RFID vendors say new PASS cards insecure

Security and privacy advocacy groups and RFID vendors hit out at the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s decision for using EPC UHF Gen 2
tags in IDs being developed as part of the Western Hemisphere Travel
Initiative. All this was uttered at the congressional briefing in

Neville Pattinson, V.P, Gemalto stated:

We have a situation where the government is issuing
[identity] cards to themselves that are more secure than what they are
about to issue to the citizens. There is something significantly wrong
with the situation.

He addressed around fifty congressional staffers, industry
representatives and government officials at the venue. In this speech
Pattinson referred to the Common Access Card which have been issued by
the US Department of Defense and is being used by twelve million active
duty personnel’s. In his speech Pattinson urged the attendees to
question the policy of government agencies with regards to the PASS
card. He stated that contactless smart card technology can only ensure
that PASS card program will be deployed in such a manner so that the
government gets electronically authenticated and forge-proof identity
documents which would protect the privacy of US citizens.

There seems to be concern over the use of UHF EPC inlays in PASS
cards. The Bush government had zeroed on these cards as an alternative
to US passports used by citizens making frequent land border crossing.
Though there has been very less opposition to PASS cards but still
agencies have been stubborn with regards to considering an alternative
to what is being regarded as insecure RFID cards. Congress seems to be
delaying the PASS program since it seems to be unhappy over DHS going
with insecure technology choices. This delay is aimed at convincing the
Congress to conduct more trials of the technology before PASS cards are
rolled out to the citizens.

James Wiley from Texas Instruments stated that both the government
and the citizens were having serious and legitimate concerns which must
be addressed and security should never be opted for at the price of
operational efficiency and privacy and clear rules must be set for
addressing both the groups. He stated that there should be clear rules
with regards to procedural and technological aspect of the
identification system.

Read more: RFID Vendors express their views on PASS Card security to Congress

Which just goes to show how insecure the new RFID passports are in the UK and across the rest of Europe, but we are not allowed the debate.

The UK government have consistently refused to open the debate on the security issues around the RFID element of both the UK passports and the planned ID Cards for its citizens.


About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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