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Proposal for UK Prisoners to be Given RFID Implants

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the resistance-is-futile dept.

Privacy 188

Raisey-raison writes "There is a proposal in the UK to implant "machine-readable" microchips under the skin of thousands of offenders in an effort to free up more space in British jails. The article states that uses are being considered both for home detention, as a means to enforce punishment, as well as for sex offenders after their release. Many view this as a slippery slope leading to much wider use; starting as a purely voluntary act and gradually becoming more compulsory, it would endanger human rights and privacy. There are also health questions involved, given that long-term studies have linked similar implants to cancer in lab mice and rats. Ironically, the same technology has been proposed for medical purposes as well. In the USA, some state agencies have already made decisions about this issue.

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188 comments

Frosty Piss, now with RFID (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024560)

Track all Frosty Piss postings, even the steaming mug variety, across Slashdot now that they all have RFID implanted into them. [7CF0E25D]
 

Its just criminals (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024580)

Today.

Tomorrow children. In a generation or 2, everyone will have them.

Re:Its just criminals (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024794)

It isn't happening today, and probably won't. The story is that the UK government is 'investigating the use of' implanted chips. They clearly have not got very far though, the official is quoted talking about putting GPS in kiddie-fiddlers. This would cook them.

Or maybe it will stop at just criminals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024954)

Ever consider that, Mr. Paranoid Slippery-slope-fallacy Man?

Re:Or maybe it will stop at just criminals. (1)

Ferretman (224859) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025114)

Oh it will....it's just that the definition will change such that everybody is a criminal of something, and there ya go!

Caught speeding? We need to chip you "for a year or two" to "monitor your compliance" with the law.

Get audited and owe the Feds money? A chip will help "protect the government's interests".

It goes on and on and on......it's amazing how clever they can get for something like this.

Ferretman

Re:Or maybe it will stop at just criminals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22026030)

See also the interstate commerce act, now used to justify pretty much everything the federal government wants to do that power to do so belongs to states. Education? Crime? Taxes? Just about anything imaginable has the possibility to 'spread' between state borders, and that might have some potential impact on something...

Re:Or maybe it will stop at just criminals. (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025316)

Thats what they said about your SSN in the beginning, and you see how that didn't creep.

Re:Or maybe it will stop at just criminals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22026368)

Well, no, it didn't. See, this is about the UNITED KINGDOM, and here in the UK we, um, don't have anything like your American SSNs.

(The closest thing we have is the National Insurance number, but that is strictly only used for tax-related purposes; it hasn't turned into a personal ID number that all kinds of people demand, like your SSNs.)

A simple fact that many Slashdotters apparently find hard to grasp is that the "slippery slope" is a logical fallacy. That means it's not a valid argument. Sorry, but there you are.

Re:Or maybe it will stop at just criminals. (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025626)

Or maybe it will stop at just criminals.

Or maybe the earth will explode. I'm planning on being alive tomorrow anyway.

Re:Its just criminals (2, Informative)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025102)

in an effort to free up more space in British jails.

Or they could stop throwing people in jail for victimless crimes, such as drug offenses... for which 16% of prisoners are there for.

http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/population-in-custody-0407.pdf [justice.gov.uk]

Re:Its just criminals (0, Troll)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025184)

Half of me agrees. If your stupid enough to take drugs then you deserve what you get.

The other half of me looks at how the law has made the world a better place with tobacco.
Go back 50 years and it was incredibly popular due to advertising and pressure.
A lot of people are now regretting it.

Your essentially saying that you want drugs to be legal.
Would you also like ads on tv and in newspapers and movies for drugs?

Re:Its just criminals (1, Offtopic)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025250)

I already see ads on TV for ethanol, caffeine and taurine.

Look at some actual research [bbc.co.uk]. Ecstasy is less dangerous than tobacco or alcohol.

I want to be able to buy ecstasy legally. I don't mind if it's taxed (charge £10 for four tablets, give £9 to charities or the NHS if you like). They can put some big warning notices on the box too, like they do for tobacco, and a recommended maximum dose, like they do for alcohol.

Re:Its just criminals (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22025360)

All drugs should be legalised, BUT, the sort of people who CURRENTLY take 'illegal' drugs, are generally the parasitic scum of society anyway.
Try reading up on dysgenics. The U.K.'s population has declined in quality from the wonderful people we had 100 years ago (just look at any film footage or crowd photographs from that era) to the scum that we have now, and that includes not only the third world parasites who are invading our country (and all other white countries, by strange coincidence) but also the backward whites who are breeding like rabbits, but at OUR expense (the working people).

