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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

New ID Requirements Begin Tomorrow

Friday, June 20, 2008

If you're flying tomorrow, or anytime in the near future, you may want to make a note that tomorrow is the day the TSA enhances its ID requirements. There have been many misconceptions of the new requirements and I just wanted to attempt to clear things up a little bit.

We've all been there. You've got a million things to do before you fly. Pay bills, pack, get the kids ready, get your clothes from the dry cleaner, you name it. Whatever it is you have to do, it's inevitable that you'll forget at least one of them from time to time. (Hopefully not the kids) I usually forget my toothbrush.

What if you forget your ID? Is your vacation ruined? Are you going to miss your meeting? Are you going to miss the Elvis Costello show this weekend at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall? Not at all… If you simply state you forgot your ID, we will work with you to verify your ID, you may undergo some additional screening and will be permitted to fly.

On the other hand, if you do not cooperate and state that you're not willing to show us your ID, you will not be permitted to fly.

You show your ID to test drive a car, view an apartment, buy a house, cash a check, buy cigarettes or alcohol, rent videos and so forth. The list could go on and in some of these circumstances; they hold onto your card or make a copy. We're just asking for a few moments of your time to ensure your name matches the name on your ticket.

Is this about control? No. It's about knowing who is getting on the plane. It's about shifting our focus towards people instead of items on a list. You know as well as we do that you can make a weapon out of anything. The naked human body of someone skilled in martial arts is far more dangerous than most people with a weapon. We know that and we're shifting towards that line of thought. It is going to be a huge change in our culture, but I and others firmly believe this is the proper evolution path for security.

If our goal is to keep bad people off of planes, and our law enforcement and intelligence partners have gone to the lengths of creating watch lists of known terrorists to keep them off said planes, we have to know for sure that each person who goes through matches the name on their boarding pass and is who they say they are. Most people are not a threat, but we know there are people out there that could pose a threat. Letting anyone go through who says "I don't want to show my ID" is not good security. It's not a poke in the eye to certain folks – it's about security for everyone and we view verifying identity as importantly as we view having passengers pass through metal detectors.

Make sure you also check out Christopher's blog post on IDs.

Bob
EoS Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

LOLZ!

This is Friday's joke post...

...yes?

,>)

Submitted by Isnoop on

What sort of methods will you be using to verify my identity if I forget my ID?

I realize there are a lot of resources out there in the public domain such as family trees that have been used to verify ID by credit companies. Is that one of your approaches?

Submitted by Anonymous on

!!! ??? !!!

You really are serious about the nonsense we are reading!

This is not Friday's funny post!

8>(

You are doing that tired old nonsense, aren't you?

Yes, you are!

You are actually doing that unimaginative old nonsense of posting some really smelly piece of your doings at the end of the business day on Friday!

Sigh.

Well, I guess we can take some small joy in the fact that our money bought us someone who at least knew the tired, lame old ploy.

Gosh, wouldn't it have been nice if our money had bought us someone who could have figured out how to pull this off in an open, engaging fashion that swayed us to their view?

,>)

Submitted by Phil on

Bob, you've still never said how demanding that people show their papers will make any of us safer.

Nor have you explained why you have a list of people who should either be barred from flying or should only be allowed to fly after additional hassle, but are not considered dangerous enough to go arrest and put in front of a judge.

You say this is not about control, but it clearly is. Tomorrow, your agency will begin stopping people from traveling simply because they assert their right to do so without first identifying themselves at a government checkpoint. The same people will be allowed to travel if they simply keep their mouths shut about their rights and tell you that they forgot their credentials at home.

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 Anonymous on
You show your ID to test drive a car, view an apartment, buy a house, cash a check, buy cigarettes or alcohol, rent videos and so forth.

I don't know about you, but I've never had to show an ID when looking at an apartment, I was able to buy alcohol at 16 without showing ID, and so forth. Bad examples.
Submitted by Phil on

Bob wrote:

"You show your ID to test drive a car, view an apartment, buy a house, cash a check, buy cigarettes or alcohol, rent videos and so forth."

All of those involve interaction between two private parties. Any identification performed is completely consensual and completely optional.

And note that for purchases of controlled substances, the identification is irrelevant; it's a side-effect of the purchaser convincing the seller that he is of sufficient age.

A government checkpoint at which people are required to present credentials if they wish to pass is a completely different situation.

