Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Germany To Roll Out ID Cards With Embedded RFID

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the meine-Brieftasche-ist-radioaktiv dept.

Privacy 235

An anonymous reader writes "The production of RFID chips, an integral element of the new generation of German identity cards, has started after the government gave a 10-year contract to the chipmaker NXP in the Netherlands. Citizens will receive the mandatory new ID cards starting from the first of November. The new card allows German authorities to identify people with speed and accuracy, the government said. These authorities include the police, customs and tax authorities and of course the local registration and passport granting authorities. There are some concerns that the use of RFID chips will pose a security or privacy risk, however. Early versions of the electronic passports, using RFID chips with a protocol called 'basic access control' (BAC), were successfully hacked by university researchers and security experts."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

EU passports (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330382)

New EU passports have RFID already. This is just a replacement for the barcode, right? The ID shouldn't have any information on it. If the implementers were smart ...

identity cards, not passports (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330392)

The passports already have RFID. This is about the identity cards. (which is only a card, compared to the passports that are too big to carry them around with you all the time).

Re:identity cards, not passports (2, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330622)

The full-sized US passport fits in my back pocket without any problem, my wallet sits comfortably in front of it.

Too big, what? It's just over 3"x5" in size.

Re:identity cards, not passports (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330812)

But what kind of idiot keeps his wallet in back pocket?

Re:identity cards, not passports (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33331182)

The kind who haven't seen Oliver Twist.

Re:identity cards, not passports (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330870)

Yes, but you have to remember that Americans have a lot fatter asses than they have in Europe.

Re:identity cards, not passports (4, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33331016)

Yes, but you have to remember that Americans have a lot fatter asses than they have in Europe.

I wouldn't be so quick to jump on that bandwagon. Although this is an older site, I can't imagine things have changed drastically in 5 years. The page was also updated in Dec of 2009:

http://www.malehealth.co.uk/weight/18962-now-were-fatter-americans [malehealth.co.uk]

Two out of three US men — 67% - are overweight or obese. Finland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Malta have now all exceeded this figure. England and Wales are not far behind.

The EU is so worried about it that it has launched its own campaign against obesity. 'The time when obesity was thought to be a problem on the other side of the Atlantic has gone by,' said Mars Di Bartolomeo, Luxembourg's Minister of Health.

The tubby top ten:

Greece (78.6% of blokes are overweight or obese)
Germany (75.4%)
Czech Republic (73.2%)
Cyprus (72.6%)
Slovakia (69%)
Malta (68%)
Finland (67.8%)
Slovenia (66.5%)
Ireland (66.4%)
England and Wales (65.4%).

Frankly, I don't think urban sprawl has anything to do with obesity in a significant way. I think it has to do with fat/calorie content of restaurant food (especially so in the US), and the fact that 'eating out', which used to be the odd occurrence here, has become more the norm for a high percentage of homes. Way too much fast food, or even regular restaurants that don't have healthy menu's. We also spend far more time isolated in our homes, on the internet, and watching TV.

On a side note, I eat out a couple of times a week but I adapt my intake to compensate for shitty food that I might eat on occasion. I also spend 6-10 hours a week in the gym doing heavy lifting and I bicycle for 8-16 miles on the weekends. I live in the the deep south where obesity is even higher than the 'norm' for the U.S.

I sometimes feel like a stranger in my own land given the looks I get in public at times.

Re:identity cards, not passports (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33331026)

The old German identity cards are 105 x 74 mm,
the new ones will be 85.6 x 53.98 mm.

i.e. 4.12 x 2.93 inch old and 3.37 x 2.12 inch.

I.e: you can put your identity card into your
wallet. (especially as it is only a card and not
multiple sheets of stuff).

The passports are 104 x 78 mm. That is only slightly larger, but too large (and also too thick) for most wallets.

Mythbusters - RFID (5, Interesting)

object404 (1883774) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330954)

Adam Savage's talk [youtube.com] on the 2008 Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference on why Mythbusters was forced to not do the "how easy it is to hack RFID tags" episode is very, very interesting.

Re:EU passports (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330460)

On the contrary. Since the new EU passports contain fingerprint data and a digital version of the picture, much of the contention about the new passports revolved around the creation of a central database of biometric information. If the passports were just an index into the database, then that database would be inevitable.

It is important that technology-minded users learn not to apply the usual centralist approach to everything. We are not cattle.

