Wednesday, February 21
Big Brother Tracking Company
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV ?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV ?
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?
I'm counting on you, Lord, please don't let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?
.... --Janis Joplin, "Mercedes Benz," 1969-70
Corporatism and law enforcement go hand-in-glove in post-9/11 America.
If you haven't heard yet--and apparently terminally busy Americans haven't--the items law enforcement agencies aren't tagging with rice-kernel sized wireless tracking devices--or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)--are those that Corporate America plans to do so in its global plan to tag every item you buy.
It is a global tracking frenzy, ladies and gentlemen.
Though the second link has expired, consider this Slashdot post ("RFID Tags in Law Enforcement")--from August 2005:
RFID tags seem to be the flavor of the month for law enforcement officials in the tracking of individuals both foreign and domestic. pin_gween writes
"In an effort to speed up entry to the US, The Dept. of Homeland Security has begun a trial using RFID tags in certain visitors' papers. The tag is embedded in paperwork and "chip readers note the entry or exit of visitors who pass by and transmit that information to a government-maintained database."
In addition, Saeed al-Sahaf writes
"Security officials gathered Monday at a Canadian border crossing to mark the first test of this radio RFID system"
Relatedly LexNaturalis writes
"Wired News has an article about England testing RFID chips in license plates that can transmit VINs and other data to appropriate receivers. According to the article, the United States will be 'closely watching the British trial as they contemplate initiating their own tests of the plates, which incorporate radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags to make vehicles electronically trackable.' Naturally privacy advocates are decrying the move by stating that unlike electronic toll passes, these new plates will not be anonymous."
We mentioned the concept of tracking visitors via RFID in July.
Here's a news item lifted from the British Columbia-based Canadian Action Party's website that suggests the FBI is trying to play catch up with their Canadian counterparts:
Your car tires have RFID's chips in them ALREADY!!! Its a US federal sponsored initiative to track vehicles near certain highways feeding certain urban areas. Basically the FBI enters a RFID number into the database and then history of travel for the car pops up. The feds can also pre-enter rfids they want to watch after getting a reading off your parked car or from the Canadian-US customs border (where they already actively log the car RFIDs in the tires and associate them with plates) Your tires have a passive coil with 64 to 128 bit serial number emitter in them!
The CAP webpage also offers news on the success of the US and European medical police and Mexico's Top Cop to RFID "chip" and track humans:
Regarding plans to microchip newborns, Dr. Kilde said the U.S. has been moving in this direction "in secrecy."
She added that in Sweden, Prime Minister Olof Palme gave permission in 1973 to implant prisoners, and Data Inspection's ex-Director General Jan Freese revealed that nursing-home patients were implanted in the mid-1980s. The technology is revealed in the 1972:47 Swedish state report, Statens Officiella Utradninger.
"Implanted human beings can be followed anywhere. Their brain functions can be remotely monitored by supercomputers and even altered through the changing of frequencies," wrote Dr. Kilde. "Guinea pigs in secret experiments have included prisoners, soldiers, mental patients,handicapped children, deaf and blind people, homosexuals, single women, the elderly, school children, and any group of people considered "marginal" by the elite experimenters. The published experiences of prisoners in Utah State Prison, for example, are shocking to the conscience....
"Today's microchips operate by means of low-frequency radio waves that target them. With the help of satellites, the implanted person can be tracked anywhere on the globe. Such a technique was among a number tested in the Iraq war, according to Dr. Carl Sanders, who invented the intelligence- manned interface (IMI) biotic, which is injected into people. (Earlier during the Vietnam War, soldiers were injected with the Rambo chip, designed to increase adrenaline flow into the bloodstream.) The 20-billion-bit/second supercomputers at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) could now "see and hear" what soldiers experience in the battlefield with a remote monitoring system (RMS).
Mexico's Top Cop also is requiring his office to join in the RFID chipping party:
Mexico's top federal prosecutors and investigators began receiving chip implants in their arms in November in order to get access to restricted areas inside the attorney general's headquarters, said Antonio Aceves, general director of Solusat, the company that distributes the microchips in Mexico.
Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha and 160 of his employees were implanted at a cost to taxpayers of $150 for each rice grain-sized chip. More are scheduled to get "tagged" in coming months, and key members of the Mexican military, the police and the office of President Vicente Fox might follow suit, Aceves said. Fox's office did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Aceves said his company eventually hopes to provide Mexican officials with implantable devices that can track their physical location at any given time, but that technology is still under development.
The chips that have been implanted are manufactured by VeriChip Corp., a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions Inc. (ADSX) of Palm Beach, Fla. They lie dormant under the skin until read by an electromagnetic scanner, which uses a technology known as radio frequency identification, or RFID, that's now getting hot in the inventory and supply chain businesses. Erik Michielsen, director of RFID analysis at ABI Research Inc., said that in theory the chips could be as secure as existing RFID-based access control systems such as the contactless employee badges widely used in corporate and government facilities.
The United Nations has even more ambitious plans for VeriChips that are certain to push Allied Digital Solutions' stock prices through the RFID-chipped roof:
U.N. meeting hears proposal for global human database, ID numbers, to register everyone.
Every person in the world would be fingerprinted and registered under a universal identification scheme to fight illegal immigration and people smuggling outlined at a United Nations meeting today. The plan was put forward by Pascal Smet, the head of Belgium's independent asylum review board, at a roundtable meeting with ministers including Australian Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock this afternoon. But he said the plan could be extended worldwide.
Oh, my. And there's myriad more 1984 Orwellian-esque accounts out there where those came from. What must those among with high allergies and low thresholds to fascism do?
Hope and help are on the way. According to RFID Journal ("The World's RFID Authority") an intrepid duo of German cyberhackers (who would only identify themselves as "MiniMe" and "Mahajivana") apparently have developed an "RFID Zapper" to disable those pesky tracking chips.
Sold in "some drugstores" as of January 2006, the device is a modified disposable camera (right) rigged to pass a electrical current through the RFID and "killing" it.
As RFIDs proliferate in our products and lives, you can count on more zappers introduced on the market to cut back on the snooping capabilities of Big Brother on steroids.
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