Busted! Mythbusters Not Allowed to Talk About RFID Chips

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rfidIn what has become a controversial story as time goes on, due to the increasing research into RFID technology, it still remains a little unclear as to exactly why Mythbusters was not able to do a show discussing RFID technology. As Adam Savage, co-host of Mythbusters, stated himself  “We were going to do RFID and on several levels, you know, how hackable, how reliable, how trackable, etc.” But this idea was met with resistance as the show’s producers began looking into the technology and speaking with companies involved in RFID use and production. Adam stated at ‘The Last Hope Conference’ that Texas Instruments and the chief legal advisor of almost all major credit card companies was completely opposed to allowing Mythbusters and Discovery do the show. As you will see in the video below, Adam feels rather taken aback out by the strength of the alleged decision from TI and others involved.

Where the story gets even more interesting is when Adam decided to retract the statements he initially gave at ‘The Last Hope Conference.’ He stated “There’s been a lot of talk about this RFID thing, and I have to admit that I got some of my facts wrong, as I wasn’t on that story, and as I said on the video, I wasn’t actually in on the call.” He continues, “Texas Instruments’ account of their call with Grant and our producer is factually correct. If I went into the detail of exactly why this story didn’t get filmed, it’s so bizarre and convoluted that no one would believe me, but suffice to say…the decision not to continue on with the RFID story was made by our production company, Beyond Productions, and had nothing to do with Discovery, or their ad sales department.”

This is not an attempt to create conspiracy where unneeded, but this truly is an interesting story as it is very easy to see why he might be forced to retract his statements. He put Discovery at risk due to his statements and arguably slandered Texas Instruments as well as the legal council for many major credit card companies. At the end of the day, we have to be our own judge on the matter as it is doubtful any of these companies will come clean, if in fact that is possible. In my opinion, I would not be surprised in the least bit if Adam shared the factual story to begin with and then was forced to change his story. This certainly would not be the first time people have been silenced by major corporations after statements of truth were made. But, you be the judge.

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CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. moss

    Take an old credit card ,use a gas lighter and apply heat to the underside of the card under the chip for a few seconds then lift the chip off the card , if you did not apply to much heat you can study it ,they dont look different to a sim card !

    Keep your cards abd phone in a Faraday cage purse /pouch at least they cant track you from A to B,
    Use an old pre internet phone they can tracked but they have to use 3 relay towers to do it and then its only in a given area , your smart phone nails you down to appx 5 ft !

  2. moss

    your phones,credit cards are no different from the RF tags on items in a store walk by a scanner and it reads the codes, got a new vehicle ? is it fitted with the C.A.N emission system ? any one know why it transmits its signals appx 50ft ? have you seen the technology in the digital road sign system ? ,your phone has pac,mac,and imi numbers that track that device to you ,and now so does the vehicle !

  3. If your referring to me, yes mind often works faster than keyboard and dislexica doesn’t help. But I try.

  4. Jeremy Chavez

    “aback out”
    needs to be changed to “aback about”

  5. Roger

    IMO… I saw a story on power generated by WiFi signals. What if an RFID circuit could be activated as a locator? Any individual with an RFID on their person could be located if they’re within range of any WiFi. Just something to tease your brains. ;)

    • The reality is Roger that its not that hard to do when you think of it, just team readers with GPS co-ordinates and should be easy. So for example when someone (tag) passes the reader (which can either have its hard co-ordinates programmed into it, then just relay tag information with GPS & human description of location (ie. Best Buys, santa monica, hifi isle 3 with transfer of data.

  6. Why not just get active RFID protection like http://www.armourcard.com.au/ just google them or go to website, actually is the 1st active protection that jams the RFID signal not block or shield it (ie that can still be penetrated)

    • Renande Alteon

      Wow why go through all that, I just wait till the Twenty First Century I.D. Card make it out there… life will be better for the 1’s that’s looking for Protection, cause all this is getting crazy….. ( inventHelp file # BMA 4087 ) will help all this.

      • Well now that would be a virtual smorgasbord for an iD thief, the mag strip is getting phased out so unless this users RFID or NFC technology (which opens up another whole world of security issues) then I’m not sure how good this will. Think google wallets…? and the failing of it. We are wanting to research the coin, so when they are live we will do a few test on security / vulnerabilities.

      • Bob C.

        LoL … right. You can’t even write grammatically-correct English, you idiot.

      • Douchebag.

  7. Zach

    Thanks Joe, ‘preciate your journalism.

  8. foobar snafu

    Uh, isn’t this a video clip from 2008? Just saying…

  9. Winter

    Why is this news? Obviously the credit card companies don’t want people getting ideas to hack credit cards.

  10. A well-crafted article might have mentioned what “slanderous” statements Mythbusters previously made about RFID, for those people just hearing about the controversy for the first time.

    • Its mentioned in the video

    • Max

      Slander means the statements were untrue. If the statements made were entirely true, then there is no slander. Stop accusing them of making slanderous statements as you obviously aren’t qualified to judge.

  11. Sus

    It’s not slander if it’s true. If Adam shared the factual story, as you believe, then there’s no reason for him to retract it. It sounds to me like he made assumptions based on whatever he was told.

    • Max

      Well said. Everyone is making assumptions. And they’re wrong. If it’s true, it’s statement of fact, not slander.

  12. A serious suggestion: why not see if anyone at the BBC in the UK is interested in picking this idea up. Clearly the US networks are worried by nervy advertisers pulling money – not something that’s an issue with the BBC, of course.

    My only other problem is if you Faraday cage your RFID devices, it does sort of remove the entire reason to remove them, doesn’t it? ;) (but yes, metal cases will help a fair bit given the tiny power usages involved)

    • Sorry, “use them” not “remove them”

  13. Peter

    A security specialist showed how he could put an RFID reader in a plain binder and just wave it near a man’s wallet or a woman’s purse on the street and record the information on the RFID chips within. I have an “enhanced” driver’s license that allows me to cross borders without a passport (not legal with airlines though) and it has an RFID chip in it. It came with a sleeve that I keep it in to block the reading. I got more of the sleeves from our Secretary of State office and keep all my credit cards in them.

    • Harry

      That’s a great idea! Trust the SecState to do it.

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