September 8, 2007

French Bulldog is Catalyst for Investigation of Microchip-Cancer Connection

Leon.jpg
French Bulldog Léon
(Léon's photograph has been reproduced with the permission of the owner)

Could a microchip implant like the VeriChip cause cancer? A French Bulldog named Léon was the catalyst for new questions about the safety of RFID implants.

One year ago, Léon's owner contacted me with startling news. She believed that her dog's cancerous tumor and his untimely death might have been caused by a microchip implant.

This was not just idle talk by a grieving dog owner grasping at straws to figure out why she had been robbed of her constant companion. This was a gutsy lady who refused to allow the vet to simply cremate the evidence.

This lady prefers to be known only by her first name of "Jeanne," so the Associated Press couldn't credit her properly as the original source for some of the explosive information in its article "Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumors," but I have the leeway in this forum to share the behind-the-scenes story.

Jeanne spent a small fortune trying to cure her ailing French bulldog, Léon, after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. When medical interventions failed and Léon passed away, she decided to hunt for the reason the fatal tumor in his body was attached to the glass-encapsulated microchip that had been injected into his neck for identification purposes.

Jeanne located a team of researchers in Italy who agreed to test tissue samples from a biopsy of Léon's tumor to determine if the microchip was implicated in his aggressive cancer. They documented their findings in a 2006 paper entitled, “Fibrosarcoma with Typical Features of Postinjection Sarcoma at Site of Microchip Implant in a Dog: Histologic and Immunohistochemical Study.” The full text is available online at: http://www.vetpathology.org/cgi/content/full/43/4/545.

Since Léon's suspicious cancer was not enough evidence to prove microchip implants were a threat, Jeanne decided to search for other proof of a link. She unearthed scholarly animal studies documenting a possible chip-cancer link and posted several of these at the website that she formed as a tribute to Léon:

http://www.noble-leon.com/resourcesAdvanced

Jeanne informed us of this research and even faxed us copies of these studies as they were difficult to obtain. Fortunately, my Spychips co-author Dr. Katherine Albrecht had access to the Harvard library and was able to take Jeanne's work further, analyzing additional studies that seemed to support a cancer-microchip link in animals.

Sometime later, AP Reporter Todd Lewan entered the picture, eager for an exclusive. He used his press credentials to gain further information, tie up the story with a perfect, documented bow, and broadcast it to media outlets around the world. He and Katherine tirelessly pursued the truth that you can now find published in the explosive AP story.

I promised Jeanne that Katherine and I would share the whole story, and that Léon would be remembered for his contribution. Here's to you, Jeanne and Léon! I'm so sorry it took tragedy for this information to be brought to light. I applaud your tenacity, bravery, and amazing research skills.

- Liz McIntyre

July 22, 2007

Associated Press article spotlights VeriChip controversy

Hello to CASPIAN members and friends:

The VeriChip battle is heating up! The Associated Press published a feature article today on the human implant controversy that is appearing on newsstands across America:

Chips: High tech aids or tracking tools?
By Todd Lewan, AP National Writer
July 22, 2007
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1700AP_Chipping_America.html

The article is highlighted on the Drudge Report and is printed in over 200 newspapers and news outlets around the country, including USA Today, Business Week, Forbes, Fox News, and the Washington Post.

Major papers in Houston, Seattle, Denver, San Jose, Charlotte, Chicago, Kansas City, Miami, and more have picked up the story. It has even reached the UK Guardian newspaper and outlets in Canada and Australia. For a partial list, see:
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d&q=microchip+lewan&btnG=Search

The article features a full color photo of our anti-chipping protest in West Palm Beach, Florida and a link to our new http://www.AntiChips.com website. It also features quotes by me and my Spychips co-author Liz McIntyre, and mentions our book, "Spychips: How major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID."

I spoke with Todd Lewan, the AP reporter who wrote the story, and told him everything we know about the downsides of the VeriChip Corporation and its dangerous, Big Brother plans to chip the public. (Liz and I have been posting these stories on our Spychips.com website for several years at http://www.spychips.com/press.html) . Mr. Lewan independently verified many of our concerns and discussed them in the article.