See also: "What's Wrong with Showing ID? at The Identity Project

Submitted by Isnoop on
I don't know about you, but I've never had to show an ID when looking at an apartment, I was able to buy alcohol at 16 without showing ID, and so forth. Bad examples.
Anon: In Washington state (and I imagine many other locations) it is required to check ID before renting to someone. There's also no municipality in the US where you can legally buy alcohol at that age, so not having to show ID was a failure on the seller's part and in most places is subject to harsh penalties to the employee and their store.
Submitted by DarnWombat on

Having traveled through TSA security theatre quite a few times in the past, i have never seen one check an ID against the sworn enemies of the state database that they tout so much. Usually it is a cursory glance at the ID and checking that the picture sort of matches the person presenting it, and that the ID is of a quality to not be a forgery or fake. nothing more is done by the TSA at the check point that I ever see.

Now the person at the counter may be a savant, and have the entire no fly list memorized, but i doubt it. I also doubt that they are able to correctly identify that the ID is a valid ID, since even police forces have to refer to a large book of IDs to make sure of this at times.

So I need to show my papers at the checkpoint. yes, I do. I need to go places faster than I can drive. Do I care for it? not really. Is it any different than before the security lockdowns this decade? not really. it is just the attitude that the TSA has towards travellers, and the beauracracy that it as become.

Submitted by Alan on

This sounds to me like the USSR and East Germany before the wall came down.

Submitted by Phil on

TSA's job is to ensure transportation safety, not to catch criminals. Setting up a checkpoint at airports to stop everyone just to find the few criminals is un-American, and probably unconstitutional.

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.

This is really simple: If someone is so dangerous that he shouldn't be allowed to travel within the country, we should send the police to arrest that person and get him in front of a judge -- not wait for him to show up at an airport, then hassle him or turn him away. If he's not believed to be of sufficient danger to have him arrested, then we should let him go about his business.

It is not the duty of the TSA or any other part of the Executive Branch to judge guilt and impose punishment. Those are reserved for the Judicial Branch. However, that is precisely what the TSA is doing. Those people whose names are on government blacklists are punished without ever having a trial, without any chance to face their accuser, and with no chance defend themselves.

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.

Patriotic Americans should resist this un-American practice.

Submitted by Dave Nelson on
On the other hand, if you do not cooperate and state that you’re not willing to show us your ID, you will not be permitted to fly.

I would like Francine or Kip himself to explain your justification in doing this when a Federal district court stated that you did not need to show an ID to fly?

If you're simply blowing off the third branch of government, just do us a favor and be honest for once, OK?

FYI, one of these days, we are going to decide to take our country back. Kip, I would call in sick if I were you.
Submitted by Anonymous on

"It is going to be a huge change in our culture, but I and others firmly believe this is the proper evolution path for security."

In other words, you want to recreate the Soviet Police State so that your pathetic little fears don't scare you any more, and you think I should want you to too.

Guess again. And go back to Russia or China or someplace where you belong.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Bob,

I'm sure others will say this much more loudly and obnoxiously, but let me try to do this more objectively:

If our goal is to keep bad people off of planes, and our law enforcement and intelligence partners have gone to the lengths of creating watch lists of known terrorists to keep them off said planes, we have to know for sure that each person who goes through matches the name on their boarding pass and is who they say they are.

You mention the watch lists as justification for the ID check ... but unless I'm missing something here, the ID check has nothing to do with the watch list. The TSO who examines passenger IDs and boarding passes doesn't have access to the watch list. All the TSO can do is make a judgment that the ID present is genuine, and that the ID, boarding pass, and passenger all bear the same name. So how does the watch list enter into this argument?

Submitted by Travel_Medic on

wow what a bunch of lies and spin to tell a distorted reality as this is all about controlling people.

So Bob please tell me why you are checking DLs when they are not for identification but are rather proof that someone is allowed by the state to operate a motor vehicle. Then also why is that a ID issued by a government entity (City of Dallas in Texas) that is required of me work as a paramedic with in city Dallas and Dallas county as well as drive a ambulance when not working in the back. This ID entails more paperwork then a DL and having a 5yr CBC to the point where former employers have been called is not acceptable ID to go through a CP so i can express my right to travel without being questioned like a criminal? The reason have ranged from well because it doesnt have "security features" ie doesnt glow under the black light to show holograms. To it looks homemade, but ironically this ID is harder to get then a DL, and takes much longer to get done. all of this is BS because it falls in the range of GOVERNMENT ISSUED ID and is valid but TSA seems to make up the rules on the fly 99.99% in my experience


Then the same goes for that national and state agencies that over see license/certification as a paramedic that entail the same CBC as my Dallas city permit. All of this is real hard to fake on ones own, because faking these IDs are not only state but federal felonies with very stiff penalties and are all stacked on my work ID badge.

