Microchip Implants Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Microchip Implants Media Articles in Major Media
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Radio frequency identification — the same technology used to monitor cattle — is tracking students in the Spring and Santa Fe school districts. Identification badges for some students in both school districts now include tracking devices that allow campus administrators to keep tabs on students' whereabouts on campus. Some parents and privacy advocates question whether the technology could have unintended consequences. The tags remind them of George Orwell's Big Brother, and they worry that hackers could figure a way to track students after they leave school. Identity theft and stalking could become serious concerns, some said. "There [are] real questions about the security risks involved with these gadgets," said Dotty Griffith, public education director for the ACLU of Texas. "Readers can skim information. To the best of my knowledge, these things are not foolproof. We constantly see cases where people are skimming, hacking and stealing identities from sophisticated systems." The American Civil Liberties Union fought the use of this technology in 2005 - when a rural elementary school in California was thought to be the first in the U.S. to introduce the badges. The program was dismantled because of parental concern.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on the risks to liberty and privacy posed by RFID technologies, click here.
A Berkshire family say they are devastated at being forced to leave their pet dog in France after his pet passport microchip failed. Matt Roberts and his family returned to Arborfield, near Reading, without their dog Indy because the technology had stopped working. Indy has undergone surgery costing Ł1,000 to remove the chip. It could take up to six months for him to be issued with a new pet passport. Mr Roberts had just finished a two week holiday in the south of France with his wife Dorota and six-month-old daughter Harriet when he tried to return to the UK via Dunkirk. However, when the dogs tried to re-enter the country the scanners could not read Indy's microchip. The family had spent spent Ł400 on pet passports for his two Shih Tzu dogs, Indy and Buzz. Indy will remain in kennels in France unless the manufacturer can confirm that the chip they have removed from him matches the documentation on the pet passport. However, vets have said that the chip has corrupted and will be difficult to read. Mr Roberts may have to apply for a new pet passport for Indy or put the dog into quarantine. He said he was reluctant to do this, and was already spending Ł15 a night to keep his dog in kennels. A Defra spokesman said: "Around 100 pets a year have a failed or missing microchip on arrival to the UK. "In the majority of cases the microchip number can be removed and identified or read by the manufacturer, and the pet eventually allowed to enter."
University of Reading researcher Mark Gasson has become the first human known to be infected by a computer virus. The virus, infecting a chip implanted in Gasson's hand, passed into a laboratory computer. From there, the infection could have spread into other computer chips found in building access cards. All this was intentional, in an experiment to see how simple radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips like those used for tracking animals can host and spread technological diseases. The research from the British university shows that as implantable bionic devices such as pacemakers get more sophisticated in the years ahead, their security and the safety of the patients whose lives depend on them will become increasingly important, said Gasson. "We should start to think of these devices as miniature computers," Gasson said. And just like everyday computers, they can get sick. "I don’t think for us that (infectious technological agents) would be a particularly new concept, but implants in our bodies will make it a lot more real," Gasson told TechNewsDaily. "A denial-of-service attack on a pacemaker, if such a thing were possible, would of course be very detrimental."
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the dangers of microchip implant technologies, click here.
Researchers at the University of Florida have combined RFID, microchips and printed nano-particle antennas to make pills that communicate with cell phones or laptops to tell doctors whether patients are taking their medicine. Still a prototype, the inventors hope their tattletale technology can be applied commercially to a range of medications in clinical trials and in treatment of patients with chronic diseases in which it is essential that the doses are taken and taken on time. The pill is a white capsule with a microchip embedded and with an antenna printed on the outside with ink containing silver nanoparticles. A device worn by the patient energizes the microchip via bursts of low-voltage electricity. The chip signal confirms the pill is in the stomach and the device sends a signal that the pill has been swallowed. The messages can go to cell phones or laptops to inform doctors or family members.
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All dogs are to be compulsorily microchipped so that their owners can be more easily traced under a crackdown on dangerous dogs. Under the scheme a microchip the size of a grain of rice is injected under the skin of the dog between its shoulder blades. The chip contains a unique code number, the dog's name, age, breed and health as well as the owner's name, address and phone number. When the chip is "read" by a handheld scanner the code number is revealed and the details can be checked on a national database. The measures will be set out by the home secretary, Alan Johnson, who will point to rising public concern that "status dogs" are being used by some irresponsible owners to intimidate communities or as a weapon by gangs. If the scheme were made compulsory owners would face a fine for failing to microchip their dogs.