Back in May after our West Palm Beach protest, I asked you all to be patient, as the truth about the VeriChip would soon be coming out. Now our efforts to alert the public are beginning to bear fruit.

Sit tight. This is just the start of the backlash.

In freedom,
Katherine Albrecht, Ed.D.

============================================================
Dr. Katherine Albrecht
Founder and Director, CASPIAN Consumer Privacy

Host of "Uncovering the Truth"
We the People Radio Network, M-F 10AM-12PM EST
http://www.wtprn.com

Co-author of "SPYCHIPS: How Major Corporations and Government
Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID
"


OUR WEBSITES:
Human Chipping: http://www.AntiChips.com
RFID Tagging: http://www.spychips.com
Shopper Cards: http://www.nocards.org
Boycott Gillette: http://www.BoycottGillette.com
Boycott Tesco: http://www.BoycottTesco.com
Bio online at: http://www.spychips.com/media/katherine-albrecht.html
============================================================

Good and Evil: The Dark Side is Getting Bolder

Get a load of THIS -
http://www.littledeviant.com/

"Send the sheeple from the streets and find them in the
highrises. Knock the stuffing out of them and collect their
blood. It can be used to your benefit. Turn that awful bleating
into awesome bleeding."

The demons are revealing themselves and asking for blood - in Toyota
ads, even. If I didn't already believe there was serious spiritual
warfare going on, I would be starting to suspect it now.

Here's another one:
Freek Soda: http://www.freek.com
A nice, tall, frosty glass of evil energy, anyone?

And the people who slap RFID ankle bracelets onto babies in hospitals
(part of the VeriChip/Digital Angel/ADSX family of human implants and
other people tracking products) have changed their name. No longer are
they called "Hugs and Kisses" and "Halo."

Now they're called "XMark." http://www.xmark.com

Things are heating up.

-Katherine Albrecht

June 12, 2007

Open window brain download

As I prepare to shut of my computer and leave for Seattle (for an ACLU conference) and then on to Washington, DC (to address the March for America), I am realizing I have an awful lot of windows open -- as usual. Any one of these could be a blog entry in its own right, but for now all I want to do is download them off of my desktop into a digital holding space. This blog seems a good place to do that.

Here, in no particular order, are a few of the non-RFID issues I've been reading and thinking about lately. (RFID issues are in the post below.)

Flying the Precarious Skies
Time magazine tries to convince us that holding the airline industry accountable to passengers through a "Passenger Bill of Rights" would do more harm than good. Time magazine does nice work here for its corporate sponsors from the airline industry, but does the rest of us a disservice with this slanted hit piece. I've been on the receiving end of this sort of industry-media propaganda, and it's no prettier here.
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1631362,00.html

Passenger Bill of Rights
Now for the non-corporate version from an actual passenger turned consumer advocate. Kate Hanni is right on target with her call for airline passengers to receive at least the same decent level of treatment as POWs. (Seriously - prisoners of war have better rights than airline passengers). Kate's organization, Coalition for a Passenger Bill of Rights, now has over 15,000 members. It is apparently feared and loathed by the airlines, as the Time magazine article above attests. If you've got them that scared, Kate, you're doing something right.
http://www.flyersrights.com/

You can listen to my radio interview with Kate Hanni here:

http://mp3.wtprn.com/Albrecht/0706/20070607_Thu_Albrecht2.mp3

A Race to the Bottom: Privacy Ranking of Internet Service Companies
A new Report out from Privacy International (Simon Davies' group out of the UK) ranks Google at the bottom of the pack when it comes to privacy. It's time to dump your gmail accounts, folks. Seriously. http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-553961

Church of England Calls Sony Game 'Sick'

This one is stomach-churning. From the AP writeup:
The Church of England accused Sony Corp. (SNE) on Saturday of using an English cathedral as the backdrop to a violent computer game and said it should be withdrawn from shop shelves. The church said Sony did not ask for permission to use Manchester cathedral and demanded an apology. The popular new PlayStation 3 game, "Resistance: Fall of Man," shows a virtual shootout between rival gunmen with hundreds of people killed inside the cathedral. Church officials described Sony's alleged use of the building as "sick" and sacrilegious."
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070609/D8PL8PP80.html

