Thursday, September 16, 2010

Research Paper on Imbedded Microchips

Research paper on Imbedded Microchips

Imagine that you have been implanted with a tiny microchip, measuring roughly the size of a quarter. This microchip is now receiving and emitting radio waves from whatever transceivers with the technology to do so. With this chip, implanted just under the skin on your arm, you now have the ability to open and close doors, pass through security check points designed to scan your identity, operate computers, faxes and any other machine to be used only by those with the proper authority. You can do everything that requires you to lug around a wallet or purse, for instance you could make payments, check your bank account, or even buy your groceries with the swipe of your arm. The idea is clear, "Machines eliminate complexity, doubt, and ambiguity. They work swiftly and are standardized" (Technopoly 93). There is one small catch, though; because of this chip, your whereabouts are known to others at every minute of every day. You are being tracked like a car, airplane, cell phone or pager. Which is why Human microchip implants, although an invasion of privacy, could possibly be the next technological wave in a society based on convience. ( Oderberg 235, Technopoly 93 )

This sounds like hocus pocus or something out of a sci-fi flick, but just as history has been writ, once a dream now a reality. The first to do so was Kevin Warwick, a Professor out of a University in London. Inspired by Edward Jenner; the pioneering scientist who tried out the smallpox vaccine on his own body, Professor Warwick had a silicon chip injected under his skin near the elbow. Plagued by different side effects, for example constant swelling and discomfort, Warwick must take antibiotics to fight a greater risk of infection. While there was concern that his body might reject the alien device, Warwick is not worried since his location should be quickly and easily be found by satellite. This being in 1993, there was very little known about the technology and it's possible side effects. ( Oderberg 237-240 )


Now in 2003, a company out of Palm Beach, Florida called Applied Digital Solutions has developed a chip named the Digital Angel or Verichip. The chip was originally designed for tracking previously captured animals, now released back into their natural environments. And currently designed to track humans to invisibly keep watch on their location and vital signs. 2,500 volunteers have already applied for implantation and are awaiting for the chips approval by the FDA, hoping to be some of the first to take that next step into the future. The microchip only costing $200, for now, will have programmed inside such information as your name, medical history, and social security number. Sounds bliss when not knowing the reprocations that might follow after such a decision. Once implanted, like Professor Warwick, they all will now be tracked using GPS or Global Positioning System, which is most commonly used in newer vehicles tracking systems. Your exact location, vital signs, and body temperature will be at the finger tips of those in power. The company has also announced a deal with different South American companies to market the chip to potential kidnap victims, such as executives or political leaders. Once given the green light for sale to the general public the executives of Applied Digital believe there will be a world wide market that could reach $70 billion a year. ( Garcia, Gossett, Tan )

The concern is simple, someone will always be watching. For most it will be voluntary, but it has been suggested by the CEO of Applied Digital Solutions that the U.S. should start injecting all foreigners with a chip to replace green cards. And potentially can be injected into prisoners, parolees, people under house arrest, children, the elderly, airport workers, nuclear power plant workers, gun owners and of course computer users as a form of logging in. So their saying everyone that wants to use a computer might one day be forced to be implanted, or pay the consequences of losing privileges. Just as George Getz, the communications director of the Libertarian Party, has said У the inevitability of such a device lies in the government's ability to make living a normal life without one impossible." ( Dougherty) Lee Tien, the senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been speaking out against what he, and many others believe to be a serious threat posed by the implantations. Tien says "People have the impression that only authorized people will see their personal information. But all sorts will eventually see it." ( Gossett) Tien believes that hacking into the chips by unauthorized users will be a definite and unavoidable problem. The system could easily be used to frame individuals by electronically placing there identification chip at the scene of the crime. The concern that you don't have to worry about losing your credit cards is true, but now you will be leaving not only your credit card number at the site of every purchase, but also your private personal information as well. This implanted chip leaves too much information at the touch of a keyboard or swipe of your arm. Which will leave too many holes and glitches in the system, for both humans and machines to exploit. ( Dougherty, Gossett )

