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Mexican Attorney General Gets Microchip in Arm 410

Posted by timothy
from the but-anything's-removable dept.
novakreo writes "Rafael Macedo de la Concha, Mexico's Attorney-General, now has a non-removable microchip in his arm, to track his movements and to give him access to a new crime database, according to Bloomberg. The article says that eventually around 160 Mexican officials will have a chip implanted." (Wired and CNN are both running the very similar Reuters report, too.)
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Mexican Attorney General Gets Microchip in Arm

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  • Great... (Score:3, Funny)

    by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <yoda.etoyoc@com> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:31AM (#9695516) Homepage Journal
    Well, when someone REALLY wants access to the system, all they'll need is a saw.
    • Re:Great... (Score:3, Funny)

      by peragrin (659227)
      Most Saws don't work well on humans and would cause scars. You need a fine tooth long blade in a Sawzall, in order to quickly producea clean wound.

      Oh wait did yo want him to live afterwards???

      In that case never mind. An axe will work just as well.
    • Re:Great... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Scorchio (177053)
      Don't worry. They've gone to great lengths to let the whole world know it's implanted in his arm, when actually it's in his left leg.
    • If your gonna cut it out odds are you don't really cares what happens to him. I say use an ax. It'll be more fun that way.
      • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @10:24AM (#9696550)
        > If you['re] gonna cut it out odds are you don't really cares what happens to him. I say use an ax. It'll be more fun that way.

        When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

        When the only tool you have is a shotgun, every problem looks for the nearest exit.

        But when the only tool you have is an axe, every problem looks like hours of gleeful, giddy, glorious fun!

    • 4 out of 5 professional assassins choose a Hattori Hanzo blade. [the-arwen.net] If you have the means, I highly recommend it.
    • by TrentL (761772)
      Actually, this could be a good idea for people who are afraid they are going to be taken hostage. If I had to go to Iraq, I wouldn't mind having a chip in me so I could get rescued if I were taken hostage.
  • Yeah well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nametaken (610866) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:33AM (#9695527)
    ...EVERYTHING is removeable. The question is what happens when you do.
    • Not necessarily (Score:5, Informative)

      by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot&keirstead,org> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:37AM (#9695555) Homepage
      The technology exists such that they could in theory make this thing only operate when pysically attached to the body ( say, powered off of blood or bloodflow ), and only operate when in contact with his specific blood type.

      So to use it, a perpetraitor would have to a) Kidnap him, b ) cut off his arm, c) surgically graft the thing into someone else with the same blood type.

      Hopefully by that point they'd have de-activated his chip.

      I imagine in a few years we'd even be able to make these things DNA specific.

      • I'm more interested in the HOW part, myself. I'd like to know if they managed to strap or adhere it to a bone. I'd also like to know what kind of technology they use to make that thing strong enough to be locateable "anywhere". I guess it can't be passive, right?
      • So to use it, a perpetraitor would have to a) Kidnap him, b ) cut off his arm, c) surgically graft the thing into someone else with the same blood type.

        Well, it's good to see that Mexico is encourgaing creative usage of new technologies, anyway.

      • Why not just take a pint of blood with you when you grab the arm? Hell, you only need a little vial of it, like those urine sample containers doctors use.
      • The technology exists such that they could in theory make this thing only operate when pysically attached to the body ( say, powered off of blood or bloodflow ), and only operate when in contact with his specific blood type.

        So to use it, a perpetraitor would have to a) Kidnap him, b ) cut off his arm, c) surgically graft the thing into someone else with the same blood type.

        Hopefully by that point they'd have de-activated his chip.

        I imagine in a few years we'd even be able to make these things DNA specifi
      • Re:Not necessarily (Score:3, Insightful)

        by uberdood (154108)
        Even if it was tied to his DNA for operation, I still don't see how the chip is non-removable. If it can be inserted INTO the body, it can be removed.
  • by CdBee (742846) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:34AM (#9695529)
    Record his transponder signal, and throw a copy of his chip over the border fence into the USA...
  • by YetAnotherName (168064) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:36AM (#9695547) Homepage
    Does he really have one? [imdb.com]
    • by mfh (56)
      > Does he really have one?
      Great reference!!! I think if he doesn't really have one, then maybe he's not really the Attourney General, either. Maybe he's just a plantation worker who fell in the Coke vats? IEEEEEEEEEEYIEIEIEIEIE!!!
  • Thoughts... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mirko (198274)
    1. If he gets kidnapped, I guess I know what will be sent as a proof of his detention... I just hope he didn't have it implanted in his writing (and pizza^Wtortilla-eating) arm.
    2. Is this the same chip that the Okinawese scholards are supposed to get ?
  • Can't be removed? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jerith (324986) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:38AM (#9695562) Journal
    "can't be removed" -- I doubt that. *Anything* can be removed from the human body if the remover the required skill and doesn't really care about collateral damage.

