back to article Biz travelers howl over US gov RFIDs

A travel industry group has called on the US government to halt its use of new machinery that remotely reads government issued identification cards at border crossings until the safety of the new system can be better understood. Monday's call by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) follows similar requests by …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Testing RFIDs

    How long and at what power setting would one need to cook an RFID chip in a microwave to exceed non-destructive testing limits?

    Just curious....

  2. EvilJason
    Black Helicopters

    All i got to say is.....


    So in order to get into or out of the freedom loving Democratic republic of the united states of America you have to show your government issued papers or else you get taken to a secure location without access to a legal representation lol

    When did america become communist?

    Everything Americans fear from communism has happened over of the last few years in there country.

    I cant really think of anything else to say other than hahahahahaha in soviet America you do not become communist, communist becomes you.

    Sorry for the laughter but the irony is to much.


  3. Graham Marsden

    In Mumbai...

    ... I have to wonder whether the terrorists who went around looking for people with "American or British Passports" would be in favour of this technology...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't it the cards that should worry us?

    The long range scanners just confirm the RFID cards are a privacy risk. It's not the scanners at airports we need to worry about, this just proves privacy conscious people were right to worry about the cards themselves.

  5. Matthew
    Black Helicopters


    All these untried, unproven "security" measures just make it easier for anyone with technical know-how to get into countries that it was previously.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Papers, citizen

    Oh, never mind...we already know who you are.....ha.ha.ha.ha

  7. Thomas Kent

    Mr. Faraday...

    ...hand me the tinfoil please!

    (Covering an RFID with tinfoil in essence creates a Faraday cage around said RFID).

    Mines the one with the tinfoil lining.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Oh the ownage!

    Land of the free*

    Home of the brave*

    * subject to Government scanning.

    [Please hold your pass straight, citizen]

  9. Tom

    Faraday cage?

    Only if you ground it...

  10. JC

    Sad Day

    ... when those in power claim it's important to erode real freedoms in order to "protect" imaginary ones then attack if you don't agree.

    RFID should never be imposed on anyone unless they ask for it, in which case they made a choice, freely.

  11. Sillyfellow

    foil lined wallet anyone?

    anyone who starts selling foil lined anti-rfid wallets and handbags will have a flourishing business.

    just a idea....

  12. NB

    am I too late?

    First Godwin post!!

    I invoke Godwins law. The US is turning into a naziesque police state.

    Phew, hope no-one beat me to it.

  13. druck Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    The new wall

    When the Berlin wall came down we thought that democracy and freedom would spread eastwards, and indeed in most parts it has done. What we weren't expecting was the wall would be put back up in the west, with a virtual cloning of the invasive security and mass surveillance culture of the freedom hating former regimes of the east.

  14. Ferry Boat

    @Testing RFID AC

    Yes, you can destroy them in a microwave. I've heard that about 10 seconds on full power will be plenty. However, RSA labs has a warning -

    You could make yourself a shielding passport wallet though. Foil should do the job fine.

  15. NRT

    @AC 2049hrs

    An old chip & pin bank card showed blistering on the surface after 3 seconds in a 650W microwave oven.

    An RFID card with an arial would absorb more power so less than a second would probably kill the chip but someone would have to experiment to see when the card showed obvious signs of dammage.


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Don't use a microwave

    A microwave oven will leave burn marks on the card/passport/rectal plug/whatever.

    Build a small electromagnetic pulse generator. All you need is a disposable camera and a coil - Google for instructions. These give a big enough pulse to sauté only the chip (or rather its RF bit), rather than crudely frying it along with whatever it's embedded in.

    The only snag is that you need an RFID reader to make sure it's dead, but these can be had for £25 or so nowadays.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ NRT

    Thanks, I will try it when I receive my new passport ;-)

  18. Shane McCarrick

    Re: Microwave

    Perhaps The Register could host a survey at a later date detailing people's experiences at Microwaving their passports- as to what the optimal power and length should be to reliably fry any RFID chips.

    From preliminary tests I've done (I'm not due a new passport until 2012- but Dublin Bus have recently introduced an RFID ticketing system)- between 15 and 20 seconds on 600 watts, or under 10 seconds on 1000 watts should suffice. Then again- its far easier to replace my errr, defective, bus tickets than it is a passport.........

    Caveat emptor......?

  19. Adam Foxton

    @Shane McCarrick

    For a start, it's probably illegal to deliberately tamper with your passport. So the gov't would clamp down on El Reg. I'd rather that didn't happen, so my vote's against them asking anyone to.

    Doing it on some other, foreign-hosted, website would be fine enough though. But passports are useful and expensive, so people are unlikely to fry their own. I guess if anyone knows the whereabouts of those RFID passports that were nicked a few months ago you could ask them to spare a few...

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