[LINK] Australian e-Passport

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sat Oct 7 06:58:54 AEST 2006

At 1:22 +1000 7/10/06, Geoffrey Ramadan wrote:
>Key features of the Australian e-Passport can be found at:

Key features?  Despite many requests made to them by APF, DFAT 
refused to provide meaningful information about the implementation, 
before, during or since the project began.

Read the paperwork carefully, and you won't find answers to whether 
there is additional data on the chip or not, including whether 
something about your face, generated from something unspecified, is 
on the chip or not.

Details of the technical implementation, and the protections used? 
Results of tests of the design?  Nuh.

>It also sumarises how it protects data and privacy.

Re security, again it abjectly fails to inform.  Is the data 
protected, or *will* it be?  Is ICAO's spec fixed, or does it contain 
options, and does it come in versions?  If so, which are being used? 
And why does it still use the future tense, months after deployment?

Privacy protections that had accumulated under the common law, and 
such as were created by the Privacy Act in 1988, were torn to shreds 
when the Passports Act was re-written from scratch, and passed by a 
compliant Parliament.

Quite simply, we have very little idea how the application works, and 
no-one has ever seen a security audit report.  As far as the arrogant 
apparatchiks in DFAT are concerned, we're all subjects, and have no 
right to such information.

The vacuous excuse of the US visa waiver program gave the spook 
community the opportunity to sweep away human rights, and get 
themselves open-ended authorisation for biometrics to be imposed.

The complacency of the Australian public in the face of the accretion 
of power of the national security and law enforcement agency push is 
extraordinary, and bodes very ill for the freedoms of my kids and 

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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