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Why is ID Important for Security?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008
driver license

Last week we announced on our Web site a plan to begin REQUIRING ID from travelers on June 21st. This plan includes enabling our officers to refuse entry into the area beyond the security checkpoint to anyone who does not cooperate with us to establish his or her identity. The exclusive reason to do this is to ensure people are who they say they are and are not gaming the system by using a boarding pass with a fake name; a well-known endeavor of professionals and college kids alike that could potentially circumvent the no-fly list.

Does that mean that if you lose your wallet in the cab on the way to the airport you’re going to have to walk home?

Absolutely not…this rule is solely focused on the passenger who simply will not provide ID or help us establish their identity.

So for the security experts in the crowd (and you know you’re out there) you might be asking yourself a few questions, like:

So if a terrorist shows up and says his dog ate his ID, you’ll just let him go?

The answer is a simple and clear NO. Under today’s rules, you show up, say you lost your ID, get a quick pat down, have your bag searched and you’re on your way. One enterprising fellow has even advocated it as a quicker way through security in the past.

Starting June 21, that person could be subjected to a range of options, including interviews with behavior detection officers and local and/or federal law enforcement, enhanced pat-downs or other options. By increasing our options, people with bad intentions don’t know what exactly to plan against, have to beat multiple layers at the checkpoint and need to be ready to face any number of obstacles to their plans.

Why would a terrorist show up and say he has no ID when he can just show a fake and breeze right through?

Ah hah, that’s where layers of security really come into play. TSA has deployed thousands of highly-trained document checkers to identify fake IDs. We’ve caught everything from Spring Breakers with terrible IDs to fraudulent passports . Our officers are very adept at finding fake documents and work closely with behavior detection officers on a daily basis. The old story of the airline contractor not even looking up at a person while checking IDs is long in the rear view mirror.

This is just an assault on my personal freedoms and security theater.

The only reason we’re doing this is to make sure people are who they say they are and not someone who is a known threat to aviation.

Also, our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities work tirelessly to identify potential threats to aircraft. Enhancing our ID requirements further enables TSA security officers to ensure that individuals are who they say they are when they enter the security checkpoint and not individuals who may pose a threat.

And for all the legal eagles out there, it is my constitutional right to fly without ID.

Under the law that created TSA, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, the TSA administrator is responsible for overseeing aviation security (P.L. 107-71) and has the authority to establish security procedures at airports (49 C.F.R. § 1540.107). Passengers who fail to comply with security procedures may be prohibited from entering the secure area of airports to catch their flight (49 C.F.R. § 1540.105(a)(2). Additionally, in Gilmore v. Gonzalez, 435 F.3d 1125 (9th Cir. 2006) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the plaintiff’s constitutional challenges to a passenger identification policy.

This initiative is simply a way for us to better enforce the no-fly list and ensure the safety of the traveling public. No secret motives, no hidden agendas, just a security enhancement aimed at people trying to game the system.

Christopher

EOS Blog Team

Update: 6/14/08

Just a quick note… Our ticket checkers found a fraudulent ID at JFK. Just thought some of you might be interested.

At New York Kennedy Airport (JFK) on Thursday, June 12, a passenger was interviewed by police after attempting to enter into a security checkpoint with a fraudulent ID.

A TSA Travel Document Checker noticed a passenger trying to use a fraudulent New York driver’s license and notified the Port Authority Police Department who came and interviewed her. The Port Authority Police Department released the passenger after issuing a Summons to Appear.

Travel Document Checkers are TSA officers that are specially trained to detect fraudulent IDs and boarding passes to help keep our airports safe and secure.

Bob

EoS Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

sounds a lot like Nazi Germany to me... Where are your papers?? If the security systems actually worked then there would be no need to check ID. This is just another attempt to control the American people and steal more and more of our rights. We need to take back some more essential liberty. Thank you TSA for continuing to trample on the Constitution and then mock those of us who care. AWESOME job.

Submitted by MSC on

I think that if you had truly good security it should not matter who flies.

How long before we get mandatory strip searches?

Submitted by Brandon on

C'mon people, you had to know by now that the TSA's word supersedes the Constitution of the United States of America.

Unfortunately, as has been demonstrated many, many times before, it's much too easy to design fake boarding passes that look 100% real, even to these so-called trained inspectors (See: Boing Boing). My last set of boarding passes were printed on paper that felt like a cheap Wal-Mart receipt.

Additionally, the terrorists from 9/11 were in the country legally and had valid IDs (see: open a newspaper), and were these "laws" in place on September 11th, 2001, those planes would have still been hijacked.

Wake me up when the TSA actually does something that actually increases airport security! (Although I still stand by the opinion that if someone ever tries to hijack an airplane ever again, every person on that plane will stand up and beat that hijacker into a bloody pulp.)

Submitted by Anonymous on

As Bruce Schneier said, I now feel well protected from the threat of terrorists who can't lie.

Submitted by Bob Eucher on

Too many holes in this feeble attempt to say that it enhances security. Show me just ONE terrorist that you have apprehended. Or maybe you can use the argument that they are scared away. Like in the previous article, a comment was made that the 9/11 terrorists ALL had valid ID's and used their real names. Yes, you have caught numerous criminals, but none caught, would have caused a "security" problem on an airplane. This is just to get the public used to one more "requirement" to fly, so that the next round of requirements will come easier. Like the frog in the hot water experiment. I think you will have a hard time really convincing us this promotes security.

Submitted by Christopher on

Let’s think about this:

Making sure the guy sitting next to you on the plane isn’t a terrorist is about as basic as security gets. Ensuring that people on the no-fly list don’t get on board is as important as using the metal detector. To do that, you have to be able to identify people. This new requirement is meant for the person that simply won’t produce ID nor work with us to determine that they’re not someone that poses a threat to that flight.

