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RFID Tags To Track Foreigners, Identify Dead 451

An anonymous reader writes "U.S. security officials say they will use RFID technology at border posts with Canada and Mexico to track foreigners driving in and out of the United States. A Department of Homeland Security spokesman said wireless chips for vehicles would become mandatory at designated border crossings in Canada and Mexico as of Aug. 4. At the same time, British officials are considering using RFID chips to identify the dead in the wake of a disaster." From the British article: "...following the bomb blasts on the London Underground, the process of identifying some bodies - particularly on the deep-lying Piccadilly Line - became very difficult, with some families upset by the amount of time it took to confirm a relative had died. VeriChip advocates argue it could help in these circumstances. "
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RFID Tags To Track Foreigners, Identify Dead

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  • Over the top? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ucahg ( 898110 )
    Does anyone else think this is a bit over the top? I mean, I usually think most pro-privacy people are a bit extreme, and I don't care if the government has a record of my existence, but making foreigners use RFID tags? I don't know about that one..
    • Re:Over the top? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      For an administration that is so secretive about its inner workings (Dick's energy task force, Roberts' legal opinions, etc.) it seems to have no problem tagging, tracking, and eavesdropping on everybody else.

      Talk about slippery slope, I bet the next step is to tag foreign born citizens
      • Re:Over the top? (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Yeah, 'cause we all know that no other Administration has been secretive.
    • by fyoder ( 857358 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:06AM (#13186489) Homepage Journal
      Does anyone else think this is a bit over the top?

      Yup. It almost seems that the underlying message is that tourism is a threat to national security and should be outlawed. Obviously the whole tourist industry would be seriously pissed if it were just outlawed and tourists barred entry, but fingerprint them, tag them, etc, and eventually they'll clue in and just stop coming.

      I had a trip down there (I'm in Canada) planned for November but forget it. I get the message. I doubt the economy of California will collapse for my not going, but I also doubt I'm the only one who will regard this as a discouragement to visit.

      • by Greedo ( 304385 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:30AM (#13186763) Homepage Journal
        There is another article here [metronews.ca] about this initiative, worded slightly differently. One thing they mention is this:

        By the end of this year, all Canada-U.S. border crossings will require that anyone travelling with a visa provide fingerprints and digital photographs as part of an anti-terrorism program, the American Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday.

        I'm wondering if all that information is to be stored on the RFID chips. It certainly sounds like it, in which case this is just asking to be hacked for identity theft.


        The use of biometrics -- already in place at 115 airports, 15 seaports and 50 U.S. land border crossings -- has so far blocked entry to 9,000 people, including 700 criminals, one of whom was posing as a Canadian trucker and was wanted in Germany for murder.

        Sounds good at first. But wait: doesn't that mean that 8,300 non-criminals were denied entry? I'd be curious to know on what grounds they were turned back. Sounds a bit frightening to me.

        But if the U.S. wants to become insular, fine with me. I'm not visiting again if I can help it.

        (Out of curiousity, and not entirely related, what would happen if every country decided to stop all trade with the U.S. They are a net-importing economy, right?)
        • Yes, it's a net-importing country at the moment. But still a big, big exporter. You can't just remove such a gargantuan trading partner from the system and expect it to carry on without negative global consequences.
        • (Out of curiousity, and not entirely related, what would happen if every country decided to stop all trade with the U.S. They are a net-importing economy, right?)

          Pffft. You'd be doing us the biggest favor in the last several decades. We'd actually have to start making our own stuff again instead of importing cheap Chinese crap to sell at Wally World. And we'd actually have to move away from a fossil fuel based economy.

          Yeah it'd be a bitch at first but one way or another these changes need to be made.

        • I think you're overlooking something -- the term "blocked entry" may be a little vague. It could range from "Get out of here and don't come back!" to "Please wait one minute, please, sir/ma'am - we need to check a couple of things."

          Secondly, they don't say how long a period this covers. Blocking 9000 people in a single day would be highly insular, but if this is over, say, a 5 year period, that comes down to 5 a day -over the entire U.S. border.

