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POLITICS: Tracking Devices for US Visitors: Who's Next?

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posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 02:38 PM
Relax! This technology will not and can not be used to track people's movements around the country. It is only being used to speed-up the process of identifying people moving through customs.

The detectors are only capable of detecting RFID tags witin a very short range (a couple of feet, max). You have to walk through a "portal" to be detected.

They way these work is that there is a transmitter and receiver in the portal. The receiver is able to detect the change in the transmitted signal when the ID tag is present. There are older "passive" tags which are really nothing more than an antenna. They absorb energy from the transmitter and the receiver is able to detect this. There are also newer "active" tags which contain very low-power electronics that typically require a battery (but could also get energy some other way, such as through induction) and can be more sophisticated.

(From RFID Journal):

" An RFID tag that has a transmitter to send back information, rather than reflecting back a signal from the reader, as a passive tag does. Most active tags use a battery to transmit a signal to a reader. However, some tags can gather energy from other sources. Active tags can be read from 300 feet (100 meters) or more, but they're expensive (typically more than US$20 each). They're used for tracking expensive items over long ranges. For instance, the U.S. military uses active tags to track containers of supplies arriving in ports."

RFID tags are easily defeated using a high-tech nano-material available at any supermarket (tinfoil).

Actually, the U.S. government has also proposed using this technology in American passports. The proposal has been modified from the original proposal, our government being the big-hearted souls they are, such that they will supply the high-tech nano-material (tinfoil) for us, freeing us of the need to seek-out the high-tech nano-material (tinfoil). That is, they plan on including a foil layer within the passport cover. The tags can only be read when your passport is open.

posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 03:20 PM
I think the UK is already on the case? europe is leading the way in the cattle tagging of foreigners/terror suspects. i mean the only ones the gov has to watch are those that need to travel, after it gets the internet in their own countries fully tied down.

"Kate Allen, the UK director of Amnesty International, said: "However he puts it, the Home Secretary is giving himself the power to place anyone in the UK under house arrest, without charge or trial, based on secret evidence."

Suspects considered less dangerous would have their movements controlled by electronic tags and curfews

posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 04:51 PM
Nutroll - your info deals very specifically with "citizens suspected of terrorism" - the US arrests and incarcerates suspected terrorists.

British citizens suspected of terrorism but not charged could be put under house arrest or have their movements controlled by the Home Secretary under new powers announced yesterday.

...This thread deals with RFID tags of visitors to the USA, and the potentials for future abuse in forced tagging.


posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 05:20 PM
But I think Nutrolls info still applies..........the connecting thought being the extension of authority into previously undisturbed aspects of our lives........on the auspices of safety and security, authorities can intervene without question or recourse in some is just a hop, skip and a jump to the manipulation of these powers...........

posted on Jan, 30 2005 @ 01:08 AM
Unfortunately, there is a lot of hysterical misinformation being spread about this and similar technologies.

Here's just one example from this thread:

"GPS microchips are implanted"

Simply not true.

GPS = Global Positioning System, a system of transmit-only satellites that provide navigation signals.

There would be no reason to implant "GPS microchips". OK, maybe if you want to always know where you are, and are prone to lose things like PDAs...

It's also just plain not possible at this point in time.

You can determine your location on earth by receiving signals from multiple GPS satelites, and doing some fairly intense calculations on the data received. The GPS system is incapable of "tracking" anybody, and the satelites only send signals - they don't receive a return signal from GPS receivers.

The receivers have historically been relatively costly, though cost is coming down. The cheapest current receivers are those embedded in current cell-phones that use "aGPS" technology. aGPS = "assisted GPS". For cost reasons, the receiver is very minimal, and there is insufficient computing power in the cell phone to compute your position. The system works cooperatively with full GPS receivers and computing facilities located at cell phone towers. The purpose of these receivers is to determine your location when you call 911, and to provide optional location-based services. (How do I get from where I am to somewhere else?)

All current aGPS-equipped cell phones give the user the option to turn off the GPS function - typically, "off", "911 only" or "on". (i.e. the latter allows you to use location-based services.)

Anyway, an implanted "GPS microchip" used for tracking would have to implement a full GPS receiver or else use a system like aGPS, and then would have to send tracking data "somewhere". The most obvious and practical "somewhere" would be a cell phone network.

So, basically, this requires shrinking a cell phone to fit into an implantable device.

Not currently possible, though I don't doubt that it will some day be possible.

As a way of tracking people who don't want to be tracked, it shares the same flaw with RFID tags - it is incredibly easy to defeat with a bit of inexpensive shielding. (i.e. "high-tech nanotechnology" manufactured by Aloca, Reynolds, etc. and available in every supermarket.)

I do wish that our government would give-up on using RFID tags for tracking vehicles and people through borders, though. While this is somewhat more convenient that bar-codes (you don't have to aim a wand at the bar code), but it isn't worth the hysterics that people are going to work themselves into.

I also wish the authors of these alarmist articles would take the time to do some research and point-out that the intended use of these devices is simply to speed-up the process of border crossing. The readers would be located at the border crossing, and would look similar to a metal detector, etc. i.e. a portal that you walk through. It's just a convenience so that you need only walk through and a record is automatically made of who you are and that you just entered or left the country. This could really free-up border agents to do something meaningful instead of wasting time verifying ID. With the RFID and biometrics (i.e. fingerprint readers) the whole process can be largely automated, with the agents freed-up to deal with exceptions and problems.

BTW, many of you already have RFID tags on your vehicles. Did you know that? If you have a pass for a high-occupancy freeway lane, for a toll road or bridge, etc. - they use RFID tags for this.

Again, though, this is much-ado about nothing, as your car has to pass within a few feed of a reader. (Located at the toll booth.) It just wouldn't be practical to install the "billions and billions" of readers needed to track people in any arbitrary location.

[edit on 30-1-2005 by Bay_Watcher]

posted on Jan, 30 2005 @ 05:43 PM
BayWatcher - you obviously missed this post

..Run a google search on what's being marketed as "child locators"... It's a huge industry, with new start-ups and products appearing regularly.

To get you started:

Issue Overview: : Implant Chip, Track People you want other people to be able to track your kid? use of space-based Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites See How an Embedded Locator Chip Would Work.

Also - this issue is mainly being evaluated for dangers, and where it can lead - not just to describe where it is right now.

[edit on 31-1-2005 by soficrow]

posted on Jan, 31 2005 @ 01:38 PM


"Standards are needed for RFID security, because these types of devices are now appearing in many different forms, from passports to consumer devices," says Ari Juels, principal research scientist at RSA Laboratories. "The idea is to address weaknesses in the technology before they become more pervasive and costly."

A vulnerability in radio-frequency ID chips could put millions of users risk, according to a recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and RSA Laboratories. ...Using a relatively simple electronic device, criminals could wirelessly probe a ...tag and then use the information obtained from the probe to crack the cryptographic key on the tag... Tech-savvy thieves could initiate either a passive or active attack on the encryption technology...

...There's always a way.

Wonder who the supplier is for US-VISITOR ?


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