Instead of allowing anyone without an ID to show up, go through a quick pat down and bag check, circumventing watch list matching, we’re now opening up the options to include interviews with behavior detection officers and law enforcement; options no real terrorist is looking forward to and ones that legitimate passengers will find quicker and more convenient than today’s process.

“If the security systems actually worked then there would be no need to check ID.” You really mean to advocate searching exclusively for pointy objects and not individuals that may pose a threat? If so, we’re at a philosophical divide that no amount of discussion is going to change.

One need look no further than the ongoing trial in London to see the dangers of looking only for things. The London plotters were going to use items that weren’t on the prohibited item list at the time but would have blown up 7 airliners over the Atlantic. As the 9/11 Commission said, “the policy challenges were linked to this failure of imagination…”

“This is just another attempt to control the American people and steal more and more of our rights.” Actually, it’s an effort to keep people that pose a threat to aviation off airplanes and keep you, your family and mine safe.

And I sincerely hope you do not feel that anyone at TSA is mocking you. We value this opportunity to discuss important issues with the traveling public and cherish the opportunity to communicate directly with you.

Christopher
EOS Blog Team

Submitted by Ayn R Key on
Under the law that created TSA, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act,

Is the act itself constituional?

Seriously, though, you people seriously messed up. You need to train your agents to say "papers please" when they ask for ID, because that's what this is. The agenda is to ensure that everyone has their papers in proper order. This would be security theater if you did this for the purpose of catching the bad guys, but for that to be true you need to be doing this to catch the bad guys.

BTW, an unanswered question from way back - what about the states that do not conform to READ ID? I think I get it - none of them will be allowed in the sterile area.

What's really funny (not) is that you claim you're not preventing anyone from flying, you're only preventing them from entering the sterile area. Show me how to fly without entering the sterile area and I will agree with you.

You people need to goosestep over to the constitution and read it. You obviously haven't a clue.
Submitted by Ayn R Key on

From now on I'm carrying a pocket constitution with me. Whenever the TSO asks for my ID I will hand the pocket constitution to the TSO.

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Yes, Christopher, I do feel you are mocking me. I neither need nor want the service you offer in lieu of security. I resent having to pay to have my rights trampled by TSOs who make up rules on the spot and having to pay for bureaucrats to imagine new ways to remove what is left of my constituional rights.

After re-reading the London bomber plot, do you know what I noticed? I noticed that sniffers could have detected the bombs. Concentrated H2O2 is detectable.

You gained credibility when you actually addressed the mmw and 3-1-1 issues. You've lost it again with this. It seems the TSA wants to be hated.

And you still refuse to address the states that don't conform to REAL ID. Will it be 100% pat downs or 100% denial into sanitized area?

Submitted by Phil on

You have completely failed to explain how requiring people to identify themselves to government agents prior to traveling within the United States will improve transportation security.

You wrote that beginning June 21, you will require passengers to present ID. Then, beginning with the following paragraph, you explained that some passengers will not be required to present ID. The truth is that you are not requiring ID, but plan to continue to coerce people into voluntarily showing ID and also to harass travelers who wish to exercise their right to travel and associate without interference from their government.

You wrote, "This plan includes enabling our officers to refuse entry into the area beyond the security checkpoint anyone that does not cooperate with us to establish his or her identity. The exclusive reason to do this is to ensure people are who they say they are and are not gaming the system by using a boarding pass in a fake name; a well-known endeavor of professionals and college kids alike that could potentially circumvent the no-fly list."

This will not ensure that people are who they say they are. Anyone with sufficient determination will acquire a fake ID or steal someone else's identity and get a real ID with that person's identity and his own photograph. In fact, your system will allow a criminal organization to probe your system by sending people on innocent trips, noting which ones are flagged for additional screening, then send the other people on a real mission later.

It's interesting to note that most of the instances of passengers being caught with falsified ID cards and passports that are described on TSA's "Travel Document Checker (TDC)" Web page (under "Travel Document Checking Success Stories") were arrested on charges of immigrations violations, possession of illegal drugs, or credit card theft. None of them is described as having been found to be carrying anything that, had he brought it onto his flight, would have put other passengers or crew at risk.

Submitted by David Glasser on

How does catching "Spring Breakers with terrible IDs" fall under the scope of increasing transportation security?

Submitted by Phil on

While flying out of Kansas City last year, I saw TSA signs at the airport stating that travelers must present government-issued photo identification. I knew that wasn't true, and I didn't show ID. I neither caused trouble nor slowed things down for other travelers when I asserted my right to travel without checking in with the government by identifying myself; I was taken out of line to be screened along with other "selectees".

After returning home, I filed a complaint with TSA. I received a response from Jeanne Oliver, Associate Director of TSA Office of the Executive Secretariat. She did not indicate that TSA would fix the problem, but did confirm that if a traveler is "unwilling or unable to produce a valid form of ID, the traveler is required to undergo additional screening at the checkpoint to gain access to the secured area of the airport." People who show ID receive a less-thorough screening. Any time saved when people volunteer to show ID comes at the cost of less effectively checking them for dangerous items.

We're being lied to about federal air travel policies by airport security at KCI and other locations, and it's not making us any safer.

Government agents requiring people to show ID before boarding a flight wouldn't make air travel any safer. It's relatively easy to get a fake ID, and regardless of how much technology we put into ID cards, a criminal will be able to purchase a fake one or steal someone else's identity and get a real ID with his picture and the other person's name.

We can and do call upon TSA to ensure safe air travel by preventing people from carrying dangerous items onto flights. TSA's current practice of allowing people who show ID through security with less screening than other people receive contributes to a false sense of security, breeding complacency among passengers, crew, and TSA agents.

I acknowledge that the inconvenience of showing ID is trivial. My concern is that a requirement to show ID would allow the government to monitor and restrict our travel. Our courts have established that people in this country have the right to travel and associate without being monitored or stopped by the government unless they have been convicted of committing a crime or are suspected -- with good reason -- of having committed a crime. They have ruled that we cannot set up roadblocks and checkpoints to stop everyone who passes just to catch the few who have done something wrong, or to find the few who are suspected of intending to do something wrong.

