhardt ... says the US pushed through the standards against the reservations of the Europeans. "Bush says at the G8 meeting, 'We have to adhere to the global standard,' as though we had nothing to do with it," he says in exasperation.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. For more on the risk of RFID chips, click here.
Journalist in legal battle with military
2007-01-05, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2007-01-05 18:55:35
The questions from the civilian spokesman at Fort Lewis started sounding suspicious to Sarah Olson. He had called to ask the Oakland freelance journalist about the accuracy of quotes in her story about Lt. Ehren Watada, which had appeared on the liberal Web site Truthout.org. As the telephone conversation progressed, Olson realized that the military was using her to fortify its case against Watada, whom it was prosecuting as the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. While Watada faces a court-martial next month for conduct unbecoming an officer, the U.S. military pursues Olson. Last month, military prosecutors subpoenaed the 31-year-old writer and radio journalist, asking her to appear at his court-martial, scheduled to begin next month, to verify what Watada said. If Olson doesn't testify, she faces six months in jail or a $500 fine and a felony charge for a story she was paid $300 to write. Olson doesn't want to be part of a legal action that she believes limits someone's free speech. She came to journalism six years ago ... hoping to create more places for dissenting or seldom-heard voices, not fewer. "Journalists should not be asked to participate in the prosecution of political speech," Olson said. [She] isn't being asked to reveal unpublished work. "What I don't understand is why they (prosecutors) can't get this information digitally," said Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice. Olson doesn't have a problem with journalists testifying in court. She doesn't want journalists to be coerced to testify in cases that could limit free speech.
Note: Truthout.org is one of the main sources of our information. Interesting that one of their reporters should be targeted in this way. For stories by 20 award-winning journalists on how the media is controlled, click here.
Bush Claims Right to Open Mail
2007-01-04, Washington Post
Posted: 2007-01-05 18:51:53
The New York Daily News today reports on a signing statement President Bush quietly issued two weeks ago, in which he asserts his right to open mail without a warrant. Signing statements have historically been used by presidents mostly to explain how they intend to enforce the laws passed by Congress; Bush has used them to quietly assert his right to ignore those laws. The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a 'signing statement' that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions. That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act ... explicitly reinforced protections of first-class mail from searches without a court's approval. Here is the signing statement in question. Here is information on the bill in question. Are these signing statements just a bunch of ideological bluster from overenthusiastic White House lawyers -- or are they actually emboldening administration officials to flout the laws passed by Congress? If the latter, Bush's unprecedented use of these statements constitutes a genuine Constitutional crisis.
Professor Feels Himself Become Closer to the Machine
1998-09-23, ABC News
Posted: 2006-12-31 14:52:44
When Kevin Warwick enters his office building on the campus of Reading University, strange things happen. As Warwick heads down the main hall, lights turn on. When he turns to the right, an office door unbolts and opens. Each step is clocked and recorded. The building knows who he is, where he is, and what he expects to happen. The building [even] says, “Hello Professor Warwick.” The structure knows Warwick because of the electrical fuse-sized “smart card” implanted in his left arm. In Britain, he’s been dubbed “The Cyborg Man,” the first person known to have a microchip implanted in his body for communication with outside machines. Warwick predicts chip implants will one day replace time cards, criminal tracking devices, even credit cards. Capable of carrying huge amounts of data, they may, he says, one day be used to identify individuals by Social Security numbers, blood type, even their banking information. No one knows yet how the body will respond to this type of invasion. Warwick is not blind to the ethical questions of this technology. Implants ostensibly designed to clock workers in and out might be misused to monitor where people are at all times and who they are meeting. Governments could move to use implants instead of I.D. cards and passports, but what would stop them from using this new science to invade privacy? “I feel mentally different. When I am in the building I feel much more closely connected with the computer.
Note: Those who would like to control the public named these implants "smart cards" to encourage us to accept them. For more reliable information on important topic, click here and here.
Scientists Find Ways to Make Us Slaves
2004-10-17, WantToKnow.info/London Times
Posted: 2006-12-31 14:11:30
Scientists have discovered a way of manipulating a gene that turns animals into drones that do not become bored with repetitive tasks. The experiments, conducted on monkeys, are the first to demonstrate that animal behaviour can be permanently changed, turning the subjects from aggressive to "compliant" creatures. The genes are identical in humans and although the discovery could help to treat depression and other types of mental illness, it will raise images of the Epsilon caste from Aldous Huxley's futuristic novel Brave New World. The experiments... involved blocking the effect of a gene called D2 in a particular part of the brain. This cut off the link between the rhesus monkeys' motivation and reward. Instead of speeding up with the approach of a deadline or the prospect of a "treat," the monkeys in the experiment could be made to work just as enthusiastically for long periods. The scientists say the identical technique would apply to humans. [They] found that they could make the monkeys work their hardest and fastest all the time, without any complaint or sign of slacking, just by manipulating D2 so that they forgot about the expectation of reward. Methods of manipulating human physical and psychological traits are just around the corner, and the technology will emerge first as a lucrative add-on available from in vitro fertilization clinics. "There's no doubt we will be able to influence behaviour," said Julian Savulescu, a professor of ethics at Oxford University.
