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U.S. Passports Made in Thailand

It’s funny I remember when I was a kid and mom would drag us to the dime store or it’s equivalent and all the cheesy knick knack stuff and plastic furniture would have made in Thailand or made in China stickers on them. Back then in the 70’s anything with those tags was considered pretty much junk.

These days it’s not so funny when you go to the store and see the junk items have made in America on them and quality furniture and electronics are coming from all over Asia. Even less funny in these days of heightened security is the fact that the one item you would hope is made in America, your passport, isn’t.

After 9/11 the government and homeland security decided that the American passport must be made more secure from falling into the hands of terrorists. This meant adding an electronic chip. Obviously the American government can’t use the internet and I’m sure their yellow pages is outdated because they claimed that there was no company in America that could make this chip. So in their infinite wisdom they outsourced the job to forign companies such as Smartrac Technologies, a Dutch company.

The new E-Passports start their journey in Europe where the computer chips are inserted into the new passport cover and then they are shipped to a factory in Ayutthaya, Thailand where a wire Radio Frequency Identification Antenna (RFID) is added. Then the blank passport is sent back to Washington to be bound with new pages…because we all know thats the most important part as far as security is concerned.

Obviously there is no information on the passport by this stage and all the information is added in the U.S.

Smartrac has run into a few glitches along the way which should have all Americans concerned. Originally they were shipping the blank passports back to the U.S. via FedEx, fortunately someone in the government figured that wasn’t so smart and demanded armored carriers must be used every step of the way.

Of course that doesn’t mean much when Smartrac has already divulged a much deeper problem when it reported in a 2007 court filing that China through acts of espionage had stolen it’s patented chip technology used in E-Passports…worried yet?

No counterfeit E-Passports have been sighted as of yet and the buildings in which they are assembled overseas are secure, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Look at the bright side…you may not have made it to Thailand yet but your new passport sure has.

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Comment by RE AusetkmtNo Gravatar
2008-08-05 21:52:26

Thanks - you reminded me of something very important.
don’t ever think that america wants it’s citizens to know the truth.

this is a Public Service Indeed.

btw, I mirrored your blog on my radio station blog BadGalsRadio; today - wednesday / do see and comment please http://badgals-radio.com/

thanks again, and yes I subscribed

Comment by mommyandmeboutiqueNo Gravatar
2008-08-05 21:53:32

What can I say in response to this? ….. we just take one day at a time.

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