RFID Cards for U.S. Visitors
The Department of Homeland Security is testing a program to issue RFID identity cards to visitors entering the U.S.
They’ll have to carry the wireless devices as a way for border guards to access the electronic information stored inside a document about the size of a large index card.
Visitors to the U.S. will get the card the first time they cross the border and will be required the carry the document on subsequent crossings to and from the States.
Border guards will be able to access the information electronically from 12 metres away to enable those carrying the devices to be processed more quickly.
According to the DHS:
The technology will be tested at a simulated port this spring. By July 31, 2005, the testing will begin at the ports of Nogales East and Nogales West in Arizona; Alexandria Bay in New York; and, Pacific Highway and Peace Arch in Washington. The testing or “proof of concept” phase is expected to continue through the spring of 2006.
I know nothing about the details of this program or about the security of the cards. Even so, the long-term implications of this kind of thing are very chilling.