The whole idea turned reality relates directly back to Technopoly and the theory of man and machine immerging into one. У People commonly speak of programming or deprogramming themselves." (Technopoly p. 113) This quote then refers to how we as humans are commonly referring to our brains and bodies as pieces of machinery. "The computer has now redefined humans as "information processors" and nature itself as information to be processed." ( Technopoly 111) While the embedding of microchips in our bodies is a perfect example of the replacement of morality for machinery. We have already been placing machines in our bodies, with heart transplants, lungs, legs, arms etc' It's as if we are the smartest, but at the same time the laziest species on earth. It is our laziness that drives us to make every thing in our daily lives easier and automatic. Though the transplants of different vital organs is considered necessary for survival, the implants of microchips are not. We are constantly trying to put everything into one in an attempt to make life at our convience, when really it makes everything more complicated.( Technopoly 111-113 )

Many religious factors are also in question when you start mixing man and machine. It is worried that once the government has made this a requirement in order to enjoy the freedoms of a normal life, that which we refer to as normal will then be perished. This idea of monitoring the movements and actions of free citizens has been described by different religious groups with this passage from the bible. "Mark of the Beast" in Revelations 13:16 "He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or he number of his name." (Schecres) This passage refers to those the oppressor controlling the oppressed. Which is why the government wants the use of these microchips to be approved more than anyone. Look at all the advantages that will be gained once the chip is in service. At their desire they will have the technology to not just locate your exact position but also your actions. The chip is a total invasion of privacy, being able to tell if you are sleeping, running, eating, having sex or even experimenting with drugs; they will be monitoring us like cattle.
( Murray, Schecres )

Another legal question in mind is, who else will have control of the information inside this chip? It is the same issue as cell phones, who will have access to your location and movement? Will it be politicians, news reporters, advertising firms, corporate firms, family, friends, those who desire to steal your personal information? The question was asked, will this be the start of companies buying and selling peoples information, while monitoring your movements? These chips could be an aid to know every intricate detail to assassinate the competition, commit robberies, fraud and any other crime a person would want to commit. With the introduction of embedded microchips the worlds access to your personal life is now free, it's an open door to who you are and what you do. As voiced in Technoploy, it seems technology is like a disease , "the problems that have risen from technology came slow and were barely noticeable at the start." (technopoly 105) But like any disease once identified it is a struggle in finding the cure. I see such technological advances as the Digital Angel, as a disease, one that keeps mutating and will never stop till we are eliminated and the disease is all that is left standing. ( Gossett, Ramstack, Technopoly 105 )

Though there are alternatives to this, one device developed by a company based in Miami called Lifeshirt is not as permanent as the chip. It's a bracelet that has been developed to counter the microchip with the same functions. The bracelet will also be able to be tracked, but rather than being beneath your skin you can remove and turn off the gadget, so it is not so personal. Another alternative is one that has been in use since the beginning of man, the human body, which contains its own set of unique characteristics. For instance all humans have their own unique set of finger prints, DNA, irises and facial angles. All of these could be used as identification purposes rather than a complicated universal microchip. With these replacements, there are no solid rebuttals or moral issues that could endanger the integrity of the alternative choices to the embedded microchip. ( Gossett )

Further more the use of products like the Digital Angel or Veri Chip should stay totally voluntary. And should not under any circumstance be forcefully injected into immigrants, prisoners or military personal. These microchips potentially could become a major invasion into our personal lives changing the way we live. If so the chip will be considered unconstitutional for it revokes certain freedoms guaranteed to us as Citizens and guests of the United States of America. And if forcefully placing the burden of these microchips on involuntary individuals is supported, I believe that we should no longer have the right to call our nation free. Leaving us open to those with the technological power to oppress us more and more, stripping us of our right to free choice and self exploration.

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