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Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Q&A

Okay, we continue to receive questions on the ID requirement. I will attempt to answer as many as possible below. It’s kind of a virtual chat. We’d love to be able to do a live chat and we’re exploring that technological possibility.

There is also the very real possibility that civil people can agree to disagree…which is the direction I believe we’re heading.

Here goes:

Anonymous said... Could you please elaborate on those approximately 20 persons that weren´t allowed to fly? June 23, 2008 4:51 PM

Sure. The 20 people of the 10 million plus that did fly were turned away from the checkpoint. Some went and got their IDs, some tried to fly from other airports (and were stopped) and the rest just didn’t come back.

Phil said... TSA: If the people on your blacklist are so dangerous that we must restrict their movement, why don't you send the police to arrest them and put them in front of a judge? June 23, 2008 4:52 PM

Couple things here Phil. First off, TSA doesn’t have a “blacklist.” We use two of the Terrorist Screening Center’s watch lists, no-fly and selectee. The no-fly is reserved for known threats to aviation, most of which are not in this country and are not exactly sitting around, waiting for a visit from any government official, U.S. or otherwise. While the exact number of “no-flys” is secret, there are many, many less than 500,000. No Ted Kennedy and other are NOT on the no-fly list. If a person truly is, they “NO FLY” get it?

The other list is the selectee list. This list is for people that require additional screening before they fly. They fly after undergoing additional screening..

Anonymous said... So you're saying that you've been letting 10 people too dangerous to fly on planes each and every day since your misbegotten agency started? June 23, 2008 5:03 PM

Huh??? What we’re saying is that identity matters and we’re strengthening the system by verifying ID.

Chris Boyce said... 1. Where is the privacy impact assessment for the new form and the obviously commercial datamining check? I don't recall seeing it on line, nor do I remember a public comment period. We wouldn't be breaking the law, would we???

No Chris, we wouldn’t be breaking the law. A privacy impact assessment has been conducted and is pending review at DHS prior to being posted. There is no public comment period for Privacy Impact Assessments. Also, commercial “datamining” is not an accurate description of what is happening. We are simply using commercial data as a way to assist individuals in verifying their identity when they otherwise are unable to establish it through an acceptable identity document. Commercial data is not being used to predict criminal or terrorist activity.

2. Why would Hawley state on CNN that he was confident that his new policy would withstand a legal challenge if it weren't retaliatory in nature? Surely even he would know that it's unlikely that lawsuits are a known Al Qaeda tactic. June 23, 2008 5:13 PM

Huh? The question from the reporter was, “Would this new procedure withstand a lawsuit?” The answer was yes. Had the question been, “Will Al Qaeda sue you over this new procedure,” the answer would have been different.

Marshall's SO said... OK, so now we know what kinds of questions travelers, even those who are lying, are asked when they say they "forgot" their ID, i.e., birthdate, previous address, political party affiliation, where are you getting the data from to ask such questions? Can you verify that whatever data service you are using has "good" information? June 23, 2008 5:24 PM

Thanks Marshall. Just for the record, we’re not asking “political party affiliation” as you suggest nor are we asking other sensitive question like religion, charitable donations or things like that (see Kip’s comment on the ID post from the other day). Based on the publicly available data we’re using, we have a range of questions and it’s not a one strike and you’re out procedure. There are a number of questions we ask simply to determine if you are who you say you are. That’s it.

Because of the number of questions that could be asked, we’re also preventing someone from memorizing a simple set of facts to game the system.

Anonymous said... The average length of time for these ridiculous checks tells us nothing. What was the longest length of time you detained a citizen seeking to travel by air who did not have an ID? What was the shortest? June 23, 2008 5:40 PM

I feel like the average length of time is an important data point on how this is going. That said, the longest length of time we took to make an identity verification decision was 47 minutes. Yes that’s a long time and may have caused that one individual to miss his or her flight. The quickest is in the seconds.

Don’t know if the person waiting 47 minutes was a citizen or not but detained is not an accurate term either.

Boy, this anonymous character sure asks a lot of questions. :)

Travel_Medic said... how is checking IDs add anything to security when they are not compared to any list. June 23, 2008 7:31 PM

Hello Doc. You are compared to no-fly and selectee lists by the airlines. Verifying identity is an additional layer of security because it is added to the other layers…namely travel document checkers and the airlines checks against the above mentioned two watch lists. By doing all three, we’re verifying people are who they say they are, they are not on the no-fly list and their documents are legit.

Just yesterday (July 1), we identified a passenger with a fake social security card. Last week, we found a fraudulent passport. Altered documents are a staple of criminal and terrorist activity. We’re playing offense here and not giving free shots to a patient enemy.

Bob Eucher said... What became of the 20 people that were considered "too dangerous to fly"? Arrested? Let go? June 23, 2008 8:09 PM

Bob, I loved you in Major League (yes the last name is spelled differently but it was too close to resist). We’re not saying these people are “too dangerous to fly.” We’re saying we can’t verify they are who they say they are.

You and others might not care who sits next to you on that plane but we do.

Trollkiller said... ONCE AGAIN, I CHALLENGE THE TSA TO PROVE THE TWO SECTIONS OF 1540 THAT THEY CITE (§ 1540.107 & § 1540.105 (a)(2) ) GIVE THEM ANY AUTHORITY OR RIGHT TO DEMAND AN ID AS A CONDITION OF ACCESS TO A STERILE AREA June 23, 2008 10:06 PM

TROLLKILLER…MY VOICE IS GETTING TIRED FROM SCREAMING. Our attorneys interpret ATSA as saying we can do this, we think it’s important so we’re doing this. I’m not an Internet-based attorney but I probably could play one on TV.

Anonymous said... Again, if the airlines need to verify whether the person boarding the plane is the correct person, they could ask for ID at the gate. But why get the government involved in this? June 23, 2008 10:30 PM

The government is involved in this because we’re charged with aviation security. The airlines were charged with aviation security until TSA was formed in late 2001. We partner with said airlines to ensure no-flys aren’t getting on planes and that we do know who is. We supplement that with trained document checkers, identity verification, behavior detection officers and more than 15 other layers of security.

Anonymous said... So it only took 48 hours before the first reported instance of a question about political affiliation being required. I'll make two predictions: 1) The TSA employees who did this will never be reprimanded in any serious manner; the worst thing they will face will be some additional "training". June 23, 2008 10:35 PM

Nostranonymous, I think Kip was pretty clear when he wrote, “"It's unequivocally not our policy to use political, religious, or other sensitive personal topics as identity validation. If it happened, it was wrong and will not be repeated."

The person that did this made a mistake and has been corrected. Hope you never make a mistake at your job.

