compiled by Dee Finney

updated 8-1-10

Wal-Mart Radio Tags to Track Clothing


Marc F. Henning for The Wall Street Journal

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to roll out sophisticated electronic ID tags to track individual pairs of jeans and underwear, the first step in a system that advocates say better controls inventory but some critics say raises privacy concerns.
Starting next month, the retailer will place removable "smart tags" on individual garments that can be read by a hand-held scanner. Wal-Mart workers will be able to quickly learn, for instance, which size of Wrangler jeans is missing, with the aim of ensuring shelves are optimally stocked and inventory tightly watched. If successful, the radio-frequency ID tags will be rolled out on other products at Wal-Mart's more than 3,750 U.S. stores.

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"This ability to wave the wand and have a sense of all the products that are on the floor or in the back room in seconds is something that we feel can really transform our business," said Raul Vazquez, the executive in charge of Wal-Mart stores in the western U.S.

Before now, retailers including Wal-Mart have primarily used RFID tags, which store unique numerical identification codes that can be scanned from a distance, to track pallets of merchandise traveling through their supply chains.

Wal-Mart's broad adoption would be the largest in the world, and proponents predict it would lead other retailers to start using the electronic product codes, which remain costly. Wal-Mart has climbed to the top of the retailing world by continuously squeezing costs out of its operations and then passing on the savings to shoppers at the checkout counter. Its methods are widely adopted by its suppliers and in turn become standard practice at other retail chains.

But the company's latest attempt to use its influence—executives call it the start of a "next-generation Wal-Mart"—has privacy advocates raising questions.

While the tags can be removed from clothing and packages, they can't be turned off, and they are trackable. Some privacy advocates hypothesize that unscrupulous marketers or criminals will be able to drive by consumers' homes and scan their garbage to discover what they have recently bought.
They also worry that retailers will be able to scan customers who carry new types of personal ID cards as they walk through a store, without their knowledge. Several states, including Washington and New York, have begun issuing enhanced driver's licenses that contain radio- frequency tags with unique ID numbers, to make border crossings easier for frequent travelers. Some privacy advocates contend that retailers could theoretically scan people with such licenses as they make purchases, combine the info with their credit card data, and then know the person's identity the next time they stepped into the store.
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"There are two things you really don't want to tag, clothing and identity documents, and ironically that's where we are seeing adoption," said Katherine Albrecht, founder of a group called Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering and author of a book called "Spychips" that argues against RFID technology. "The inventory guys may be in the dark about this, but there are a lot of corporate marketers who are interested in tracking people as they walk sales floors."

Smart-tag experts dismiss Big Brother concerns as breathless conjecture, but activists have pressured companies. Ms. Albrecht and others launched a boycott of Benetton Group SpA last decade after an RFID maker announced it was planning to supply the company with 15 million RFID chips.

Benetton later clarified that it was just evaluating the technology and never embedded a single sensor in clothing.

Wal-Mart is demanding that suppliers add the tags to removable labels or packaging instead of embedding them in clothes, to minimize fears that they could be used to track people's movements. It also is posting signs informing customers about the tags.

"Concerns about privacy are valid, but in this instance, the benefits far outweigh any concerns," says Sanjay Sarma, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "The tags don't have any personal information. They are essentially barcodes with serial numbers attached. And you can easily remove them."
In Europe some retailers put the smart labels on hang tags, which are then removed at checkout. That still provides the inventory-control benefit of RFID, but it takes away other important potential uses that retailers and suppliers like, such as being able to track the item all the way back to the point of manufacture in case of a recall, or making sure it isn't counterfeit.

Wal-Mart won't say how much it expects to benefit from the endeavor. But a similar pilot program at American Apparel Inc. in 2007 found that stores with the technology saw sales rise 14.3% compared to stores without the technology, according to Avery Dennison Corp., a maker of RFID equipment.

And while the tags wouldn't replace bulkier shoplifting sensors, Wal-Mart expects they'll cut down on employee theft because it will be easier to see if something's gone missing from the back room.

Several other U.S. retailers, including J.C. Penney and Bloomingdale's, have begun experimenting with smart ID tags on clothing to better ensure shelves remain stocked with sizes and colors customers want, and numerous European retailers, notably Germany's Metro AG, have already embraced the technology.

Robert Carpenter, chief executive of GS1 U.S., a nonprofit group that helped develop universal product-code standards four decades ago and is now doing the same for electronic product codes, said the sensors have dropped to as little as seven to 10 cents from 50 cents just a few years ago. He predicts that Wal-Mart's "tipping point" will drive prices lower.

Better yet put them on your kids and keys so you stop losing them all the time.

—Brian Scott

"There are definitely costs. Some labels had to be modified," said Mark Gatehouse, director of replenishment for Wrangler jeans maker VF Corp., adding that while Wal-Mart is subsidizing the costs of the actual sensors, suppliers have had to invest in new equipment. "But we view this as an investment in where things are going. Everyone is watching closely because no one wants to be at a competitive disadvantage, and this could really lift sales."

Wal-Mart won't disclose what it's spending on the effort, but it confirms that it is subsidizing some of the costs for suppliers.

Proponents, meanwhile, have high hopes for expanded use in the future. Beyond more-efficient recalls and loss prevention, RFID tags could get rid of checkout lines.

"We are going to see contactless checkouts with mobile phones or kiosks, and we will see new ways to interact, such as being able to find out whether other sizes and colors are available while trying something on in a dressing room," said Bill Hardgrave, head of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas, which is funded in part by Wal-Mart. "That is where the magic is going to happen. But that's all years away."
Write to Miguel Bustillo at miguel.bustillo@wsj.com



1-800-Walmart (1-800-925-6278)

We'd like to hear from you. Send your local store or our corporate headquarters a comment.


DATE: 28 JULY 2010    

Dear Sir/Madam:

Hi, I am strongly against the proposed idea by WALMART CORP  to implant RFID tracking chips into their clothing such as their blue jeans because this practice is such a gross and offensive invasion of their consumers’ right to personal privacy. I understand that this highly invasive practice aims at tracking the location and movements of consumers who buy and use such chipped products all the way back to their personal homes and trash bins; this dark Orwellian idea is something that could only once be found in sci-fi novels will become a real-time nightmare if it is not nipped in the bud. I understand that this idea is slated to be implemented on 01 August 2010.

Therefore, I AM urging you to squash and cancel this highly offensive and invasive practice that can be used and abused by those controlling this tracking technology in order to snoop and track the individual real-time movements and households of unsuspecting consumers who buy such RFID chipped products such as sold by WALMART CORP before it kills all consumer personal privacy and consumer confidence in WALMART CORP. This also could set a most dangerous precedent which will destroy forever the free American way of life that enshrines personal freedom and right to privacy above all else.

Hence, if WALMART CORP or other retailers foolishly decide to go ahead with RFID chipping of their consumer goods, then, I will boycott WALMART CORP and NEVER buy another WALMART item ever again, Moreover, I will inform and urge all of my friends and family members via all means of communications on hand including in-person, phone, e-mail, snail mail, etc. to BOYCOTT WALMART CORP, and instead to ONLY shop at retailers that respect the personal privacy of their customers, something that currently appears to fall on deaf ears of WALMART CORP.

Thank you for your assistance and cooperation in this urgent matter.


Tom L.



Apparently, the photos I took at the Frontline conference hit a nerve, as now there has been a request (see the Advanstar letter below) not to share them with anyone.

These photos depict item-level RFID tagging of consumer items including: Calvin Klein, Champion, and Abercrombie & Fitch clothing, Huggies baby wipes, Kimberly Clark diapers, Nyquil cold medicine, CVS vitamins, Similac baby formula, and Lanacane cream. (Click for photos)

The RFID tagging of these items is quite shocking from a consumer privacy standpoint, since the RFID industry has been telling lawmakers and the press that they are interested in only "supply side" inventory tracking on crates and pallets. They have claimed that item-level tagging of consumer goods is not feasible for the near term, thus there is no need to worry about its consumer privacy implications.

Over 40 consumer groups (including CASPIAN) came out against item-level RFID tagging of consumer goods in a position statement issued last November. Since that time, the RFID industry has carefully kept any item-level tagging far from public view. The fact that vendors were openly promoting item-level tagging among themselves at this "private conference" is huge news -- news that I am sure they would prefer not be discovered by the public.

The RFID industry's desire to keep these images hidden underscores the dangers the public faces from this powerful and insidious surveillance technology and the companies that would deploy it in secrecy.

FROM: http://www.spychips.com/frontline-letter.html

8-29-04 - DREAM - I found myself laying in bed.  I moved a large board - about 2 ft across by 3 feet long. On the bottom, it was covered with big black spiders. There were hundreds of them on the board. They were thick bodied, really black, about 1/2" across.  (Rather like black widow spiders, but these didn't have any marking on them)
I screamed for Joe to get the spider spray and kill the spiders. He was out in the livingroom and the door was closed between us. He heard me and came running and opened the door. I was screaming for him to kill the spiders and I already had the spider spray can in my hand so I handed it to him.
He started spraying and killing the spiders but they were multiplying and crawling up the wall by the thousands. The more he sprayed, the more they grew and spread across the wall.  Some were dropping to the floor like they were dead, but then I noticed that each spider had a colored ribbon around its neck and started looking like little brown Teddy Bears and I noticed there was a sale tag on each spider that read, "Made in China" on it attached to the neck.
I said, "We are going to have to fumigate", then realized we'd have to get rid of my finches (birds) if we would fumigate and felt reluctant to do that.  I told him, "I just can't handle this many all by myself."
End of dream
Note:  Recently in the news there have been articles about Wal-Mart putting RFID tags (bugs) into their products for sale in the U.S.  
This dream was probably about Wal-Mart and RFID tags.

3-17-06 - This past year, I bought two lovely puppies and they are registered AKC.  Within a 6 month period legislation was put through in my county (Stanislaus) California that all dogs had to be ID chipped.  They tried to get in cats too but there was a big protest about that.  Good thing because I had 12 cats that were all strays that people dumped off at my house. Had they passed that law, I probably would have ended up with 30 dumped off cats. 

Once I had my ID chips put in my puppies and got them licensed, they came to my door and wanted to know if I was going to breed my dogs. I said, "Yes! I plan to breed my dogs".  The uniformed woman handed me a small brochure and told me that if I did that, I had to get permission from the country to breed the dog (only one breeding per year) and I had to pay them a fee of $100 to do so, and get a license number for that breeding.  The license number has to be placed into the newspaper ad or the newspaper will not print it, 'and' I will be fined $500 for breeding without their knowledge.

