Transcript of the Fox & Friends interview with
Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation.The
interview took place Tuesday May 16, 2006, between 6 and 7 AM on the Fox
TIKI BARBER, co-anchor: All right now, could implanting a microchip into guest workers coming into the US solve our illegal immigration problem?
BRIAN KILMEADE, co-anchor: Here to tell us right now why this is a viable solution that might be used very shortly, Scott Silverman, CEO and Chairman of Applied Digital. Scott, where is this being used right now?
Mr. SCOTT SILVERMAN (Chairman & CEO, Applied Digital): Well, this chip today is being used for medical applications, to identify high-risk medical patients and their medical records in an emergency and clinical situation. The chip itself was approved by the FDA several years ago as a class-two medical device, specifically for that application. But obviously, it can be applicable for the immigration issues we face today as well.
KIRAN CHETRY, co-anchor: And we're going to take a look at it right now. You have the little chip, and it's next to a penny, so we can see just how small that chip would be. And you have one in you, so let's go ahead and just sort of explain how it would happen.
Mr. SILVERMAN: That's correct. My chip is in the upper right arm; it's been there for about three years. It's a simple injection process just like getting a shot of penicillin.
BARBER: OK. Now how exactly does it work? What does the chip actually contain on it?
CHETRY: OK, SO it--I guess you can just run this over his arm, and it comes up.
Mr. SILVERMAN: Well, the chip itself has a unique, 16-digit identification number, and then through a serial port--if I can. Kiran, on the bottom of the scanner. Through a serial port, it attaches to a computer, where a database would pull up and the medical applicationyour medical records. But in the immigration application, the registration of a guest worker legitimately here in the United States, that could be used at the border. But it could also be used for enforcement purposes at the employer level.
KILMEADE: What if you don't want it in your body? Do you have a choice?
Mr. SILVERMAN: Absolutely. It's an election on the part of the immigrant or an election on the part of the government, when we ultimately define what that technology is that no one has defined yet.
KILMEADE: Has the government bought this from you and said this is going to be the new immigration policy?
Mr. SILVERMAN: No, they have not. We have talked to many people in Washington about using it as an application for a guest worker program. But we cannot say today that they have actually bought it for immigration purposes.
BARBER: Now, a lot of people would say that's it's dangerous, that it's invasive, it could be used to infringe on our civil liberties by tracking us. But this is not what this is all about.
KILMEADE: Sort of like "Wild Kingdom," right?
Mr. SILVERMAN: No, that's correct, Tiki. This is not a locating device; this has no GPS capabilities in it whatsoever. It is purely an identification device that reads a unique 16-digit identifier with a proprietary scanner within a very short range. It's a passive device with no power source under the skin that ties to a database where the relevant information is stored.
KILMEADE: Tiki knows the Secretary of State. Maybe Tiki can get this contract for Scott. Tiki, maybe you can get a cut back. You know, you're not going to be playing forever.
CHETRY: That's how people get arrested in Florida, Brian.
CHETRY: But it is an interesting phenomenon. I don't know how comfortable even if you asked me or Tiki or Brian if we would be willing to do it. It just seems, like--it seems scary.
KILMEADE: If I wanted to come to the United States, chip me to death!
BARBER: But it really is no different than having a passport and having a way to identify yourself. This just is a way that you won't lose it.
Mr. SILVERMAN: Yeah. It's a benefit to the person that's in the guest worker program, because if you leave your card at home or you leave it at your work, you're not going to be able to go back and forth across the border.
KILMEADE: It's like permanently putting a string on your finger to remind you of something.
Mr. SILVERMAN: Correct. That's correct.
CHETRY: It's quite interesting, so, keep us posted if there's more interest in it. Thanks, Scott.
Mr. SILVERMAN: Thank you very much. Pleasure meeting you this morning.
KILMEADE: Especially if you get really rich.
Mr. SILVERMAN: OK. Thanks.
BARBER: Thanks for joining us.
- END -
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