Sweden has started “chipping” its residents

From Fabiosa:

Have you ever thought that the science fiction film gadgets would be accessible in real life? And we aren’t talking about computers and mobile phones. Where some people are pleased and delighted about the advent of new technologies, others are really scared.
Sweden has started chipping its residents since spring this year. Can you imagine this? People voluntarily have chips implanted in their hand between the index finger and thumb. This microchip can replace plastic cards, various passes, and all kinds of keys that we are used to carrying on us.

The device attracts people for the following characteristics:

  • minute size (similar to a grain of rice);

  • lack of GPS, meaning it’s impossible to track a person’s location;

  • its cost, including the implantation procedure, is $180, while some large companies provide the procedure to their employees for free;

  • the chip works only at a distance of a few centimeters from the reader or terminal, so it will be extremely troublesome for attackers to steal the information;

  • it only stores information and can’t read anything.

From Revelation 13:

And he shall make all, both little and great, rich and poor, freemen and bondmen, to have a character in their right hand, or on their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, but he that hath the character, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast. For it is the number of a man: and the number of him is six hundred sixty-six.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. John Grammaticus says:

    to be fair lots of people started talking about the mark when bar codes were introduced

  2. Ah, it brings back memories of reading everything Hal Lindsey ever wrote, back when I was in high school. I’ve even seen preachers on TV read “666” into the Visa brand name, with “VI” being the first six, and I forget the rest.

    This book has always been a challenge for the Church, such that it almost didn’t make it into the canon of Scripture. I always understood that the Catholic view of the Book of Revelation described events at the time of its writing, not of the future. But it’s never been that simple. Indeed, the Orthodox churches (including those in communion with Rome) do not use this book in their official worship. It is never read in the Divine Liturgy, nor any of the Hours.

    My advice on this sort of thing is always “cum grano salis.”

  3. Cafea Fruor says:

    Oh, they’ll be voluntary all right, only until such time as they are so popular that those who don’t want them can’t function easily in society without them and end up giving in just to avoid the hassle of not having one–kind of like having the internet, where people technically can live without it, but since almost everyone around them has it, it’s hard not to have access to it.

  4. Imrahil says:

    Reverend Father,

    I do know that it is sort-of “pious folklore” that the “sign of the Beast” as mentioned in Revelation will be an electronic chip; still I’d be rather interested in the actual reasonings that lead to such a conclusion, if existing.

  5. JustaSinner says:

    AWESOME! Now when I DON’T get it, I will TOTALLY BE OFF GRID!

  6. Sol says:

    “Oh, they’ll be voluntary all right, only until such time as they are so popular that those who don’t want them can’t function easily in society without them and end up giving in just to avoid the hassle of not having on”

    Right on the button! Think – credit cards and online banking. Try asking your employer to pay you in cash and see what happens…

    As for the chips: One day, they will tell us it’s for our “safety”, and all the sheep will go along with it: “What, you don’t wanna be safe?”

  7. DavidJ says:

    While I have serious reservations about this and a lot of biometric security technology (because it’s often insecure, and things can go really wrong. I mean, what happens if someone hacks your retinal scan? It’s not like you can just get another retina), I find that the automatic leap to this being the mark of the beast that a lot of people tend to make is quite reactionary. I mean, heck, I think you could more easily make a connection to social security numbers then chips, at least chips by themselves.

  8. Greg Hlatky says:

    We microchip our dogs, but I’m not the government’s bitch.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    “The only chip I want in my hand is a poker chip.”

    That was Tracer Bullet earlier today, when he joined the Gumby clan to demolish the last of the deep-fried cakes and pies and discuss the latest goings-on in Sweden.

    p.s. I learned today never to refer to brunch as “brunch” in Tracer’s presence. “That is the road to Perdition Semper, at the end of which lies soybean soda, kale burgers, and a subscription to the Fishwrap.”

  10. jaykay says:

    “That was Tracer Bullet earlier today when he joined the Gumby clan…”

    A photographic record was commissioned for the occasion (Tracer remaining modestly out of the pic)


    (Apologies to non-Python heads).

    Seriously, could criminals just cut the thing out of peoples’ hands and use them? Just wonderin’…

  11. Unwilling says:

    I really don’t think we need to worry about people down the road being bullied/cornered into giving consent. Insertion of these devices will soon be routine neo-natal care.

  12. Ellen says:

    I’ve locked myself out of the house, car and office. I’ve had my wallet stolen and gone through the tedious process of replacing cards. I’ve forgotten so many passwords. This seems like something I could live with. But then I realize that Amazon and Google already know so much about me…..at least I am a boring person.

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    jaykay: Then there was the alarums and excursions from the kid’s table when Peak Sugar was reached and the Patriarchy-Matriarchy ended dessert: “Help! I’m being repressed! See the discipline inherent in the System!”

  14. SKAY says:

    jaykay said:

    “Seriously, could criminals just cut the thing out of peoples’ hands and use them? Just wonderin’…”
    The answer may come from Sweden soon enough.

  15. RichR says:

    As with any new idea, I always imagine what the world will be like when this is widespread and then later exploited by ill-intentioned people.

  16. jaykay says:

    Semper G:

    On second thoughts, let us not go to the Gumby clan. It is a silly place.

    Apologies again to non-Python heads.

    But it seems to me that this thing isn’t really all that much more safe than cards etc. I was once forced to withdraw money from a cash-point in a relatively secluded location (where it shouldn’t have been, and really, I shouldn’t have been either – regrettably I wasn’t entirely sober at the time). It wasn’t much, as I didn’t have much, but 25 years on I still remember. What’s the difference with a chip in such circumstances? I don’t see it as being much of an advance in security terms, whatever about the convenience. And, for me, the creepy factor is just a step too much.

  17. jltuttle says:

    Implanting security credential devices in you is really stupid. What a thief wants is now inside you and you can never leave it behind. Want access? Cut off the hand and take it with you.

  18. Ben Kenobi says:

    For now it doesn’t have GPS and for now it isn’t mandatory. But we are not far off from the following scenario. One, every child will have their DNA taken and birth and microchipped. Huxley is pretty much a prophet on this stuff. What could a government that already despises the great unwashed do with a device that broadcasts and is implanted into everyone with unique signatures? Location tracking is an enormous boon.

    For this reason I’ve been reluctant to carry a cellphone. I also do all my banking offline, by talking with a teller. The state has never respected my ‘privacy’.

  19. Semper Gumby says:

    jaykay: You might be right about their silliness after all. The Monty Python gumbies seem to combine an air of sophistication with rashness.

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