Anonymous said... Just out of curiosity, do you guys run my credit report if I show up with no ID? That's the only way I can think of you'd be able to validate I am who I say I am. June 23, 2008 10:46 PM

No. We’re not concerned about that Columbia House bill you never paid in college. We use publicly available info to verify you are who you say you are. It’s taking about 6 minutes for the .00005 percent of people that show up without ID every day.

Andy said... TSA, Question 1: You repeatedly claim this helps improve no-fly list enforcement. As we have told you over and over again, the ID checkers aren't checking names against a list. They're just comparing the name against the boarding pass, and the face to the ID. So, how exactly does this new policy enhance the NFL enforcement?

Andy, you can tell me “over and over again” that document checkers don’t check against the no-fly list and it’s still not the point. Airlines check against the no-fly, trained document checkers check validity of IDs, we verify identity of those without ID. The three work in combination.

You can say 1 plus 1 equals 7 a thousand times and it still doesn’t make it so.

Also, at the risk of hijacking this thread, we are also working on assuming responsibility for watch list matching from the airlines through our Secure Flight program. We believe this will also strengthen the watch list matching and greatly reduce the misidentifications that occur today.

Question 2: What exactly was wrong with the old policy (claim you have no ID, you get a SSSS and you're on your way)? We technically can still do that, and remember when there's a will, there's a way. There's no such thing as perfect security.

You’re 100 percent right on this on point Andy. There is no such thing as perfect security. The combo of the three layers above is better that the old system when anyone shows up, says “no ID” they get screened and go on their merry way. Keeping no-flys off planes is good security and simply patting down someone does not verify identity.

Question 3: Why are you targeting those who simply refuse to show ID? Some people refuse to show ID because of: identify theft concerns; religious reasons; self-privacy reasons; and/or their own principle. We are free people here in the USA, and we have a right not to show ID. People can lie and say they lost their ID, and get by, but those truly wanting to stand up for their rights will be punished. Is there a political connection to this? I think it's blatantly obvious what your purpose is here, TSA. June 24, 2008 5:08 PM

No political connection Andy, none at all. It’s all about strengthening security. There’s no “targeting.” People are showing up without ID and we’re verifying identity, simple as that. We believe we have the legal authority and we believe this increases security.

Anonymous said... Seriously, what happens if you are a physically disabled person and you've never had an official, government-issued photo ID made because you don't drive or use other services that require such ID? I know of several people with seizure disorders and severe dyslexia who have never gotten a state ID because they simply didn't need one. Their sole photo IDs were their college IDs - nothing official or certified. June 25, 2008 7:41 PM

No problem anon, we work with these individuals to establish their identity just like we would anyone else.

yangj08 said... How are you going to deal with foreign passports? I've already heard of someone having to go through a secondary because the TSO at an airport didn't recognize his Dutch passport. He had to go through a secondary (even though he had valid ID). So what happens to those people (especially if it's someone that doesn't speak English very well)? June 26, 2008 2:14 PM

Apples and oranges Yang. If a passenger has legit ID, including a Dutch passport, off they go. Being subjected to additional screening is not the same as verifying ID.

Anonymous said... Can you please elaborate on how the false positive problem will be addressed? I am currently on the Selectee list (and fed up with it) and want to know how soon this madness will end. June 27, 2008 9:04 AM

Well, anonymous does appear to be a very common name so it might just be a misidentification…Honestly, false positives on the selectee list is a different matter. One we’re planning on addressing on the blog in the next few weeks.

I do encourage you to apply for redress at: http://www.dhs.gov. You’ll also be glad to know (hopefully) that we’re in the process of taking over watch list matching and that will greatly (like 99 percent or greater) reduce misidentifications, which you are much more likely to be rather than a real-deal selectee.

Anonymous said... If they have no weapons, why does it matter WHO they are?
June 27, 2008 2:42 PM


Ah, this is the key argument. We honestly believe that identity is as important as going through the metal detector. Our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities work tirelessly and in some cases under great physical danger to identify individuals that pose a threat to aviation. The simple truth is that it would be negligent to not use this information to our advantage.

*** Anonymous said... How can requiring ID fit within our constitutional rights?

We’ve answered this repeatedly. Our position is that Gilmore v. Gonzalez affirmed our ability to require ID for transportation via air and the law that formed TSA, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) empowers the TSA to make these decisions.

How are the watch lists being improved? How did they come together in the first place? June 27, 2008 6:17 PM

While the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) maintains the lists and TSA is a customer of the no-fly and selectee lists we have worked closely with them to make the lists we use as useful as possible.

As was widely reported several months ago, TSC with TSA’s assistance completed a name by name scrub of the lists (no fly and selectee) and reduced them significantly. This reduces the number of misidentifications, making the list more effective.

As I have also said earlier, we’re also working to assume watch list matching from the airlines and this will have a great impact on the effectiveness of the watch lists.

means to authenticate the passenger's boarding pass.) June 27, 2008 6:50 PM

Abelard said...

1. If requiring ID is truly instrumental in keeping the flying public safe, why did it take the TSA until June of 2008 to institute that policy?


Good question Abelard. We’ve been increasing layers of security for years and now that TSA officers check documents at every airport in the country, we’ve effectively moved the issue and are trying to address this threat.

2. What will the TSA due if a majority of the states refuse to issue READ ID cards to their respective citizens?

What’s READ ID? :) We’re already reading IDs…

We will be prepared to address that issue if it happens. Thusfar, every state in the union is working with DHS on REAL ID.

3. In general, what disciplinary action will be taken against a TSO who asks someone questions regarding their religion or political beliefs in order to verify their identity?

The officer is not coming up with the questions, our 24/7 security operations center is using publicly available databases to determine the most appropriate questions. We’ve already said we don’t see the types of questions you bring up as appropriate.

1) Since anyone can photoshop a boarding pass to match their ID, couldn't someone just buy a ticket under any old name, change their boarding pass, and then proceed through security, with their own, legit ID, since none of your employees are checking the boarding passes to see if a) they're legit, or b) if the person whose name is on it is on your "no fly" list?

Why do that when someone could just print a fake boarding pass at home? That’s why we have these layers I keep talking about. No-fly passenger forges boarding pass at home, shows up and has to beat document checkers, behavior detection officers, and the other layers. No self respecting terrorist is going to say “no ID” when he/she knows they’ll get the extra attention this process now entails.

See, we’re doing is forcing people with bad intentions into additional layers of security here.

2)What happens when someone truly forgets their ID, and the company you contract out with to verify has the wrong information?

We don’t contract out with anybody. TSA employees at our ops center verify the identity with publicly available databases.

3) How does this stop someone who is not a known terrorist?

Totally clean skins are still subjected to the other layers of security, particularly behavior detection officers.

4) Why, in their right mind, would a known terrorist use a legitimate ID to buy their ticket? Wouldn't they just get a good fake?

My sentiments exactly. See above.

5) What if someone is a forgetful person...how many times can they have forgotten their ID?? June 27, 2008 10:09 PM

As many as they want….