Recent Congressional testimony suggests that over 900,000 names are now on the United States' so-called "terrorist watch list". Many people who have found themselves on the list are U.S. citizens who have no ties to any terrorist organization. There is no appeals process for those who have been blacklisted. We are not allowed to know who is on the list, who put them there, or why they were put on it.

If these people pose a danger to others, why don't we go arrest them instead of waiting for them to present themselves at the airport, then hassling them or preventing them from flying before sending them on their way?

Even if we could prune the list so that it included only people who actually pose a "known" threat, potential terrorists could probe the system by sending people on innocent trips, observing which ones were subjected to additional screening, then later sending the other people on a real terrorist mission. Restricting travel based on an ID check simply cannot improve security.

People can show their ID to whomever they want, whenever they want to do so, if it makes them feel safer. My doing so doesn't make me feel any safer. When a government agent asks me to show my papers or searches me, I feel *un*safe. It reminds me of descriptions of life in the former USSR, where identification was required upon demand, movement was restricted, and people either kept quiet and did as they were told, or risked disappearing into the night, never to be heard from again.

When I see security guards in airports wearing what look like police uniforms and demanding identification, and police on our streets wearing what look like military uniforms, driving DHS-grant-funded armored vehicles, marching in riot gear with machine guns, pepper-spraying and Tasing peaceful demonstrators, it makes me feel like I live in what is approaching a totalitarian state.

Submitted by NoClu on

None of your reasoning makes sense. If I lie about who I am, but aren't carrying anything to pose a threat to an airline, what does it matter if I fly within the United States?

If I'm a college student attempting to fly on a ticket with soemone elses name on it, how is that a threat to homeland security or an airplane?

How about I just tell you my name to establish my identity. It works for law enforcement.

"Enhancing our ID requirements further enable TSA security officers to ensure that individuals are who they say they are when they enter the security checkpoint and not individuals that may pose a threat." I call redundant argument and respond with redundant arguement. BS Having a name on a piece of plastic match a name on a piece of paper doesn't improve security and takes time away from processes that might. Consider...Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but Names will never hurt me. Prohibit dangerous items from being taken on airplanes, don't worry about peoples names.

Of the 900,000+ names on your no fly list, how many really belong to terrorists? Has your agency ever caught a terrorist with the assistance of the no-fly list? I've heard of a lot of 5 yr olds, grandmothers, and others hastled, delyed, SSSSearched and annoyed by the process, but few or no big fish caught by your agency.

Thanks for posting the subject though, I'm sure you'll get quite the response.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Christopher said:
"Making sure the guy sitting next to you on the plane isn’t a terrorist is about as basic as security gets."

If the guy next to me has been properly screened, then explain to me how he plans on bringing the plane down. He'd have to be one tough terrorist to do it with his bare hands.

Christopher also said:
"Instead of allowing anyone without an ID to show up, go through a quick pat down and bag check, circumventing watch list matching, we’re now opening up the options to include interviews with behavior detection officers and law enforcement; options no real terrorist is looking forward to and ones that legitimate passengers will find quicker and more convenient than today’s process."

So, I noticed the last time I flew, that the ID checker used a black light and loupe (sp?) on my Passport when matching the names. I'm curious, though. What memory techniques are you teaching your TSOs that allow them to memorize the monstrous no-fly list so that they can match my name against it in their head?

It seems your rational is such: "Everyone who enters an airport is a threat until we determine them not to be." That sounds a little like the exact opposite of "innocent until proven guilty."

Again, you are continuing to dance around how ID = Security.

Submitted by Khurt on

There are lot of people in large cities who don't drive and don't have ID. Are they going to be "harassed" each and every time they decide to fly?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I always show ID when asked - don't think it is a big deal although I understand who doesn't want to show it. It is the addition of a new rule and the whole "layers of security" talk that worries me.

First computers had to come out of bags. There was no Science to prove that X-rays can't see through fabric, but we still had to follow the rule. Then in was shoes, then it was fingerprinting and photographing, then nail clippers (now back), then no fly and "suspicious" persons lists then liquid limitations, then having to take hooded sweatshirts off (beware! unwritten rule!), then transit visas, then puffers, then virtual strip search machines, and now ID or Psycho Super Screener grilling you Guantanamo style (better described as ID "or else").

How many new rules, all unjustified and unproven, will we have to subject to? When does this stop?

Submitted by Phil on

Christopher of the EOS Blog Team wrote:

"Making sure the guy sitting next to you on the plane isn’t a terrorist is about as basic as security gets."

No. If he is a terrorist, he is probably in prison. If you want to take action based on the fact someone will someday become a terrorist by committing an act of terrorism, you will need to check your crystal ball. In the United States, we are innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty.

If you have a list of terrorists and suspected terrorists, don't wait for them to show up at an airport and identify themselves to you; hand your list over to the police so they can go arrest those people and get them in front of a judge. Doing otherwise puts us all in danger.

"Ensuring that people on the no-fly list don’t get on board is as important as using the metal detector."

No. Best we can tell, plenty of innocent people are on your blacklist. You will not allow us to know how they got there or how to get off of it.

"To [restrict travel based on our secret blacklist, we] have to be able to identify people."

Agreed. However, we should not restrict travel based on your blacklist, and you simply cannot identify people who are determined not to be identified.

"This new requirement is meant for the person that simply won’t produce ID nor work with us to determine that they’re not someone that poses a threat to that flight."

Exactly. You're going to punish patriots for standing up for their rights. Those people who are willing to simply lie to you, helping to convince everyone else that it is okay to ask for permission from their government before traveling within their own country, will be unaffected by your new rule.

