Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
As previously reported, the State Department has been struggling with concerns over privacy and security in developing new passports. The struggle has ended, and by "October 2006, all U.S. passports, with the exception of a small number of emergency passports issued by U.S. embassies or consulates, will be electronic passports." Of course, by "electronic" it is not meant that passports will be paperless, rather the paper will have embedded RFID. While electronic identification has received much attention in the US since 9/11, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been working on global specifications for electronic passports for decades. The new US passport builds upon that foundation.