Re:EU passports (1, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330534)

``It is important that technology-minded users learn not to apply the usual centralist approach to everything. We are not cattle.''

We are not? Then why do we let ourselves be herded and look to the herders for our every need, including a sense of safety and comfort?

Note that by "we" I mean the general population. It doesn't necessarily apply to you, or even to me. But new tracking measures are being rolled out, and I don't see a lot of people making a fuss about it - rather, I see a lot of people being in favor.

Re:EU passports (5, Funny)

udippel (562132) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330636)

The first three posts in this discussion are - as of now - ACs. Though different from the normal 'First Piss Post'-category. They are spot on the topic. Still ACs. Why?
Already fearful of being tracked? Yes, you are. Through your IP-addresses.
Next year you can be tracked by having your Personalausweis in your pocket. Or in your bag. You need it, because you want to enter an official building; the Rathaus.
Or doing banking business:
"Guten Morgen, Frau Müller."
"Uh, Sie kennen mich?"
"Nein, aber Sie haben Ihren Ausweis dabei! Ich denke Sie wollen Ihren Urlaub bezahlen!?"
"Woher wissen Sie das?"
"Nun, als Sie hier hereinkamen, hat unsere Sicherheitssoftware gemeldet, dass Sie gerade auch im Reisebüro waren."

Oh, what a brave new world we weave ... .

Re:EU passports (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330882)

The first three posts in this discussion are - as of now - ACs. Though different from the normal 'First Piss Post'-category. They are spot on the topic. Still ACs. Why?
Already fearful of being tracked? Yes, you are. Through your IP-addresses.

Users of slashdot can not track me. Only the website admins can. The thing I am afraid of is slashdot comments taken out of context in 10-30 years time.

Re:EU passports (1)

mischi_amnesiac (837989) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330672)

Fingerprints are optional (in germany).

Re:EU passports (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330858)

Fingerprints are only optional in the ID card ("Personalausweis"). The comment was about the biometric passports, for which two fingerprints are mandatory (left and right index finger).

Barcodes don't radiate information (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330526)

This is just a replacement for the barcode, right?

Even if it were, it would be dangerous. Giving someone remote access to your passport/ID card number is a security risk by itself.

They already have your face, anyone can take a picture of your face without you knowing it. If they can create a fake document matching that face to the right document number that's a big step towards stealing your identity.

Re:Barcodes don't radiate information (2, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330802)

Not really. You could have a card with RFID which embeds a key that unlocks data in the database. Since governments have control over the database one wouldn't have to worry much their data being looked at by unauthorised staff and if the database was ever stolen only your physical card could unlock it.

Also there are benefits to having an ID card rather then a passport. One being you never run out of space for stamps and then have to spend lots of money on extending the pages or a new passport.

ID theft is probably the biggest issue but that could be overcome by a combination of embedded key, thumb print and personal password; or in other words, something you have, something you are and something you know.

Re:Barcodes don't radiate information (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330946)

You could have a card with RFID which embeds a key that unlocks data in the database. Since governments have control over the database one wouldn't have to worry much their data being looked at by unauthorised staff and if the database was ever stolen only your physical card could unlock it.

You obviously have a very different government to mine. If it's in a government database in the UK, the odds are that copies of it will be posted to the wrong address on unencrypted DVD-Rs, left on hard drives on trains or in taxies, leaked to the press, or used by council employees for private purposes.

A better solution is not to store the information in either place. Store it on the passport in encrypted form and store the encryption key in the central database (or vice versa). You then need to both do a database query and scan the passport to have access to the data. If someone gets a copy of the database, it's no use to them without the passports. If someone steals a passport, they can't access the information on it.

Who woulda thunk it (1, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330404)

Germans coming up with new and innovative citizenry. What could possibly go wrong with that?

(Bye bye karma...)

Re:Who woulda thunk it (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330408)

Should read "new and innovative ways to track the citizenry". Cripes...

Re:Who woulda thunk it (1)

bart416 (900487) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330604)

Yes, and the government is out on tracking everybody! Really if they want to track you they will no matter what. If I have to choose between a RFID chip in my ID card or a tinfoil hat and wallet. I'll take the RFID chip cause the chance of it being useful exceeds the chance of the government bothering to track everything I do.