Note: Once all dogs are required to be microchipped, what will come next? To be informed of some disturbing plans to microchip all of us, click here. For lots more on microchipping from reliable sources, click here.
Climbing into his Volvo, outfitted with a Matrics antenna and a Motorola reader he'd bought on eBay for $190, Chris Paget cruised the streets of San Francisco with this objective: To read the identity cards of strangers, wirelessly, without ever leaving his car. It took him 20 minutes to strike hacker's gold. Zipping past Fisherman's Wharf, his scanner detected, then downloaded to his laptop, the unique serial numbers of two pedestrians' electronic U.S. passport cards embedded with radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags. Within an hour, he'd "skimmed" the identifiers of four more of the new, microchipped PASS cards from a distance of 20 feet. Paget's February experiment demonstrated something privacy advocates had feared for years: That RFID, coupled with other technologies, could make people trackable without their knowledge or consent. He filmed his drive-by heist, and soon his video went viral on the Web, intensifying a debate over a push by government, federal and state, to put tracking technologies in identity documents and over their potential to erode privacy. With advances in tracking technologies coming at an ever-faster rate, critics say, it won't be long before governments could be able to identify and track anyone in real time, 24-7, from a cafe in Paris to the shores of California. The key to getting such a system to work, these opponents say, is making sure everyone carries an RFID tag linked to a biometric data file. On June 1, it became mandatory for Americans entering the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean to present identity documents embedded with RFID tags, though conventional passports remain valid until they expire.
Note: For lots more on corporate and government surveillance, click here.
Gov. Matt Blunt signed a bill ... prohibiting companies in Missouri from forcing workers to have microchips implanted in their bodies. You read that right. In Missouri, it’s now illegal for businesses to require employees to have a microchip embedded under their skin. “When you’re forced to have a chip put in you as a condition of employment, that’s taking away your civil liberties and your freedom,” said Rep. Jim Guest, a King City Republican. Guest added the microchip language to a bill concerning overtime and disability benefits. Next year, he said, he will introduce a bill to prohibit all microchip implants in humans. Only a few hundred people nationwide have been voluntarily implanted with the devices, and mandated microchips are virtually unheard of in Missouri or anywhere else. But three other states already prohibit mandatory implants. Guest ... said it’s crucial to ban the technology before it gains any traction. “We want a law on the books so we can stop a major problem before it starts,” he said. Privacy advocates and others worry that widespread use of such chips could allow individuals to be tracked or monitored without their knowledge and create identity theft issues. The chips, which use radio frequency identification [RFID] technology, are about the size of a grain of rice and are usually implanted in the upper arm. Guest and others have raised health concerns as well, citing studies that link implanted chips with cancerous tumors in laboratory animals.
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Here's a vision of the not-so-distant future: Microchips with antennas will be embedded in virtually everything you buy, wear, drive and read, allowing retailers and law enforcement to track consumer items -- and, by extension, consumers -- wherever they go, from a distance. A seamless, global network of electronic "sniffers" will scan radio tags in myriad public settings, identifying people and their tastes instantly so that customized ads, "live spam," may be beamed at them. In "Smart Homes," sensors built into walls, floors and appliances will inventory possessions, record eating habits, monitor medicine cabinets -- all the while, silently reporting data to marketers eager for a peek into the occupants' private lives. Science fiction? In truth, much of the radio frequency identification [RFID] technology that enables objects and people to be tagged and tracked wirelessly already exists -- and new and potentially intrusive uses of it are being patented, perfected and deployed. Some of the world's largest corporations are vested in the success of RFID technology, which couples highly miniaturized computers with radio antennas to broadcast information about sales and buyers to company databases. Already, microchips are turning up in some computer printers, car keys and tires, on shampoo bottles and department store clothing tags. They're also in library books and "contactless" payment cards. With tags in so many objects, relaying information to databases that can be linked to credit and bank cards, almost no aspect of life may soon be safe from the prying eyes of corporations and governments, says Mark Rasch, former head of the computer-crime unit of the U.S. Justice Department.
