'Canadian' Spy Coins
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  1. #1
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    Default 'Canadian' Spy Coins

    WASHINGTON — Money talks, but can it also follow your movements?

    In a U.S. government warning high on the creepiness scale, the Defense Department cautioned its American contractors over what it described as a new espionage threat: Canadian coins with tiny radio frequency transmitters hidden inside.



    The government said the mysterious coins were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.

    Intelligence and technology experts said such transmitters, if they exist, could be used to surreptitiously track the movements of people carrying the spy coins.

    The U.S. report doesn't suggest who might be tracking American defense contractors or why. It also doesn't describe how the Pentagon discovered the ruse, how the transmitters might function or even which Canadian currency contained them.

    Further details were secret, according to the U.S. Defense Security Service, which issued the warning to the Pentagon's classified contractors. The government insists the incidents happened, and the risk was genuine.

    "What's in the report is true," said Martha Deutscher, a spokeswoman for the security service. "This is indeed a sanitized version, which leaves a lot of questions."

    Top suspects, according to outside experts: China, Russia or even France — all said to actively run espionage operations inside Canada with enough sophistication to produce such technology.

    The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said it knew nothing about the coins.

    "This issue has just come to our attention," CSIS spokeswoman Barbara Campion said. "At this point, we don't know of any basis for these claims."

    She said Canada's intelligence service works closely with its U.S. counterparts and will seek more information if necessary.

    Experts were astonished about the disclosure and the novel tracking technique, but they rejected suggestions Canada's government might be spying on American contractors. The intelligence services of the two countries are extraordinarily close and routinely share sensitive secrets.

    "It would seem unthinkable," said David Harris, former chief of strategic planning for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. "I wouldn't expect to see any offensive operation against the Americans."

    Harris said likely candidates include foreign spies who targeted Americans abroad or businesses engaged in corporate espionage.

    "There are certainly a lot of mysterious aspects to this," Harris said.

    Experts said such tiny transmitters would almost certainly have limited range to communicate with sensors no more than a few feet away, such as ones hidden inside a doorway. The metal in the coins also could interfere with any signals emitted.

    "I'm not aware of any [transmitter] that would fit inside a coin and broadcast for kilometers," said Katherine Albrecht, an activist who believes such technology — known as radio-frequency identification, and in common usage as "no-swipe" credit cards and gas-station key fobs — carries serious privacy risks. "Whoever did this obviously has access to some pretty advanced technology."

    Experts said hiding tracking technology inside coins is fraught with risks because the spy's target might inadvertently give away the coin or spend it buying coffee or a newspaper. They agreed, however, that a coin with a hidden tracking device might not arouse suspicion if it were discovered in a pocket or briefcase.

    "It wouldn't seem to be the best place to put something like that; you'd want to put it in something that wouldn't be left behind or spent," said Jeff Richelson, a researcher and author of books about the CIA and its gadgets. "It doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense."

    Canada's largest coins include its $2 "Toonie," which is more than 1 inch across and thick enough to hide a tiny transmitter. The CIA has acknowledged its own spies have used hollow, U.S. silver-dollar coins to hide messages and film.

    The government's 29-page report was filled with other espionage warnings. It described unrelated hacker attacks, eavesdropping with miniature pen recorders and the case of a female foreign spy who seduced her American boyfriend to steal his computer passwords.

    In another case, a film processing company called the FBI after it developed pictures for a contractor that contained classified images of U.S. satellites and their blueprints. The photo was taken from an adjoining office window.


    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
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    Here we go. We do NOT have a secret agenda or conspiracy against the U.S.
    Please don't invade us.

    I will admit that we are being taken advantage of by other countries using us as an entry point to the U.S. We have a HUGE country by land mass and one TENTH of your population. They have lots of places to hide if they get in. We must get a tighter grip on immigration laws and be more stringent on just who we let in here. We simply don't have the capitol to have a country wide guarded border. I hate to think that someday we'll have armed military at the border. I could go on and on but I won't.
    Last edited by sinner's swing; 01.11.07 at 10:13 AM.

  3. #3
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    We are watching......





  4. #4
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    That is a pretty clever idea, but it is creepy.

    Nice pic, Muff!
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  5. #5
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    What is the exchange rate on spy coins? Does anyone know?

  6. #6
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    Someone at work showed me that article today.

  7. #7
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    You guys have one buck coins? Why have coins when there are one buck notes?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterlessIceness View Post
    You guys have one buck coins? Why have coins when there are one buck notes?!
    the Gov. thought it was cheaper in the long run as the notes wore out too easily.

  9. #9
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    The Canadians should put condoms in them.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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    "let's put a microphone in our money to see what these Americans are talking aboot, eh'?"
    Eat Us and Smile!

  11. #11
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by You Really Got Fleas View Post
    What is the exchange rate on spy coins? Does anyone know?
    As of today 0.85 US$, so it'll work 85% of the time. So, no worries US!
    Homer: No one snuggles with Max Power. Just strap on and feel the Gs!

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    Bart: Me, er… I’m Ahmed Adudi
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    Jack: … Really?
    Chloe (ironically): No Jack it’s a joke name, you’re being set up.
    Jack: DAMMIT!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterlessIceness View Post
    You guys have one buck coins? Why have coins when there are one buck notes?!
    Same down here. ones and twos are coins. there are no one or 2 dollar notes here, changed about err.. 15-20 years ago now. its good when you get used to it.
    A little zen....... Headed your way.......

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    American money is all the same colour too.....Hate that, well, when I'm drinkin anyways....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    The Canadians should put condoms in them.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

    www.geocaching.com - The site where you are the search engine.

  15. #15
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    U.S.: Whoops! Official report of Canada spy coins not true

    WASHINGTON The Defense Department says it has no idea how a phony warning about Canadian coins with spy transmitters got into an espionage report it released.

    An internal review is under way.

    Intelligence and technology experts had been stunned by the report suggesting transmitters small enough to be hidden in coins could be used to track people. They say a device that small would have limited range, and that the metal in the coins would interfere with any signals transmitted.

    The Defense Department revealed the error in a statement published on its Web site.


    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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