VERICHIP INJECTS ITSELF INTO IMMIGRATION DEBATE - Company Pushes RFID Implants for Immigrants, Guest Workers
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From: caspian-newsletter-l-bounces@nocards.org [mailto:caspian-newsletter-l-bounces@nocards.org] On Behalf Of Katherine Albrecht
Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2006 3:19 PM
To: caspian-newsletter-l@nocards.org
Subject: [Caspian-newsletter-l] VeriChip Injects Itself into ImmigrationDebate

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 18, 2006

 

VERICHIP INJECTS ITSELF INTO IMMIGRATION DEBATE

Company Pushes RFID Implants for Immigrants, Guest Workers

 

Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation, has

alarmed civil libertarians by promoting the company's subcutaneous human

tracking device as a way to identify immigrants and guest workers. He

appeared on the Fox News Channel earlier this week, the morning after

President Bush called for high-tech measures to clamp down on Mexican

immigrants.

 

Privacy advocates Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre are warning that a

government-sanctioned chipping program such as that suggested by

Silverman could quickly be expanded to include U.S. citizens, as well.

 

The VeriChip is a glass encapsulated Radio Frequency Identification tag

that is injected into the flesh to uniquely number and identify people.

The tag can be read silently and invisibly by radio waves from up to a

foot or more away, right through clothing. The highly controversial

device is also being marketed as a way to access secure areas, link to

medical records, and serve as a payment device when associated with a

credit card.

 

"Makers of VeriChip have been planning for this day. They've lost

millions of dollars trying to sell their invasive product to North

America, and now they see an opportunity in the desperation of the

people of Latin America," Albrecht observes.

 

VeriChip's Silverman bandied about the idea of chipping foreigners on

national television Tuesday, emboldened by the Bush Administration call

to know "who is in our country and why they are here." He told Fox &

Friends that the VeriChip could be used to register guest workers,

verify their identities as they cross the border, and "be used for

enforcement purposes at the employer level." He added, "We have talked

to many people in Washington about using it...."

 

Silverman is reportedly also planning to share his vision on CNBC's

Squawk Box if a slot opens up tomorrow (Friday) morning sometime between

6 and 9 AM Eastern Time. He was originally scheduled to appear on the

show this morning, but technical problems at the Florida studio

prevented his appearance.

 

The numbering and chipping of people seems like a plot from a dystopian

novel, but the company has gotten the buy-in from highly placed current

and former government officials, including Columbian President Alvaro

Uribe. He reportedly told Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) that he would

consider having microchips implanted into Colombian workers before they

are permitted to enter the United States to work on a seasonal basis.

 

"The mantra 'chip the foreigners' has little appeal once people realize

the company wants to stamp its 'electronic tattoo' into every one of

us," cautions McIntyre. "Electronically branding and tracking visitors

like cattle is VeriChip's excuse to get the government on board. But if

that happens, we'll all be in their sights."

 

Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services joined the

board of VeriChip Corporation after leaving his Bush administration

cabinet post. Shortly thereafter, he went on national television

recommending that all Americans get chipped as a way to link to their

medical records. He also suggested the VeriChip could replace military

dog tags, and a spokesman boasted that the company had been in talks

with the Pentagon.

 

Privacy advocates warn that once people are numbered with a remotely

readable RFID tag like the VeriChip, they can be tracked. Once they can

be tracked, they can be monitored and controlled.

 

Albrecht and McIntyre, the authors of "Spychips: How Major Corporations

and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID" believe the

world's people will stand firm against chipping. "Our country was

founded on principles of freedom and liberty. We're betting that the

American people will see the end game and buck VeriChip's attempts,"

said Albrecht. "We also believe the people of Latin America will rise up

in opposition once they read our book."

 

The Spanish language version of "Spychips" will be hitting shelves

across Latin America next month.

 

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

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

"Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your

Every Move with RFID" (Nelson Current) was released in October 2005.

Already in its fifth printing, "Spychips" is the winner of the 2006

Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty and has

received wide critical acclaim. Authored by Harvard doctoral researcher

Katherine Albrecht and former bank examiner Liz McIntyre, the book is

meticulously researched, drawing on patent documents, corporate source

materials, conference proceedings, and firsthand interviews to paint a

convincing -- and frightening -- picture of the threat posed by RFID.

 

Despite its hundreds of footnotes and academic-level accuracy, the book

remains lively and readable according to critics, who have called it a

"techno-thriller" and "a masterpiece of technocriticism."

 

The Spanish-language version of Spychips, titled "Chips Espias," will be

available in bookstores in the Americas and Spain starting June 6, 2006.

 

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

 

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CASPIAN: Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering

Opposing supermarket loyalty cards and other retail surveillance

schemes since 1999

 

http://www.spychips.com/

http://www.nocards.org/

 

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