The RFID Ultimatum
The RFID Ultimatum
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  • 승인 2007.10.11 16:37
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Seoul, South Korea -- 2030. A journalist named Shifu found a letter in his mailbox in his front yard. The off-line mailbox was not a familiar sight to people any more, except for those who fondly remember the late 20th century. Catching his breath after jogging, Shifu picked up the letter and ran into the house. He put it on the RFID reader on the wall. The reader said that the letter came from Suwon. The name of the person who sent it was Meci.

He was surprised to read it because of the drop of blood that was found on the face of the letter by his latest toy -- a chemical scanner attachment on the RFID reader. He sensed that Meci sent the letter to him at his last minute of life. It read: "Find Cill and tell her to find RFSS, a confidential project that only the National Security Committee knows about." In the year 2030, the NSC was Big Brother, watching every move people make in public and private.

Shifu, thinking quickly, realized that the RFID-equipped letter could be found by NSC agents and looked outside through the uncurtained part of the window. He noticed three men in plain clothes approaching, and watched them loading the guns in their hands. He put the letter in his bag and rushed out of the back door of the house to the small park one mile away. The NSC officers kicked in the door, pointing their guns, only to find a quiet room. The empty envelope exhaled.

Shifu got to the park. He remembered something, took off the watch from his wrist and turned it off. He knew that an RFID chip was implanted in the watch and he could be traced. The government received huge amounts of information from the mandatory watches people wore through a combination of RFID and USN technologies. In the early 21st century, RFID chips contained all information about the place and the time agricultural or manufactured products were created. The price, the names of wholesalers and retailers, and the logistic particulars of the products were also recorded. The buyers Yes, of course. And what was a citizen to the government but just another product

RFID technology was in its early stage in the year 2007. The cost was so high that EMart, Wal-Mart and other retailers could not afford it, even though they were well aware that the RFID system would lower the management cost and normalize logistics. They had to pay one hundred cents per RFID chip, and tag one RFID chip onto every product. The price was too high. They wanted the price to be cut down to five cents or less.

And also at that time in history Ubiquitous Sensor Networks were not ready, which meant everything could not yet be sensed by a computerized system any place and any time. USN is connected with every RFID chip tagged to products. The whole glut of information flows into the main center of USN that the NSC controls. In the first decade of this century, RFID and USN were underutilized by Big Brother because the technology was not developed enough.

Entering the second decade of the century, however, RFID and USN were highly praised as the master key to open future business. At that time, business circles had to lower costs. They had to replace the process that men formerly did with RFID and USN. Logistics was systematized by RFID and USN.

Among the governments around the world, the South Korean government had the strongest determination to connect the whole country with RFID and USN technologies. South Korea at that time, was cited as the most competitive and the only country where the future of digital technology was visible. The government had to show something to its people who could not stop enjoying new trends of digital services. Some foreign critics refered to the tendency of the Korean people as the worship of the Digital. Political parties that had not promised policies on digital technology got very few votes. All in all, from the political and economic interest, RFID and USN were the priorities of the South Korean government.

In the early 2020s, Koreans enjoyed RFID and USN. They did not have to carry cash in their wallets or pockets. The only thing they needed was a wristwatch in which an RFID chip was implanted. In the chip, the user's name and bank account were imbedded. RFID tags were also attached to the ears of cows to keep track of the full process of raising the cow and the flow of products from the cow. Snacks and ice cream makers put every bit of information on their tags. Vegetables had also RFID tags on the wrap. Mineral water had its own tag too. When customers bought any kind of product they could be sensed by the nearest USN and added automatically and digitally to the vast array of statistics. The money would be withdrawn from a customer's account.

Shifu witnessed the whole trend of RFID and USN becoming increasingly more sophisticated than those of the 2020s as he walked and drove to Cill's house in Suwon, a mecca of Korean digital technology where the gigantic Samsung group was born. How did Shifu find Cill's house On his way, he broke into a hospital and tested the blood type of the stain on the letter. It was easy for him because he had served in the army as a medic during his conscription.

The victim's blood type was B. He searched for the name Cill and blood type B in his car. His car was highly computerized and connected wirelessly with the Ministry of Information and Communication where people could search names and addresses. By 2030 Korea became the first country where every car had a 4G system connection. In the 4G system people in moving vehicles could connect with 4G services wirelessly, with faster upload and download speeds than primitive WiBro services developed in Korea in the early 21st century.

Shifu surfed the site and found five Mecis. Fortunately, however, two Mecis were living in Kwangwon-do and one Meci had died in a car accident two days ago. Now he had only two Mecis to check. He found Cill was a friend of Meci's. NSC noticed that Shifu logged onto the site and identified him driving down the highway to Suwon. The satellite moved along the highway to Suwon and finally identified the car Shifu drove, which was identified as Medo's, a prostitute living in Kangnam, Seoul. Shifu had paid her three hundred thousand Won. She didn't mind, the car wasn't hers anyway.

Kim Sa, NSC Head, ordered his faithful dog of an agent to kill Shifu. Choppers, sedans and police mopeds chased him with the help of the satellite. They closed to within 100 meters of Shifu. Without noticing the chase, Shifu remembered the letter. "Find Cill and tell him to find RFSS." He tried to guess what RFSS meant. He car phoned his colleague Jim and said: "Do me a favor.

You know what RFSS is I think I have heard this once. Give me a call." He hung up the phone before Jim could ask him what was going on.

Suddenly, Shifu noticed the police chasing him and trying to narrow the distance. He was jammed in on both sides, but drove as fast as he could. He paved his way sometimes by honking at other cars, sometimes by pushing cars out of the way by force. Shifu escaped from the highway into Suwon. The car phone rang and he picked up. It was Jim. Jim said, "RFSS could be NSC's top secret project, related to RFID something." He added that one of the NSC committee members was found dead in Seoul this morning. "What is going on, Shifu" The dialog was tapped by the chasers. NSC authorized the pursuers to kill Shifu for national security. They opened fire but in vain, killing several pedestrians. The street turned into chaos. Shifu dove out of the car and hid himself in the crowd. Snipers on the roofs tried to hit him but could not find a shot. He disappeared into a traditional market. He turned on his watch and walked close to the USN systems installed here and there in the market.

NSC caught the signal from Shifu's watch and notified all chasers. "Team B, he is yours, within 20 meters." Shifu found a woman walking her dog and put the watch on the dog tag. Then he turned left.

Shifu had found Cill's file on his home computer. It contained details of a horrifying project from the NSC -- plans to implant an RFID chip in the backbone of every newly-born baby. The reasoning was that the ideas of the Ubiquitous World can only be fulfilled by attaching RFID chips to human beings permanently.

By doing so, a utopian digital society could be created. In a society that will be controlled by RFID and USN, the document said, citizens can be freed from every detail of life. The advanced RFID chips connected with the nervous system in the body can prevent people from committing crimes because the chip senses the urges of crimes prior to its execution. The head of the NSC shot himself in the head after hearing that Shifu had transferred the project file to his newspaper.

The plan was abandoned then. At least for a while.


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