Venezuela - Chavez goes on offensive against opposition media

Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez is taking a page from the dictator playbook and shutting down media outlets that he accuses of undermining the stability of the state. Will we soon start seeing the same tactics here in the U.S.?
http://www.cnw.ca/fr/releases/archive/May2007/31/c7410.html

Black Box Voting

Bev Harris has long been exposing the issues around electronic voting, vote fixing, and corruption. Bev was here in New Hampshire last night, but due to a communications mixup, I wasn't able to see her in person.
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

CEOs vs. Slaves
Recent findings shed new light on the increasingly unequal terrain of American society. The new "top" involves pay in the hundreds of millions, a private jet and a few acres of Nantucket. The new bottom is slavery. Literally.
Barbara Ehrenreich at her finest.
http://www.alternet.org/story/52645

Aftermath News

An awesome new blog I stumbled across. Every time I hit reload on this window, something new and fascinating pops up.
http://aftermathnews.wordpress.com/


Man found underground, took 2 years to build bunker
BUFFALO (AP) — A city fire investigator says he found a man living in a well-equipped underground bunker.
James O'Neill, an investigator with the city fire marshal's office, said the man, a 47-year-old veteran, uses car batteries to light the 16-by-20-foot space, which is six feet underground. He cooks food in a hot pot...
The walls are covered with insulation and plastic tarps and the ceiling is made of wood and roofing material, said O'Neill, who discovered the home over the weekend while investigating a nearby fire. The man sleeps on a foam bed, O'Neill said.
"Some people would call him homeless, but he's a clean, well-spoken guy. When I spoke to him, he was reading a novel by Joseph Wambaugh," O'Neill told The Buffalo News.
The fire investigator declined to give the man's name or say where the bunker is located to protect the man's privacy. He said the man earns money doing occasional odd jobs.
"It's not the Marriott hotel by any means, but this man has made it comfortable down there," O'Neill said.
The man said he has been living in the bunker for about six years.
"He told me it's a peaceful and tranquil place to live," O'Neill said.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2007-05-30-homeless-bunker_N.htm?POE=click-refer

MPs quiz Tesco and Nectar card executives on data privacy
Committee continues investigation of 'surveillance society'
MPs are set to grill executives from supermarket giant Tesco and Nectar loyalty card firm LMG on how they use customer data - and how privacy is protected.
http://www.computerworlduk.com/management/government-law/legislation/news/index.cfm?newsid=3374

Wireless energy transfer
Just what we need - a way to wirelessly transfer the energy needed to power RFID readers everywhere.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_energy_transfer

NYC Mayor Pushing for London Style Vehicle Tracking
And so it begins.
http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000250.html

DHS Wants your Cell Phone snooping and sniffing your surroundings
At the 2007 DHS Science and Technology Stakeholders Conference, S&T Director of Innovation Roger McGinnis outlined how the system could work. Cell phone sensors would continually test the air for harmful compounds and digitally relay any information to a central monitoring system if they find anything amiss.
“It’s a great way to get millions of detectors out there,” McGinnis said.
http://public.cq.com/docs/hs/hsnews110-000002524221.html

- Katherine Albrecht

RFID brain download

Today's open windows related to RFID from my desktop, in no particular order:


Staples Trials Reusable RFID Tags
Staples crossing dangerously close to the item-level RFID-tagging line that could bring on boycotts and/or protests. The tags are removable and not meant to leave the store, if that's any consolaton.
http://storefrontbacktalk.com/story/060807staples.php

Search Teams Put RFID to the Rescue to Help Find the Missing
"Rescue agencies in the United States and Canada are leveraging RFID wristbands and readers to cut the time needed to locate lost individuals."
Yep. You can definitely use RFID to track people. (But nobody would ever abuse that, right?)
http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/view/3362/1/1/

