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14 posts tagged with passports.
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The Not So United States of Infographics

One of the more ubiquitous formats for "infographics" these days is the U.S.A. Map Comparing Individual States and promoting interstate rivalries. After all, wherever you live in the U.S. of A., you need bragging rights for something, right?

Recently, Business Insider featured "27 Maps That Explain America" including ones that compared each state's percentage of residents with passports, most overrepresented job in every state, percentage of each state's population with a 4-year degree, number of billionaires in each state, number of Starbucks locations in each state, states' stances on climate change (judged by Think Progress), fast food consumption and exercise frequency (detail in a weird format here and here), and cavities per capita.

But Business Insider is certainly not the only site 'mapping the states'... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Aug 1, 2014 - 29 comments

I got lipstick stamps on my passport, I think I need a new one.

Which countries have visa-free access to more countries than others? Ranked at the top with 173 visa-free countries (out of a possible 218) are Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, which all share the Schengen visa policy; dead last is Afghanistan, which only has visa-free access to 28 countries. (Not included in the list were places like Wonderland, Neverland, Hell, Utopia, the Unconscious, or Pangea.) Regardless of nationality, though, it can still be devillishly difficult to get visas for some countries. With the advent of RFID passports, some countries are doing away with visa labels or passport stamps, so collect as many as you can and take a look at them so you can figure out what they say about the issuing country or even turn them into art (or ad campaigns).
posted by divabat on Apr 25, 2014 - 42 comments

Scanning the fibres, furrows and freckles

"What the Mayfield case teaches about biometrics in general is that, no matter how accurate the technology used for screening, it is only as good as the system of administrative procedures in which it is embedded." The Economist outlines some of the problems with biometric passports. There are lots of them: "...biometric recognition is not only “inherently fallible”, but also in dire need of some fundamental research on the biological underpinnings of human distinctiveness." [more inside]
posted by lapsangsouchong on Oct 1, 2010 - 13 comments

What's a little identity theft between friends?!

"To go to bed a citizen and wake up as a wanted terrorist is shocking." The British Government has strongly denounced the Israeli government's use of 12 forged British passports linked to the recent assassination in Dubai as a "hazard for the safety of British nationals in the region". The government has announced that they are expelling an Israeli diplomat -- the first such expulsion in twenty years. New biometric passports will be issued, and the government has issued a travel advisory for Israel, warning citizens "We recommend that you only hand your passport over to third parties including Israeli officials when absolutely necessary." Possibly forged Irish, French, Australian, and a German passport were also used for the assassination, according to investigators.
posted by markkraft on Mar 23, 2010 - 83 comments

off the beaten path

Passport photos of famous artists, 1915-1925. Collection gleaned from passport applications files of writers actors, poets, artists, photographers. Also, Hollywood stars and other notables of the era.
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 19, 2010 - 23 comments

Cloning passport card RFIDs

Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree. "Using inexpensive off-the-shelf components, an information security expert has built a mobile platform that can clone large numbers of the unique electronic identifiers used in US passport cards and next generation drivers licenses. The $250 proof-of-concept device - which researcher Chris Paget built in his spare time - operates out of his vehicle and contains everything needed to sniff and then clone RFID, or radio frequency identification, tags. During a recent 20-minute drive in downtown San Francisco, it successfully copied the RFID tags of two passport cards without the knowledge of their owners." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 3, 2009 - 24 comments

outsourcing the country

The Governmental Printing Office prints all United States passports but they decided that it was time to outsource part of the work. They claim it is secure [pdf].
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel on Mar 27, 2008 - 22 comments

Want another ID?

New "Hi - tech" passport cracked. Standards for the new passports were set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 2003 and adopted by the waiver countries and the US. The UK Home Office has adopted a very high encryption technology called 3DES - that is, to a military-level data-encryption standard times three. However they used non-secret information actually published in the passport to create a 'secret key'. That is the equivalent of installing a solid steel front door to your house and then putting the key under the mat.
posted by adamvasco on Nov 17, 2006 - 53 comments

Repatriating Russians

Poignant Passports. At the beginning of the 20th century Hawaii sugar plantation owners began to recruit laborers of European background. Perhaps as many as 2,000 Russians and Ukrainians came to Hawaii. After the February Revolution in Petrograd some of these Russians were repatriated. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Sep 13, 2005 - 2 comments

Heartless response

Heartless response An American couple survived while diving off Thailand during the tsunami. Because they had lost all their possessions, they had to have new passports issued. At the Bangkok airport other governments had set up booths to assist their citizens. The couple searched there for officials from the American consulate for three hours, before finding them in the VIP lounge. Oh, and U.S. officials demanded payment before taking any passport pictures.
posted by fleener on Dec 29, 2004 - 166 comments

Who is watching Big Brother?

Who is watching Big Brother? Last week, the Australian Privacy Foundation held its annual Big Brother Awards, with biometric passports winning the prestigious "Orwell" for the most invasive technology (other countries' Big Brother Awards here). Not long before, Privacy International and the Electronic Privacy Information Center released their 7th Annual Survey on the state of privacy in sixty countries, claiming that threats to personal privacy have reached a level that is dangerous to fundamental human rights. Are we edging closer to Room 101?
posted by UbuRoivas on Nov 29, 2004 - 6 comments

Biometrics are coming .... or not?

After all the hoopla about increasing security, it seems that the requirement for biometric data to be included in passports of those entering the US from visa waiver countries will need to be extended for two years to allow other countries to catch up with the technology, as it seems most countries are unable to meet the deadline. Some countries have put on hold the new technology, while others seem committed to going ahead with it, despite doubts about the readiness of the technology. Of course, if civil liberties groups get their way, the biometric passports may never see the light of day. Specific religious issues complicate the matter to some extent, also. Given that, if the technology to produce biometric passports is available, will it really be that hard for forged passports to be created? Unless a massive world-wide database containing the biometric details of every person was used for data-matching, it is hard to see how these new measures will really make much difference to anyone apart from the companies selling the technology.
posted by dg on Apr 26, 2004 - 4 comments

the outside

How many Americans own passports? Working with passports issued and the US population, it gives an idea of around 20%. Why do so many Americans stay at home?
posted by the fire you left me on Feb 24, 2004 - 98 comments

The Passport: the next step in its evolution may include invisible information encoded into your mug shot, but if you are wondering where it all began, the Canadian passport office identifies one Nehemiah of Persia, ca. 450 BC, as candidate for very first passport holder. Some think that it was all downhill from there. Regardless, there might be very good reasons for getting more than one passport, which you can do legally, or less so. Lenin had a fake passport. So did Hitler, though he didn't know it. (More inside.)
posted by taz on Aug 10, 2002 - 5 comments

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