So I happened across this article and was prepared to post it with a comment on how barbarous this Saudi proposal appeared:
A Saudi inventor’s proposal to insert semiconductors subcutaneously in visitors and remotely kill them if they misbehave will not be patented in Germany.
On Wednesday, a German Patent Office spokeswoman said the application was received on October 30, 2007 and published 18 months later, as required by law, in a patents database. But inventions that are unethical or a danger to the public are not recognized.
Reporters said the document proposed that tiny semiconductors be implanted or placed by injection under the skin of people so their whereabouts could be tracked by global-positioning satellites. This could be used to prevent immigrants overstaying.
A model B of the system would contain a poison such as cyanide, which could be released by remote control to “eliminate” people if they became a security risk. The document said this could be used against terrorists or criminals.
However, a colleague working in this area wasn’t buying the story, and had this to say in retort:
a) Saudi Arabia hardly patents anything;
b) to make such a chip that cannot be readily removed would be a real challenge (see: James Bond in Casino Royale);
c) to have enough power to deliver a lethal dose of anything in such a device would be a real challenge; and
d) to have an antenna that could pick up a signal remotely seem highly unlikely.
Of course, such tracking chips exist in pets, but you have to get REAL close to detect them.
But that’s just the common sense test. I did a patent search, and there it is no sign of such a device. Note that EU and WO Patents get a published review, and if a Patent has a review it will have an A1 or A3 at the end.
As this is an Iranian news site making the Saudis out to look like barbarians, maybe that’s what’s behind the story…?