Belgian Biometric Passport does not get a pass...Your personal data are in danger!
"...I think [Belgium is] probably going to be the best in all of Europe in terms of security of passports..."
James Sensenbrenner, Congressman, April 21st, 2004, [link]
Bzzzt! Wrong again, as this report shows.
http://www.dice.ucl.ac.be/crypto/passport/index.html

RFID News: SCDigest Unplugged Interview with Procter & Gamble on RFID
"We Have EPC Questions; P&G’s Dick Cantwell Has Answers"

If you've read Spychips, you know Dick Cantwell is not your friend.
http://www.scdigest.com/assets/newsViews/07-06-07-1.php?cid=1076

NY Electronic Tagging Device Bill - An Orwellian Measure
Assembly Bill 5424, recently introduced by State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn), is a draconian measure which will victimize many innocent New York men and fathers. The bill requires “any person against whom an order of protection is issued…to wear an electronic monitoring device.” The device will allow pinpoint tracking of the wearer, and tampering with the device will be a felony.
http://www.newswithviews.com/Sacks/glenn67.htm

Need intellectual ammo against this? See my earlier blog entry on tracking criminals here:
Be Careful what you Wish on your Enemies

New report examines RFID in the postal system
"The report, entitled 'RFID For The Postal And Courier Service', published by IDTechEx, also projects that the sector's value could be much greater if current efforts to tag individual items gain widespread acceptance."
Will postal anonymity be the next thing to go?
http://www.usingrfid.com/news/read.asp?lc=m19737cx1101zt
[Site requires subscription]

Fish with built-in chips - the aquarium of the future?

> The Underwater World aquarium in Singapore has implanted approximately 20 fish in its Living Fossils exhibition tank with low frequency 23mm glass RFID transponders .
http://www.usingrfid.com/briefs/archive.asp?action=read&bid=1169
[Site requires subscription]

- Katherine Albrecht

May 31, 2007

Oklahoma lawmakers seek to prevent microchipping, not promote it

oklahoma-flag.jpg

Interesting legislative goings on in Oklahoma around human chipping.

Oklahoma State Sen. Brian Crain and Rep. Sue Tibbs are the authors of a bill opposing the microchipping of people, SB 47. It passed out of the state Senate in March and has been making its way through committee. Creepily, it was apparently amended to allow for the microchipping of criminals, but calmer heads are prevailing and that provision has now been stricken (see article below). One interesting human interest note: Rep. Tibbs is a 73 year-old grandmother.

While I am pleased to see these legislative efforts (Liz and I submitted testimony in favor of the bill), we need to let lawmakers nationwide know about our Bodily Integrity Act. It covers all the bases and is urgently needed before society becomes numb to the violation these chips represent.

Our model bill is just one page long and written in plain English.
http://www.antichips.com/legislation.htm

-Katherine Albrecht

Continue reading "Oklahoma lawmakers seek to prevent microchipping, not promote it" »

Future Flop: HP's New Shopping Assistant

hp-shopping-assistant.jpg

In its latest much-ado-about-nothing press release, HP has unveiled an in-store kiosk designed to keep track of your purchase history and offer you coupons. *Yawn*

People don't want this in their stores. I don't see how they can continue to develop this "new idea" year after year after year.

When you go shopping you just want to find what you want and get out, not play with the latest in-store technology. If it's playing with technology you want, you'll go home and connect your brain to a video game, not peer intently into a coupon kiosk or interact with a klunky laptop strapped to your grocery cart. These systems will never take off. Not because they are invasive, but because they're a pain.

That's why the industry wants the automatic data capture capacity of RFID readers in entrances and spychips in loyalty cards. That's the only way they can be sure of getting people's data when their other schemes fail.

Of course, all of this watching will be good for stores and bad for consumers, as John Vanderlippe and I have been saying for years. (See our NoCards.org website) The article below about the "new" HP retail assistant says it pretty plainly, too:

"The system offers retail marketers granular control over the number of items that they can sell, and allows them to provide discounts to their most loyal and profitable customers."

Of course, offering discounts to selected, profitable customers who can afford to drop large sums at the store means no longer offering them to the customers who actually need them.

"A supermarket, for instance, could offer a discount on a steak to a customer who tends to buy expensive wine, rather than a low-income family that uses the lower prices to stock up."

