HOW YOU CAN STOP A RUNAWAY TRAIN
By Mary Starrett
September 10, 2003
The technology to track every move we make is getting frighteningly popular with global corporations. It's like a runaway train that's gaining momentum.
Within days, eager representatives from hundreds of the country's large and small companies will converge on Chicago's McCormick Place for what's being touted as "history in the making"- The Electronic Product Code Symposium. That's where they'll be romanced into accepting a type of technology that has the potential for turning every dollar bill, every can of Coke, every bullet, prescription drug, gallon of milk, loaf of bread, pack of cigarettes, well, all things into spy-chipped homing devices.
The EPC is a miniature computer which has the stated purpose of (a) replacing the bar code (UPC) and (b) tagging and tracking every ITEM on the planet. By linking the ID number on each and EVERY THING on earth this EPC or RFID (radio frequency identification) spy-chip makes it possible to keep tabs on just about everything you do, buy, wear, carry, load and move about the country.
This lavish confab (over a thousand bucks a head just to attend the unabashed seduction of corporate America) is being put on by the MIT Auto-ID Center, which is a wicked alliance of world-wide mega corps and government agencies. Scares the dickens out of me just imagining the possible scenarios, but let us commence to count the ways:
Every single bullet, every single gun would come enabled with an EPC spy-chip (and you thought you'd never have to answer a knock at the door when they came for your guns).
Individual sheets of paper would have EPC chips as well. (Yes, Virginia, there is a chip small enough to be put into separate pieces of paper thanks to the folks at Hitachi Europe who've produced an EPC chip as thin as a human hair which they are mere months away from bringing to market.)
Chips with your dip? How about spy -chipped food which the Department of Homeland Security says is needed as a terrorism-fighting tool to protect the nation's food supply? At Auburn University a group of food companies is funding the development of sensors on RFID chips which can operate while SUBMERGED in liquid (read, milk, vodka, gasoline).
Let's see, what other real-life sci-fi horrors await us should we not stop this runaway train when it passes through Chicago next week?
Well, supermarket loyalty cards, which so many shoppers hand over like happy idiots, were actually designed to eventually be EPC/RFID-enabled. Now that consumers have been conditioned to trade their privacy in one enormous data-mining scheme, they're all set up to accept a NEW! IMPROVED! "loyalty" card with a bright and shiny spy-chip inside! That means they won't even have to open their purses or wallets because "readers" will register their presence and their cards the moment they step into a store.
ATM cards and cash are also in the EPC/ RFID spy -chip sights. The European Central Bank is working on weaving these chips into Euros- lends new meaning to a favorite phrase "follow the money". (So much for the anonymity of paying with cash.)
A move that really drives home the danger of this technology, especially when governments get their mittens on it, is illustrated by the British government's mandated equipping of all new cars with a microchip which can instantly tell whether a driver's over the speed limit or over the center line.
Who's On Board?
The Auto-ID Center which is sponsoring next week's Chicago EPC Symposium (www.epcsymposium.com) receives funding from: The Department of Defense, Philip Morris, Proctor & Gamble, Gillette and Wal-Mart to name just a few of the heaviest of hitters. That listing should give you an idea of how widespread and diverse the privacy-snatching lineup is.
While I've written about the abuses inherent in the use of this technology in the past, this time I'd like to point out that what happens in Chicago from September 15-17, 2003 could very well change the world as we know it. If the corporations assembled there for this 3 day spy-chip love fest don't get a clear message from you that this is not okay then it's anybody's guess how fast you'll be living in Matrix-land.
If you're still not convinced how pervasive this move to EPC/RFID spy-chip your world is, here's a partial list of RFID sponsors:
U.S. Postal Service
Here's what you can do.
If you live in the Chicago area head out to the McCormick Place Convention Center at 10 am on September 16th. The premier consumer-rights group behind the protest is C.A.S.P.I.A.N. (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion And Numbering) Bring a sign if you can.
If you can't make it to Chi-town that day log onto www.spychips.com and find out how you can wage a VIRTUAL protest against the loss of your 4th Amendment rights.
For those of us who believe the Bible's very graphic descriptions of the final days let's make sure at least one phase isn't ushered in on OUR watch!
For more information call: 1-877- 287-5854
� 2003 Mary Starrett - All Rights Reserved
Mary Starrett was on television for 21 years as a news anchor, morning talk show host and medical reporter. For the last 5 years she hosted a radio program. Mary is a frequent guest on radio talk shows. E-Mail [email protected]�
"The EPC is a miniature computer which has the stated purpose of (a) replacing the bar code (UPC) and (b) tagging and tracking every ITEM on the planet. By linking the ID number on each and every THING on earth this EPC or RFID (radio frequency identification) spy-chip makes it possible to keep tabs on just about everything you do, buy, wear, carry, load and move about the country"