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Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

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  • Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

    I hate being right

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/2008/01/rh...to_track_s.php

    On the news they said that it couldn't be hacked. On your way to Shmoocon or way back I think Renderman needs to stop in RI. Better yet anyone want to donate the Book RFID Security to the school district.

    ****article snip*****
    Brown also raised concerns that unauthorized people, perhaps using RFID readers that are easily bought online, could exploit information contained on the tags.

    Ed Collins, the district's facilities manager, said that would not be possible. Collins and Rapp said the RFID tag would only contain an ID number, not a name, address or other personal information. Only the school administration would be able to match the ID number with the child, Rapp said.
    ****article snip*****


    Someone needs to give Ed a reality check. No flame intended but isn't facilitates manger another name for head maintenance man. His contact info is available on the web for anyone who can search. Not advocating anything bad just to be clear, perhaps e-mail him a few security papers on RFID so he can make a better decision. I love the way he puts the lives of children in the hands of some startup company.

    xor

    It's for the children, and of course any tech savvy child molester. The usual statements are being made, the ends justify the means, the benefits out weigh the risks. Ahh, nothing like paving the road to #$%^ and back.

    Of course the ACLU is already up in arms about it.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080108/...cking_students

    I guess this is a replacement for parents actually having to talk to their kids.
    Last edited by xor; January 19, 2008, 20:37.
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

  • #2
    Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

    I'm no doubt behind on this but I still found this to be very cool.

    http://hackedgadgets.com/2006/10/08/rfid-zapper/

    xor
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

      Is there interest in a talk at Defcon about the bullshit flying around about RFID, on both sides of the debate?

      I will have a response to this article soon, but I want to find out if it's worth developing the talk.

      EDIT:

      After looking at the article and the, as usual, vague explanations, I can see where the controversy comes in.

      My complete guess at the ssytem is that the RFID tags on the bags are scanned at the bus door (entry/exit) and somewhere within the school, presumably the classroom door. The GPS angle presumably is attached to the bus and not the student, however you can correlate the students entry and lack of exit to where the bus is during the trip.

      The paranoia one finds on both sides of the RFID debate is astounding and makes my skin crawl. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one for wholesale tracking of the populous, but I'm not one to dismiss the technology entirely for other (sane) uses. When you get extremists on either side, they muddy the debate so those in the middle have no fucking clue what the truth is.

      In this case, it's the implicit assumptions about the technology that keep anyone, be they administrator or teacher, parent or student, from effectivly weighing the usefulness of such a system.

      In this case, the idea seems to be one of CYA security. As in, cover your ass.

      Parents are increasingly worried about their kids safety. They cry to the schools to take better care of their precious little snowflakes but never specify how.

      If something happens, Administration gets grilled as to 'why they did'nt do more'. Rather than react to stop the problem itself, they react to cover their ass's because it's cheaper, faster and easier. They reach for technology alot of the time and the theory that it can solve all.

      Here, the idea is likely to verify that the students actually got on the bus (transfer of accountability from parent to school board) and to verify they show up at school (audit trail if you will). The GPS placates the parents that they can know where thier child is. Even if it's dead at the bottom of a ditch because the school board spent money on the GPS system instead of a brake job on the bus.

      I'm sure there will be calls that say it will make attendance easier and will leave more time for instruction, however, what teacher does role call anymore and doesn't just eyeball who's there or not? There will also be calls that it makes things safer by tracking the drug dealers in the schools. I won't delve into that, but I will say that the RFID tag is on the backpack, not the student.

      Dan Kaminsky relayed an interesting anecdote at the SECTOR conference that fits this nicely.

      California legislature was getting testimony about RFID uses while debating some policy law. A school board member testifies, effectivly, that "technology is bad!", that Ipods, cell phones, the internet are all making kids dumb and ruining schools forever and all technology should be banned n schools.

      He then in the same breath goes on to testify that school security is expensive and if there was some way to keep track of all the students and where they go so they can catch the drug dealers and protect the kids from (insert boogy man of the day here).

      I'd like to see this system be implemented. I really would.

      Well, wouldn't you?

      Wouldn't you love to see the look on the school boards face when they realize that students are clever little shits and figure out that aluminum foil around the tag will block it? Or that a few seconds in the microwave will blow the chip? Or when they figure out that to effectively ditch class, they just have to give the tag to a friend and have them walk it into class for them? Or that they can clone the cards of friends/enemies and screw up the system completely.

      I'd love to see Billy get on the bus 3 times but never get off. I'd love to see the administration deal with that audit log :)

      In short, something like this is very short sighted and meant to placate parents demands to 'do something'. It will fail spectacularly and will be repeated at schools around the world because there is still money to be made in failure. Notice that even if it fails, the vendor still gets paid?
      Last edited by renderman; January 20, 2008, 03:19.
      Never drink anything larger than your head!





