US Customs and Border Protection made forging e-passports easier

Originally published at:

Well, sure, but a wall is much better security theater than working technology.

It used to be different - governments could happily spend millions of taxpayer dollars for shiny boxes like the Quadro Tracker, GT200, Alpha 6, AL-6D, XK9, Sniffex, HEDD1, H3TEC, PK9, ADE101, 650 & 651 - but a lot of the public are understandably suspicious of electronic unperson detectors now that thousands of people have died.


Is there any chance at all this is intentionally bad information, like the Freakonomics Life Insurance trap?

I can hope, right?

1 Like

There might be real people using the fact that such a problem exists to establish such a trap. I would be very doubtful that this was CBP’s intent or that they are the ones doing so.

1 Like

could you elaborate?

You can’t hack bricks! So there!


never mind, I may have found it…


Is the wall to hit my head against?

Edit: So does that mean all of the data in unencrypted and the key is just for verification. I know it would not be very secure given the need to share a key to acess the data across many jurisdictions but you would think some basic encryption of the data in addition to the encrypted verification would be worth while.

1 Like

You got it.

1 Like

Bricks need to be hacked…


Unless, of course, they are the Solid1 Gold2 Bricks® of Making America Great Again!™   Those are totally unhacked!3


1 not actually solid. Product quality may vary.
2 genuine simulated Trump International GoldTone®4
3 statement not verified at point of origin5
4 not actually made of, or containing gold.
5 Hecho in Mexico6
6 Some materials7 sourced in China.
7 Principally melamine and traces of lead.


Statements made on behalf of Trump International Brickyards do not reflect the views of the Trump Organization or рoссийская мафия. All rights reserved. Violators will be persecuted.

I disagree.


“Hello. I’d like you to imagine for a moment that you a sheep farmer.”

SHEPHERD! The word is shepherd! I’m not sure I can read past “sheep farmer.”



The first rule of economic sciences is to make unwise assumptions regarding your subject…


The technology of medieval sheep farming: some evidence from Crawley, Hampshire, 1208–1349

Fleece weights at Crawley rose from an average of 1.47 lb in the period 1275–99 to 1.60 lb during the years 1300–24.62 Stephenson argued that exogenous factors, in particular disease and climate, were primarily responsible for the wool yields achieved by sheepfarmers in the Middle Ages. Thornton too expressed scepticism that late medieval farmers had the technical ability to improve yields of wool.63 In his reevaluation of post-Black Death sheep farming, however, Stone has emphasized the importance of decisions taken by demesne officials for the productivity of the flock. In particular, he stressed the vital role played by fodder…


In the agricultural sense, 1590s, replacing native churl and husbandman.

1 Like


It is Customs and Border PROTECTION, not Patrol.

None of you people at BoingBoing can get this straight.

CBP = Customs and Border Protection…

USBP = United States Border Patrol

Bad enough Cory can NEVER get this shit right, but the rest of you ought to be able to at least look at the illo for your own article.

That said, the passport thing is a fucking abortion.

1 Like

Ha! Thank you.

The ‘agricultural sense’ from etymonline doesn’t work for me in this context - farmer replacing churl, defined as ‘a peasant’ - Sheep peasant? - or replacing husbandman, defined as “farmer, tiller of the soil.”

But the article is interesting.The sheepfarmers, it sounds like, were the people running the manor that employed the shepherds.

1 Like

Shepherd is the one watching/caring for the flock of sheep. Sheep farmer owns the sheep/sheep farm. May be the same person but may well also not be. Do you insist on calling pig farmers ‘swineherds’?


From now on, yes! :wink:

Though not really, as pigs aren’t herd animals, and I’ve never seen them out on open range. Pigs are farmed.

1 Like

When you say “abortion,” do you mean “abomination.”

It’d be kind of meaningless to encrypt the data in a passport, in the sense of trying to control who could read it. If you have to distribute a “secret” key to hundreds of thousands of people in every country in the world, it’s not remotely secret, and is quite likely to create problems for people who should be able to read it.

Using crypto to sign the information (so it cannot be forged) does make sense, and IIUC that is what they do, it’s just that US border guards don’t choose to check that signature. It may well be that a forged US passport will get you into the US, but not, say, Japan.

Either will suffice