RFID passports delayed

June 17, 2004

The UK based Spy Blog reports via Cryptome that the US is falling behind plans with the Biometric passports originally planned for the autumn of 2004:

State Department Urges Delay in Passport Upgrade. Technological challenges thwart adoption of biometric passports

The Department of State is urging Congress to postpone a legal deadline on the adoption of more sophisticated passports because neither international nor U.S. immigration agencies are able to meet the October 26 target.

"We do not expect to receive large shipments of 64kb chips for use in the U.S. passport until spring, 2005. Like other governments, we expect deliveries to ramp up during 2005, but we ourselves will only be able to complete our transition to a biometric passport by the end of 2005."

"However, given the time it has taken to resolve these complex operational issues, few, if any, will be able to meet the October 26, 2004 deadline. For example, none of the larger countries - Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy or Spain -- will begin issuing passports with standardized biometrics by that deadline. The United Kingdom expects to begin in late 2005, Japan to complete transition to full production by April 2006. Others may not come on-line until well into 2006. This delay is not due to a lack of good will but due to significant scientific and technical challenges that has taken us to the cutting edge of changing technologies. "

Posted by andersja

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