Tne newest Wired has a story claiming that as of January 1, 2007 (tomorrow) all new American passports will have a radio frequency chip embedded in them. If it weren't bad enough that government officials can easily monitor your movements, how about hackers and other "bad actors?" Wired claims it will make it all the easier for hackers to get their hands on your personal stats.
Getting paranoid about strangers slurping up your identity? Here’s what you
can do about it. But be careful-- tampering with a passport is
punishable by 25 years in prison. Not to mention the "special"
customs search, with rubber gloves. Bon voyage!
1) RFID-tagged passports have a distinctive logo on the front cover;
the chip is embedded in the back.
2) Sorry, "accidentally" leaving your passport in the jeans you just
put in the washer won't work. You're more likely to ruin the passport
itself than the chip.
3) Forget about nuking it in the microwave-- the chip could burst
into flames, leaving telltale scorch marks. Besides, have you ever
smelled burnt passport?
4) The best approach? Hammer time. Hitting the chip with a blunt,
hard object should disable it. A nonworking RFID doesn’t invalidate
the passport, so you can still use it.
Or does that idea of an electronic chip in your passport make you feel more secure and safer? Many people actually like Big Brother and some people think they are better fit for robotic slavery than for the vicissitudes of freedom.
UPDATE: AND IT ISN'T JUST AMERICAN TRAVELERS THAT UNCLE SAM IS GATHERING INFO ABOUT. BRITS TRAVELING TO THE U.S.-- GET READY!
Happy New Year! Today's Telegraph has an unwelcome announcement for British air passengers U.S.-bound. "Britons flying to America could have their credit card and email accounts inspected by the United States authorities following a deal struck by Brussels and Washington. By using a credit card to book a flight, passengers face having other transactions on the card inspected by the American authorities. Providing an email address to an airline could also lead to scrutiny of other messages sent or received on that account."
There are 4 millions Brits per year who fly to the U.S. and this newest Bush Regime initiative covers not just them but all Europeans. Not only has Bush demanded that all this info be available in regard to his phony war against terrorism but his regime is also asserting the right to the same information when dealing with other ill-defined "serious crimes."