Sun Jul 31st, 2005 at 01:57:07 PM EST
X-posted from BT, now with poll (non-US citizens/citizens with non-US partners only, please)
A couple of months ago I wrote a diary about the US-VISIT program, which requires visitors from abroad to submit to biometric identification. I also described the technical problems they have.
The Department of Homeland Security now wants to raise the ante and is about to start a pilot program in which foreigners will be issued an RFID ID card readable from 10 to 15 meters away.
More below the fold.
The Kingston (Ont.) Whig-Standard reports:
Kingston's closest U.S. border
crossing will employ high-tech radio frequency technology to monitor visitors from other countries who want to enter the States from Canada - a move that alarms both a Kingston privacy expert and an immigration specialist.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said this week that the crossing between Lansdowne and Alexandria Bay, N.Y., will be one of three Canada-U.S. land borders to require non-Canadians to carry wireless devices as part of a pilot project.
Travellers will be required to carry the devices as of Aug. 4.
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. link, via BoingBoing
Most Canadians are apparently exempt, but landed immigrants are not.
DHS says that the UHF frequency used "makes it impossible to locate a specific person". However, Queen's University law professor and privacy expert Art Cockfield points out:
"Often these technologies are introduced in a fairly minor form and then the technology is extended. What would be very troubling to me would be the tracking of visitors after they've crossed the border."
Not to mention the possibility of surruptitious screening in electronic spot checks.
What will they think of next?