Tuesday, November 14, 2006

An appeal for help:

Just had the following email from the No2ID national coordinator, Phil Booth. If you are willing to help with this then please reply directly to him, as detailed below. The more data we collect, the more likely we can show up the flaws in the "security" of your passport.

Dear all,

We need some help with some research that we are doing into passports.
Time is of the essence!

I assume that at least some of you will have relatively new passports, having renewed at some point in or since May. Some may have chips in them, some will not. As we've said before, the information stored on the chip at present is no more than what you see on the photo page, plus (we can now confirm) up to 18 measurements that have been derived from a scan of your photo.

What we are trying to determine is the sequence in which passports are issued, for a stunt that we hope to perform in the very near future.

If you are willing to help, please e-mail me [passports@no2id.net - subject "mrz"] with *just* the first FOUR digits of your 'MRZ number' - that is, the first four digits (reading from the left) of the bottom row of numbers on the photo page of your passport - plus the date your passport was issued, the office from which it was issued, and whether or not your passport has a chip in it. If more than one person in your family renewed their passport, we be very grateful for this data from each of you.

Please DO NOT send any more than the above information. We do not wish to compromise your privacy or the security of your passport in any way, and what you will be sending is useless to anyone except for the specific problem that we are tackling.

I do hope you can help us, sorry if this mail seems a bit mysterious - but all will become clear in a short while.



P.S. I'm sending this request to so many people that I'm afraid I'll be unable to respond to any other queries. If you have a new passport and are willing to share the data with us, please do. If you have any misgivings, or I have not explained things clearly enough, then just ignore this e-mail.

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