Olga sez, "The U.S. Dept of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for passport applicants: proposed new Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history, personal details of siblings; mother's addresses prior to your birth; any "religious ceremony" around time of birth, circumstances of birth including names (as well as addresses/phone numbers) of persons present, & more. Failure to answer can mean denial of passport, & govt reserves right to use this info for 'routine uses.'"
Update: Commenters note that this form is specifically intended in lieu of a birth certificate with a passport application; but as the FA suggests, the circumstances in which people unable to provide a birth certificate will be given this form (rather than the traditional bureaucratic investigation) are not spelled out; further, the form itself remains a Kafkaesque impossibility for most people to complete.
It seems likely that only some, not all, applicants will be required to fill out the new questionnaire, but no criteria have been made public for determining who will be subjected to these additional new written interrogatories. So if the passport examiner wants to deny your application, all they will have to do is give you the impossible new form to complete.
It's not clear from the supporting statement, statement of legal authorities, or regulatory assessment submitted by the State Department to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) why declining to discuss one's siblings or to provide the phone number of your first supervisor when you were a teenager working at McDonalds would be a legitimate basis for denial of a passport to a U.S. citizen.
You've got the rest of today to submit your comments
on this proposal. Lots of additional material at the link below.
State Dept. wants to make it harder to get a passport
(Image: US Passport, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from damian613's photostream)
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
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CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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