Note: For lots more reliable information on how human behavior is already being manipulated, click here.
Technology gets under clubbers' skin
2004-06-09, CNN News
Posted: 2006-12-27 15:19:11
Queuing to get into one nightclub in Spain could soon be a thing of the past for regular customers thanks to a tiny computer chip implanted under their skin. The technology, known as a VeriChip, also means nightclubbers can leave their cash and cards at home and buy drinks using a scanner. The bill can then be paid later. Clubbers who want to join the scheme at Baja Beach Club in Barcelona pay 125 euros (about US $150) for the VeriChip -- about the size of a grain of rice -- to be implanted in their body. Then when they pass through a scanner the chip is activated and it emits a signal containing the individual's number, which is then transmitted to a secure data storage site. The club's director, Conrad Chase, said he began using the VeriChip, made by Applied Digital Solutions, in March 2004 because he needed something similar to a VIP card and wanted to provide his customers with better service. He said 10 of the club's regular customers, including himself, have been implanted with the chip, and predicted more would follow. "I know many people who want to be implanted," said Chase. "Almost everybody now has a piercing, tattoos or silicone. Why not get the chip and be original?" Chase said VeriChip could also boost security by speeding up checks at airports, for example. He denied the scheme had any drawbacks. The VeriChip is an in-house debit card and contains no personal information.
Note: Why is the media so upbeat about this? The article raises very few questions, yet seems to promote microchip implants in humans as the wave of the future for commerce.
A Real Chip On Your Shoulder
2003-07-17, CBS News/Associated Press
Posted: 2006-12-27 15:10:56
A U.S. company launched Thursday in Mexico the sale of microchips that can be implanted under a person's skin and used to confirm everything from health history to identity. The microchips ... went on sale last year in the United States. The microchip, the size of a grain of rice, is implanted in the arm or hip and can contain information on everything from a person's blood type to their name. In a two-hour presentation, Palm Beach, Florida-based Applied Digital Solutions Inc. introduced reporters to the VeriChip and used a syringe-like device and local anesthetic to implant a sample in the right arm of employee Carlos Altamirano. “It doesn't hurt at all,” he said. “The whole process is just painless.” Antonio Aceves, the director of the Mexican company charged with distributing the chip here, said that in the first year of sales, the company hoped to implant chips in 10,000 people and ensure that at least 70 percent of all hospitals had the technology to read the devices. One chip costs $150 and has a $50 annual fee. Users can update and manage their chips' information by calling a 24-hour customer service line. The VeriChip can track subjects who are within 5 miles, but officials want to develop a new chip that can use satellite technology to track people who are farther away and may have been kidnapped. While the idea of using the chip to track people has raised privacy concerns in the United States, the idea has been popular with Mexicans. The company hopes to have the new anti-kidnapping chip developed by 2003.
Military enforces 'Semper Fido' with microchips
2002-08-15, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2006-12-23 17:08:23
Abandoned pets are a growing part of the military culture. Dogs and cats are dropped off in remote corners of the post at a rate of more than 20 a week. But the US Armed Forces are fighting back. Adopting a Big Brother approach, the military is implanting microchips in cats and dogs that live on government land – as much for animal control as for owner control. Says Fort Polk, La., Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky L. Jones of the soldier who abandons a pet, "with the chip you can't hide." Fort Polk has used the chip to track down soldiers who have abandoned their pets and forced them to pay an adoption fee. "It's a way to control our stray animal population and protect our working force, too," says Capt. Steven Baty, a veterinarian at Fort Carson, Colo., where microchipping has been mandatory since 1998. The tiny chips, the size of a grain of rice, are injected under the skin on an animal's neck and contain a bar code that can be scanned and read by humane societies and veterinary clinics nationwide. The procedure costs about $15, takes two to three seconds, and is no more painful than a typical vaccination. Microchip enforcement varies by base. At Fort Polk, La., animal controllers are part of a weekly housing patrol, joining inspectors who check to make sure lawns are cut and that soldiers aren't violating housing regulations. The animal controller carries a portable scanner and runs the wand over dogs and cats, looking for numbers to light up the small screen. If the pets don't have a microchip, soldiers are warned, and if they don't comply, their animals are taken away.
Note: The Monitor removed this article from their website. To see a copy of it on the Internet archive, click here.