So much for dogs!

Now, I find out from http://www.spychips.com/ that they want to ID tag every animal used for food in this country, including if you have your own chickens or pigs or goats or cows, etc. and they will not only track what you eat, buy for the animals, but every visitor that comes to your property, 'AND' there is a gps satellite that takes a photo of your property from the air so they can take a photo once a trip around the earth and track your property to make sure you don't have more animals than you say you do, etc. 

Also, you have to file paperwork on all this even if you just have one chicken, or one goat or one pig.

 This is just the beginning!

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What is coming is that your cell phone will be chipped so that you can't even get into a store unless you are completely registered in advance so they have your credit card number, social security number and/or ID number when these get issued to people in this country.  That is coming too!


2-28-08 - DREAM - I went to visit a relative in a southeastern state.  She did artistic work for a living.

She was working on a design for a new I.D. card that everyone would have to carry.   She said that the I.D. card would be the same size as a driver's license.

She showed me the drawing she had made which she said left room to have our own signatures placed prominently over the figure of white horse called Pegasus.


The Pegasus Identity Credential
What is the Pegasus Identity Credential?
An expansion of the Pegasus Program’s Local-2-Local law enforcement information exchange service, which currently serves law enforcement agencies in 34 states
• A non-Federal, FIPS 201-standard-based credential (ID card) authorized and managed by the holder’s employer or local agency, recognizable by law enforcement perimeter control gatekeepers nationwide
• A strong, secure identity mechanism used to verify the individual holder’s identity, skills and credentials in emergency response disciplines—law enforcement, fire, healthcare, critical infrastructure and emergency management
• A visual ID card for use in local, known, and trusted environments, provided by a national public-private partnership
• A card that electronically certifies the cardholder’s identity, skills and credentials for use in disaster reentry and as a first responder

Why a Multi-Function Identity Credential Recognized by Law Enforcement?
• Instead of multiple credentials and multiple credentialing efforts and costs, a single highly-secure multi-function credential that meets the needs of cardholders and facility owners for physical and logical access control, while also meeting external needs for disaster reentry and first responder credentials recognized by law enforcement
• To leverage and build upon existing trust relationships and mutual-aid agreements that support cooperative and cross-functional response by emergency personnel today

What is it for?
• Enables individual facility owners to credential their own personnel to meet internal needs for access control and external needs for disaster reentry credentialing and authentication of professional and volunteer First Responders and other Essential Personnel
• Enables cardholders to electronically verify their identities, skills and credentials to a broad range of law enforcement and other third parties who need to make informed decisions in granting/denying permission to access secured areas, facilities or systems
From:; http://firstresponderid.net/GeneralInfo.aspx



Revolt against new U.S. ID card grows

May 24, 2007

By Jason Szep

BOSTON (Reuters) - New Hampshire on Thursday joined a growing list of states to reject a controversial U.S. identification card that opponents say will cost billions of dollars to administer and present a risk to privacy.

The Democratic-controlled state Senate approved legislation to prohibit the Real ID program in a 24-0 vote, and Gov. John Lynch said he would sign the bill, which passed the state House of Representatives on April 6.

New Hampshire becomes the 13th state to oppose the identification card. Another 22 states are considering similar legislation or resolutions to reject it, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

"I applaud the Senate for overwhelmingly rejecting Real ID and for sending a strong message to the federal government," Lynch, a Democrat, said in a statement. "I look forward to signing this legislation, which will ensure the interests of the people of New Hampshire are protected."

The U.S. Congress in 2004 passed a law calling for the national digital identification system. It is intended as a post-September 11 security measure to make more secure the state-issued driver's license that are an ubiquitous form of identification in the United States.

Under the program, states would be required to verify documents presented with license applications and to link their license databases into a national electronic network. The federal law that created the program did not provide states with funds to carry it out.

"We are tremendously concerned that everyone's most sensitive, personally identifiable information is going to be in a database that is wide open, unprotected and will draw identify thieves like bees to honey," said Tim Sparapani, senior counsel at the ACLU.

But backers say the driver's license -- a primary means of identification in the United States -- is fundamentally insecure because of widespread identity theft.

Some 227 million people hold drivers' licenses or identity cards given out by states, which issue or renew about 70 million each year.

Lawmakers in neighboring Maine passed a resolution demanding repeal of the Real ID Act in January -- making the New England state the first in the nation to do so.

The program would also require states to verify that people receiving the cards are in the country legally, though they would have the ability to issue other forms of driving permits to illegal aliens.

National ID: Biometrics Pinned to Social Security Cards

Ryan Singel  05.15.07 | 2:00 AM
The Social Security card faces its first major upgrade in 70 years under two immigration-reform proposals slated for debate this week that would add biometric information to the card and finally complete its slow metamorphosis into a national ID.

The leading immigration proposal with traction in Congress would force employers to accept only a very limited range of approved documents as proof of work eligibility, including a driver's license that meets new federal Real ID standards, a high-tech temporary work visa or a U.S. passport with an RFID chip. A fourth option is the notional tamper-proof biometric Social Security card, which would replace the text-only design that's been issued to Americans almost without change for more than 70 years.

A second proposal under consideration would add high-tech features to the Social Security card allowing employers to scan it with specially equipped laptop computers. Under that proposal, called the "Bonner Plan," the revamped Social Security card would be the only legal form of identification for employment purposes.

Neither bill specifies what the biometric would be, but it could range from a simple digital photo to a fingerprint or even an iris scan. The proposals would seem to require major changes to how Social Security cards are issued: Currently, new and replacement cards are sent in the mail. And parents typically apply for their children before they're old enough to give a decent fingerprint.

There are also logistical problems to overcome before forcing all of the nation's employers to verify a biometric card -- given the nation has millions of employers, many of whom may not have computer equipment at all.

"This is an exact example of why IDs are so ludicrous as a form of security," American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel Tim Sparapani said. "Do we really think the migrant workers are going to show up at the pickle farm and the farmer is going to demand ID and have a laptop in the field to check their ID?"

That's one of the problems that Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California), who heads a key House immigration subcommittee, says she's thinking about.

"There seems to be a fairly strong sentiment that there needs to be an easy way to reliably enforce whatever rules we adopt and the biometric is something being discussed in all the House bills," Lofgren told Wired News. "Obviously every small business isn't going to have a biometric card reader, but perhaps the post office might have a reader since every community in America has a post office."

The proposed biometric feature would apply to newly issued or replaced Social Security cards -- you won't be asked to hand in your old one. Nevertheless, the plan doesn't sit well with privacy and civil liberties advocates like Sparapani. And immigrant-rights groups foresee rampant database errors, and an inevitable mission drift, with biometric cards -- whether the Social Security card or one of the other cards pushed in the proposals -- being used for purposes other than employment.

Currently, U.S. employers can accept a range of documents, including expired U.S. passports, tribal documents, refugee documents, birth certificates, driver's licenses and even school report cards, to establish an employee's eligibility for work.

Michele Waslin, the policy research director at the National Council of La Raza, a Latino civil rights group, supports immigration reform but emphasizes that employment-eligibility verification must be effective and have safeguards.

"This is one provision that would impact every single person that gets a job in the United States," Waslin said. "Given the inaccuracy of government databases, it is likely that some Americans will show documents and the answer will come back as a 'non-confirmation' and (they) could be denied employment based on a government mistake."

Waslin also fears that the existence of a document that proves immigration status will lead to widespread document checks, even from shop clerks.

"You can imagine arriving at a polling place and some people are being asked for a Real ID, while people who look 'American' aren't asked for a Real ID," Waslin said.

The controversy is likely to heat up this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is set to schedule two weeks of immigration-reform debate Tuesday, setting a deadline for a bipartisan panel of lawmakers to craft legislation that combines tighter border enforcement, avenues for current undocumented workers to earn legal status, and stringent employee-verification requirements for employers.

If they succeed, the bill will probably have roughly the same contours as the leading House bill, known as the Strive Act, co-authored by Reps. John Flake (R-Arizona) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois).

The Strive Act would require employers to verify a new employee's credentials -- by telephone or the internet -- against databases maintained by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. If the answer comes back as a "non-confirmation," the new hire would have the opportunity to update any incorrect records.

The Strive Act's verification system is based on the Basic Pilot Program, a currently voluntary program that lets businesses verify new employees' work eligibility over the web. But that program relies on databases prone to inaccuracy, according to Tyler Moran, the employment policy director at the National Immigration Law Center.

"The Basic Pilot program has given more power to employers to oppress workers," Moran said. "It's the worker's burden to prove they are work-authorized, and employers are taking adverse action when there is a problem, such as demoting or firing workers before they have a chance to correct the database."

A recent report by the Social Security Administration's inspector general backs up Moran's criticism with findings that 17.8 million records in the government's employment databases contained inaccuracies that could initially and erroneously flag individuals as ineligible for employment.






Clearly, Some Are Different

A New ID Lets You Skip The Line at the Airport. But Just How Fast Are You?

By Hank Stuever
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 27, 2008; Page M01


Two of Washington's airports -- Dulles and Reagan National -- will soon be part of the federal government's Registered Traveler program, which offers passengers the happy prospect of getting through security lines faster, swifter, better. (Ninety thousand of them and counting have enrolled.) All you need do is pay an annual fee -- $100 to start, plus a $28 shakedown so the government can make sure you're, you know, okay. Next you submit all sorts of personal information, fingerprints and, because the future is now, an eyeball scan.
Then you are all clear.

In fact, the company that clears you is called Clear, and once you're good to go, they mail you a clear plastic ID card with a square blue logo that says Clear. ("The wait is over," proclaims the company's slogan.)

The mind immediately goes either way on this, first to a dark place: Depressingly, America potentially becomes still less like "America," where everyone was supposedly equal, no matter how bad things got. It's the "Lexus lane" syndrome over and over, where special people buy special access to get ahead of the losers. And yet, hasn't this been the essential human narrative all along? Me before you. People becoming Clear is simply another chapter in the self-deterministic struggle. Ayn Rand would totally have one.

After that comes a more tantalizing thought: Can we get a Clear card for everything else?

Some pre-Clears (if you'll excuse the Scientology undertones) have been waiting for this -- impatiently, of course. Clears are already the fastest people at airports even without the cards: shoes and coat off, laptop out of the case, X-ray buckets lined up on the conveyor belt, waiting for everybody else to get it together.

