Wireless spy coin was just a Canadian poppy coin

A while back I posted an article about a wireless eavesdropping coin that the U.S. Defense Department had issued a warning about after a defense contractor became alarmed after discovering oen in the cup holder of his rental car. It turns out the coin is commemorative Canadian coin with a red poppy emblem attached to it. Twenty million were minted in 2004.

The harmless "poppy coin" was so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. Army contractors traveling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them. The worried contractors described the coins as "anomalous" and "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology," according to once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails obtained by the AP.


The confidential accounts led to a sensational warning from the Defense Security Service, an agency of the Defense Department, that mysterious coins with radio frequency transmitters were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.

Of course, it's more fun to file confidential espionage accounts and conduct a bunch of expensive labs tests that than it is to call up the Canadian mint and ask them about the coin.

It's a good thing no one went to Boston with a bag of these coins, because the mayor would have ordered them to be blow'd up.

Link (Thanks, Lisa!)

Previously on Boing Boing:

Boston police blow up traffic counter chained to lightpost

Boston's war on Lite Brites