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Officials secretly RFID'd at Internet Summit 216

ewoudenberg writes "A Washington Times article reports that researchers managed to gain entrance to the Internet and technology conference in Switzerland last week only to discover that the summit's badges contained undisclosed RFID chips. The badges were handed out to more than 50 prime ministers, presidents and other high-level officials from 174 countries, including the United States."
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Officials secretly RFID'd at Internet Summit

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  • Summary (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FTL ( 112112 ) * <slashdot@neil.f r a s> on Sunday December 14, 2003 @11:53AM (#7716763) Homepage
    To summarise the article, a group of reporters were pissed that they weren't invited to attend the conference. They disected a security card, and found (shock, horror) that it contained features designed to maintain security at said conference. Since this is the only dirt they managed to find, they spin it up into a sky-is-falling end-of-the-world privacy story.

    I'd have a lot more respect for activist reporters if they would report the facts without hype. It's not the second coming, it's possibly a minor infraction of the Swiss information laws.

  • Countermeasures (Score:5, Interesting)

    by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Sunday December 14, 2003 @11:53AM (#7716764)
    I wonder if someone is goign to make a killing by selling little RFID chip & reader detectors. Richard Stallman suggested RFID detectors and destroyers [] as a challenge for privacy adocates. Perhaps clothing with conductive/dissapative threads will be the next fashion trend (just don't count on your cellphone ringing if its inside your pocket ;) ).
  • by xplenumx ( 703804 ) on Sunday December 14, 2003 @12:01PM (#7716848)
    I would think that the information provided by the RFID tags would be invaluable - not in terms of violating privacy but for the planning of future conferences. I'd gladly wear RFID chips in my conference badge if it lead to improved trafficking for future conferences. One doesn't attend conferences for the privacy.
  • Re:Cool. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zebbers ( 134389 ) on Sunday December 14, 2003 @12:22PM (#7717048)
    what use would the RFID be? it doesnt permit tracking a 'la gps...which would really be the only reason to take a 'politician'.

    I despise the political system and politicians too...but that really isnt an insightful comment. A politician has a job, just like you. Should you be bagged and tagged to make sure you arent talking to competitors.

    And besides whether we I said, you must not understand RFID cause it would be useless to track people outside of a small, definitive area.
  • Re:Washington Times (Score:4, Interesting)

    by canajin56 ( 660655 ) on Sunday December 14, 2003 @02:53PM (#7718389)
    Everybody makes up news stories. Like when NBC needed to show that GM trucks explode when struck from the side. They said the fuel tank ruptured. But what they did was overfil the gas tank, didn't screw the gas cap on (Just left it sitting on top) and then they strapped remotely detonated explosive under the truck to ignite the gas when it spilt out! And even then, the flames went out after a few seconds, so they had to "creativly" edit it to make the fire look worse. Here is a summary [] Although he did get one thing wrong: NBC hasn't died yet, in the 4 years since it happened. Hmm, I also recall something about slowing down the tape, so it looked like the truck they hit it with was going fairly slow, but it was actually going really fast.
  • Re:I agree (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Councilor Hart ( 673770 ) on Sunday December 14, 2003 @04:35PM (#7719161)
    Yes, privacy is an important issue. Don't (try to) violate mine, or I will go beserk.
    Now, I defend this right for both parties because you can not expect that they uphold your right if you continually violate theirs.
    By defending their rights, I am defending mine.
    As to Clinton having an affair. I don't regard that as a cause for impeachment. That is a problem between him, his wife and his mistress. Thus a matter of his privacy.
    On the other hand, he had an affair with a White House employee. That could be a ground for impeachment, if it compromises his ability to function as president.
    The fact alone of having sex, with whomever is not sufficient cause.
  • Re:HEY, AMERICA! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kommakazi ( 610098 ) on Sunday December 14, 2003 @05:55PM (#7719805)
    And the USA/world? post GWB.
    I want to leave the country for exactly that reason.
  • Re:Cool. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by idlemachine ( 732136 ) on Sunday December 14, 2003 @10:29PM (#7721507)
    Apparently the Australian truth in advertising laws were modified to explicitly exclude politicians from being held accountable to them. Then again, they're also allowed to edit the *official* records of Parliamentary proceedings, just in case they ever stumble during a speech and actually reveal their true intentions. The more power and responsibility you have, the higher the level of accountability should be that comes with it. That we constantly absolve our politicians in this way just makes me think we're all fully aware that the way it is and the way we *say* it is are two completely different positions.
  • Re:Cool. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gujo-odori ( 473191 ) on Monday December 15, 2003 @01:09AM (#7722378)

    However, since his sex life had nothing to do with his job as President, I think he's entitled to lie about it, because IMHO the question should not have been asked.

    I'm a Republican, and did think the whole impeachment thing was a waste of everyone's time and money and shouldn't have been done. Richard Nixon took actions worthy of impeachment; Bill Clinton did not.

    However, I don't think it's justifiable to say that what happened with Monica Lewinsky was his own business and he had a right to lie about it.

    First of all, it happened in the oval office. If I had sex with someone on my employer's premises, whether it was during business hours or not, I assure you that they would take interest in that, would have a right to question me about it, and would most likely fire me. Therefore, you can't defend his lie by saying "It was his personal life, so he had a right to lie."

    If it happend in the residence section of the Whitehouse, you might be able to make that claim, but since it happened in the oval office, it means he not only had sex on company premises, but he was on duty at the time. IIRC, he even made a phone call to some member of the House or Senate while he was getting knob schlobbed under the desk by Monica. That makes it very much the public's business, and I certainly think a letter of censure was in order. It's only impeachment that was a bit much.

Forty two.