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Not on a List If You Forget Your ID

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fake Virginia Driver's LicenseThrough a program called WebEOC, TSA collects information about incidents at airport checkpoints. It is used to identify data points of significant security value.

The ability to identify patterns and "connect the dots" on certain incidents cannot be underestimated. In the post 9/11 world such analysis is key to protecting the American public. It was also a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

Identity matters. Positively identifying passengers is an important tool in a multi-layered approach to security and one that TSA has bolstered significantly during the past 18 months.

Photo of acceptable documentsOn June 21 enhanced identification requirements went into effect and passengers now have to be positively identified before entering the secure side of airports (past the checkpoint).

Since the policy went into effect, 16,434 people have come to the checkpoint without identification. The identity of passengers was successfully resolved in all but 558 cases. In that same period of time, 92 million people have flown in the United States.

TSA is interested in the individuals who repeatedly present false identification or misrepresent themselves to circumvent the security process. This undercuts the credibility of watch lists, which are an effective tool to keep known or suspected terrorists off airplanes.

While WebEOC is a valuable tool it is in no way connected with the watch lists that passenger names are matched against. Individuals who come to the checkpoint without an ID are not placed on a watch list.