Hope these answers helped clear up our position and why we think this is so important. As I wrote in the beginning, it’s perfectly acceptable for rational, intelligent people to disagree on important issues.

Christopher

EoS Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Man, it sounds like you need to get a bit of sleep. The questions may be annoying and repetitious, but that's no reason to resort to snarky responses. People ARE concerned about a lot of these things and the tone of many of your answers is a bit unfortunate.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Christopher,

Thanks for some answers, but here are a few things that still need addressed.

I understand that the TSA feels that the ID requirements increase security. The question is "how?" "By funneling people with bad intentions..." is a non sequitur. It doesn't answer the question.

The policy, as stated when the whole ID requirement discussion began, stated that those who refuse to show ID will be refused, without regards to further cooperation to identify themselves. If someone is respectful and otherwise cooperative in establishing their identity, but refuses to show ID, how are they different than someone who simple says it's lost, stolen, or otherwise forgotten?

Finally, and this ties in with the above, can someone from the TSA explain how Gilmore v. Gonzalez allows for the ID requirement? My layman's understanding of the decision was that Gilmore had the option of secondary screening when he refused to show ID. The stated policy seems to remove this option, as it has been stated that anyone refusing to show ID will be denied.

PS - please don't take my comments out of context ;)

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Thusfar, every state in the union is working with DHS on REAL ID."

You are mistaken. Maine and Utah have overwhelmingly rejected implementation of REAL ID.

Submitted by Anonymous on

You sound offended that the American people are actually challenging your 'authority'. TSA has just epitomized the attitude that passengers have about TSA. I am lion. Here me roar.

It's sad to see that you have yet to address any of the concerns without a previously canned response. You hope we never make a mistake at our job? Please. Your job does not afford you to make mistakes, especially when on the slippery sloap of a papers please state (which you have now made us, thank you). The question was what happened to the agent and you direct us to a previous post.

It doesn't matter if that's policy or not. There are policies at other companies, but if someone in a large company is caught violating a rule, they're usually fired. So, answer the question. What happened to the agent? Were they fired or were they given a pat on the back and told congratulations for slipping that one in?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
"Thusfar, every state in the union is working with DHS on REAL ID."

You are mistaken. Maine and Utah have overwhelmingly rejected implementation of REAL ID.



Add Arizona and Alaska to that list of states rejecting Real ID.

Maybe TSA uses a different base for counting!

Submitted by Anonymous on

You say "As was widely reported several months ago, TSC with TSA’s assistance completed a name by name scrub of the lists (no fly and selectee) and reduced them significantly."

But it took a special congressional intervention lead by Sen. Kerry to remove 90-year-old Nobel prize winner Nelson Mandela. Somehow, I think the scrub did not work well, and there certainly is no hope for us common folk to get off it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

1. No, not every state is cooperating on REAL ID. Several have outright rejected it, including Arizona. Being that PHX is a Category X Airport, how are you planning on handling that?

2. "Our lawyers said it's okay" isn't a proper answer to Trollkiller's question, and it hasn't worked as an answer for me since I was 7 and could claim "mom said it was okay!". If I dared to give that answer to a client I'd likely be fired before the day was out. If you're going to make that claim, show the facts.

3. Data on the public access databases is not so perfect as you're claiming. For me, it has an address that is now over two years old, an incorrect phone number, and an incorrect employer. Are people for whom the information is incorrect just out of luck?

4. You and others continue to give incorrect statements of the holding of Gilmore. The court held against Gilmore because one could still fly after additional screening. You have now removed that option.

5. You still haven't explained why it increases security to deny travel to those who choose not to present ID but allow travel to those who "forget" their ID.

As someone stated above, your answers seem to carry a tone that says "How dare the proles challenge our authority!", which is truly a shame.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What is the source of the 'publicly available data'???? And do you make any efforts to ensure the quality of that data?

Submitted by Radiationman on

I appreciate the additional explanation you have provided. While I still dislike the process, but the logic behind it makes sense to me.

But are Airline Agents still supposed to be checking ID when a passenger checks in? Some agents at some airports are doing this while others are not. While I understand the the Airline Agents probably aren't trained to identify fradulent ID's, is it still their responsibilty to verify a passenger's identity at check in?

Since the policy has been enacted I've dealt with airline check in three times - once ID was checked by the agent and twice it wasn't.

Submitted by Anonymous on

If the goal, as you say, is to keep "bad people" off planes as much as it to keep "bad things" off planes, then why even have a selectee list? Since selectees can, as you say, fly once they have had additional screening, how does that gel with the original statement?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Some of you are just classic. Bob told us he was compiling questions and then Christopher answered them.

Do you understand how rare it is to find this in the Govt?

I think it's obvious that Chris is just trying to throw some humor at a serious subject.

Some of you folks must be a riot to hang out with on the weekends.

~*~

Submitted by Anonymous on

You might like to try answering the questions next time, almost ever single one of your responses ignored the actual question. Take for example the very valid point made by many that the id check is pointless as you can forge any boarding pass to match any clean id you find. You simply blather about layers, you don't actually say how it helps.

It is rich that you complain about the attitude of commenter when you are so unprofessional in your job.

Submitted by CBGB on

First of all Chris, a fair number of your responses have been quite condescending and rude. I don’t really find that appropriate coming from any civil servant, especially one who’s job it is to answers questions posed by people worried about their rights as citizens. No ones forcing you to do this job (yet) if you don’t like it than leave, but don’t be rude. This is especially true after recently making a post criticizing your dissenters tone.

Second, a fair number of your answers to the questions either gloss over the issues or completely misrepresent the questions. This is honestly a bigger problem to me than the lack of information from the TSA in the first place. So, for your sake I have commented on most of your questions so you’re able to clarify things and actually answer the questions..

Anonymous said... Could you please elaborate on those approximately 20 persons that weren’t allowed to fly? June 23, 2008 4:51 PM
Were they compensated for you troubling them?

Anonymous said... So you're saying that you've been letting 10 people too dangerous to fly on planes each and every day since your misbegotten agency started? June 23, 2008 5:03 PM
Don’t say huh. By not allowing them access to the sterile area and denying them their ability to travel (right but hey it’s the TSA who cares) you are making the assumption that you cannot safely allow them to travel. That is the exact same thing as saying they are to dangerous in this case.

Chris Boyce said... 1. Where is the privacy impact assessment for the new form and the obviously commercial datamining check? I don't recall seeing it on line, nor do I remember a public comment period. We wouldn't be breaking the law, would we???
Definitely not commercial datamining, they have no interest in political party information. You may not be asking the question, but if it was asked then it was definitely in your database which is the real problem.


