One of Wired magazine’s blogs, Threat Level,  is a great source of crazy surveillance news, much of it tied to travel security and the control of immigration. From the Biometric Passports Craze file comes this little bit of cheeky hacker joy:

To demonstrate why using fingerprints to secure passports is a bad idea, the German hacker group Chaos Computer Club has published what it says is the fingerprint of Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s interior minister.


…Schauble is a big proponent of the use of fingerprints in passports but is not the CCC’s only target. The group has called for help in obtaining the prints of other German officials, including  Chancellor Angela Merkel.

I luv it!

The stunt coincided with a hacker presentation showing how digital biometric info could be intercepted at scanning points and then, effectively stolen. The important point to remember is that since, as Boing Boing points out “short of amputation, a biometric identifier can’t be revoked or changed”, once that information is compromised, you’re pretty well screwed.

Boing Boing reports that people where then encouraged to try to use the minister’s prints to get pass biometric controls, but I didn’t find that in the Wired post. I like the idea though. I shows a certain vulnerability.

Maybe there should be an organized campaign to widely distribute our biometric information, thereby rendering it hopelessly compromised as a source of identification.