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the space race and it's watching you...

category international | sci-tech | news report author Wednesday December 17, 2003 21:25author by public private - an post inc. Report this post to the editors

they call it 'geoaddress'

..................................................................................

my source in an post ,the irish postal service ,a public service till now,tells me of the project he has been working on called 'geoaddress'...
In partnership with ordinance(doublespeek) survey an post are marking on sattelite maps every address in the republic to create a detailed map for use by private companies,it has already been sold to nissan for car guidance,and an insurance company for actuarial and marketing uses,as well as directing esb workmen..."they need revenue" he said.......i am a negative person so i see the problem that this will allow any private company and so any government department to track people in minute geographical detail combined with mobile phone grids and presto 'we got im'
on the upside(doublethink) this allows public health authorities to better localise centres of disease,previously the smallest cohort that could be studied was one county or in dublin one postcode area.....
inshort the "government" is selling your legally protected information to anybody who can afford it.......they need revenue....

author by Lone gunmanpublication date Wed Dec 17, 2003 23:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry,there is only ONE major problem with this.There are NO "satellite maps" of Ireland available.I think you might mean a GPS software map?.They will not be ready until 2005.it requires a years mapping from the ground up.Driving every major and minor route in ireland.
Unless you are implanted with a tracker device,which is in the total relms of the Xfiles.You are not trackable from 2000 miles up.If that was the case the NSA &Co would have zapped Bin Ladin along time ago

Secondly,
if you are worried about being tracked via the new phones which DO have GPRS.Do the sensible thing.Switch it off or just use a pre 2000 model phone.Be smart dont say anything on it that you wouldnt want the world to know.

Thirdly
An post got most of its info from dumbasses who fill in their questionares in the vain hope of winning a crappy car or some bauble.As did Eircon.We hand away our own privacy by our own stupidity.

author by Little Sisterpublication date Thu Dec 18, 2003 04:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gee whiz! This is one of those rare occassions when I find myself in agreement with Lone gunman. Christmas must have come early.
Seriously though, there is no point in people being overly paranoid, there is no point in becoming like a rabbit mesmerised by the light of an oncoming car, and just sitting there doing nothing.
The modern state is equiped to accumulate an impressive amount of information about groups and individuals. The issue is not that they are able to do so, but whether that information may be misused.

author by Booshankpublication date Thu Dec 18, 2003 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An Post have been assembling the GPS co-ordinates of every Irish home for a long time.

This started in Dublin 5 years ago. Dispatch companies (Fedex etc) use it as do Tesco.ie and other online (non-postal) delivery services.

If you go to iol.ie and click on 'mapping' (and register your phone details) you can enter ANY address in Dublin (and many countrywise) and it will show you and ariel photgraph and OS map of the area showing the precise location of the house. Try it.

It's damn useful.

Anyway this information is in THE PUBLIC DOMAIN i.e. the land registry.

author by iosaf - (in those pesky X files)publication date Thu Dec 18, 2003 13:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Osama stopped using his mobile phone after Clinton signed the executive order allowing the USAF to fire from the Indian Ocean Fleet several cruise missiles between Aug 20 and Aug 22 year 1998.
These missiles were locked onto his mobile phone signal, to be specific it was a satelite phone using the imarsat network.
The accuracy of the hit was within 10 metres.
He survived, only to suffer kidney failure later in the year when the Saudi secret service succeeded in slipping him poison, but he recovered strong man that he is.

Since 1997 implant technology has been freely available and most of those who have volunteered for sub-cutaneous electronic tagging are normally resident in South America and very rich.

Domestic animal sub-cutaneous tagging began in Australia, there are now two systems which have proved most popular, and one of them was designed by a pal of mine, it is less than 3mm cubed in volume and sits in the space which I suppose you could call "the nape" of the dog's or cat's neck. The erf produced by such implants is interestingly on average a third of that produced by the average mobile telephone.

