[Homestead] Conspiracy, Power, Privacy, and THEM
bobford79 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 15 13:16:42 EDT 2008
James, I knew that Don was right, I just didn't know how to explain what I had read. This is part of the article from Scientific American, They did say "broadcast" but I had the signal running backwards. The person writing the article wasn't wrong -- I was . I might not ever completely understand the technology, but I know I don't like the significance of its use .......bobf
How RFID Tags Could Be Used to Track Unsuspecting People
A privacy activist argues that the devices pose new security risks to those who carry them, often unwittingly
By Katherine Albrecht
Average consumers may not realize how many RFID tags they carry around. The devices are embedded in personal items and even some clothing.
Melissa Thomas (photoillustration); Richard Schultz (RFID tags); Sam Jordash (woman); Burazin (key fob); ©2005 Transport For London (Oyster card); Identity Stronghold (passport sleeve); Dima Gavrysh AP Photo (Chase blink credit card); Rolf Vennenbernd DPA/Corbis (EAS/RFID); Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (SmarTrip card)
* Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags are embedded in a growing number of personal items and identity documents.
* Because the tags were designed to be powerful tracking devices and they typically incorporate little security, people wearing or carrying them are vulnerable to surreptitious surveillance and profiling.
* Worldwide, legislators have done little to address those risks to citizens.
If you live in a state bordering Canada or Mexico, you may soon be given an opportunity to carry a very high tech item: a remotely readable driver’s license. Designed to identify U.S. citizens as they approach the nation’s borders, the cards are being promoted by the Department of Homeland Security as a way to save time and simplify border crossings. But if you care about your safety and privacy as much as convenience, you might want to think twice before signing up.
The new licenses come equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that can be read right through a wallet, pocket or purse from as far away as 30 feet. Each tag incorporates a tiny microchip encoded with a unique identification number. As the bearer approaches a border station, radio energy broadcast by a reader device is picked up by an antenna connected to the chip, causing it to emit the ID number. By the time the license holder reaches the border agent, the number has already been fed into a Homeland Security database, and the traveler’s photograph and other details are displayed on the agent’s screen
----- Original Message ----
From: "Clansgian at wmconnect.com" <Clansgian at wmconnect.com>
To: homestead at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 9:58:59 AM
Subject: Re: [Homestead] Conspiracy, Power, Privacy, and THEM
> >As you can tell Don, although I've done a lot of reading in the scientific
> journals, I don't know how to explain what I've read correctly. But I could
> have sworn that the verb broadcast was used in one of the articles--- but
> you are correct.
Don's a radio man and knows what he's talking about. It is not possible for
the same thing to be passive and also broadcasting continuously. That's like
saying "this joint is concave but it's also a mortise".
Lots of people who write articles are quite ignorant of electronics.
RFID tags are viewed as coming in three flavors:
Active - have a built in power source, usually a battery. The battery powers
the passive circuitry and powers the oscillator for transmission.
Passive - has no built in power source. RF energy is received (detected) and
charges a small capacitive or inductive circuit. Sometimes only the junction
of a CMOS is charged. This is enough power to transmit a brief signal in
Have you ever had the experice of turning off a radio and unplugging it and
when you switch it on again without plugging it up, it plays for about a second
then fades off (and you discover it is unplugged)? That's because the rather
large capacitors in the power supply (that convert the AC to lower voltage
DC) hold a charge even unplugged. This is enough power in fact to opearate the
radio for a second or two. That's how passive RFID circuits work. Radio
frequency energy of a specific frequency causes and induced current which is
stored (for a microsecond) as an inductance or a capacitance and powers the
The process is not so much like a "transciever" as I am making it sound. It
is not like the PTT button on a CB radio - listen thent talk. It functions
more like a 'backscatter' of the original RF signal that excited it.
A third type is the semi-passive RFID in which a battery powers the passive
circuitry but the trurn signal is just a backscatter.
Obviously a device without a power source can be made much, much smaller than
one with. For example, the working guts of your cell phone is no bigger than
a the nail on your little finger, the rest of the bulk and weight of the
phone is the battery.
But the signal that provokes the active RFID or the semi-passive RFID into
action can be a very tiny (weak, in microwatts) signal. To get the same
results, the RF signal to activate a totally passive RFID must be more than 100 times
stronger. It is a massive heathen transmitter that is activating a passive
chip more than a very few feet.
James, WA4CYU </HTML>
Homestead list and subscription:
Change your homestead list member options:
View the archives at:
More information about the Homestead