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Microchips For Human Implantation As ID 450

securitas writes: "Reuters is carrying this story about Applied Digital's VeriChip -- a subcutaneous microchip (like the ones they use to tag pets, livestock and wildlife) used as ID for humans. They are radio-activated and would initially be used to store and transmit medical data via the Internet. They will be also used as tracking beacons and personal ID according to a company exec. The launch will be in Europe and South America. The company has made an FDA application and the FCC has already licensed airwaves for a similar device." We've mentioned this company's "Digital Angel" before, but there's an understandable sudden interest in such tracking technologies.
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Microchips For Human Implantation As ID

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  • Awesome (Score:2, Funny)

    by Vess V. ( 310830 )
    Awesome, now when you accidentally ask girls for their IP instead of their phone number, you won't be that far in the hole this time.
  • Big Brother cheers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jpt.d ( 444929 ) <> on Sunday December 23, 2001 @06:29PM (#2745289)
    I think this is an awesome idea, but I think governments would abuse it the first chance they got.

    If it was a short range device that you would literally need to be within a few centimetres then it would be ok.

    If it was a long range device (of satallite tracking ilk) then governments would be able to track criminals, and people who can't help themselves (eg. elderly people). But they could also put it on say a political foe.

    It is good with certain limitations.
    • No matter what, I would cut it out. In my minds eye, it would be just as bad as tatooing a person's name on their face, or a barcode on their arm.
  • by sludgely ( 447712 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @06:29PM (#2745295)
    I can vividly see a world in which it is mandatory for all people to have sensors in them. This day is not far off either. It will be introduced as a further measure for our "safety", but in reality it is just another advance of Big Brother as well as our loss of that scrap of privacy that we used to hold.
    • by Micah ( 278 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @07:28PM (#2745504) Homepage Journal
      He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead,
      so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
      -- Revelation 13:16-17

      We now have technology to make that happen!
      • What if they put it in your left hand? Would it not satisfy the requirements then?

        Armageddon could be delayed!

      • 666 was a code for the initials of the emperor Dioclecian(sp?). If A=1, B=2, C=3.... then in the alphabet they were using 666 would equal his initials. In greek translations the number was 686 due to changes in the positions of the relevant letters. Needless to say this has nothing to do Satan, Lucifer, Mephisocles, etc....

        The thing to realize about Revelation is that it was meant for the time in which it was written, not our time. Lamebrains and con men have been screaming "the sky is falling, the end times are nigh!!" and using revelation as the basis for almost 2000 years.

        That being said I do think the idea of a tracking device that isn't something you can remove is a VERY bad idea. People have forgotten the concept of personal sovereignty and have fallen into the mindset that whatever rights or freedoms they posess are indulgences on the part of the government. If you believe that way then it becomes true. If however, you realize that no one has the right to hold power over you that you do not agree to, then the nature of things like this becomes very clear.

        • > The thing to realize about Revelation is that it was meant for the time in which it was written, not our time.

          Well I wholeheartedly disagree with that. It was meant to ENCOURAGE the persecuted people in the time it was written, and it DID have specific messages for some of the churches (Rev 2 and 3).

          However, the book was a DIVINE revelation of things that will happen at the end of the world. The encouragement is that we win!

          Of course, you have to believe in God to believe that divine revelations are possible. But personally I've experienced at least one and heard of several others, and I've seen God do a lot of other really cool things, so I have no trouble at all believing that Revelation is exactly what it claims to be.
  • give a whole new meaning to "aluminum foil hat"

    or, as in the case of Total Recall, wrapping wet towels around our heads may get pretty popular.

  • Old news (Score:2, Informative)

    by J.D. Hogg ( 545364 )
    Prof. Kevin Warwick in the UK had an electronic tag implanted in his arm [] as an experiment not so long ago.
    • Don't ever use a Kevin Warwick story as a link unless it's this one [] showing how he's a complete fraud or maybe this one [] for a look into his thinking, or you could even use this one [].

      On second thoughts, just go to The Reg [] and search for Captain Cyborg.
  • by aoeuid ( 250239 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @06:33PM (#2745318)
    Unfortunately people seem overly willing to give up their rights and freedoms right now, however I'm sure if western governments tried to start implanting subcutaneous devices in peoples bodies to track their movements, everyone would wake up and realize whats going on and how ridiculous its getting.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      No, they'll get this accepted like everything else. First they'll require only the group that the vast (stupid) majority of people think is OK to persecute; i.e., pedophiles and other sex criminals. "Oh they're so awful it's fine if we violate their rights." Then they'll broaden it to all felons, then all criminals. "Well they are *criminals!*" And then they'll find ways of pushing it on the rest of the public.