Then again none of the 9/11 hijackers had a fake ID so how does checking IDs add to security when they are not checked against any list at all. Oh i forgot the no fly list but then as has been pointed out if they are so dangerous as to not be allowed on planes then why havent they been arrested yet. Then again it is also reported that there are names that are excluded from the list as well... which makes the point why have a list i the first place. how does this new violation of the constitution even fly. I see another court case coming in the near future. Mr. gilmore where are you ???????

Then why is that TSO through supervisors seem that they have the right to tell me and my partner (in full uniform) what gear(IE oxygen, heart monitor, IV pump, medications, and such) we can take through the CP (they didnt bother to check ID, but wanted a level of info that would be a HIPPA violation) when we are meeting a patients commercial flight to take them to the hospital? I could do like all the cargo that goes unscreened in the belly of the aircraft and take the ambulance onto the ramp unscreened (you know theres nothing sinister about a ambulance right?) and get the patient that way, but I didnt have the time to do all of that because the patients condition was to questionable to go through all of that, so i parked the ambulance in front of the terminal entrance and walked in with the stretcher and bags, only to be treated like a criminal by TSA till a airline rep and a real LEO stepped in and top the charade that was going on. I wont repeat the comment i heard from a person standing in line because it wont make there the censor but basically it was along the lines of I hope no one from TSA ever calls 911 and needs EMS. Thank goodness the patient was not in as bad shape as my information said because it would have been a mess any other way, with massive repercussions.


Then beyond that why is that almost 2 years later that screeners still are barring people from carrying and stealing containers they plan to fill up after the CP because of the war on water, obviously not when i witnessed not one but 3 TSOs bringing large starbucks (>3oz) through the CP, but i cant have a empty gatorade bottle? seriously DFW needs to get its act together because its down right wrong and there are problems on so many levels.

This and many other questions havent been answered by TSA and its getting old. a little bit of telling the truth goes along way to getting any decency from the traveling public. Remember respect is earned not demanded with the threat(terroristic) of DYWTFT that is all to common out of screeners mouths.

Signed.

Paramedic from Dallas whose sick and tired of TSA interfering with the duties of a civil servant and practicing medicine without a license while they try to save someones life.

Submitted by Tomas on

OK, as an old veteran who fought to protect our rights, this actually does bother me, Bob.

It is not that I have a problem identifying myself, and even showing identification for a reasonable purpose, it's that the convoluted and warped logic being used just doesn't hold together.

Please allow me to provide to scenarios: One where a person has valid ID but objects to a demand of "Papers please." The other being a person with no ID who claims the dog ate it.

You will do some 'validations' on the 'no ID' person, and possibly subject them to some extra scrutiny, and if nothing further bothers the TSOs, it's "have a nice flight!"

With the person saying "I'd rather not" when asked for their ID, what is the first thing you will probably find if you were to subject them to extra security checks? Right! Their ID! Duh!

So, why not just accept the idea that not all people are sheep, and that some of us actually believe in, and risked our lives to protect, our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

If someone tells you they would rather not show you ID because they feel you have approximately zero right to demand it, treat them exactly the same as someone who said their dog ate their ID: Question them to verify identity, validate what they say, and go through what they are carrying on-board - which likely includes their ID.

I totally fail to understand the TSA's insistence on treating those WITH good ID who object to the «Papiere, bitte!» scenario worse than those who simply pack their forged IDs, or mail them ahead, and claim they don't have any.

Treat both the same. There is NO advantage to denying boarding to someone who objects to having their papers demanded to travel other than to cow the general populace and to accustom them to following any demand from anyone in uniform without thinking and without questioning.

This is NOT the United States of America I fought so long ago to protect.

Those young men under me who did not return would not believe what this once fine country has turned into.

Tom

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm sorry Blogger Bob, but this time you are not just spinning the TSA party line, your are blatantly lying.

I don't say that lightly but consider this: Scenario 1) I arrive at the airport without my ID and tell you that I mistakenly left it at home. According to your post you will question me and give me a secondary screening and let me fly. Scenario 2) I arrive at the airport without my ID and tell you that I deliberately left it at home. According to your post you will not let me fly. In both scenarios the passenger is the same; the lack of ID is the same. The only difference is whether or not I acknowledge your right to demand my ID or assert my right to refuse to show it.

Secondly, you claim that this policy is intended to keep dangerous people off airplanes; however, the ID checker has no list to compare against. All the checker has is an ID and a boarding pass. Anyone with a PC and Photoshop can produce a valid boarding pass with anyone's name one it and the ID checker will be none the wiser.

There is absolutely no way this is about anything but TSA exerting control. To say otherwise is an insult to our intelligence.