          I agree that this is troubling, but I don't think we need to pa
      • Not just tourism (Score:5, Interesting)

        by October_30th ( 531777 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:44AM (#13186949) Homepage Journal
        It almost seems that the underlying message is that tourism is a threat to national security and should be outlawed

        Tourism, business, science,... you name it.

        I, for one, would love to visit USA on a business trip, to participate in certain world class scientific conferences that are annually held over there and meet the colleagues I've got over there. However, even today I would have to submit my fingerprints and maybe some biometric information to enter which, at least in part, has held me back. If in the future I would also have to carry an RFID on my person at all times... no way.

      • by Aexia ( 517457 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:54AM (#13187084)
        Suppose this tourist goes shopping at Wal-Mart and then gets blown up by a suicide bomber and the explosion causes a tragic mixup of RFID tags.

        Will the police inform Proctor & Gamble that a tube of Vanilla Mint Crest toothpaste(on sale for just $1.99!) was tragically killed in the exploision?
    • by www.sorehands.com ( 142825 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:51AM (#13187048) Homepage
      You only have to worry if you come here to commit crimes or acts of terrorism. Why shouldn't we surgically implant RFID or use non-removable collars that contain RFID? That way any government official can tell when they are here illegally. We could also track their movements by installing a sensor network -- then when they say they are going to stay with someone, we can verify it is true. If they are arriving as a student, we can confirm they are at school.

      This is only done to protect us. It only hinders the bad people. The government is only here to protect us.

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:48AM (#13186292)
    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will install radio frequency technology at five border posts with Canada and Mexico to track foreigners driving in and out of North America.

    It will start with only five, pushing those that really want to get in to the other posts that do not issue the tags. It could also create a situation where potential criminals would leave their tagged car parked at a metropolitan hotel and use mass transit or even steal a completely different car so that they would be able to continue their mission without being tracked. This plan accomplishes nothing but making RFID
    tags seem like a viable terrorism fighting tool. Thanks for yet another worthless band-aid that is only meant to ease the public's notion of what RFIDs do.

    The mandatory program will apply, however, to all foreigners with U.S. visas--including those from the 27 countries whose citizens don't need visas for short U.S. visits--who cross into the United States at those points.

    Of course this only applies to everyone else and not US Citizens. First they came for foo, then they came for you, and because skewed data about these tags seem to make our country safer we will be "asked" to add them to our cars so that the government can track if someone else commits a crime w/our automobile...then they came for me as I was the only one left.

    As long as they keep tightening the reigns under the guise of "stopping terrorism" the sheep will continue to herd happily under the darkening skies.
    • ... is that both Canada and Mexico are also in North America - this only tracks drivers crossing the borders of the USA :-p. I wonder if they know that Quebec isn't actually a part of Europe...
    • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will install radio frequency technology at five border posts with Canada and Mexico to track foreigners driving in and out of North America.

      Where are these border crossings that have people driving into the United States from Canada or Mexico leaving or entering North America? I would have hoped that the department charged with defending the nation would aware of geography at least enough to realize that its only two neighbors connected by land are on the same conti

    • It will start with only five, pushing those that really want to get in to the other posts that do not issue the tags. It could also create a situation where potential criminals would leave their tagged car parked at a metropolitan hotel and use mass transit

      Good! Think of all the greenhouse gases that won't be put into the atmosphere. See, George W. really is an environmentalist.

      Oh wait... that wasn't your point. Damn.

  • from my cold dead fingers!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      They can pry my RFID tag ... from my cold dead fingers!

      The US Govt finds your terms acceptable.

    • > from my cold dead fingers!

      Well of course they will. "RFID tags to track foreigners, identify dead."

      It's when they try to pry the RFID tag from my warm live fingers that I'd get worried!

      But seriously folks, I'm about as tinfoil as they get, and this isn't that terribly evil a technology. It's fundamentally no different than the fact that they take pictures of the car and its license plate at the border. They've done that since the 70s. They've probably had real-time access to DMV records sinc

      • In that sense, it's less intrusive than a license plate.