      First: Want to travel out of the country? "It'll curb terrorism." Then: Want to get a government job? "Well, the government has to know they aren't hiring spies and fanatics." Want student loans? "I don't want MY tax dollars going to someone who might be a terrorist or fanatic!"

      And continuing... Want to travel on an airline? "It's for your own safety." Want to use public transportation? "It's for your own safety." Want to get a driver's license? "It's for your own safety."

      Then they have everyone.
  • 6 lines of text (Score:2, Insightful)

    by baronben ( 322394 )
    in their present stage, these chips can carry about 6 lines of text, accoridng to the NYtimes artical, so right now I wound't be to worried about satlights tracking my everymove. But technology does progress, and while I don't see any danger at this present moment, I woudn't want one of theose things in my arm.
    • Even at 6 lines of text, 20 characters each line to be modest and assume the best of lower case letters only. That's (20*6)^26 "strings", yes?

      Mighty big number which can easily be used as a key to a database, or worse off, a bit mask of things, such as: fellon, rapist, ethnicity, salary, nationality etc.. information that might be read by others for not so kosher reasons.

      I dunno, SSN's are good enough, or Lisence ID's, but at least I have more control who sees those, no?
  • No way... (Score:3, Redundant)

    by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @06:35PM (#2745328)
    I know I'm going to lose all my Karma because this is the "cool" "tech" thing to do, but out of respect for various religions and my personal beliefs I would die before I'd let them implant anything into me.

    I don't know how many of you are aware of the beliefs in the Bible about the sign of the beast, whether or not you believe them it is important that you at least respect them.

    What is wrong with having a card in my pocket with all this info? It can be forged? Well, couldn't a different chip be implanted? The possibilities of corruption and abuse to this system are endless.

    On a technical standpoint, until they can encrypt it with your own DNA code it's not even worth considering.
    • Re:No way... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by acceleriter ( 231439 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @06:48PM (#2745391)
      It's going to take a lot of mod points to mod down all the people who make this argument. Even as a non-believer, I'll be gratified to see the "religious right" scuttle the reelection campaign of any legislator, governor, or president that even thinks this might be a good idea. And if it still somehow happens, I'll be on my knees praying for my soul with a rifle in my hand to kill whatever agent of Satan that attempts to force me to accept one.
    • Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads

      I think its fair interpretation isn't a strict Nostradamous like prediction of future events as much as a metaphor for deeds and mind - hand or forehead. Pre-Christian numerology has consiered 6 to be quite an evil number and three sixes it very very very evil. So the verse is more about being under the control or being a willing servant of evil. YMMV.

      whether or not you believe them it is important that you at least respect them.

      Well if youre going to tell me what to do I'll do the same. Respect yourself by being informed of more than just the fundamentalist view of things.

      There are real reasons to go against treating humans as well-watched cattle, but this isn't one of them.
    • I know I'm going to lose all my Karma because this is the "cool" "tech" thing to do, but out of respect for various religions and my personal beliefs I would die before I'd let them implant anything into me.

      Why does everyone on slashdot have to believe they're in the minority even when it's personally obvious they're expressing the majority's opinion? You know perfectly well that not only is this a bad idea, but most of people on here think so, and your chance of getting modded down is extremely low. End of rant.
    • ..but I wouldn't submit to this, either.

      Furthermore, if anyone ever insists that I do so, I hope I'll have the guts to kill the motherfucker.
    • I don't know how many of you are aware of the beliefs in the Bible about the sign of the beast, whether or not you believe them it is important that you at least respect them.

      Nothing personal, but this seems to be a contradiction. I don't have to believe what you believe, but I do have to pay heed to it?

      What if my beliefs said that one should be marked on the hand or forehead to identify you as a servant of the greater one? While you don't have to believe this, you should respect it and give it some thought right?

      Just playing devils (no pun intended) advocate here - the movie "Mark Of The Beast" left quite an impression on me as a kid.
    • IMHO, religious belief doesn't belong to an exhalted category deserving of special protection or respect, but I still doubt that use of this technology will become widespread; the "666" crowd will object too loudly for it ever to be adopted.

      I guess, strangely, that in this case I am glad for the religious right. :-)

      I can visualize some rather disturbing advertisements.

      My daughter, Jennifer, was abducted, raped, tortured and murdered by a known sex offender. If this monster had been tagged with VeriChip, she might still be alive!

      Cut to another scene, where an obviously grieving family stand in front of the WTC ruins, the mother clutching the American flag. A little boy, approximately 6 years old, holds a photo of his firefighter father.

      Jimmy, what do you think of the VeriChip?

      I think the VeriChip is great! If all immigrants and aliens of Arab-American descent had been tagged with VeriChip, my Daddy would still be alive!