Marshall's SO said... OK, so now we know what kinds of questions travelers, even those who are lying, are asked when they say they "forgot" their ID, i.e., birthdate, previous address, political party affiliation, where are you getting the data from to ask such questions? Can you verify that whatever data service you are using has "good" information? June 23, 2008 5:24 PM
Kip’s comment said you were investigating. As per your standard operating procedure, you haven’t admitted that it happened or that it has been addressed or how and why it happened in the first place. Transparency doesn’t hurt security in fact it often helps. The TSA’s data tracking ability has already been shown ineffective with the extremely high number of false positives on the selectee and no fly list (including several prominent politicians and Nelson Mandela). Just because data is public doesn’t mean its right

Travel_Medic said... how is checking IDs add anything to security when they are not compared to any list. June 23, 2008 7:31 PM
Its possible for Illegal immigrants to get a real and legal drivers license, do you really think it would be that hard for me to get two? This again, does nothing because the TSA sterile area security steps are completely isolated from the selectee and no fly list process except via the boarding pass. Something I can make in photoshop

Bob Eucher said... What became of the 20 people that were considered "too dangerous to fly"? Arrested? Let go? June 23, 2008 8:09 PM
“You and others might not care who sits next to you on that plane but we do.”

You’re right I don’t. I honestly could care less if somebody you think is a terrorist is sitting next to me on a plane….IF they have been effectively screened for weapons. The TSA is not able to screen for weapons effectively in their own testing, therefore you don’t actually provide any security whatsoever. There drivers license (or costco card if they forget government ID) is none of my/our/your business and doesn’t effect their safety to fly in the least.

Anonymous said... Again, if the airlines need to verify whether the person boarding the plane is the correct person, they could ask for ID at the gate. But why get the government involved in this? June 23, 2008 10:30 PM
“more than 15 other layers of security”

None of which include screening all air cargo…see previous answers, your policy doesn’t actually prove ID at all. “I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true” is from a poem, its not reality.

Anonymous said... So it only took 48 hours before the first reported instance of a question about political affiliation being required. I'll make two predictions: 1) The TSA employees who did this will never be reprimanded in any serious manner; the worst thing they will face will be some additional "training". June 23, 2008 10:35 PM
How did they make this mistake? There are at least two people involved, somebody in your command center and somebody at the airport. Not to mention, why did they even have this information available to them in the first place. So telling us that ‘this person’ has been corrected seems a little bit insufficient. How did they even have this information available to them and what steps have been undertaken to ensure that they no longer use this information and no longer even have it available to them.

Andy said... TSA, Question 1: You repeatedly claim this helps improve no-fly list enforcement. As we have told you over and over again, the ID checkers aren't checking names against a list. They're just comparing the name against the boarding pass, and the face to the ID. So, how exactly does this new policy enhance the NFL enforcement?
“You can say 1 plus 1 equals 7 a thousand times and it still doesn’t make it so.”

You can’t’ be serious…do I need to get a picture book out? Rudeness is not an answer to the question and believe it or not it doesn’t make the question go away either.

Question 2: What exactly was wrong with the old policy (claim you have no ID, you get a SSSS and you're on your way)? We technically can still do that, and remember when there's a will, there's a way. There's no such thing as perfect security.
Simply patting someone down obviously does not verify identity, but it does a lot more to verify SECURITY than my drivers license. Again, what was wrong with the old policy from a security standpoint (and remember identity and security are different)? That’s why the courts that use similar security measures don’t ask for ID.

Question 3: Why are you targeting those who simply refuse to show ID? Some people refuse to show ID because of: identify theft concerns; religious reasons; self-privacy reasons; and/or their own principle. We are free people here in the USA, and we have a right not to show ID. People can lie and say they lost their ID, and get by, but those truly wanting to stand up for their rights will be punished. Is there a political connection to this? I think it's blatantly obvious what your purpose is here, TSA. June 24, 2008 5:08 PM
Yes it is targeting. Because your treating people who refuse (aka use their rights) and people who forgot (lie to your face) differently. If I refuse to show you ID but instead verbally identify myself and answer ye your questions three, what’s the difference? You already said you have a wide range of questions to verify with which prevents people simply learning someone else answers. So what is the possible negative side effect?

Anonymous said... Can you please elaborate on how the false positive problem will be addressed? I am currently on the Selectee list (and fed up with it) and want to know how soon this madness will end. June 27, 2008 9:04 AM
Pull a Nelson Mandela and get yourself a law passed removing you. [http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/07/01/mandela.watch/index.html?iref... otherwise your probably out of luck. Same thing happened to my Fiancé, she did your little appeal routine and was denied, because the name Margaret Anderson appears to be on the selectee list. This was because some old lady with a history of mental health issues pulled a knife on a flight attendant several years ago.

Anonymous said... If they have no weapons, why does it matter WHO they are?
June 27, 2008 2:42 PM
What a stupid contention. You can honestly believe whatever you want but that doesn’t make it true. If you honestly believed the earth was flat could you deny me the right to fly to Australia? What kind of threat do they pose if they have already been screened for weapons? They going to punch a hole in the plane? It would be far from negligent to either give a critical eye, or simply not use information on people with possible terrorist connections. Given the environment they work in, it is highly likely that some or in fact most of the information they gather is either incorrect or needs to be framed in a larger context. It is your responsibility as the people making these decisions to evaluate the data you receive critically. Your actions are still your responsibility, don’t try and pass the buck while waving a flag.

*** Anonymous said... How can requiring ID fit within our constitutional rights?
I’m not a lawyer by any stretch but I can read and that is a pretty huge stretch of the ruling you referenced. That also doesn’t really answer the question. Give us a reason why this doesn’t violate our right to privacy our right to free association or several other rights. Try using the constitution (it’s at your local library…literally) and maybe having one of your lawyers post would be appropriate. Simply saying “our lawyers said trust us” is not an answer nor anywhere near sufficient.


2. What will the TSA due if a majority of the states refuse to issue READ ID cards to their respective citizens?
HAHA funny…oh and several of the states that got extensions never asked for them because they have no plans of complying with REAL ID…what then?


1) Since anyone can photoshop a boarding pass to match their ID, couldn't someone just buy a ticket under any old name, change their boarding pass, and then proceed through security, with their own, legit ID, since none of your employees are checking the boarding passes to see if a) they're legit, or b) if the person whose name is on it is on your "no fly" list?
yes but the simple layer of effectively screening them for weapons ends the threat. Or comparing the name on their ID and boarding pass to the name on flight manifest. However among your many layers, these two don’t show up anywhere right now.

2)What happens when someone truly forgets their ID, and the company you contract out with to verify has the wrong information?
Ok so what happens when the public databases they have are wrong? What recourse does the passenger have? Will you take responsibility for being wrong? (that last ones rhetorical)

3) How does this stop someone who is not a known terrorist?
Translation, It doesn’t

4) Why, in their right mind, would a known terrorist use a legitimate ID to buy their ticket? Wouldn't they just get a good fake?
They wouldn’t, making this useless

Submitted by Miller on
Our attorneys interpret ATSA as saying we can do this, we think it’s important so we’re doing this. I’m not an Internet-based attorney but I probably could play one on TV.