        You pay for your license plate. I pay for terrorists to show up, get their tag, and throw it in the trash can on the way out the door.
  • by bigwavejas ( 678602 ) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:49AM (#13186299) Journal
    This whole concept scares me. It's ramifications could extend well beyond assisting with finding bodies. I for one don't want the government tracking my every move. Talk about losing civil rights.
    • George Orwell called. He wants his ideas back. Oh wait, you mean this is real?
    • Its not scarry, its disastrous.

      Some attack in Tube with relativelly small body count (more people die from traffic accidents daily in UK), and soon we have detectors while entering it, population is RFIDed, (There were already microphones and cameras in london on every step and it obviously didnt help a bit.)

      All security "measures" simply dont work against determined attacker, they only bring discomfort and fear to normal people.

      Yep, people are sheep - scare them and theyll do anything that you want and wha
      • Help me out here. I've never understood this thought process.

        You are saying (rightfully) that we can't secure everything perfectly.

        But then you continue the argument...

        We can secure everything, so let's not secure anything.

        Is this RFID system perfect? No but there is an incremental improvement in security and negatives are not that severe, unless you consider identifying a car uniquely as some great evil.
    • by drooling-dog ( 189103 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @12:28PM (#13187542)
      Talk about losing civil rights.

      Civil rights? The conservatives out there aren't going to be moved until you start talking about threats to property rights. As in, "your property rights don't mean jack once your civil rights are gone."

  • Still flawed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrugCheese ( 266151 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:49AM (#13186306)
    Inject chip into arm.

    Find armless body at bomb site ...

  • Overkill (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hazee ( 728152 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:51AM (#13186328)
    If you're really worried about being identified when you've been blown up, then wear dog tags.

    The idea of implanting a chip that can be surreptitiously read at any time is just stupid, frankly.
    • Re:Overkill (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:58AM (#13186405) Homepage
      Alternately, many people use a science-fictiony device called a "wallet" - in it they keep numerous handy documents and cards, many of which include the owner's name and identifying numbers. The "wallet" is often kept in the back pocket, which means that the deceased can be easily identified, provided that they die while wearing pants. /joke off

      Seriously, just get a metal fire-proof card with your name embossed on it and put it in your wallet. No fashion-accessory dog tags, no RFID tracking.
      • I often use dog tags, for when I'm climbing, kayaking etc. You don't always have a wallet on you..

        That said, during day to day activities I carry a wallet and don't bother with dog tags..
      • Since dog tags, once seperated from the chain fit into a wallet anyway, this shouldn't be much of a problem anyway.
      • Re:Overkill (Score:2, Insightful)

        by juan2074 ( 312848 )
        Special interests just can't make enough money from such simple solutions, so Congress will make sure we have to use RFIDs.

    • What I'd like to know is the probability of an RFID tag even surviving an explosion.
  • by It doesn't come easy ( 695416 ) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:52AM (#13186339) Journal
    Plant an RFID chip in every person and track their movements over their entire life so that it's easier to identify them once they die. Makes sense to me...

    Actually, this would be ok as long as the chip DIDN'T respond until you died...but I don't think it is possible to engineer that requirement with today's technology. Besides that, if you get blown up the chip is only going to identify the body part where it resides. Of course, if it resides in a critical body part and that part is no longer attached to the rest of you body then it would probably be safe to assume you were dead...
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:54AM (#13186355) Journal
    ...tatoo'd on your forarm or torso (base of neck, maybe?) for dead body IDs. It requires no expensive reader or propritary implant. But that's not very techological, and not politically correct.

