GPO makes millionth e-passport

The Government Printing Office reached a landmark this week when it produced its millionth electronic passport.

At the beginning of the year, GPO began producing the passports for the State Department, which then personalizes the blank documents.

“We are very proud to reach this milestone,” said Ben Brink, assistant public printer for security and intelligent documents. “In the post-[Sept. 11] era, many documents require new levels of security, from their creation to the distribution.”

The passports contain controversial radio frequency identification tags that contain a document holder's personal information and can be scanned remotely.

At the Black Hat conference in early August, a German researcher demonstrated how a remote RFID reader could be used to clone a passport. Members of the Smart Card Alliance industry group said that the multiple security layers in the American e-passport can reduce such risks.

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