How about getting some lawyers who have more than just a passing knowledge of the US Constitution? Those that you use don't appear to be the least bit familiar with it.
Submitted by Anonymous on
No political connection Andy, none at all. It’s all about strengthening security. There’s no “targeting.” People are showing up without ID and we’re verifying identity, simple as that. We believe we have the legal authority and we believe this increases security.

Please answer the question about why people who refuse to show id are out-right rejected: Why aren't they treated the same as the people who don't have id?
Submitted by Anonymous on

A person who has entered the country illegally can in many states obtain a valid drivers license. Credit Card companies offer these same people credit accounts.

Using their valid credit card to purchase an airline ticket and their ID to prove who they are gets them through TSA Security.

Yet you do not know who they are, what name they used to obtain the documents or their intent.

Your ID Circus fails to improve security.

Submitted by Trollkiller on

Christopher said...

Trollkiller said... ONCE AGAIN, I CHALLENGE THE TSA TO PROVE THE TWO SECTIONS OF 1540 THAT THEY CITE (§ 1540.107 &§ 1540.105 (a)(2) ) GIVE THEM ANY AUTHORITY OR RIGHT TO DEMAND AN ID AS A CONDITION OF ACCESS TO A STERILE AREA June 23, 2008 10:06 PM

TROLLKILLER…MY VOICE IS GETTING TIRED FROM SCREAMING. Our attorneys interpret ATSA as saying we can do this, we think it’s important so we’re doing this. I’m not an Internet-based attorney but I probably could play one on TV.

I am sure your voice is getting tired of screaming, it must be very frustrating dealing with someone like me that will continue to press the TSA to justify their position on the new forced ID check. I picture you wandering the halls at the TSA muttering, punching the air and intermittently screaming "#$*%$@# Trollkiller!!!".

I am not asking you to play lawyer, the TSA has plenty on the payroll. Let them earn their pay.

If the TSA lawyers are so cock sure of the legality of this new policy then that means they have done the research on it. The information I am asking for should be on hand and easily retrievable.

All I am asking for is the TSA lawyers to show their work. Believe it or not, I would much rather be proven wrong than to think that an agency of MY government is knowingly perpetrating an illegal act on 2,000,000 people a day.

I have repeatedly stated my argument clearly, citing the section of the law that I believe disallows the forced ID check to be used as a criterion for granting access to a sterile area.

You are pretending that I am just sitting on the web with my tin foil hat screaming "it's wrong, just wrong, it's a conspiracy man, they are out to get us...." That is just silly, we all know it is the tin foil underwear that protects us.

All silliness aside, Christopher, I have done all the work for the TSA lawyers. They don't have to guess at what I am asking. If you have noticed I have dropped the constitutionality side of the issue for now. I don't think it will ever get to a constitutional challenge as the legal challenge should be enough to kill this intrusion.

Just in case you have missed my argument in your zeal to find Scooby Doo references I will lay it out again.

The definitions in Title 49 Part 1540 § 1540.5 limit screening to a search and inspection FOR weapons, explosives, and incendiaries as THE condition for granting access to a sterile area.

Adding a forced ID check as a criterion for granting access to a sterile area is not permitted as it falls outside the search and inspection FOR weapons, explosives, and incendiaries.

I am going by the section of law that YOU cited as justification for the TSA's illegal act. You can not keep part of the law and discard the part you don't like.

BTW I looked at ATSA (PDF warning)and found NOTHING to back your position, please cite the appropriate section.

Submitted by Travel_Medic on

Christopher.

Its nice that you picked out just one small piece and failed to answer the other questions i had in that post, like the one about MY GOVERNMENT ISSUED ID that "DOESNT MEET OUR STANDARD AND IS FAKE" because a DL is not a ID its a card to prove that you are able to operate a motor vechile. Then how about answering my other questions, because if you arent going to get them answered maybe I need to meet with the congress persons that provide your funding to get the answers from kip on C-SPAN.

First a correction; I am not a Doctor, "Doc" or other terms that may be floating in your head. Im a medic aka a Paramedic IE the one in the ambulance that uses all the toys and drugs.

As for "Document Checking" i know about the class you send your people to and it is a joke compared to what real anti-counterfeit people go through; IE years of study and then they still dont know it all, but your people seem to thing they are "experts" after a short
Christopher did you just pass the buck saying that its the airlines responsibility to check the list and verify Identities. Then answer me this then why are you even checking IDs if your relying on the airlines to cross check names on the list. Would this be the same list that has a highly decorated retired USMC General on it? and that has babies on it? Would this be the same list that there are individuals considered so dangerous that they aren't on the list? But then again this watch list hasnt resulted in any arrests because these people arent dangerous; it has just resulted in losts of wasted time and BS.

You also still dodged my question about the service you use for the information and that fact that there information is mostly wrong (just like most credit scores)and you are relying on this information as to be the absolute truth, which is outright scary considering the glaring errors.

As for the fakes, have those been verified by the FBI that they are indeed fakes. Then as SSN card is not ID and many are marked as such. I bet most of these are false positives, that are being claimed as "The Big Catch" but we will never here of the hit coming up as a false positive.

hold on stop the presses "you are working to assume responsibility of the NFL" Wow TSA actually being accountable for its actions, well that will be a first if this actually happens considering TSA isnt being held accountable for anything else.


Finally please answer this and not side step it. Please how telling me checking of IDs by "Document checkers" who dont compare the ID to any reference book of IDs and there security features. Use a UV light to expose holograms that can be seen by tilting the ID from side to side (IE saving alot of money). The loupe is just a waste of money that doesnt deserve a explination. Then finally the Document checkers dont compare the names to the NFL at all(nor have a copy of the list), but since you passed the buck to the airlines- so if a passenger has a BP without the mark of haraSSSSment then why even check it and do the job you where chartered with; which is to check for weapons, prohibited items and incendiaries. I dont see items banned/limited that defy science BDO, TDC, VIPR, or any other mission creeps in that charter

Stay the Curse Christopher because come later this year I see a funeral coming and it wont come a moment to soon.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said:

Please answer the question about why people who refuse to show id are out-right rejected: Why aren't they treated the same as the people who don't have id?

And how is one any more of a threat than the other? Assuming they both otherwise cooperate in establishing their identity, of course.

Submitted by Anonymous on

You dodged the question regarding inaccurate commercial data with a distraction pointing out that TSA is directly accessing the commercial databases instead of hiring a contractor, so I'll try again:

What about the issue of massively incorrect data in these commercial databases? For example, some of these commercial databases register my age as about 30 years older (probably because they get me confused with my parents), list completely incorrect but plausible-looking addresses that are aggregation of various actual addresses, claim I hold a sub-prime ARM even though I don't, get my marital status wrong, etc.

