Bill Scannell, oft cited around these parts for watchdogging government overreach in the name of travel security, sends word that the State Dept. wants to put Radio Frequency Identification chips in all American passports. From the RFIDkills.com website:
This RFID chip will contain the same information currently on our passports, including the passport holder's name, date and place of birth, passport number and photograph.
In a dangerous world where Americans are targeted by thieves, kidnappers and terrorists, the RFID-chipped US passport will turn tourists into targets, and American business travelers will transmit their identities to kidnappers wherever they go, thanks to the US State Department.
Close up, the information broadcast from the RFID chip can be read by anyone with an inexpensive electronic reader. Farther away, the RFID chip can be activated enough to identify the passport holder as an American.
From identity theft to identity death, an RFID-chipped US passport means good news for the bad guys.
Julian Sanchez peeked at RFIDs in the March issue.