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Canadian coins containing tiny transmitters have mysteriously turned up in the pockets of at least three American contractors who visited Canada, says a branch of the U.S. Department of Defence.
Security experts believe the miniature devices could be used to track the movements of defence industry personnel dealing in sensitive military technology.
The counter-intelligence office of the U.S. Defence Security Service cites the currency caper as an example of the methods international spies have recently tried to illicitly acquire military technology.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Reversing itself, the Defense Department says an espionage report it produced that warned about Canadian coins with tiny radio frequency transmitters was not true.
The Defense Security Service said it never could substantiate its own published claims about the mysterious coins. It has begun an internal review to determine how the false information was
included in a 29-page report about espionage concerns.
Originally posted by johnskyIf you place a tracking device in money, you arent going to track the person, you're going to track the MONEY. Last I checked, money is for spending. Woah, revelation?
Besides, a transmitter small enough to fit inside one of our coins wouldnt be capable of long range.
A: Power supply, the power supply required for even short range weak signals is still too large to be effectively used in a coin.
B: Antenna space, the coin itself isnt large enough to be anything more than a very short range transmission antenna.
C: On top of that, the transistors, capacitors, resistors, and whatever circuitry you are using on top of that in the coin, has to fit along side the power supply, and then still have the coin maintain its size, shape, and weight.
Originally posted by Tom Bedlam
Imagine less of a tracking device than a monitoring one. Recording conversations, or perhaps the electronic signatures of some radar they can't get to easily.
So what better way than to give them coins which they'll gladly carry around the building for you? And then either drop them in a vending machine for you to carry out (coin machine guys aren't usually cleared) or that will go out the very specific exits which you can sit near with your van o' electronics, polling the coins for the recordings?
µ-Chip (pronounced mu-chip). The chip is just 0.3 millimeters square, roughly half the size of the smallest RFID chip on the market.
The chip operates at 2.45 GHz and stores a 128-bit number based on the "mu-chip ID number criterion" developed by Hitachi, which issues the numbers. The number is written to the chip during the silicon fabrication process and cannot be changed. The current mu-chip can be read from about a foot away (30 cm).