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Putting Parental Fears In Perspective

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For those who weren't paying attention, fears of child abduction and abuse are fairly overblown.

Although statistics show that rates of child abduction and sexual abuse have marched steadily downward since the early 1990s, fear of these crimes is at an all-time high. Even the panic-inducing Megan's Law Web site says stranger abduction is rare and that 90 percent of child sexual-abuse cases are committed by someone known to the child. Yet we still suffer a crucial disconnect between perception of crime and its statistical reality. A child is almost as likely to be struck by lightning as kidnapped by a stranger, but it's not fear of lightning strikes that parents cite as the reason for keeping children indoors watching television instead of out on the sidewalk skipping rope.

Why is this important? Because companies that want humans to accept RFID implantation will try to use fears of child abduction to sell their products. The industry wants this badly (and possibly the government too), because once people begin implanting children, no one will get them removed as adults and eventually, every citizen will have them. Once we are all tagged, we can be tracked wherever we go and whatever we do.

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Forced RFID Implantation Illegal in North Dakota

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From the "don't forget we're people, not products" department, North Dakota is the second state to ban forced RFID implantation. However, even if this is a step in the right direction, does it do enough? It doesn't ban voluntary implantation and last I checked a lot of things that aren't really "voluntary" are treated such under law:

But Michael Shamos, a professor who specializes in security issues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, believes the law is too vague to do much good. For instance, it only addresses situations where a chip is injected, even though RFID tags can also be swallowed. And it doesn't clearly define what a forced implant really is; someone could make chipping a requirement for a financial reward.

"Suppose I offer to pay you $10,000 if you have an RFID [chip] implanted?" he asked. "Is that 'requiring' if it's totally voluntary on your part?"

It's a poor example, but the right idea. Instead, what if you are offered a high paying job and move your family to a new state, get settled and begin the orientation process for your new job. You find out that they require RFID implants for "security" (which has been proven to weaken security). How much free will do you have in this instance? Can you really afford not to take the job now?

Another example, perhaps not so drastic. Companies push and push and finally get most everyone to use RFID implants as identification and method of payment. Because you're smart enough to know what a bad thing this is, you refuse, but find yourself inconvenienced everywhere. You can only shop at certain stores that still have non-RFID checkout. You pay an extra "cash handling" fee for not using the new methods. You have to drive 20 miles away to the only gas station around that's equiped to take non-RFID transactions.

Is it still a choice?

Note that both Spychips.com and Privacy.org are carrying this story and that Spychips lists Ohio, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Florida as more states with anti-implantation bills in the works. The first state to pass such a bill was Wisconsin (note the same flaw as the ND bill).

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RFID Tattoos for Soldiers

Uh. Oh.
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Hmm…. Prime cuts of meat… and military personnel. In the same sentence. I realize that military people have a reduced set of rights compared to civilians, but they deserve respect, not to be tagged like a piece of meat.

"It could help identify friends or foes, prevent friendly fire, and help save soldiers' lives," he said. "It's a very scary proposition when you're dealing with humans, but with military personnel, we're talking about saving soldiers' lives and it may be something worthwhile."

Tag our soldiers with wireless beacons? Sez one militant to another "That guy looks American." Other: "Yeah, I scanned his chip, he is". First Militant: "Ok, let's shoot him".

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