TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Wired News: American Passports to Get Chipped

Re: Wired News: American Passports to Get Chipped

Marcus Didius Falco (
Mon, 15 Nov 2004 23:53:38 -0500

Steve Sobol <> said in Re: Wired News: American
Passports to Get Chipped on Mon, 15 Nov 2004 13:50:59 -0800:

> Marcus Didius Falco wrote:

>> "The reason we are doing this is that it simply makes passports more
>> secure," Shannon said. "It's yet another layer beyond the security
>> features we currently use to ensure the bearer is the person who was
>> issued the passport originally."

> Moron. Let's store personal information digitally, and not encrypt it!
> That'll make it MORE secure!

>> While there are no laws in the United States prohibiting anyone from
>> snooping on someone's passport data, Roy Want, an RFID expert who
>> works as a principal engineer for Intel Research, thinks that the
>> possibility of identity theft is overblown.

>> "It is actually quite hard to read RFID at a distance," said Want.

> Sure it is. Didn't a couple major retail chains have trouble with
> people reading RFID tags this past year?

> Why should we believe someone who works for Intel, a company that could
> potentially profit big from a large deployment of RFID?

I guess if we're concerned, the thing to do will be to make the chip
unreadable. I guess putting the passport in the microwave should burn
out the chip. I'm sure there will be a lot of such instructions on the
internet in a couple of months. :-)

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