      My apologies for the obligatory WTC reference.
  • I reckon the government read Slashdot, and they've come up with the idea of trolling the general population to help them spot the tin-foil beanie brigade. Short of announcing that the US military will now supply unmarked black helicopters to the UN for homeland security, can you imagine anything more likely to freak out the these-are-the-last-days, the antichrist is coming, blah blah wibble wibble types?
    • So you're willing to be one of the first to take this implant? I'm not a particularly religious man--not someone who would call himself "saved." However, if there's something that would push me into the arms of the most right-wing, fundamentalist factions of society, it would be the government not immediately intervening to prohibit the requirement of such a device as a condition of commerce.
  • Hacked (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZaneMcAuley ( 266747 )
    These will be hacked easier than other forms of ID. So much for prevention. It may actually help them. They should start using combinations of biometrics as IDs.
  • by isomeme ( 177414 )
    Revelation 13

    16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

    • horrah for satan.
      full context []
    • by iguy ( 89163 )
      Just because everyone says "Oh folks won't do that" has absolutely no relavence when you talk about these same folks that willingly vote 66% saying Yes to reducing liberties for more theoretical security. People are sheep. Individuals are smart. When you bring lots of people together they tend to go the way the crowd goes. Like the majority of these other "security" approaches taken recently this won't actually help security but it will give you a false sense of safety.

      Its a way for power hungry people to control what you do day in and day out. If they can take control of you one way or another they will and will use any event to encourage you to do what they want. Always be on your guard. When you get that mark on your right hand and they decide that everyone who reads slashdot is evil, subversive or part of the great threat, you will suddenly be unable to buy groceries, drive through the toll booth or even have power to your house anymore. Just like that.

      Be aware of the powers coming.

      • > People are sheep

        From the article:
        > (like the ones they use to tag pets, livestock and wildlife)

        So where's the problem? *rimshot*

        (Hey, at least I give 'em points for honesty. At least we know what we mean to them :-)

    • Er... isn't that passage describing VI Sales Accounting: V.I.S.A.? If the company could have its way, no man might buy or sell, save that he has the credit card number of the beast. Even more scary is that the VISA name has sixes throughout it!

      [but, then, everything does. Numerology is so much fun that way!]
  • Why (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adamy ( 78406 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @06:40PM (#2745351) Homepage Journal
    What would be the benefit?

    A central database of Retinal/Thumbprint scans can ID you just as easily. All the Info on your medical records could be stored in the central DB as opposed to in your microschips. could somehow control access to your own Microchips. I could see several levels of permissions:

    Global: Person scans, and now knows that you are a citizen of the USA, EU, PRC ... nothing more.

    Business: Person Scans, and now can get your shipping and billing info.

    Medical: Person scans, and now can get you vital medical history ALA 1st Alert.

    All this we be predicated on you having a public/private key hand shake, similar to the SSL setup.
    1) Remote machine requests permission
    2) Microchip tells chip to grant permission (I have no idea how, I am just dreaming at this point)
    3) Chip grants short-lived one time key for accessing info.

    If someone tried to tag you with one of these against your will, I am sure there would be many ways to distrupt it: Wear a "Diskman" that actually produces white-noise frequencies to cover the radio from the chip...replace the implanted chip with a home made one that proves that you are someone else...implant a chip that compromises a buffer override in the scanning software so that if anyone tries to ID you their machine crashes.

    In other words, business as usuall
  • heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by ZaneMcAuley ( 266747 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @06:43PM (#2745368) Homepage Journal
    Gives the term "Intel Inside" a new meaning :)

    Next we will have to have that logo tatooed onto our buttocks.
    • Revelations 13:17 (if I'm not mistaken) says, in a nutshell, that only he who bears the name of the Beast or the number of the name of the Beast is allowed to make purchases.
      The Intel Inside logo (well, back in the 486 days) looked an awful lot like a red 6.
      Ergo, if we have Intel tracking chips inside of us, and Intel Inside tatoos on the outside... And only be able to make sales... Oh shit... We're through the looking glass here people. Now that we've stumbled across their little conspiracy, all our lives are in danger. Yours, mine, even the life of the complacent and idiotic Joe Sixpacks out there, who will willingly and enthusiastically get this little red (now blue, as if that would throw us off the track. ha!) 6 tatooed upon their buttocks.
      This terrifying New World Order that Bush threatened back in '91 is beginning to rear its festering black head. I'm not sure if we, as a society will be able to handle the massive upheaval, this horrendous expulsion of civil liberties...

      Oh no, in my agitated state, I seem to have knocked off my special wave-nullifying helmet. Now FEMA knows where I am, and their black helicopters will begin their inexorable swoop down onto my location. I've only moments before the elite paramilitary units rappell through my windows.


      Now, If you'll excuse me, my Kalashnikov and I have a date with those who dare edit out Article Five of our Great Bill of Rights...

    • > Gives the term "Intel Inside" a new meaning :)
      > Next we will have to have that logo tatooed onto our buttocks.