The population is increasing by a million people a year, because of hideous third worlders and their ugly offspring, and yet the government acts surprised when the number of criminals increases! And they set a completely arbitrary figure on the number of people who 'should' be in prison.

If the MAJORITY had their say, then most criminals (by which I mean, muggers, rapists, murderers, paedophiles, burglars, car thieves, drug dealers, and violent offenders) would be locked up for about ten times as long as they currently are.
And guess what? Crime would go down by 90%. Because criminals who are in prison can't commit crime. It's as simple as that.

Re:Its just criminals (1)

scuba0 (950343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025606)

Yeah, all those famous people, damn them! Especially the Rock-artists that use!

Never a truer word spoken (1, Interesting)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025982)

The parent will be ignored as a troll, but speaks the truth.

The UK is no better than a third-world country, with basic literacy standards worse than before state-mandated education was effected.

And like these tinpot dictatorships, those in control are implementing more and more draconian measures to oppress law-abiding citizens. It suits the government to persecute the victims of crime, rather than punish the perpetrators.

British justice ended with Ruth Ellis. She was convicted as guilty of murder, and punished accordingly. Now, innocent homeowners are murdered every week by subhuman parasites who will be free again in under a decade.

The British mindset can be best summarized by the actions of an ex-soldier, who urinated over a dying woman in a busy town centre in broad daylight as his friends videoed.

No-one attempted to stop him.

Re:Its just criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22026246)

Oh, you're british?
I almost mistook you for an American KKK member, or a German Neo-Nazi!

Now I wonder why I would make that mistake???

Re:Its just criminals (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025904)

Give them to criminals? Hell - if they're going to do that, make them pay for the device, installation and maintenance. However, I heartily agree that any approach like this will lead to extension into the general public and abuse of information. The Thought Police will get us all.

Re:Its just criminals (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025954)

Here locally, the criminals that get those leg-beepers for home detention have to pay some sort of fee.

Maybe it's just me... (4, Interesting)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024610)

But does no one think that Prisoners might be inclined to remove their tracking chips? I'm just saying I can't imagine most of them are losing any sleep about breaking the law...

Re:Maybe it's just me... (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024652)

Which is why they will implant them deep in the brain.

Then only outlaws will wear tinfoil hats.

It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024926)

Then only outlaws will wear tinfoil hats.
In order to block the RFID signal you have to wear the hat shiny side in, but that way it makes you MORE susceptible to the mind control satellites. They're obviously luring in those people who have most thoroughly resisted control so far.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025420)

Well, just make your tinfoil hat two-layered. The inner layer with the shiny side pointing inwards blocks the RFID chip, while the outer side with the shiny side pointing outwards protects against mind-control.

Of course this makes tinfoil hats more expensive, and people will need new ones even if they already had one, which proves that this is actually originating at the tinfoil hat industry in order to increase their sales.

Re:Maybe it's just me... (5, Insightful)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024740)

The UK already employs an extensive system of electronic ankle bracelets as part of early release programs, they're radio-linked to an internet connected receiver in their houses. A small percentage of them are removed, virtually always triggering the tamper detection devices. A much bigger problem so far has been the comically inept way the schemes are run.

Re:Maybe it's just me... (1)

IPExcellence (1115359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025266)

The surgical exploration alone would probably thrill about 1/3 of the criminals receiving the chips... if not more!

Re:Maybe it's just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22025926)

> But does no one think that Prisoners might be inclined to remove their tracking chips? I'm just saying I can't imagine most of them are losing any sleep about breaking the law...

Stop. You're dangerously close to realizing that this system was designed to fail. We've had a couple of trial balloons floated in the USSA, except we used "aliens" (the legal aliens, not the illegals) as the target population.

RFIDtrack1.0: Chip your prisoners only. Your citizens don't get the chip. Prisoners are identified by the presence of the chip. Citizens are not distinguishable from prisoners who have removed their chips. Most folks can see through that. Prisoners will want to remove the chip, so the system fails.

RFIDtrack1.1: Chip your legal aliens only. Your citizens don't get the chip. Legal aliens don't want to remove the chip, solving the easily-recognized problem with RFIDtrack 1.0. The problem of course is that illegal aliens are still indistinguishable from full citizens, as neither have chips. Presence, not absence of the tag, is what gives you some legal rights. This leads to...

RFIDtrack 2.0: By definition, you can't tag illegal aliens, since they've crossed your border without any contact with your government. The only way to make legals distinguishable from citizens is to tag the citizens. Unlike prisoners, but very much like legal aliens, citizens won't want to remove their tags.

