Matt Miller, syndicated columnist.Silicon Valley, July 18, 2001 - Not long ago someone brought a stray dalmatian into my veterinarian's office. The vet pulled out a Star Trek-like device and passed it over the dog's body. A number flashed on its tiny screen. The tracking company was promptly called. Fifteen minutes later the dog's relieved owner was on the way.
This tale seems lighthearted, but its implications amidst the Chandra Levy frenzy are quite serious: If poor Chandra had a chip like the ones implanted in thousands of animals today, she may not have avoided trouble, but she sure wouldn't be "missing." Advances in microchip and global positioning technology have us on the verge of a new era in which no person, animal or cherished possession need ever be "missing" again.
Depending on where you sit, this is either a big relief or Big Brother. There's no question it's a big market.
In Los Angeles alone, for example, 100,000 pets are lost each year, 70 percent of which have no identification.
But the Chandra Levy case has brought to light far more disturbing facts: According to federal authorities, there are nearly 100,000 missing persons today. One day the routine use of implantable locating chips could make such traumas a relic of an earlier era, like polio.
In England a firm is said to have tested such devices on the children of billionaires and celebrities. Here in the United States a company called Digital Angel, already active in the animal market, is rolling out a new generation of human products, which its president and chief scientist, Dr. Peter Zhou, stressed repeatedly to me in an interview will not be implantable.
Search Digital Angel on the Web, and you'll see why Zhou is so sensitive about implants. Some conservative Christian groups view implantable technology as a variant of "the mark" prophesied in Revelation that would accompany the arrival of the Antichrist. Needless to say, this association may not be great for sales.
Civil liberties groups, meanwhile, fear that the convenience and usefulness of such devices will lead government to want them to be as mandatory as Social Security numbers -- a chilling prospect.
But if there are risks, the benefits seem enormous. Digital Angel will shortly unveil a line of wristwatch-style devices, for example, that can track kids wearing them, or monitor the medical condition of isolated patients. If grandpa's pulse rate drops suddenly, for example, the news would be transmitted to a central station that would dispatch emergency medical services and alert loved ones.
In my own home, I'm afraid, the wristwatch won't cut it. My wife wants implants -- for me, for her, for our 4-year-old, for the dog. I'm a bit dubious.
Being able to track my child would be a dream if something were to happen. But what about when she's a teenager? Securely evading parental supervision is a rite of adolescence. Can we really deny her a surveillance-free youth?
"Why does she need to know?" my wife first asks, about the implant, before falling back on voluntary consent as a justification. My daughter may quibble one day, however, with mom's definition of "voluntary."
"If they want their inheritance, they'll learn to live with the chip," she says, "so I can avoid sleepless nights."
Zhou of Digital Angel says that while his firm has a patent on implantable technology, it will be used in the foreseeable future only in conjunction with medical devices, like pacemakers, that have themselves already been implanted. More good news for Dick Cheney.
In France, of course, the potential impact on the culture of adultery may make this form of American technological imperialism the last straw. New forms of etiquette will be needed -- how do you tell your wife you simply won't consent to a chip? As with missile defense, countermeasures seem inevitable, as new firms form to let lovers and teens neutralize their chips as needed. [http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/opinion/svguest/mm071901.htm ]
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) July 09, 2001 A rental car company that uses satellites to track its vehicles and fines customers who speed has refused to halt the practice, the state consumer-protection agency says. As a result, a hearing will be held Aug. 22 on a complaint brought against the company by the Department of Consumer Protection.
The agency last week accused Acme Rent-A-Car in New Haven of violating state consumer law. The company uses Global Positioning System satellites to track customers' speed and automatically fines them for each infraction. The state said it had identified 26 customers who were fined.
Department spokeswoman Anna Ficeto said Monday that Acme decided
Friday not to sign a consent decree that would have halted the
practice and reimbursed consumers who were fined. The company
has said its rental contracts inform customers they will be fined
$150 every time the satellite catches them speeding for more
The state said the company did not give adequate warning and debited consumers' bank accounts or credit cards without notification. Acme has only one outlet, in New Haven. While other car rental companies use GPS to track stolen cars or give directions, industry experts said they know of no other company with a policy like Acme's. [ http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/2001-07-09-rental-car-tracking.htm ]
In a trial believed to be a world first, a cross-section of soldiers have allowed themselves to be micro-chipped as part of a study into how new technology may be harnessed to revolutionise the bureaucracy of personal administration.
All the troops involved in the project are volunteers. Impetus for phase one of the Army Personnel Rationalisation Individual Listings project came from the acclaimed Passports for Pets scheme, from which much of the technology has been adapted.