      Last time I spoke to an Intel sales rep, I told him that's what he'd have to do after I told him where he could stick it ;-)

    • And every time we speak the chip will override our speach with one of those annoying Pentium Chimes (from all the commercials).
  • by bn557 ( 183935 )
    I don't see this being a feasable idea because of the cost. If they try to make every citizen pay a couple hundred dollars to get this, noone will pay it. If the government tries to fund it, it'll be even worse because they'll end up getting charged out the wazoo and they'll probably end up running out of funding.

    • I imagine they would get a quite awesome deal if they bought a bulk of 300 million chips. And why give that expensive hardware to the citizen for free? Do as they europeans do, charge. We have to pay for our ID cards and passports.
  • by thesolo ( 131008 ) <> on Sunday December 23, 2001 @06:46PM (#2745385) Homepage
    ``Of course, we will do this,'' said Saffo of the Silicon Valley-based Institute for the Future ``And it won't be just for the functionality. It will also be for fashion. You've got a generation that's already piercing themselves. Of course, they're going to put electronics under their skin.''

    I certainly hope that Mr. Paul Saffo is dead wrong on this subject.

    First off, body piercing is NOT a new trend. It has roots in almost every other culture, and dates back hundreds of years. Just because it is a recent movement in Western Culture does not mean that every person who likes piercings is going to like having a tracking device in their skin. Not to mention that the large majority of people in Western Culture do NOT like body piercing. There is not direct link between the two.

    Second, isn't anyone worried about the health risks of something like this?! Electronics are a LOT different than an inert, non-reactive metal or ink in the skin. Pacemakers cause enough problems with people in certain situations (microwaves, magnets, etc.) I for one don't EVER want electronics under my skin. I guess if it ever progressed to where you had to get an implant, some Rare Earth Magnets [] would take care of that problem pretty quickly.

    Lastly, is this something we as humans really want to do for fashion??? If its entirely under the skin, how exactly would it be a fashion accesory? What, would they make the chips come in different colors?? "You cant see it, but mine is leopard-spotted!!" Unless they make them into actual shapes that stick up from under the skin like real implants do, they won't be a fashion accessory.

    I'm slowly beginning to think the Luddites were right; technology could easily be the end of us. The last thing we need as a species right now is the ability to track everyone. Here's to hoping things like this NEVER get widely adopted.
  • by Tsar ( 536185 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @06:54PM (#2745404) Homepage Journal
    The problem I see with this is that all your information can be retrieved by a variety of unauthorized (or undesired) folk without your knowledge.

    How about adding a couple of things to the human version of this technology:

    • Notification. include an external circuit—perhaps electrodes at each end of the chip capsule—which would emit a mild electric shock to the wearer whenever the chip was 'read.'
    • Controllability. Provide a handheld device with each ID chip which would transmit a locking/unlocking signal to the chip. When locked, the chip would be rendered incapable of transmitting identifying information (similar to the Pentium III CPUID switch).
    • Information Scaling. Let the wearer use the same handheld device to control the type and amount of information retrievable from the chip. For example, on a shopping trip, the user may allow only demographic information to be read, on the condition that stores and malls which read the info will give some small discount on purchases in return for the information.
    If I were guaranteed this level of control, and the control was personally verifiable, I'd have no problem having such a device implanted.
  • This sort of technology has both its bad aspects and its good aspects. In brief, the bad relates to possible privacy violations: your movement may not be so free as it once was. That said, the good aspects really are significant. First of all, there is a good side to being able to track peoples locations. If you lose a child, you would be desperate for this sort of technology! Determining alibis would be easier, etc. Another good side is a long-term effect. If this sort of device becomes more sophisticated, then it may eventually evolve into a ubiquitous computing environment. You bring your computing environment with you everywhere you go. I imagine this as being kind of like an implanted PDA. The technology for tying implants into the nervous system is developing and so like in many SciFi novels and movies, it is not unlikely that this could develop into extended memory and computation abilities that are indistinguishable from a persons normal thought processes. In an ideal situation, these things are really really good development... But things aren't ideal right now. In fact, the reality is that at least for the foreseeable future, our rights and freedoms are going to decrease. And almost certainly, this sort of technology would be taken advantage of.
  • Spooky stuff (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @07:05PM (#2745439)
    Other news sources have quoted the company's bigwigs as touting this technology as a means for employers to keep track of their employees. I can imagine a day down the road where job requirements will call for "willing to undergo biometric implantation" as a prerequisite for the job. Those of you who simply refuse to believe the government will never embrace this technology should wake themselves up: Things we take for granted, such as driving, intrastate freedom, and higher education are privileges accorded to us by the government. Already, we are required to surrender our fingerprints, our retina prints, our Social Security numbers, and other personally-identifying data to secure these privileges. The government won't force anybody to be digitally tatooed: They'll simply withhold these things, these privileges, from those of us who refuse to submit.

