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Wireless Contraception 302

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-connect-to-you-local-contraeptive-hotspot dept.
Kittenman writes: The BBC is carrying information on a type of contraception (funded in part by Bill Gates) that takes the form of a microchip, inserted under the skin. The chip releases contraceptive hormones to the body until wirelessly advised not to do so. This device has several interesting applications and issues associated with it. The researchers are already working on making the device secure against unauthorized transmissions. There's also the issue of making it easier for governments to control population levels. The chip will be available from 2018. This correspondent will watch the issues with interest.
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Wireless Contraception

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  • Do you want to become pregnant because someone hacked your hormone implant?

    I do not see this ending well.

    • by Russ1642 (1087959)

      There's currently no technology used in medicine because of the constant fear of it 'being hacked'.

    • by Shados (741919)

      From what I gather, this thing is only as wireless as a QI charger is wireless. You basically need to touch it with the "remote" for it to work. If you're point blank range and know exactly where the chip is, you could have done a lot more than just hack the chip...

  • What "they" need to develop is a chip that releases "sperm poison".

  • Good lord (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @03:23PM (#47409421)

    First the Nest thermostat is said to be enough to make the Stasi blush, then insurance companies are compared to the Panopticon and now a birth control device is supposedly a government plot to control population levels?

    This is supposed to be news for nerds. Not news for delusional paranoiacs.

    • This is supposed to be news for nerds. Not news for delusional paranoiacs.

      Is there a difference?

      • Re:Good lord (Score:4, Interesting)

        by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @05:08PM (#47410357) Homepage Journal

        There used to be. I remember when nerds where hopeful and did things. now they just whine into there specialty beer.

        • Well, you have to admit, we have every right to.

          Technology used to be what sets us free, what allows us to go where nobody went before, to soar and climb to new heights, to liberate ourselves and our dreams.

          Today, technology is just a tool for oppression and control, to monitor and to invade our privacy. What we loved has turned into what we hate.

          Isn't that enough to make someone cry?

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      This is supposed to be news for nerds. Not news for delusional paranoiacs.

      It's increasingly hard to tell the difference.

      What would have been dismissed as fodder for paranoid people a decade or so ago, is pretty much common place these days.

      Sadly, even the paranoids are all going "holy crap, have you seen this?"

      Sometimes, reality is stranger than fiction (or delusion).

    • This is supposed to be news for nerds. Not news for delusional paranoiacs.

      It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

    • by s.petry (762400)

      I wonder if your post history would show you as one of the people claiming that the NSA spying on everyone in the US was just paranoia, or that PRISM and Parallel construction were just delusion.

      When these things were found to be true, many of those on that bandwagon changed sides.

      An international coalition of governments, companies, philanthropies, and nonprofits recently committed to providing family planning to 120 million more women in the world by 2020.

      Of course those Governments, companies, and philanthropists know best how you should plan a family. Considering how the top .01% of the population (which includes those Philanthropists) control the majority of the wealth, they on

      • by AdamHaun (43173)

        An international coalition of governments, companies, philanthropies, and nonprofits recently committed to providing family planning to 120 million more women in the world by 2020.

        Of course those Governments, companies, and philanthropists know best how you should plan a family. Considering how the top .01% of the population (which includes those Philanthropists) control the majority of the wealth, they only have societies best interests in mind right?

        "Family planning" is a euphemism for sex education and contraceptive access. Large parts of the world do not provide any sex ed to women at all, even basic stuff like giving them a heads-up before blood starts coming out of their vaginas. Even in the developed world there are many teenagers and young adults whose parents either don't know enough to help, don't want to help, or provide false information when it comes to sex. Family planning services give women the information and tools they need to make thei

    • The question today ain't so much whether you're paranoid, it's more whether you're paranoid enough.

      I mean, think about it. Ponder that you told someone in 1999 that all our email traffic is monitored by the government, that they log and examine every bit you do on the internet, that they use your cell phone to track your every move and that they basically log, store, monitor and evaluate every kind of communication you do, be it via phone or internet, and that they track what you read, who you talk to, what

  • I have read the same news from another source, and was discussing it with my coworkers. I can see at least four downsides:
    1 - We still have to transpose a barrier on implanted chips. People don't like this idea.
    2 - It can and will be interfered with, and make women pregnant when they don't want to. Even they trying to make the chip hard to interfere with, everybody working with tech knows that is not always possible. And a small chip on the hands of thousands of people will be a valuable target.
    3 - It ca
    • by Russ1642 (1087959)

      EMP pulse? What dystopian Matrix-like world do you live in? All of the electronics I have are just fine near microwaves, cell phones, car ignitions, etc. In fact all of those devices CONTAIN computer chips that seem to work fine right where they are.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        EMP pulse? What dystopian Matrix-like world do you live in?

        How about an EMP pulse caused by an earth-directed X45-Class solar flare, such as the one that occured in Solar Cycle 23; November 2003, The Carrington event during the Solar Storm of August 1859, the Carrington Class-CME which narrowly missed earth in April of 2014, and numerous similar ones, which have (luckily) not pointed anywhere near earth?

      • EMP pulse? What dystopian Matrix-like world do you live in?

        No, it's not paranoia. It would be accidental, not some nasty action from any government. EMP can arise from some special situations.

