August 30, 2006

Procter & Gamble Products You May Want to Avoid

folgers no.jpg

No more waking up to Folgers for me! I mistakenly bought this Procter & Gamble brand coffee at the store the other day because the label indicated it is was made by the Folgers Company. Turns out that P & G owns the Folgers brand.

CASPIAN does not currently have a boycott against P & G, but like many of you, I have decided to avoid purchasing its products because of its involvement in promoting item-level RFID. (We do have a boycott against its recently acquired company Gillette! See www.boycottGillette.com.)

Procter & Gamble was instrumental in starting the ball rolling on item-level tagging, and it was involved in the notorious Lipfinity RFID spying at a Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Wal-Mart. What's more, P & G has a patent pending titled "Systems and Methods for Tracking Consumers in a Store Environment." Need we say more?

Since reading fine print on product labels may not always reveal their connection to P & G, one of the world's leading spychippers, here's a table that you can take with you when you shop. It comes straight from P & G's 2006 annual report:


pg key brands.jpg

--Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2006

Arkansas joins the fight against NAIS

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Arkansas has launched a "stop NAIS (Nat'l Animal ID System) program" with meetings in Fayetteville on 7-1-06, and in Conway on 7-9-06.

You go, Arkansas!

-Katherine Albrecht

Posted by Katherine Albrecht at 11:00 PM | Comments (3)

March 30, 2006

The RF shielding shirt: An alternative to the tinfoil armband

rf-shielding-dress-shirt-med.jpg

Remember Sean Darks of CityWatcher, who had himself and his employees implanted with a VeriChip microchip device to access a "secure" data center? Remember how easy it is for hackers to skim the data from such chips and waltz right into the data center?

We joked that Mr. Darks and his employees -- along with the chipped nightclubbers in Spain -- might want to wear tinfoil armbands to keep their chips under wraps.

Well, it turns out someone went us one better. A company called The EMF Safety Superstore is selling an actual EMF shielding shirt complete with stainelss steel fibers woven right into the fabric. For just $89.95, Mr. Darks and his chipped pals can prevent unwanted access to their implants in comfortable, long-wearing style.

The EMF Safety Superstore also offers a variety of books, EMF detectors, RF shielding fabrics, and other products to help reduce unwanted EMF exposure.

[Note: This glossary of shielding terms may help non-engineers decipher the company's product descriptions.]

-Katherine Albrecht

Posted by Katherine Albrecht at 8:58 AM | Comments (1)

March 27, 2006

How to kill the spychips in your credit card

Has your bank issued you a new "contactless" or "smart" credit card or ATM card? Then you might be uncomfortable knowing that anyone with the right reader device could silently and invisibly read your account number - and potentially even charge something to it - right through your wallet, purse, or backpack.

What's a privacy-loving anti-RFID consumer to do? You can either refuse to use the card and demand one without an RFID tag in it (which is what I would do), or you can knock it silly with a hammer.

Ball-peen_hammer_from-wikipedia.JPG
Ball peen hammer, as seen on Wikipedia.

If you choose the hammer option, here's an email I received with a link describing how it's done:


"I posted instructions on my website on how to disable the new PayPass chips that one of our regional banks started putting in their ATM cards. The information would probably apply to others as well."

http://wvp.diablops.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=37&Itemid=1

-Katherine Albrecht

Posted by Katherine Albrecht at 12:55 PM | Comments (9)

March 15, 2006

RFID Vulnerable to Viruses!

sneezing RFID tag1.jpg

Melanie Rieback, a Ph.D. student at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, delivered a wake-up call to RFID proponents March 15 at the Fourth Annual IEEE Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications in Pisa, Italy. She gave a live demonstration of how hackers could deploy rogue RFID tags programmed with a virus to wreak havoc on associated databases--possibly even facilitate a terrorist attack.

Read all about it in our latest press release by clicking here.

- Liz McIntyre

Here are more relevant links:

The researchers' website
http://www.rfidvirus.org/

Their paper
http://www.rfidvirus.org/papers/percom.06.pdf

Their press release in english
http://www.rfidvirus.org/papers/press_release.pdf

Here's the link to the BBC article...
Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at anti-virus firm F-Secure, said: "RFIDs with embedded computers are suspectible to basically all the same threats any other computers are. Unfortunately."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4810576.stm

(Thanks to Trevor for compiling these links.)

Posted by liz at 12:03 AM | Comments (3)

February 22, 2006

NY RFID System Prompts Peaceful Protest

NY PATH scanner.jpg

Thanks to a supporter who snapped this photo of a New York City RFID scanner with a "SPYCHIPS.COM" sticker attached. Scanners like this are being installed in PATH train stations so riders can pay for fares with new RFID smart cards.

We're guessing this is the work of a grass roots activist who decided PATH train riders should visit our website to learn about the downsides of RFID technology. (This is not a CASPIAN sanctioned project, but we can't help but smile when we see this kind of peaceful protest and education campaign.)

Reportedly, these SPYCHIPS.COM stickers are showing up in other locations where RFID is in use. They appear to be non-destructive labels like you might see on file folders.

Here are some links to recent articles about the new PATH RFID system that might have prompted the recent activity:

http://www.amny.com/news/local/transportation/am-path0222,0,6637845.story

http://ny.metro.us/metro/local/article/New_PATH_card_good_to_go/1220.html

- Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 4:27 PM | Comments (3)

January 7, 2006

Snap! Zap! Device kills RFID tags

Way Cool! Comments on this when I get a minute.


http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2006/01/weapons_the_rfi.html

Posted by Katherine Albrecht at 7:22 AM | Comments (2)

January 4, 2006

The duct tape wallet - a sign of the times

RFID-laced credit cards with names like "Blink" and "ExpressPay" are in the mail, and concerned consumers are fighting back--with duct tape. Yikes!

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and an enterprising tech type has come up with a duct-taped, aluminum foil wallet that promises to keep invasive radio waves from siphoning card data--though you might have to suffer with an oozing, gooey back pocket on steamy days. Anyone familiar with the properties of duct tape can get a mental snapshot of that pending laundry disaster.

Here's a better idea: send back the spychipped cards. Yep. Just refuse them. We've been told that credit card companies will send you the familar low-tech mag striped cards if you insist. Better still, switch credit card companies in protest and opt to use anonymous cash whenever possible.

Cash: use it or lose it.

Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 1:49 AM | Comments (8)