T-the-B at FlyerTalk

Submitted by Anonymous on

This post shows that some people will complain about anything. If you let people fly who said "Hey, I don't want to show my ID," these same people would be freaking out. If you didn't screen people who forgot them a little more carefully, they'd be saying "You're letting illegal immigrants through." But since you ask questions and do some additional screening, people freak out on here because they need to. All I can gather is that they think no one should show ID to fly. Either they're out of touch or they're just being silly.

Submitted by Chris Boyce on

Hey Kip, you know what? Every one of your document checker screeners I encounter will be required to change their gloves before they touch my precious ID. You can take your ID retaliation harassment and -- do you know what -- with respect to my Irish posterior.

I encourage ALL flyers to require (They can't refuse!) screeners to change gloves -- even at the document/"Papers Please" checkpoints.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, I know TSA doesn't pay you enough to tell the lies you do on this blog. You say Letting anyone go through who says “I don’t want to show my ID” is not good security, but that's not true; there's no greater threat from a person who doesn't want to show ID than there is from someone who left their ID at home, or got mugged on vacation. Simply screen them both and be done with it. The new policy is simply petulant and pathetic and does nothing to enhance security of any flight (just as the 3.4-1-1 policy does not enhance security and mandatory shoe removal does not enhance security).

And when you say "we view verifying identity as importantly as we view having passengers pass through metal detectors", you're simply making known how completely wrongheaded TSA's approach to security is. No one objects to metal detectors in and of themselves, just as no one objects to putting baggage through an X-ray machine, because these are measures that are sensible and do not have to make the screening process excruciatingly stupid and lengthy. What we object to is being lied to about ID checks making us safer, as they patently don't, as evinced by your utter failure to present a single justification beyond Kip Hawley's whim. And we object to your pretending that any identity verification is happening in screening. No one who checks an ID at an airport has any access to your error-ridden and useless secret no-fly lists, so all you're doing is checking whether the name on the ID matches the name on the boarding pass. This does nothing to make anyone safer, and much to make the screening process longer than it needs to be.

Submitted by Adrian McCarthy on

Lies:

"You show your ID to test drive a car, view an apartment, buy a house, cash a check, buy cigarettes or alcohol, rent videos and so forth."

To test drive a car, you have to prove you have a license to drive. That's very different. Furthermore, there are efforts to end this practice, since dealerships are abusing it in order to run unauthorized credit checks while you are test driving.

I have never shown ID in order to view an apartment. I don't recall showing identification at any point during the purchase of my house.

You don't need a government-issued photo identification to cash a check at an ATM.

Cigarettes and alchohol have an age requirement, so you have to prove you are old enough. It's about age, not identification.

What kind of video stores do you rent from? I've had several memberships, none of which required a government-issued photo ID. You need cash or a credit card to set up an account. You just need the account number to rent a movie. You never have to show government-issued photo identification.

Bad Logic:

"If our goal is to keep bad people off of planes, and our law enforcement and intelligence partners have gone to the lengths of creating watch lists of known terrorists to keep them off said planes ..."

There is no possible way to make a list of dangerous people. Not an effective one, anyway.

The list in question is not a list of dangerous terrorists. If you had such a list, you could arrest such people.

The list, at best, is a huge data mining fiasco filled with zillions of innocent people and probably missing nearly all would-be terrorists.

There are almost a million names on the watch lists, out of about 300 million residents of the U.S. Are you really suggesting that 1 out of 300 Americans is too dangerous to be allowed onto an airplane?

(Items, on the other hand, can be categorized into "possibly an effective weapon" and "probably not an effective weapon". There might be some disagreements, but at least it wouldn't have to be a secret list. We could have open debate about what belongs in which category. A terrorist without a weapon is unlikely to take control of a plane. A previously unidentified hijacker with a weapon is dangerous, regardless of whether he or she is on the no-fly list.)

Oh, and the goal is not to keep bad people off of planes. It's to provide the illusion that flying is safe so that the industry doesn't completely collapse. It's called security theater.

"... we have to know for sure that each person who goes through matches the name on their boarding pass ..."

But anyone can print a boarding pass with any name on it. I can buy a ticket under one name, make a copy of the boarding pass with another name that matches a stolen ID. This new process doesn't verify that people who get through the security checkpoint are not on the no-fly list. So even if this strategy made sense, your implementation fails.

Discrimination:

There are people who do not possess a government-issued photo ID. This policy discriminates against them.

This is about control. It's about retribution against the states that are rejecting the Real ID Act. It's about training Americans to genuflect to authority. ("Papers, please!") It's about retribution against patriots like John Gilmore.

Hell, this policy undoes the legal out that got Gonzales and the TSA off the hook in Gilmore v. Gonzales.