The trial, which began at the start of this month, is to run for six months. Should it be the success which project managers anticipate, the whole of the Army could be micro-chipped by 2010.
Col. M. W. Jones, late RRW, told Soldier: " The chip, which is implanted in the neck, would have many uses, one of which would be to replace the current ID card. This would protect the identity of those in the Armed Forces and prevent lost ID cards falling into the wrong hands."
Every military base would have a facility to "swipe" military personnel in and out of bases, operational theatres and so on. It would make the introduction of the Pay As You Dine Scheme much easier, allowing mess staff to swipe soldiers as they passed the hot plate. It is estimated that savings in time and administration of the PAYD scheme alone could in one year pay for up to three additional Challenger 2 main battle tanks or 27 single living accommodation upgrades.
"A continual database would show the whereabouts of every serving member of the Armed Forces, giving commanders much greater control on the battlefield," said Col Jones. "We could "swipe" casualties to get their medical records, blood group or next-of-kin. There would no longer be a need for an individual's documents to be carted around the world."
All relevant information would be held in the neck chip. "Guinea pigs" say this process is virtually painless. A red patch over the site of the implant fades within days and there are said to be no long-term side effects. There is, however some concern that individual freedoms might be compromised by the Army Personnel Rationalisation Individual Listings (APRIL) scheme, which could also allow the monitoring of troops during off- duty periods.
Anyone fitted with a micro-chip who takes unofficial leave, for example could rapidly be traced at home or abroad.
A purpose-built "stealth" or "switch-off" mechanism for the chip is being developed so personnel would become "invisible" when on leave, AWOL or posted to Special Forces units. This would effectively divorce them from the central electronic records management system (ERMS) located in Glasgow.
Certain trades, including some REME personnel who come into contact with powerful electromagnetic fields, which distort micro-chip memory, are likely to be exempted. If phase one of the trial - inevitably dubbed APRIL 1 - is a success, a second phase will take the project into the high street, allowing a soldier to be swiped when visiting a theatre, cinema or restaurant. Major supermarket chains, which have already invested heavily in sophisticated bar-code readers, are understood to have asked the MoD to keep them in the picture.
Servicemen and women of the future may opt to be swiped as they leave a retail outlet, with their bill being automatically debited against a personal bank or building society account. It is anticipated that an added bonus is likely to be the ease with which product loyalty and reward points could be accumulated.
Also creating a frisson in the scientific world, Soldier has been told, is the area of interpersonal communications linked to micro-chips. Boffins are trying to establish if cell phone technology can be made to interact with a chip implanted in the lobe, bringing the proverbial "word in your ear" closer to reality. [via: email@example.com ]
In 1998, the British government approved a law to require all ... 8] Microchip implants to foil VIP kidnaps By Bruce Johnston ... tags to be used by all US soldiers. ... [ www.networkusa.org/fingerprint/page5a/fp-chip-faq.html ]
Beginning tomorrow, Applied Digital Solutions will begin beta testing on humans an implant technology capable of allowing users to emit a homing beacon, have vital bodily functions monitored and confirm identity when making e-commerce transactions.
The first production run of "Digital Angel®" devices has begun, the Florida-based, NASDAQ-traded company has announced.
While the manufacturers of the technology bill it as a potential
lifesaver, others fear the advent of the device threatens personal
privacy and even raises the ugly specter of the Bible's
"mark of the beast." Applied Digital Solutions, an
e-business-to-business solutions provider, acquired the patent
rights to the miniature digital transceiver it has named "Digital
Angel®." The company plans to market the device for
a number of uses, including as a "tamper-
Digital Angel® sends and receives data and can be continuously tracked by global positioning satellite technology. When implanted within a body, the device is powered electromechanically through the movement of muscles and can be activated either by the "wearer" or by a monitoring facility.
"We believe its potential for improving individual and
e-business security and enhancing the quality of life for millions
of people is virtually limitless," said ADS Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer Richard Sullivan. "Although we're
in the early developmental phase, we expect to come forward with
applications in many different areas, from medical monitoring
to law enforcement. However, in keeping with our core strengths
in the e-business to business arena,
Dr. Peter Zhou, chief scientist for development of the implant and president of DigitalAngel.net, a subsidiary of ADS, told WorldNetDaily the device will send a signal from the person wearing Digital Angel® to either his computer or the e-merchant with whom he is doing business in order to verify his identity.
But e-commerce is only one field to which Digital Angel® applies. The device's patent describes it as a rescue beacon for kidnapped children and missing persons. According to Zhou, the implant will save money by reducing resources used in rescue operations for athletes, including mountain climbers and skiers.
Law enforcement may employ the implant to keep track of criminals under house arrest, as well as reduce emergency response time by immediately locating individuals in distress. The device also has the ability to monitor the user's heart rate, blood pressure and other vital functions.