At which point, you've won. Change the word "citizen" to "subject", and rule them all.

Take a look at the government committees Tommy Thompson chaired (Health and Human Services) and the companies on whose board he now sits (Verichip, Digital Angel), and read the press releases those companies issued during the immigration bill messes of 2006. There are a few million illegals who could be chipped. A few tens of millions of prisoners who could be chipped. The real money (and power) is in the untapped "customer base" of the 300,000,000 subjects.

The prisoners/illegals are the beta tests, designed to fail, but designed to figure out how best to scale the programme.

UK prisoners, maybe. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024612)

niggers worldwide? definitely.

Do this now.

Do it in stages. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024622)

Start with blacks, or "wogs" as they're called (or "niggers"). Stop there if you like, as the problem will likely be solved (and now trackable).

Might be good for a reality show (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024636)

Track niggers as they run around stealing stuff, etc.

And if america did this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024642)

You all would have bombed the tags with "1984" "Orwell" "PoliceState" "facism", etc. I love the double standard. Then again, I must be new here.

Re:And if america did this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024750)

What is this country "America" you speak of?

Re:And if america did this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22025988)

> The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America...

What is that word "Constitutional" of which you speak?

You're confusing Pre-9/11 USA with the Post-9/11 USSA, in which the Amendment 3 of the Pre-9/11 Constitution is the only amentment not yet being routinely ignored at best, and systematically violated at worst.

Re:And if america did this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024864)

It could have been worse. If the above mentioned "Mark of the Beast", "Rev13", and/or "Armilus" (the Jewish equivalent of Antichrist), it would have been downmodded posthaste as "Overrated".
_
Downmodding this post proves its veracity beyond question, therefore it is best left ignored.

Hmm... (3, Interesting)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024644)

How long does it take till this spreads to all criminals, then slowly spreads into the population. The privacy issues are obvious, today dogs can get chips under their skin to help if they get lost, tomorrow the government may use them to find a "person of interest". Thats not to say there are not benefits to the idea. Namely, being able to tie personal identification to the chip (no more REAL ID), and being able to tie personal bank accounts to that chip as well. That's not to say its a good idea, but there are some positive impacts if applied to the whole population.

Re:Hmm... (2, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024920)

It will spread in a different way. Now we are easily tracked by our phone calls, by our credit card purchases and other digital traces. Yes we have a choice to go off the grid, but it's really inconvenient. RFID will happen the same way.

They won't force them on us, they will just make it really inconvenient to us, pussies, to live without it.

[/macho trip]

Re:Hmm... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025682)

Yes we have a choice to go off the grid, but it's really inconvenient.

Is it? While I do have a mobile phone, it's off most of the time (and quite often I don't even have it with me). And I don't even have a credit card (I had one, but I noticed that I didn't use it, so I got rid of it as unnecessary expense). OK, I'm not in the U.S., but in Europe. I hear it's more difficult to live without credit card in the U.S., but I cannot imagine it being more difficult to have your mobile phone off most of the time.

Of course there are still enough digital traces I leave (esp. by simply using the internet).

The way RFID chips would be forced on everyone might be health insurance. "You see, if you get this RFID chip implanted, you'll not only have the advantage that in case of an accident the hospital will have your relevant data, but in addition we will give you some discount. Oh, did we already tell you that we plan to raise our fee dramatically? Well, not for those wearing this chip. Oh, and should you not decide to get the chip, and you get any trouble which could have been avoided with this chip (of course it's us who decide if it could have been avoided), we certainly won't pay for any related cost. But of course, we don't force you to have the chip. It's your decision. You just have to live with the consequences."

Re:Hmm... (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025162)

What TFA doesn't mention is that the implants ocasionally find their way into your DNA (they implant them in the gonads, to dissuade removing it) so you pass them on to your children!

The new NKVD..Brit style wankers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22025254)

Stalin and Beria must be singing in their graves to hear their old adversary Brits screwing themselves with this. The have all those cameras already, and face recognition software. Why not bypass the process by putting in sensitive receivers for all those RFIDs that will detect them at overlapping ranges with neighboring cams in a tight network so that nobody can move without being detected, even in their homes. Now I can see the verrry interesting Brit Maury Povich shows. Mr Bean was detected over Mrs Holmes with both signals vibrating. Said signals used for their respective fornication trials and the later stoning of Mrs Holmes and flogging of Mr Bean.....by that time unrestricted muslim immigration into Britland has now made a change of name to Britistan and the adoption of Sharia as the law of Britistan. Not to mention the dethronement of the Olde Bat with her replacement by newly appointed Saudi immigrant King Mahmood. Damn useful new technology, eh? Howdja like new tech now ya Brit wankers. How much freedom do ya want to lose before saying enough? Know ya got some spirit, the Europeans seen enuf of that on the soccer fields. Let Manchester United be your new leaders! Tear all those spycams down before the guv equips them with machine guns or lasers, and before the RFID chips come with remote activated cyanide doses.