    Same thing, different method.
  • by It doesn't come easy ( 695416 ) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:55AM (#13186359) Journal
    The only way it would work as a process is if every foreigner dutifully keeps their document during their whole stay in the US. What if you lose your paper? Any penalty? And exactly what does the RFID chip accomplish? Everyone still has to check in and check out. So it makes it more convenience for the border patrol? If you are a terrorist, are you going to carry an RFID chip just to make the border patrol's job easier? Why not steal someone else's chip? Does the process compare the RFID data with their other papers? If not, it doesn't matter what chip you have as long as you have one. And this program costs $500,000 annually per criminal that has been nabbed to date? Wow.
    • Does the RFID apply only to foreigners renting the car? Driving it? Being a passenger? This certainly implies they'll be logging the entry and exit of any US citizen traveling with a foreigner- aka tracking who you assemble and meet with. That makes me feel secure in my person and effects, yup.

      What about a family with a mix of dual and single citizenships? We're a nation of immigrants: its fairly easy to have a family with all three of dual-citizenships, green cards, and visas. If you and your family are tr

  • by FunWithHeadlines ( 644929 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:55AM (#13186372) Homepage
    Well of course a company with a financial interest in this field is arguing for doing this! What do you expect them to say, that this won't work?

    The problem is the slippery slope. How would RFID have helped identify those poor victims in the London underground? Only if they had RFID embedded in them in the first place. So in essence that is what they are arguing for. It usually begins, "Just think of the chiiiiildren!" with visions of kidnapping scares. Nowadays it's the "but what about terrorism???" scare.

    Yes, embedding RFID in every person on earth would aid law enforcement quite a bit. It would help you keep track of your kids, and you could Lojack them if they were ever kidnapped. On the other hand, just think how nice it would be for the government to track everyone they view as a dissident, or an environmentalist, or a Democrat (oh wait, it hasn't reached that point...yet). Just think how marketers would love to be able to track your movement so as to show you an ad as you approached their kiosk or store or billboard. Just think how useful this will be to stalkers!

    You can make an entirely safe populace by placing everyone in solitary confinement in a vast prison system. But is that really what you want? Similarly here, there are indeed advantages to RFIDing the populace. But can we please think about all of the implications, and not just listen to industry arguments?

    • by nuggz ( 69912 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:01AM (#13186436) Homepage
      On the other hand, just think how nice it would be for the government to track everyone they view as a dissident, or an environmentalist, or a Democrat (oh wait, it hasn't reached that point...yet).

      Yeah the FBI wasn't keeping files on protestors in the 60's either.
      Imagine how happy McCarthy would have been to have this in the 50's.

      Which reminds me, what definition of 'yet' are you refering to?
    • or a Democrat

      What makes you think the Democrats don't want to be able to track Republicans. The Democrats aren't exactly saints either.
      • "What makes you think the Democrats don't want to be able to track Republicans. The Democrats aren't exactly saints either"

        Of course they would. But at the moment, the Republicans control every branch of power, so I used them as the current example.

    • You can make an entirely safe populace by placing everyone in solitary confinement in a vast prison system.
      But what if one of the prison officers, management or members of the government was a terrorist?
    • > It would help you keep track of your kids, and you could Lojack
      > them if they were ever kidnapped.

      Actually, it would endanger them more than anything. The kidnappers, unless they're from another planet or are clueless dweebs and don't know about the standard tags that everyone carries, will immediately proceed to remove the tags from the victim, in the process potentially harming the person directly or through infections.
  • Err, wouldn't being able to identify the dead involve implanting the chip while the person was alive?

    This would give the government and corporate entities years of alive time to abuse privacy using this chip before (if) it was needed to identify your body in case of a tragedy. Where are the privacy advocates in this?

    I think it is fairly cynical of VeriChip to use a tragedy like this to drum up business. Akin to the undertaker measuring the gunfighter for a suit in the movies just before the showdown...
  • Ho-hum (Score:5, Funny)

    by BlackCobra43 ( 596714 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:01AM (#13186433)
    Lobbying congress for RFID initiatives :
    350 million RFID chips :
    Tracking the location of every single potential customer at any time you wish :

    Some things just can't be bought. For everything else, there's dirty politics.
  • I'm Not A Number (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:03AM (#13186451) Homepage Journal
    More bullshit about how "9/11 changed everything". The planebombers used real IDs - obscuring their identity wasn't an obstacle to catching them. Bad guys crossing the border will obviously just switch cars to avoid RFID detection.

