Radio Gaga

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What's next in our future: aluminum passports? Well, something like that, as the State Department considers placing radio identification tags in your travel document. What's the hitch? You might not want to be identified as an American as you ramble through Peshawar or Paris, but your radio signal will give you away anyway to someone sporting the right equipment.

That's where the aluminum comes in.

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  1. The fanny pack and “Drunken State” t-shirt will betray most before the RFID is in range.

  2. Oh, I get it. Because Americans are less sophisticated than Europeans. Funny stuff….

  3. Aluminum won’t work because it’s non-magnetic. What you need is a steel mesh pouch, fine enough to act as a Faraday cage (and against signals in the tens of GHz you’re talking a weave of 10 microns or so). The short, practical answer is you can’t block it.

    If I had to visit a place where this is a problem, I’d start by getting a passport from some third country that doesn’t go in for this crap. Or I’d just stick my passport with RFID in the microwave for half a minute, thus nuking the chip.

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