Microchip Implants News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on microchip implants
An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been "tagged" electronically as a way of identifying them. A private video surveillance company said it was testing the technology as a way of controlling access to a room where it holds security video footage for government agencies and the police. Embedding slivers of silicon in workers is likely to add to the controversy over RFID technology, widely seen as one of the next big growth industries. RFID chips – inexpensive radio transmitters that give off a unique identifying signal – have been implanted in pets or attached to goods so they can be tracked in transit. "There are very serious privacy and civil liberty issues of having people permanently numbered," said Liz McIntyre, who campaigns against the use of identification technology. "There's nothing pulsing or sending out a signal," said Mr Darks, who has had a chip in his own arm. "It's not a GPS chip. My wife can't tell where I am." The technology's defenders say it is acceptable as long as it is not compulsory. But critics say any implanted device could be used to track the "wearer" without their knowledge.
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.
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.
A Texas school district can transfer a student who is citing religious reasons for her refusal to wear an identification card that is part of an electronic tracking system, a federal judge ruled on [January 8]. The parents of 15-year-old Andrea Hernandez had requested a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the school district from transferring their daughter from her San Antonio high school while the lawsuit on whether she should be forced to wear the tracking badge went through federal court. Last fall, the Northside Independent School District began experimenting with ‘‘locator’’ chips in student ID badges on two campuses, allowing administrators to track the whereabouts of 4,200 students with GPS-like precision. Hernandez’s suit against Northside — the fourth-largest school district in Texas — argues that the ID rule violates her religious beliefs. Her family says the badge is a ‘‘mark of the beast’’ that goes against their religion. But U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ... denied a request to stop her from being transferred, saying the badge requirement ‘‘has an incidental effect, if any, on (Hernandez's) religious beliefs.’’ Garcia said that if Hernandez does not accept the school district’s accommodation of wearing a badge without the tracking chip, the district can transfer her to another campus. John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil rights group that is representing Hernandez and her family in court, said his organization plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
Reading minds has just come a step closer to reality: scientists have developed artificial intelligence that can turn brain activity into text. While the system currently works on neural patterns detected while someone is speaking aloud, experts say it could eventually aid communication for patients who are unable to speak or type. "We are not there yet but we think this could be the basis of a speech prosthesis," said Dr Joseph Makin, co-author of the research from the University of California, San Francisco. Writing in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Makin and colleagues reveal how they developed their system by recruiting four participants who had electrode arrays implanted in their brain to monitor epileptic seizures. These participants were asked to read aloud from 50 set sentences multiple times, including "Tina Turner is a pop singer", and "Those thieves stole 30 jewels". The team tracked their neural activity while they were speaking. This data was then fed into a machine-learning algorithm, a type of artificial intelligence system that converted the brain activity data for each spoken sentence into a string of numbers. At first the system spat out nonsense sentences. But as the system compared each sequence of words with the sentences that were actually read aloud it improved, learning how the string of numbers related to words, and which words tend to follow each other. The system was not perfect. However, the team found the accuracy of the new system was far higher than previous approaches.
Note: Remember that the military in their secret projects is often 10 to 20 years in advance of anything public. In 2008, CBS reported the story of a man with ALS who could type using only a brain computer interface. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on microchip implants from reliable major media sources.
This week science fiction writer Elizabeth Moon argues that everyone should be given a barcode at birth. “If I were empress of the Universe I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached - a barcode if you will; an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals. It would be imprinted on everyone at birth. Point the scanner at someone and there it is. Having such a unique barcode would have many advantages. In war soldiers could easily differentiate legitimate targets in a population from non combatants. This could prevent mistakes in identity, mistakes that result in the deaths of innocent bystanders. Weapons systems would record the code of the use, identifying how fired which shot and leading to more accountability in the field. Anonymity would be impossible as would mistaken identity making it easier to place responsibility accurately, not only in war but also in non-combat situations far from the war.”
Note: For a powerful essay showing that the plan to microchip the masses has been part of the global elite's agenda for control for a long time, click here.
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."
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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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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Medical milestone or privacy invasion? A tiny computer chip approved ... for implantation in a patient’s arm can speed vital information about a patient’s medical history to doctors and hospitals. But critics warn that it could open new ways to imperil the confidentiality of medical records. The Food and Drug Administration said ... that Applied Digital Solutions of Delray Beach, Fla., could market the VeriChip, an implantable computer chip about the size of a grain of rice, for medical purposes. With the pinch of a syringe, the microchip is inserted under the skin in a procedure that takes less than 20 minutes and leaves no stitches. Silently and invisibly, the dormant chip stores a code that releases patient-specific information when a scanner passes over it. The VeriChip itself contains no medical records, just codes that can be scanned, and revealed, in a doctor’s office or hospital. The microchips have already been implanted in 1 million pets. But the chip’s possible dual use for tracking people’s movements ... has raised alarm. “If privacy protections aren’t built in at the outset, there could be harmful consequences for patients,” said Emily Stewart, a policy analyst at the Health Privacy Project. To protect patient privacy, the devices should reveal only vital medical information, like blood type and allergic reactions, needed for health care workers to do their jobs, Stewart said.
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Feel like you're being followed? Maybe it's a tracking tag on your jeans or one implanted in a credit card. The tags are called radio frequency identification or RFIDs, and every day they are becoming more and more a part of our lifestyle. These Orwellian microchips, as minute as a grain of sand, identify and track products and even lost children at theme parks. They're being implanted in humans to alert hospitals about medical conditions. The tags can be so tiny, you may never know they are there. Retailers claim RFIDs are essential: alerting them when they're low on lipstick, air filters, sodas and other inventory. Embedded tags aren't so obvious. Hitachi Europe recently developed the world's tiniest RFID integrated circuit, small enough to be placed in a piece of paper. Some RFID chips are made to be imbedded in livestock, in pets and most recently in humans for a variety of reasons. RFID prices have dropped, and tagging has become practical for businesses. In-Stat, a high-tech research firm, reports more than 1 billion RFID chips were made last year and predicts that by 2010 the number will increase to 33 billion. Slightly larger than a grain of rice, RFID chips from VeriChip of Florida are manufactured for implanting in humans. The Food and Drug Administration approved human implants two years ago.
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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."
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