raw output


By jacobo, on 2008-8-15 at 03:25, under General

I’ve been playing with a blacklight here at Debconf, during the keysigning party. (Hey, I’m a geek; what did you expect.) Of course, I cannot resist sharing what I saw:

  • US passports are very dull under the blacklight. From the older ones that don’t reflect anything, to the newest ones that feature a security thread in three colours and UV-sensitive fibers embedded in the pages and the inner covers, they are not exactly a party of lights and colours.
  • However, they are not the dullest. That “honour” goes to Brazilian passports, which contain no UV markings whatsoever. Runners-up are British passports, with only some crown markings in the inner covers.
  • Belgian passports blew me away, with a colour photograph which only appears under the blacklight. Luxembourgish passports are similar, but have no photo.
  • Talking about photos, one passport Greek passports contain the person’s photo in UV-sensitive ink. However, I don’t remember what country it was (please add a comment).
  • Greek and Spanish passports light up with patterns when you illuminate them. Colombian and Mexican passports do, too.
  • Austrian passports have “Republik Österreich” written in UV-sensitive light in their cover. Spanish passports have the Spanish coat of arms and the word “España” over and over.
  • Swiss passports don’t need any UV markings, because they are already full of colours in plain light.

I looked at more passports, but those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

A couple of notes before I publish this post:

  • I would have liked to look at a Japanese passport.
  • If you’d like to look at your own passport under a UV light, I’m at the top floor hacklab :)


There are 4 comments for this post.

  1. Comment by Faidon Liambotis, on 2008-8-15 at 03:54 | permalink

    My passport (a Greek one) had my photo in UV ink alongside the “normal” photo.
    And lots of other UV markings.

    Really cool! Thanks for bringing that blacklight!

  2. Comment by Jacobo, on 2008-8-15 at 04:15 | permalink

    Thank you for the comment! It was really nice seeing so many different designs in everyone’s passports :)

  3. Comment by gonz0, on 2008-8-15 at 16:33 | permalink

    It was really cool to see you with that light pointing at our passports. Boy, and I thought I was paranoid.
    I would like to you to drop an opinion on argentinian passports here also.

  4. Comment by Gustavo Noronha, on 2008-8-15 at 16:41 | permalink

    Hey Jacobo! I don’t think we exchanged signatures. You should come check my new-model brazillian passport, I would like to know what your findings are about it, since it is supposed to be more “secure". =)

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