I rest my case.

-Katherine Albrecht

Click "more" below to read the entire story here, or find it online here:
http://www.toptechnews.com/story.xhtml?story_id=133008V1YHDT

Continue reading "Future Flop: HP's New Shopping Assistant" »

April 30, 2007

Sushi with Checkpoint

japanese-bowl.jpg

Checkpoint (the dual EAS/RFID promoters from the story below) know that if they pursue their plans to combine EAS and RFID I will be on them "like a duck on a bug" as my grandma used to say.

Here's why they know. I once spent an evening with the Checkpoint guys back in 2003. We wound up in the same shuttle leaving from the EPC global launch (the one we sued over) after I had spent the day protesting and speaking to the media, and they had spent the day shmoozing with their industry associates.

After chatting in the shuttle, we decided to have dinner together to talk over our mutual interest in RFID. They took me to a very nice, expensive Japanese restaurant, complete with fountains, tasteful bamboo decor, and handmade pottery plates. We shared war stories over sushi and sake, and talked about how hard it would be for the industry to recover from the bad PR surrounding the Gillette/Tesco fiasco and the Auto-ID Center documents we had publicized.

In as friendly a way as I could, I let them know that that was just the start of the industry's troubles. I told them that if Checkpoint ever developed the EAS/RFID tag they'd been mulling, they would have me -- and an entire army of consumers -- to worry about. We left that Japanese restaurant on handshake terms, and I hoped I would never have to make good on that threat.

It's a shame they've gone ahead and done it anyway. It was a nice meal, at least.

-Katherine Albrecht

Reponding to Enemies: With Love

shadow-of-love.jpg
In these tumultuous times, it seems freedom-loving people are being bombarded with bad news and oppression on every front. Although it may be tempting to get angry and seek revenge against the people who are causing all the bad news, Christ had a different take on the situation. Rather than encourage us to take up arms against our enemies or instruct us in effective warfare techniques, he called on us to do good and pray for those who harm us. Those are not just words on a page, they are a core element of the Christian walk.

The New Testament has much to say about this most difficult of Christian concepts:


You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies] and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:43-45)

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble (1 John 2:9-10).

I poked around on the web and found several sites offering help on how to respond to enemies with love:
Love your enemies bible study
How to love and pray for your enemies
On loving one's enemies

Regardless of your faith background or your approach to God, treating your enemies with respect and including them in your prayers is a good way to raise yourself out of the mire of anger and despair.

- Katherine Albrecht

EAS/RFID: Don't do it!

This is the text of a letter that went out to 15,000 newsletter subscribers on April 30, 2007.

If you've read Spychips, you know that our worst consumer privacy nightmare is for those little anti-theft tags (known in the industry as "EAS" tags) to someday be combined with individually trackable RFID chips and slipped into consumer products. (See Spychips Chp 4: "The Spy in Your Shoe" for details.)

Well, those tags are now here.

An article in Friday's RFID Journal (posted below), reveals that Checkpoint Systems has actually developed a product tag that combines anti-theft and RFID tracking capabilities. The tags will debut this week at the RFID Journal Live! Conference in Orlando, Florida. What's more, Sensormatic, Checkpoint's only serious competitor, is running a whole conference session to describe the benefits of using this combined tracking technology.

This is beyond a doubt the #1 most important -- and dangerous -- development in the consumer privacy arena today. It means consumers may soon be buying, wearing, and carrying products tagged with RFID at the item level, because Checkpoint and Sensormatic specialize in hiding anti-theft tags deep inside of products, then distributing those products to nearly a million retail locations worldwide.

Now they want to do the same thing with RFID spychips. If they are not stopped, Checkpoint and Sensormatic will soon be hiding these dual-use tracking devices in your belongings, where they will be able to silently and secretly transmit information about you to marketers, criminals, and Big Brother.

This will be a consumer privacy nightmare -- and no one will even know it's happening. That's because industry lobbyists have prevented RFID labeling legislation from passing anywhere in the nation. There is no requirement that retailers or manufacturers tell us when they're hiding RFID tags in our clothes, shoes, books, or anything else.