Being tracked by your mobile is thus very possible and sorry Long GunMan you haven't done enough homework. However it is not a usual surveillance method in either Northern America or Western Europe. The Stasi qutie famously sold their tracking technology to a variety of nordic based technology corporations, and amongst the delights that were first intended to be part of the very close observation of persons in East Germany that after "die Wende 1989-1990" were thus comercialised were vibrating mobile phones and an improved use of radioactive isotopes in medical scanning.

It is undoubtedly true that no new technology becomes available without satisfying the need for "transparency" to the security services. If the NSA can not decrpyt the code, the code doesn't hit the street in any shape or form. There are persistant rumours however that there are codes and encryptions which have proved unbreakable to even the NSA but I would reckon that "propaganda" value has more to do with such things. The mathematician who oversaw the decrpytion methods of the NSA died this Summer, or at least his death was reported this Summer, and amongst his final projects were included such mathematical delights as hexagonal volume modeling at both quantum andmacro level. Sounds great, and would have /will have many military application including more accurate targeting of moving signals, in short if Osama ever uses a mobile again, he will be dead within minutes.

however you are not Osama.
So don't worry about it.

Related Link: http://www.nodo50.org/x-files/bcn01/x_files_184.htm
author by in taxispublication date Thu Dec 18, 2003 14:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Once Gps maps are available for in car use we should make it law for them to be displayed beside taxi meters so the drivers dont get lost or bring us on short cuts, what a wonderful thought.

On the down side with those phones there were and may still be plans to use them for targeted advertising, eg, enjoying your pint in (pub name)..why not pop into spar down the road afterwards for a drunken snack, which is rather creepy.

author by Spitfire Mk IIIpublication date Thu Dec 18, 2003 15:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The mobile phone service providers always know your location, by simply recording which base station(s) you phone is logged onto at any particular time.

Using triangulation of the base station locations (and maybe signal strength) they can roughly calculate where you are.

Vodafone are apparently testing s/w to convert this to street address type info.

If you're on their network txt the letter p to 087 2422426 to receive a reply estimating your position (works best in cities where base sations are closer together)

Assume this would eventually be used for targetted promotions. i.e. if you signed up for txt info on music releases, you might get extra txts if you happen to be near a record shop that's running a promotion etc...

author by billy the kidpublication date Thu Dec 18, 2003 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tried this and it worked (pinpointed my location with reasonable accuracy - a cruise missile wouldn't hit me, but it'd be enough to tell anyone where to find me).

author by Gaillimhedpublication date Thu Dec 18, 2003 17:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The phone has to reveal your location so that you stay connected to a satelite as you move around, i think it sounds off every 20 mins to keep track of you. It's perfectly sensible, and the records are destroyed, or at least not recorded -in accordance with the data protection act,
BUT despite all this i do recall reading in 2001that ESAT were discovered to be in possession of seven YEARS worth of 'tracking' information.
Makes you wonder.

author by pcpublication date Thu Dec 18, 2003 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and i can see the ups and downs of this dicussion,

i think one should keep on eye on where your personal info is going cos most people arnt thinking of these types of things, and then its all too late

a little bit of paranoia is useful

im not worried about the info existing , its bit late now but i would be worried about an gov agency selling on my info without my permission

i never enter compoes for babules

btw those sporting heinz beans ads
i never enter them cos they just abuse my number
but i still finding it hard to come up with a funny phrase for a bean wind surfing, any thoughts?

author by waging war by deceptionpublication date Thu Dec 18, 2003 22:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That is how the CIA and Mossad tracked down Abdullah Ocalan, the Kurdish guerilla leader, whom they handed over to the Turks .....

"According to a report in the February 18 London Times, US and Israeli intelligence services detected Ocalan's mobile phone conversations using US spy satellites, and pinpointed his location in Kenya."

Related Link: http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/1999/350/350p14.htm
author by JMcKpublication date Fri Dec 19, 2003 09:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why do you doubt that such software/technology is available? Let us not forget how the US landed on the moon and took off again, returning safely to earth over 34 years ago. In fact they used to travel to the moon regularly three decades ago and today they are spending billions trying to land a probe on it ?

