Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Open doors, pay bills with embedded chips

I am not a kook on Bible prophecy, nor do I cater to conspiracy theories. However, my eyes are raised twice when the Bible's warnings about receiving the mark of the Beast finds preliminary steps to fulfullment within our tech industry.

According to this article from the Chicago Tribune for Feb. 14, 2006, the CEO of a security firm in Ohio has embedded a chip in his arm, as have two of his employees. The chips, about a half-inch long, grant him and his employees access to restricted areas. The reporter announces that "about 70 others in the U.S. have the devices implanted in their bodies, mostly for medical reasons--or because they work for VeriChip Corp., the Delray Beach, Fla., firm that makes the chip ..."

The privacy-loving Americans apparently lag far behind "about 2,000 patrons of nightclubs in Barcelona, Spain, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. The chips allow them to avoid long waits in lines and to run tabs at the clubs, which are owned by the same firm. Waiters scan the chips and a computer automatically draws the amount due from their checking accounts." Buying and selling food using embedded chips. Hmmm ... does this sound vaguely familiar?

The article reports that in October 2004, the Food and Drug Administration allowed VeriChip to sell and market these embedded chips, which use radio frequency identification to locate, identify, and record data about the chip's owner or user. There are also a variety of medical applications which can be exploited, according to the Tribune article.

Further corroboration occurs in this Associated Press news story which announces, "Two Workers Have Chips Embedded Into Them." Here you can see a photo of the chip at work. The article says "the chips are the size of a grain of rice and a doctor embedded them in the forearm just under the surface of the skin."

A small amount of research reveals a spate of articles on this:
The Hurricane Katrina tragedy is used an incentive for worried Americans to accept the chip. That way, they suggest, the bodies of our missing loved ones or fallen heroes can always be identified should a similar disaster occur in the future.

The security expert says "it took about 5 seconds to install it" into his right arm. His version does not emit a signal, and therefore cannot be used to track people's movements, but other companies are looking into precisely this application---say, to track executives who might be kidnapped when visiting foreign countries. Can we not discern the "signs of the times" in these events?


Blogger SolaMeanie said...

It is amazing how these things can even pass under the radar of supposedly premillennial churches. Dispensationalism is increasingly under attack. When those who still hold to the relevance of predictive prophecy point these things out, they are often indeed dismissed as kooks. Kevin and I have covered stuff like this for a long time, and it is stunning how quickly things are developing.

What will probably be the lynchpin that pushes it all through? Our demand for "peace and safety." Would that we'd remember Franklin's comment that those who give up their liberty for peace and safety deserve neither.

3:04 PM  

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