Do just the male prisoners get implants? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024650)

I for one would like to see female prisoners get mandatory implants.

Force them to hang it out. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024654)

My chums and I were discussing this very news at the pub last night. One of my friends said fiddlesticks to this, and proposed a much better idea. He said that instead of tagging these criminals with RFID implants, we ought just to force them to walk around all day with their penises hanging out. He said that way we'd all know they're criminals, and if they ever got unruly we could just throw objects at their vulnerable cocks. Trust me, a beer mug smashing against your penis spout is not a feeling one wants to endure!

Re:Force them to hang it out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22025800)

I'm not sure why you were marked offtopic. Your post is clearly on-topic.
  1. You're from the UK, based on how you write. This article concerns the UK.
  2. You're talking about the idea of tagging criminals in the UK with RFID implants. This article concerns tagging criminals in the UK with RFID implants.
  3. You're talking about an alternative, as quaint as is it may be, to this RFID technology. This addresses one of the big concerns of the article, namely how intrusive and abusive this RFID technology is.


Frankly, I think your post is about as on-topic as it could possibly get. Hopefully the meta-moderation system takes care of the fool who moderated your post as "Offtopic".

Implants are a good thing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024660)

So long as you only use them to keep the prisoners, niggers and other rabble in line.

Criminals SHOULD be traceable (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024668)

As should niggers, just for the sake of a safe society.

Well ... (1, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024680)

given that the respective governments of the United States, England, Russia, China and the other major powers would never think of using implanted RFID in a way that would negatively impact the rights and quality of life of their average citizens, I'm all for it.

Re:Well ... (2, Insightful)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024912)

We really need a moderation option "+1 Sarcasm" because there's no way the above comment is funny or insightful...:(

the Christians will freakout (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024706)

Mark of the beast?

Re:the Christians will freakout (1)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025110)

I've been hearing about this one from my psychotic step-father for years now. He read about RFIDs on Jeff Rense.com [jeffrense.com] of all places, and how they could, for example, be placed in the back of the neck. Apparently there's something in the bible about the mark of the beast being on the back of the neck and how it will signal the end times, and he's been ranting about it ever since.

He's also a complete idiot, as are the greater portion of Americans. (I'm American, don't start the flamewar) You're quite right that it will cause an upset, and who knows how far the fanatics will take it.

Re:the Christians will freakout (1)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22026066)

The" mark of the beast" thing comes from the practice of the Romans of branding their slaves with a mark or forcing them to wear bronze collars. It's essentially an allegorical warning in the bible against the subtle re-introduction of methods used to persecute Christians in the past.

After Constantine ruled in 315 that slaves condemned to work in the mines or to fight in the arena were to be branded on the hands or legs, not on the face (Theodosian Code 9.40.2), prudent slaveowners who in the past had branded fugitives turned to inscribed bronze collars instead--thirty-five such collars have been found so far, one from Sardinia naming the slaveowner as Felix the archdeacon.13

- Page 1132 - Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology, M.I. Finley , Chatto & Windus, 1980.

all state's property can be tagged (2, Interesting)

memnock (466995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024710)

California is suffering from a huge budget crunch. the Governator is talking about prisoner releases there. and with the state employees (free people. or are they?) there already under threat of implants, i'd say Ahnold will be calling Brown soon for the chip vendor information.

Re:all state's property can be tagged (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22026232)

Kalifornia should do what several states have done/are doing. Send the prisoners who are illegal aliens BACK HOME. There's no reason that taxpayers should have to support illegals in prison. Millions of $$$$ are being saved in other states; Kalifornia should learn something.

Flaming Trolls (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024766)

Jeez those fucking ACs can get disgusting, eh. I think they make a point: a lot of people are going to think this is a good idea, because they are stupid and believe that their fears need addressing. This is a major plot point in a dystopian screenplay that I'm working on BTW, and I actually think it is an inevitable feature of our future lifestyle.

Re:Flaming Trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024950)

This is a major plot point in a dystopian screenplay that I'm working on BTW, and I actually think it is an inevitable feature of our future lifestyle.