These databases were never intended to be accurate enough to be used to "test" individuals and deny them basic rights like free movement and association if they "fail." They were intended for generating targeted junk mail.

At least with credit reports, we have a right to see the report and correct errors. Shouldn't we have a right to see the information TSA is collecting on us and correct errors? TSA got called out to the woodshed for trying to use commercial and credit data to "predict" bad behavior; I don't see that this system is much better.

And your answers about the no-fly and SSSS-list are complete dodges. You say there aren't 500K people on the list, I say that every person named David Nelson and Robert Johson is "on the list" because they get harassed every time they fly. But even if someone is a true no-fly, how is it ethical and compatible with American values for the government to deny travel to a citizen based on a secret blacklist without due process at trial or for that matter any effective means of redress?

If a citizen is too dangerous to fly, there should be an arrest warrant. Sworn law-enforcement should go arrest the person, and the person should get a fair public trial before being denied any liberties. TSA should stick to searching for guns, bombs, and large knives, not creating a law-enforcement dragnet at airports.

Submitted by DoogieSD on

CBGB said:

"First of all Chris, a fair number of your responses have been quite condescending and rude. I don’t really find that appropriate coming from any civil servant, especially one who’s job it is to answers questions posed by people worried about their rights as citizens. No ones forcing you to do this job (yet) if you don’t like it than leave, but don’t be rude. This is especially true after recently making a post criticizing your dissenters tone."


LOL, do you read the replies that the TSA gets here?

Start with the man in the mirror CBGB and lets see you chastize these anonymous pigs that have nothing better to do in their lives then harass people who are trying to save their ungrateful asses...

GOOD JOB TSA! keep up the outstanding work, and hopefully one day these terrorist pigs will be gone and we wont need you anymore.... :)

Submitted by Anonymous on

you are idiots, and here's why: 50 layers of smoke is still just smoke. You do not seem to be doing anything worthwhile, and when people point out a problem with one of your wispy layers of security, you say that it makes the all the other ones work better.

One basic error that your ill-designed layers have in common is a high false positive rate (thousands) coupled with a low incidence of true terrorists (less than 1 in a billion). Your "layers of security" model don't make that better, they make it worse.

Take ID: You say "Airlines check against the no-fly, trained document checkers check validity of IDs, we verify identity of those without ID. The three work in combination." They do not work in combination: If a terrorist collaborator can print out a boarding pass at home and fly, they can get several blacklisted collaborators through your ID check by photoshopping copies that match the ID's of the blacklisted. With your combination lock analogy, you let them twirl the knob until the first guy gets to fly, then he gives that boarding pass to his friends, and if they've twisted their own one-layer knobs such that they own an ID, they are in.

What people are up in arms about with the new procedure is that it "apply[s] exclusively to individuals that simply refuse to provide any identification"-- you aren't discriminating against terrorists, you are discriminating exclusively against people like Gilmore. That's why you are idiots.

Submitted by Chris Boyce on

Christopher responded to Chris Boyce:

Chris Boyce said... 1. Where is the privacy impact assessment for the new form and the obviously commercial datamining check? I don't recall seeing it on line, nor do I remember a public comment period. We wouldn't be breaking the law, would we???

No Chris, we wouldn’t be breaking the law. A privacy impact assessment has been conducted and is pending review at DHS prior to being posted. There is no public comment period for Privacy Impact Assessments. Also, commercial “datamining” is not an accurate description of what is happening. We are simply using commercial data as a way to assist individuals in verifying their identity when they otherwise are unable to establish it through an acceptable identity document. Commercial data is not being used to predict criminal or terrorist activity.


Darn it, Chris, I have to hand it to you. You are a master at parsing and deflection. Just to give you a head start, I thought you might want to read what the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has directed you to comply with concerning PIAs. (I'm assuming it's official DHS and TSA policy to comply with OMB direction, right?):

"When to conduct a PIA:5
The E-Government Act requires agencies to conduct a PIA before:
developing or procuring IT systems or projects that collect, maintain or disseminate information in identifiable form from or about members of the public, or (irrelevant text follows)"

I only have a masters degree in engineering, so I'm sure I don't understand all this policy stuff. But, it's hard for me to get past the word "before" when judging the accuracy of your answer. Since you're an official TSA public affairs officer, I'm sure you're quoting official DHS policy. So, I must conclude that you have failed to comply with OMB policy because you failed to publish the PIA before you started the no-ID harassment.

Care to respond?

OMB Guidance on PIAs

Based on how you deflected, twisted, or otherwise attacked the questioners on all of the other real issues, It would be pointless for me to debate you. I guess We, The People, will just have to see you in court.

Submitted by Nathaniel on

The problem is admirably illustrated in the following question/answer pair:

Question:
In general, what disciplinary action will be taken against a TSO who asks someone questions regarding their religion or political beliefs in order to verify their identity?

TSA answer:
The officer is not coming up with the questions, our 24/7 security operations center is using publicly available databases to determine the most appropriate questions. We’ve already said we don’t see the types of questions you bring up as appropriate.

In summary: "we don't feel the need to elaborate on the disciplinary measures imposed on those who abuse their power because we have absolute faith that our employees never abuse their power."

This is an unbelievably dangerous mindset. Can you imagine what this country would be like if there was no government oversight and the standard response to angry citizens who feared corruption was, "This is a non-issue because we don't approve of corruption." Nobody cares that you're using public databases or that impersonal computers spit out the questions; the ones doing the actual questioning are fallible humans, and sooner of later, someone will make a mistake, as you yourself admitted happened at least once within the first 48 hours.

What we're asking is this: what is done to ensure that this never happens again, and what disciplinary action was taken against the officer who abused public trust? You're rght, of course those types of questions aren't appropriate, but you employ humans, not machines; mistakes will be made. We want to know what you're doing to minimize them and punish the offenders, and this you still haven't told us.

Submitted by IDisn'tSecurity on

I would like to know why HSPD-12 compliant ID's are not considered appropriate ID.

I work in the federal government myself and my job is to argue against attorney's all day. If I simply stated, "trust us" as my justification in argument, I would loose on appeal.

Why are you citing a decision in which Gilmore does not possess ID (he doesnt have a drivers license)as justification? Why are you citing a decision in which an alternative screening option was offered? Why are you citing a decision in which one could break off from the screening process any any time, which one can no longer do?

Most importantly, why are you citing case law which only applies to the jurisdiction held by the 9th circuit court of appeals? That case law does not apply to the entire United States.

These are important legal questions which need answers. Simply saying trust us is treating readers as spoiled naughty children, rather than intelligent adults with reasonable questions.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"4) Why, in their right mind, would a known terrorist use a legitimate ID to buy their ticket? Wouldn't they just get a good fake?"


