It looks like enough bad publicity and folks in the know asking, "what the hell were you thinking?", was enough to get the State Department to reconsider their RFID plan for passports. They still want RFID chips, but they are now open to encrypting the data and placing the decryption key information on the passport. Decrypting the data would require scanning the passport (i.e., physical contact, like swiping a credit card). This allows the holder to know when his or her data is being read. It of course doesn't explain the need for the RFID chip in the first place.