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Smart Card Plan Would Help ID Armed Officers at Airports

June 01, 2000  | 

The Secret Service recently created a "smart card" that could help identify law enforcement officers who need to fly on planes or enter federal buildings while armed.

The card was developed after a recent General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation revealed that investigators used bogus police ID and other phony documents to access secure areas of several airports, as well as to enter 19 government buildings basically unquestioned.

The GAO investigation also resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration beefing up its requirements for allowing law enforcement officials to board planes while armed.

The smart card would contain a microprocessor encoded with a digitized photo of the law enforcement agent, and personally identifying data such as height and weight. The card would then be ran through a scanner, which the Secret Service says would operate much like an ATM.

The cards would be nearly impossible to counterfeit, as the degree of encryption on their computer chip has not ever been breached. The Justice Department says that the cards are among several security measures that it is considering.


(USA Today (06/14/00), Fields, Gary; courtesy of NLECTC Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary)

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