"Instead of allowing anyone without an ID to show up, go through a quick pat down and bag check, circumventing watch list matching, we’re now opening up the options to include interviews with behavior detection officers and law enforcement; options no real terrorist is looking forward to and ones that legitimate passengers will find quicker and more convenient than today’s process."

You have that option now, prior to implementation of your new rule. This statement is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

"[Someone wrote:] `If the security systems actually worked then there would be no need to check ID.' You really mean to advocate searching exclusively for pointy objects and not individuals that may pose a threat?"

I believe that it is ridiculous for you to allow thousands of security guards to determine on-the-spot whether someone "may pose a threat" based on anything besides whether or not that that person is carrying a dangerous item onto a flight.

Paraphrasing words of The Identity Project: No matter how sophisticated the security embedded into an I.D., a well-funded criminal will be able to falsify it. Honest people, however, go to Pro-Life rallies. Honest people go to Pro-Choice rallies, too. Honest people attend gun shows. Honest people protest the actions of the President of the United States. Honest people fly to political conventions. What if those with the power to put people on a 'no fly' list decided that they didn't like the reason for which you wanted to travel? The honest people wouldn't be going anywhere.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I take the liberty of offering the words of one who has read, researched, reasoned and conributed to the discussion here. As trollkiller said:

"Anonymous said...
You can all thank, with weepy eyes, activist John Gilmore who took the U.S. government to court in 2004 over showing ID to fly. Gilmore refused to show ID to TSA and also refused to undergo the more thorough "secondary screening" search. He eventually lost his case before the 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals which recognized that persons have the right to travel, but not necessarily by airplane. So through Gilmore's activist actions intent on undoing ID requirements to fly, he did the exact opposite and compelled one of the most liberal activist courts in this country to reject his claim and create the case law that this requirement will be based upon. Don't forget this little tidbit of authority taken directly from tsa.gov:
Under the law that created TSA, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, the TSA administrator is responsible for overseeing aviation security (P.L. 107-71) and has the authority to establish security procedures at airports (49 C.F.R. § 1540.107). Passengers that fail to comply with security procedures may be prohibited from entering the secure area of airports to catch their flight (49 C.F.R. § 1540.105(a)(2).

If a lawyer at the TSA signed off on this based on the Gilmore vs. Ashcroft (now Gonzales) case, they need to find another profession.

For those that want to play along at home, here is the 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals ruling. (PDF Warning)

The MOST important aspect of the Gilmore case is Gilmore refused to show his ID to the AIRLINE employees.

The Gilmore case hinges on the fact that he could fly without ID if he allowed himself to be subject to a secondary screening. (Reasonable) Gilmore chose not to allow it.

The case also hinges on the fact he could leave instead of being searched. (Reasonable)

The 9th Circus also ruled that his travel was not restricted because he did not prove to them that the same ID requirement was in place for buses or trains. (Lazy)

With this new policy in effect it requires you show your ID to a Government agent and removes the choice of a secondary screening. If the passenger decides to uphold his right not to present papers the TSA can invoke penalties.

I have been working on this post for two days, I was trying to be fair, and just present the facts. I can't, this idiotic new rule has my blood boiling. Reading the court decision that will bolster this new ID requirement and the asinine reasoning the 9th Circuit used to back their ruling is about to make my head explode.

Take this part where they say denying a person the ability to fly is equal to denying a person the ability to drive. Bolding mine.

III. Right To Travel
[11] Gilmore alleges that the identification policy violates
his constitutional right to travel because he cannot travel by
commercial airlines without presenting identification, which
is an impermissible federal condition.10

We reject Gilmore’s
right to travel argument because the Constitution does not
guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation.

Because Gilmore lacks standing to challenge anything but the identification policy’s impact on air travel, his sole argument
is that “air travel is a necessity and not replaceable by
other forms of transportation.”

Although we do not question this allegation for purposes of this petition, it does not follow
that Defendants violated his right to travel, given that other
forms of travel remain possible.

This circuit’s decision in Miller v. Reed, 176 F.3d 1202
(9th Cir. 1999), is on point. In Miller, the plaintiff challenged
California’s requirement that applicants submit their social
security numbers to the DMV in order to obtain valid drivers
licenses.

The plaintiff alleged that this policy violated his fundamental
right to interstate travel and his right to freely exercise
his religion. In affirming the district court’s dismissal
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), we concluded that

“by denying Miller a single mode of transportation—in a car driven by himself—the DMV did not unconstitutionally impede Miller’s
right to interstate travel.” Id. at 1204.

Although we recognized
the fundamental right to interstate travel, we also acknowledged
that “burdens on a single mode of transportation do not
implicate the right to interstate travel.” Id. at 1205 (citing
Monarch Travel Servs., Inc. v. Associated Cultural Clubs,
Inc., 466 F.2d 552, 554 (9th Cir. 1972)).
[12]

Like the plaintiff in Miller, Gilmore does not possess a fundamental right to travel by airplane even though it is the most convenient mode of travel for him.

Moreover, the identification
policy’s “burden” is not unreasonable. See Shapiro v.
Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 629 (1969) (noting the right of all
citizens to be “free to travel throughout the length and breadth
of our land uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement”), overruled in part on other grounds by Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651,
670-71 (1974).
The identification policy requires that airline passengers either present identification OR be subjected to a more extensive search.

The more extensive search is similar to searches that we have determined were reasonable and
“consistent with a full recognition of appellant’s constitutional
right to travel.”

SOMEONE, anyone please explain to me how denying someone the ability to OPERATE a car equals the ability to deny someone access to a vehicle they are NOT operating? If I am not driving the thing I DON'T need a license.

Thought processes like this is one of the reasons the 9th Circuit gets overturned on a regular basis.

By this fouled up reasoning the authorities could in all Constitutional righteousness deny you EVERY form of travel except walking. After all denying you a mode of transportation does not equal denial freedom of travel.