    I suddenly have a mental image of a Mexican criminal trying to get into a government installation carrying an arm...
    • by dr_dank (472072) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:55AM (#9695685) Homepage Journal
      I suddenly have a mental image of a Mexican criminal trying to get into a government installation carrying an arm...

      If he doesn't get in there, he can just go to a convenience store to commit an "armed" robbery.
    • What happens if he gets fired ? I'd be interested in seing that debate :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why is it sci-fi movies of years past tend to predict the future

    terminator/2, cafe flesh etc etc :)

    Anyways im still waiting for the flying cars..
  • I'm just waiting for the conspiracy theorists on this one:

    It's the sign on the devil! Apocalypse is upon us! Major League Baseball really is tracking our movements!
  • tracking? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmigaAvenger (210519) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:41AM (#9695593) Journal
    anyone else doubt the tracking ability of this thing? it would need both a fairly decent rx/antenna, and also a fairly good transmitter to get that info back out. since mexico isn't known for the incredible cell coverage, the incoming part would at least have to be gps. outgoing could be cell, but would be better served by satellite also. So they fit two satellite radio devices into this guy, complete with high gain antennas?
    • Yep, now he's broadcasting pirated TV through his satellite receivers and transmitters!

      Seriously, its probably just a passive type device like most RFID tags. Its powered by the electromagnetic energy of the reader (the thing that would be installed at say, the government offices). I could be wrong though.
  • by mukund (163654)
    Remember what Boris the Blade did to Frankie Four-Fingers cause he attached the suitcase to his arm?
  • Reboot? (Score:5, Funny)

    by FuzzyShrimp (751090) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:43AM (#9695606)
    Well, do you kick hin in the ass to reboot the thing?
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:44AM (#9695616)
    What, with an internal heads-up-display, a la the Terminator
    I am Attorney Sancho Panza of Borg, prepare to be indicted!
  • He'll be buying all those drinks "on the arm"...
    Remember this? [buzzle.com]
  • by djkitsch (576853) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:45AM (#9695625)
    It looks like he's giving Professor Kevin Warwick [kevinwarwick.org] a run for his money...

    Next step: interfacing with computers using mind control [upn.com]!
  • Microchip in arm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Avada Kedavra (712991) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:46AM (#9695634)
    Civilian contractors in Iraq need this technology
    not Mexican Attorney Generals.
  • by adeyadey (678765) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:47AM (#9695638) Journal
    This guy really does have a chip on his shoulder..

    (ok ok arm, its close..)

    Seriously though, is there really any justification for this? Is this not something that can be achieved by other, less obtrusive methods?
    • Maybe they're just really sick of him forgetting his pass.
    • Is there a mod +1 "groan"?

      Yeah, I don't know if I'm blurring the line between sci-fi and reality, but aren't there already working biometrics systems that could serve as a unique identifier without requiring implantation? Retinal scanners, fingerprint scanners, etc?

      I suspect part of the answer is the tracking capability..the article didn't mention it, but Mexico is suffering a crime wave of kidnappings for ransoms. Perhaps his job makes him a particularly vulnerable/valuable target. I imagine he and

  • Upgrades (Score:3, Informative)

    by iCharles (242580) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:47AM (#9695639) Homepage
    I've always had a problem with implantable technologies for non-medical purposes (i.e. not pacemakers, replacement valves, etc.). Basically, you wind up with
    • Having to make all sorts of backward compatibility on a single standard.
    • Competing standards requiring multiple implants. (and you thought browser wars were bad!)
    • Surgery every few years to upgrade (would Best Buy take an old implant back?)
    • A lot of old chips collecting in your arm, leg, neck, etc.
  • yes but.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr. Smokey Mcpot (789315) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:48AM (#9695643)
    can you run linux on Him? Now that's what I call an Embedded solution.
  • ...was to it easier for him to booze at the Baja Beach Club [guardian.co.uk] in Barcelona.
  • How hard is it to block the signal? kidnap them throw them in a foil lined body bag then scan later in a basement to remove.
    I guess in one sense you could mail them the chip to prove you have the official.
  • by pragma_x (644215) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:51AM (#9695663) Journal
    En Rusia soviética, el microchip le programa!
  • is now embedded UNDER my skull
  • I hope he read the warning label:

    Caution: do not microwave person with RFID tag. Tag may vent with flame causing serious and possibly fatal wounds.

