If you have a passport that doesn’t need to be renewed for a while, your in luck. If you are going to need a passport anytime in the next 10 years, I suggest you get one now.
That’s because the US State Department plans to fit all newly issued passports with RFID tags this September. RFID tags are essentially little chips that can broadcast information (up to 30 ft). These RFID chips will contain all of your passport information, including picture and social security number.
You could be sitting at a cafe anywhere in the world watching all of the people with American passports walk by from your laptop. They wouldn’t know a thing.
Even scarier, is that some geek you used to beat up in high school has been able to (over wireless) take the information from one of these chips, and copy it. Cool, so the State Department has just made identity theft easier.
Also, there has been discussion that it is possible to create bombs, that would only be triggered when a RFID chip in a passport gets within 30 feet. Now imagine that.
This details are on Bruce Schneier’s blog. He is one of the world’s leading experts in information security. Now, is that George Bush clock really so crazy? <-- that was a cheap shot..
Also, as I Googled the word “passport” to put the picture in the post up, I found countless people who had scaned and put their passport insides on the Internet. Not too bright, some people even put their children’s passport online. Good thing I’m not Jason Smith 😉