    This RFID program is yet another way to follow the government's failure to protect us from 9/11 with their own attacks on our freedom. It's welfare for security/defense corporations, privacy invasion for the fascists, more terror to keep us scared and manageable, and a tech smokescreen to cover the fact that they're not actually doing enough to actually protect us from the real threats. WHERE'S OSAMA? How about forcing Pakistan to put an RFID chip into everyone caught crossing the Afghani border? Then we might actually catch some terrorists. And the idea of the government forcing innocent people to be dehumanized into a number could instead be experimented on a some people who we would otherwise just shoot, in the old dehumanizing calculus of war.
    • by Like2Byte ( 542992 )
      Agreed. It makes me think that Al Quada has already succeeded in their plans and taken over the US government.

      To quote Counter Strike: "Terrorists Win!"
  • How fucking stupid is that? It's bad enough that the UK government want to fingerprint everyone, but I think they'd draw the line at sticking an RFID in people too.

    Besides, if ID cards and fingerprinting did come in, they could simply fingerprint the corpses to find out who they are. Perhaps they can list this as one the "advantages" of forcing through this white elephant.

  • by Phoenix666 ( 184391 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:04AM (#13186470)
    If the President is allowed to know exactly where my butt is at any one time, will I, his employer, be able to track where his butt is at any one time? No? Then buzz off.

    The problem with all this surveillance and Big Brother stuff is that it does nothing to deter the determined malefactor. It will only erase the freedom and privacy of the innocent. And the more of this crap they push through, the more of the innocent will get fed up and become malefactors because the government will not listen. Imagine dozens of Timothy McVeighs striking everywhere, without warning.

    This is the wrong road to be heading down, folks.
  • What about Fraud? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mESSDan ( 302670 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:04AM (#13186476) Homepage
    This sounds like a way to make insurance fraud easier. Just take out your RFID chip, put it in someone else's dead body. Why bother even checking dental records? The "Computer" is always right.
  • Gimmie a break.

    This is a non-issue. The VIN number is just as unique and probably harder to remove than the RFID chip on a vehicle.

    The ONLY difference is the chip can be read by waving a wand or a stationary dectector rather than having some border guard monkey write it down.

    If anything, the chips will make it easier for people who would ordinarily have to wait in line do their legit business.
  • The article does not say that British officials want to use them - it says that corporation that manufactures the chips thinks it would be good idea!
  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:06AM (#13186490) Journal
    I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

    If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

    If ever there was a need for someone who had the insight that this man had, now is the time.
    • There is a not so good guy that said

      "Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy
  • You have heard it all before, but when stories like this come up, you say, yeah yeah, right as if.

    When you are sipping your complimentary drink, with your new verisign chip, you will be saying, yeah yeah, as if.

    Sad but true. But listen to their site 'Come and Get Chipped!!!'

    Humans, nothing more than a number.

    To confirm you're not a script,
    please type the word in this image: renewed
  • The FBI can get a warrant to track somebody by using LOJACK, which many cars already have.
  • Honestly, the chance of being in one of these major terrorism attacks or natural disasters is very slim....Even compared to shark attacks or lotto wins.

    Are people going to trade a heap of privacy, for such a tiny gain?

    Life Insurance Company: Well sir we'd like you to have one of these in your arm, just in case you fall into that 1 in a billion group... You just never know. :)
  • Four legs good (humans),

    two legs better (citizens)!
  • Oh, this is a good thing, because it will help identify the dead. Think about the families!

    Oh, this is a good thing, because it will help parents track their children. Think about the children!

    Oh, this is a good thing, because it will help keep track OF THE DAMN POLITICAL OPPONENTS WHO DARE QUESTION WHAT WE SAY AND DO! THINK ABOUT THE REGIME!

  • I've a better idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:08AM (#13186526) Journal
    Use these to track politicians.