A few thousand people in the Washington area have already applied, and on a recent weekday, 35 people visited the American Express office downtown at 15th and K streets NW, to get cleared by Clear, says Clear spokeswoman Cindy Rosenthal. "What we hear most from people is that they want predictability," she says. "These are people who don't like waiting on line."

Clears are the simple and speedy people, who tend to know the price of things before they get to the register and always have the cash or debit card ready, and step out of the way immediately to a place where they can put away their change and receipt and reassemble themselves without obstructing the flow. Clears do not dig into their purses in search of engorged wallets into which they go a-huntin' for six cents so as not to break a bill, or to look for that Subway sandwich stamp card. Clears have amazingly uncomplicated business to do at banks and in post office lines -- places they almost never go to anymore -- conducting transactions so fast the teller or clerk barely has time to wish them a good day. Clears tend to order only sodas in movie concession lines. (Clears also get to movies 20 minutes early.) Clears have written pamphlet-length diatribes in their minds about a certain drugstore chain that rhymes with "Skeevy Mess" and the lackadaisical inabilities of not only its incredibly slow employees but its equally slow customers.

So why stop with airports? Clear is already thinking about that. "Major crowd events, like a 60,000-person football game," Rosenthal says, could be conducted more efficiently with Clear cards.

Clears are sometimes confused with "high-maintenance" customers, when, in fact, it is low maintenance that defines the true Clear. (Clears have doubtless eaten their share of the kitchen staff's spit for only suggesting that things could be going faster.)

Clears can give you a very long lecture about the economic concept known as opportunity cost, which is just another way of saying time is money, so why clip coupons?

Beyond a swift exchange of pleasantries, Clears never make chitchat with cashiers, because there are people in line behind the Clear, and the Clear is doing them the favor of clearing out. They almost never cause malfunction of the process, and are never more disappointed in themselves as on the rare occasion when they do take too long. Clears almost never special-order or substitute menu items, and are quietly horrified when their dining companions do. Clears love stores with names like Grab-N'-Go, or Git-N'-Gone, and long for the day when such establishments can honestly and consistently live up to such ideals. Corporate America invented self-checkout lines for Clears, which worked well for about five minutes, until someone who wasn't a Clear caused yet another human paper jam.

There is only one long line Clears accept, and that is the line to vote.
Clears come in all ages, but they get more Clear the closer they get to 40. (And less Clear after 60. You can always tell an old Clear by his polite resignation: Go ahead, all of you, he or she says, as the plane is disembarking. I'm just slowing you down.)

So far, the people who run Clear have only learned the obvious about their customer base: He is a he, a business traveler

and he's generally between 35 and 45 years old, Rosenthal says -- adding that the profile may change as Clear lanes open in other airports. He is affluent and may have a second home. He isn't merely antsy-pantsy. He just flies a lot and is sick of the lines. Clear gets him through airport security in about four minutes. In high-tourist travel markets -- such as Orlando or Denver -- he never knows if the security lines are going to be a matter of a few minutes or an hour, which makes him bonkers with Clear worry. One Clear customer, Rosenthal says, forgot important papers in his car and was able to cross back out into the terminal, retrieve the papers from his secretary, and go back through security in a matter of minutes. This is held up as the definitive Clear success story: zip, zip, zip.

Life, meanwhile, is not as zippy as all that. A Clear finds himself standing in line at a 7-Eleven, with a Big Gulp in one hand and a couple of dollar bills in the other, and realizes that he's going to have to wait for six Un-Clears in front of him to buy lottery tickets and the exact pack of cigarettes that the Un-Clear clerk cannot seem to locate. Shouldn't a Clear's Clear card work in this situation? Shouldn't a Clear be able to go to the front of the line at Starbucks when all the Clear ever orders ( ever!) is a simple grande coffee? If a Clear knows exactly what he wants in the Au Bon Pain or the Taco Bell, can he not flash his Clear card and grab-n-go, git-n-gone?

Not in America. Not yet. The Clear gets his airport privileges (and so far, he gets them only in airports like Albany or Indianapolis -- but also Newark and JFK at certain hours and certain gates), and he gets the nasty looks, too. Clears are sometimes troubled by this. They aren't so self-absorbed as to not feel true remorse and class consciousness. It's not like a country club or a gated neighborhood or first class. Clears encourage clarity in all people.

Here's the rub: The world is ending. Things are getting tight, desperate, short. Clearness is coming to airport security lines just in time for chaos to wipe out everything. Clears are good at things like mass evacuation, but not so great in soup lines. (Just listen to how loudly and repeatedly a Clear sighs when the express lane at Giant is too long.)

In the apocalypse, it's a good idea to stick close to your favorite Clear, but you should also fully expect to be left behind.





RFID & Chip Implants

Consumer privacy advocate Katherine Albrecht presented an update on RFID and chip implants. Around 300 people have voluntarily had an RFID chip implanted in them, but they could be at an increased risk for cancer, she said. Studies of animals who've been chipped show that up to 10% of them come down with tumors at the site of the implant. The microchipping of pets preys on owners love for their animals, she commented. A plan is also in the works to chip all farm animals, Albrecht added.

She expressed concerns about Border Crossing IDs issued in various states which can be read as far as 20 feet away. Personal information could possibly be gleaned from these cards by electronic readers not associated with the government. Companies such as Checkpoint Systems and Sensormatic Electronics plan to offer RFID tags hidden in clothing and shoes, but legislation is under consideration that would force stores to disclose that the tags were there, said Albrecht.

She also talked about the biblical connections to the issue, noting that for the first time technology is now in place to create the 'mark of the beast.' A small minority of citizens can bring about change, Albrecht pointed out, and she offered a
list of ways people can protest or get involved.

Thursday 15 July 2004

Technology: Security Products
RFID users say no to privacy law

Retail giant Walmart has said a US law enforcing privacy rules for RFID is not needed because companies experimenting with the technology are committed to protecting privacy.

Wal-Mart Stores continues to move forward with plans for case- and pallet-level tagging of products with RFID chips.

But item-level tagging, where individual products are identified with RFID chips, is about 10 years away, Linda Dillman, executive vice-president and chief information officer of Wal-Mart, told the US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Privacy advocates said that legislation is needed to protect consumers from potential uses of RFID.

They offered few current examples of privacy concerns caused by RFID, but as the range of RFID scanning grows beyond the current 10-20ft RFID could allow corporations and governments to track people's movements and purchases, they said.

A United Nations-affiliated group, the International Civil Aviation Organization, is already developing global standards for passports that include RFID chips, with the group looking for a chip that could be read up to a metre away, said Barry Steinhardt, director of the Technology and Liberty Program for the American Civil Liberties Union.

In the hands of a dictatorial government, RFID-chipped passports or other identification could be used to track visitors to the country or identify people attending a political rally, Steinhardt said. Such uses could create "a whole new surveillance regime", Steinhardt added.

Users of RFID defended it, however, saying that its range was too small and its cost too prohibitive to use on most consumer products.

Others at the hearing noted that Wal-Mart had conducted product tests on lipstick in an Oklahoma store in early 2003. Representative Jan Schakowsky questioned whether consumers had been adequately warned about the lipstick tests.

With the potential to use RFID chips in passports and other government identification, as well as consumer products such as clothing, the misuse of RFID tracking raises "seriously Orwellian concerns", she said.

"Soon we could have Big Brother and big business tuning into the same frequency, where not only will they know where you are, but what you're wearing," Schakowsky added.

The Wal-Mart test on lipstick had the RFID tags on large packages, not individual products, said Sandra Hughes, global privacy executive for Proctor & Gamble, Wal-Mart's partner in the test. Consumers were notified of the RFID test, and although the lipstick display was monitored by a web cam, the purpose was to track the supply of lipstick, not consumers, Hughes said.

Hughes and other defenders of RFID said the technology has great potential to lower supply chain costs, reduce theft and counterfeiting, improve the rate of products being in stock and even track livestock diseases.

With RFID chips in the ears of cattle, livestock sold could be tracked within hours instead of the weeks it can take to track down a paper-based sale, said John Molloy, managing director of ViaTrace, a maker of tracking technologies.

The US is ahead of the rest of the world in experimenting with RFID, he said, and its use could end threats of diseases like BSE. "This is the opportunity [for the US] to lead the world in traceability," Molloy said.

But safeguards are needed so that the potential of RFID is not misused, privacy advocates said.

Witnesses at the hearing disagreed about what kind of legislation is needed, however, with the Electronic Privacy Information Center calling for RFID-specific legislation, and the Center for Democracy and Technology repeating its call for general privacy legislation that would cover all kinds of technologies.

When Representative Darrell Issa suggested that legislation should focus on what companies and government agencies do with the information they collect, instead of what technology is used to collect the information, Paula Bruening, staff counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, agreed.

Recent debates about a House spyware bill showed how difficult it is to legislate based on specific technologies, she added. "You end up with a better result if you have baseline privacy legislation that focuses on the information itself," Bruening said.

Hughes said legislation is premature because companies are being responsible about data collection. Her company retains consumer data only as long as necessary, she said.

In the case of a product sale, the company keeps the data only long enough to complete the transaction, but in the case of an opt-in customer newsletter, the company retains the data as long as the consumer is subscribed.

Dillman also opposed RFID-specific legislation. "We don't believe that data collected by RFID should be different," she said. "We believe there should be a single standard."

Grant Gross writes for IDG News Service

Metro sets-up European RFID center
One of the world's largest retailers, Metro AG, has launched a new innovation center in Europe to showcase its RFID (radio frequency identification) initiatives.
8 Jul 2004, 10:26 GMT -
RFID is touted as the next big technology that will revolutionize retail supply chains by tracking pallet and individual goods throughout the supply chain using embedded chip reading devices - also commonly referred to as "smart-tags." The technology promises to squeeze more costs from the chain through the minimization of inventory losses and reduction in labor costs.

Many expect RFID tags to replace traditional barcode technology in the next ten years.

Metro is at the forefront of RFID trials in Europe, having already tested RFID in its so-called Future Store for about a year now.

The German retailer's 1,300 square meter RFID center is located in Neuss, (near Dusseldorf) Germany and will help suppliers to prepare for Metro's initial roll out of smart-tag technology across its German stores this November. According to Metro officials, the center will showcase RFID applications for logistics and retail shop floor management.