They weren't even phased by cosmic radiation which NASA chief Dan Golden openly admitted in a TV interview prevents mankind venturing beyond Earth orbit, until they can overcome its dangers . He managed to say this without any mention, or reference to the Apollo missions 35 years ago.

In 1969 computer chips had not been invented. The maximum computer memory was 256k, and this was housed in a large air conditioned building. In 2003 a top of the range computer requires at least 64 Mb of memory to run a simulated Moon landing, and that does not include the memory required to take off again once landed. The computer on board Apollo 11 had 32k memory.

Here is how often they went to the moon, while 50,000 young americans were slaughtered in Viet Nam.


Mission Duration Orbits On Moon Return Time
APOLLO 8 147 HRS 10 NIL landing 127 HRS
APOLLO 10 192 HRS 32 NIL landing 130 HRS
APOLLO 11 195 HRS 31 21.5 HRS 111 HRS
APOLLO 12 143 HRS 45 31.5 HRS 22 HRS
APOLLO 13 143 HRS 1 NIL landing 142 HRS
APOLLO 14 216 HRS 34 3.5 HRS 145 HRS
APOLLO 15 295 HRS 74 67 HRS 80 HRS
APOLLO I6 266 HRS 64 71 HRS 67 HRS
APOLLO 17 302 HRS 75 75 HRS 77 HRS
In fact they all simply went into earth orbit probably deploying military satellites.

Pictures from Appollo 17.

This is the moon! No , really, it is.
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/a17_14722492_pan.jpg

Ah, go on, it is the moon!
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/a17.1174826_pan.jpg

The lunar rover that "appeared" on the moon despite not being in the Lunar Module!
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/as17-147-22526.jpg

34 years of believing the lies of America about how advanced they are. This digital surveillance and tracking stuff is great because it makes them trust their own technology and become dependent on it. Fat arsed diplomats and spotty faced nerds think they control the world from their basements but what will they do when the sun fries all their sats, as it does from time to time.

author by LonE gunmanpublication date Fri Dec 19, 2003 23:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

one of the lone gunmen of the Xfiles fame. Explain ONE thing then.If Apllo was faked and the "van allen" radation belts kill all life forms.How come Apollo 13 made it out,around and back with half its side blown off and the crew were ok.Ditto the soviet launches,they never landed on the moon but circled and returned.No cooked astro or cosmonauts. Sorry it is a conspircy theorists wet dream.
The only reason James brings this up.Is he just hates anything American.

author by Lone gunmanpublication date Sat Dec 20, 2003 00:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who invented or developed the animal chip.[Of which we were NOT talking about.Do read what I was posting again]
Can he track or find anyone person from a satellite in Oz.? Doubt it because what he has developed is a microchip with imbedded info.IE the owners name,address etc. Yes it can be fitted with a tracker,but remember how far can it transmit,for how long. 100meters for appx 12 hrs,if I remember the litature.Not very long in real t world time.Good enough as a kidnap victim locator.Sorry ,implants in your teeth or body is just a paranoid fantsy.
From people who DO work with tracking and bugging devices will tell you
A for Antenna. You need minimum a 12in antenna or dish to send or recive satelite signals.[Your SKY dish or sat phones being an example.]Where do you hide that in your body?
B is for Battery The power source big enough still to hide with difficulty,the smallest watch battery is big enough to be detected and is limited in its power capacity.It is certainly NOT strong enough to give you an uplink in any device to some secret spook HQ.How are they going to change the batteries in your filling as well without you knowing it?
C is for cough& Cold. If you put a mike in your gob,and start recording what will you hear?your breathing,swallowing,heartbeat.in other words BODYNOISE.Also your head resonates when you talk,so it doesnt really make a good picker up of outside signals,especially conversations.So again it is very doubtful that the CIA is going to beintrested in your breathing ,gulping or farting.
OF Course somone will be able to explain all what I said is rubbish.However this comes from the real people who spy and pry and not some paranoid lab geek.
Ever hear of Prety Good Privacy encryption Isoaf?
FACT it is virtually unbreakable.It is still classified as a munition of war by the US State dept in its 24 byte version and unexportable from the US. The Civvie version is 18 byte I belive,and exportable,yet it is worrisome enough to have made it in the UK Regulation Investigatory Power Act 2001. An offence punishable by five years in prision for refusing to give the RIP commision your public or private encryption key. They really must be worried about it if it doesnt exist!!