    This is dangerous stuff, more dangerous than Ellison's half-baked ideas of a national ID. People who condone, support, or otherwise promote the branding of humans as cattle (whether digitally or otherwise) are very sick fucks.
    • Already, we are required to surrender our fingerprints, our retina prints, our Social Security numbers, and other personally-identifying data to secure these privileges.

      Um... Isn't an SSN issued by the government? I'd guess they can use it how they want.
      • Um... Isn't an SSN issued by the government? I'd guess they can use it how they want.

        The Privacy Act of 1974 (PL 93-579) have these things to say about the individual's right to privacy:

        --Congress finds the growing use of computers can harm the individual from "collection, maintenance, use, or dissemination" of personal information.

        --The right to privacy is protected by the Constitution.

        --Section 7 states it is unlawful for any Federal, State, or Local government agency to deny any individual right, benefit, or privilege becasue of individual's refusal to disclose his/her Social Security number.

        --Federal, State, or Local governments, upon requesting disclosure of an individual's SSN, must include information whether the disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, the statute or other authority under which the disclosure request is made, and what uses will be made of the individual's SSN.

        The bottom line is that the government is not entitled to use the SSN any way they see fit. The authors of the Privacy Act saw fit, however, to ensure the Act would not provide an inpenetrable veil of privacy:

        "[The] Privacy Act is not intended to transform every privacy violation into [a] constitutional tort."

        Which is how Federal, State, and Local governments get away with violating the Privacy Act every single day: Congress recognized the need for individual privacy, and the courts uphold this right up to a certain threshhold. Also, the Privacy Act grandfathered in disclosure requirements in place prior to 1975, along with other "special uses" as required. As far back as 1989, Congress listened to testimony in which the Social Security Administration actually verified SSNs for millions of Americans on behalf of bands and credit bureaus.

        Ironically, the law offers no protection for non-government agencies requiring disclosure of your SSN. While governments can't use it the way they want, business are free to do so.
    • I'm doing this from memory, so it is an imperfect paraphrase, but here goes:

      We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these rights are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, and that whenever a government becomes hostile to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.

      That's a misquote of the American Declaration of Independence. I think a lot of people forget that the American government was founded by a bunch of radical free-thinkers, and that it was a revolutionary movement. EVERYBODY was an American Patriot after the successful revolution, but certainly not everyone was before.

      As for chips, I don't even particularly like this technology for dogs, let alone humans. There should be no circumstance whatsoever under which the government (or any entity) may forcibly violate the integrity of my external integument.

      And I am not concerned about the numerology of the beast, the number of the beast, or the neighbor of the beast.

      There are so many less personally intrusive ways to eliminate my privacy...

      I do not recall being required to to give my retina prints or fingerprints to anyone at any time. Not to enter college, not to get a driver's license, not anything.

      Social security numbers are used by everybody because they are (theoretically) unique numbers everyone has, and relational databases love unique IDs.

      The government isn't the danger. It is the complacency of the people who constitute the government. In other words, you and me. I get so sick of people who think there is some hostile force out there, with which they have no connection, that is working against their interests. Guess what? That force is, in part, you.

      So, get to work. Alter or abolish it.
      • Re:Spooky stuff (Score:3, Offtopic)

        by pongo000 ( 97357 )
        Social security numbers are used by everybody because they are (theoretically) unique numbers everyone has, and relational databases love
        unique IDs.

        This is the inherent danger of using the SSN for identification purposes: The very uniqueness of the SSN allows the cross-tabulation of any data stored on any database anywhere in the world which uses the same unique key. It might be unique, but the SSN is also a ubiquitous identifier. It's what permits the state to arrest you on a routine traffic stop because of non-payment of alimony. It's what allows a city government to deny you employment because you're late paying your local taxes (maybe because of a legitimate reason).

        The government is the danger, very much so. As government becomes more centralized, power is taken away from the people. Information is power, and thanks to your SSN, your fingerprints (yes, some states do require fingerprints for things such as driver licenses, concealed handgun permits, etc.), and other unique data, the government is able to touch your life in ways you might never imagine.

        I worked for the US government for over a decade. During that time, I was forced, over the course of several years, to learn my way around the Privacy Act to force the government agency I was working for to expunge certain derogatory information about me from their records. You see, I was essentially "blacklisted" by the government, which made it very difficult for me to find employment after leaving government service. I was eventually successful in having the lies removed from my government files, but to this day, I find myself having to explain about "gaps" in my employment records from the deleted data in various financial and government transactions. This can be very difficult at times, trying to explain away data that isn't there without disclosing the data in the first place.