    But don't worry. Microwave safe RFID tags are surely just around the corner.

    -Adam
  • On the bright side, I guess we'll have the first Black Female Mexican president soon, after a dramatic election day fiasco.

    WUBBAwubbaWUBBAwubbaWUBBAwubbaWUBBAwubba
  • by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @09:00AM (#9695737) Journal


    ``The system is already in place and I already have it,'' he said. ``It's only for access, for security and so that I can also be located at any moment anywhere I am.''

    If I have the key I can drop an NLOS on you ass baby!

    http://www.raytheon.com/products/nlos/
  • So, if he walks through the scanner at one of those "supermarkets of the future", how much does it ring up for him?

    And, does it know to use Pesos?

    Chip H.
  • by dj245 (732906)
    Fu*bZZZTTT enchiritos I cannot remove this godd*vBZZT Vchip from my arm, compadre!
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @09:07AM (#9695791) Homepage
    Then I can play all the cool games! Right now I can't play worth a flip.. ...this is about the new playstation right? Maybe I should go back and read the article...
  • by Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @09:08AM (#9695795)

    THIS [scifi.com] has been done before.

    We can rebuild him. We have the technology.

    We have the capability to make the world's first Bionic man.

    Rafael Macedo de la Concha will be that man.

    Better than he was before.

    Better . . . stronger . . . faster.

    duh nah nah nah nahhhh...

  • This will stop.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mseeger (40923) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @09:13AM (#9695822)
    Hi,

    this will stop as soon as terrorist use RFID sensors to "trigger personalised" bombs.

    A few months ago i was consultant for a goverment agency. They were plannng to install RFID chips into the cars of VIPs to save them from stopping at the parkhouse entrance of that agency. The goal was to avoid stops and deny snipers a shot. We were able to convince them that this was "not a good idea" ®SMALL>TM.

    Regards, Martin

  • ..If it is.. have the americans used the mexicans as guinea pigs to test out chip implants in humans? There is no mention about the medical safety of any such device.
    I mean id never let any such implant come near me.Besides the idea of someone tracking me all the time is SPOOOKY! :-P
  • In the ST:TOS episode "Patterns of Force", Spock and Kirk are sent down to the planet to undo the mess that historian John Gill created when he indoctrinated the Ekosian people with the idea that the Nazi society would work. Before leaving the ship, both Spock and Kirk were injected with a crystal that had similar properties to an RFID chip.

    Now, this Mexican official is set! All he needs now is to rip up the bed springs, slit his arm and remove the crystal, and he can burn his way out of his jail cell wi
  • Chip readout: 'delivery boy'.

    Nooooooooooooooo!
  • "Non-removable" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alex_tibbles (754541) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @09:22AM (#9695893) Journal
    The article does not specify how it is made non-removable. Perhaps it reacts to air (but not blood etc!). Any ideas? Perhaps they just claim that to dissuade people chopping him up to get his security access...
  • I wonder if it would be better using the ARM processor?
    (or maybe the Strong ARM)... ...nyuck nyuck nyuck

    .
  • Just a PR stunt (Score:3, Insightful)

    by James Lewis (641198) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @09:42AM (#9696119)
    I think this is obviously just a PR stunt by the Mexico officials to make it look like they are "doing something" about the crime in their country, when in fact this doesn't really help at all.
  • by color of static (16129) <smasters AT ieee DOT org> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @09:44AM (#9696136) Homepage Journal
    Think about it. You want to threaten the bad guys, who are a little less educated and a whole lot more guilable then you are. In that light you concoct a story that makes it sound like this database is being watched with "superhuman" effeciency by the head in each district. Throw in the part about tracking and non removable to make kidnapping seem dangerous, and you keep the officials safe on top of it.

    This sounds like it is the high tech version of the "This is protected by an alarm system." sticker. Instead of just buying them and sticking them on your windows, you do a press conference.
    • I agree. It's almost certainly 99% BS. Maybe there is an RFID-type chip in his arm for accessing that database, that's fairly moot. There are lots of exciting way to protect databases and none of them are 100%.

      The tracing Mexico wide aspect is the tip off. Although everybody wants to think otherwise, I'm fairly sure that's just not technically possible.

