Your passports are full of tech

Originally published at:


Thanks for sharing, Seamus


Might have been good to mention that customs / border patrol agents don’t have the technology to verify the digital signature.

Maybe you could do a follow-on article for a more technical audience about the protocols used, which version of validation is used (PACE, BAC, etc), and some insight into the process of validation.


That was the most self effacing post I thrill I have ever read here. Impostor syndrome sounds intense.

Interesting article. The one part that struck me as odd was saying not to worry about passport rfid sleeves but to get one right away if you lose your passport card sleeve. When both have been proven to be interrogatible without sleeves and the card contains less info.

Unless you are Edward Snowden it does seem like nothing to be worried too much about. Particularly if you have a cell phone.

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It made sense to me. Even with the lack of identifying information the card is much easier to surreptitiously read at distance than the book, so it’s more important to keep the card protected.

But yeah, your phone is a far more interesting vector.


The fun part about this, according to Mr. Holly, is that CBP does have the tech required to do the verification–they’ve chosen not to use it. My bet is that it has something to do with speed, but that’s the guess of a laymen looking in from the outside. I didn’t get into the whys of the situation, at the time–it wasn’t within the scope of the assignment. But Wired did a good job of breaking it all down, recently.

It’s an interesting area of study that I’m had a taste of. You can bet that I’ll be looking for new stories to tell about it.

It took me until the fifth paragraph, thinking what the hell that had to do with passports, to realize what I was reading was not the actual article but an elaborate apology for linking to said article. So that was interesting.


Also weird how there was a coin miner on the linked site.

Had to block ‘’ to get it to stop trying to melt my legs off.

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