"Your doctor will know the problem before you do," said Zhou, noting peace of mind is possible for at-risk patients who can rest in the knowledge that help will be on the way should anything go wrong.
Indeed, peace of mind is Digital Angel®'s main selling point
"Ideally," the patent states, "the device will bring peace of mind and an increased quality of life for those who use it, and for their families, loved ones, and associates who depend on them critically."
Referring to the threat of kidnapping, the patent goes on to say, "Adults who are at risk due to their economic or political status, as well as their children who may be at risk of being kidnapped, will reap new freedoms in their everyday lives by employing the device."
Digital Angel®'s developer told WND demand for the implant has been tremendous since ADS announced its acquisition of the patent. "We have received requests daily from around the world for the product," Zhou said, mentioning South America, Mexico and Spain as examples.
One inquirer was the U.S. Department of Defense through a contractor, according to Zhou. American soldiers may be required to wear the implant so their whereabouts and health conditions can be accessed at all times, said the scientist.
But for critics, military use of the implant is not at the top of their list of objections to the new technology. ADS has received complaints from Christians and others who believe the implant could be the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
The Book of Revelation states all people will be required to "receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark." (Rev. 13: 16-17)
In an increasingly cashless society where identity verification is essential for financial transactions, some Christians view Digital Angel®'s ID and e-commerce applications as a form of the biblical "mark of the beast." But Zhou dismisses such objections to the implant.
"I am a Christian, but I don't think [that argument] makes sense," he told WND. "The purpose of the device is to save your life and improve the quality of life. There's no connection to the Bible. There are different interpretations of the Bible. My interpretation is, anything to improve the quality of life is from God. The Bible says, 'I am the God of living people.' We not only live, we live well."
Sullivan, responding to religious objections to his product, told WorldNetDaily no one will be forced to wear Digital Angel®.
"We live in a voluntary society," he said. According to the CEO, individuals may choose not to take advantage of the technology. Zhou alluded to some Christians' objection to medicine per se, adding such opposition wanes when the life-saving, life-improving benefits of technology are realized.
"A few years ago there may have been resistance, but
not anymore," he continued. "People are getting used
to having implants. New century, new trend." Zhou compared
Digital Angel® to pacemakers, which regulate a user's heart
rate. Pacemakers used to be seen as bizarre, said Zhou, but now
they are part of everyday life. Digital Angel® will
Vaccines are another good comparison, said the scientist,
who noted, "Both save your life. When vaccines came out,
people were against them. But now we don't even think about it."
Digital Angel®, Zhou believes, could become as prevalent
as a vaccine. "Fifty years from now this will be very, very
popular. Fifty years ago the thought of a cell
Just like the cell phone, Digital Angel® "will be a connection from yourself to the electronic world. It will be your guardian, protector. It will bring good things to you." "We will be a hybrid of electronic intelligence and our own soul," Zhou concluded.
ADS, DigitalAngel.net's parent company, received a special "Technology Pioneers" award from the World Economic Forum for its contributions to "worldwide economic development and social progress through technology advancements."
The World Economic Forum, incorporated in 1971 with headquarters in Geneva, is an independent, not-for-profit organization "committed to improving the state of the world." When delivery and beta testing begin tomorrow, it will enlist the support of a limited number of pre-registered subscribers and end users and last for a period of 90 days.
Related stories: Human ID implant to be unveiled soon Digital
Angel unveiled Big Brother gets under your skin Microchips required
for adopted animals Related columns: Meet the 'Digital Angel'
-- from Hell Revelation about 'Digital Angels' . Digital Angel,
the Computer Chip Implant for Humans see reports:
Digital Angel we can tell if the child is still alive while the parents are organising the ransom," said Jackson. "In certain requests people said they wanted this implanted and others said it's not a good idea," he added
As the company registers orders for the watches in October they played- down the human implant development after the American Family Association, a right wing religious group, said the invention is the biblical "mark of the beast". A quote taken from the Book Of Revelation where no man can buy or sell without the mark on their forehead or arm.
The inventor of the chip Peter Zhou, chief scientist for development of the implant said: "There are different interpretations of the Bible. Anything to improve the quality of life is from God." US soldiers were also thought of as a potential client in what analysts see as a $70bn market. The devil connection has done no good for ADS' share price. Its shares, traded on Nasdaq, have fallen from a high of $5 to just 50c.
Mr Jackson attributed this to the general market dislike of tech stocks rather than a message from God. [ http://news.independent.co.uk/digital/update/story.jsp?story=81070 ] [ Bible Prophecy Research - URL: http://philologos.org/ ]