Around 20 suppliers will be involved in the first phase of the roll-out, which will focus on pallet level tagging of packaged goods. A second phase will add 80 more suppliers, eight centralized warehouses and around 270 stores.

The center will also provide a conduit for discussion between Metro's main IT partners and its suppliers. Metro recently signed up IBM Corp and Intermec Technologies Inc to supply it with smart-tag RFID technology. IBM brings to the table its WebSphere-based RFID and data management system and Intermec its RFID inventory tracking system.

Metro is also working with SAP AG and Intel Corp to supply technology for its system.

Metro operates over 2,300 stores mainly in Germany and the rest of Europe. It plans to extend its RFID rollouts to these stores in the future barring concerns over consumer privacy issues and the cost of RFID tags that threaten to stunt the technology's uptake.

As a result, most RFID initiatives today remain focused on pallet-level (warehouses and store backrooms) rather than item-level (consumer) level tagging.

Metro is by no means the only company driving forward RFID. In the US, Walmart Stores Inc and the US Department of Defense have laid down a January 2005 deadline for all its major suppliers to adopt RFID standards if they want to continue doing business with them.
Wireless Facilities, Inc. Acquires Defense Systems, Incorporated


PR Newswire via NewsEdge Corporation : Acquisition Launches WFI Into the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Logistics Automation Markets; Enhances Services for Department of Defense,

Commercial Customers

SAN DIEGO, Calif., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wireless Facilities, Inc. (Nasdaq: WFII), a global leader in the design, deployment, and management of wireless communication networks and security systems, today announced that it has acquired Defense Systems, Incorporated (DSI). Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, DSI provides a full range of information technology and logistics automation services to federal government and commercial clients, with a strategic focus on providing end-to-end total RFID solutions.

The cash transaction is valued at approximately $6.6 million, subject to certain post-closing adjustments. Additional consideration of up to $3.2 million can be earned by the former major stockholders of DSI over an 18 month period based upon performance milestones related to certain specified contracts. WFI expects no material impact to its 2004 revenues and profit as a result of this acquisition.

Founded in 1997, DSI's services include system architecture design, system software development, software and data integration/synchronization, database development, and systems integration. Key areas of expertise include functional logistics management, asset tracking, supply chain management, data mining and data warehousing. An emerging player in the growing RFID market, DSI leverages its functional understanding of the logistics process with its core competency in data integration/synchronization to assist customers with RFID compliance and with ensuring in-transit and total asset visibility.

"The acquisition of DSI is a very strategic and important move for WFI," said Eric M. DeMarco, President and CEO of WFI. "DSI has done an exceptional job of building a solid customer base that includes both the Army's Program Executive Office for Automatic Identification Technology and the Defense Information Systems Agency. The Company has also been very successful at establishing a stake hold in the rapidly growing logistics automation market. As the need for RFID solutions expands, WFI will now be able to leverage its fundamental expertise in RF engineering, wireless data networks, and the integration of in-building technologies to provide complete network design, deployment and maintenance solutions to both government and commercial customers."

"We are excited to be part of a technology-rich, customer-savvy company such as Wireless Facilities," commented Ken Jensen, Co-Founder and President of DSI. "We believe that the combination of our RFID, Logistics and technology consulting expertise with WFI's leadership in wireless engineering and systems integration will provide a comprehensive and extremely attractive solution offering."

Logistics automation and RFID technology are being adopted rapidly, fueled largely by government agencies such as the Department of Defense, and large commercial enterprises such as WalMart, who require that vendors move to an RFID-based system in the future. By their very design, RFID solutions pose unique RF engineering and implementation challenges: tags made of various materials are encoded with digital information that must be read in a variety of adverse physical and environmental conditions. WFI's longstanding experience in RF engineering and systems integration for wireless telecommunications carriers and enterprise customers provides an ideal solution to the variety of challenges inherent in deploying RFID systems. The RFID market is currently estimated to be valued at $1.5-2 billion in 2005.

DSI will become part of WFI's growing Government Services Division. This latest move follows WFI's January purchase of High Technology Solutions, Inc (HTS), a provider of communications systems engineering and operational outsourcing services to federal government agencies. The acquisition of HTS and the formation of WFI's Government Services Division demonstrate the Company's ongoing commitment to providing both government and commercial markets with a complete range of valuable communications network solutions.

"This acquisition is a terrific example of building synergies across our government and commercial divisions," continued DeMarco. "With our government and commercial divisions working together, WFI is well positioned to capture a share of the growing RFID market," DeMarco concluded.

About Wireless Facilities

Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Wireless Facilities, Inc. is an independent provider of systems engineering, network services and technical outsourcing for the world's largest wireless carriers, enterprise customers and for government agencies. The company provides the design, deployment, integration, and the overall management of wired and wireless networks which deliver voice and data communication, and which support advanced security systems. WFI has performed work in over 100 countries since its founding in 1994. News and information are available at www.wfinet.com.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements including, without limitation, express or implied statements concerning the Company's expectations regarding future financial performance, market developments, and the acquisition of DSI that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements are only predictions, and the Company's actual results may differ materially. Factors that may cause the Company's results to differ include, but are not limited to: the risks associated with the successful integration of DSI's business; the inability of WFI to retain key employees of DSI; the anticipated benefits of this acquisition may not be realized; the Company's inability to win federal government contracts or achieve the synergies expected from the DSI acquisition; changes in the scope or timing of the Company's projects which could effect future profitability; the timing, rescheduling or cancellation of significant customer contracts and agreements; the rate of growth of adoption of RFID technology; and competition in the marketplace which could reduce revenues and profit margins. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. These and other risk factors are more fully discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 8, 2004 and in other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For further information please contact: media, Michael Baehr, Director of Communications, +1-858-228-2799, michael.baehr@wfinet.com, or investors, Rochelle Bold, Senior VP of Corporate Development & Investor Relations, +1-858-228-2649, rochelle.bold@wfinet.com, both of Wireless Facilities, Inc.

SOURCE Wireless Facilities, Inc.

-0- 08/04/2004

/CONTACT: media, Michael Baehr, Director of Communications, +1-858-228-2799, michael.baehr@wfinet.com, or investors, Rochelle Bold, Senior VP of Corporate Development & Investor Relations, +1-858-228-2649, rochelle.bold@wfinet.com, both of Wireless Facilities, Inc./

/Web site: http://www.wfinet.com /


The New Slavery

30/07/2004 16:49:05

“We are turning our bodies into data. Since information can confer both power and wealth, we are at risk of a new slavery, with its attendants of old: loss of self-sovereignty, discrimination, corrosion of individual identity, dignity denied. At risk only — this is not a prediction — but sufficiently at risk to make it prudent pre-emptively to develop the language of a new emancipation.”

So writes Paul Chadwick in a compelling article, “The new slavery, body as data” in the fourth issue of the Griffith Review, a joint venture between Griffith University and the ABC.

Chadwick worries that increasingly sophisticated information communication technologies are facilitating the determination of commerce and government to collect, sift, match, trade, use and store information about us; he worries too about newer methods of data collection about our bodies such as biometrics and genetics.

“We slough off data like skin, unnoticed and constantly,” he writes. “Someone usually vacuums it up.”

He points out that how we collect samples, conduct tests, interpret and communicate results, and then act on our understanding of results, involves public policy issues of profound significance. “The risk of a new slavery lies in this realm,” he says.

It seems a fair point. As technology advances, privacy advocates and civil libertarians fear they are losing control. Technologists seem determined to push the privacy boundaries, despite mounting concern amongst some privacy advocates about the dangers of such potentially privacy-invasive technologies as RFID chips. The war looks to be ongoing, and ultimately unwinnable. And the potential for technology to play havoc with our personal privacy seems to grow by the day.

Reports earlier this year about a Copenhagen-based firm, EmpireNorth, supposedly demonstrating a modified sniper rifle as a means to inject unsuspecting targets with an RFID tag in order to track their movements, mercifully proved to be a hoax.

That reports of governments secretly planning to insert miniature tracking chips into persons deemed enemies of the state proved false should have come as a blessed relief. Instead, civil libertarian John Gilmore, posting on the Politech mailing list, quickly drew a vision of another, even more horrid dystopia.

“Nice hoax,” Gilmore wrote. “But the opposite is more likely to come true. Rather than shooting RFID chips into people, people with RFID chips already in or on them will be shot. People with RFID chips in their clothing, books, bags or bodies could be targeted by “smart projectiles” that will zero in on that particular Smart.”

On the other side, Gilmore points out, freedom fighters could also use RFIDs mounted on tyres to ensure roadside bombs only went off when enemy troops were driving over them.

“Welcome to automated personal death,” Gilmore writes. “Courtesy of RFID and leading shortsighted global corporations, with government encouragement.”

If civil libertarians and privacy advocates can envision such nightmares, shouldn’t governments start planning to prevent such ill dreams from coming true?

RFID News Roundup
Korea opens UHF spectrum for RFID; pharmaceutical RFID lab showcases anticounterfeiting technology; Intermec offers new RFID label printer; Tagsys triples RFID production capacity; free RFID market research; new multiprotocol 13.56 MHz reader.
July 30, 2004—The following are news announcements made during the week of July 26.

Korea Opens UHF Spectrum for RFID
The South Korea's Ministry of Information and Communication says that it will allow RFID systems to operate in the 908.5 MHz to 914 MHz band. The ministry did not say when the change would be effective, but the move would pave the way for Korea’s high-technology companies to develop RFID systems that are compatible with those in the United States, which allocates 902 MHz to 928 MHz for RFID, and other regions. The Korean Herald reports that the government of Korea has agreed to form an international working group with Japan and China to share advancements in information technology and adopt regional standards for technologies, including RFID. Korea leaders see RFID as a future growth engine in the nation's IT sector. Last year, the Korean government said that it would invest 162 billion won (US$138 million) through 2010 to support development and commercialization of RFID technologies.

Capgemini Opens Pharmaceutical RFID Lab
Capgemini has created the Pharmaceutical RFID Global Center of Excellence in Cambridge, Mass., to showcase technologies that can help reduce counterfeiting. The Paris-based IT and business consulting firm has teamed with SupplyScape, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of RFID applications, to fight product counterfeiting and diversion and to create "an open, secure development environment to test anticounterfeiting RFID pilots." Capgemini hopes that pharmaceutical companies will use the lab’s staff to run pilots of their drug pedigree authentication programs. Other Capgemini partners providing technology for the RFID Global Center of Excellence include Sun Microsystems and ADT Security Systems, a division of Tyco Fire & Security.

