[Politech] RFID industry tries to debunk "exploding $20 bill" myth [priv]

Declan McCullagh declan@well.com
Thu Mar 18 03:01:13 CST 2004


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: The Myth of the Amazing Exploding $20 Bill
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 12:09:59 -0500
From: AIM Inc. <mb@aimglobal.org>


NEWS UPDATE


Date:                                                   16 March 2004

For more information, contact:             Dan Mullen

                                                              President

                                                              AIM North
America








The Myth of the Amazing Exploding $20 Bill


Do $20 bills explode when placed in a microwave oven?  Do they contain
hidden radio frequency identification (RFID) tags?  Can the government
track you through your cash?

One website recently published an "expose" about the supposed presence
of an RFID chip placed behind Andrew Jackson's right eye on the new $20
bill.  This site claims that microwaving bills will cause the RFID tag
to explode and burn the bill, thus exposing the "hidden" tag.
Microwaving an RFID tag will cause it to create some spectacular sparks
and will cause it to "pop."

As a result, some people have begun wrapping their cash in aluminum foil
to "foil" reading of the RFID tag.

In fact, placing a $20 bill in a microwave oven does not cause it to
explode, burn or affect it in any way.

In order to determine whether or not there was a security feature in the
$20 bill that would cause this phenomenon, AIM North America tested a
new $20 bill in a microwave oven.

After 1 minute on high, the bill was barely warm.

Next, an RFID tag of the type used by commercial laundries was placed
adjacent to Andrew Jackson's portrait on a new $20 bill and again placed
in the microwave oven.  After only 2 seconds, the antenna and chip on
the RFID tag began to "fry."  After 20 seconds, the destruction of the
RFID tag did set the bill on fire.  The area around Andrew Jackson's
right eye, where the "covert" tag is supposed to be hidden, was entirely
unaffected.

The attached scans are of the $20 bill that was tested.  The burned area
to the right of the portrait is what remains of the laundry tag.

Due to the power of the Internet, the source of the rumor
(http://www.prisonplanet.com/022904rfidtagsexplode.html) has been quoted
internationally (at least one article based on this was published in
Flemish on a Belgian web site).

Even a casual examination of a $20 bill will reveal that there is no
hidden tag.  Holding the bill up to a bright light would expose any RFID
chip or antenna.

For reliable information on RFID, please visit www.rfid.org.



AIM's mission is to stimulate the understanding, adoption and use of
technology by providing timely, unbiased and commercial-free news and
information.  For information about upcoming educational events, visit
the AIM calendar at http://www.aimglobal.org/calendar/.



###

About AIM

AIM Inc. is the global trade association and recognized worldwide
authority on automatic identification, data collection and networking in
a mobile environment. AIM members are providers and users of
technologies, systems and services that capture, manage and integrate
accurate data into larger information management systems. As a
not-for-profit industry organization, AIM's mission is to stimulate the
understanding, adoption and use of technology by providing timely,
unbiased and commercial-free news and information.


	



More information about the Politech mailing list