Our only protection against this threat is the strength of our voices -- and the power of our protests.

Below is a list of relevant companies attending the RFID Journal Live conference in Orlando this week. They will all be hearing from Sensormatic and Checkpoint what a good idea it would be to start hiding RFID tags in the individual items you buy. Please look over the list, and if you see a company you buy from, tell them politely but firmly that if you catch them using RFID at the item level you will not only boycott their company, but you will tell everyone you know to boycott them, too.

Companies attending the RFID Journal Live! Conference:

Academy Sports & Outdoors, Albertsons, The ALDO Group, Anheuser-Busch, Best Buy, Blockbuster, Blommer Chocolate, Brass Eagle, CDW Corp., Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, Electrolux, Energizer Battery, Fuji Photo Film USA, The Gap, General Mills, Gillette Company, Hampton Products, Hasbro, Hershey Foods, Hewlett Packard (HP), Hunter Fan, Hy-Vee, Inc., Jockey International, Johnson & Johnson, Johnsonville Sausage, Kellogg Co., Kimberly-Clark, Limited Brands, L'Oreal USA, Loblaws, Louisville Bedding, Lowe's Companies, Luxottica Retail, Maidenform Worldwide , Mars, Marubeni America, Masterfoods USA, McIlhenny Co., Meyer Corp., Nestle USA, Newell Rubbermaid, OfficeMax, Pacific Cycle, Payless Shoe Source, Pharmavite, Procter & Gamble, S. C. Johnson, SAKS Inc., Sara Lee Foods, Schick, Scott Paper Limited, Sears, Sears Canada, Sherwin-Williams, Storekraft, Stride Rite Corp., Tanimura & Antle, Target Corp., The Valvoline Co., Unilever, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Wm Wrigley Jr Co, Wegmans

[To learn more about the conference, and to see a video on it, see: http://www.rfidjournalevents.com/live/ ]

Write to as many of these companies as you can, and cc: us on your emails. Let them know how strongly you oppose RFID spychips. When you're done writing an email, call their customer service lines for good measure. Send a fax, write snail mail, send a singing telegram. But whatever you do, don't take this lying down. We're counting on you to put a stop to this.

And because they just don't seem to get it, here's a special message for our friends in retail and consumer product manufacturing who may think now is a good time to start spychipping products.

I strongly suggest you reconsider.

Item-level RFID tagging of consumer products is simply unacceptable. It was not acceptable in 2003 when we launched boycotts against Benetton and GIllette for running trials, nor when we exposed the Auto-ID Center's confidential (and very incriminating) PR plans. It was not acceptable when we sued the nation's largest conference center for interfering with our right to protest the launch of the EPC network. It was not acceptable in 2004 when we outed Metro's spychip-laced loyalty card and sparked outrage across Germany. It was not acceptable in 2005 when we launched a boycott against Tesco, Britain's largest retail chain, live on BBC television.

Item-level tagging was not acceptable when we outed the entire industry (including IBM's "person tracking unit" ) in our award-winning book, Spychips, which hit the top ten Amazon nonfiction bestseller list and galvanized readers worldwide. It was not acceptable when we disclosed a tagging trial by Levi Strauss and generated an avalanche of angry letters. It was not acceptable when we demonstrated outside of Wal-Mart stores in two states. Nor was it acceptable when we shamed American Eagle Outfitters and American Express into publicly backing away from their privacy-invading RFID customer tracking plans.

We've done over 2,000 television, print, and radio interviews in virtually every media outlet in the world, and in every one we've clearly said the same thing: Item-level RFID tagging is not acceptable.

It's hard to be any clearer, but in the event there is anyone in the industry who still doesn't get it, here is a promise. If any company purchases dual EAS/RFID technology from Checkpoint Systems or Sensormatic and places even one EAS/RFID tag on a single consumer item, I will personally wage a worldwide campaign to expose and oppose you. Hidden or not, we will find you out and hold you up to public scrutiny.

We trust you will do the right thing.

Meanwhile, may God bless and guide you all, and hold us all in His wisdom, compassion and love.