Intermec Offers New RFID Label Printer
Intermec Technologies, an Everett, Wash.-based provider of UHF RFID systems, has RFID-enabled its EasyCoder PM4i bar code label printer. The printer can now write to Intermec's UHF tags. Intermec says that companies that purchase PM4i printers between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2004, can get a free upgrade that will make the printer compliant with the next-generation Electronic Product Code standard when it is finalized later in the year. The offer is open to North American printer customers who select a three-year Intermec Medallion Service agreement with their EasyCoder PM4i printer purchase. Companies that purchase printers under the free RFID upgrade program will also receive a 10 percent discount on any Intermec Smart Label media and a 5 percent discount on any standard labels for orders placed at the time of upgrade.

Tagsys Triples RFID Production Capacity
French RFID systems provider Tagsys says it has acquired a new RFID tag assembly machine that will increase its tag production capacity by more than 300 percent to 60 million units per year. Tagsys provides mainly high-frequency (13.56 MHz) tags and readers, but says the new assembly machine will be able to produce both high-frequency and ultra-high frequency tags. The company says there is a growing market for RFID products for product authentication, as well as for its traditional laundry, clothing rental and smart card markets. The new assembly machine will come online in August.

Free RFID Market Research
Incucomm, a Dallas-based research and consulting firm, says it will provide its recent RFID market research at no cost. The short report predicts the rate of adoption for the period 2005 to 2007. The focus is on RFID systems based on the Electronic Product Code specification, but the report also covers other types of RFID systems. It can be downloaded from the Incucomm Web site, after obtaining a password. A password will be provided to those who send an e-mail to info@incucomm.com, requesting one.

New Multiprotocol 13.56 MHz Reader
Cross Point, a Dutch RFID systems provider, has introduced a multiprotocol RFID reader. The XM13.56 can read from and write to 13.56 MHz tags based on the ISO 14443-A and ISO 15693 standards. Cross Point says the reader was designed for applications pertaining to access control, electronic payments and security. The company did not release pricing or information on availability.
04 August 2004
commentary RFID is moving from a much-talked about technology to a much-used technology, with many companies about to share RFID trials.

The last 12 months or so has been an interesting outing for RFID. For a technology that has been working fairly innoculously for many years now -- on electronic toll gates and even on pets -- it was suddenly elevated to notorious status when companies started finding new uses for the technology, such as supply tracking in the warehouse.

As you probably know, the controversy came about when the idea was floated of chipping products on retail shelves and tracking their use after they have left the store -- obviously this would have serious privacy concerns for consumers. For a while there if a company said it was looking into using RFID, it was perceived that the company was engaging in unscruplous acts to invade the privacy of unsuspecting consumers.

Fifty percent of the companies surveyed said they will conduct [RFID] pilots this year and 30 percent said they were conducting pilots right now.
Since then, however, most of that controversy has died down but that notoriety marked a new era of RFID -- it had the effect of people learning more about RFID, about how it worked and what it was all about. And all the while in the background, vendors were continuing to develop the technology. With the help of big retailers like Wal-Mart and Tesco, it was actually being put to use.

Lately RFID is getting more coverage for its uses in the supply chain than it is for its privacy concerns. Also, having major vendors -- such as IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, just to name a few -- jump on board and work on developing RFID technology hasn't harmed its reputation. Now instead of talking about the technology, more and more companies are seriously considering using it, and some are trialling it.

Eelco de Jong of LogicaCMG says where last year there was a lot of talk and no action, this year it is quite different. "It has snowballed in Europe, everyone now understands that RFID will roll -- it is not a question of if, but of when," he says.

LogicaCMG surveyed 50 companies in Europe, focusing on the use of RFID in the retail sector. According the results, 50 percent of the companies surveyed said they will conduct pilots this year, and 30 percent said they were conducting pilots right now. Certainly a few of those companies involved in trials would have been pressured by large retailers, but still the interest reported in the survey is not insignificant and it says a lot about the changing attitude towards RFID.

In the August issue of IT in the Supply Chain -- a regular supplement produced by Technology & Business -- we discuss the current uses and drawbacks of RFID. One spokesperson, Andrew Osbourne of e.centre, a supply chain efficiency organisation in the UK, says all companies supplying to major retailers should at least be looking into RFID, if only to keep up with the market. Geoff Barraclough, of BT Auto Devices, says in the publication that his company is advising customers to start trialling RFID, saying a small implementation isn't prohibitively expensive.

Following this theme, de Jong says the RFID pilots being conducted in Europe are not all driven by a business case, instead it is more that companies want to actually test the technology and see what it is like in action. While spending money on IT projects without a business case is something that is often found on the list of what not to do, in this case de Jong says it has value. "Often we see a more technology driven pilot at an early stage because they want to make sure that the technology works for them before they spend a lot of money on it, so it absolutely makes sense," he says.

Cost is an issue, which should come as a relief to privacy advocates. While LogicaCMG predicts that the tagging of crates and pallets will become standard as of 2005, the company says retailers won't be chipping consumer goods until at least 2008 because of the high price of the tags.

Of course price won't stop everybody, if the recent news about a Japanese school chipping its students is anything to by. The school plans to put chips on the clothing and bags of students and have readers at the school gates -- working on the same principle as stock visibility, the school wants to know where its students are and when they arrive and leave.

So much for a lack of controversy...

This article was first published in Technology & Business magazine.
Click here for subscription information.

January 27, 2006

Will Security Problems Quash IPO Plans for Controversial Company?

The VeriChip can be hacked! This revelation along with other worrisome details could put a crimp in VeriChip Corporation's planned initial public offering (IPO) of its common stock, say Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre.

The anti-RFID activists and authors of "Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID" make no bones about their objection to VeriChip's plans to inject glass encapsulated RFID tags into people. But now they've discovered information that could call VeriChip's entire business model into question.

"If you look at the VeriChip purely from the business angle, it's a ridiculously flawed product," says McIntyre. She notes that security researcher Jonathan Westhues has shown how easy it is to clone a VeriChip implanted in a person's arm and program a new chip with the same number.

Westhues, known for his prior work cloning RFID-based proximity cards, has posted his VeriChip cloning demo online at

The VeriChip "is not good for anything," says Westhues, has absolutely no security and "solves a number of different non-problems badly."

The chip's security issues may spell trouble for those who have had one of the microchips embedded in their flesh. These include eighteen employees in the Mexican Attorney General's office who use an implanted chip to enter a sensitive records room, and a handful bar patrons in Europe who use the injected chips to pay for drinks. "What are these people going to do now that their chips can be cloned?" says McIntyre. "Wear tinfoil shirts or keep everyone at arm's length?"

Albrecht quips, "A man with a chip in his arm may soon find himself wondering whether that cute gal on the next bar stool likes his smile or wants to clone his VeriChip. It gives new meaning to the burning question, 'Does she want my number?'"

But the VeriChip's problems don't stop there, says McInytre, who is also a former bank examiner and financial writer. She has carefully analyzed the company's SEC registration statement and associated chipping information and discovered serious flaws. It turns out the company's own literature indicates that chipped patients cannot undergo an MRI if they're unconscious. What's more, the company admits that critical medical information linked to the chip could be unavailable in a real emergency. "These issues call VeriChip's promotional campaigns and business plan into question," McIntyre says.

The instructions provided to medical personnel warn that chipped patients should not undergo an MRI unless they are fully alert and able to communicate any "unusual sensations or problems," like movement or heating of the implant. This conflicts with company's efforts to promote people who cannot speak for themselves, such as Alzheimer's patients, those with dementia, the mentally disabled, and people concerned about
entering an emergency room unconscious.

"The irony is that implantees will have to wear a Medic Alert bracelet or bear some obvious marking so they aren't mistakenly put in an MRI machine," Albrecht says.

Chipped patients might also have to wear a Medic Alert bracelet as a back-up in case the VeriChip database containing their critical medical information is unavailable. The fine print on the back of the VeriChip Patient Registration Form warns implantees that "the Company does not warrant...that the website will be available at any particular time," and physicians are told the product might not function in places where there are ambient radio transmissions--like ambulances. In addition, patients are required to waive any claims related to the product's "merchantability and fitness." The waiver paragraph as it appears on the form is reprinted below:

       "Patient...is fully aware of any risks, complications, risks of loss, damage of any nature, and injury that may be associated with this registration. Patient waives all claims and releases any liability arising from this registration and acknowledges that no warranties of any kind have been made or will be made with respect to this registration.


"For a life or death medical device, that's unbelievable," says McIntyre. "I wouldn't buy toilet paper that required that kind of a disclaimer, never mind a product that's supposed to serve as a lifeline in an emergency."

McIntyre contacted the VeriChip Corporation for comments on these issues and was initially promised a response. When the company failed to get to get back to her, McIntyre followed up and was told that the employee had been instructed not to answer her questions. The unanswered questions, along with photos of the VeriChip and associated literature, are available at www.spychips.com/verichip/unanswered-questions.html.

February 28, 2006

When Big Brother Gets Under Your Skin

by Maureen Farrell

"Can a microscopic tag be implanted in a person's body to track his every movement? There's actual discussion about that. You will rule on that -- mark my words -- before your tenure is over." -- Sen. Joseph Biden, to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Sept. 2005.

On Feb. 12, the Financial Times reported on CityWatcher.com, a Cincinnati-based company implanted RFID (Radio Frequency ID) silicon chips into two of its employees. The company defended the practice, assuring that the procedure was not meant to track employees or
infringe on their rights, but anti-RFID activists took exception. "It worries us that a government contractor that specializes in surveillance projects would be the first to publicly incorporate this technology in the workplace," Liz McIntyre said in a press release, triggering "irate e-mails" to CityWatcher.com's Web site.

McIntyre, co-author of Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID, and Communications Director for Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN) has been at the fore of a campaign against this new
technology, alongside CASPIAN founder and director and Spychips co-author Katherine Albrecht. In a Dec. 2005 interview in Mother Jones, Albrecht underscored deeper concerns, particularly now that former Bush administration official Tommy Thompson serves on the board of Applied Digital, the company that manufactures VeriChip.

    MJ: What's your take on the VeriChip Company and Tommy Thompson -- former Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Bush administration and now VeriChip Board member -- advocating more RFID technology for medical information?