Submitted by Anonymous on

If I refuse to show an identification card, but agree to cooperate to verify my identity another way, will I be allowed to fly?

What does the alternate verification means entail?

Submitted by Anonymous on

A friend of mine was renewing her security clearance for a defense job, and she used me as a reference.

A man from the DoD met me to ask questions about my friend. At the outset, he showed me (what I assume was) his DoD identification.

I started to pull out my wallet to prove that I was really the person he was supposed to interview. He averted his eyes and told me to put my driver's license away, as though it was a policy that he was not supposed to verify that he was talking to the person he thought he was talking to.

I'm not sure how it applies here, but it was an odd moment I'll never forget.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The no-fly list is a tantalizing target to those with political power.

There are no public checks on who goes on the list and who comes off.

It's possible, maybe even likely, that the list today is an honest effort to identify potential skyjackers.

How will we keep the list safe from those who want to harass activists or do political favors for those in power?

The founding fathers built lots of checks and balances into the mechanisms of government they invented. The no-fly list is a new mechanism with no such assurances.

The list is effectively a law that singles out specific individuals. Even worse, it's a secret law. This is incompatible with freedom or the Constitution of the United States of America.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's so nice to see everything our nation used to stand for be destroyed from the inside by well-intentioned people afraid of thinking.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I love the fact that most of these bloggers want to invoke their constitutional right (When it's conveinient) by not showing their ID to travel across the U.S.

How about I bring a gun aboard an Aircraft. I'm sure no one would have a problem, since it's my constitutional right to bear arms... You people need to grow up and stop picking and choosing when you want to invoke your constitutional rights. BTW, I will teach other TSO's how to say papers please in German and Russian....just to make you guys feel more comfortable. All jokes aside, take your ID with you and you won't have to worry about Big Brother and the Post 911 sacrifices of freedom.

Submitted by BlognDog on

"You show your ID to test drive a car, view an apartment, buy a house, cash a check, buy cigarettes or alcohol, rent videos and so forth."


What a load of nonsense. I didn't show an ID the one time in my life I test drove a car, I don't use checks or buy cigarettes, and the one time a liquor store asked me for ID I refused to show it, bought my booze somewhere else, and then retaliated by going by and smashing their front window later that night. I don't put up with this "papers, please" nonsense from anyone, and trying to suggest that because there are certain cirumstances in which it is acceptable to ask for an ID (buying a house or making a withdrawal at a bank) does not -- contrary to the TSA's suggestions -- translate into a conclusion that it is acceptable to demand ID in any other circumstance.

I for one will continue to refuse and resist.

Submitted by Phil on

Several commenters are trying to point out that presently, the identification of potential passengers at the government checkpoint will not aid the TSA in restricting the movement of people on the Department of Homeland Security blacklists because the TSA document checkers have no way of looking up the passengers' names at the time that they are identified.

I believe that this valid, but relatively unimportant. I'm concerned that focusing on it will distract us from the more troublesome aspect of this program. I'm also concerned that the same loophole that makes the current system seem a bit less troublesome will make excellent justification for later amending the system to be something that is definitely more troublesome.

Please, please, think beyond the immediate situation of you walking through an airport security line and whether someone who wants to know who you are can do anything useful with that information to what kind of long-term change you are agreeing to and how hard it will be to stop this ball -- should we ever want or need to -- once it's rolling.

What we're creating is a system whereby some unknown group of people can -- for any reason they wish or for no reason at all -- ensure that a particular person will not be able to pass through government checkpoints.

In the right hands, such a system could be somewhat useful. It might help us find some bad people that we've been looking for but have been unable to find (assuming these fugitives decide to walk up to our government checkpoint). But we aren't allowed to know whose hands the system is in. We're told that DHS has a list of people who should be watched or barred from traveling, but we don't know why people were put on the list, who put them there, or how they can get off it.

We're establishing a precedent of our federal government setting up checkpoints at which we must convincingly identify ourselves to an agent, then wait for permission from him to proceed. That he wants to know who we are is far less significant than the fact that he's saying, "you may not pass unless I allow you to, and if I don't, I do not have to tell you why."

Think of how bad that is. Think not of the few criminals that will be caught in the net but of the ramifications of requiring people to ask for and receive permission from the government before moving around within their own nation. Think about how that sort of restriction has been used in other countries. Even if you trust the people in authority now, think of how this system might be used if in the future there are people in authority who you do not trust.