Oh, fuck. Not another one of the Nineteen Eighty-Four/Brazil/Logan's Run/Farenheit 451/Blade Runner/Soylent Green/12 Monkeys shitfests, please!

Work in some more nudity, if you don't mind, for those of us who get tired of hearing the same cacotopian story told over and over and over and over and over again.

Perfect Crime (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025646)

"Not another one of the Nineteen Eighty-Four/Brazil/Logan's Run/Farenheit 451/Blade Runner/Soylent Green/12 Monkeys shitfests, please!"

Actually, the situation is peripheral to the plot. I like to imagine that the story will stand on its own. Shitfests are a lot easier to sell to the suits though.

There is a saying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024858)

What Would Jesus Do? But in this case, I think "What Would Hitler Do?" would be more appropriate.

This is /. - how long before chip mods? (5, Interesting)

grolaw (670747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024860)

Let's get real. If these RFID chip or multiple chip implantation policies become widespread so will chip mods.

If your ID chip accesses your credit line - how long before Warren Buffett/Bill Gates' ID becomes the hot new fake ID?

It is well known that all manufacturing processes produce a some number of defective products. How do we deal with those?

RFID can be zapped with a static charge - anybody for Van DeGraff generators?

Retasking, rewriting, forged, hacked and destroyed RFID is all that this policy will lead to. AND, /. readers will be in the front of THAT revolution.

Re:This is /. - how long before chip mods? (3, Interesting)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025042)

The solution to most of those problems is to use many RFID chips rather than a single one (these things are microscopic). You'll be identified by the cloud of chips that you carry - some may be implanted, some may be in your clothes, and others will be part of the gadgets you own. Failure of individual chips is no problem: indeed it is expected. The surveillance systems will be watching where most of your RFID chips go.

Forgery is possible but it's non-trivial, particularly as the chips shouldn't offer any way to reprogram the UUIDs that they broadcast. You'd need a pirate RFID manufacturing plant: possible but costly. Destroying the chips is a more likely attack, but these things will be so common in the future that it will be extremely hard to go anywhere without picking a few up by accident, so you'll soon be back on the system if you do that (albeit as an anonymous person until you do something else to identify yourself, such as using a credit card).

Re:This is /. - how long before chip mods? (3, Insightful)

grolaw (670747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025166)

Every ID system has been beaten. You seem to be discussing nano-level tech (and, I'm unaware of how that size device could pick up enough RF to power their system) and not the 1-2 cm standard today. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFID/ [wikipedia.org]

The market for pirated DVDs couldn't exist without the blanks. Perhaps a third or so are created in factories in China - but the rest are purchased from the usual sources and diverted to illicit copying. What's to keep chip manufacturers from supplying the black market?

Want to consider what would happen if the chips were really tightly controlled? There would be a market for chips forcibly extracted from the original "owner."

At root, it is a stupid idea - but my pets have them. Now, if the animal control folks would just buy the scanner we lobbied for (and, budgeted two years ago) so that a lost/runaway could be returned....

In short, the barriers to adopting this policy are formidable and the end result is far from certain.

Re:This is /. - how long before chip mods? (2, Interesting)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025358)

I like to make posts such as the grandparent in the hope that someone more knowledgeable than me will tell me why I'm wrong. An RFID-based national surveillance system is clearly on the UK government "wish list", and it would be nice for everyone if it was actually impossible to build one, rather than merely expensive. I would be very pleased if physical laws prevented RFIDs being manufactured in microscopic sizes, but I suspect that this is not the case. It doesn't have to be nanoscale, it just has to be invisible to the naked eye.

However, I think you are right about the relative ease of forging RFIDs, provided you can knock out the ones you are already carrying. Another poster has pointed out that a computer could be programmed to simulate any number of RFID chips. Like DRM, this type of technology might be easily defeated by those in the know, making it useless against terrorists and smart criminals, i.e. the exact people it is supposed to protect us from.

Re:This is /. - how long before chip mods? (2, Informative)

grolaw (670747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025566)

RFID is a "passive" responder that generates a signal when "charged" or "pumped" with enough current from an active RF field. Look at the Wikipedia link I posted and you will see that the most massive part of any RFID device is the antenna. Through that antenna induction takes place and thence the power to generate a signal. RFID are without internal power supplies and must make use of induction to function. The smaller the device the smaller the antenna. Once we reach true microwave frequencies the tradeoff between the energy density of the rf field needed to induce current in the device and the rf energy necessary to excite H2O (cooking level microwave energy) molecules we have reached the limiting factor: cooking your human.