To sum up if the TSA is going to use Gilmore as its case law to back this new ID requirement it will need to understand that

1) Gilmore refused to show ID to an AIRLINE employee, not the TSA,

2) Gilmore had the OPTION of a secondary screening.

3) Gilmore was not sanctioned for refusing to show the ID,

4) Gilmore was free to leave

The TSA's new ID requirement does not pass the test that allows us to free to travel throughout the length and breadth of our land uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement.

It is an unreasonable burden"

It took me a few hours to do reaserch that trollkiller distilled into a single posting.

Thank you.

,>)

Submitted by Alan on

Internal passports for travel--Sounds like the Soviet Union.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Circumventing watch list matching" is a joke and will remain a joke even after the implementation date.

Speaking of watch lists and no fly lists, if someone is dangerous enough to be on a watch list or a no-fly list, shouldn't they be dangerous enough to be arrested and/or prosecuted and convicted in a court of law? However that is exactly what does not happen in the overwhelming majority of cases where a person with a name on the watch list or no-fly lists attempts to travel and does NOT attempt to "circumvent the watch list".

All such administrative requirements from the TSA are very much like what the Nazis and Soviets did, the very things that our parents and grandparents in uniform fought against in the Second World War and during the Cold War: "Your papers!", government permission to travel domestically, etc.

Did we lose the Second World War and the Cold War only to adopt the ways of our enemies? History books say America won, but it looks like the TSA is intent on adopting the same kind of means of control that were favored by the Nazis and the Soviets who were on the losing side of history.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So help me out here. Is the TSO:

(a) Checking to see that the boarding pass is valid, and
(b) Running the name on the ID through the no-fly list?

Because right now, all one has to do is print their own fake boarding pass (e.g., use an old boarding pass and change the name, date, and flight number with graphics program and reprint it) that matches their ID. However, they've actually had a squeaky clean accomplice make the flight reservations, so when the board the airplane they use their real boarding pass.

If you're not doing a and b you fail. And as far as I know, the TSOs have no way to validate the boarding pass.

Note that even if you fail at a and b, a terrorist organization can still trivially defeat any ID checkpoint by using the "carnival booth" algorithm (google for more details).

Submitted by Anonymous on

Christopher, I think that you need to reread Gilmore v. Gonzalez, 435 F.3d 1125 (9th Cir. 2006). In Gilmore, the Government said that producing ID was not required to travel and you were only subjected to a secondary search. It was on that foundation that the court rejected Gilmore's challenge. By requiring the equivalent of an oral ID, the Ninth Circuit might not see it the same way this time.

As for the London bombers, I think you need to review the current testimony of just what was planned and what was to be used. Your statement doesn't comport with what I have read.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Christopher said...
Let’s think about this:


Instead of allowing anyone without an ID to show up, go through a quick pat down and bag check, circumventing watch list matching, we’re now opening up the options to include interviews with behavior detection officers and law enforcement; options no real terrorist is looking forward to and ones that legitimate passengers will find quicker and more convenient than today’s process.
_____________________________

If these new options are in addition to the old process of a
"quick pat down and bag check", how will I find this to be "quicker and more convenient"?

Submitted by Miller on

All of the 9/11 terrorists had valid identification. So what gives? Please stop using senarios from Hollywood when you make decisions.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This is simple to understand.

Carry and show your id and u will not have any problem with this policy.

if you forget your id, just tell them.

if you dont have one, then just go to the BMV and get a state id card ( u need one to get a ticket at the counter or ligitimitly drive to the airport anyway)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Welcome to the United States of East Germany. Your papers please?

Seriously, did any of TSA leadership take a civics class or even elementary social studies in the US? When I did (in the 1980s), we were taught that a key difference between the USA and the USSR and Eastern Bloc was that we didn't have to have permission from the government for domestic travel, and didn't have to show ID papers on demand.

My dad spent 23 years in the Cold War Air Force to keep the Communists from taking over. My grandfathers both fought in WWII to keep the Nazis from taking over. Seems to me that we're getting closer to that all being a waste.

This is yet another example of TSA mission creep, and yet the American people put up with it.

And it's another excuse for TSOs to badger and harass innocent people who forget their ID, now that they can be officially denied travel based on a subjective judgment of "cooperation."

How very sad. :(

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ayn R. Key said...
"From now on I'm carrying a pocket constitution with me. Whenever the TSO asks for my ID I will hand the pocket constitution to the TSO."

Then you can either produce the ID, or turn around and explain to the others waiting to go somewhere why your act of revivalist 60s numbskullery is interfering with their "right" to travel. By the way, you wanted to know how one can fly without entering the sterile area? Fly your own jet, or charter one. If you truly will stand on your principle, you will....if you don't and simply rant for rant's sake, I'll see you in the sterile area with your pocket constitution and valid government issued ID.

Submitted by Abelard on
Ensuring that people on the no-fly list don’t get on board is as important as using the metal detector.

You mean the no-fly list that contains nearly one million names?

Or the no-fly list that was revealed to have kept sky marshals off planes?

Or the no-fly list that Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff said indicated caused one major carrier to have 9,000 false positives on any given day.

Wow. I feel safer already!
Submitted by Roger on

I must reiterate, as I've said over and over. I don't care who the person next to me says they are. I want to know if they are a threat. Identifying who a person is does absolutely nothing to identify their intent. This farce of ID's at the checkpoint is merely a revenue protection mechanism for the airlines -- it allows them to charge exorbitant change fees and cancellation fees.

This has absolutely nothing to do with security and the sooner you drop the farce, the happier we will all be.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Don't get too upset, everyone -- the industry is unsustainable as-is anyway, so we should only have to deal with this for about another decade or so (depending on how many bailouts at taxpayer expense the industry gets before collapsing completely).

Submitted by Anonymous on

If a person is not carrying anything that is capable of harming an airplane, they are not a threat to the flight. It's that simple. You don't need to know who I am.