They don't need a good fake. All they need is a good credit card to buy a ticket. To get past TSA, all they need is a legitimate ID. If the names differ, all they need is to photoshop the boarding pass.

TSA's idiocy is in trusting the potential terrorist to deliver the boarding pass from the airline to the checkpoint.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Wintermute:

I have gone back and read Gilmore v. Gonzales again. Part of the 9th's Circuit's affirmation of the lower court ruling rested on the fact that Gilmore could still fly if he submitted to additional screening, without handing over his ID. But the other part of the ruling hangs on the fact that Gilmore had a choice: the choice of flying or not flying. While this new policy is a step up from the old, it still fits under the Gilmore standard, because there is still the choice to fly or not fly. The court specifically stated that, as in the Davis case, because this only affects one mode of travel - and there are many other choices for getting around - this is legal.

For all those who continue to protest the ID requirement, I suggest you stick to driving. Or boating. Or anything else but planes. I admit, I will be very concerned if this new policy spreads to more forms of transportation, such as trains, cruises, ferries, checkpoints on interstates... but as of now, it is in one mode of transportation, and it's legal.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What are the age requirements for an ID? I fly a lot with my children. I haven't seen anything yet related to kids and this new requirement.

Submitted by Anonymous on

How many of the 9/11 hijackers (are they suicide hijackers? anyway..) used fake ID?

I am sympathetic to ID requirements (much more so then shoe removal), but it seems to be focusing energy in the wrong direction.

Submitted by CBGB on

@doogiesd:

i know you'll just role your eyes at me because you have been trained to ultimately trust your government...your doing nothign wrong you don't need your rights am I correct?

Well the reason the TSA gets those reponses is because They respond to teh question "how is this legal?" with "trust us it is" when that doesn't work they proceed to "trust us or else" then to "because we say so". If I got similar responses from a toddler its one thing. From a governmetn official working in a PR and customer relations role its not so funny.

Man in the mirror? peopel are upset, thats the purpose of this blog. Why would I chastise someone who is right?

You and the rest of the true believers are much more dangerous than terrorists to this country right now.

Submitted by Christopher on

Okay, okay. My intention is certainly not to be rude, arrogant or anything else.

I do view myself as a pretty funny person. C'mon now, nostranonymous, Bob Eucher, misidentified on the watch list because you're name is anonymous...that's some funny stuff.

Just trying to bring some levity to a long drawn-out discussion of a serious matter while providing some insight into why we think ID is important.


Christopher
EOS Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

idisn'tsecurity -

the reason for citing 9th Circuit case law is that it's directly on point. While it only applies to that one circuit, it is very persuasive for all. The Supreme Ct. denied certiorari for the case, so there's really no higher authority than this 9th circuit precedent.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous, thank you for answering part of my question. Even if I concede the point about Gilmore v Gonzalez (which I don't, but for the sake of argument I'll give it to you for now), the question remains of how the requirement makes anyone more secure.

And if it does, in fact, make us more secure, which I am also not conceding but will give on for the sake of argument, then how does refusing to show ID but otherwise cooperating differ from forgetting ID, as far as the risk of allowing the passenger to fly?

I believe the legality questions will be eventually answered in court. And even if the requirement stands up against legal challenge, what good does it do if it makes no one any safer? As has pointed out before, this would not have stopped 9/11 from happening, as the terrorists flew on valid IDs.

Many security experts agree that this is security theater. It gives the illusion of safety, but does nothing to enhance security. Some would even argue that security theater makes us less safe.

Submitted by Ayn R Key on
What’s READ ID? :) We’re already reading IDs…

We will be prepared to address that issue if it happens. Thusfar, every state in the union is working with DHS on REAL ID.

So far several states have outright rejected REAL ID. The most recent state to do so is Arizona, which is not a small state, and home of PHX, which is not a small airport.
Submitted by Ayn R Key on

It is saddening to me that you refused to use my question about REAL ID and instead quoted someone else, since I've been the foremost questioner on this topic. The problem is that my version of the question includes the factual statement about several states having actually fully rejected REAL ID and including my version of the question would have forced you to be less glib in your answer and to actually address the REAL question.

Submitted by Dunstan on

"For all those who continue to protest the ID requirement, I suggest you stick to driving. Or boating. Or anything else but planes. I admit, I will be very concerned if this new policy spreads to more forms of transportation, such as trains, cruises, ferries, checkpoints on interstates... but as of now, it is in one mode of transportation, and it's legal."

Yes, but only at 5% of the airports, it doesn't affect private aviation at all. Like Trollkiller said, it is a steel door on a grass hut, I think of it as like having a road block on just one lane of a super highway. To a large number of people, it is "20 layers of misery" rather than 20 layers of security.

Submitted by NoClu on

I'm bummed that not one of my questions was chosen for an "answer". I'll have to work on my writing style.

doogiesd said
"Start with the man in the mirror CBGB and lets see you chastize these anonymous pigs that have nothing better to do in their lives then harass people who are trying to save their ungrateful asses..."

You miss the point with your name-calling and vulger language. Some of the questioning done by Citizens may be harassing, but it is because questions aren't answered in a clear and specific way.

I don't consider myself ungrateful as a whole, and certainly don't think that my posterior is eather. I respect people actively engaged in identifying and implementing methods/policy that really protect me from harm. I don't respect or appreciate those who devise or implement policy or procedures that don't add to my safety and may infringe on rights respected in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Christopher says: As was widely reported several months ago, TSC with TSA’s assistance completed a name by name scrub of the lists (no fly and selectee) and reduced them significantly.

Yet Nelson Mandela only had his name removed after Senator Kerry interceded this week. Does it take a Nobel peace prize to deserve being "scrubbed" from the selectee list?

Submitted by Sandra on

I came on to castigate Christopher, TSA spokesperson, for patronizing readers and those who have asked questions; however, idisn't security said it so much better than I would have:

"treating readers as spoiled naughty children, rather than intelligent adults with reasonable questions."

Further, Chris Boyce addressed my issue concerning your obfuscation when he/she wrote:

"Based on how you deflected, twisted, or otherwise attacked the questioners on all of the other real issues...."

Try again Christopher White as very few people accept anything you say.

This goes far beyond agreeing to disagree: you have failed to answer, in good faith, any of the myriad questions asked of you over the last several days.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would like to re-iterate 2 questions that others have raised:

1) How do you assure the reliability of the information used to establish ID? Is this information as reliable as, say, a Florida voter roster?

2) What, exactly, is the difference between the person who says "I lost my ID, look me up in your database" and the person who says "I don't want to show you my ID, look me up in your database"?

Thank you for your attention to these questions, comrades.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous @ 4:17pm said...
"I admit, I will be very concerned if this new policy spreads to more forms of transportation, such as trains, cruises, ferries, checkpoints on interstates... but as of now, it is in one mode of transportation..."