There is a Hell of a difference Isoaf between a satellite phone and a current model GPS day to day mobile phone.[You really are not THAT up on technology]A satellite phone is transmitting &reciveing via a satellite network.who owns those?Uncle Sam mostly.So yes it is no big deal to listen into a phone like that[
BTW I belive Osma was diabetic from birth.No great loss I hope he rots somwhere where insulin is a dirty word.]
Modern Global Positioning system mobile phones are simply that a GPS phone that is a phone that can give you your position anywhere on the planet it can recive the satellite signal.It will be used more as a tracker,and even today a mobile phone system can be used to track your movements.Do a websearch of CARTRACKER.Dont worry it wont work in Ireland,because the mapping CDs dont exist.
I can send you the sales brochure if you would like to post a snailmail address.Which CAN put your position down to a good kill range of a cruise missile. But as you said you aint Osama,so dont worry about it.

Just because you are not paranoid,doesnt mean that they are not out to get you.

author by JMcKpublication date Sat Dec 20, 2003 13:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Achieving earth orbit is not difficult . Travelling any distance in the unprotected glare of any solar radiation/Cosmic rays, like to the moon, would be a different story.

You may remember how on Nov 20 this year the International Space Station occupants had to go into a special protection chamber because of a Coronal Mass Ejection that resulted in the most wonderful Northern Lights here in Ireland. Anyone on a moon run would have been fried chicken had they caught that sort of emission.

No research has been done on the effects of cosmic radiation on humans but Dan Golden of NASA says it is not possible for humans to survive any time outside earths protective athmosphere. Thus a moon mission is still as impossible now as it was then.

Anyone who believes in the moon landing hoax in preference to examining the available evidence with due common sense and a modern understanding of space and space technology capability is "essentially green". Or maybe they are just so "Pro-US" that they will not admit their heroes are a bunch of pretenders, con artists and liars.

Remember, if your going to tell a lie tell a big one !

author by iosaf - (on the pre xmas drunken workers argument threads)publication date Sat Dec 20, 2003 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

just because you can triangulate a signal doesn't mean you've achieved location.
Which is why you need hexagonal modeling.

author by Brian Deasypublication date Sat Dec 20, 2003 22:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For a start, cosmic rays are no danger anywhwere in the universe. Most are so small, they travel right through the earth without hitting a single atom. Like wise in space, they are not a problem.

Travel outside the earth's magnetic filed is also eminently possible, the only danger is a prolonged flight, e.g. to Mars.

The radaition from the sun is naturally higher than normal but most of it is alpha radiation, heat and light, the risks of a 10 day excursion are neglible.

However, things change if there is a solar flare or storm, this can unleash lethal radiation. These, thankfully, do not occur frequently, only about twice a year.

author by JMcKpublication date Sun Dec 21, 2003 15:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You may like to read this article on the latest attempts by NASA to reserch and minimise the danger of cosmic radiation on humans in space. At present 80 researchers are working at a new facility at the Space Radiation Health Project at Johnson Space Center, Houston.

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/radiation-03h.html

Even the Concorde recently avoided serious damage while on one of it's last flights. Had it been at high altitudes outside earths protective athmosphere it's crew and circuits would have been severely damaged. The need to know the precise level of cosmic and solar radiation along air routes has become more acute, as recent generations of commercial aircraft use "fly-by-wire" control systems, managed by on-board computers, which are subject to damage by high radiation levels.

