Saturday, December 30, 2006

GAO Indicates Weakness in Border Security

RFID Law Journal
Newsletter No. 33
December 30, 2006

On December 6, 2006, the GAO published its report “Border Security: US-VISIT Program Faces Strategic, Operational & Technological Challenges at Land Ports of Entry”. While there are plenty of opinions on what this report means, you’re encouraged to read the full report at

There is certainly no ‘silver bullet’ for exit border procedures. Yet, with millions of us relying upon similar technology in our daily commutes (e.g., E-Z Pass), it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to understand why RFID represents part of an overall solution, given the significant demands on manpower and the ability of vicinity RFID systems to provide policymakers with critical leverage. While some shortcomings appear daunting at this stage, this is early in the game to cast a ballot against further experimentation with the applications of this technology in the context of improving border security systems.

As mentioned above, there is no shortage of opinions on what this GAO’s report means for border security or auto identification technologies. On December 15, 2006, the New York Times provided its color in a front page article entitled “U.S. Dropping Bid to Track if Visitors Leave.” On that same day, Washington Technology published “US VISIT Exit System Flaw: GAO,” which is found at On December 21, 2006, RFID Journal covered the report with its story entitled “GAO Report Highlights RFID Weaknesses in US-VISIT.”

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