Sorry to break the news to you, but Amtrak has adopted this ID for security foolishness.

Amtrak Passenger Identification page:
"Valid Photo Identification Required... Onboard trains, in response to a request by an Amtrak employee"

And in 2007 the TSA VIPR squad hassled bus riders in Indianapolis
http://tinyurl.com/4pjwnr
While this little bit of trampling of our civil rights didn't extend to ID checks, that was before the infamous 06/21/08 date.

A very wise man once wrote, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin

Submitted by CBGB on

@Chris:

humor would have worked if you had answered the questions asked effectively as opposed to avoiding them in near entirity. You have now responded once, and again provided no substance. Will you provide a response (or more likely will Bob) that answers the questions you failed to?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Just trying to bring some levity to a long drawn-out discussion of a serious matter while providing some insight into why we think ID is important.


Christopher
EOS Blog Team

Christopher, while I understand your intent you did not succed at either of your goals.

Address the hard queston with some real answers, let Leno and Letterman handle the comedy.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Just trying to bring some levity to a long drawn-out discussion of a serious matter while providing some insight into why we think ID is important."

And yet you fail at both levity and providing straight answers to legitimate questions from the citizens who pay your salary. What is the name and address of your supervisor?

Submitted by Baxter-nonymous on
1) Since anyone can photoshop a boarding pass to match their ID, couldn't someone just buy a ticket under any old name, change their boarding pass, and then proceed through security, with their own, legit ID, since none of your employees are checking the boarding passes to see if a) they're legit, or b) if the person whose name is on it is on your "no fly" list?

Why do that when someone could just print a fake boarding pass at home? That’s why we have these layers I keep talking about. No-fly passenger forges boarding pass at home, shows up and has to beat document checkers, behavior detection officers, and the other layers. No self respecting terrorist is going to say “no ID” when he/she knows they’ll get the extra attention this process now entails.

See, we’re doing is forcing people with bad intentions into additional layers of security here.


I don't think you are quite understanding how people can beat the system, and still fly, despite being "No-Fly"

So here's a step by step procedure, so you can close this loophole.

1) Billy Jacobs, who is on the No-Fly list, wants to fly. Billy Jacobs books a ticket online, but uses the name Jack Smith while booking.

2) Airline compares the name "Jack Smith" to the 2 lists. Jack Smith doesn't hit either.

3) Billy checks in online, obtains boarding pass without "SSSS" (since "Jack Smith" doesn't match any lists).

4) Billy uses photoshop to print a second boarding pass, with the name "Jack Smith" on it.

5) Billy goes to the airport, waits in line for security, presents the 'forged' Boarding Pass with his real ID. The boarding pass will be indistinguishable from the real deal. The ID is not fake. Billy does not say "No ID" and undergo additional scrutiny.

6) The TSA Document Checker carefully examines the ID, determines it is real, and it matches the name on the boarding pass.

7) Billy continues through screening and to his gate.

8) When boarding, Billy presents his original boarding pass ("Jack Smith") at the gate, and boards without issue.


Now, Billy still gets screened as all other passengers, and has to make it past the mind-reading team of BDOs. But assuming he's not nervous (since he has nothing illegal on his person, and the Document Checker has not memorized the terrorist watch lists, it is extremely unlikely he will be caught).

So a suggestion: At the document checking station, have a computer tied into the airline's ticketing system. Verify the boarding pass or security document against the airline's database. Compare the ID [and address? DOB?] to the name that pops up on the computer screen. Ignore the paper printout when doing this. This can also be used to verify a selectee is given secondary screening (in case they remove the SSSS from their document).

Bonus points for taking action by setting a "screened" flag in the airline database when the passenger presents themselves at the checkpoint. [there must be a way to account for passengers with connections who do not leave the sterile area, however].

Now, this is going to take some capital to accomplish. But if you're serious about using ID as an effective layer, you must implement changes.

Until you do something like the above, in my opinion, it's almost pointless to bother keeping people without ID from flying.

What is the TSA's reaction to this "loophole" whereby a selectee passenger can either bypass secondary screening, or even worse, fly when on the "no-fly" list?
Submitted by Anonymous on

Without the emphasis on security theatre, the TSA could be:

- Actually preventing weapons, explosives and incendiaries from getting on the aircraft.
- Inspecting, securing and controling the baggage going on to an aircraft to prevent 'subtraction and addition' of their contents.
- Inspecting and securing the cargo going onto an aircraft.
- Limiting access to tarmac with a 3 point verification (ID, Function and Schedule) of all airport employees.
- Performing the mission, not the posturing.

Is the TSA just a political organization? It sure seems to be.

Submitted by Yangj08 on

Apples and Oranges? Remember that in the story I gave the secondary was given because his ID was thought to be invalid (again, even though it should have been and the TSO just needed a basic lesson on European geography that they should have gotten in middle school). My question should have been read as- what are you going to do for foreigners who drop their ID? How will you verify their identities?

Submitted by Abelard on

Christopher wrote:

The person that did this made a mistake and has been corrected. Hope you never make a mistake at your job.

If only I had been given such latitude when I wrote "READ ID" instead of "REAL ID." But I digress...

Thusfar, every state in the union is working with DHS on REAL ID.

How can you say this? Arizona has shut the discussion down. Here is the language from the new Arizona statute that was overwhelmingly passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by our Governor:

"This state (Arizona) shall not participate in the implementation of the REAL ID act of 2005 (P.L. 109-13, Division B; 119 Stat. 302). The department shall not implement the REAL ID act of 2005 and shall report to the governor and the legislature any attempt by agencies or agents of the United States DEPARTMENT of homeland security to secure the implementation of the REAL ID act of 2005 through the operations of the United States department of homeland security."

Arizona is NOT participating in the REAL ID program. Period. You can spin that anyway you wish, Christopher, but the fact remains that Arizona along with several other states are not going to discuss anything with you regarding REAL ID.

The officer is not coming up with the questions, our 24/7 security operations center is using publicly available databases to determine the most appropriate questions. We’ve already said we don’t see the types of questions you bring up as appropriate.

That wasn't my question. My question was: In general, what disciplinary action will be taken against a TSO who asks someone questions regarding their religion or political beliefs in order to verify their identity?

We already had one TSO who couldn't make a decision for him or herself that asking a question about political party affiliation was not appropriate, so I want to know what are the disciplinary actions that are on tap should this incident happen again?

These are simple questions, Christopher.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Went through a small airport this morning. Has anyone else noticed the Smokey The Bear signs? Not only do they make no sense but it dilutes the smokey brand from it's real purpose - forest fires.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"What is the source of the 'publicly available data'????"

And who is it that can now get their hands on my data?

What is it they can see?

CC #s?
SSN?
Mother's maiden name?

Who have you exposed our information to!

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