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When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access patients' medical records almost instantly. The FDA found "reasonable assurance" the device was safe, and a sub-agency even called it one of 2005's top "innovative technologies." But neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this: A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats. "The transponders were the cause of the tumors," said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining ... the findings of a 1996 study he led at the Dow Chemical Co. Leading cancer specialists reviewed the research for The Associated Press and ... said the findings troubled them. Some said they would not allow family members to receive implants, and all urged further research before the glass-encased transponders are widely implanted in people. To date, about 2,000 of the so-called radio frequency identification, or RFID, devices have been implanted in humans worldwide. Did the agency know of the tumor findings before approving the chip implants? The FDA declined repeated AP requests to specify what studies it reviewed. The FDA is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, which, at the time of VeriChip's approval, was headed by Tommy Thompson. Two weeks after the device's approval took effect on Jan. 10, 2005, Thompson left his Cabinet post, and within five months was a board member of VeriChip Corp. and Applied Digital Solutions. He was compensated in cash and stock options.
Note: For more reliable information about the use and dangers of microchips, click here.
Some Amish farmers say a state requirement that they tag cattle with electronic chips is a violation of their religious beliefs. Last year, the state Department of Agriculture announced that Michigan cattle leaving farms must be tagged in the ear with electronic identification as part of an effort to combat bovine tuberculosis. That has drawn some resistance from the Amish, who typically shun technology. In April, Glen Mast and other Amish farmers appeared before the state Senate Appropriations Committee, urging it to block the program. "We're never happier than when we're just left alone," said Mast, whose farm in Isabella County operates without electricity. "That's all we're asking." State officials say the ability to trace food sources is increasingly important in the global economy. State officials said cattle are to be tagged if they are leaving the farm to be sold or change ownership. Kevin Kirk, who coordinates the program for the state agriculture department, said Amish farmers produced a "very, very small" percentage of the nearly 397 million pounds of beef sold by Michigan farmers last year. "Our No. 1 goal is animal health, human health and food safety," Kirk said. "I know it's hard sometimes to trust the government, but that's what we're asking is trust us." So far, the state has not forced the Amish to use the electronic tags but said they can wait until the animals arrive at an auction before having them applied, the newspaper said. Animal identification has traditionally involved a plastic or metal tag, or tattoo. Electronic ID uses a radio frequency device with a number unique to each animal, and speeds up the ability to locate or trace animals.
Note: To read an article that explains in more depth how the attitude of the Amish to the use of electronic chips on their cattle is that it is the "mark of the beast" in Bible prophecy, click here.
The ability to blend vast databases containing personal information -- and the sophistication of tracking devices that can announce your presence along with myriad vital statistics when you cross a bridge or enter a room -- have brought Americans to a crossroads. Do we shrug and concede that privacy is lost -- "get over it," as one titan of tech declared so bluntly? Or do we look for ways to draw the line, to identify means and places where employers and governments should not dare to tread? One such place: Our bodies. Life has begun to imitate art -- as in the futuristic film "Minority Report" -- with the refinement of toothpick-thick microchips that can be implanted in your arm and packed with loads of personally identifiable information that can be beamed to the world. These radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices -- or "talking bar codes" -- amount to miniature antennas that transmit the types of information that might otherwise be held on a swipe card. Even if you've shrugged through the debates about warrantless wiretapping and said "what the heck" at the prospect that everything from your spending habits to your Web site travels are being compiled and crunched for commercial purposes, you might think twice about letting your employer insert a microchip under your skin as a condition of getting a job. As of today, it is both a technical and a legal possibility. Just last year, a ... provider of video-surveillance equipment inserted ... microchips into the arms of two employees. Those two workers volunteered, but it's not hard to imagine the lightbulbs going off in Corporate America. Is Joe really making a sales call or is he taking in a baseball game at AT&T Park? How many smoke breaks is Mary taking? Amazingly, there is no California law against "chipping" workers as a condition of employment.
Note: For many reliable reports from the major media on the potential dangers of microchips, click here.