In freedom,
Katherine Albrecht, Ed.D

============================================================
Dr. Katherine Albrecht
Founder and Director, CASPIAN Consumer Privacy
kma@spychips.com

Co-author (with Liz McIntyre) of "SPYCHIPS: How Major Corporations and Government
Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID"

http://www.spychips.com // http://www.nocards.org
Bio online at: http://www.spychips.com/media/katherine-albrecht.html
============================================================


Checkpoint Combines EAS Tags With RFID
The labels contain both a Checkpoint 8.2 MHz RF antitheft inlay and an EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID tag.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor, RFID Journal, April 27, 2007
http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/3280/

April 27, 2007—Checkpoint Systems unveiled today the Evolve product family of labels, which marries RFID technology with Checkpoint's electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology. Checkpoint developed the dual-purpose labels to offer its retail customers a means of leveraging RFID tools for in-store inventory visibility while continuing to use the EAS tags as a theft deterrent—without having to apply two separate tags to their products.

The Evolve labels contain a Checkpoint 8.2 MHz radio frequency (RF) EAS inlay, which does not contain a microprocessor or carry a unique ID. The inlay is designed to trigger an alarm if passed through an EAS reader stationed around store exits unless first deactivated at the point of purchase. The labels also contain an 850-950 MHz EPC Gen 2 RFID inlay, to which an EPC can be encoded to identify and track individual products.

The initial Evolve tag design, the Evolve 410, involves the placement of an EAS antenna around the RFID inlay, containing an Impinj Monza chip on an adhesive paper substrate. The label dimensions are slightly less than 2 inches square, enabling it to be attached to most hangtags for apparel and footwear products.

"Before joining Checkpoint, I spent 20 years in the retail industry, and whenever there's a big technology change, such as RFID, retailers face so much [transition]. There's training staff, converting software, new data to manage," says Checkpoint's CEO, George Off. "Anything that can offer [retailers] flexibility [in adopting new technology] and enable them to pace their investments really helps during these transitions. That's what we're trying to do with Evolve."

Off says Checkpoint envisions working with retailers to incorporate Evolve tags as part of CheckNet, the company's global logistics and data communications platform. Retailers and their contract manufacturers can use the system to order product tags—including Checkpoint's EAS tags—that are applied to house-brand products at the point of manufacture. This, in many cases, is done overseas.

Using the Evolve labels as part of the CheckNet platform, retailers and manufacturers alike would be able to leverage the RFID tag applied to products and track their movement through the supply chain—from the factory down to the store level. "Retailers," says Off, "want both EAS security and inventory tracking."

Presently, Checkpoint is still in the early stages of discussions regarding incorporating Evolve product labels into the CheckNet platform, Off says. To deploy such a system, Checkpoint would need to develop a means by which the EPC encoded to the labels would be generated, managed and shared with supply-chain partners. The required RFID hardware infrastructure would also need to be put in place at manufacturing and retail warehouses and facilities. To leverage the RFID tags for inventory tracking inside retail stores, he adds, interrogators would be needed in the back rooms, and possibly on store shelves and at point-of-sale terminals as well.

=========================================

Conference Session RFID Journal Live! 2007
Item Level Tagging for Retail – Why Combining RFID and EAS Makes Sense
Wednesday, May 2, 11:30 am

ADT, primarily through its Sensormatic brand of EAS and CCTV products, has decades of experience working with retailers to protect their merchandise. Whether it’s a beep at the door or an image recorded to a DVR, “visibility” created by physical layer deployments is at the heart of ADT’s retail solutions. Item level RFID promises to offer new levels of visibility related to both in-store and supply chain processes. And while this new form of process visibility involves many integrated layers, many of the physical layer challenges faced by retailers in creating item level RFID tagging models have already been addressed. This presentation will discuss the challenges retailers face in adopting item level RFID tagging and offer lessons learned from years of experience in providing similar EAS solutions.
Speaker:
Randy Dunn, Director, RFID Sales, ADT Security Services
Takeaways:
. Lessons learned from combining EAS and RFID
. Understanding the obstacles for adopting item-level RFID tagging in the retail sector

Source: http://www.rfidjournalevents.com/live/level_expertise_executive_strategy.php


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ABOUT CASPIAN

CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) is a grass-roots consumer group fighting retail surveillance schemes since 1999 and irresponsible RFID use since 2002. With thousands of members in all 50 U.S. states and over 30 countries worldwide, CASPIAN seeks to educate consumers about marketing strategies that invade their privacy and encourage privacy-conscious shopping habits across the retail spectrum.

