Four more years
Good news and bad news surrounding U.S. passports, reports the Government Accountability Office.
As for good news, the new passports developed by the State Department are “more secure than older versions,” making it less likely the documents will be used fraudulently in their life span.
“State has taken a number of measures to ensure the security and quality of passports and visas, including establishing internal control standards [. . . ] and initiating new visa policies and procedures,” says the GAO, although the congressional investigative arm cautions that additional measures are needed in the passport-issuance process to minimize risk.
The bad news is that the older versions of passports that have been fraudulently used in the past — “valid until 2011, of which there are more than 20 million in circulation” — remain vulnerable to alteration by such means as photo substitution.