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The Mark Of The Beast Is Here

“He cause all both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:16,17).

The world is being prepared to receive the antichrist and his seal. Let us be sober and watchful in prayer (1Pe. 4:7). I want to thank Irene Akouris of Chicago, USA for sending this article which appeared in the Chicago Tribune and written by Jon Van. –Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj

A tiny chip implanted inside the human body to send and receive radio messages, long a popular delusion among paranoids, is likely to be marketed as a consumer item early in the next century.

Several technologies already available or under development will enable electronics firms to make implantable ID locators, say futurists, and our yearning for convenience and security makes them almost irresistible to marketers. “This is currently very hot,” said Edward Cornish president of the World Future Society, based in Bethesda, Md. “The field is developing because the technology is becoming available to do it.”

Inevitably, implantable radio locators conjure up visions of Big Brother and unscrupulous scientists abusing such technology to control the masses. But the researchers laying the foundations for this technology see their work as helping humankind, not subverting privacy. They seek to aid people using wireless phones to summon emergency help, to track soldiers who become lost on maneuvers and to enable people to get along without carrying cash by automatically crediting an account.

Animal advocates already urge pet owners to have tiny identification chips implanted in their dogs and cats so if they are lost, shelters can identify them through a national computerized database. The notion of using implantable chips to control humans isn’t entirely absent, even in these early stages of the technology’s development. Cornish noted that authorities have experimented for years with fitting convicts with electronic monitors to allow them to leave jails for limited reasons, such as work release.

Several systems already are in place with the potential to locate people using radio signals. The most obvious, called GPS, for global positioning satellites, was launched by the military years ago and has become available for civilian applications. It uses satellites to map a person’s position with great precision. Some automobiles come equipped with GPS gadgets that can give drivers their location, and boaters use similar technology. Researchers want to combine such locators with equipment that monitors a person’s health.

Engineers in Salt Lake City have designed a device intended to determine, whether someone wearing it is becoming too cold or too hot, a sign of exposure. “We want to highlight people who need attention early, when there is still time to get to them with help” said Peter Kind, a senior vice president at Sarcos Research Corp., which has developed a prototype GPS-based device that will be ready for field tests this year.

Sarcos’ initial target is the military. The body monitors and locators could transmit information about soldiers to a central location to reduce the risks while troops are on maneuvers. Civilian markers might include ill people who usually would be restricted to nursing environments, Kind said. “This could help save costs, letting people who only need observation be released earlier from the hospital without risking their health,” he said. Right now, the prototype equipment is worn on a belt, but the goal is to miniaturize it into a chip. The monitors could be worn in the area of the ear canal or elsewhere in or on the body.

Another means to track people relies upon the existing network of cellular-phone transmitters. The cellular industry and emergency-response officials have proposed standards to the Federal Communications Commission that would enable police, fire and ambulance dispatchers to find people who dial 911 from wireless phones.

At present, nearly one-quarter of the 911 emergency calls made in the U.S come from wireless phones, and half the time the callers don’t know their location, posing a major problem for emergency personnel. Developing computer systems to track locations of so many calls is a daunting task, but it is consistent with the phone industry’s goal of one day assigning phone numbers to human beings, rather than to equipment. Once the phone network becomes sophisticated enough to do this, it will smooth the way for widespread monitoring of people’s whereabouts.

Companies already market pagers for children so parents can keep it touch when youngsters are away from home. Adding the ability to pinpoint location at any time is natural extension; keeping track of the child through a chip implanted under the skin may be another. “People accept that increased communications makes life more convenient at the same time that it means there’s no hiding place anymore,” said Bernard Beck, a Northwestern University sociologist. “If I have a universal ID implanted, I can cash a check anywhere in the world. There’s no worry about credit cards being stolen. These are attractive matters.”

Implanting tracers in criminals could reduce incarceration because it would allow them to be tracked at all times. And, he added, people wearing locators would be deterred from committing crimes because of the likelihood they would be caught. But the potential loss of privacy is a huge issue. Everyone likes to drop off the screen for an hour or so now and then.

“I don’t know that we’ve wrapped our mind around being accountable minute-by-minute. The legal implications of who owns this information are major,” said Dan Polsby, a Northwestern University law professor. “It’s one thing to have my hospital monitoring my heartbeat for fibrillation, but it’s an entirely different matter to have the government monitoring my whereabouts.”

Although potential problems are huge, locator ID chips may be inevitable, said Cornish of the World Future Society. Just as many people now allow supermarket chains to keep computerized records of their individual purchases in return for price discounts, many will embrace the chips for the security and convenience they offer, Cornish said.

“We all want to walk down the street feeling safe,” he said. “This technology offers that promise along with the dilemma of lost privacy.” Cornish believers, at least initially, that such chips would be voluntary. But he acknowledges that “things that are voluntary today have a way of becoming compulsory tomorrow.”

“I was in London recently on a day when everyone on the street was wearing a red poppy. I felt conspicuous without one. I wanted one. As these chips are introduced, people will begin to assume you are locatable. It will become an issue if you aren’t,” he said.

Cornish said he sees a similar attitude already regarding e-mail addresses and pagers. “If you tell people you don’t have an e-mail address, they ask, “How can we contact you?” Some employers now require staff to wear pagers, to be locatable. Someday, they may require chips.”

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