Radio Chips in Passports = Big Red Targets
Would it bother you if the government put a mini radio chip in your passport that could be used to track you?
This weeks ACLU newsletter discussed the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips. These chips will broadcast passport information to anyone or any location equipped with RFID Readers. Basically the passports will have a chip in them that can not be tracked but will also divulge the carriers identification and personal information. Here is a quote from the article:
“It is shocking that the American government fought against basic security and privacy protections such as encryption for these wide-open passports,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “The U.S.-backed standard means that all the information on American passports can be read by anyone with an RFID reader, whether they are an identity thief, a terrorist trying to spot the Americans in a room or a government agent looking to vacuum up the identities of everyone at a political rally, gun show or mosque.” Click here for the complete article!
This is just the tip of the iceberg with these things. The number of sinister terrorist options to utilize such a devise is staggering. Imaging, instead of landmines with pressure triggers they can be equipped with RFID activated triggers and set to detonate based on a set of specs such as country of origin, skin color, eye color, or hair color. If they want to kidnap an American they won’t have any trouble finding one as all they will need is an RFID reader. Now they would even be able to target based on sex or age to find easier targets to abduct.
The article mentioned they will not even have basic privacy protections such as encryption but this in not as significant as one might expect. Even with an encrypted system the data wouldn’t be secure enough to block someone who was determined to detect it. I guess the government just says, “Why Bother?”.
But won’t these systems help track and identify the bad guys? Not likely again. Since the data can be read without handling the passport, an identity chip should be able to be detected and the information duplicated so that they could take the identity of anyone they pass by. What if they did that with credit cards? They could be read by people walking down the street then later a fake card could be created with the data.
These are just the easy to imagine and accomplish scenarios. Different governments will have access to the database system itself. If undesirables can gain access to these systems things could be significantly worse.
What do you think now?