    KA: It absolutely scares the heck out of me. In the last six months to a year, this company has really stepped up its efforts to get some powerful players behind it. The fact that people listen to this with a straight face is even more extraordinary to me. You've got Tommy Thompson talking about linking medical records with a chip implanted in your arm. You've got Senator Joe Biden in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings talking
about implant chips to track people with a straight face. It's unbelievable how quickly we've gone from saying "Oh, that's pet chipping technology, we'll never put that in people" to people with a straight face suddenly talking about implanting chips into American citizens. Terrifying.

The Harvard-educated Albrecht, it should be pointed out, also believes that this technology relates to the "Mark of the Beast" referred to in the book of Revelation. "The Mark of the Beast, 666: a prophesy from 2000 years ago. How many people (know that) technological developments of the last 10 to 20 years could be combining to make the Mark of the Beast a reality, and possibly even in our lifetimes?" she asks in a video entitled On the Brink of the Mark.

Though religious convictions fuel her passion, Albrecht says privacy concerns extend beyond religious and political lines. "Regardless of whether your beliefs are progressive or conservative, socially or politically, everybody's got a reason to not want somebody spying on them," she told Mother Jones. "Whether you're afraid that Big Brother is going to take the form of an evil corporation or Big Brother is going to take the form of an evil government or take whatever form, everybody's got a reason to be concerned."

Not everyone sees something sinister looming behind this new technology, however.

RFID chips are currently being used to track everything from products to consumer trends to pets to medical histories. Mississippi morgue workers used RFID chips to inventory "unidentified remains" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and more than 800 hospitals are currently using RFID technology to monitor infants in maternity wards. Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J. has installed equipment to read medical information from implanted chips, while 68 other hospitals are poised to do the same.

Techdirt, the highly touted blog charged with "decoding tech news for the masses" has also pointed to this technology's benefits. "There's a crowd of folks who are extremely anti-RFID chips. They often raise important privacy issues, but they tend to go a bit overboard in their stance in that they rarely offer any kind of solution to RFID chips
other than to ban them all completely. That's the wrong approach, since RFIDs can have real value, and many of the downsides can be solved with technology," wrote Mike on Techdirt's site. (Albrecht also concedes that RFID "is a great technology if you want to track things
from point A to point B" but says that the benefits "absolutely pale in comparison to the risks that this technology poses").

Techdirt, however, shares some of Albrecht's concerns. "[If] there's one company in the space that seems worth being extra skeptical about, it's Applied Digital, the makers of the VeriChip -- an implantable RFID chip," Mike wrote, before chronicling less savory aspects of the company's history. "We were quite surprised, in fact, to hear earlier this year that former Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson agreed, not only to be on their board, but also to get chipped himself. Turns out, though, that he might not have really meant it," he added. (Though Thompson vowed to get an RFID implant in July, 2005, as of December, he had yet to do so.)

Skittishness is understandable, as many see a sizable difference between having products tracked through RFID chips and using the same technology in people. "This may be appropriate for cattle, pets or packages, but for humans it is a very different issue," Lee Tien, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Chicago Tribune. Paula Brantner, an attorney for Workplace Fairness, believes most employees would balk at the idea of being chipped. "This is incredible. It raises something out of '1984.' It is a very invasive way of keeping tabs on your workers," she said.

Others argue that implanted microchips pose a risk beyond Big Brother concerns. Independent researcher Jonathan Westhues has demonstrated how easy it is to hack and clone imbedded chips and steal information. "I could sit next to you on the subway, and read your chip's ID. At this point I can break in to your house, by replaying that ID. So now you have to change your ID; but as far as I know, you cannot do this without surgery," he wrote on his Web site.

Though recent polls show that 81% of Americans believe "that the right to privacy [is] 'essential'," Applied Digital's CEO Scott Silverman says Americans are becoming more receptive to the idea of RFID implants. "When we first announced VeriChip, a network poll asked people if they would put one in their bodies. Only 9% said yes," Silverman said, noting that the percentage rose to 33% once Tommy Thompson signed on. A study conducted by Applied Digital later indicated that 80% of those polled said they "would have a VeriChip
implant to identify their medical records in case of an emergency."

Though this technology took root during World War II, in the past few years, it has been brought to the national consciousness through several surreal avenues. Hollywood remakes such as the Manchurian Candidate and the Stepford Wives featured chipping as a means of
control and manipulation; Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh famously complained the US Army had implanted a chip in his right buttock; and the History Channel featured a discussion of the possibility of a future "microchip population" in a segment on secret
societies. (The idea was forwarded by David Icke, it should be noted, who also believes that both Presidents Bush and Bill and Hillary Clinton belong to a race of shape-shifting reptiles.)

Lately, however, RFID news has moved beyond the surreal to become 100% real -- and the progression has been amazingly swift:

    * In 2000, Katharine Mieszkowski wrote an article for Salon, pointing to a future wherein implants are inserted into children, soldiers, employees and Alzheimer's patients. "The whoa-dude notion of surveillance chips being installed in human beings is poised to cross over from the realm of science fiction into everyday reality, and soon," she noted, adding, "What's disturbing is just how quickly these devices, which only recently would have been laughed off as a cyborg fantasy, are becoming accepted." Five years later, Tommy Thompson told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the new technology "will prevent babies
from being picked up by the wrong people in a maternity ward and make sure people in nursing homes don't walk away."

    * In 2002, "the summer of the child abduction" was punctuated by a front page article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which addressed the benefits of chipping children and then monitoring them via global satellite positioning systems. "We have GPS units for our cars If your car is stolen, we can locate it. Do we love our cars more than our children?," Applied Digital spokesman Matthew Cossolotto asked.

    * In 2003, California State Senator Debra Bowen addressed security concerns regarding RFID technology. "How would you like it if, for instance, one day you realized your underwear was reporting on your whereabouts?," she said during a hearing. In Jan. 2006, the Cleveland Plain Dealer made a similar observation. "One of the insidious ways corporations can draw information -- and, hence, gain advantage -- from consumers' wallets, bank accounts and shopping habits is with a technology called Radio Frequency Identification," the paper noted.

    * In July 2005, the tech blog Boing Boing featured back-to-back entries regarding imbedded chips. "President Bush's former Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson, onetime Governor of Wisconsin, is getting an RFID implant. Why is he volunteering for the Mark of the Best? Promotional reasons! Thompson is on the board of Applied Digital, owner of RFID vendor VeriChip," the site explained.     * In Sept. 2005, after Sen. Joseph Biden discussed "chipping" during Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' confirmation
hearings, the Washington Post ran an amusing op-ed on the subject. "I can't wait for the day when we all have microchips implanted in our heads," Catherine Getches wrote, adding that "by 2006 the State Department plans to put Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags
into new U.S. passports to keep track of us."

    * In Feb. 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that approximately 70 people in the US are now sporting implants ("mostly for medical reasons") and that the technology has been adopted worldwide. Employees at the organized-crime division of Mexico's attorney general
office in Mexico City have implanted microchips, as do "2,000 patrons of nightclubs in Barcelona, Spain, and Rotterdam, Netherlands."

In Sept., 2001, the late Hunter S. Thompson assessed the state of our Brave New World. "The 22 babies born in New York City while the World Trade Center burned will never know what they missed. The last half of the 20th century will seem like a wild party for rich kids, compared to what's coming now," he wrote. While that seems true enough, what will the future hold for those babies' babies? Newborns are already being tracked via RFID technology, and it's not unfeasible that "chipping" could become as commonplace as circumcision. After all, when a former government official tells a major daily newspaper that RFID "will prevent babies from being picked up by the wrong people in a maternity ward and make sure people in nursing homes don't walk away" and announces plans to get "chipped" himself, the day might come when Big Brother could literally get under our skins.

After all, in the past few years, the notion of Big Brother has gone from George Orwell's fantasy to mainstream acceptance. And though Mark  of the Beast superstitions are often quite laughable, they become less humorous against the backdrop of today's Apocalyptic political climate. ("This is going to be just like the Book of Revelation said it was going to be -- the end of the world as we knew it," Thompson concluded in July, 2003 -- an assessment a surprising number of Americans seem to share.)

Is this technology something to be dreaded or welcomed? Time will tell. Fear of the unknown has existed peripherally alongside every advancement. Nearly 200 years ago, for example, Mary Shelley responded to the threats posed by the Industrial Revolution by writing
Frankenstein, sounding an enduring warning against the "over-reaching" of mankind.

And while RFID technology might not be as frightening as Frankenstein's monster, Ms. Albrecht seems to disagree. "This technology poses serious risks to privacy and civil liberties," she said in Oct. 2005. "These RFID spychips can be read silently from a
distance, right through your clothes, wallet, backpack or purse by anyone with the right reader device. Already these companies have developed ways to use RFID tags embedded in credit cards and sewn into clothing to identify and track people."

Our children, it appears, will have monsters to conquer, too.

Elsa Lion

RFID: exposing databases to new security threats?

CBR Online reports that a team of three researchers presented at this week's IEE international Conference in Amsterdam a paper entitled "Is your cat infected with a computer virus?", which highlights the potential threats associated with the use of RFID tags. In particular, the paper shows how RFID tags can carry malware and propagate via databases along the supply chain.

The paper's title refers to a hypothetical scenario outlined in the paper's introduction, in which a household pet implanted with an infected RFID tag is able to spread an infection to a veterinarian's computer system, with damaging consequences.

According to CBR Online, the three researchers - Melanie Rieback, Bruno Crispo and Andrew Tanenbaum - found they were able to execute an SQL injection attack against an Oracle database and Apache web server using 127 characters of data stored on a cheap RFID tag. SQL injection attacks already occur via web applications, resulting sometimes in hackers being able to directly interfere with the data contained in a database. In Rieback's scenario, the virus uses SQL injection to write itself to a database whenever the infected tag is scanned. In a real-world scenario, this scan could happen when a pallet of goods arrives at a store or warehouse. New tags entering the system would have the viral code written to them.

Rieback, primary author of the paper, stated that 'the security breaches that RFID deployers dread most - RFID malware, RFID worms, and RFID viruses - are right around the corner'. Comment: Rieback and her follow researchers have not found a new breed of malware already spreading in the wild. The paper describes a plausible scenario for the spread of a virus via RFID tags. However, this is perhaps the most plausible and most interesting scenario of its kind.

