Biometric passports

Saw a piece on Irish biometric passports on Sky News this evening. “Concerns” are mentioned but in passing, and no mention is made of security precautions. I realise it’s Sky, but still. So, are security precautions included in these passports? What connectivity method do they use? Is encryptions used in storage, and transmission?

UPDATE: A press release on the Dept of Foreign Affairs website mentions a “key”, but it’s pretty sketchy. ENN describes them as “contactless”, which doesn’t bode well. Via Boards.

UPDATE 2: Justin links to the Dept of Foreign Affairs FAQ which confirms that these passports do in fact use RFID. See Justin’s post for a link to a group that have successfully attacked Dutch RFID passports.

UPDATE 3: Bernard has blogged about this issue with a quote from an article in the Irish Times. I hope Digital Rights Ireland will be taking a position on this issue.