Two senators have called on Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to find a way to activate anti-forgery capabilities on e-passports.
In a letter, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, that the agency needs to work with the General Services Administration to thwart forgeries on e-passports. Their deadline is January 2019.
Since 2015, e-Passports have been required for travel to the U.S. under the visa waiver program. CBP has the technology to access data on e-passports, but not the software to authenticate the information.
The senators wrote, "CBP has been aware of this security lapse since at least 2010, when the Government Accountability Office released a report highlighting the gap in technology. Eight years after that publication, CBP still does not possess the technological capability to authenticate the machine-readable data in e-Passports. It is past time for CBP to utilize the digital security features it required to be built into e-Passports."