Until now, security gurus and IT vendors have focused on threats to RFID tags themselves rather than threat that could use tags as a host. The bulk of the work done on RFID security thus focuses on preventing wiping, re-encoding and cloning at tag level. The classic example of a possible threat being 'hackers' re-encoding tags in a supermarket, which may result in revenue loss for the retailer. Few have paid attention to such threats, rightly pointing out that this was simply the high-tech equivalent of swapping sticky tags.

This new paper, however, raises far more interesting questions. It suggests that RFID tags should be considered, like all other devices, as hosts for a range of malware that may be a threat to corporate systems, rather than to the object itself. Until now, RFID tags and the data they contained were considered inherently trustworthy, perhaps because tampering with tags was not easy and mostly not worthwhile, unless a hacker also had access to the relevant database. Now that researchers have proven tags can become gateways to back-end systems, vendors and users are likely to pay more attention not only to tag security but all to RFID middleware security holes.

It would probably be easy to scan RFID data before it reaches the database, in the RFID middleware layer. However, this may slow down the data gathering and analysis process, which may remove or limit some of the benefits associated with the use of RFID. Companies deploy RFID to speed up process, remove errors and improve efficiency. Speed can be critical in certain environments, such as in the transport and logistic sectors. Any additional time needed to scan RFID tags could potentially remove any advantage for the user. In addition, loss of data, as highlighted in the veterinary example used in the paper could be as damaging and limit the number of potential medical and government applications of the technology going forward, even though speed and time are less crucial for those.

There is of course no point in predicting a gloomy future for RFID based on a theoretical paper, but this paper certainly call for action and follow up research due to the potentially far reaching consequences of its findings.

This article is an extract taken from Ovum's EuroView Daily Comment service. Providing our expert's views and opinion of the important news and events in European IT & Telecoms, this daily email bulletin is a component of Ovum's EuroView advisory service. If you have a comment or question regarding this article then please submit your details here:

FROM: http://www.ovum.com/news/euronews.asp?id=4087

Mar 17, 2006The Bugs in the Rug are RFIDOne of Germany’s best-known makers of vacuum cleaners and carpets aims to tap a new market: intelligent flooring embedded with wireless chips.

Vorwerk & Co. Teppichwerke GmbH & Co. is launching a textile flooring underlay equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, Vorwerk spokesman Thomas Weber said Friday.

"After three years of research, we’re launching field tests with several companies that intend to use our smart-floor technology," he said. "We’re now able to mass-produce the product."

The RFID-enabled flooring underlay is the result of a "thinking carpet" project launched together with German chip maker Infineon Technologies in 2003.

The smart-floor underlay can be used to perform a number of tasks, such as navigating automated transport systems in buildings, according to Weber.

In a first step, together with InMach Intelligente Maschinen GmbH, a robot manufacturer, Vorwerk is offering a bundled "smart-floor" package consisting of the RFID-enabled underlay, robots and software.

The underlay enables robots to orient themselves in a room and move toward precise targets on the floor, using information stored in the embedded RFID tags, according to Weber. Systems administrators can manage the robots from a central point, sending data to them from a control PC via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, he said.

The RFID tags consist of a microchip joined to an antenna coil and attached to an ultra-thin sheet of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. Each tag has its own ID number, which can be detected and identified by the robot’s integrated RFID reader from up to 10 centimeters. The power required for reading the tags is supplied by the robot; the tags are passive, requiring no electrical voltage.

Industrial floor cleaning could be one application. Data stored in the chips direct the robot to areas that have to be cleaned and away from those already cleaned.

Vorwerk intends to market its smart-floor system to numerous groups, including building managers, hospitals and nursing homes.

In a next step, the company aims to connect the RFID tags to form an intelligent network that can track movements and respond, according to Weber. The networked tags could be used to help secure floors from intruders or detect nursing home patients who have fallen on the floor, he said.

The smart-floor technology was demonstrated at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover, Germany, which ended Wednesday.

-John Blau, IDG News Service

For related CIO content, read The RFID Imperative and RFID Tagging for Hospital Patients.

Here is a guy who is all for animal tagging.

Identification program is important

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has been in use in Dickson County for a long time. On a national basis, Wal-Mart reported in 2003 that using RFID technology saved $8.35 billion in reduced labor, reduced vendor fraud and reduced inventory.

By October 2005, RFID was used at 13 Wal-Mart distribution centers that serviced 600 stores.

Do you have a plastic card that you scan at the grocery store (Kroger, Food Lion, etc.) in order to get discounts? Well, you are using an RFID tag in a national identification system. All of your purchases are being recorded and they know how to target their advertising for your buying preferences.

Why do we need a National Identification System (NAIS) for livestock? We all want to have a safe food supply for our children and grandchildren. Nobody wants a salmonella salad, a BSE burger or an Avian Flu chicken sandwich.

If the food supply does become infected with one of these problems, I want someone to find it and contain the problem.

How can this be done without an identification system? The longer you wait to find the problem, the bigger it will become and livestock prices will crash like they did in Canada. With no system in place, many more animals will be infected and have to be destroyed. Many more farmers would be devastated.

The U.S. government has put the NAIS on hold, but the beef cattle industry is pushing forward. Many farmers have already adopted the practice of using RFID tags. McDonald’s has a timeline in place for purchasing only source-verified beef. Wal-Mart wants to be the first major grocery with 100 percent source-verified beef to assure their customers of a safe food supply.

But after reading two recent articles on the National Identification System in The Dickson Herald, it is apparent that many people are being misled on this important issue.

I am not an expert on this subject, but I have been using these RFID tags for cattle since 2000. I have participated in several training seminars in Tennessee and Kentucky, and I have talked to USDA employees to get factual information.

I have decided to discuss some quotes from Bill Dannenmaier’s column on March 10 entitled, “Doesn’t the USDA have anything better to do?”

•“Program effective Jan. 1, 2008” – Nothing definite. Mandatory compliance was scheduled for January 2009. The whole program is now on hold, but recent outbreaks of BSE, Avian Flu, etc. could change everything.

•“Animals must be tagged with a seven-digit USDA ID number” – Not true. All the tags I have ever seen and used have 15-digit numbers. These RFID tags can be used with or without a matching visual tag. Tags are usually scanned with a wand or a panel reader.

•“Legible at 15 feet” – Not true. The USDA Released Guidelines for the Manufacture and Distribution of Official Identification Devices Under NAIS on March 3, 2006 that clearly states the Animal Identification Number must be readable at a distance of 30 inches.

•“Only about $15 a tag” – Not true. The tags we have used cost $2.50 to $3 per tag. Some animals (like horses) will probably receive an implant instead of a tag, which may be even cheaper.

•“Failure to comply can result in a $1,000-per-day charge per animal” – Where did this come from? I have talked to Dr. Robert Scott, USDA veterinarian in Nashville and checked all the information I can find. I have not been able to find any reference to charging farmers $1,000 per day.

•“A $40 vet bill” – Not true. I have used many of these tags and I know farmers using the tags themselves. These RFID tags are applied with the same tagging pliers that farmers use in inserting fly tags and visual ear tags.

•“It is idiocy” – Not true. It has been a voluntary program for some time. The Nichols Alliance Sales at the Dickson Livestock Center have been using the tags for several years. All certified feeder calf programs are using them. One recent sale at Guthrie, Ky., had 2,100 calves in the program that required the tags. The Certified Pre-Health Program is a voluntary program in Kentucky that requires RFID tags and the calves usually bring more money.

For USDA fact sheets, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/fsheet_faq_notice/fsfaqnot_animalhealth.html and look under section “N.”

Many producers already see the importance of tagging cattle for age and source verification in a National Animal Identification System.

Educational programs from UT Extension have delivered information on animal identification at the Dickson County Livestock Association’s annual banquet, at Beef Quality Assurance Trainings, at the Mid-South Stocker Conference and the Master Beef Producer Program. All of these programs are open to any interested cattle producer.

For more information, contact Jeff Smith at 446-2788 or jsmith49@utk.edu.

Date : Thu, May 18, 2006 07:40 PM

May 18, 2006

Company Pushes RFID Implants for Immigrants, Guest Workers

Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation, has alarmed civil libertarians by promoting the company's subcutaneous human tracking device as a way to identify immigrants and guest workers. He appeared on the Fox News Channel earlier this week, the morning after President Bush called for high-tech measures to clamp down on Mexican immigrants.

Privacy advocates Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre are warning that a government-sanctioned chipping program such as that suggested by Silverman could quickly be expanded to include U.S. citizens, as well.

The VeriChip is a glass encapsulated Radio Frequency Identification tag that is injected into the flesh to uniquely number and identify people.
The tag can be read silently and invisibly by radio waves from up to a foot or more away, right through clothing. The highly controversial device is also being marketed as a way to access secure areas, link to medical records, and serve as a payment device when associated with a credit card.

"Makers of VeriChip
have been planning for this day. They've lost millions of dollars trying to sell their invasive product to North America, and now they see an opportunity in the desperation of the
people of Latin America," Albrecht observes.

VeriChip's Silverman bandied about the idea of chipping foreigners on national television Tuesday, emboldened by the Bush Administration call to know "who is in our country and why they are here." He told Fox & Friends that the VeriChip could be used to register guest workers, verify their identities as they cross the border, and "be used for enforcement purposes at the employer level." He added, "We have talked to many people in Washington about using it...."

Silverman is reportedly also planning to share his vision on CNBC's Squawk Box if a slot opens up tomorrow (Friday) morning sometime between 6 and 9 AM Eastern Time. He was originally scheduled to appear on the show this morning, but technical problems at the Florida studio prevented his appearance.
The numbering and chipping of people seems like a plot from a dystopian novel, but the company has gotten the buy-in from highly placed current and former government officials, including Columbian President Alvaro Uribe. He reportedly told Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) that he would consider having microchips implanted into Colombian workers before they are permitted to enter the United States to work on a seasonal basis.

"The mantra 'chip the foreigners' has little appeal once people realize the company wants to stamp its 'electronic tattoo' into every one of us," cautions McIntyre. "Electronically branding and tracking
visitors like cattle is VeriChip's excuse to get the government on board. But if that happens, we'll all be in their sights."

Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services joined the board of VeriChip Corporation after leaving his Bush administration cabinet post. Shortly thereafter, he went on national television recommending that all Americans get chipped as a way to link to their medical records. He also suggested the VeriChip could replace military dog tags, and a spokesman boasted that the company had been in talks with the Pentagon.

Privacy advocates warn that once people are numbered with a remotely readable RFID tag like the VeriChip, they can be tracked. Once they can be tracked, they can be monitored and controlled.