        The government is far more dangerous than you can imagine. And I would hardly consider myself "complacent."

        As for getting to work, I already have: I started railing against the use of SSN for personal identification purposes in 1989, and have continued to do so as time permits.
  • look at the past (Score:2, Insightful)

    by contre ( 545718 )
    I heard a few posts back the argument that, while now people are throwing away civil liberties like so many empty Doritos bags, the idea of implanting a chip in everyone's arm would force people to wake up to what they're doing.

    Not to sound like a doomsayer, but at this rate, there is no doubt people would accept these in mass if they were offered today.

    Governments are notorious for their propaganda skills. If they started running flashy commercials telling America that this is the only way to fight terrorism, the lines for these microchips would be miles long. Americans already have a convenient unique serial number, the Social Security number, that could easily be put onto everyone's microchip.

    I always thought Americans valued their rights, but two incidents are giving me leanings otherwise. First was the entire election mess a year ago. It boils down to this: Gore was the president chosen by the American people. When they put Bush in office, there was so little protest it disgusted me. The people made a choice, and the government said it didn't care what the people wanted.

    Second, and even more shocking, was the lack of outrage over Ashcroft's comment a few weeks ago, that speaking out against the government is aiding and abetting the enemy. It's not hard to imagine Ashcroft adding "and aiding and abetting the enemy is treason, a criminal offense" onto the end of that sentence.

    Will no one stand up and defend the rights we are owed as Americans? Or will this entire country simply march into a 1984-like hell to be started by these invasive microchips?
  • by Happy go Lucky ( 127957 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @07:21PM (#2745486)
    We use ear tags for cattle. They're a hell of a lot cheaper.

    Let's say that I contact someone while I'm at work, wearing the icky blue polyester suit. How am I going to read this chip? With a regular driver's license, I can take it back to my car, shine a light on it, see if it's fake, run it for warrants and license status, find out if the holder is a sex offender, and copy everything onto a citation or a field interview card. And if my flashlight and my car's map light quit, I can still read them.

    Oh, and did I mention I can look to see if it's been faked, maybe compare it to one of the standard references?

    With these things, no. I'm a cop, not an electronics tech. I've got no way of knowing if the signal is legitimate or from a black-market home-programmed chip. It'll probably take special equipment to read these chips, and I've learned that expensive electronics have a way of failing about fifteen seconds before I need them. And six lines of data leaves no room for a signature.

    So, I'm not entirely sure about the practical aspects of this, or whether there's actually anything to gain.

    And how about we look at the legal aspects. I'll admit that I haven't gone through either the Federal or Colorado constitutions with a magnifying glass lately, but I don't recall seeing any authorization for government to brand people like so many livestock.

    Of course, I could be wrong about the Constitition thing. However, at the academy they did say that the parts of the Constitution that were written in the margins in red crayon didn't count.

    But then, a lot of the experimentation with implantable ID was overseas. And in much of western Europe and in Japan, cops are expected to know aspects of individuals' lives that I don't even tell my parents. Like who's sleeping with who. Or who lives where-there are ways in the US for that information to be pretty much completely unavailable to police, but not in Japan or most of western Europe (for some reason, France, Germany and Holland spring to mind, but I wouldn't swear to that.)

    • Even worse is the problem is that most Americans, including the people working in the government, have forgotten that the Constitution is a document that limits government by spelling out what it CAN do. Instead, they now believe that it only restricts what what the government CANNOT do - so by default, the government is free to do anything that is not specifically prohibited in the constitution.

      This was one of the major arguments AGAINST the bill of rights. Many believed that it was at best unnecessary because the government was not explicitly given the ability to curtail the personal rights found in the Bill of Rights. For example, the Constitution did not give the government the right to curtail free speech, so therefore it should not have been necessary to make an ammendment prohibiting it from doing so. At worst, the Bill of Rights establishes the framework for the government to do anything it wishes, as long as it is not already prohibited elsewhere in the Constitution.

      Sadly, the "worst" scenario is what we have now. The government should be permitted to do only what is spelled out in the Constitution. Instead, it does everything that is no prohibited in the Constitution. This is wrong.

      I guess that makes me a libertarian.
    • Most of the enthusiasm for photo IDs is from merchants, not cops. If cops really want to know who you are, they take fingerprints. A PDA-sized gadget with a fingerprint sensor and a wireless link to a fingerprint database would be far more useful than an implanted chip.
  • Why is that? Are these nations more acceptable to control devices?