    If there's one group in this society I don't trust...
  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:09AM (#13186529)
    Dont worry, the EMP blast will whipe out all RFID chips in the area when I off myself.
  • Between tracking Foreigner and The Dead, it seems like the 70's are alive and well in the USA.
  • by frankie ( 91710 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:11AM (#13186550) Journal
    ... it's in Revelation, people! [google.com]
    "Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name."
  • The Dead Collector: Bring out yer dead. [a man puts a body on the cart]
    Large Man with Dead Body: Here's one.
    The Dead Collector: That'll be ninepence.
    The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead.
    The Dead Collector: What?
    Large Man with Dead Body: Nothing. There's your ninepence.
    The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead. The Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is.
    The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not.
    The Dead Collector: He isn't.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
    The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm getting better.
    Large Man with Dead Body: No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
    The Dead Collector: Well, I can't take him like that. It's against regulations.
    The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I don't want to go on the cart.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Oh, don't be such a baby.
    The Dead Collector: I can't take him.
    The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I feel fine.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Oh, do me a favor.
    The Dead Collector: I can't.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won't be long.
    The Dead Collector: I promised I'd be at the Robinsons'. They've lost nine today.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Well, when's your next round?
    The Dead Collector: Thursday.
    The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I think I'll go for a walk.
    Large Man with Dead Body: You're not fooling anyone, you know. Isn't there anything you could do?
    The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I feel happy. I feel happy.
    [the Dead Collector glances up and down the street furtively, then silences the Body with his a whack of his club]
    Large Man with Dead Body: Ah, thank you very much.
    The Dead Collector: Not at all. See you on Thursday.
    Large Man with Dead Body: Right.
  • Come on, lets have some fun with this!
    At least we can give people a choice. :->

    "And he [the beast or anti-christ] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no-one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast for it is the number of a man: his number is 666".

    Revelations 13; 16-
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:13AM (#13186576) Homepage
    I hope the RFID chip gets implanted somewhere superficial and unimportant so that criminals don't need to hurt me too much to steal my RFID chip.
  • RFID Cloning (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:14AM (#13186586) Homepage Journal
    All of this reliance on RFIDs for identity seems strange to me...
    What's to stop people from cloning these things? Either cloning their docs and selling them to others for whatever reason... or worse - reading and cloning the chip of some iunnocent bystander?

    Didn't the national ID legislation passed recently require RFID?

    What if someone walking past you on the street reads your ID, clones it, then commits a crime? What happens to you next time you take a trip to Toronto or go through a toll booth or whatever?
  • by pointbeing ( 701902 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:22AM (#13186677)
    I work for an agency under Department of Defense as (among other things) the RFID go-to guy for the agency.

    Passive RFID tags have a maximum range of about ten meters on their best day - to be able to read the things mostly error-free we're talking about ranges from one inch to one meter.

    Also, passive tags need to be read by a handheld reader or passed through an RFID portal to be read - at the current level of technology they can't be read by satellites, honest ;-)

    Active RFID tags have a range of 50 to 100 meters, but they're also battery-powered, huge and heavy. An active RFID tag is about 2"x3" and about ten inches long. Weighs about a pound and as I said, has a replaceable battery about the size of a AA cell. I don't think we could convince folks to wear them around their necks.

    I can see how placing a tag on a body can keep the body from being counted twice - I don't see the advantage to tagging automobiles, though. If you're gonna have to get within three feet of the vehicle to read the RFID tag it seems to me you oughtta just record the VIN instead ;-)

  • A company sells a device read hundreds of license plates an hour at freeway speeds. This company orignally manufactured mail-sorting machines where envolopes which flash by at about that rate. My state has purchased a few for evaluation. Its been an eye-opener in how many illegally licensed cars or drivers are out on the highway.
    Whith such a machine you dont have to install tags for each car or buy reading machines. It is very portable. Crooks can disguise both RFIDs and license plates if so motivate
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:32AM (#13186787) Journal
    USA has fought against the universal ID particular since WWII. Hitler used the universal ID very effectively against his internal enemies. Now, we have the patriot act. That allows a number of things.

