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Washington State To Try RFID Drivers Licenses 153

tverbeek tells us about a program the state of Washington has approved, to issue RFID-equipped drivers licenses to facilitate cross-border traffic. The idea is to load the drivers license with information proving citizenship, so that (with Department of Homeland Security approval) the bearer doesn't need to carry a passport — which otherwise will be required to re-enter the US from Canada beginning in 2009. The "enhanced" licenses will require applicants to submit to an in-person interview and to show proof of citizenship. A pilot program in Washington begins January 2008. Officials hope for DHS approval of the program before the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 causes a spike in cross-border traffic.
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Washington State To Try RFID Drivers Licenses

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  • by giminy ( 94188 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:34PM (#18481843) Homepage Journal
    I'm moving to Washington State soon. I wonder what their reaction will be when I apply for one of these and during the interview state that I'm a security researcher interested in breaking it. :).

  • why RFID? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Allison Geode ( 598914 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:40PM (#18481881)
    why can't they just keep a database and have barcodes? wouldn't that be, essentially, the same as this, only less prone to RFID's insecure nature?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:44PM (#18481909)
    Then one of two things will happen:

    Either your interrogator will be "you better love the USA or else" type of asshole, in which case youll be labeled a traitor.

    Or, your interrogator will be a underpaid, overworked person who could care less. Ill vote for this one.
  • by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:16PM (#18482121) Homepage Journal
    This will help security how?

    The Unibomber and Oklahoma City bombers were US Citizens, the 9/11 attackers had real, not forged documents, the vast majority of illegal immigrants are probably nice folks... since when does lack of proper ID portend terror?

    If someone is planning a complex plot to attack the US, they probably won't let it fail because a key member has a badly forged ID card.
  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:19PM (#18482137)

    People do that so in a worst case scenario, they can identify their child's remains.
    That isn't the reason the parents do it. These services are done in shopping malls and grade schools and they are promoted as ways to keep your child safe. Not identify your child after they've been raped, murdered and then chopped up. People just don't put any though into it and they honestly believe that by giving the government a record of their child's biometric information they will somehow receive increased safety out of it.

  • Re:Scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSkyIsPurple ( 901118 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:29PM (#18482185)
    >I refuse to call these people 'illegals' because no human being is 'illegal', they are fucken human beings.

    If they are from somewhere else, they are an alien.
    If they are enterring illegally, they are an illegal alien.
    And it's natural to shorten a long phrase like "illegal alien" to simply "illegal" when the context is clear.

    The person themself is not illegal, but their status in that location is.

    I don't see a problem with calling them illegals.

    Now, treating them as less than human is a whole other ball o' wax.
  • Re:Non-citizens? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:35PM (#18482215)
    H1-B holders have a visa(that is, that's the way their status is documented).
  • What a nasty hack (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:29PM (#18482549)
    It seems that the underlying problem is that the US passport system is not meeting the needs of the citizens of Washington. I wonder why Washington feels the need to solve this problem by tacking additional functionality on a system that is meant to ensure that one is capable of operating a vehicle instead of directly addressing whatever shortcomings exist with the passport system.
  • Re:Scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gm a i l .com> on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:35PM (#18482587)

    We have detention centers in Australia too. They are full of refugees who try to come to australia via boat without permission. I refuse to call these people 'illegals' because no human being is 'illegal', they are fucken human beings.

    There are laws defining how non-citizens are allowed to enter the country. These people have broken those laws. They're illegal immigrants.

    This does not mean they are "illegal people". They are free to leave - and go back to their point of origin - whenever they want.

    Sad thing is, only a minority of people in Australia feel for the plight of these people. Most 'aussies' are racist, even if they don't admit it (or don't realize it).

    Believing in immigration control is not racist, it's sensible.

    If you're so gung-ho about this, can you give me your address ? I want to come over to your house, eat your food and sleep in your bed for a few weeks. Or are you some racist hypocrite who locks his door at night ?

    Whats even sadder is that some refugees have been detained for years on end without being processed. Even sadder still, after years in detention, some get sent back from where they came. There was one case I think where someone was returned to Iran to be subsequently killed by the Iranian government.

    Now, here you actually have something approaching a valid point. The time taken to process these people *is* something that needs to be improved. Of course, if they didn't destroy all the documentation proving who they are, that would expedite the process far more than anything that can be done on Australia's end.

    Detetntion centers need to be abolished. There is no place for them in a free society.

    So how *should* we deal with people who enter the country illegally, that we know nothing about ?

  • Re:Non-citizens? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JimBobJoe ( 2758 ) <swiftheart&gmail,com> on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:30PM (#18482921)
    What would permanent residents and H1-B types have on their "enhanced" papers in lieu of proof of American citizenship?

    Permanent US residents don't need an enhanced license because they already have a Green Card. The Green Card is accepted by Canada for entry and it's accepted by the US for return. (Permanent US residents are, in effect, treated by Canada as if they were US citizens.)

    Non-permanent residents are not treated the same way, and are evaluated by their citizenship and other credential issues--so they'll need their passport anyway.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.