Civil Liberties

If I Had a Hammer….

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….I'd hammer out RFID-tagged passports, all over this land. Wired magazine notes in its January issue that, rather than running it through the wash or microwaving it, the best approach if you don't want computer trackability in any form on your passport (while remembering that tampering with your passport is "punishable by 25 years in prison") is to go about "hitting the chip with a blunt hard object…A nonworking RFID doesn't invalidate the passport, so you can still use it."

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  1. Mmmm…but might it subject you and your passport to added scrutiny?

  2. Mmmm…but might it subject you and your passport to added scrutiny?

    The article raises this possibility, too.

    Me, I think the terrorist is less likely to have a passport with a busted chip. because it adds to the uncertainty of a highly planned mission, and I don’t think a terrorist would allow that. Accordingly, I would only rubberglove folks with functioning chips.

  3. Of course, having a working RFID allows anyone with a scanner to scrutinize your passport without you knowing it.

    I’d go hammered, and trot out my best “no idea what could happened, guv’nor” if pressed.

  4. I have yet to pick up the paranoia that a lot of folks have about RFID tags.
    Of course, my old passport doesn’t expire for a couple of years.

  5. …or just carry it in a cigarette case lined with tin foil, effectively preventing RFID communication without subjecting yourself to legal scrutiny, delayed flights, and the like.

  6. I’d go hammered, and trot out my best “no idea what could happened, guv’nor” if pressed.

    Just tell them you’re hammered and you don’t remember much.

    Thank you, I’m here all week! Don’t forget to tip your waitress!

  7. Sam,
    You are right. The 9/11 conspirators studied the security so they’d be sure to get waived on through. They could do it today just as easy, they’d just be as inconvenienced as the rest of us. It’s not about security, it’s about control.

  8. Actually, simply wrapping it in heavy duty foil would be good enough, or maybe I can build a Faraday cage in my girlfriend’s purse!

  9. …or maybe I can build a Faraday cage in my girlfriend’s purse!

    A Faraday keeps the RFID away?

  10. “””A Faraday keeps the RFID away?”””

    ROFLMAO

    A new catch phrase for a new century!

  11. How long have they been putting RFID chips into passports?

  12. I thought i read about this here a few weeks ago, but guess it was over at Slashdot on 26 December.

    Yea, evil America bugging passports in an easily disablable manner! Ooooooo!

    Any idea how to disable the RFID devices in the coins from our neighbor to the north without leaving hammer marks on the coins?

  13. This is all well and good for RFIDs in passports, but what happens when they start chipping babies?

  14. This is all well and good for RFIDs in passports, but what happens when they start chipping babies?

    Hammers probably work on babies too.

  15. Senator Webb, in his excellent novel “Fields of Fire,” noted that the guys you had to be suspicious of were the ones carrying ID cards. It seemed that if an ID card was lost or stolen, the peasants had to spend a lot of money to get it replaced. The Viet Cong never failed to have their paperwork in order.

  16. …or just carry it in a cigarette case lined with tin foil, effectively preventing RFID communication without subjecting yourself to legal scrutiny, delayed flights, and the like.

    You really want to try and get through security with a cigarette case? Talk about WMD.

  17. Senator Webb…noted that the guys you had to be suspicious of were the ones carrying ID cards.

    So when we switch over to all biometrics, those of us with ten fingers will the suspicious ones. I’ve always thought that I made the right move taking Spanish instead of shop class in junior high. I guess I was wrong.
    ?Que l?stima!

  18. Or something more like this
    http://www.verichipcorp.com/

  19. Guy Montag,

    I don’t know what good they think putting an RFID chip inside a metal coin is going to do…

  20. crimethink,

    I don’t know either, but they know!

  21. Residents of Vancouver, BC who move to the US might be interested to know that the I 94 form stapled to your Canadian passport has an embedded RFID chip which is read by receivers stationed at the Peace Arch and Pacific Highway border crossings. The stated purpose is to ensure that visitors don’t overstay their visa.

    Now citizens of other countries can experience the wonder’s of government surveillance. I wouldn’t have discovered this if it wasn’t for a small poster on the back wall of the customs office. More details here: https://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/press_release_0714.shtm.

  22. Deus ex Machina,

    So, if you stay away from the peace arch don’t know how long you overstayed?

  23. If you want to disable the thing, you could try running a rare earth magnet over it. Or lay it on top of the field coil of a running electric motor. “Oh wow, dude, I don’t know what happened to it. I’ve kept it stuck to the fridge for safe-keeping ever since I got the thing!”

  24. They started tagging the Canadians because nobody cares about Canada. And then they tagged the Mexicans and no one objected either. Then they’ll go after the Europeans, the Chinese, the Arabs. And then they’ll try to put their RFID tags on you!

  25. USA RFID + IED = Jihadi happiness

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