Never mind that the no-fly-list has been shown to not be an accurate list of "threats" to aviation.

This is just another dragnet to try to justify TSA's existence, and turn us into a police state.

Papers Please? Not in my country.

Submitted by Sam on

Thank you TSA for keeping Ft Lauderdale safe from Spring Breakers with fake ID's. We can all rest easy now.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I can't help but wonder how DHS/TSA hired all the out of work communist from the old USSR!

What DHS/TSA is doing in this case is wrong.

Anyone working for DHS/TSA is causing harm to the United States if you permit this rule to go into effect.

In my humble opinion this Present ID requirment is a crime and will be dealt with in due course.

For you TSO's to just say I was following orders won't cut it if the order was unlawful. You will be as guilty as your leaders and just as accountable.

I suggest that all TSO's walk away now before your found guilty of a crime against the United States.

AS you know when the blame starts getting passed around the ones on the bottom will take the most heat.

Are you ready for what is coming?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Actually, it’s an effort to keep people that pose a threat to aviation off airplanes and keep you, your family and mine safe.

And I sincerely hope you do not feel that anyone at TSA is mocking you. We value this opportunity to discuss important issues with the traveling public and cherish the opportunity to communicate directly with you.

Christopher
EOS Blog Team

...........................

Pure BS

I have to wonder, are you an American or what?

Submitted by Adrian McCarthy on

Remember, in Gilmore v. Gonzales, Gilmore did not possess government-issued photo identification. (His driver's license was revoked when he was diagnosed with epilepsy.) He used and gave his real name, yet he was prevented from making his flight (in order to meet with his congressional representative). This rule discriminates against those without identification. (And the court ruling was simply wrong. Secret laws cannot be constitutional.)

ID has nothing to do with security and everything to do with control.

Your agents may be trained to recognize fake IDs, but what about fake boarding passes? I can print my real boarding pass and an identical copy with a different name. Use one to get through security and one to board the flight. This prevents NOTHING.

The no-fly list is a disaster. It has prevented exactly zero terrorists from flying. It has, however, stopped peaceful activists from getting to planned demonstrations and congressmen from flying home to meet with their constituents. Is has inconvenienced hundreds if not thousands of innocent people from legitimate travel because of a near match on a name. There are far too many names on the list to be effective.

A passenger is either a threat because they have a weapon or they are not. Whether their name matches one of thousands on an ever-growing list is irrelevant.

The airlines support these measures, because it sells more tickets. If the name on your ticket doesn't exactly match the name on your ID (e.g., Bob v. Robert), you can be forced to purchase a new ticket.

In California, you have the right to use any name you wish, as long as you are not doing so to commit fraud. In other words, the state of California has the common sense to recognize that it's your behavior, not your name, that counts.

These policies are hurting the economy by decimating tourism.

People making up these ineffectual rules should be fired for incompetence and sent back to civics class to understand what makes (er, used to make) America such a great place to live.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Can you please describe just when the Document Checkist compares the name on the ID/Boarding Pass to the No Fly list?

Since keeping people who are the No-Fly list off the flights this must be accomplished or no reason exist for this procedure.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Um, the passenger controls the lock (the boarding pass) and the key (the ID). So what exactly does this prevent?

Maybe, if the TSA was checking IDs against an airline database of issued boarding passes (or perhaps directly against the no-fly list), then MAYBE you could make an argument that this could, maybe, potentially possibly make a difference.

The only point of the new rules is to train us not to question the authority of the government (which derives from us). Want to visit grandma this summer? Then don't try to stand up for your rights.

I have plenty of safety. Let's try working on freedom for a while again.

Submitted by Anonymous on

My driver's license is a license to drive. Period. I keep it in the car with my registration and proof of insurance.

If I'm going on a trip, I shouldn't have to remember to take it out of the glove compartment to board an airplane.

Submitted by Chris Boyce on

Christopher -- I hope you didn't write this post yourself. Your defense of this new "policy" is completely indefensible and should be embarrassing to you.

Did you know that a cop can only seize your license and run a check on you at a traffic stop? Did you know that a cop can only force you to identify yourself when he/she can articulate reasonable suspicion that a crime is about to be committed?

Enough other Americans have ripped apart your agency's notion that ID= any measure of security. I will focus on Hawley's flimsy justification and his completely unsupported rationale.

You tried to impress us by quoting a single law and a CFR that implements it. Let's look at just a couple of aspects of it, shall we?

From the law itself:

‘‘(l) REGULATIONS.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Under Secretary is authorized to
issue, rescind, and revise such regulations as are necessary
to carry out the functions of the Administration.

‘‘(2) EMERGENCY PROCEDURES.—

‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision
of law or executive order (including an executive order
requiring a cost-benefit analysis), if the Under Secretary
determines that a regulation or security directive must
be issued immediately in order to protect transportation
security, the Under Secretary shall issue the regulation
or security directive without providing notice or an opportunity
for comment and without prior approval of the Secretary.

(B) REVIEW BY TRANSPORTATION SECURITY OVERSIGHT
BOARD.—Any regulation or security directive issued under
this paragraph shall be subject to review by the Transportation
Security Oversight Board established under section
115. Any regulation or security directive issued under this
paragraph shall remain effective unless disapproved by
the Board or rescinded by the Under Secretary.

‘‘(3) FACTORS TO CONSIDER.—In determining whether to
issue, rescind, or revise a regulation under this section, the
Under Secretary shall consider, as a factor in the final determination,
whether the costs of the regulation are excessive
in relation to the enhancement of security the regulation will
provide. The Under Secretary may waive requirements for an
analysis that estimates the number of lives that will be saved
by the regulation and the monetary value of such lives if
the Under Secretary determines that it is not feasible to make
such an estimate.