To join or support CASPIAN or to sign up for our mailing list, please
see:
http://www.spychips.com/get_involved.html

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March 29, 2007

VeriChip Haiku

CASPIAN member Joan Churton was inspired to write the following haiku about the VeriChip.


    VeriChip - a word
a lost moment in a life
    control achieved

      - Joan Marie Churton

- Katherine Albrecht

March 22, 2007

The New RFID Passport

passport-cover-small.jpg passport-quote-johnson-typed-excerpt.jpg

passport-page-with-johnson-quote-small.jpg

Get a load of the new RFID-tagged passports -- and read the weird Lyndon B. Johnson quote the State Department chose to print on pages 20-21. (Click here for a larger version.) It's bad enough that the new passports contain spychips and a warning to be careful with the "sensitive electronics" they contain, but the inclusion of a presidential New World Order quote is beyond the pale. (Thanks to CASPIAN member Mike W. for sending these.)

-Katherine Albrecht

March 21, 2007

JOLT poster.jpg

Folks in Richmond, Virginia, should consider stopping by for the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology symposium on RFID this Friday. The event is free and offers 4 Virginia CLE credits. For details and registration information see: http://law.richmond.edu/jolt/rfid/index.asp

- Liz McIntyre

March 19, 2007

Tommy Thompson Leaves Board of VeriChip Corporation

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Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson has left the board of VeriChip Corporation, marketer of glass encapsulated RFID tags for humans. The company quietly made the disclosure in its mandatory Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a few days ago:

"Effective March 8, 2007, Tommy G. Thompson, an independent member of the Board of Directors of VeriChip Corporation (the “Company”), submitted a letter to the Company expressing his interest in taking a leave of absence from the Board of Directors in order to devote his full time and efforts to running for President of the United States. As a leave of absence would have left the Company without a full board to address matters of corporate governance, Mr. Thompson resigned as a Director effective as of that date."

See: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1347022/000136231007000256/c70266e8vk.htm

Did Thompson really just want a leave of absence? Did VeriChip cut Thompson loose because he has wisely avoided getting chipped despite a promise to do so nearly two years ago? The carefully crafted statement for public consumption begs many questions.

What do you think?

- Liz McIntyre

March 18, 2007

AIM Global comes clean on RFID

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AIM Global, the international standards body whose membership roster reads like a who's who of RFID tagging, "smart" chipping, bar coding, electronic article surveillance, etc. usually has only good things to say about RFID, no matter how much of a stretch it takes.

However, this week they did something different, and let RFID have it with both barrels. (Well, at least compared to their usual cheerleading.) Bert Moore, the editor of their "RFID Connections" newsletter, writes:

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RFID: "Et tu, Brute?" -- Killing Some RFID "Truths"

...it seems appropriate to try to "kill" some widely held "truths" about RFID. Since "RFID Connections" tends to explain the benefits of RFID, this may be seen as "traitorous" -- but it needs to be done "for the good of the industry." Because telling the truth about RFID is the true purpose of this e-newsletter.

Myth 1: RFID has "matured." Untrue
Myth 2: Data on RFID tags/cards is secure. Untrue.
Myth 3: RFID poses no threat to privacy. Untrue.
Myth 4: RFID prevents counterfeiting. Untrue.
Myth 5: RFID is non-line-of-sight readable. Misleading.
Myth 6: RFID tags cannot be counterfeited. Half truth.
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It's refreshing to see a member of the industry come clean and finally start acknowledging what we've been saying all along. RFID is insecure, ineffective, and bad for privacy.

-Katherine Albrecht

Continue reading "AIM Global comes clean on RFID" »

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