This Just In: Government Comprised Mostly Of Idiots

The Feds have decided that there’s no reason to encrypt the information stored in the RFID chips to be embedded in new passports. Here’s a hint: If Bruce Schneier says you’re screwing up on security, maybe you oughta reconsider your path. Wired quotes Schneier:

Bruce Schneier, a security expert and author who founded Counterpane Internet Security, questions how much shielding helps, since travelers often have to show identification to exchange currency or check into a hotel. “Shielding is a good idea, but the problem is if you travel in Europe you are asked to show your passport a lot,” Schneier said. “So all that shielding means is that someone who wants to sniff my passport just has to pick his location.” Schneier, who just renewed his passport to make sure he will not have an unencrypted passport for another 10 years, says he has yet to hear a good argument as to why the government is requiring remotely readable chips instead of a contact chip — which could hold the same information but would not be skimmable. “A contact chip would be so much safer,” Schneier said. “The only reason I can think of is the government wants surreptitious access. I’m running out of other explanations. I’d love to hear one.”

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