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IP: Microchip implants to foil VIP kidnaps

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Source: Electronic Telegraph, Issue 1229,  6 October 1998

Microchip implants to foil VIP kidnaps
By Bruce Johnston in Rome

ITALIAN dignitaries who fear being kidnapped are having
microprocessor homing devices planted in their bodies so police can
track them down if they are abducted.

The microchips - called Sky-Eyes - were originally developed for
intelligence use by Israeli researchers. Rome's La Repubblica
newspaper described the latest development as a "biological
adaptation" of the Global Positioning System, which is already in use
to protect luxury cars from being stolen.

Sky-Eyes are sold by a company called Gen-Etics, which has
patented the device for private use but which is cautious about
supplying further details, in order to protect its clients.

Sky-Eyes are said to be made of "synthetic and organic fibre". They
reportedly run on such a small amount of energy that this can be
"borrowed" from the human body. The chip is supposed to be
invisible to both the naked eye and to X-rays. A person who carries it
is supplied with an eight-digit code by the company. He, or she, is
advised to divulge this only to next of kin or a trusted legal

In case of the person's disappearance, those in possession of the
code are supposed to contact the company's control centre, so that
the kidnapped victim's whereabouts may be pinpointed, and the
police informed. The Sky-Eye is said to have a margin of error of just
150 yards. Kidnapping is still common in Italy.

One recent victim, Giuseppe Soffiantini, an elderly northern
industrialist, was wary when asked if he would buy one. At the
weekend he said: "As they also know about the discovery, the
kidnappers will find a counter system to use against it. They are

During his long captivity, his kidnappers cut off pieces of his ears and
sent them to his family. Mr Soffiantini, was released earlier this year
after a 2 million ransom was paid. He said: "But if the microchip
worked, then of course I'd get one.

 Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 1998.

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Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: [email protected]>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'