High-energy/high frequency RF is quite dangerous and as you decrease wavelength and increase energy you move through the microwave spectrum and after that the shorter wavelengths include x-rays and, eventually Gamma. That is ionizing radiation and, given the proper exposure, it is lethal. I don't see any way to make microscopic or even 1-2 mm RFID devices that can be driven by non-harmful energy sources.

Make a RFID Chip "broadcaster/jammer" (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025852)

It shouldn't be too hard to make a IPod sized device that could broadcast thousands/millions of fake RFID numbers if it picks up that one is being scanned nearby. Or just have it on the whole time, filling the scanners with noise. Websites could have extensive lists of other peoples RFID numbers all uploaded, thereby providing a kind of digital alibi, if you will. I'm sure that someone will make cracking type of programs, that can produce valid RFID numbers, or hack into legitamite databases that have RFID numbers for other products.

Re:Make a RFID Chip "broadcaster/jammer" (2, Informative)

grolaw (670747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22026042)

The technology exists - consider radio scanners and repeaters. Add in some memory and create an interface to your mini scanner/repeater (sounds like a job for gumstix http://gumstix.com/ [gumstix.com] ) and off you go.

FWIW directional antennas (dish, yagi) could direct a RF signal source at distance & coupled with a rifle site it would make all of those people carrying RFID easy targets to pick out of a crowd.

Whose idea was RDID tags in passports, anyway? The Saudi's?

Re:This is /. - how long before chip mods? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025760)

I would be very pleased if physical laws prevented RFIDs being manufactured in microscopic sizes, but I suspect that this is not the case.

Doesn't the fact that they are powered by radio waves limit their miniaturization? After all, the product of the radio wave power density and the chip area has to be large enough to power the chip (esp. the chip's sender, which itself has to generate strong enough waves to be received above noise level, which means you cannot arbitrarily reduce the power consumption even with ideal technology).

Re:This is /. - how long before chip mods? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025200)

A alternative to getting a RFID manufacturing plant is just to rig up a little transmitter to a computer.
You'd then emulate the cloud. Pretty simple.

Re:This is /. - how long before chip mods? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22025168)

And how soon will that become illegal?

Location of the implants (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024876)

That's been already worked out for them: One on the forehead, and another on the right hand.

Re:Location of the implants (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024932)

This is yet another opportunity for you educated people to express your disdain for Christianity (and Judaism indirectly) religions: Downmod the above!

Re:Location of the implants (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025170)

This is yet another opportunity for you educated people to express your disdain for Christianity (and Judaism indirectly) religions: Downmod the above!

Welcome to the exciting world of "sarcasm". The GP did express his disdain for superstitious BS such as otherwise-rational people fearing the spooooooooky Mark of the Beast.

I absolutely oppose any proposals to "chip" humans (for ID purposes - Put me at the front of the line to have a machine/neural interface jack installed, however), but doing so for religious reasons makes any valid objections less convincing by association.

Re:Location of the implants (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025136)

That's been already worked out for them: One on the forehead, and another on the right hand.

Well, the frontal sinus would make an ideal location for them... Well within the ability of modern endoscopic techniques; no visiable lump as with subcutaneous insertion; virtually no way for the animal - er, prisoner - to remove it without medical assistance; and, it lies close enough to the surface to respond to a reasonably low-powered scanner .

Now, the wrist, on the other hand, not such a great place. The whole area has entirely too many tendons and nerves to make deep implantation viable, and a shallow SQ implant would likely cause some distress due to visible (if minor) disfigurement and increased risk of abrasion over the implantation site. I'd say we should proably keep the hand reserved solely for barcodes.

Re:Location of the implants (1)

16384 (21672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025322)

"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." [Rev 13:16-17, NIV] [biblegateway.com]

Re:Location of the implants (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025858)

"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." [Rev 13:16-17, NIV]

Everyone knows that refers to Bill Gates [egomania.nu]. The mark on the right hand is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and the mark on the forehead came from pounding it on the keyboard.

Makes perfect sense to me! (4, Insightful)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024906)

This makes perfect sense to me!

After all, it's not like RFID chips could be swapped, erased, removed and as we all know, relying on technology to enforce behavior has never failed. That's why DRM is so popular and electronic passports are completely unhackable, and even if they were hackable, it's not like people get used to the new systems and forget to do the most basic of checks.

Also, the social repercussions for putting these in inmates raises no problems, all you need to do is look at the great success the US has had with the sex offender registry in rehabilitating people.

I can't find a single reason not to do this. Go Britain!

WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!? It took me a whole 2 seconds to think of all of these, how has this idea made it this far?

Re:Makes perfect sense to me! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22026056)

sex offender registry in rehabilitating people.