Re:Who woulda thunk it (4, Interesting)

Urkki (668283) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330766)

Yes, and the government is out on tracking everybody! Really if they want to track you they will no matter what. If I have to choose between a RFID chip in my ID card or a tinfoil hat and wallet. I'll take the RFID chip cause the chance of it being useful exceeds the chance of the government bothering to track everything I do.

No, the thing is, without this kind of technology, they can choose a number of individuals they have resources to track at the same time. With this type of technology, they can track everybody at the same time. With modern storage capacities, a future government can retroactively check what you have been doing through your life.

And it becomes a slippery slope. It starts with tracking terrorist suspects, proceeds to solving other crimes, and ends with tracking people who disagree with the current party in power and threaten their next election win, and after that all bets are off. Just hope you never visited a house where some opposition activist lived back then...

Re:Who woulda thunk it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330530)

Numbering the whole population, what could possibly go wrong?

Re:Who woulda thunk it (2, Insightful)

agw (6387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330828)

It's not like we didn't have ID cards in Germany before. Everyone already has an ID card and a number.

Re:Who woulda thunk it (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330852)

It's not like we didn't have ID cards in Germany before. Everyone already has an ID card and a number.

Why not simply forget about the card and tattoo the number in your arm? That way you can't lose it.

Re:Who woulda thunk it (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330876)

Why not simply forget about the card and tattoo the number in your arm?

Adolf Hitler already tried that idea.

Re:Who woulda thunk it (1)

agw (6387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330896)

At the moment, there are still too many numbers. ID card number, passport number, maybe a driver's license number, a tax number for every state you worked and lived, etc.

But they are already working on a unified number that you get at the time of your birth and that will stick with you until you die.

Re:Who woulda thunk it (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33331092)

Everyone already has an ID card and a number.

Mine says "Number Six". Actually, Erich Honecker had "Number One" in his ID card, which would have made short work of the whole premise of "The Prisoner" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prisoner [wikipedia.org]

Re:Who woulda thunk it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330556)

I'm German. As soon as I read it, I thought about putting it into some shielded box or something, only taking it out, when asked by the authorities. I don't need my movements monitored and get stored in some database or whatever without me knowing about it.

Re:Who woulda thunk it (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330642)

Alternatively, you could stick it in the microwave for a minute after you get it to fry the RFID chip.

Re:Who woulda thunk it (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330674)

But that would probably invalidate it, probably getting you in trouble in situations where you are required to have a valid identity card with you (you certainly need either an identity card or a passport when going to a non-EU country. I'm not sure about other occasions, however; for most situations, the driving license will do).

Re:Who woulda thunk it (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330726)

No, a passport with a malfunctioning RFID is still legal. But a minute in the microwave is FAR too long.

Re:Who woulda thunk it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330684)

Alternatively, you could stick it in the microwave for a minute after you get it to fry the RFID chip.

I would recommend starting with 2 seconds at high. Any longer and discoloration and warping might occur.
I've been told a hard blow with a hammer is actually also effective (above a certain amount of G), and less detectable.

The US started it (2, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330654)

After 9/11, the US mandated biometric passports for all (if you wanted to enter the US).

Under legislation introduced after the September 11th attacks, the United States has tightened security measures for foreign tourists entering its country. The latest measure requires that by 2012, every traveler entering the United States who is part of the visa-waiver program must have a biometric passport or be forced to apply for a visa. ... ...
Initially, Washington gave a 2006 deadline for the 27 countries in the EU and other visa-waiver countries such as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, but then pushed the date back to June of this year to give these countries more time to prepare the technology needed to issue the biometric passports. The US State Department started introducing e-passports in 2006 and every passport holder in the US is projected to have one by 2017.

Re:The US started it (3, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330688)

Yes, but the law also states that a passport's RFID malfunctions, the passport is still legal. 10 seconds in the microwave is just about right.

You're lucky! (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330864)

Be glad - I googled hard for implied Godwin and couldn't find anything. So you're lucky and I can't say any pedantic shit about your comment and Godwin.

*Points two fingers at eyes and then one at you*

perfect bomb triggers (5, Interesting)

vinsci (537958) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330410)

The new card allows German authorities to identify people with speed and accuracy, the government said.

Unfortunately, they will also make perfect bomb triggers, when the target walks by.