In the 1960s, NASA asked Oak Ridge National Laboratory to predict how astronauts and other materials would be affected by exposure to both the Earth's Van Allen radiation belts and the Sun's radiation. Oak Ridge biologists sent bacteria and blood samples into space and exposed small animals to radiation. They concluded that proper shielding would be key to successful flight not only for living organisms, but for electronic instrumentation as well.

I don't know where you got the idea cosmic rays are "no problem", especially during space travel outside earth athmosphere - from the same source as Gunman? No need to worry about that hole in the ozone then? Or suncream?

Adieu, servant of the lie

author by Badmanpublication date Sun Dec 21, 2003 16:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is that, if it were true, we would have to believe that the entire scientific staff of NASA would have to be in on it. Furthermore, virtually the entire scientific community in the field of physics would have to be party to the scam. Otherwise we would see articles and reviews in peer-reviewed journals pointing out the impossibility of such manned flights. Although scientists are very open to manipulation on political grounds, there are few enough who will be happy to put their names to fantastical scientific papers which will be read by their peers. Witness the difficulty that Bush and Blair have had in coming up with respected scientists to discover WMD in Iraq. As I see it, they would have no ethical or logistical problem in planting Anthrax laboratories all over Iraq. There problem would be that as soon as they did so, their findings would be scrutinised have to be verified by scientific experts. Of course you could probably find many experts who would play ball, if it were not for the fact that their findings would be scrutinised by thousands of their sceptical peers who would be only too delighted to point out any errors.

author by iosaf - still not home and munching puddingspublication date Sun Dec 21, 2003 16:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It applied to passengers and staff, if you travelled into the tippytoppy atmosphere which isn't called the atmosphere at all but something more technical than stratosphere and less helpful than "ozone layer" you'd get too much natural ambient radiation.
I can't remember though whether or not that was a model estimate for "three times a week every week for a year".
I also seem to remember travelling on concorde was slightly better for ambient radiation levels than living in Cornwall which is quite peaky on the milisverts.

author by Sunday Papers - (competition section)publication date Sun Dec 21, 2003 16:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you know which of these counties is the peakiest on naturally occuring milisverts then you may win a traditional catalan christmas pudding which is nothing like a real Irish christmas pudding at all and more a spongey cake like a wagon wheel but without the chocolate and of course much smaller than you ever remember.

A) The County of Louth.
B) The County of Antrim.
C) The County of Clare.
D) The County of Kilkenny.

Write your answers on a postcard and send them to the Minister of Health by Jan 31. 2004 when the thus qualified entrants will have their names put into a tippy toppy random variable program operating on a ZX spectrum (version 1.1) picked up last weeekend in an antique shop for a snip at 50 centimos of a €uro. [when the Sunday Papers team find the connecting lead for the tape recorder].
- Keep it safe Keep it on a Spectrum.

Happy Christmas and of course I'd love to say sorry to everyone I have been unecessarily rude to over the last year, but I can't because it's one the priniciple pleasures traditionally afforded to self-imposed exile writers, and I really do enjoy it too much. And on such established principles I'll be back next year to gutter snipe some more.

author by Brian Deasypublication date Sun Dec 21, 2003 22:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The only danger from solar radiation is when there is a solar storm, when dangerous levels of radiation are hurled out from the sun's corona.

So, short trips in space are feasible, such as to the moon.

Cosmic background radiation is seriously not a problem, altough gamma-ray bursts can indeed be dangerous. These are bursts though, of short duration, usually lasting a few seconds. Intense gamma-ray bursts occur very infrequently in our area of the galaxy, about once every 6 years.