1. Did Hawley determine that implementing this procedure was an "emergency" under PL 107-71? If it wasn't an emergency, I would like for you to publish the following documentation:

1. Chertoff's approval of this new procedure, and,
2. A formal approval of the Transportation Security oversight Board.

For the life of me, I couldn't imagine that Chertoff and Hawley would not have followed the law of the land to the letter. So, all of this justification and approvals documentation must be right at your fingertips.

It's insulting to the American people that you use college kids with fake IDs as justification for a "regulation or security directive must be issued immediately in order to protect transportation security." (Yep, that's in the law also.)

Now, how about actually reading the Gilmore decision, OK? Here, I'll help you:

John Gilmore (“Gilmore”) sued Southwest Airlines and the
United States Attorney General, Alberto R. Gonzales, among
other defendants,1 alleging that the enactment and enforcement of the Government’s civilian airline passenger identification
policy is unconstitutional. The identification policy
requires airline passengers to present identification to airline
personnel before boarding or be subjected to a search that is
more exacting than the routine search that passengers who
present identification encounter.

An entire Federal District Court bench based the Gilmore decision on this assumption. For you to dismiss the entire Gilmore decision as not relevant is laughable and insulting to the American people.

And finally:

This initiative is simply a way for us to better enforce the no-fly list and ensure the safety of the traveling public. No secret motives, no hidden agendas, just a security enhancement aimed at people trying to game the system.

How can you blatantly lie like this and sleep at night? This is pure & simple retaliation by a cabinet member with no regard for the Constitution he swore to protect and serve. It's pure and simple retaliation for not getting his way with REAL ID. And, it's pure and simple retaliation against Americans who choose to travel anonymously.

Submitted by Trollkiller on

If you are going to blow smoke at least light the cigar first.

I am very very glad you cited the Gilmore case as the legal rational to require ID. As you may have noticed on the other page, I have been looking into the Gilmore case.

First and be VERY CLEAR on this, what lost Gilmore his case were these facts.

1) he refused to show an AIRLINE employee his ID.

2) he had the OPTION to take a secondary screening instead of showing his ID.

3) Gilmore was not sanctioned for refusing to show the ID,

4) Gilmore was free to leave.

Look at the court's opinion on the Freedom to travel issue. My inline comments in bold text.

III. Right To Travel

[11] Gilmore alleges that the identification policy violates his constitutional right to travel because he cannot travel by commercial airlines without presenting identification, which is an impermissible federal condition. 10

We reject Gilmore’s right to travel argument because the Constitution does not guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation.


True the Constitution does not explicitly cover the right to travel, common law does.


Because Gilmore lacks standing to challenge anything but the identification policy’s impact on air travel, his sole argument is that “air travel is a necessity and not replaceable by other forms of transportation.”

Although we do not question this allegation for purposes of this petition,

it does not follow that Defendants violated his right to travel, given that other forms of travel remain possible.


Translation: the court did not bother researching the question pertaining to the nessecity of air travel. If this had happened in Hawaii would the "other forms of travel" argument be viable?


This circuit’s decision in Miller v. Reed, 176 F.3d 1202
(9th Cir. 1999), is on point. In Miller, the plaintiff challenged
California’s requirement that applicants submit their social
security numbers to the DMV in order to obtain valid drivers
licenses. The plaintiff alleged that this policy violated his fundamental right to interstate travel and his right to freely exercise his religion. In affirming the district court’s dismissal pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), we concluded that “by denying
Miller a single mode of transportation—in a car driven by
himself—the DMV did not unconstitutionally impede Miller’s
right to interstate travel.” Id. at 1204.


This is one of the reason's the 9th Circuit gets overturned on a regular basis.

The denial of a driver's license due to lack of documentation DOES NOT equal denial of air travel.


Although we recognized the fundamental right to interstate travel, we also acknowledged that “burdens on a single mode of transportation do not implicate the right to interstate travel.” Id. at 1205 (citing
Monarch Travel Servs., Inc. v. Associated Cultural Clubs,
Inc., 466 F.2d 552, 554 (9th Cir. 1972)).

[12] Like the plaintiff in Miller

Gilmore is NOTHING like Miller. The "one mode of transportation" in the Miller case is strictly the operation of an automobile. Unlike Mr. Gilmore, Mr. Miller is still free to use the roads as a PASSENGER.

, Gilmore does not possess a fundamental right to travel by airplane even though it is the most convenient mode of travel for him. Moreover, the identification
policy’s “burden” is not unreasonable.

Note the "Moreover, the identification policy’s “burden” is not unreasonable." Very true the ID requirement in the Gilmore case was not an unreasonable burden because Gilmore could have OPTED for a secondary screening instead.


See Shapiro v.
Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 629 (1969) (noting the right of all citizens to be “free to travel throughout the length and breadth of our land uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement”), overruled in
part on other grounds by Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651,
670-71 (1974).


Note the court affirms it is the RIGHT of citizens to travel uninhibited by rules, regulations that are an unreasonable burden or restrict movement.


The identification policy requires that airline passengers either present identification or be subjected to a more extensive search. The more extensive search is similar to searches that we have determined were reasonable and
“consistent with a full recognition of appellant’s constitutional right to travel.” United States v. Davis, 482 F.2d 893, 912-13 (9th Cir. 1973).

Notice the "either or" part of that statement. Either you show ID OR you get extra screening. Most people find that reasonable. Under your new order, the passenger has no choice. (please look up what the court considers an order)

Because of this lack of choice, the ID order creates an envioroment that is diametrical to the right of all citizens to be “free to travel throughout the length and breadth of our land uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement".

[13] In Davis, an airline employee searched the defendant’s briefcase as part of the airport’s preboarding screening procedure.

Although we remanded for further consideration of whether the defendant consented to the search, we held that airport screening searches of potential passengers and their immediate possessions for weapons and explosives is reasonable so long as each potential passenger maintains the right to leave the airport instead of submitting to the search. Id. at
912.