Targetted advertising is more likely (2, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330478)

Walk past an e-paper advert board. It scans your ID, looks up your preferences and buying history and throws up a 20 foot high shot of a naked guy and directions to the local rubber fetish store.
 

Re:perfect bomb triggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330504)

While there is an obligation to have an ID or passport in Germany, you needn't carry it at all times.

That said, if you use public transport, there is basically no way around taking it along with you.

Re:perfect bomb triggers (2, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330696)

That said, if you use public transport, there is basically no way around taking it along with you.

Really? I've never been asked to show my identity card. What you may required to show in certain situations (as in, when caught using the transport without a valid ticket, or in case of using a price-reduced personalized ticked), is an official paper with image ("amtlicher Lichtbildausweis"), but that doesn't have to be your identity card, your driving license should work anyway (I don't have experience with this, though, because I've never been asked to show it in public transport anyway, not even with personalized train tickets).

Re:perfect bomb triggers (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330572)

If only there were some way to block the RFID signal from being readable when you don't want it to be read.

Re:perfect bomb triggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33331034)

If only there wer some sort of tinfoil hat for ID cards ...

Re:perfect bomb triggers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330652)

It's a near field communication chip, which isn't easily readable from more than a few centimeters away.

Re:perfect bomb triggers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330964)

Actually, tests by various groups have shown that RFID chips are easily read from several METERS away.

Re:perfect bomb triggers (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330736)

Won't happen.

The chip is based on the ISO14443-A standard and you can only communicate with it over at most 15 cm distance (about 6 inch). Under normal conditions the range goes down to roughly one inch. You have to walk very close to the bomb to set it off.

A bomb will also have a hard time to identify you. The chip has an ID that is public readable, but for privacy reasons this ID is a random number that is only valid for a single transaction session.

Also the article is wrong. The pass will not use the BAC protocol but the much improved PACE protocol. That's state of the art crypto. It's still broken by design because you can do a simple man in the middle attack over the air, but it is a lot better..

time to buy (4, Informative)

zerothink (1682450) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330412)

It's time to buy RFID-blocking cover/wallet/bag/whatever. Or feel free to have some fun with aluminum foil - http://www.rpi-polymath.com/ducttape/RFIDWallet.php [rpi-polymath.com]

Re:time to buy (4, Informative)

MikeyVB (787338) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330616)

For the curious, it takes approximately 4 layers of aluminum foil to block a scanner from activating the RFID signal when your Al lined wallet is point blank from a standard scanner.

(After receiving an RFID enabled ID card here in the Netherlands last year, I tested it on our office copy/scanner RFID reader, and then simply lined my wallet with double the number of layers it took to block the signal. Works like a charm!)

Re:time to buy (2, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330796)

I think I'd just microwave mine till it stopped working. Make the bastards have to type it in every time someone asked to see it and claim I had no idea why their shitty card never worked,

Re:time to buy (1)

agw (6387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330840)

Can you get already pre-foiled wallets? Market niche?

Re:time to buy (3, Interesting)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330628)

All of my IDs and cards fit nicely in a metallic business card case. It's cheap, small, looks nice and blocks radio.

Re:time to buy (1)

Jeslijar (1412729) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330662)

Why not just put the ID in the microwave for a second like my last college professor does his passport?

Granted it could melt... but maybe it wouldn't be visibly damaged if only done for a second.

why not opt-out? (1)

rajanala83 (813645) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330414)

I'll have to get one at the end of the year, but don't want to. Why can't they make this new passport scheme opt-out? People can - and most probably will - sniff my ID via RFID; I just don''t see ANY advantages this new passport RFID will bring for me.

Get a no2id t-shirt (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330454)

http://www.no2id.net/getInvolved/shop [no2id.net]

And start lobbying your representatives.

Re:Get a no2id t-shirt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330500)

lol
as if those representatives were actually involved in anything important.
The members of 'Bundesrat' are not really elected, they are chosen (but not by the people)...

The only chance is by resisting passively, like frying that rfid...

Re:Get a no2id t-shirt (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330734)

But the Bundesrat cannot, on its own, pass laws. The law-making entity is still the Bundestag which is elected by the people. Now a lot of laws additionally have to pass the Bundesrat, but those are laws which concern the right of the federal states. I'm pretty sure that details of the identity card are not included there, therefore the Bundestag should be able to decide on that alone.

Re:why not opt-out? (1)

ZDRuX (1010435) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330476)

This has nothing to do with bringing any advantages to you, and I don't see why anyone in their right mind would assume otherwise.

Re:why not opt-out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330492)

Why wait until the end of the year? Get a "classic" non-biometric, non-RFID one now. It's 8 EUR instead of 28,80 EUR (22,80 EUR if you're less than 24 years old). Save money, protect your privacy.

Re:why not opt-out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330590)

its either that or theyll just tattoo your serial number on your arm, like the Nazis did some 70 years ago. Isnt it strange show the German votes comes around full circle...

tatoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330420)

Look on the bright side, at least they are not requiring tatooes with an embedded chip , oh wait .........

The ID cards are technically not mandatory (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330426)

Germans must be able to identify themselves with either a passport or an ID card. There is no obligation to have either of those with you at any time.

The new cards do not use classic RFID chips but near field communication, which is much harder to attack from a distance (if at all).

Anyone who wants to sit this out can get a new ID card before November. The old ID cards cost 8 EUR and are valid for 10 years.

Re:The ID cards are technically not mandatory (1, Informative)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330506)

Germans must be able to identify themselves with either a passport or an ID card. There is no obligation to have either of those with you at any time.

The new cards do not use classic RFID chips but near field communication, which is much harder to attack from a distance (if at all).

Anyone who wants to sit this out can get a new ID card before November. The old ID cards cost 8 EUR and are valid for 10 years.

I guess you have never lived in Germany and heard of Ausweispflicht ? Which by law requires any citizen to be able to identify his or her self. Even only being there on holiday as a visitor you must still be able to identify yourself , been there done that. The authorities do not take it lightly if you "forgot" your ID either, depending on the situation. Although I will credit you the sitting out part, if they get the new ID now then they can wait it out. Although didn't the Germans already implement biometrical Passports (not to be confused with ID cards)?

Anyways looking at http://www.personalausweisportal.de/ [personalausweisportal.de] really is weird if you cannot speak German then I suggest translator of some sort . They talk about new "Identity Management" and "Online Identification functions" etc etc . Sounds more controlling/keep track than anything else. I really feel bad for the German's at times. But hey you know there is a saying: "The Germans will never complain or demonstrate to any problem because they is a sign saying it is forbidden"

Re:The ID cards are technically not mandatory (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330574)

"Ausweispflicht" means you have to have a passport or an ID card (You can have both, but you don't have to). You do not have to have either of them on you. Pissed off authorities are a fact of life, but they're not the law (yet). Public transport often requires a picture ID to be presented with a month pass. That is a contract thing and not related to the "Ausweispflicht".

Re:The ID cards are technically not mandatory (2, Informative)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330594)

Yeah I guess you are right:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ausweispflicht [wikipedia.org]

Only if they ask for it , interesting , but still..

Re:The ID cards are technically not mandatory (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330716)

I guess you have never lived in Germany and heard of Ausweispflicht ? Which by law requires any citizen to be able to identify his or her self. Even only being there on holiday as a visitor you must still be able to identify yourself , been there done that. The authorities do not take it lightly if you "forgot" your ID either, depending on the situation. Although I will credit you the sitting out part, if they get the new ID now then they can wait it out. Although didn't the Germans already implement biometrical Passports (not to be confused with ID cards)?

Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Yeah, there is Ausweispflicht in Germany. However (and please forgive me for mixing German and English here), this is not a Pflicht to carry your Ausweis at all times; rather, it's a Pflicht to ausweisen yourself when asked to. Carrying your Ausweis is the easiest way to do that, but it's not actually required you do that.

Put another way: unlike with, say, a driving license, which you actually have to CARRY when you operate a motor vehicle, you do not have to carry your ID card; it's not illegal to not do so, and there's no fines or anything. It just means that the police may detain you temporarily while determining your identity, so in practice, it makes sense to carry your ID card anyway.

Re:The ID cards are technically not mandatory (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330962)

``Sounds more controlling/keep track than anything else.''

I don't know what id would be for, _other_ than for tracking people.

The problem I have with the RFID chips is that, now, you can be tracked not only when you show your passport (or other id) to someone, but also without your consent or knowledge. Regardless of the official statements, these chips can be and have been read from meters away.

Re:The ID cards are technically not mandatory (2, Interesting)

mwissel (869864) | more than 4 years ago | (#33331140)

The authorities do not take it lightly if you "forgot" your ID either, depending on the situation.

Wrong, there is no actual problem with forgetting your ID, as there is no obligation to carry one with you - exception is the driving license when operating a vehicle. Actually the police may demand you to fetch your ID at home or whereever it may be, and they might demand to bring you there themselves when they think you might flee. But I think that only happens when you're in suspicion for something.

Proprietary Protocol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330464)

The German ID card is using the BAC protocol as well, but only for the basic data which is printed on the front of the card, the picture and the name. Other fields are protected by a stronger proprietary protocol.

Proprietary? Does that mean that Germans are being forced to buy an object that they aren't allowed to know how to use?

Re:Proprietary Protocol (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330558)

You have that right. Letting people know how to use the chip would compromise security, you see. Don't believe the people who say the chip has already been broken. These weren't officially tasked to do so by the government, so their results don't count. Also, why are you asking questions about this in the first place? Do you want the boogeymen to win? This is for your own safety, man! How could you be against that?

No! (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330480)

>Early versions of the electronic passports, using RFID chips with a protocol called 'basic access control' (BAC), were successfully hacked by university researchers and security experts."

That's horrible! What are you going to do about this???

Awesome... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330486)

I've always wanted to be a german.

And now i can be a bunch of them!

Re:Awesome... (4, Informative)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330580)

True to that check this out:

http://www.personalausweisportal.de/cln_164/DE/Neue-Moeglichkeiten/Online-Ausweisfunktion/online-ausweisfunktion_node.html [personalausweisportal.de]

The new online functions! If you dont understand german try google translate, here a quick translation

Identification on the Internet and on machines can in the future be done with the new identity card. This is simple and safe as the presentation of your previous card today.
Even without being personally present you can use the online identity function (also: eID function) authenticate everywhere (where personalized services - are consequently offered and directly tailored to the individual user). With your new personal ID and your 6-digit PIN you can prove your identity in the electronic world simple, safe and reliable.

That is just the first paragraph , better than the Sunday comics !

Re:Awesome... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330638)

ONLY six?

My bank PIN is 12 digits.

Six is going to be too easy to handle.

Re:Awesome... (2, Interesting)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330912)

So what's the big deal? The Netherlands has had a digital ID card for doing business with the government for years already. Now perhaps you enjoy standing in a line somewhere, but I prefer handling my business from the comfort of my chair, at any time of the day that is convenient for me and at a total lower cost to the taxpayer.

Now I don't quite see the point of RFID either, but being able to handle one's affairs over a distance sounds...convenient.

Proprietary protocol? SURE! (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330490)

The German ID card is using the BAC protocol as well, but only for the basic data which is printed on the front of the card, the picture and the name. Other fields are protected by a stronger proprietary protocol.

That's what they think. It'll be cracked within days or weeks.

Ihre RFID Bitte (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330524)

Danke !!

Ihre R F I D Bitte

D anke !!

Aolso, Ihre RFID Bitte

Dank e !!

Ihre RFID Bitte

Danke !!

Ihre RFID Bitte

Danke !!

Ihre RFID Bitte

HALT !!

right, before Zee Germans get there (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330598)

you'd think history would have taught them to maximize personal liberties, not to diminish them in any way? Oh well, there is still zeit fur packen zee bagen.

Re:right, before Zee Germans get there (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330678)

you'd think history would have taught them to maximize personal liberties, not to diminish them in any way? Oh well, there is still zeit fur packen zee bagen.

No, they look to the government for guidance still. It's in the character. They still don't have real freedom of speech there.

OTOH, if you look at what set of circumstances us Americans revolted against the King Of England for and how it is today, all you see is more government and taxes than they ever accepted in every aspect of our lives. And people constantly clamoring for more as a solution to their problems.

Re:right, before Zee Germans get there (4, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330842)

No, they look to the government for guidance still. It's in the character. They still don't have real freedom of speech there.

So it is only "freedom" if it is identical to your version of freedom ?

Please, cut down the arrogance a few notches, you'll notice the rest of the world likes you a lot better if you don't go around all the time assuming that your way is the one and only true path to whatever.

Our freedom of speech (I'm german) is as real as yours. We just have some priorities differently. For example, we don't allow people to threaten abortion doctors with murder under the cover of "free speech". Our version of your "free speech" is called "freie Meinungsäußerung". That has three parts: Free, speech and opinion. What it means is you can freely express your opinion. If you leave the area of expressing your opinion - and "we'll kill you" isn't an opinion anymore - you may run into trouble.

And no, we don't look for the government for guidance. In fact, our current government is such a joke, anyone who does look to them for anything except satire is retarded. However, what we do is not share the ridiculous paranoia about the government that is visible in the US. We don't think anything done by the government is automatically evil and to be mistrusted. We view the government as an entity much like many others - capable of both good and evil.

Re:right, before Zee Germans get there (3, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330982)

You are mistaken as to what is freedom of speech in USA, nobody is allowed to make direct threats of murder for example, but one can have an opinion that abortion doctors must be killed, it's an opinion.

Of-course one person's opinion may lead to another person's action, but the correct thing to do is to hold the one who takes action as the responsible party, not the one who says he has an opinion.

I am not American, in fact at this very moment I am in Germany, though I am Canadian, born in the former USSR.

I hold every single thing that government says or does as suspicious, I don't trust government at all, in any single one thing ever, and I am not an American.

Re:right, before Zee Germans get there (1)

DoninIN (115418) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330970)

Gee stereotype an entire nationality, all the wile differentiating them from "us" which I'm assuming here means you're a fellow American. That's usually a sign of a coherent or terribly positive argument. Also in this case your "us" is largely composed of relatives of your "them" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County.svg [wikipedia.org]

Re:right, before Zee Germans get there (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330790)

It did, directly after the war. That's why the German constitution fortunately contains a lot of restrictions on what the state can do. And if you look at the amount of laws which had to be retracted due to being unconstitutional, otherwise we would be much worse off now.

Re:right, before Zee Germans get there (3, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330884)

you'd think history would have taught them to maximize personal liberties, not to diminish them in any way?

Second World War was generations ago. The lessons have been forgotten, so authoritarianism and militarism are once again on the rise in Europe, and will once again lead to the world burning. That will be followed by the survivors being horrified of what they have seen and done, and swearing "never again", but a few generations later things will deteriorate again. That is the cycle of human history, and it cannot be broken, since no matter what lessons you might learn, your children won't, and their children certainly won't care.

On the BAC thing... (3, Interesting)

Wdi (142463) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330704)

This is the standard required by US immigration for foreign biometric passports.

And only with these you can take advantage of visa-waiver (minus ESTA, minus new tourism support fee) entry into the US.

So either your passport supports this, or you can make an appointment weeks in advance at a select US consulate in a city only a few hundred kilometers away if you want to travel.

Re:On the BAC thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33331004)

Personally I've looked at the paranoia inherent in the current state of government xenophobia, and decided I'd rather stay home than submit to the zealotry that's the mandatory side dish to visit with a random offer of go away and never come back depending on whether the border guard feels like googling today. So I won't go there, possibly wonderful normal people notwithstanding. Sorry people, I'll stay home.

Except that, thanks to my spineless government, it gets home to roost here too. So now I have to carry, every day and every time I step outside, by law, an RFIDed ID card with biometrics and coupled to a database with fingerprints and far too much other info. It's the first thing the cops demand when they stop you regardless of the why. The banks must take a copy and store it with all your accounts. It's kept on file for the revenue service. It's coupled, therefore, to each PIN bank card transaction. The police are dragnet happy in their investigations--most tapped country in the world, but it doesn't stop at phone taps. They (the national bank and friends) are busy phasing out cash, so you *have* to use your bank card for ever more things. And now, add RFID. These western governments thank the USA for requiring RFID every day. It's such a wonderful excuse to shaft the people. How very democratic and such a beacon of individual freedom.

Some countries (but very few) offer a choice: Either a passport with RFID, or a cheaper one without. I would've taken the latter, given the choice, but my country (supposedly renowned for freedom and tolerance) doesn't give me any choice. It makes me want to puke.

A little bit of perspective... (2, Insightful)

k.a.f. (168896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330738)

The federal ID card is not "mandatory" in any sense except that you may have to show it for certain very fundamental occasions, notably voting. (May have to show, I should add - the last two federal elections I wasn't even asked for the ID card, just for my voter's notification.) You have to actively go out, apply for an ID card and pay the fee to get one. You can live a long and productive live and never use your ID at all, unless you're a lawyer by profession or get arrested a lot... Also, the new chip ID will be issued starting in September - it will be a long time until even a majority has one. I got an old-style ID in July, so I'm good until 2020, and even then I won't give my fingerprint for it, that's an optional feature (it's only required for international passports).

So, overall - yeah, this is a deal, but it's a lot less big a deal than the summary makes it sound like.

Re:A little bit of perspective... (2, Informative)

agw (6387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330888)

You have to actively go out, apply for an ID card and pay the fee to get one. You can live a long and productive live and never use your ID at all, unless you're a lawyer by profession or get arrested a lot...

Not quite. You will have to use it if you want to get a bank account (and I assuem you want one). If you're younger, you will have to use it to get a driver's license, probably to sign contracts, to get into music clubs late night, to get alcohol, even to play the lottery and of course everytime you fly within the EU.

So I say you can live a long and productive live alone in the mountains and never use your ID at all.

Re:A little bit of perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330980)

Hu?
Okay, bank account, I see that?
But the other stuff?
That is all about age verification.
As long as you have ANY document (or look way old enought) you will not
need your ID for that

Re:A little bit of perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33331046)

Bank account? yup.
Drivers license? yup.
Sign Contracts? Usually no. The other party can require any kind of proof of identity, but that's really just a term of the contract.
Get into music clubs? Get alcohol? Gambling? All those by law require proof of age, and usually any kind of govt-issued photo id w/ birth date will do.
Flying? Pretty much every border crossing used to require a passport, only needing a id card is an actual improvement there.
Oh, and you forgot getting a prepaid mobile SIM. ID card required for that one, too...

Re:A little bit of perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33331118)

> "So, overall - yeah, this is a deal, but it's a lot less big a deal than the ..."

Yup, nothing like a little creeping incrementalism.

Please meet Mr. Overton:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window [wikipedia.org]

Outsourced to the Netherlands (3, Funny)

shikaisi (1816846) | more than 4 years ago | (#33330770)

I find the most intriguing part of this whole thing is the decision to outsource the chips to a Dutch company. I wonder how long it will be before all the RFIDs fail and send only a message saying "Give us our bikes back".

NXP = Philips (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330832)

And for those who are unfamiliar with the names of chipmakers:

NXP = Philips
Freescale = Motorola

I think most of the others keep the same name on the semiconductor division as on the rest of the company.

Punch Cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330854)

If they want speed and accuracy, why don't they just design a card with a bit of memory in it, and little connection tabs [like on SD Cards] at one end.
They just need to punch it in, and requires a special card reader, and would possibly more secure [until the machines are Reverse Engineered, but even then, physical access to the card would be required ...Just a thought.

Welcome to prison in the community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33330952)

The Nazis would have a field day with today's technology (and are having). No need for the concentration camps when the technology exists to keep tabs on the whole population.

They have you right where they want you, under their supervision, under control, 24 hours a day, every transaction logged, every email and phone call checked.

Of course, if you are content being a milche cow you will probably just carry on chewing the cud wondering what all the fuss is about.

In any case, you will do nothing to stop it and they know it.

OMG I live in Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33331028)

I live in Germany. Many people do not want them !
The only reason they are introduced is because the old people in the Government see the benefits of RFIDs without seeing safe alternatives. They want to be progressive and to save money in the processes where IDs are required.

Some say that the company that makes this IDs paid someone.
The left-minded people spread stickers in the toilets where they compare RFIDs to various dictatorships from the past.

The CCC.de proposed to break the RFID chip if you get one.
epSos.de proposed to wrap all passports in metallic foil or put it into metallic purses.

I wish they would have used bar-code scanning for passports instead of this intrusive method.

Fry it (5, Informative)

mwissel (869864) | more than 4 years ago | (#33331044)

What TFA forgets to mention is, that the ID card remains valid when you kill the RFID chip, as it still allows a person to be identified. Also, the fingerprint is a voluntary information to be stored. Most people won't know or bother and just let them store it anyway, though. For my fellow citizens: get yourself a new ID card w/o RFID just now (it is only a few Euros more expensive when you "loose" your current ID). If you have to get, for some reasons, an ID card with RFID on it, just put it in the microwave oven for a minute or so. Chaos Computer Club has proven this to kill the chip reliably.

So These are.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33331122)

RFIDID's? Somehow the extra "ID" seems redundant..

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?