The purpose of the sex offender registry is not to rehabilitate. It is to notify the community to beware. So many sex offenders reoffended after being released, and so many parents said that they would have been more careful, had they only known that a predator was in the neighborhood. So, you get pressure on politicians, and bam, democracy in action.

P.S. You might have more success in expressing your opinions if you didn't use so much sarcasm.

P.P.S. You misspelled "definite" in your username.

Another reason... (3, Informative)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024914)

Just another reason to leave this country. Once upon a time I used to be proud to be British. Nowadays if I say that, I'll be flagged up as a racist, be DNA profiled and have my life gone through with a fine tooth comb.

This country has surveillance and tracking that's gone beyond anything the Nazi SS and the KGB could ever dreamed of having. So much for living in a free democracy.

Re:Another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22025054)

Bye bye. *Waves.*

Re:Another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22025246)

Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.

Re:Another reason... (1, Troll)

el_gato_borracho (1218808) | more than 6 years ago | (#22026160)

At the risk of sounding like an outsider American (which I am), I believe it all started with confiscating firearms in the UK. After that, the ruling elites can gradually follow the natural human inclination to complete subjugation of the serfs.

UK RFID implants (1)

TroveItInc (1218650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22024934)

I am totally against this completely unconstitutional, unreasonable and illegal search and seizure. The current trend for DNA storage is a perfect example of why. Most, if not all US states, require a DNA sample from felons convicted of some or all felonies. Arkansas requires a DNA sample for ALL felons regardless of the crimes. The purpose of this is to compare to an existing database for past crimes and to monitor for FUTURE crimes that have yet to occur. How is THAT purpose constitutional when it is not related to the ORIGINAL convition? That is putting us one generation from mandatory DNA samples for ALL US citizens. That opens the door for many set-ups and wrongful convictions. As things stand, all I have to do is take hair out of a felon's hairbrush and put it in a ski mask, commit a crime, and leave the ski mask behind so that the authorities has a known felon for a perpetrator that seems a perfect Defender. Rock solid DNA evidence and a slam dunk conviction. How is that for justice? Now, we add RFID chips to those felons so we can ID them and/or locate them quickly. I see lots of benefit from that. Don't you? Okay,now let's say I have a friend with the police dept and I want to locate a person. All I have to do is have them jump online....Just like having a friend at a cell phone company look up a phone number so I can call or harass someone whom did not feel it necessary to give me the number. Where does the line begin and end on the privacy issue in today's modern world. The RFID chip idea is one like that does not need to be crossed involuntarily.

Banning involuntary tagging won't work.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22024952)

Things like this don't need to be legally mandated - only socially. When it becomes the 'next big thing' and you can buy a sixpack just by waving your hand next to a reader, it'll catch on and people will voluntarily do it - after which point, in a few years, it would be as odd to be without one as it would be odd to be without a cellphone today. I'd plan on mitigating the effects of everyone having the implants as opposed to trying to stop them.

What is so wrong with current monitoring systems? (1)

Fortunato_NC (736786) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025026)

I think this is an example of where technology, or at least people's visions for the technology, is outpacing common sense. RFID-like tags are a great idea for identifying lost pets or livestock, but they absolutely suck as a criminal monitoring device compared to existing systems for enforcing home detention. RFID is a passive system - a tag moves by a reader, it's energized and sends its data to the reader. As I understand it, the ankle bracelets currently used are active systems - the bracelet and the monitoring station are in constant communication, and when the link between the two devices is severed, the authorities are notified. I know that part of the "chipping" proposal is to detect when an offender shows up near a school or other "forbidden" area, but couldn't the same type of thing be done with the existing equipment? For me, government-mandated microchip implants cross the line into "cruel and unusual punishment" territory.

Re:What is so wrong with current monitoring system (3, Insightful)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025210)

I think all that you're missing is the scope of the plans, which are technically achievable, but are also science fiction of the David Brin variety. This is belied by the disparity between what is actually needed (a way to enforce house arrest - existing solutions are adequate) and what we are told is needed (RFID everywhere). The vision is a nationwide network combining RFID with existing surveillance technologies such as CCTV and the automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR). The problem with ANPR is that it only recognises number plates, and the problem with CCTV is that it is no good for automatically recognising anything. RFID is the answer: the tiny chips uniquely identify their carrier. So with the help of RFID you can both (1) record everything and (2) tag each recording with the people featured in it without any human intervention. A database with a record of everyone's activities is the eventual goal. Modern technology makes it possible, if unethical and expensive.

mobile phones (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025880)

A database with a record of everyone's activities is the eventual goal

Oh yeah, that's why cellphones were invented.

