PAD secures borders

Raytheon has developed what it says is a high tech, first-of-its-kind personal ID system to significantly protect and facilitate entry and exits at US key checkpoints.

The Personal Authentication Device (PAD) is said to incorporate two-way, ultra high radio frequency and biometrics to facilitate automatic identification into a credit card-sized ID and relay system that can identify and track quickly and efficiently.

The card can be read up to 30 feet away as well as in a moving vehicle up to 60mph. It can be set up away from a border to allow agents of ports of entry to review information from multiple users simultaneously.

The PAD uses a secure, biometric fingerprint technology on a simple ID card. When pressed, the card validates (or invalidates) the fingerprint and transmits the information by radio wave in a secure code to a server.

New security regulations require any American travelling by air to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean or to Central or South America to carry a passport.

‘Last week’s passport requirement marked the first step of a major tightening of border travel among the Americas as part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The Homeland Security initiative underscores how US border travel is becoming increasingly more serious and complicated,’ said Guy Swope, senior biometrics architect for Raytheon Information Solutions.

He added, ‘With an estimated 13,000 trucks alone crossing through the Mexican-US border daily, Raytheon set out to be the first to create the next generation of travel ID card that not only secures the person’s identity but also is sufficiently portable to track people quickly and efficiently through a busy border or customs gate.’

The new air requirement is part of the US Department of State and the Homeland Security’s Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and was one of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The current passport regulation focuses on air travel but is expected to be extended to travel by land or sea as early as next year. Moreover, all new passports issued later this year will be equipped with an imbedded smart chip designed to thwart forgery.