        Several years (decades) ago, a design error on a computer power source created an EMP [atarimagazines.com] every time you turned it on. If you left any storage media around, it would corrupt data.

        Where I live, there are some devices used to demagnetize smart tags on supermarkets, they create a small EMP too, and could cause problems to the chip.

  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @03:24PM (#47409435) Homepage Journal

    I mean, aside from trying to make Aldous Huxley's fantasy a reality, what's the friggin' point?

    • by will_die (586523)
      Because as the summary says it allows governments to control it. As opposed to other methods it would hard to remove without surgery and the government could control the passwords.
    • by tomhath (637240)
      Because it isn't permanent sterilization, but it has essentially the same effect. Oral contraception or barrier devices don't work in many parts of the world.
      • Oral contraception or barrier devices don't work in many parts of the world.

        But an electronic device dependent on wireless data signals will? Seems dubious.

    • I mean, aside from trying to make Aldous Huxley's fantasy a reality, what's the friggin' point?

      Citizen, next time you will refer to propoganda material as the blueprint not a fantasy!

  • I replied, "We could change it now. Robots are doing all the work. Human beings -- all human beings -- could now be on perpetual vacation. That's what bugs me. If society had been designed for it somehow, we could all be on vacation instead of on welfare. Everyone on the planet could be living in luxury. Instead, they are planning to kill us off. Did you hear that women were trying to drink the water out of the river? Some people think they're putting contraceptives in the water."

    From Manna [marshallbrain.com].

  • Straight from Hugh Howey's Silo series!

  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @03:41PM (#47409627)

    If only getting pregnant always required long, conscientious, deliberate effort, and avoiding pregnancy were the easy result of one night's drunken whim.

    But that's now how it is, and this proposal won't make it so.

  • As far back as I can remember there has always been fear or concern about a guy who wants to knock up a girl poking holes in the condom, or a girl who wants to get pregnant poking holes in the condom. Now with this chip you have a form of birth control that poking holes is as simple as finding the frequency it's on to turn it off. Now instead of worry that your partner screwing with you now you have to worry about a third party. Neighbor that doesn't believe in birth control builds a device to turn yours of
    • by Russ1642 (1087959)

      You can worry all you want about this stuff. You can also worry about alien abduction. It still doesn't make it likely, or even possible.

  • by Tokolosh (1256448) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @03:50PM (#47409689)

    I think it would be great to have a phone app that tells me whether the women I have just me in a bar has an operational chip implanted. Then I would not have to trust her saying "I'm safe" or that the condom will malfunction.

    • Well, if avoiding pregnancy is all you're concerned about, it sounds like there's an easy solution: you get the chip.

      • by Tokolosh (1256448)

        But my boys can swim!

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        Believe me, I would really like to see a reliable and reversible form of male contraception that didn't require a barrier. Granted, barriers are needed for STD prevention, but once past that point in the relationship (i.e. once we've been able to get tested) it would be really great to be able to just turn off (viable) sperm production entirely... without getting a probably-not-reversible surgical procedure, that is.

        Unfortunately, for whatever reason (I am not any form of biologist or doctor), this seems to

  • It seems like if there's one issue that rich people all over the world are throughly obsessed with, it's population control. It's all wrapped up with the future being dominated by visions of eco-doom (e.g Global Warming/Overpopulation/Peak Oil). Nobody can see a different future. It's pathetic.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      Population control is far better than the other alternatives (War, Famine, or Disease).
  • "Then we have secure encryption. That prevents someone from trying to interpret or intervene between the communications."

    The NSA will want a backdoor.

  • I hope Bill Gates is planning to include Kinect technology in a diaphragm.

    I'm not going to read TFA, but in my mind, that's totally what's going to happen. I'm boggled by the possibilities.

  • This chip can be very useful for people who have to take in stuff regularly, like diabetes patients, for medical reasons. No insulin syringe into the leg needed, a simple app on the watch of a diabetes patient is enough. If it has direct access to blood, which I doubt, the chip can even perhaps detect too high blood sugar and automatically react, replacing the function of a pancreas.

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      This chip dispenses ludicrously tiny amounts of hormones. You might be able to use it for people who take certain other kinds of medicine regularly - my father is on thyroid pills for the rest of his life, for example, and those might be deliverable by such an implant - but the sheer volume requirements of insulin make it completely impractical for such a use. A single insulin reservoir (for a pump) is bigger than this entire chip, and is only good for a matter of days. Unless the chip could somehow manufac

  • hey, guys...over here...yeah...**waves arms wildly**

    **they have made a microchip that can release hormones and be controlled wirelessly from outside the body**

    should it be used for contraception?

    hmm interesting question...quick look over there! points away from the fact that we have **wireless hormone-releasing microchips** /joke

    endorphins, dopamine, testosterone, adrenaline...

    all of these and any other hormone is in play with this technology

    so...should it be used for **mind control**?

  • sure they could have baked some security in, but that line item got cut in the budget. They'll just glue some encryption on later, it's easy to do.

  • Already? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Snodgrass (446409) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @06:10PM (#47410765) Homepage

    The researchers are already working on making the device secure against unauthorized transmissions.

    You're going to trust your body chemistry (moods, behaviors, etc) to a company that considers security as an afterthought?

    Good luck.

  • ...great, totally ineffective unless you have wireless intercourse as well.

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