Not only will Americans require passports to travel everywhere, but beginning in 2007 our passports will have Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) chips embedded inside them. Any RFID reader, not just those used by customs officials, can be used to find all the information contained on a passport. That means our personal information is not secure from identity thieves, kidnappers, terrorists, or nosy individuals. Why would an administration that claims to make us more secure actually make us less so? "Unfortunately, there is only one possible reason: The administration wants surreptitious access themselves," wrote security technologist Bruce Schneier in the October 4, 2004 International Herald Tribune. "It wants to be able to identify people in crowds. It wants to surreptitiously pick out the Americans, and pick out the foreigners. It wants to do the very thing that it insists, despite demonstrations to the contrary, can't be done."
The story gets even worse. Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, recently became a board member of Savi Technology. Savi supplies RFID technology to the military. Will Savi and Tom Ridge make money from the imminent embedding of RFID chips in our passports? It is as likely as Dick Cheney and Halliburton making money in Iraq. The Bush doctrine of enriching cronies and keeping the population under control is alive and well.
After a discussion of the right wing's attack on the judiciary, she concludes this way:
This nation is on a runaway train with insane people at the controls. We will end up in Crazyland, forever in debt, without social security, with RFID chips embedded in our foreheads. At a certain point it will be too late to jump. We may not have reached that point yet, but the train is not slowing down.
Maybe she exaggerates. Maybe not.