Don't think you can remove that RFID chip in your passport

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Ed Hasbrouck points to the Notice of Proposed Rule-Making for the RFID passports. Here's the summary:
Under the proposed rule, a passport that contains a damaged, defective, or otherwise nonfunctioning electronic chip or with observable wear and tear that render it unfit for further use as a travel document may be invalidated by the Department of State. While an electronic passport with a nonfunctioning electronic chip may continue to be used if the data page is not damaged, it would nonetheless lack the ability to be read by chip readers at ports of entry and would not reflect the security features inherent in the electronic chip technology. If the damage were caused deliberately, the passport would be invalidated upon discovery. Individuals whose passports contain failed electronic chips may choose to obtain a replacement passport for the balance of the original validity period by applying presenting the passport, and new photos; or they may apply for a new full validity passport by applying presenting the passport, new photos and applicable fees.

In other words, you can't just microwave it. Hasbrouck's post also contains the following gem:

There's no plan to invalidate existing passports, which are good for 10 years from the date of issuance, but Moss says he expects that holders of non-RFID passports will face increasingly second-class treatment (longer lines, slower processing, more intrusive searches) once most USA passports in circulation are chipped.

If you're interested in this issue, Hasbrouck's post provides an excellent introduction.

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So the strategy is:

a) Get your passport now.

b) Tolerate lines once RFID passports are widely deployed until there are one or two RFID-driven high-profile kidnapping/assaults, which grab headlines and make people panic.

c) Help fuel the panic.

d) Wait for the backlash to result in contact-based passports, THEN renew your passport.

If you can read them from 10 meters, can you toast them from 10 meters? Could this be useful?

Well, yes and no.

It takes a lot more energy to toast em, but you don't have to be as precise. You could probably make a "fry-em" which would be a big EMP pulse on the right frequency, but it would be rather indescriminate and could screw up other electronics as wel.

"In other words, you can't just microwave it." -- um... I read this as, you can microwave it, as long as the fact that you've done so isn't obvious (so maybe not actually microwave...) and the printed data remains readable, so long as you're prepared to tolerate the queues.

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