Law enforcement officials concerned about Passport Card vulnerabilities

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Washington DC – Former law enforcement officials are concerned about the insecurity of the upcoming Passport Card or PASS card issued by the US Department of State.  The plastic card with embedded RFID-chip is about the size of a credit card and is meant for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Former chief of intelligence of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency James Hesse and former FBI agent Joel Lisker say the card can be easily copied or altered simply by replacing the photograph.  They add that the embedded RFID chip is basically worthless because only 39 out of the more than 300 entry ports to the United States will have RFID scanners.

The PASS card is made by L-1 Identity Solutions and has been touted as a cheaper and more efficient version of the typical booklet type US passport.  US Citizens cannot use the card for any type of air travel, but the PASS card will be accepted for border crossings from Canada and Mexico.  It will also be accepted for cruise passengers traveling from the Carribeans.

But the most interesting feature of the PASS card is that it will be accepted as proof of citizenship and identity within the United States.  So basically copy this card and you're an instant citizen and fat chance that any local law enforcement officer is going to carry around an RFID scanner to verify if the card is real.

New border regulations require people to show proof of citizenship/residence and identity at border crossings.  Previously US citizens could simply walk through with their driver’s licenses.

Read more … Washington Post