Imagine a day when the U.S. government implants microchips inside the brains of U.S. soldiers. Well you don't have to think too far into the future. The defense department is studying the idea now. The chip would be the size of a grain of rice. How far is too far when it comes to privacy? The department of defense recently awarded $1.6 million to Clemson University to develop an implantable biochip. It would go into the brain using a new gel that prevents the human body from rejecting it. The overall idea is to improve the quality and speed of care for fallen soldiers. "It's just crazy. To me, it's like a bad sci-fi movie," says Yelena Slattery [from] the website www.WeThePeopleWillNotBeChipped.com. Slattery says, "Soldiers can't choose not to get certain things done because they become government property once they sign up. When does it end? When does it become an infringement on a person's privacy?" Once the chip is in, she says, could those soldiers be put on surveillance, even when they're off-duty? A spokesman for veterans of foreign wars also urged caution. Joe Davis said, "If you have a chip that's holding a gigabyte, or 10 gigs, like an iPod, what kind of information is going to be on there? How could this be used against you if you were taken captive?"
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CityWatcher.com, a provider of surveillance equipment, attracted little notice itself until a year ago, when two of its employees had glass-encapsulated microchips with miniature antennas embedded in their forearms. The "chipping" of two workers with RFIDs radio frequency identification tags ... was merely a way of restricting access to ... sensitive data and images ... the company said. Innocuous? Maybe. But the news that Americans had, for the first time, been injected with electronic identifiers to perform their jobs fired up a debate over the proliferation of ever-more-precise tracking technologies and their ability to erode privacy in the digital age. To some, the ... notion of tagging people was Orwellian. Chipping, these critics said, might start with Alzheimer's patients or Army Rangers, but would eventually be suggested for convicts, then parolees, then sex offenders, then illegal aliens until one day, a majority of Americans, falling into one category or another, would find themselves electronically tagged. "It was scary that a government contractor that specialized in putting surveillance cameras on city streets was the first to incorporate this technology in the workplace," says Liz McIntyre, co-author of Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID. Within days of the company's announcement, civil libertarians and Christian conservatives joined to excoriate the microchip's implantation in people.
Note: For educated speculation on how certain powerful people might like to have everyone implanted with microchips for security and control purposes, click here.
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.
They say money talks, and a new report suggests Canadian currency is indeed chatting, at least electronically, on behalf of shadowy spies. Coins containing tiny transmitters have mysteriously turned up in the pockets of at least three American contractors who visited Canada, says a branch of the U.S. Defence Department. Security experts believe the devices could be used to track the movements of defence industry personnel dealing in military technology. According to a report from the U.S. Defence Security Service, "On at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006, cleared defense contractors' employees travelling through Canada have discovered radio frequency transmitters embedded in Canadian coins placed on their persons." A service spokeswoman said details of the incidents were classified. The type of transmitter in play and its ultimate purpose remain a mystery. However, tiny tracking tags, known as RFIDs, are commonly placed in everything from clothing to key chains to help retailers track inventory. Each tag contains a miniature antenna that beams a unique identification code to an electronic reader. The information can then be transferred by the reader into a computerized database.
With 32 wires sprouting from a cap on his head, University of Washington research assistant C.J. Bell stared at a computer screen and thought: "Red." Across the room, a 2-foot-tall robot called Morpheus shuffled up to a table holding a green block and a red block. Tilting his head, the machine scanned the choices with camera "eyes." Morpheus paused, then picked up the red block. Morpheus has a 94 percent success rate at reading simple mental commands. But he's only a first step toward developing a practical household robot controlled solely by brain waves, said Rajesh Rao, leader of the UW robot team and associate professor of computer science and engineering. Other researchers have wired humans to machines that allow them to move a cursor on a computer screen or operate a robotic arm with their thoughts. But those connections require electrodes inside the person's skull. With the system Rao and his colleagues have developed, the operator only suffers a bad hair day. To prepare for the demonstration, Bell pulled on the tight-fitting cap while fellow graduate student Pradeep Shenoy filled a 4-inch syringe with conductive gel. Shenoy injected the gel into the openings in the cap, and fitted an electrode to each. "The electrodes don't actually touch the skull," he explained. "They float in the goo, and the goo touches the skull. "Robotics is already an $11 billion-a-year industry. Bill Gates likens it to the computer business in 1970, when he and Paul Allen founded Microsoft.
