I was pretty amazed when I saw all the “buzz” about a graduate student, Christopher Soghoian, who put up a site to counterfeit boarding passes.

My first thought was Chris was using (too readily available) technology, which has made counterfeiting (too easy to do). Being a “sometimes” frequent flyer, it reminded me why I sometimes get nervous flying.

I have to admit setting up an “interactive site” to counterfeit boarding passes is questionable and could be perceived as a “publicity stunt.” It also put Chris at risk of receiving some negative attention, which I hear has already happened. Of course – it’s also probably true – that the media attention also might have brought the issue to a head.

Criminals, misfits and probably “political deviants” are counterfeiting all kinds of documents and using them for financial gain, or worse.

I hate to inform everyone that Chris’s techniques are rather “unsophisticated” compared to what criminals, misfits and political deviants already know how to do. There are even chatrooms dedicated to counterfeiting merchandise and stealing identities and we don’t see them getting shut down very quickly.

Nonetheless, Chris has reminded us that we shouldn’t be so lax about our security. The truth is there is a lot of counterfeiting out there AND it might be used for something other than a financial crime.

We live in a world – where technology and the Internet – have made counterfeiting too easy and there are signs that it’s getting out of control. The problem is that technology has outpaced laws to protect us — AND even if there is a law – – it’s too easy for criminals, misfits and political deviants to hide, or reside in a “rogue country” that doesn’t recognize the law.

What’s needed are laws combined with strict enforcement to prevent the easy abuse of technology.

Trust me, law enforcement agencies are hampered all the time by these lax laws. I’m also “pretty sure” they’re very aware of the counterfeiting problem.

Here are some previous posts, I’ve written about this problem:

Richard Clarke’s Views on Identity Theft

Mexican Organized Crime Ring is Mass Producing Fake Documents …

If you are interested in seeing Chris’s blog – with frequent updates on his adventure – link here.

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