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RFID-Reading Passport Scanners Installed 151

Posted by kdawson
from the papers-please dept.
Kozar_The_Malignant writes, "Electronic passport scanners have been installed at SFO. Ten of the scanners were received last week and have now been put in service. Various creative responses have been discussed here before."
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RFID-Reading Passport Scanners Installed

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  • Faraday Cage Suit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by corroncho (1003609) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @11:07AM (#16230953)
    I knew that farady cage suit would come in handy some day!!!
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  • TravelTags (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EssTiDee (784920) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @11:25AM (#16231285)
    This really isn't all that horribly different from the TollTags, EasyPasses, and basically every other scannable devices that identifies the device-holder. Your passport is the property of the government -- has been, and will continue to be. If they want to make it easier to check / scan / whatever, so be it. While I worry about the security of their online database, it's not really any less secure than it has been in the past. I say there's no real change taking place here, except maybe if not too many of the people in front of me in line have lined their passport holder with tin foil, rig their chips with some hate-message, and/or any other potentially disturbing thing, perhaps the line might move a little faster and I'll make my connecting flight once in awhile...
  • by MrAtoz (58719) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @12:01PM (#16232045)

    For what it's worth, Bruce Schneier [schneier.com] is recommending that everyone renew their passports now so that you can avoid having a chipped one for another 10 years:

    The security mechanisms on your passport chip have to last the lifetime of your passport. It is as ridiculous to think that passport security will remain secure for that long as it would be to think that you won't see another security update for Microsoft Windows in that time. Improvements in antenna technology will certainly increase the distance at which they can be read and might even allow unauthorized readers to penetrate the shielding.

    As he says, "You don't want to be a guinea pig on this one."

    He also says you can disable the chip by running the passport through the microwave, but "although the United States has said that a nonworking chip will not invalidate a passport, it is unclear if one with a deliberately damaged chip will be honored." My guess is that it would result in a long and painful trip to the customs interrogation area.

  • by MisterBlue (98835) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @01:34PM (#16233885) Homepage
    Most of the the comments in this forum are uninformed...

    The passport case already has protection so the RFID cannot be read when the passport is closed. No need for tin-foil cases. (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2006/70433.htm)

    The contents of the RFID is your identifying information signed by a government key. The encryption has already been broken, but until the signing keys are compromised, new contents cannot be put into the RFID (refer to the many docuements on hashing and signing technologies).

    There has been a lot of complaining about the RFID and after all the hearings, things were done to make the implementation better. My complaint is why they chose RFID -- if you have to open the passport, wouldn't an optical reader do just as well?
  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday September 28, 2006 @01:37PM (#16233967)

    The reader at the airport is limited. The reader being surreptitiously carried by the American-tourist-targeting mugger/kidnapper/whatever in whatever foreign country you're going to won't be.

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