Is that a Loonie in Your Pocket or is Someone Else Glad to See Me?

Canadian coins bugged, U.S. security agency says: They say money talks, and a new report suggests Canadian currency is indeed chatting, at least electronically, on behalf of shadowy spies.

Canadian coins containing tiny transmitters have mysteriously turned up in the pockets of at least three American contractors who visited Canada, says a branch of the U.S. Department of Defence. …

“On at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006, cleared defence contractors’ employees travelling through Canada have discovered radio frequency transmitters embedded in Canadian coins placed on their persons,” the report says. …

Bugging a coin with an RFID is a weird way to track people since they are likely to spend the coins.

Could this be a mad scientist economist doing a study on the velocity of money? Where’s George on Canadian steroids?

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3 Responses to Is that a Loonie in Your Pocket or is Someone Else Glad to See Me?

  1. aidan says:

    It is bizarre. CBC did an in-depth report on this and some of the coins were “wired” in order to track US defence contractors’ movements in Canada. It’s likely the coins were placed on the person of the contractors at foreign- hosted seminars and conventions. The RFID or tracking tag used is not unlike the type of simple device used in stores to help retailers track inventory.

    The CBC article makes the good point that this activity can also be dangerous. If the tracking regimen involves any hostile intent and the coin is transferred to another party, that innocent could be one getting whacked.

    Hang on … I have to quit … there’s a strange high pitch buzzing sound coming from my pocket …

  2. BroD says:

    Naw, come on! This is a plot device from a Bond-spoof movie, right?

  3. Jean Camp says:

    Why are RFIDs in coins a Danger To The Free World, but RFIDs in passports are Making Us Safe From Terra?

    I know there is some proposal for thicker covers for the passports, but I am fairly certain that any coin also has a lining or cover.

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