WHY ADVOCATES AND LAWMAKERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT INVOLUNTARY MICROCHIPPING
If you do not believe the threat of involuntary microchipping
is real, please take a moment to read over the following disquieting developments.
Taken together, they reveal a focused effort to promote human microchipping.
The time to nip this trend in the bud is now.
In 2005, VeriChip tried to chip the residents of Orange Grove Center,
a facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that cares for the developmentally
disabled. VeriChip offered to inject the devices for free to promote
its product, but was ultimately rebuffed when the public questioned
whether it was ethical to chip people who could not give informed consent.
Also in 2005, Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Health and Human
Services and 2008 presidential candidate, joined the board of directors
for the VeriChip Corporation. He has used his Bush administration connections
to promote the device, and has appeared on national television suggesting
that every American should receive a VeriChip implant to link to their
electronic medical records. Thompson also suggested using the VeriChip
to replace dog tags in our armed forces. 
The VeriChip Corporation claims to have been in talks with the Pentagon
about implanting RFID tags into military personnel. 
VeriChip CEO Scott Silverman publicly suggested that the U.S. government
adopt the VeriChip implant to tag and track legal immigrants and guest
workers. [Note: It is unclear to us how chipping documented immigrants
will solve the problem of illegal immigration.] 
The Congressional Record shows that Colombian President Αlvaro Uribe
told Senator Arlen Specter that he would consider chipping guest workers
before allowing them to leave Colombia for the United States. 
During the September 2005 Supreme Court confirmation hearings for
Justice John Roberts, Senator Joseph Biden commented, "Can a microscopic
tag be implanted in a person's body to track his every movement? There's
actual discussion about that. You will rule on that mark my words
before your tenure is over." 
In 2004, employees of the Mexican Attorney General's office were
asked to receive a chip implant to access a secure document room. Eighteen
were actually chipped, and those who refused were reportedly reassigned.
In 2006, two employees of CityWatcher, a Cincinnati, Ohio, video
surveillance company were implanted with VeriChips to access a secure
room. While the company reportedly did not require the workers to get
chipped, the incident worried employees around the country. Could employers
make taking a chip a condition for employment? 
New Jersey's oldest and largest insurer, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue
Shield, is currently working with the Hackensack Regional Medical Center
and VeriChip to develop a business case for the chipping of people.
Privacy and civil liberties advocates caution that insurers could one
day require customers to get chipped, or they could offer significant
premium penalties for those who refuse. 
IBM holds a major stake in the VeriChip Corporation. IBM has sworn
public documents on file at the United States Patent and Trademark office
detailing how marketers and government agents can track humans with
RFID technology.  
IBM and VeriChip have set up a test laboratory in Austin, Texas,
to explore the case for human chipping. 
Since the VeriChip Corporation recently took its stock public, it's
under increasing pressure from its shareholders to generate revenues.
VeriChip has announced plans to devote $8 to $10 million of its IPO
proceeds to promote the chipping of people.  At a recent Florida
Marlins baseball game, VeriChip purchased a prominent billboard reading
"Microchip Implants Save Live." Hundreds of thousands of people were
exposed to this message and likely believed it, despite the fact that
no one's life has been saved by an implanted microchip. No mention was
made of the serious potential health downsides of the implant. 
Other companies that offer implant technology to identify and track
lab rats, cattle, and pets could follow the pattern of the VeriChip
Corporation and begin promoting human identification and tracking. One
such company, Somark, has developed "chipless" RFID that can be injected
into skin like a tattoo to track animals from a distance through radio
waves. The company has suggested its product would be ideal for tracking
members of the military. 
About this document: A version of this document was first submitted
as testimony to the Oklahoma Senate Committee on Health & Human Services
in support of Oklahoma Senate Bill 47, "Prohibiting the Forced Implantation
of a Microchip." The authors are Liz McIntyre and Dr. Katherine Albrecht,
CASPIAN Consumer Advocates and Co-authors of the "Spychips" series of
books on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). All rights reserved.
1. Emily Berry, "Chips Spark Ethics Concerns," Chattanooga Free Press,
4 November 2005, available at available at http://www.cephas-library.com/nwo/nwo_chips_spark_ethics
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2. Katherine Albrecht, "Transcript of Interview with Tommy Thompson Former
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services," 11 July 2005, available
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_under_soldiers__skin.html?setEdition=Miami , accessed 6 February 2007.
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Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation," 16 May 2006, available
, accessed 6 February 2007.
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Tracking With Microchips," FoxNews.com, 4 May 2006, available at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,194337,00.html
, accessed 6 February 2007.
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14 July 2004, available at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5439055/,
accessed 6 February 2007.
9. Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre, "Two U.S. Employees Injected
with RFID Microchips at Company Request," Spychips.com, 9 February 2006,
available at http://www.spychips.com/press-releases/us-employees-verichipped
.html , accessed 6 February 2007.
10. M.L. Baker, "Insurers Study Implanting RFID Chips in Patients," eWeek.com,
19 July 2006, available at http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1991150,00.asp
, accessed 7 February 2007.
12. John R. Hind et al, "Identification and Tracking of Persons Using
RFID-tagged Items," US Patent Application # 20020165758, assigned to IBM.
Filed 3 May 2001.
13. Hind et al, "Identification and Tracking of Persons Using RFID-tagged
Items in Store Environments," US Patent # 7,076,441, assigned to IBM,
filed on 3 May 2001, granted 11 July 2004.
14. Health Data Management, "VeriChip, IBM Demonstrate RFID Tech," 12
September 2005, available at http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/portals/article.cfm?type
=mobile_tech&articleId=12531 , accessed 6 February 2007.
15. VeriChip Corporation, "Amendment No. 6 to FORM S-1 REGISTRATION STATEMENT
under The Securities Act of 1933," 22 January 2007, available at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1347022/000119312507
009620/ds1a.htm , accessed 6 February 2007.
16. To view the television coverage of the Marlins game, including the
advertisement banner, see: http://www.truthcastnetwork.com/marlins.htm
17. David E. Gumpert, "Privacy Controversy Dogs
RFID Startup, How can a company that makes radio frequency identification
ink for use on animals and humans head off bloggers' criticism?," BusinessWeek.com,
25 January 2007, available at http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jan2007/sb20070125_543288.htm?
18. Introduced by Wisconsin Representative Marvin
D. Schneider, "2005 Assembly Bill 290 enacted as 2005 Wisconsin Act 482,"
enacted 30 May 2006, available at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2005/data/acts/05Act482.pdf