Farmers and ranchers won't be forced to register their cows, pigs and chickens in a nationwide database aimed at helping track the outbreak of disease, the Bush administration said Wednesday. Hoping to dampen widespread opposition to the animal tracking program, the Agriculture Department has decided it should remain voluntary. First promised in response to the discovery of mad cow disease in this country, the tracking system would pinpoint an animal's movements within 48 hours after a disease was discovered. Investigators never found all 80 of the cattle that came to the U.S. from Canada with the infected dairy cow that became the country's first case of mad cow disease in 2003. Many cattle ranchers are wary of the program because they want records kept confidential and don't want to pay for the system. The industry estimates it could cost more than $100 million annually.
If you have a passport, now is the time to renew it -- even if it's not set to expire anytime soon. In many countries, including the United States, passports will soon be equipped with RFID chips. And you don't want one of these chips in your passport. RFID stands for "radio-frequency identification." Passports with RFID chips store an electronic copy of the passport information: your name, a digitized picture, etc. And in the future, the chip might store fingerprints or digital visas from various countries. By itself, this is no problem. But RFID chips don't have to be plugged in to a reader to operate. Like the chips used for automatic toll collection on roads or automatic fare collection on subways, these chips operate via proximity. The risk to you is the possibility of surreptitious access: Your passport information might be read without your knowledge or consent by a government trying to track your movements, a criminal trying to steal your identity or someone just curious about your citizenship. Security mechanisms are also vulnerable, and several security researchers have already discovered flaws. One found that he could identify individual chips via unique characteristics of the radio transmissions. Another successfully cloned a chip. The Colorado passport office is already issuing RFID passports, and the State Department expects all U.S. passport offices to be doing so by the end of the year. Many other countries are in the process of changing over. So get a passport before it's too late.
Note: For lots of reliable, verifiable information on microchip implants: www.WantToKnow.info/microchipimplants
Kiss your keyboard goodbye: soon we'll jack our brains directly into the Net - and that's just the beginning. Two years ago, a quadriplegic man started playing video games using his brain as a controller. It spells the beginning of a radical change in how we interact with computers. Someday, keyboards and computer mice will be remembered only as medieval-style torture devices for the wrists. All work - emails, spreadsheets, and Google searches - will be performed by mind control. [Consider] the sensational research that's been done on the brain of one Matthew Nagle. Nagle, a 26-year-old quadriplegic, was hooked up to a computer via an implant smaller than an aspirin that sits on top of his brain and reads electrical patterns. He learned how to move a cursor around a screen, play simple games, control a robotic arm, and even...turn his brain into a TV remote control [all] in less time than the average PC owner spends installing Microsoft Windows. Neurodevices - medical devices that compensate for damage to the brain, nerves, and spinal column - are a $3.4 billion business that grew 21 percent last year. There are currently some 300 companies working in the field. This kind of technology can enable a hooked-up human to write at 15 words a minute. Remember, though, that silicon-based technology typically doubles in capacity every two years. Last year, Sony took out a patent on a game system that beams data directly into the mind without implants. It uses a pulsed ultrasonic signal that induces sensory experiences such as smells, sounds and images.
A sensor implanted in a paralysed man's brain has enabled him to control objects by using his thoughts alone. The experimental set-up allowed the man, who has no limb movement at all, to open e-mail ... and pinch a prosthetic hand's fingers. The US team behind the sensor hopes its technology can one day be incorporated into the body to restore the movement of paralysed limbs themselves. A team of scientists inserted the device, called a neuromotor prosthesis (NMP), into an area of the brain known as the motor cortex, which is responsible for voluntary movement. The NMP comprises an internal sensor that detects brain cell activity, and external processors that convert the activity into signals that can be recognised by a computer. Using the device, Mr Nagle was able to move a computer cursor to open an e-mail, play simple computer games, open and close a prosthetic hand, and use a robot limb to grasp and move objects. Mr Nagle said the sensor had restored some of his independence by allowing him to carry out a number of tasks - such as turning the lights on - that a nurse would normally do for him. He told the BBC: "I can't put it into words. It's just wild."
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.