author by Lone gunmanpublication date Mon Dec 22, 2003 13:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.
1] The Concorde does NOT fly in space as you posted Space starts at least another 400 miles up. and
[2]It does not have microchip flite systems AKA fly by wire which is affected BTW by electro magnetic impulses.Which would be somthing like a nuke blast .] It is not shielded against radiation which is an accepted fact on any aircraft.However it is actually the solar flare which affects radio transmissions,which cause them to fly lower in solar activity.hence lousey comms with space stations,satellites etc in solar activity. A bit of aircraft 101and radio 101 is in order for you.
3] If the Apollo missions are "faked" as you and another bunch of flat earth Muppetts claim.I am sure there should be plenty of data on solar activity during these missions which should prove that they should be nuked and fried? you didnt answer why the Russians survived their missions,why Apollo13 survived.
Whats your next arguement?That it was a huge conspiricy?Hmmm lets see.. NASA employed appx 20K personel,inc in this contractors,sub contractors etc. You mean to tell us that you can keep 20,000 people from talking about a big deception???
Stalinist Russia maybe,where you got them all locked up in the Bakinour space complex.Even there it is doubtful as their space secrets were leaking out like a sieve.
What for?To beat the Russians?If we knew it was impossible,wouldnt it be better to keep Ivan throwing millions of roubles into a fools mission,and saving our tax dollars for more important projects like winning Vietnam?Once the Russians got their microwaved cosmonauts back.it would have been a great propaganda coup to say we toldyou so?
A Lunar photo with a cross that is not showing correctly?Irrefutable evidence that this is all fake?VERY dubious evidence to base an arguement.
This belongs with,the philidelphia experiment,UFO abductions[are you one of those too James?] and other crazy conspircy theory nonsense.
James,i worry about you ever since the USS Sullivans incident earlier this year.I hpoe the Men in Black are going to leave you alone for Xmas and that Santie brings you somthing nice.Like a grip on reality!

author by readerpublication date Mon Dec 22, 2003 15:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

could be Kilkenny.

author by readerpublication date Mon Dec 22, 2003 15:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

would it be the boggy side or the Carlow side?

author by readerpublication date Mon Dec 22, 2003 15:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

are there like any studies or easy to purchase equipment options over the internet using tippy toppy safe cryptology credit card transfers- perhaps in time for Xmas?

author by iosaf - - think of me as your Xmas elf.publication date Mon Dec 22, 2003 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

stick to the DVD.

If you try and buy this, you will undoubtedly exchange important credit card details with US patriots guntoting types and along the way get yourself entangled in the :
"should civilian purchase of civil defence surplus be more closely monitored discussion".
Which incidently all you right wingers out there, is one of the failures of the US Republican administration, it now appears in stock taking exercises that oodles of potential domestic hostiles now have added such delights to their militia quartermaster's supplies. And in 2004 we will read the US congressional reports.

point and listen.
point and listen.

author by readerpublication date Mon Dec 22, 2003 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and probably military purchase of civil defence equipment ought be closely monitored as well.

author by lone gunmanpublication date Mon Dec 22, 2003 22:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And ignore Isoafs paranoid nonsense.I myself would suggest buying the UK Plessey radiation detector on Bullnet. Www.bullnet.co.uk. It is a much easier device to use.Irish civvie defence uses it,and is built like the proverible brick outhouse. Or go to the Irish radation Protection institute for a device to measure backround radation or Radon gas.Not much help on much else.
The only surplus that is restricted from sale outside the USA is; Gasmasks and NBC suits and decontamination equipment,Nite vision equipment,CS gas and riot control equipment,live ammo,demilitarised army vechicles . The first six items are restricted by that all knowing ,all efficent,all idiotic waste of time organisation the UN.
The military equipment is restricted by the State dept.Uncle Sam is pretty good on policing his surplus these days.Even to the point where it is getting difficult to get empty ammo cans.[make exellent tool boxes].
Yes,isnt it great that the US govt actually TRUSTS their people with their surplus CD equipment?And that some people over there actually belive in getting off their asses and looking after themselves even if it looks nuts like building a fallout shelter.Rather than the Irish European whiners who insist that their benevelovent Govts "Do somthing" about whatever is upsetting their TV time.