    1. It allows a federal agent (NSA,CIA, AND DOJ) to get a bench warrent to chase terrorists. The level to obtain it is now minimal (it used to be that you had to show cause, now you simply say that you need one due to suspicion; nothing more). Once the agent has the warrent, they are allowed to go anywhere or do anything without supervision.
    2. If anybody is called on to give data (book cards, isp data, CC info, etc), then you have to give. If you do not, you go to jail (for something like 10 years). If you tell anybody (including the federal agency), you go to jail(again for something like 10 years).
    3. And what is the review on this nazi like nightmare? a small oversight commitee. Almost certainly, it will be mostly composed of the current party in charge, with a few sympthoziers from the opposite party. Effectively giving us no oversight.

    No, I think that you will find us old-timers fighting against this. With it, the gov. can track your every move. Go though a toll-road exchange, and the rfid records you. Go to the airport, and when you go through security, they know. My guess is that stores will move to rfid to handle their security. In doing so, the gov. will come into stores, and tell them that they need access to the computer - remotely. At that point, if you use a store, as you walk through the ant-theft, the feds. are notified.

    And for those of you who say that it can never happen, well, I know ppl who are much older than myself. And they will tell you that we could never be attacked. Likewise, we would never allow a universal ID (drivers license). And they would tell you that the gov. would never be allowed to have an unlimited warrent. etc. etc.

    And I knew a few that would tell that republicans would never break any law. They would never do break-ins or do cover up. Likewise, they would never trade hostages for guns. Nor would any American government keep a traitor in the white house who would out a CIA agent to help their own party; They all know that citizens come above party politics. Yes, these dead ppl knew that are gov. would not be like that. And yet, here we stand.
  • Even with the radio frequency technology, however, the vehicle will still have to stop. If a person's identifying data produce no red flags, they will get just a cursory check at the border rather than lengthy questioning.
    New terrorist plan:
    1. find a car with a known-good RFID tag and steal it.
    2. sneak into the U.S., avoiding being questioned.
    3. ???
    4. **Kaboom!**
  • Quote from TFA:
      "So for my personal goal of being identified in the case of an accident, it does work for me."
    Yeah, if someone decides to try swiping a RFID reader over your charred remains to ID them. Which isn't terribly likely, since you're the only idiot in the world who has a RFID chip in his arm.
    While we're at it, lets figure the odds of RFID chips surviving some disaster that will destroy fingerprints and dental records.
  • ...that if some geek gets a chip put in under his skin, we all go "OOH COOL MOD UP I WANT ONE TOO!"?
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @12:26PM (#13187516) Homepage
    Good thing all four of your car's tires already contain RFID chips.

    http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/269 /1/1/ [rfidjournal.com]

    Enjoy your so-called "freedom".
  • Faraday Suit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Like2Byte ( 542992 ) <{Like2Byte} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @12:27PM (#13187517) Homepage
    I used to program RDIF Chips. Sometimes we would have numerous chips in the same room with us and we've have a problem selecting a particular chip. The solution: We used a simple wire shelf that was laying around between the RFID Chips and the antenna. This was so effective that whenever anyone needed to block other tags in their cube farm, they'd ask, "When you going to be done with the shelf?"

    Now, take the concept of the faraday cage and weave it into clothing - a Faraday Suit, if you will. Instantly, you've blocked the RFID chip's response and effectively removed yourself from being spied on (Or having your criminal activity being noted with your name).

    Slightly off topic, but considere this:

    let's consider the new gamma ray riot(crowd) control weapon that is in development and about to be tested/deployed in Iraq. If this chip is embedded inside a body and exposed to this ray, it will, potentially, heat up and burst releasing it's chemical make-up inside a person's body - not to mention the cruel heating experience the person will be subjected to.

    This whole concept is just bad science, bad politics and bad thinking.

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? -- Charlie McCarthy