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VeriChip Chairman Proposes RFID Chips For Immigrants

Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation, has proposed implanting the company's RFID tracking tags in immigrant and guest workers. He made the statement on national television on May 16th.

Silverman was being interviewed on "Fox & Friends." Responding to the Bush administration's call to know "who is in our country and why they are here," he proposed using VeriChip RFID implants to register workers at the border, and then verify their identities in the workplace. He added, "We have talked to many people in Washington about using it...."


(VeriChip RFID tag for human implantation)

The VeriChip is a very small Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag about the size of a large grain of rice. It can be injected directly into the body; a special coating on the glass case of the chip helps it to bond with living tissue and stay in place. A special RFID reader broadcasts a signal, and the antenna in the VeriChip draws power from the reader and sends its data. The VeriChip is a passive RFID tag; since it does not require a battery, it has a virtually unlimited life span.

RFID tags have long been used to identify animals in a variety of settings; livestock, laboratory animals and pets have been "chipped" for decades.

In a related story, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe allegedly remarked that microchips could be used to track seasonal workers to visiting US senators Jeff Sessions (Alabama) and Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania). "President Uribe said he would consider having Colombian workers have microchips implanted in their bodies before they are permitted to enter the US for seasonal work," Specter told Congress on April 25.

Implanting microchips in human beings for the purpose of monitoring is not exactly news for science fiction fans; Alfred Bester wrote about skull bugs in his 1974 novel The Computer Connection:

"...you don't know what's going on in the crazy culture outside. It's a bugged and drugged world. Ninety percent of the bods have bugs implanted in their skulls in hospital when they're born. They're monitored constantly."
(Read more about Alfred Bester's skull bugs)

Update 01-Jun-06: The source for this story was inadvertently omitted; read the press release at spychips.com; also, see the Silverman interview transcript.

Silverman was being interviewed on "Fox & Friends." Responding to the Bush administration's call to know "who is in our country and why they are here," he proposed using VeriChip RFID implants to register workers at the border, and then verify their identities in the workplace. He added, "We have talked to many people in Washington about using it...."


(VeriChip RFID tag for human implantation)

The VeriChip is a very small Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag about the size of a large grain of rice. It can be injected directly into the body; a special coating on the glass case of the chip helps it to bond with living tissue and stay in place. A special RFID reader broadcasts a signal, and the antenna in the VeriChip draws power from the reader and sends its data. The VeriChip is a passive RFID tag; since it does not require a battery, it has a virtually unlimited life span.

RFID tags have long been used to identify animals in a variety of settings; livestock, laboratory animals and pets have been "chipped" for decades.

In a related story, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe allegedly remarked that microchips could be used to track seasonal workers to visiting US senators Jeff Sessions (Alabama) and Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania). "President Uribe said he would consider having Colombian workers have microchips implanted in their bodies before they are permitted to enter the US for seasonal work," Specter told Congress on April 25.

Implanting microchips in human beings for the purpose of monitoring is not exactly news for science fiction fans; Alfred Bester wrote about skull bugs in his 1974 novel The Computer Connection:

"...you don't know what's going on in the crazy culture outside. It's a bugged and drugged world. Ninety percent of the bods have bugs implanted in their skulls in hospital when they're born. They're monitored constantly."
(Read more about Alfred Bester's skull bugs)

Update 01-Jan-2007: I've discovered an even closer match in sf; see the entry for the radiant from Jack Vance's 1964 novel The Houses of Iszm. End.

VeriChips are legal for implantation in people in the U.S; see VeriChip RFID Tag Patient Implant Badges Now FDA Approved. See also a related story on a Proposed National Worker DNA Fingerprint Database. Read more at RFID implants for guest workers?, Latin leader keen on ID chips and Chip implants for migrant workers?.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/31/2006)

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Index of related articles:

What is RFID?
How RFID Works
How is RFID used inside a living body?
What can RFID be used for?
Is RFID Technology Secure and Private?
Are There Concerns About How RFID Will Be Used? (Update)
Next-Generation Uses of RFID?
What Are Zombie RFID Tags?
Problems With RFID
RFID Information Technology Articles
Advantages of RFID Versus Barcodes
RFID Glossary
Contactless Credit Card Advantages
Contactless Credit Card Disadvantages

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