RFID Passports

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Clyde, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    I learned about his program last summer and took the opportunity this winter to get my passport and my children's passports. Mine is good for 10 years and unless they force me to hand it in for a new one, I don't plan on doing so. The chip is not yet out, so if you don't have a passport, you need to go get one.

    You can elimnate the signature of the RFID chip by wrapping the passport in....aluminum foil.

  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I got mine last year and just last Friday took the Wife & kids for thiers

    I wonder where this will go. I know that Pass are required for Mexico and Canada now too.
  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    ...and just think, if it goes over well there then it can be put in the national IDs. Can you say Mr. Id, meet Mr microwave...
  4. TLynn

    TLynn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    They're getting ready to put some type of chip in our ID's at work. We'll have to have them to even log on to our computers. It's a federal government thing. Some of the people at work already have the swipe cards because they work in nuclear med or the pharmacy or the police area but they'll be doing it for all of us (except we won't have to use it to get into our offices).

    Means I won't be able to leave my ID badge at work anymore.
  5. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    :lol: i did that to my new drivers lic ............just in case.... :eek:
  6. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I'm in the D.R. on a job and one of my diver's wife just had a cerebral anurism. Henk is from Capetown, S.A. and I had him on a Air France flight last night to Paris then on to S.A. but his flight reservations got screwed up and all I could get him today was to Miami through to London and then to South Africa. He's in the air now and I just got a call from my office saying that he better have a U.S, visa or he can't connect through and will be detained. This is really getting on my nerves.
  7. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Henk made it home ok last night but that doesn't negate the difficulties of free travel being restricted by a bunch of petty officials trying to justify and increase their hold on America.
    BTW...his wife has a pretty good prognisis for substantial recovery with only some slight loss of motor skills. If you say em' pray em'.
    Thanks for your concern.
  8. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I am glad to hear it. It's good to have you here SC. Thanks again for the vacation info, I will keep it in mind for next summer.
  9. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Here's some Bad news

    Since the terrorist attacks of 2001, the Bush administration--specifically, the Department of Homeland Security--has wanted the world to agree on a standard for machine-readable passports. Countries whose citizens currently do not have visa requirements to enter the United States will have to issue passports that conform to the standard or risk losing their nonvisa status.

    These future passports, currently being tested, will include an embedded computer chip. This chip will allow the passport to contain much more information than a simple machine-readable character font, and will allow passport officials to quickly and easily read that information. That is a reasonable requirement and a good idea for bringing passport technology into the 21st century.

    But the Bush administration is advocating radio frequency identification (RFID) chips for both U.S. and foreign passports, and that's a very bad thing.

    These chips are like smart cards, but they can be read from a distance. A receiving device can "talk" to the chip remotely, without any need for physical contact, and get whatever information is on it. Passport officials envision being able to download the information on the chip simply by bringing it within a few centimeters of an electronic reader.

    Unfortunately, RFID chips can be read by any reader, not just the ones at passport control. The upshot of this is that travelers carrying around RFID passports are broadcasting their identity.

    Think about what that means for a minute. It means that passport holders are continuously broadcasting their name, nationality, age, address and whatever else is on the RFID chip. It means that anyone with a reader can learn that information, without the passport holder's knowledge or consent. It means that pickpockets, kidnappers and terrorists can easily--and surreptitiously--pick Americans or nationals of other participating countries out of a crowd.

    It is a clear threat to both privacy and personal safety, and quite simply, that is why it is bad idea. Proponents of the system claim that the chips can be read only from within a distance of a few centimeters, so there is no potential for abuse. This is a spectacularly naïve claim. All wireless protocols can work at much longer ranges than specified. In tests, RFID chips have been read by receivers 20 meters away. Improvements in technology are inevitable.

    Security is always a trade-off. If the benefits of RFID outweighed the risks, then maybe it would be worth it. Certainly, there isn't a significant benefit when people present their passport to a customs official. If that customs official is going to take the passport and bring it near a reader, why can't he go those extra few centimeters that a contact chip--one the reader must actually touch--would require?

    The Bush administration is deliberately choosing a less secure technology without justification. If there were a good offsetting reason to choose that technology over a contact chip, then the choice might make sense.

    Unfortunately, there is only one possible reason: The administration wants surreptitious access themselves. It wants to be able to identify people in crowds. It wants to surreptitiously pick out the Americans, and pick out the foreigners. It wants to do the very thing that it insists, despite demonstrations to the contrary, can't be done.

    Normally I am very careful before I ascribe such sinister motives to a government agency. Incompetence is the norm, and malevolence is much rarer. But this seems like a clear case of the Bush administration putting its own interests above the security and privacy of its citizens, and then lying about it.
    International Herald Tribune.
  10. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Here's some Good News

    Yet another data-point on just how malleable, still-under-construction a technology RFID is:

    Feds Rethinking RFID Passport

    Following criticism from computer security professionals and civil libertarians about the privacy risks posed by new RFID passports the government plans to begin issuing, a State Department official said his office is reconsidering a privacy solution it rejected earlier that would help protect passport holders' data.

    The solution would require an RFID reader to provide a key or password before it could read data embedded on an RFID passport's chip. It would also encrypt data as it's transmitted from the chip to a reader so that no one could read the data if they intercepted it in transit.

    Frank Moss, deputy assistant secretary for passport services, told Wired News on Monday that the government was "taking a very serious look" at the privacy solution in light of the 2,400-plus comments the department received about the e-passport rule and concerns expressed last week in Seattle by participants at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference. Moss said recent work on the passports conducted with the National Institute of Standards and Technology had also led him to rethink the issue.

    At the Commerce Department conference I attended earlier this month, I heard a couple speakers express concern that while RFID tags were secure enough for supply chain applications, the versions being put into credit cards, and proposed for passports, were way too insecure. It strikes me that if these criticisms aren't either dealt with or disproven, the technology's reputation, and its deployment in other less sensitive contexts, could suffer. Fortunately, in this case, things seem to be moving in the right direction.
  11. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    how very nice of them to be concerned about our privacy. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to think only our government can be tracking our every move.
  12. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I think it would be easier to just have a terrorist tracking device. We could put the chip into every smell goat in the U.S., sooner or later we would get every terrorist here when the stinky goats came into estrous (for those of you in suburbia, that means heat.)
  13. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Hey now! I have goats and I dont want the chips here iether. lol
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