Four more years

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

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.

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