In so holding, we considered several airport screening procedures, including behavioral profiling, magnetometer screening, identification check, and physical search of the passenger’s person and carry-on baggage. Id. at 900.

We see little difference between the search measures discussed in
Davis and those that comprise the “selectee” search option of
the passenger identification policy at hand.

The court reaffirms the reasonableness of a secondary screening

Additionally, Gilmore was free to decline both options and use a different mode of transportation.


Gilmore had options, he had to decline BOTH options before being refused.

With the new order, we have no options. Unless this is all a farce.

In sum, by requiring Gilmore to comply with the identification policy, Defendants did not violate
his right to travel.

The ID policy in place at the time of Gilmore was, show ID or get a secondary screening. This new policy does not allow those simple options.

Denial of access is now PUNITIVE in nature due to the fact the passenger is required to genuflect in order to be allowed a secondary screening instead of the presentation of an ID.

Lack of options and a punitive nature makes the new ID order a burden that unduly restricts travel.

Gilmore was very specific in the scope of the ruling. Under the old ID requirement, Gilmore lost. Under the new ID requirement I am not so sure he would.

Whew I bet it took as long for me to mark that up as it did for them to write it.

What we need to happen is someone will have to be a test case for this new requirement. I would do it but I lack cash for a legal team. The test case needs to happen where air travel is the only real choice of travel. Someplace like Hawaii or Alaska.

If anyone wants to pony up the dough, I could use a Hawaiian or Alaskan vacation.

If you got the money honey, I’ll do the time… We'll go honky-tonkin'
And we're gonna have a time. (sorry for the ear worm)

Submitted by Ayn R Key on
Then you can either produce the ID, or turn around and explain to the others waiting to go somewhere why your act of revivalist 60s numbskullery is interfering with their "right" to travel. By the way, you wanted to know how one can fly without entering the sterile area? Fly your own jet, or charter one. If you truly will stand on your principle, you will....if you don't and simply rant for rant's sake, I'll see you in the sterile area with your pocket constitution and valid government issued ID.

Seig heil. Since the USA is founded on liberty, loving the USA means loving liberty. Think about that while you advocate that we trade essential liberty for temporary false security.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Wow! Never caught a terrorist and now you are looking more and more like STASI. Papers for domestic travel are a travesty.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Dear TSA,

You disgust me.

Submitted by Trollkiller on

Ummm before anyone takes too much stock in what the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has to say, look at the quality of their judges.

Granted he did not rule on the Gilmore case..... but... come on now.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This is a good policy. How am I suppose to know the name matches on the ticket? BTW, all of these bloggers claiming they'll NEVER show the ID to the TSO. Once the police comes and interviews you, watch how submissive you'll become.

Submitted by Andy on

Honestly.

First of all, I'd like to show my appreciation for making a blog entry about this. That's a kudos on your part.

This policy really bothers me, however... why waste people's time by interviewing them if they forgot their ID? While the old policy (just SSSS'ing them, giving them a pat down) is admittedly pretty easy and non-intrusive, it's what makes sense. People won't appreciate being interviewed by police if they forgot their ID - they'll feel like they did something wrong. That gives way to a police state feeling, which is unAmerican.

I understand your ID checking revune needs...however, why don't you have the airlines do it? It's their responsibilty, not yours. This just creates an additional, unnecessary dragnet and will consume people's time...all for nothing. The key to airport security is that someone doesn't have dangerous items on them. Simple as that. Let true, centuries-old intelligence agencies (FBI, NSA) do the work.

This is a true cornerstone of mission creep...and I don't like it. While the liquid policy is stupid, pointless, and silly, it's somewhat reasonable compared to this ID policy, especially for domestic travel. You're responsible for ensuring the safety of people flying on planes--and safety means physical items. I think others have said it all.

Keep in mind this will greatly inconvenience people, but especially those who are Deaf, mute, has religious beliefs, and those who are autistic.

I've always tried to respect your side, TSA...but in this instance, you've gone too far, creating a "papers please" environment (even though it may not be intentional), and it's not necesssary nor is it American. Nix the interviews and give us our pat downs, but keep it at that.

I hope you'll at least take my suggestion in consideration, since I'm a mere citizen... but take it from me, you guys are going too far this time.

Sincerely,

An ex-TSA fan

Submitted by Timothy Clemans on

The TSA should continue to allow refusal to show ID without enhanced visible screening. This way the TSA could launch an emergency secret investigation of anyone who doesn't show ID.

So lets say as soon as I came up to a ID checkpoint with "No ID" written on my boarding pass, the officer would immediately contact his supervisor. That supervisor would then start dispatching undercover officers and investigators. So while the undercover officers observe me as I walk through the airport, investigators would be pulling up video of me from airport cameras and as much other information that they could find.

This gives authorities the chance to discover I'm actually a terrorist and have me attested without me knowing that they were investigating me the whole time.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"This initiative is simply a way for us to better enforce the no-fly list"

The no fly list can easily be gamed using valid id. This hole is well known and has been widely discussed.

Play it out:

Someone is on the no fly list. Their buddy is not. Buddy buys a ticket. They modify the ticket to bear the name of the someone on the no fly list.

They show up at the airport and present the doctored ticket and an ID that matches.

The people examining him and the documents have _no_ idea if that name is on the no fly list. They pass him into the 'secure' area.

"This initiative is simply a way for us to better enforce the no-fly list"

Do you have a plan to begin checking our names against the lists at your checkpoints?

If not, then it seems to me your statement is at best disingenuous.

Submitted by Anonymous on

After getting SSSS boarding passes 15 times in a row, I have come to the sad conclusion that my name must be on a "watch list". Why this would be so is beyond me, but it works as good personal proof that the lists are fundamentally flawed.

In fact, these lists have an outrageous number of false positives. They have grounded infants, all John Smiths in the country and even air marshals! If your justification for requiring ID is to see if the person is not on a watch or no fly list, you first have to show us that these lists make sense!

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