Of course, right now they cannot check people's names against the blacklists from out there at the document checker station. But think how little extra equipment would be required in order to do so. Hand-held wireless terminals for document checkers would provide agents with the ability to lookup names right there at their document-checking podium, closing the loophole and landing us with a system that truly allows the maintainers of the Department of Homeland Security blacklist to restrict the movement of anyone. Why would we not do that once we've established that people must identify themselves and wait for permission to proceed? "Well of course," someone will say, "we have a person's name. Why shouldn't we check to see if he's on the list? It won't be extra hassle for the honest, innocent people." Once we go along with that, we'll have a system that looks more ripe for abuse than the one we're being convinced to go along with now.

And of course, right now this only affects commercial air travelers. But if we accept this policy for air travel, why would we not eventually accept it for other modes of travel? The arguments for creating checkpoints elsewhere would be almost identical, and additionally, there would be the argument that we're already doing it in airports, so doing it elsewhere wouldn't be anything new. Once we're all accustomed to presenting our credentials upon demand at government checkpoints, it will be very easy to convince us that more checkpoints would catch more criminals. Why would we not do this once we're comfortable doing it at airports?

With this system of "just trust us" checkpoints, how can we know that people's movement is being restricted for just reason? We can't. Of course, we can simply trust that those who are able to put people on the list, now and forever, will use their best judgement, and that they have good judgement. But we should not need to trust them, so people long ago set up a very effective system of justice that did not require such blind trust in anonymous people in positions of authority.

Sometimes we need to stop some people from moving around, and we have a system that allows us to do so: We put people on trial. If the judge or jury finds that the person's movement should be restricted, we imprison him or place him under house arrest.

We don't need another system for restricting people's movement, and we need not to have one that restricts their movement for reasons that are kept secret. When we restrict someone's liberty, we need to be very sure of our reasoning, and that means we need to have a very transparent process.

It's hard for me to believe that I even have to try to convince people that restriction of civil rights based on a secret blacklist is bad, or how extensively such a system can and thus eventually will be abused.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"This sounds to me like the USSR and East Germany before the wall came down."

Welcome to neo America comrade.

,>)

May I see your papers, please?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why does it matter that I 'am who I say I am'? Unfortunately, for every terrorist we kill or capture in Iraq and Afghanistan, several more are trained and indoctrinated into terrorism. The percentage of these folks you have on a 'watch list'?? I think you see where I'm going with this. Once a terrorist has a rap sheet and shows up on the 'watch list', their usefulness has expired, and new blood will take their place. The ones with no criminal history, who quietly blend into society until it's time to strike, and who can obtain perfectly legitimate identification in their own names to do their evil deeds. This is the way professional terrorists operate. Sure, you might catch an illegal immigrant or common criminal here and there, if you believe that's you're role (but since you're not 'law enforcement', it probably isn't your role), but in any case you won't catch those you're really looking for (or, rather, the unknown terrorist foot soldiers you should be looking for).

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob,

Your post suggests that people who do not want to show ID should lie and say they lost it. That actually gave me a good idea on how to avoid future airport hassle: I should start to lie.

I am always SSSSed on my boarding pass, which tells me I am (incomprehensibly) on your (highly questionable) "watch list". Up to now I have dealt with the inconvenience by simply going through the "secondary screening" harassment.

From now on, I will buy tickets in my sister's name and travel with her ID. It will keep me from being SSSSed (she never is) and help get other people through the line faster. The TSO will never know I switched IDs (we look the same) and all of us will be happier.

I may feel a little guilty for the lie (it is not my nature), but given all I have been through with you guys and the stupid rules that keep on piling on, I think I earned the right to do so!

Thank you for your help!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

The airlines do check the passengers against the watch and no fly lists folks. We are just ensuring the same person that they checked is the person standing in front of us. If they have lost their ID the procedures aren't the same as they have been thus far. Yes they'll get extra screening. But we have procedures in place and steps to ensure that the person telling us they lost their ID is indeed the person with the boarding pass and not on the watch list. This will take some time, and telling us you do not want to show it to try to game the system won't be allowed.

As was explained this is about keeping the bad guys from flying into, around, and in this country. It's not about catching them at the airport, it's about stopping them before they fly on planes in America. The bad guys still do want to attack us and keeping guns and bombs off planes is just one way to prevent this.Because they are constantly trying to come up with new methods to do us damage, keeping them from flying altogether is a better goal.

The 9/11 hijackers were on watch lists and thankfully the procedures in place now would prevent them from getting a ticket in someone else name, and then refusing to show ID and then being allowed through with nothing but a patdown and their bags searched. I do not understand why this is so hard to understand.