Without forcing cost of laws (0, Offtopic)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025066)

The government will expand laws.

The government (i.e. US) needs to be realistic about what it wants to make a crime (say minor drug use) or how severe it wants to make the penalty (life sentence restrictions for being caught being a peeping tom in your 20's).

This approach hides the cost of enforcing so many laws on society and encourages more laws.

jails full? hey I've got an idea (1)

toby (759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025164)

Pile them all on to ships and send them to Australia!

Obligatory Bill Hicks quote... (2, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025256)

Let me get this straight...
You keep the shitty food and the shitty weather and we get the Great Barrier Reef and lobsters the size of canoes?...
.
.
.
I'm Jack the Ripper! --No, I'M Jack the Ripper! We're all Jackthefuckingripper!

Cattle, once electronically eartagged.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22025304)

Once electronically eartagged, UK "subjects" will become cattle and treated as such. But isn't that just what sheeple deserve?

stop punishing, start helping them become citizens (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025818)

Why is there such a high prison population? Are all of these people behind bars dangerous persons who would damage society if left free? I don't think so. Perhaps only a few of them are really dangerous. Most of them would probably do no further damage if released, so I see no point in spending tax money in feeding people who would do no further damage to society. Punishment? Does anybody still believes that punishment is the right approach to crime? We should focus on changing people, not punishing them. In most of the cases people shouldn't be punished. Locking people behind bars only costs taxpayers more money, there is no point in doing it. For non-dangerous guys, helping them become respectful citizens again would be a better approach.

Locking someone behind bars for punishment or revenge has no logic. If somebody comes and does something bad to me, I gain nothing by doing something bad to them, except in cases of self-defense (in which cases it is ok to use a gun, if someone is in a country allowing guns, to deal with physically threatening criminals). Let's say for example that someone comes and steals my property. I have the option of suing them and get them into prison. Why should I do this? What I seek is to get my property back, inform all fellow citizens of the potentially dangerous thief, and ensure that the thief does not re-offend, and of course I should also take into account that the criminal is also a human being and should be treated as such. The best way to make thiefs citizens again would be to require them attend some educational courses. If they get locked behind bars, they *will* reoffend after release, and even if they get locked up for life, society gains nothing. Quite the contrary, the whole society pays for their nutrition etc (even if it's of low quality, the fact is that society still pays for it). It really is ridiculous. It really seems counterproductive to me to collect taxes from citizens and use them to pay for criminals.

For me the perfect scheme would be to attempt to change the criminal's life outlook through compulsory education. If they cannot change themselves, then they should go in exile. So, if a member of a community offends the community's customs, they will have to leave that community. This way they cannot re-offend, and nobody pays for them. We could even have internationally designated places to send criminals from every country there, and let them alone out of our societies. Of course this should be done only for criminals who cannot become lawful citizens again.

So, my recommendation is: Stop paying for prisons. Give criminals a chance of becoming lawful citizens by attending educational courses and changing themselves. If they fail to change themselves, get them out of the society that they offended. There are so many uninhabited places on the planet, and it really makes no sense to pay tax money for prison populations and destroying people who have done no real damage. Those of criminals who have done excessive damage and are likely to reoffend should be dropped in an uninhabited place, together with a few survival books and a few days of food resources. Then let them there do as they think best. And I am sure that if an exile system was in place, there would be very few people who would offend a society's laws.

look out your food and your car (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22025918)

how long until secret service agents start putting nano RFID chips into the food or cars of political enemies and tracking their movements?

Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22026134)

Hey, I've got an idea!

Let's put one in all the kids! We don't want another Maddy McCann, and we all know babysitters are far too expensive and can't be trusted anyway.

Or else put them in criminals like they're planning, but then only real criminals. There will be some access control so reading the tags will be hard to do (they *are* planning to include the prisoner's wrap sheet along with all his personal details), but someone will invent a tag presence detector soon enough. Someone can make a bucket of money selling those to shops, pubs and other public places so they can keep them out, and at the same time we increase the public safety by making sure they all get lynched for showing their faces on the streets.

A pretty stupid application (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#22026138)

There is a reason that tagging devices such as ankle bracelets have anti-tamper measures. What's to stop these criminals just digging these RFIDs out, deactivating them, or otherwise messing with their proper function?

Re:A pretty stupid application (1)

fizzup (788545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22026262)

It would not take long for word to spread that all you need to do is wear a tinfoil hat, glove, shawl, boxers, or what-have-you to defeat the RFID.
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