      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

        Originally posted by xor View Post
        I hate being right

        http://www.onenewsnow.com/2008/01/rh...to_track_s.php

        On the news they said that it couldn't be hacked. On your way to Shmoocon or way back I think Renderman needs to stop in RI. Better yet anyone want to donate the Book RFID Security to the school district.
        Why do I always get singled out as the guy to wield the cluebat?

        I might have a spare freebie copy around if you can find someone will to actually read it. What would be better is to find some kid in one of the schools who's their technological shit-disturber like many of us are/used to be and I'll send it to them :)
        Never drink anything larger than your head!





        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

          What's funny is that they are tracking the school bags not the kids. Can you imagine the panic that will happen if Johnny/Jennie leaves his/her bag on the bus. The poor bus driver will be driving down the road to meet a SWAT team in the ready guns drawn.

          xor

          This is much better done with cell phone tracking not to mention parent child communication.. I agree that the buses should be GPS tracked that is a good idea.

          Because you da man, Render :-)

          What kind of message does that send to the kid, my parents think I'm inventory.

          Blatant brown nosing aside, yes :-) I would attend your talk. Even a QA would be cool like Bruce S did.
          Last edited by xor; January 20, 2008, 10:34.
          Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

            I was reading in Star Bucks(take with grain of sand) that we spend a month out of every year of our lives looking for things we misplaced. If the tags were smaller and RFID was cheaper that would be a cool use for it. For me especially. I'm like Obama when it comes to paper. Paper repels itself from my body. Give me a business card I will lose it walking out of the office. Either beam, e-mail or write the info on my hand(used my me more than you think) that's the only way I'm going to keep it.

            I had a Minority Report moment today at the supermarket when I paid for stuff with my debit card and the sales clerk addressed me by name(mispronounced it as everyone does, except in Italy) even though I never gave him the card. It now prints on the receipt. I have a silent G in my last name that everyone over here includes. I don't know why it's there if it's silent, maybe Cotman can answer that. So what is the purpose of silent letters anyway? :-)

            xor
            Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

              Originally posted by xor View Post
              I have a silent G in my last name that everyone over here includes. I don't know why it's there if it's silent, maybe Cotman can answer that. So what is the purpose of silent letters anyway? :-)
              Historical linguistics will tell you that it represents sounds in a language that used to be pronounced (or in some cases, still are, but only in certain dialects). Early English alphabets included a letter called Thorn (Hi, Thorn), which looked a great deal like a capital "Y", and represented the sound "th" as in the word "the" (and caused any number of moronic pretenders in the 1800s to misrepresent the article "the" as "Ye" when wanting to be clever and quaint).

              Which language is it that you believe the name came from (or geographic region)?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

                Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                Historical linguistics will tell you that it represents sounds in a language that used to be pronounced (or in some cases, still are, but only in certain dialects). Early English alphabets included a letter called Thorn (Hi, Thorn), which looked a great deal like a capital "Y", and represented the sound "th" as in the word "the" (and caused any number of moronic pretenders in the 1800s to misrepresent the article "the" as "Ye" when wanting to be clever and quaint).

                Which language is it that you believe the name came from (or geographic region)?
                Hi, shrdlu!

                Interesting. Did the English "Thorn" descend from the Greek "Theta"?

                For those that don't know, the Theta is an oblong "O" with a horizontal bar, and when seen as a single letter represented the word thanatos (death), was therefore considered a "warning of death." Most often seen in a modern US context in the "Ecology Flag".
                Thorn
                "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

                  All just another technology to escape (shirk of you like) the responsibilities of "real parenting" and a "school's responsibility." Parents and school officials are just to busy to keep track of the children? Perhaps all future parents and school teachers be mandated to care for a pet dog for 2 years before bringing forth children and launching teaching careers where children become other people's problems?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

                    Originally posted by Greyhatter View Post
                    All just another technology to escape (shirk of you like) the responsibilities of "real parenting" and a "school's responsibility." Parents and school officials are just to busy to keep track of the children? Perhaps all future parents and school teachers be mandated to care for a pet dog for 2 years before bringing forth children and launching teaching careers where children become other people's problems?
                    That's kind of cruel to the dogs.
                    Thorn
                    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Rhode Island school to track students with RFID tags

                      Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                      Hi, shrdlu!

                      Interesting. Did the English "Thorn" descend from the Greek "Theta"?
                      Doubtful. Interesting eytemology, just the same.

                      http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A2922077
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9E

                      Remember that anglo-saxons were a seperate culture from the greeks and romans until Caesar came their way (unless you want to consider the vast floods of proto-info-european waves across the European continent, but that predates Greece as well).

                      Comment

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