Follow-Up to RFIDs in Your Passports: Administration Just Says “No” to Privacy Protection Measures
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So many of you responded to the post about the U.S. government mandating the embedding of RFIDs in U.S. passports in 2005, that I felt that I should provide you with this update.

According to the Washington Post today, the Bush administration has responded to the privacy concerns of privacy advocates by saying, essentially, “hell no, we’re not going to do anything to lock these puppies down”.


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), reviewing relevant documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, has learned that the planned passports’ RFIDs can be read electronically from as far away as 30 feet.

By anybody.

In addition to concerns about identity theft, the ACLU is concerned that it will make it even easier for terrorists to target Americans traveling abroad.

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According to the Post, the administration opposes adding security measures to the new passports because, as Frank Moss, deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services said, “encrypting the data might make it more difficult for other countries to read the passports.”

Boo hoo hoo. Cry Aunty a river. The whole point of this is to keep Americans safe, and to help secure our borders, is it not?

Here’s a clue. It’s pretty darned hard for the United States to read the RFIDs in the passports of other countries they don’t exist. Yes, Aunty knows that this is just a first step towards requiring it in the passports of other countries in order for their citizens to gain entry to the United States, but hey, don’t sacrifice our safety on the alter of..uh…keeping us safe. Ok?

 

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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