Submitted by Anonymous on

HSVTSO: Just a fast comment that I have put you up many many points in my impression meter after you declared yourself an atheist and agreed that ID does not add to security. You fully made up for lost points for being a smoker.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I will not comply with this policy. I work at TSA HQ, and believe this is a step too far. It doesn't make us more secure, basically alows polite terrorists on planes while hassling innocent citizens, and is an unreasonable restriction on our liberties. I'm no crazed libertarian, if anything I've always jumped to TSA's defense, but this is a line that shouldn't be crossed, and I can't wait until the court puts the smack down on this policy.

And yes, I AM looking for other employment.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Anonymous writes:

The 9/11 hijackers were on watch lists and thankfully the procedures in place now would prevent them from getting a ticket in someone else name, and then refusing to show ID and then being allowed through with nothing but a patdown and their bags searched. I do not understand why this is so hard to understand.

Two flaws in this argument:

a) Even in the scenario you describe, it's still possible for a terrorist to get through the checkpoint. Mr. Bad Terrorist buys a ticket in the name of Mr. Safe Passenger. Before coming to the airport, Mr. Bad Terrorist prints Mr. Safe Passenger's boarding pass at home. Then, Mr. Bad Terrorist makes a copy of the boarding pass, substituting his own name.

Mr. Bad Terrorist goes to the checkpoint, presents his own legitimate ID and doctored boarding pass. The TSO sees that his ID is genuine and matches the boarding pass and lets him through.

After passing through screening, Mr. Bad Terrorist throws away the doctored boarding pass, and uses Mr. Safe Passenger's boarding pass to board the plane.

Voila. No-fly-list circumvented.

b) Even if Mr. Bad Terrorist gets through the checkpoint ... as you've pointed out, they've had their bags searched for contraband. If they don't have any weapons on board, should it matter that they're under suspicion?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I love how the TSA sounds more and more like Col. Klink everyday. This is yet another sign that window dressing is more important than following the law and actually providing security.

Let's see, I've never shown my ID to drive a car, view an apartment, buy a house, or buy cigarettes or alcohol, or rent videos. I didn't have to show an ID to take my children home after they were born!

This is an attempt to change our culture that is unacceptable. Let's hope the next administration shuts you guys down once and for all. You might not have alterior motives, but you just don't get the idea of the slippery slope or rule of law either.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Folks, I urge you to write your Congresspersons and Senators about this. I have. They need to know that people are against this "policy change." In addition to writing your own Senators, I suggest you write Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain as well, since they are sitting Senators who, in addition, have a significant interest in pleasing the people of this country, at least for the next few months.

The quickest way to contact a Senator is via their Senate contact forms: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

The Representatives are harder to contact right now. (At least, my Congressman, Virgil Goode, Jr. -- oh, the shame! -- doesn't seem to be accepting emails right now). Try https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml

So, your homework assignments(!) are to write to your one (1)Congressperson and four (4) Senators today. Exercise your rights!

Submitted by HSVTSO Dean on
Anonymous wrote:
What does the alternate verification means entail?

After arriving at work and learning that myself, I can say that you - and probably everyone else here that was already opposed to the mandatory ID requirement - aren't going to like it.

But because it is new, I'm pretty sure that going into it at length would generally be considered A Very Bad Thing™ where it comes to my future employment in that it's probably also considered SSI.

Until I know for a fact one way or the other, I'm not going to get into it.

Bob, Chris, one of yinz want to try to field this one? If it's even possible to?
Submitted by Anonymous on

If you get pulled over by the police what do they ask for? Drivers License. They want to look at your ID. Why should traveling through an airport be any different? Except i guess TSA doesnt have sirens and pull you over in the lines.

Submitted by Abelard on
As was explained this is about keeping the bad guys from flying into, around, and in this country. It's not about catching them at the airport, it's about stopping them before they fly on planes in America. The bad guys still do want to attack us and keeping guns and bombs off planes is just one way to prevent this.Because they are constantly trying to come up with new methods to do us damage, keeping them from flying altogether is a better goal.

How does having a valid ID keep guns and bombs off of planes?

It doesn't. That's what the metal detectors and other machinery are for. Since that is the case, what difference does it matter who I am?

What a false sense of security you are perpetuating here: if you show ID, all will be safer? Really? So you know for a fact that making sure that John Smith is really John Smith somehow magically makes guns and bombs disappear. Talk about a stretch in logic.

Bad people have valid IDs and will try to disrupt any flight whether their name is John Smith or Osama bin Laden. We have no way of knowing if the nicely dressed person with the valid ID is actually a horrible serial killer or just a traditional businessman.

That is why showing ID to your TSO is security theater. IDs are not magic wands that stop guns and bombs. Likewise, they do not guarantee - ever - that the person sitting next to you isn't someone who likes shoving bodies through a woodchipper.