author by readerpublication date Mon Dec 22, 2003 22:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it's county Clare isn't it?
lovely little machine the Plessey runs well on batteries, keeps you secure and safe at night when you're asleep and you can't keep an eye open for -----them.

will you be entering the competition lone gun man or did you manage to hold onto the geiger counters?

author by lone gunmanpublication date Wed Dec 24, 2003 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Clare has high Radon gas in certain parts.Anywhere with high limestone concentration.But it aint the highest.

author by reader and studentpublication date Sat Dec 27, 2003 14:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

different kind of rock strata there, how's the volcanic rock for Radon?

author by lucky bastard.publication date Mon Dec 29, 2003 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chip implant gets cash under your skin
By Declan McCullagh
CNET News.com
November 25, 2003, 9:32 AM PT
URL: http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103-5111637.html

Radio frequency identification tags aren't just for pallets of goods in
supermarkets anymore.

Applied Digital Solutions of Palm Beach, Fla., is hoping that Americans can be
persuaded to implant RFID chips under their skin to identify themselves when
going to a cash machine or in place of using a credit card. The surgical
procedure, which is performed with local anesthetic, embeds a 12-by-2.1mm
RFID tag in the flesh of a human arm.

ADS Chief Executive Scott Silverman, in a speech at the ID World 2003
conference in Paris last Friday, said his company had developed a "VeriPay"
RFID technology and was hoping to find partners in financial services firms.

Matthew Cossolotto, a spokesman for ADS who says he's been "chipped," argues
that competing proposals to embed RFID tags in key fobs or cards were flawed.
"If you lose the RFID key fob or if it's stolen, someone else could use it
and have access to your important accounts," Cossolotto said. "VeriPay solves
that problem. It's subdermal and very difficult to lose. You don't leave it
sitting in the backseat of the taxi."

RFID tags are miniscule microchips, which some manufacturers have managed to
shrink to half the size of a grain of sand. They listen for a radio query and
respond by transmitting a unique ID code, typically a 64-bit identifier
yielding about 18 thousand trillion possible values. Most RFID tags have no
batteries. They use the power from the initial radio signal to transmit their
response.

When embedded in human bodies, RFID tags raise unique security concerns.
First, because they broadcast their ID number, a thief could rig up his or
her own device to intercept and then rebroadcast the signal to an automatic
teller machine. Second, sufficiently dedicated thieves may try to slice the
tags out of their victims.

"We do hear concerns about this from a privacy point of view," Cossolotto
said. "Obviously, the company wants to do all it can to protect privacy. If
you don't want it anymore...you can go to a doctor and have it removed. It's
not something I would recommend people do at home. I call it an opt-out
feature."

Chris Hoofnagle, a lawyer at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said
implanted RFID tags cause an additional worry. "When your bank card is
compromised, all you have to do is make a call to the issuer," Hoofnagle
said. "In this case, you have to make a call to a surgeon.

"It doesn't make sense to go from a card, which is controlled by an
individual, to a chip, which you cannot control."

ADS shares have slid from a high of about $12 in 2000 to 40 cents, and the
company is now fighting to stay listed on the Nasdaq. "Our common stock did
not regain the minimum bid price requirement and on Oct. 28, 2003, the Nasdaq
Stock Market informed us by letter that our securities would be delisted from
the SmallCap," ADS said in a Nov. 14 filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. The company also warned that its implantable microchips
are manufactured solely by Raytheon without a "formal written agreement," and
any price increases or supply disruptions would have serious negative
consequences.

MasterCard has been testing an RFID technology called PayPass. It looks like
any other credit card but is outfitted with an RFID tag that lets it be read
by a receiver instead of scanned through a magnetic stripe. "We're certainly
looking at designs like key fobs," MasterCard Vice President Art Kranzley
told USA Today last week. "It could be in a pen or a pair of earrings.
Ultimately, it could be embedded in anything--someday, maybe even under the
skin."

ADS is running a special promotion, urging Americans to "get chipped." The
first 100,000 people to sign up will receive a $50 discount.

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