Albrecht and McIntyre, the authors of "Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID" believe the world's people will stand firm against chipping. "Our country was founded on principles of freedom and liberty. We're betting that the American people will see the end game and buck VeriChip's attempts," said Albrecht. "We also believe the people of Latin America will rise up in opposition once they read our book."

The Spanish language version of "Spychips" will be hitting shelves across Latin America next month.



"Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your Every Move with RFID" (Nelson Current) was released in October 2005. Already in its fifth printing, "Spychips" is the winner of the 2006 Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty and has received wide critical acclaim. Authored by Harvard doctoral researcher Katherine Albrecht and former bank examiner Liz McIntyre, the book is meticulously researched, drawing on patent documents, corporate source materials, conference proceedings, and firsthand interviews to paint a convincing -- and frightening -- picture of the threat posed by RFID.

Despite its hundreds of footnotes and academic-level accuracy, the book remains lively and readable according to critics, who have called it a "techno-thriller" and "a masterpiece of technocriticism."

The Spanish-language version of Spychips, titled "Chips Espias," will be available in bookstores in the Americas and Spain starting June 6, 2006.

Subject:  VeriChip Implants Causing Cancer
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 08:27:56 +0000
Group's Latest Report Sets Record Straight on Chip Implants, Cancer, and more

Opponents of the VeriChip implant are launching a new offensive against the controversial human microchip this week, amid reports that  VeriChip plans to put its chipping division on the auction block. A new report titled "Microchip Implants: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions" released today by CASPIAN Consumer Privacy reveals dirty laundry the company would probably rather keep hidden as it seeks a buyer for its beleaguered product.

The 42-page report was authored by CASPIAN director Dr. Katherine Albrecht, a Harvard-educated privacy expert and long-time critic of
the VeriChip. The highlight of the report is an eleven-page section titled "Cancer Cover-up" that describes a systematic pattern of lies and
deception engaged by VeriChip executives in an effort to downplay the fact that implantable microchips cause cancer in laboratory animals.

The report reveals how news outlets like Time Magazine, Business Week, and the RFID Journal were used as unwitting pawns in a VeriChip scheme to spread misinformation about the cancer studies. Since research linking the product to cancer first surfaced last year, each of these
publications has repeated misstatements from VeriChip company executives, in many cases printing the inaccurate statements verbatim and unchallenged.

"These were not subjective issues, they were plainly verifiable issues of fact," Albrecht said. "We were saddened to see the misstatements  fall
through the fact-checking cracks of these respected publications. Now that VeriChip is back in the headlines, we felt it was time to set the
record straight."

VeriChip's media efforts have done little to salvage the company's public image or its financial performance, both of which plummeted
after research linking the implantable microchip to cancer was widely  revealed by the Associated Press in September 2007. The same company that once predicted revenues in the "billions" earned just $3,000 from its microchip implant operations in the first quarter of 2008, as patients
shun the device that many are now calling the "cancer chip."

Investors have also distanced themselves from the failing company, with VeriChip's stock plummeting from a high of $10.62 last year to just
over $2.00 today.

VeriChip's VP of business development, Jay McKeage, acknowledged the implant division suffers from "a substantial cash burn" and is "not
sustainable on its own." As a result, he says, VeriChip plans to "shop the VeriMed / Health Link [human implantable chip] business around
widely" in hopes that another company will take the unpopular product off its hands.

However, with recent blog headlines like "VeriChip Death Watch" making the rounds, Albrecht has a hard time imagining who, if anyone, will
want to buy the business.

"This is a company that has engaged in a consistent pattern of making false and misleading statements," she said. "It has lied to the
public, to the media, to its shareholders, and to regulatory agencies," she said, citing additional evidence from the report indicating that
VeriChip hid cancer evidence from the FDA when the agency reviewed the implant's safety in 2004.

"We laid out all the evidence in our report," she added. "We want to make sure no one else gets burned by VeriChip."


CASPIAN's new report, "Microchip Implants: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions," is a comprehensive reference guide to implantable
microchips in animals and humans. It provides thoroughly-researched, footnoted answers to 85 of the most commonly asked questions about the
implantable microchip, including religious, privacy, social, and health questions. The report concludes with a list of recommendations for patients, pet owners, and policy makers affected by the device.

The new report is available for free download on the group's AntiChips.com website at:

While on the website, readers are encouraged to download Dr. Albrecht's comprehensive 52-page overview of the studies, "Microchip-Induced
Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990-2006," and to review scanned copies of the original documents.


CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) is a grass-roots consumer group fighting retail
surveillance schemes since 1999 and irresponsible RFID use since 2002. With thousands of members in all 50 U.S. states and over 30
countries worldwide, CASPIAN seeks to educate consumers about marketing strategies that invade their privacy and encourage privacy-conscious shopping habits across the retail spectrum.


You're welcome to duplicate and distribute this message to others who may find it of interest.

Art Gianfermo
Business Development

In a message dated 1/30/2007 6:00:02 PM Pacific Standard Time, Dee777 writes:
Marilyn and I were listening to Steve Quayle and a woman about RFID tags and chips in animals and trees and everyone coming in the future.
Marilyn said that her partner had set a fire in her fireplace with wet wood and smoke got all over her house and on her window blinds.
This is what was said:  Open the e-mail full screen to see the timeline:
'johns doin pizza for dinner coz i got highly pissed at him earleir
Dee777:  oh oh
A:  yeah he has ruined and smoked up everything burning wet wood in the fireplace
A:  i wish he was smart
Dee777:  ack
Af:  that just common sense you don't burn wet wood
Dee777:  absolutely
A:  you should see my blinds and i told him yeah i will be the one who has to take em down and scrub em and bleach em
Dee777:  its that bad? yikes
to me it is      _______________|________________________________________|______________________†__________________________________7________4________________
Dee777:  what is that?
A well i go by my great aunt alice and uncle bob's everything had a yellow shade to it more like a light amber 
Dee777:  what are those lines and numbers?
A:  what lines and numbers ?
Dee777:  scroll up?
i don't see em
Dee777:  hang on
oh man that didn't even show up on my side!!!
Dee777:  it means something then
A:  we need to copy this
Dee777:  its like a warning
Af:  we need to see where we were talkin and about what
Dee777:  you just mentioned about burning wet wood and how bad the smoke was
Dee777:  see the cross on the line - followed by 7 and 4
Dee777:  I don't know how to make a Christian cross on here
A yeah coz i don't know how the cross would place itself in there ...here is what a T looks like t
Dee777:  right - its a christian cross
A:  that is a cross coz see the t
A:  yeah it is i have no idea who or me on another level conveying something to you?
A:  coz it doesn't show up on my side at all
Dee777:  thats weird
A:  let me try something
Dee777:  I showed it to Joe - I said the christian cross means 'death' 
Dee777:  he said ' it means resurrection too"
Dee777:  I said,"No - the cross means death
 Dee777:  he doesn't know what it means
A:  i saw a time line
Dee777:  thats what I think too
A:  the numbers and such i dont know what they mean
A:  maybe we should send it to steve and see what he thinks
Dee777:  it came right after your smoke statement
A:  coz while i was typin bout the wet wood i was thinkin we need it to dry more for later then to be burnin it all now when we got gas heat
Dee777:  why did it show up only on my side?
A:  coz it was a projected message
A [6:59 P.M.]:
  to me it is 
A [7:00 P.M.]:
  looks like we been smokin in this house for 20 yrs
did it show up again?
Dee777:  no
A:  ok then it was a projected message only coz it didn't transfer again with the text
Dee777:  I don't have you saying "looks like we been smokin in this house for 20 yrs
A:  really!
Dee777:  nope
Dee777:  well- its a message 
A:  i just got a tug on my robe here
Dee777:  what John did is a sign for something coming
Dee777:  see if you get a message
A:  there is an extremely strong energy solid on my spinal column right now
Dee777:  ok- go with it
A:  whoever it is they tugged on me too
Dee777:  its a warning for something
A:  to me it's layin out a timeline for something
Dee777:  I agree
A:  put it on a larger medium.... like a picture program or something it is a timeline
A:  and look at it from there ...oh man as i am sayin this i am gettin tingling up my spine
Dee777:  I opened up the IM full screen - its real clear
A:  oh yeah
Dee777:  it goes with the smoke and burninig
A:  yeah it goes with not burning the wet wood
After some more discussion about the lines, we decided the lines were a time line, and I decided to meditate on it.
This is what I got:
1-30-07 - timeline - meditation -
My guide said that Marilyn and I both need to be cautious about using the fireplace in wet winter weather during the timeline- and that we should be watchful during this period of time.
I then closed my eyes and asked if there was anything else I needed to know:
I saw two women dressed in long white hooded robes and a man in a floppy hat came up to them and asked what they were doing there.
I then saw a scene on a road like people were carrying all their clothes with them in flowered pillow cases - apparently they had run out of gas, because the pick up truck was in the middle of the road, just sitting there, and people were walking and leaving he vehicle behind and walking out into the countryside.
Next was a reference to arguing and fighting
I saw a blond woman in a white negligee and removing it and standing there naked outside
the next voices said - 'hurting - facing all the hooking men"
I asked about Marilyn's smoke and fire
I was told it was the hell-fires
I then heard a voice of a black man from the Caribbean with a loud large voice -
he said, "Are you saying this is for Christians to understand?
I then saw a huge cartoon crowd of people - like Popeye and Olive Oyl  in a cartoon crowd of people like them.  The voice said,"It is for all people."
I then asked about the cross symbol in the timeline:
The voice said, "It is the basic Jesus symbol.   It is of denial. "
Then I saw a parent holding a small boy child and a doctor gave the child a shot in the arm and the child screamed and flaied his arms and legs in his fathers arms.
I then heard some mumbling on the side
I asked if there was another message
Loudly, the voice said, "I only have one -  It is the Ostritch".
End of messages.
When I think of the Ostrich - its the Ostrich having its head in the sand.  Then I remembered that the radio show we were listening to was about the RFID tags and chips in the animals, plants, and then the children.
And the message is - that we are all going to get it - like it or not.
Submitted by Dee Finney
1-30-07-  5:07 p.m.

... These ethereal ley lines re-connect to the non-mechanical computer chips IMPLANTED in all biological and non-biological software designed upon the DNA for all ...
www.greatdreams.com/chin.htm - 13k - Cached - Similar pages

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