      Passive RFID style chips are good up to 9 meters max. Even at 100 times that, it'd be next to useless for nation wide tracking.

      You can't stick a transpond
  • Scary. (Score:3, Funny)

    by bfg9000 (726447) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @09:48AM (#9696181) Homepage Journal
    From the Article: Mexico's Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha said he had a non-removable microchip implanted in his arm as a security measure to track him throughout Mexico and to give him access to a crime data bank.

    They say they'll have access to the network, but apparently, in Soviet Mexico, THE NETWORK WILL HAVE ACCESS TO *THEM*.

    Just say NO to the Mark of the Beast, kids. Especially if it's running Microsoft.
  • by Fear the Clam (230933) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @10:49AM (#9696777)
    ...a non-removable microchip in his arm, to ... give him access to a new crime database...

    Somewhere in Mexico, an IT guy is laughing his ass off.
  • by Landaras (159892) <neil@weLAPLACEhneman.com minus math_god> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @11:27AM (#9697163) Homepage
    Everytime a topic like this comes up, a lot of people mention the Mark of the Beast or other references to Revelation.

    Many are jokes, a few feign seriousness, and there are sometimes one or two that appear to be truly righteously indigant (on Christian grounds) in regards to the technology.

    I personally don't touch eschatology [wikipedia.org], as I have better things to do with my time, but I thought I would repeat (or rather, paraphrase) the insight of a non-Christian poster of several months ago.


    Why do you fundamentalists get up in arms about this supposed 'Mark of the Beast' or that intepreted 'Sign of the End Times?'

    You say that you want Jesus to come back, but your messiah said himself that he won't return until these things come to pass.

    Stupid Christians. No End Times = No Return of Christ. You shouldn't be fighting this technology.

    You should be cheering this on.


    Not making any judgment calls (as a Christian myself), but thought I would repeat the insight for the benefit of all.

    - Neil Wehneman
  • by varjag (415848) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @11:47AM (#9697366)
    Now, if they only equipped politicians with detonation collars..
  • by monk (1958) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @12:32PM (#9697800) Homepage
    While he may have said these things in an interview for whatever reasons the claims sound a little odd to me. He claims that he, "...can also be located at any moment anywhere I am," with this system. If you think about that claim he's saying this chip somehow communicates with receivers which can track him. It can't be a passive RFID [wikipedia.org] chip as their would have to be readers everywhere to power it, so we might assume it's an active chip. Where is the network of readers in place to track him all over Mexico? Maybe we can assume it uses cell towers. Does mexico have the cell location technology in place in the towers yet? Also, if you have a cell phone you have probably charged it at least every few days. With just an ID to transmit, let's assume his battery lasts longer, maybe weeks. Is he inserting a battery in his arm every few weeks? I don't think so. He might be charging the thing through a pair of coupled coils [mit.edu]? Even so, wet tissues and skin don't make for a great environment for a transponder. That's why we don't implant tags in cattle among other reasons. The tags in small pets can only be read within a few inches.

    I think the current technology is just not up to this claim. Maybe the statement is an anti-kidnapping, psychological warfare tactic.
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @12:42PM (#9697939) Homepage
    MEXICO WILL SOON BE RULED ENTIRELY BY CYBORGS. Is nobody noticing this? I mean, we can finally scratch an entry off the list of "things that we would have expected to happen in the 21st century". We may not have flying cars or meals in pill form yet, but at least Mexico is now living in the plot of a comic book.

    [Mexican mecha-attorney general] With this new microchip I have had implanted in me, I have become more powerful than ever imagined. I can track my movements, as well as access a new crime database.
    [Reporter] But Señor Macedo, aren't you worried about there being ill effects?
    [Mexican mecha-attourney general] Yes, that's why I have also had an "inhibitor chip" installed, so that I control the RFID chip-- instead of it controlling me.
  • by coinreturn (617535) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:44PM (#9698668)
    Tracking him with a website would be great fun (a-la the Sims). Also handy for any potential assassin.
  • I can see it now! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sirgoran (221190) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @04:51PM (#9700913) Homepage Journal
    A sudden rash of Mexican officials having their arms cut off and the "secret" database being accessed and hacked. Nice business model folks!

    1. Implant security chip in arm, tell world about it
    2. Be found anywhere
    3. Access Secure database via chip
    4. Rebels cut off arm
    5. ???
    6. No Profit! Country in disrepair..
    Oh wait...

    -Goran

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