PermaLink Taking your privacy back from RFID02/21/2006 05:42 PM

From our friends at BoingBoing, here's a handy way to kill any RFID chips that might be hidden in goods you have in your home.
A post over at Ed Brill's place prompted me to look around for anyone doing a homebrew RFID-killer.  Sure enough, just a couple of weeks ago, the folks at BoingBoing posted this article on how to turn a cheap disposable camera into a powerful RFID-zapper.  They even explain how to save the film inside for use in a real camera if you like.  Be sure to follow the link at the bottom of the article, which leads you to this post from the proceedings of the 22nd Chaos Communications Congress with the technical details and how-to.

Sure, "the bad guys" could use this information to disable RFID and maybe steal stuff, but to me, the real threat is the WalMarts and GAPs of the world who'd like it just fine if they could track your jeans (hey, Ed) everywhere you go.  Never let your guard down about this stuff, folks:  you have a right to privacy, but only if you take steps to protect it.

By the way, if you're too lazy to rip up a seven-dollar disposable camera or are worried you'll burn yourself on the soldering iron, you will eventually be able to buy a commercial device that detects and kills RFIDs.  However, this particular site looks like vaporware, since it's been up for a couple of years and still has nothing you can buy down at Radio Shack.  The German privacy group (site is in German) is apparently planning to make a commercial version of the CCC design.

I mentioned to Ed that if he puts his jeans in the microwave for six seconds, the RFID will pop like a little technological maggot.  And despite the worry-wartism at CCC, six seconds in a typical microwave oven isn't enough to set anything on fire.  The emitter doesn't even energize for three of those six seconds!  And three seconds isn't enough to set your pants on fire.

By the way, I use that knowledge to spare people the agony of AOL.  I've been known to stop into the local Target, pick up a couple of "free" AOL CDs, take them home, set the microwave on four seconds, and in that one second when the CD is hit by 1000 watts of microwave goodness, the surface turns to a beautiful craquelin finish like the finest porcelains, and the shrinkwrap is not spoiled.  I then take them back to the Target, stick them back in the pile randomly and grab two new ones off the top.
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1. Tim Latta02/23/2006 03:04:25 PM

DANG IT, TURTLE! Now I know why I can't get AOL installed....

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