    Example, the UK already has the worlds highest CCTV count and Europe's culture very orderely and controled.
  • MRI's (Score:2, Informative)

    by MikeLRoy ( 246462 )
    I guess everyone who has one of these will be unable to get an MRI (since it will probably have to have metal in it). For those who don't know, MRI's and pacemakers aren't compatible since MRI's user super-huge magnets for scanning.
  • metal detectors (Score:2, Informative)

    by greenriot ( 241706 )
    Unless this microchip was completely nonmetallic, I would assume that it would set off any metal detectors in airports, government buildings, etc. Given the sensitivity of those things, you'd think that putting a mandatory amount of metal in a person's body would cause problems with scanning for legitimate weapons. If decreased the sensitivity of the machines so that they wouldn't be set off by these microchips, you could risk missing things being smuggled into the secure area. However, if you didn't increase sensitivity, then you'd have to hand search every person going into the secure area, which just wouldn't be practical. I don't see how this ID microchip would help ensure safety if it acts in this manner. Not to mention the fact that the human body would probably reject the microchip in the same way that it rejects transplant organs and any other foreign object. And then there's the fact that a good portion of people probably don't want one of these things in their body in the first place, but I suppose that part doesn't's for the good of the team after all...or something.
  • by HongPong ( 226840 ) <hongpong@hongp o n g . com> on Sunday December 23, 2001 @07:37PM (#2745525) Homepage
    Let's just tattoo optical barcodes on everyone's wrists!

    The launch will be in Europe and South America.

    Oh, starting in Europe yet again? Quiet outlying areas of Poland, perhaps?

    I will never take one of these things, as long as I live. Ever.

  • Yeah, let's just tattoo serial numbers on everyone's forearms!
  • Maybe this would be the catylist to start the long overdue second civil war this country has needed for about 60 years. Please adda forhead Barcode tattoo and even add public impalement of those that go against the current political party (ok so they are all the same really)

    This country needs somthing to get the damned sheep we call citizens off our collective comfy chairs and do something.
  • transmit medical data ... tracking beacons ... personal ID

    Just what an ambulance chasing lawyer needs!

  • TV watches you.

  • Migrating chips (Score:5, Interesting)

    by agentZ ( 210674 ) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @08:49PM (#2745781)
    There's one completely practical aspect of all of this which hasn't been mentioned yet. I volunteer with a dog rescue organization [] which tries to use the chipping technology to match lost pets with their owners. When it works, it's great.

    But the chips, which are usually implanted in the back of the animals neck, can occasionally migrate inside the animal's body. Mostly they just slide down the back, but there have been cases where they just disappear. (I'm sure the chip is in there somewhere, I just don't want to find out...)

    Either way though, if it's possible for the chips to move after implantation, I think the technology needs more work before we start putting them in people.
  • I wonder... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stalcair ( 116043 )
    I wonder what the Jews in Germany circa 1925 would have said about this... then take another poll every 5 years and compare the results. Regardless of any planned conspiracy to wipe anyone out, the facts as history teaches them simply say that things like this end up being very bad, whether through inefficiency, incompetence, negligence or malevolence. It is amazing that on one hand how the science fiction themes from the past are creeping up on us, but what I think is even more amazing is how you have two sides that argue on the technology, while overlooking the fact that the technology is simply a tool of a consistently proven bad idea. No, the sides aren't always the two major parties, but they often play the sides to gather the votes.

    Actually, the trully sad and pathetic part is not that the elite would wish this, it is their nature and wise men should come to expect that by now, no rather it is the fact that in cases like this the 'fors' and 'againsts' will primarily be made up of willfully ignorant parrots that spew forth rhetoric without FULLY taking the time to comprehend the nature of the issue. I encourage everyone to fight this like you should fight any battle, with honor and courage. Don't stoop to the level of the bureaucrats and politicians by selectively choosing only those facts that will support your side, rather approach everything more like a third (unbiased) party with a more scientific method. Let the facts lead those that are logical and ethical on their own merit, do not deceive and conceive 'facts'.

    Okay, that sounds preachy but I am really tired now, so forgive me please.

  • There is always be death. There will always be criminals. There will always be those who disagree with the powers that be. There were always be terrorists. There will always be discomfort. There will always be backaches. There will always be stiff, aching joints. There will always be home-made bombs. There will always be thugs. There will always be police brutality. There will always be corrupt governments. There will always be secret socities of Masons and the Illuminatis running the world under the guise of democracy. There will always be disobedience. There will always be hijackers. There will always be unpleasantness.

    Trying to control chaos is futile. For every measure of security, there will be a new kind of crack. For every length of dictatorship and oppression, there will be a spark of dissent. It comes and goes in waves. Right now, the US occupies the same slot that we rebelled against England for having over 200 years ago. Now look at England: socialized medicine, a happy, respectful populace ... it took England getting bitchslapped the world over and its empire stripped from it for it to become what is now a model free society. The royal family are relics of what once was ... and as soon as those inbred twits die off, the better.

    The same will happen to the US. National ID cards, even subcutaneous implants will not stop the rising tide of Hungry Freaks. It is pointless, expensive, and thoroughly unwarranted and authoritarian.

