- Buried in the September 5 issue of the Federal Register,
was a notice that Thursday, September 20, the Transportation Safety Administration
(TSA) will hold public hearings on their so-called Secure Flight Plan.
- Come with me into a nightmare world where American citizens
will have to obtain permission from the government before they can travel
by air in the U.S.
- Your government (meaning the Department of Homeland Security)
is up to no good.
- Beginning in February 2008, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) will implement their ¨Advance Passenger Information System (APIS),¨
the gist of which is that you will need permission from the United States
Government to travel on any air or sea vessel that goes to, from or through
the U.S. The travel companies will not be able to issue a boarding pass
until you are cleared by DHS. This applies to ALL passengers, US citizens
and visitors alike. And how do you get said permission to travel? That´s
for your government to know and you to never find out.
- Now TSA proposes to do for domestic travel what APIS
will do for international routes. That´s what I said: the new TSA
rule would require that you obtain PERMISSION to travel within the U.S.
- Here is the summary of their proposed rules, which seem
so reasonable, couched as they are in the blandness of governmenteez [emphasis
- The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act
(IRTPA) requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assume from
aircraft operators the function of conducting pre-flight comparisons of
airline passenger information to Federal Government watch lists for international
and domestic flights.
- This rule proposes to allow TSA to ... receive passenger
and certain non-traveler information, conduct watch list matching ... and
transmit boarding pass printing instructions back to aircraft operators.
- TSA would do so in a consistent and accurate manner while
minimizing false matches and protecting privacy information.
- Right. And I have a bridge in Brooklyn...
- We propose that, when the Secure Flight rule becomes
final, aircraft operators would submit passenger information to DHS through
a single DHS portal for both the Secure Flight and APIS programs. This
would [result] in one DHS system responsible for watch list matching for
all aviation passengers.
- Don´t you feel great knowing that your government
will use economies of scale to protect you?
- <http://hasbrouck.org/blog/>Edward Hasbrough states
that these rules are more insidious than merely complying to demands for
¨Your papers please.¨ He states,
- The proposal ... require[s] that travellers display their
government-issued credentials not to government agents but to airline personnel
(staff or contractors), whenever the DHS orders the airline to demand them.
But since the orders to demand ID of [certain passengers] will be given
to the airline in secret, ... travellers will have no way to verify whether
... demands for ID are actually based on government orders.
- Think about that: you will not be allowed to verify if
the person demanding your papers is actually authorized to do so. In addition,
the airlines or their contractors (or sub or even sub sub contractors)
have the right, under the proposed rules, to do anything they like with
your personal information including:
- keep copies of your passport ... as long as they like,
use it, publish it, broadcast it, sell it, rent it, or pass it on to whomever
they please.... [T]hey would have no obligation to get your permission
for any of this.
- Aside from the privacy issue, this is the DHS. Their
past performance is an indication of future returns and we can look forward
to true travel nightmares beginning February 19, 2008. Just think about
the mess that occurred when CBP demanded that travelers to Canada and Mexico
have a passport. Multiply that by orders of magnitude to imagine what travelers
will be facing.
- If you can, please attend the TSA hearings on Thursday
(Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H Street, N.W. beginning at 8:00am). If you
can´t attend in person, you have until October 22, 2007 to submit
written comments through the <http://dms.dot.gov/>Docket Management
System. The docket number is TSA-2007-28572.
- The Identity Project at <http://www.papersplease.org/wp/>Papers
Please is working to prevent your government from robbing you of your right
to privacy in your movements.