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used in allusion to the belief that wearing a hat made from tinfoil will protect one against government surveillance or mind control by extraterrestrial beings:
you don’t need to be wearing a tinfoil hat to understand that your privacy might not be as private as you would think
[as modifier] :
the tinfoil hat brigade1
“It has long been suspected that the government has been using satellites to read and control the minds of certain citizens,” writes the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at MIT.
The use of aluminum helmets has been a common guerrilla tactic against the government’s invasive tactics. Surprisingly, these helmets can in fact help the government spy on citizens by amplifying certain key frequency ranges reserved for government use. In addition, none of the three helmets we analyzed provided significant attenuation to most frequency bands.2
“Intrepid researchers at MIT have released results of their study which threatens to shatter the serenity that is paranoid schizophrenia,” writes the Bostonist in “Hey Crazy – Get a New Hat”. “Those who thought they had a one-up on the Man suddenly find that the foil hats used in the MIT study (which, by the way, were your run of the mill Reynolds-type variety) actually increased the GHz waves assigned to GPS tracking signals” 3
“For all [double layered tinfoil] helmets, we noticed a 30 db amplification at 2.6 Ghz and a 20 db amplification at 1.2 Ghz, regardless of the position of the antenna on the cranium,” notes the MIT researchers. “In addition, all helmets exhibited a marked 20 db attenuation at around 1.5 Ghz, with no significant attenuation beyond 10 db anywhere else.”
The helmets amplify frequency bands that coincide with those allocated to the [United States] government between 1.2 Ghz and 1.4 Ghz. According to the [Federal Communications Commission (FCC)], These bands are supposedly reserved for “radio location” (ie, [global positioning system (GPS)], and other communications with satellites.… The 2.6 Ghz band coincides with mobile phone technology. Though not affiliated by government, these bands are at the hands of multinational corporations.
It requires no stretch of the imagination to conclude that the current helmet craze is likely to have been propagated by the Government, possibly with the involvement of the FCC. We hope this report will encourage the paranoid community to develop improved helmet designs to avoid falling prey to these shortcomings.4
1 tinfoil hat, Oxford Dictionaries, at http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_us1443608 (retrieved: 10 April 2011).
2 Ali Rahimi1, Ben Recht, Jason Taylor, and Noah Vawter, “On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study,” 17 February 2005, at http://berkeley.intel-research.net/arahimi/helmet/ (retrieved: 9 April 2011).
3 “Hey Crazy–Get a New Hat,” 15 November 2005, bostonist, at http://bostonist.com/2005/11/15/hey_crazyget_a_new_hat.php (retrieved: 9 April 2011).
4 Ibidem, “Aluminum Foil Helmets.”
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