And, just for laughs, can anyone at the TSA show me a study that indicated that ID checking has a direct correlation on the number of bombs or guns that do/do not get on board an aircraft?
Submitted by Ayn R Key on

According to the rules it has to be a valid ID, and according to the rules only states that conform to REAL ID are valid ID. The extensions will eventually run out, and several states have proclaimed they absolutely will not conform with the REAL ID requirements. How will residents of those states be allowed to fly?

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Bob, this entry really does make me sad. You were the only blogger who tried to maintain a shred of integrity. Now you are repeating the already trashed party line about how this is about security and not control, and so you repeated the debunked party line about how this is about security and not control.

And no, there are certain things you list as requiring an ID for that you don't need to show it for. View an apartment? No. To rent one you often do, but not to view one.

A few more questions for you to not answer: what if I demand to see the ID of the TSO in order to ensure he has the proper authority to demand my ID, and will the TSOs give out the privacy act statements as required by law to avoid a $5000 fine according to 5 U.S.C. § 552a (e)?

Submitted by Bob Eucher on

OK, so you are saying that checking ID's will keep bad people off airplanes. So if I am NOT a bad person, and your ID checker allows me to pass, then I should have NO further screening, be allowed to take liquids aboard, and not remove my shoes. So with this 100% mandatory ID check that you profess will catch bad people, then why are the good people prohibited from taking liquids aboard, required to take off shoes, and generally treated as bad people? You can't have it both ways. I think you are forever digging yourself into a never ending deeper hole.

Submitted by Yangj08 on

"They want to look at your ID."
Um, no. They want your Driver's License because it's proof that you're allowed to be on the road in a car. I'm pretty sure that if I handed over my passport in such a situation that the cop would NOT be happy about it.

Submitted by Trollkiller on

Today in History:

June 21st, 1788 the Constitution was ratified by New Hampshire the ninth state to do so. New Hampshire's ratification caused the U.S. Constitution to go into effect.

June 21st, 2008 the TSA exactly 230 years later attempts to remove the U.S. Constitution's authority over Citizen travelers.

Submitted by NoClu on

It's all about control.

It's about controlling states by mandating ID requirements.

It's about controlling citizens by mandating that they tell the government who they are and where they are going (despite constitutional protections).

It's about expanding control and influence through mission creep and un-debated, un-democratic edict and mandate.

What it is not about is increased security. It wastes hundreds of person hours a day with minimal benefit. Checking ID against a piece of paper to see if printed words match without much assurance that either isn't a forgery is a waste of time and only serves as an unnecessary inconvenience and revenue protection for the airlines.

Hmm. Rarely do I get this angry during a weekend. Thanks bloggers.

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said...

If you get pulled over by the police what do they ask for? Drivers License. They want to look at your ID. Why should traveling through an airport be any different? Except i guess TSA doesnt have sirens and pull you over in the lines.

When TSOs become cops AND if I am suspected of committing a crime THEN the TSA may demand ID.
Submitted by NoClu on

annonymous said

"If you get pulled over by the police what do they ask for? Drivers License. They want to look at your ID. Why should traveling through an airport be any different? Except i guess TSA doesnt have sirens and pull you over in the lines."

Because...The TSA aren't cops and they don't have probable cause that a crime has been committed, and, other than revenue protection, it doen't matter what your name is. Without the ability to cause problems on an airplane, it doens't matter who is on it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

My grandmother has bought two houses, and never had any ID.

She still doesn't have any photo ID. She's from the Old Country. She has never driven a car, so she doesn't have a driver's license. Maybe somewhere she has a social security card. Even her utility bills are in my name.

She also has a thick Italian accent and cannot hear very well anymore. I don't think her interrogation (that's what it will be) will go well.

Once a year, she gets on a plane and visits us in Florida. If she is not permitted to fly, prepare to see a little old lady v. Hawley lawsuit in the near future.

Submitted by RB on

re: Anonymous said...
If you get pulled over by the police what do they ask for? Drivers License. They want to look at your ID. Why should traveling through an airport be any different? Except i guess TSA doesnt have sirens and pull you over in the lines.

...........................I think the statement above qualifies as the most ignorant post of all time!

Let me explain so even you can understand.

You need a Drivers License to operate a motor vehicle.

You do not need a license to fly unless your the pilot, and then it would be a different type of license.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Phil said...
Several commenters are trying to point out that presently, the identification of potential passengers at the government checkpoint will not aid the TSA in restricting the movement of people on the Department of Homeland Security blacklists because the TSA document checkers have no way of looking up the passengers' names at the time that they are identified.
===========================
100% on point!

100% accurate!

Thanks Phil

And Blog Operators are in full censorship mode at this time. They are not following posting quidelines either.

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