    But, much like Christians scare people with the idea of Hell into becoming raving lunatics (merry f-ing xmas, you stupid cultists), the US has whipped up the populace into a fit of nationalism with the threat of TERRORISTS! (i'm shaking!). Now we'll take any sort of rights-revoking freedom-raping with a big, sloppy, give-it-to-me grin.

  • wtf? The U.S. is falling even more behind in getting new technology. Japan and Europe being ahead of us, I can understand. They've been ahead of us in cell phones for years. But South America? When did they jump ahead of us technologically?

  • Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

    Good thing I have some karma to burn.

  • This won't happen over night. I see other posters vehemently claiming they would "rather die" than have a mandatory implant. I guarantee you, it wont be YOU who will be forced to have in implant - you have grown up knowing that a forced implant is undemocratic, satanic, etc. To your children, however, the idea will not seem so extreme. To your children's children it will be nothing at all...

    I imagine this taking a couple generations.

    1st step: As in now: optional implants for company workers. Today, some higher up execs traveling in 3rd world countries, where ransoming is prevalent, implant homing devices in their bodies.

    2nd step: Forcible use of implants on violent criminals. This will be met with little resistance, as it is accepted that criminals forfeit some rights by committing crimes. I say "violent criminals" (i.e. rapists, murderers) as they would garner the least public sympathy. Soon after, lesser criminals would be tagged - eventually anyone who commits a criminal act. I imagine this process as taking a decade or so.

    3rd step: Certain perks for those who accept an implant; faster border crossing, airport check in, etc. Those who refuse "optional" implants face longer delays (and other intentional hurdles). For you religious people, maybe a credit system whereby one just walks out of the store with merchandise -- only the luddites can be seen waiting in line. Over the space of years, people come to suspect those that refuse implants as having something to hide.

    4th step: A new government policy -- all babies tagged at birth. My guess is that by this point (say 80 years from today), most people elect to have implants and the government need not force any legislation (that's why I say policy not law).

    Never will an adult citizen be forced to have a foreign object implanted in their body. There will never be any protesting on the street or wild outrage. If this does happen, it will be slowly and insidiously.

    Its always the gradual change that slips under the radar.
    • To your children, however, the idea will not seem so extreme. To your children's children it will be nothing at all...

      That's what religion is for. For example, through the generations, actively religious families have generally been able to keep hold of the idea that sexual intercourse before marriage is wrong. It's difficult to do, admittedly, but the whole faith thing makes it much easier once your kids get the hang of it...

      My point? Religion helps keep a constant set of values. As far as I know, it's the best tool for that job.

      Fortunately, we wouldn't have to wedge anything in to the religion that seems to dominate so-called "Western" culture. It's in the book of Revelation already as the "mark of the beast."
  • by jhylkema ( 545853 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @05:50AM (#2746841)
    Let's see here, we've already accepted:

    -- Our private medical information being entered into databases and sold to marketing companies.

    -- Our credit records, containing all sorts of personal and private data, being sold to marketing companies and being used to barrage us with all manner of advertisements for crap we don't need or want.

    -- The Brits have accepted their every movement being monitored by closed-circuit telescreens, er, cameras, in the name of "crime prevention."

    -- A de facto National ID number (the Social Insecurity number).

    -- DoubleClick teaming up with Polk to personally identify and track web usage of individuals.

    -- The Clipper chip. Key escrow. Carnivore. Nuff said.

    What's to stop us from accepting a microship implant? "Oh, you don't want this? What are you a terrorist? A pedophile? A criminal?" is the most common refrain. Or, "If you're an honest guy, you've got nothing to worry about." And you know what? It works every time, it'll work this time too. Face it, folks, it's coming and we've done it to ourselves. We have finally gotten the government we deserve.

    Oh well, call me a cynic, but I'm only surprised that it has taken this long.
  • It's a great idea! They should be implanted in everyone's buttocks.

    Then we'd all be smart-arses.


  • So this implant is intended for medical use, and subsequently identification? What does it offer that a bracelet with a MedAlert number or (to get high-tech) a smart card (on the bracelet) doesn't (in terms of medical detail)?

    How does this assist in identification? The object of accurate identification is NOT to track ordinary people (except in aggregate), but to track specific people. Those who currently go to great lengths to avoid being identified, bypassing existing security and forging their credentials.

    And, as usual, the Great Propaganda Machine assumes that because Joe Public can't remove an implant or modify it somehow, neither can a well funded terrorist.

    Most disturbing, however, is the list of exceptions that will arise. Anyone who any government determines should be incognito will be able to get "fake" implants or avoid implants altogether. You don't want even a short range transmitter giving away the location of your crack troops, do you?

  • The first person who tries to implant one of these in me is going to have a bullet implanted in them.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker