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151 comments

Faraday Cage Suit (2, Insightful)

corroncho (1003609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16230953)

I knew that farady cage suit would come in handy some day!!!
___________________________
Free iPods? Its legit [wired.com] . 5 of my friends got theirs. Get yours here! [freepay.com]

Re:Faraday Cage Suit (0, Troll)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232747)

Dude, are you spamming on slashdot? No offense or anything like that, but we're gonna kill ur azz man. Rip your intestines out and hang them on the server cabling. Don't ever spam again dude. Just don't.

-A friend.

Do passports already have RFID's in them? (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16230957)

Do they? I haven't exactly kept track of this...

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (4, Informative)

in2mind (988476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231067)

from the prev Slashdot article :

State Department spokeswoman Janelle Hironimus said existing passports will remain valid until they expire but, eventually, all U.S. passports -- about 13 million will be issued in 2006 -- will contain such chips

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16231129)

This makes me happy that I got my passport renewed last year. No RFID until 2015 baby!

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231819)

Yeah until you try to go somewhere and they take your address location down and send you a new passport voiding your old one. It'll come in the form of a convenient service to you.

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232613)

You own a microwave, right? Obviously you didn't want the thing to get cold during those long winters in wherever you're headed, so you decided to warm it up for a few seconds first. Draw your own conclusions about what will happen, since me posting them is probably a violation of the DMCA or something.

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233355)

"This makes me happy that I got my passport renewed last year. No RFID until 2015 baby!"

Well, like most people in the US, I don't see I'll need to get a passport for any reason...at least not for the foreseeable future.

Plenty for me to see here in this country, and the current atmosphere in much of the world doesn't seem to be too friendly towards Americans....

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#16235671)

"I don't see I'll need to get a passport for any reason"

With the rate things are deteriorating, you'll probably need it to avoid spending a week or two on ice when the goons go 'papieren bitte! schnell!'...

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (3, Informative)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231443)

My mate got a new British passport a couple of weeks ago. The 2nd last page or so has a chip and a large rectangular loop of wire shaped in it. From what I remember, the rectangular loop of wire measured about 8cm long by 2cm high or so.

Here's a smallish picture of what the RFID bit looks like: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/graphics/2005/11/1 8/npassport18.jpg [telegraph.co.uk]

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231597)

The 2nd last page or so has a chip and a large rectangular loop of wire shaped in it. From what I remember, the rectangular loop of wire measured about 8cm long by 2cm high or so.
Is that something that can be resolved using a hammer?

Even though I'm normally a fan of Opt-In systems, I'll mute my complaints if a hammer allows me to Opt-Out.

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (1)

955301 (209856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231995)

No, a rock won't do, nor will paper. Scissors wins!

Re:Do passports already have RFID's in them? (2, Informative)

lcsjk (143581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232657)

I did some initial design for an RFID system last year. The credit card size unit has a microchip with memory and a coil of wire around the edge of the card (about 7cm x 5cm). THe coil is the secondary side of an air-core transformer and the reader (receiver) has the primary side. Note that it is not RF as in radio or telephone. It is a magnetic field. The reader has to send enough AC power through the air to the RFID coil so that a capacitor can be charged to give an operating voltage. When the voltage is high enough (milliseconds) the microchip will turn on and send its data to the receiver. My operating distance was small (less than 3 inches) because of limited reader power. However, if the reader had been transmitting more power from a longer distance (a few feet) I think it would have been able to read the data. The theory is easy, but the signal strength would have been smaller. We have equipment to read extremely small signals from space. Reading from a few feet away is most likely easy.

This is only an interim measure... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231031)

...until they can implant the RFID chips in your head.

Re:This is only an interim measure... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231269)

I wouldn't put it past them and I'm sure no one would care...

I just recently took a trip to Winnipeg so that I could get around any passport requirements they might put up in the near future. I *refuse* to travel abroad with a passport that has RFID technology inside. Just like I will not give my SSN out to anyone, I will not allow my passport to be read via RFID.

The individuals I was with on this trip told me I was paranoid and shouldn't let something as little as an RFID tag stop me from traveling where I want to go.

I tried to explain to them the privacy implications of this but they refused to listen.

Re:This is only an interim measure... (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232203)

Well, lets go through the usual arguments...

RFID tag is stored in the passport(which is a faraday cage when closed.

The data is a hash value that is used to look up information to verify that you are who you say you are.

And yes, you are paranoid about it.

Re:This is only an interim measure... (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232321)

Your friends were right. You are in fact paranoid. The overwhelming majority of people will suffer no ill consequences from having their passports read by an RFID reader.

The burden is on you to show what bad things will happen.

Re:This is only an interim measure... (0, Flamebait)

jimmichie (993747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231623)

You're just itching for an excuse to wear your tinfoil hat, aren't you?

Re:This is only an interim measure... (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233035)

well, tinfoil hats are soooo much cooler then tinfoil passport protectors.

can they be opened with a Diebold key or bar key? (2, Funny)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231039)

anyone tried to open them their hotel mini-bar key?

Re:can they be opened with a Diebold key or bar ke (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232315)

No, they can't be opened with a key, but shortly after passing through passport control, you can find all your information online with Google. Very handy. Now you can never forget who you are...

Various Creative Responses (4, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231055)

> New U.S. e-Passports contain a 64 kbit RFID chip with personal information about the passport holder.

After reading last night's [slashdot.org] thread, I suppose encoding ~250 copies of the string "Kip Hawley is an idiot. Michael Chertoff is also an idiot" into an off-the-shelf 64kbit chip, putting the chip in a small wad of gum, and then swallowing the gum, is no longer an option.

Well, so much for my weekend.

Re:Various Creative Responses (1)

in2mind (988476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231153)

After reading last night's [slashdot.org] thread, I suppose encoding ~250 copies of the string "Kip Hawley is an idiot. Michael Chertoff is also an idiot" into an off-the-shelf 64kbit chip, putting the chip in a small wad of gum, and then swallowing the gum, is no longer an option.

First of all,why would you want to do that?
Two,the passport RFID reader needs to be within 10 cms from the chip to be able to read. So sont worry.You can swallow whatver you want to. :p

Range can be increased (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231261)

There is a time-honored tradition of making RF signals go as far as possible. It's the first thing any kid tries with a walkie-talkie: how far can it go? It's possible to make RFID devices read from farther than designed by using higher power to energize the RFID and a higher-gain antenna to read its response. Certainly it will be practical to read these things as people walk through a door frame, with the proper equipment.

Bruce

Range is a function of the reader (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231635)

In this case, the readers are rather limited. 10cm, give or take.

Re:Range is a function of the reader (1)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232585)

In this case, the readers are rather limited. 10cm, give or take.

You're talking about the ones in plain sight.

Re:Range is a function of the reader (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#16234763)

How about the ones that the terr'ists stow away?

1) Paint an RFID bullseye on all the 'card-carrying Americans abroad.
2)
3) Profit?

Re:Range is a function of the reader (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Range can be increased (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231793)

The antenna part is obvious to me...I remember a while back an article about some people snooping those RFID gas cards using a high gain antenna, and it only makes sense that you're going to be able to pick up a radio signal with a sensitive antenna, once that signal is in the open.

I'm not as clear on the "energizing" process. I understand that you get a stronger signal based on the amount of energy imparted to the chip, same as you would with any other radio transmitter. But what kind of upper limit exists on the process? Obviously the transmitter must have a physical limit, beyond which more power just burns it out. And since the transmission medium for the charge is air, I'd think your range there would also be pretty limited. I know you can jack the power on those RFID door card readers so that you can wave the card within a couple of feet of the door for it to trip.

Is there any way to energize an unshielded card from more than, say, 5 feet away, or is the danger primarily from people with readers brushing up against you for a reading?

Re:Range can be increased (2, Interesting)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232309)

Is there any way to energize an unshielded card from more than, say, 5 feet away, or is the danger primarily from people with readers brushing up against you for a reading?
Sure, all that possible. If you leave your passport open(closing it completes the faraday cage in the cover). Of course, people can also read all the data on your passport whenever they open it using this ancient technology called "eyes". And if you want to extend their range, you just have to get a few "lenses" and you can see it a good ways away!

Re:Range can be increased (2, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233707)

Is there any way to energize an unshielded card from more than, say, 5 feet away, or is the danger primarily from people with readers brushing up against you for a reading?

The issues seem to be the following:
1) RFID chips are activated by the EM energy delivered from the reader.
2) When closed, the passports in question are contained in a complete farraday cage, blocking any EM radiation from passing between the inside and outside of the passport.
3) When open, the regular rules of electromagnetic radiation hold true (inverse square law?). You need exponentially more radiation to power the passport each time you double the distance away you are.
4) Devices with a 3V, 1A power supply are designed to read the cards at a distance of 3" (numbers pulled from my head; might not be 100% accurate). Using napkin mathematics, assuming a similar sized antenna, at 6", you would need 9V, and at 1' you would need 81V. At 2' you would need roughly 6.5kV. At 4' you would need roughly 43mV. This is to activate the chip, not to read it.
5) Reading an already activated chip with a passively receiving device would be much simpler; it could easily be done from 10' away with a 3V power supply and a larger antenna.

So, according to my flawed calculations: nobody is going to be reading a closed passport, only people with a pretty large generator are going to be activating and reading a passport from anywhere further away than a few inches, and anyone in line of sight (and some not in line of sight) could be reading your passport as it is simultaneously being read by official readers.

Re:Range can be increased (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233751)

Sorry; in my parent post, mV should be MV - mega, not milli. That shows what not hitting the preview button can do. Oh well. It should be obvious from context.

Re:Range can be increased (1)

torako (532270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234405)

It's not an inverse square law, E and B are proportional to 1/r. I agree with the rest, though :)

Re:Various Creative Responses (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16231673)

WHY DO YOU HATE America SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!111!!

Re:Various Creative Responses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233257)

After reading last night's thread, I suppose encoding ~250 copies of the string "Kip Hawley is an idiot. Michael Chertoff is also an idiot" into an off-the-shelf 64kbit chip, putting the chip in a small wad of gum, and then swallowing the gum, is no longer an option.
Okay...
Well, so much for my weekend.
Given the detailed procedure, I take it you already swallowed such a chip and need the weekend to pass it out of your body.
* /me runs and hides (Slashdotters are scary)

Wrapping your passport in Tinfoil? (2, Interesting)

Yahma (1004476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231097)

There is the ever present theory that wrapping something in tinfoil will prevent RFID communications from working. Does anyone know if this is true or has been tested? If it works, just wrap your passports in tinfoil.

Yahma -- BLASTProxy.com [blastproxy.com] - A public anonymous proxy server that allows you to bypass firewall restrictions at home and work and surf safely.

Re:Wrapping your passport in Tinfoil? (1)

kdawgud (915237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231241)

It definitely works. Simply try it with your cell phone. Instant reception of zero.

Re:Wrapping your passport in Tinfoil? (2, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231561)

Look up "Faraday Shield". It works, but I can think of some approaches to get through it, although I doubt that any current RFID device uses them. Testing is always a good idea. And aluminum foil is not the most attenuating material, just the cheapest and by far the most easily available one.

Bruce

Re:Wrapping your passport in Tinfoil? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232079)

It used to work, but ALCAN is now part of the US Military Industrial complex, and their foil now allows all government generated radio signals through.

Re:Wrapping your passport in Tinfoil? (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232355)

There is the ever present theory that wrapping something in tinfoil will prevent RFID communications from working. Does anyone know if this is true or has been tested? If it works, just wrap your passports in tinfoil. I guess I'm going to be saying this often today. All you have to do is close the passport, there is a faraday cage in the cover that is completed when the cover is closed.

Re:Wrapping your passport in Tinfoil? (1)

It'sYerMam (762418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232983)

Everyone knows that tinfoil AMPLIFIES the signals, not reduces them!

Re:Wrapping your passport in Tinfoil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233043)

Only if you make your hat with the shiny side facing inwards...

Why? (1)

Lauritz (146326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231103)

Are there any arguments in favor of RFID as opposed to chip-cards? I mean, conventional chip-cards that need physical contact with the reader would be safer in that the can not be wirelessly read and could contain processors to do crypto-calculations on card (since they have better power supply). The extra time it perhaps would take to read the card shouldn't be a bottleneck since airport checks are plenty slow as they are.

Re:Why? (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231341)

Are there any arguments in favor of RFID as opposed to chip-cards? Yes, it makes (some group) (rich/powerful).

Re:Why? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233137)

but... but... RFID is a buzzword!!!

Passport Cases Now Become Important (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231131)

I have a passport case and will be sure to line it with mu-metal (not just aluminum foil) when I get a new passport in a few years. I'm sure that similar things will be up for sale. Indeed, if there's a manufacturer out there who wants to work on this, and knows sewing better than technology, write to bruce at perens dot com.

Bruce

Re:Passport Cases Now Become Important (1)

in2mind (988476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231221)

I have a passport case and will be sure to line it with mu-metal (not just aluminum foil) when I get a new passport in a few years.

I think thats dumb thing to do.When the security guys at the airport read your mu-metal'ed passport with their reader,it wont work & they would think its not a valid passport & you will be in trouble.

Re:Passport Cases Now Become Important (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231423)

I guess this is something that not everybody understands yet. Of course you'd take the passport out of the case when there's a legitimate occassion to read it, like going through immigration security at some country (which I do a few times a month). The problem is that people can read it while it's in your pocket, with the right equipment, wherever you go, all the time, hundreds of times per day. And having it in a mu-metal case when you do not expect it to be read would be a good security practice. Is that more clear?

Thanks

Bruce

Still .... (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231781)

- I mean it doesn't have personal information, even if decoded, so what use is it to anyone, except that it identifies you with a big random number like a cookie does.

Although I do hear there were plans to put this into the data in clear text:

"YOU'LL BE SORY THAT YOU MESSED WITH THE U.S.of A.
'CAUSE WE'LL PUT A BOOT IN YOUR ASS IT'S THE AMERICAN WAY"

OK, maybe the case isn't such a bad idea after all.

Re:Still .... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232229)

Perhaps someone could put that data on their own RFID chip, and cross the borders using your identity, not thiers?

Passports already have electronically scannable data in them. The chip is pointless.

You don't understand the PKI (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#16235423)

Any country using the chip will instantly see that the chip has been tampered with, just like you know an SSL web site has been tampered with then the certificate you get doesn't match the signature at the CA. The face in the chip won't match the face on the passport, and you'll have some splainin' to do, hopefully in a country with due process.

If they don't read the chip, then yes they can forge your picture just like they do now.

Like Bruce Parens said, the only risk is that that guy walking by you on the street with the backpack with the radio antenna coming out of it is scanning your passport, and then the data is of no more use than the cookies that /. put on your browser today. I suppose they could aggregate the information to track you movement, assuming a worldwide cabal of dedicated passport war-scanners. If you are THAT paranoid, might as well stay at home with your tinfoil hat on.

Re:Still .... (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232403)

I mean it doesn't have personal information, even if decoded, so what use is it to anyone, except that it identifies you with a big random number like a cookie does.

Wherever you go, anywhere in the world, anyone who gets within a few feet of you can conclusively identify you as a U.S. citizen if they so wish to. (I assume there is some common code that identifies it as a U.S. passport.)

I've never seen the state department do anything that jeopardizes the safety of American travelers as much as this will.

Re:Still .... (2, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233711)


I mean it doesn't have personal information, even if decoded, so what use is it to anyone, except that it identifies you with a big random number like a cookie does.

Huh? You mean all of this personal info [icao.int] (PDF, see page 16) ??? You'll note that encryption is optional, but data integrity via a 1-way hash is mandatory.

Re:Still .... (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 6 years ago | (#16235229)

Wherever you go, anywhere in the world, anyone who gets within a few feet of you can conclusively identify you as a U.S. citizen if they so wish to.

They pretty much can now, even before you've opened your mouth - from a combination of dress, mannerisms, etc. Once you start speaking, the accent confirms it. Social norms in different (Western) countries are often very different and the game of "guess the country of origin of your fellow travellers" at an airport is surprisingly easy.

Why would you assume that? (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#16235291)

What would be in the passport besides a long random number? Most other countries (not counting failed states) will be doing this exact same thing in a few years.

Re:Still .... (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233245)

But you don't show your cookies to anyone other than the one who gave it to you. Else you would be trackable.

Re:Passport Cases Now Become Important (2, Informative)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232407)

The problem is that people can read it while it's in your pocket, with the right equipment, wherever you go, all the time, hundreds of times per day. And having it in a mu-metal case when you do not expect it to be read would be a good security practice. Is that more clear?
I guess I'm going to be saying this often today. All you have to do is close the passport, there is a faraday cage in the cover that is completed when the cover is closed.

This will guarantee you an anal probe (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231401)

I know everyone understands PKI, right, but isn't this is equivalent to someone trying to spoof any random SSL-enabled web site with a CA_signed cert? (assuming the gov't doesn't screw up.) OF COURSE you can break it or spoof it, if you break the CA.

It isn't designed to guarantee that the photo and the chip match, we can look at your face for that. It's to weed out the paranoid asshats who've tinkered with them, or, worse, have fake passports. Just like your browser throws up a warning if it can't figure out your SSL certificate.

I think it's a reasonable tradeoff - your right to hide your identity, your right to make a fake passport, my right to make sure La Migra gives you an extra probe or two when you reenter the country.

Re:Passport Cases Now Become Important (4, Informative)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231467)

It already has a cover [state.gov]

Metallic anti-skimming material incorporated into the front cover and spine of the e-passport book prevents the chip from being skimmed, or read, when the book is fully closed;

Re:Passport Cases Now Become Important (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231857)

And you trust Government-supplied security?

Re:Passport Cases Now Become Important (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232595)

Uh-huh.

I think I am going to trust the cover that I provide.

Bruce

Re:Passport Cases Now Become Important (1)

flanksteak (69032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233221)

Why use RFID if it only works when the passport is open? What makes it better than barcodes?

Re:Passport Cases Now Become Important (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234387)

I can imagine how that went:

This Passport has a RFID.
- Wouldn't a barcode work?
Yeah, but this one has a RFID.
- But there is no read advatage. You need to open it, so you can easily use a barcode.
Yeah, but this one has a wonderfull RFID.
- But it will cost more and it won't make things safer then just using the cheaper barcode.
Yeah, but this one has a frikkin' RFID.
- ...
It has a RFID.

Walking in a checkpoint with a mu metal case... (1)

sam0vi (985269) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232017)

... and if you are not in a $2000 suit, i'd say you are in for a world of trouble

shielded cases for 18 dollars (4, Interesting)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232161)

http://www.difrwear.com/products.shtml [difrwear.com]

looks like somebody's already selling them Bruce!

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231139)

I wonder if all they read will be one's passport.

To the conspiracy wonks - entertain me (3, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231195)

Oh, please do try and foil (pun intended) the RFID readers. Please. And bring a friend with a video camera so we can watch the resulting hilarity on YouTube.

TravelTags (3, Insightful)

EssTiDee (784920) | more than 7 years ago | (#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...

Re:TravelTags (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231671)

This really isn't all that horribly different from the TollTags, EasyPasses, and basically every other scannable devices that identifies the device-holder.
Ummm... The Government doesn't require me to have a "TollTags, EasyPasses" if I want to leave the country.

Until "basically every other scannable devices that identifies the device-holder" is required by the gov't, then it really is horribly different.

If you haven't gotten/renewed your passport, I told you so. Mine is good for another 10 years and doesn't come with a RFID chip.

Re:TravelTags (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232447)

This really isn't all that horribly different from the TollTags, EasyPasses, and basically every other scannable devices that identifies the device-holder.
Yeah, but those dont' have built in faraday cages...

Re:TravelTags (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#16234605)

" This really isn't all that horribly different from the TollTags, EasyPasses, and basically every other scannable devices..."

And I don't use those either!!

As another poster said, the govt. doesn't require you to have one for travel either...

Fine by me (2, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231461)

I have no problem with RFID in the passport, as long as it is implemented in an intelligent manner. I don't see it as any more of an invasion of privacy than the personal photo and address information, and also the log of my recent travels.

I plan on having an aluminum foil carrying case for my RFID passport, when I get one, so it can't be read without being opened. Recently I saw a link to a company that makes wallets with a metal foil already embedded in the leather, so RFID chips can't be scanned remotely. The also sell a foil insert that goes in the bill area. I acn't remember the name though -- I thought it was a wordplay with 'wallet' and 'magnet', perhaps the word 'envelope'?

The only thing I don't want is an RFID implant. You might wear a farraday armband, but the whole idea reminds me too much of Jews getting serial numbers tatooed shortly before they were shipped into the death camps.

Re:Fine by me (1)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231685)

Revelations 13: 16-17

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Yikes! The sky is falling!

Re:Fine by me (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233935)

Hmm... here's a freebie name for someone to use if it's not the one you were thinking of:
MagneCarte

My main issues: (1)

mitchell_pgh (536538) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231639)

- I wonder how long it will take to break the security? [it's going to happen]
- I wonder from what distances the RDIF card will be able to be read? [I hear a few inches to a few yards and beyond]
- I wonder what interesting ways people will use this information. [I'm in marketing and can already think of a few]

Re:My main issues: (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232761)

I also wonder what happens if a strong electromagnetic wave burns out the chip while you are outside your country. What happens when you return?

Re:My main issues: (1)

radu.stanca (857153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233477)

- I wonder how long it will take to break the security? [it's going to happen] - I wonder from what distances the RDIF card will be able to be read? [I hear a few inches to a few yards and beyond] - I wonder what interesting ways people will use this information. [I'm in marketing and can already think of a few]
Indeed, why no one is talking about RFID real insecurities? Remember this [slashdot.org] guys?

aluminum cases through security anyhow? (4, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231733)

Has anyone actually tried to take an aluminum foil wrapped anything through airport security? I assume that would look suspicious to anyone, i.e. why the hell is it in foil, is it a bomb, etc. Did you get harassed at all? I actually just got a passport and am travelling far, far away, so I *could* try it...

Re:aluminum cases through security anyhow? (1)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231919)

Nice knowing you ;)

Re:aluminum cases through security anyhow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16231991)

If you are going through airport security, you wouldn't be hiding your passport now would you. The tin-foil is not to keep it from being read by airport security, it's to keep it from being read by EVERYONE ELSE.

Re:aluminum cases through security anyhow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16232329)

So what happens when the RFID gets mysteriously disabled? Does the void your passport?

Re:aluminum cases through security anyhow? (1)

chemguru (104422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233307)

I get stopped EVERY time I forget to remove my spare anti-static bags from my laptop bag. The scanners can't see through them so a manual search is then ordered. I imagine the same would occur with Al foil.

Re:aluminum cases through security anyhow? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234443)

Has anyone actually tried to take an aluminum foil wrapped anything through airport security?

Sure, you should see the hassle that Metal bands like Spinal Tap have to go through trying to get aluminum foil covered cucumbers through airport security!

Its really humiliating to have to pull it out of your pants, makes the crotch look all saggy.

Re:aluminum cases through security anyhow? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#16234673)

"as anyone actually tried to take an aluminum foil wrapped anything through airport security?"

Yes I have....I was bringing some andouille sausage with me to cook at a friend's house...I did the usual to keep it fresh for travel. I froze it solid, wrapped in paper towels, and then wrapped in aluminum foil.

I've done this in checked baggage and in carry on...no big deal.

I could see they had checked the checked baggage, but, had not unwrapped it....and nothing done with the carry on, which was my backpack.

Schneier says "rewew NOW" (2, Insightful)

MrAtoz (58719) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Schneier says "rewew NOW" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233545)

The problem is that in general you are not allowed to renew your passport while it is valid. Even if you claim that it was stolen, you will be given a new one, but it will not be valid as long as you think: it keeps the date of the old one. Furthermore, it might happen that you need the new model for entering some countries (say US) and that means getting another one.

Re:Schneier says "rewew NOW" (1)

MisterBlue (98835) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233729)

My whole family just renewed passports and the new passports we received in the mail last week were "electronic passports".

It's too late.

Re:Schneier says "rewew NOW" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233907)

We've had some RFID bades for 8 years. Wave them with in a couple of inches of the door and the door opens. If you put them in your back pocket and sit down that is enough to flex the anntena them such they die (still with no visable damage). If you keep them in your wallet they survive just fine.

Fools (1)

tocs (866673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232091)

The U.S. completed a live test of the e-Passports in April 2006.

But they did not give the exact date. Maybe it is all a sad joke.

Microwave Ovens (1)

thorkyl (739500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232279)

Solve RFID tag issues.

But then again so do really large magnetic fields.

I have a big magnet just waiting for my new passport.

But then again, why are they doing it?
Are they just getting rid of mounds of paper?
or are they tracking you as you go around the world using black choppers?

--
I hear voices in my head. Oh wait, thats just me talking again...

Typical Response without knowing the facts (4, Interesting)

unPlugged-2.0 (947200) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232677)

Come on slashdot-folks I expected better than all these comments about tin-foil hats.

It's bad enought that I have to put up with this any time I talk to any non-techie about the fact that I work for an RFID company and no I am not evil and do not wish to track their every move and alert someone that they are using the bathroom too much.

--Now for the Facts--

There are two main categories for RFID systems on the market today. These are near field systems that
employ **inductive coupling** of the transponder tag or Smart Label to the reactive energy circulating around the reader antenna, and far field systems that couple to the real power contained in free space propagating electromagnetic plane waves.

The passports are (repeat after me) *inductive* which means that they are activated by a magnetic field which is amplified by that metal loop you see to provide power to read the memory on the chip. The claims that someone could build a reader to read your tag from even 10 or 20 feet away is ridiculous. It would require the creation of such a big magnetic field that it would probably zap all magnetic material (such as hard drives, floppy discs, usb keys) that I am sure someone would notice. Also in order to read the reflection of the magnetic field which is what determines the response (RFID works like an echo you yell at something and wait for the echo to figure out what the id is) you would need such a big receiver (note this is still for 10 - 20 feet only) that you would literally look like someone out of the verizon commercial.

I know us techies are generally oblivious to the outside world but I think if you saw someone like this within 10 feet you should generally notice. Also you should run because that magnetic energy will probably fry your nads among with other crucial body parts you may never use (sorry couldn't resist).

The only real danger is that some hot woman with an rfid reader decides to bump into you and just happen to place her hand where your passport is. If you foresee that happening a lot then I suggest you get a tin-foil cover. However if that happens to you a lot then you are probably not on slashdot and reading this anyways.

Sorry but I am a little sick and tired of hearing about all these security concerns by people who don't know how these systems actually work. Can you tell?

Re:Typical Response without knowing the facts (3, Interesting)

Ludedude (948645) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233185)

"Sorry but I am a little sick and tired of hearing about all these security concerns by people who don't know how these systems actually work. Can you tell?"

Sorry, but I am a little sick and tired about hearing about how there are no security concerns from the people who don't care about anything but selling their products to a government that wants more control over its people. Do you care?

Re:Typical Response without knowing the facts (2, Insightful)

MisterBlue (98835) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233885)

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?

Re:Typical Response without knowing the facts (1)

MountainLogic (92466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233951)

As a guess as to why RFID? THey were sold a bill of goods that this will make counterfiting harder.

Re:Typical Response without knowing the facts (2, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233921)

Good points. However, there are two issues with electronic passports:
1) Someone can still read it remotely, and get access to all kinds of personally identifying information. Yes, you have to get close, but it still is quite possible. Ever seen pickpockets at work? They manage to *remove* your wallet without you noticing it. Considering the potential damage that can result from someone getting their hands on your passport, I'd rather not make it easier for people to access them.

2) You don't know what's on your passport. Yes, there are commercial RFID readers out there. Yes, you can probably buy one. Yes, you might even get it to work properly. But at what cost? Besides, is there any encrypted information on there? I'm sure the friendly US government won't give you access to the data on it. As for the dangers of what's on there... it will basically work like a permanent tag that people will trust completely. Just as an example of how easy it is to screw with these things, my current passport is a replacement for a lost one. However, some nitwit in database entry decided to mark my current passport as lost. Which means that everytime I enter the country, I get to sit for 45 minutes in the special triage section of customs and immigration. And it can't be fixed either - I asked several times.

In short, there is little benefit for me, but a whole lot of risk. I most likely will just fry my RFID chip when I get my new passport.

Renew Now (1)

jay2003 (668095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234041)

I sent in my passport in for renewal about a month ago since it expires next year and it came back without RFID. I suspect if you send in a renewal the next 2 weeks to the National Passport Center, you'll get a new one sans-RFID. I now have 10 years before I have to worry about passport RFID and tin foil hats for my passport. Hopefully by the next time I have to renew, the State Department will have realized their stupidity and gone to contact chip rather than RFID.

13 million seems awfully high (1)

notyou2 (202944) | more than 6 years ago | (#16234675)

U.S. passports -- about 13 million will be issued in 2006

Is this really correct? That would mean that over the course of a decade, roughly 130 million passports are issued? So there are 100-something million active passports... 1 in 3 americans (of all ages). That seems high.

South Park quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16235045)

Yeah, it's like San Fransisco is more of a European city, like Paris or Milan.
</smug>

it's election time...bug your candidate! (1)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 6 years ago | (#16235425)

How about this as a creative solution--bother your incumbent congressman or congressional candidate, ask them if they support unjustifiable technology that can prove to be a risk to US citizens abroad.

I'm telling both the guys running for my district (which, fortunately, is a competitive one) that I'll vote for the guy who votes to repeal the REAL ID Act and, at the very least, makes the RFID chip optional in new passports.
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