Archive for the ‘Secure Flight’ Category

BTC -Real ID is going forward this Winter via Secure Flight.  There.  I said it.

“The TSA, which is implementing the next phase of its Secure Flight Program on Monday, will require that all passengers provide their full names as they appear on a current government photo ID, their date of birth and their gender.”

And to reinforce this message, the public is now getting glazed in anxiety, erhh, terror.  It’s so easy. We fall into predictable ruts of listening to 15% of the correct story.  What am I talking about?  Secure Flight is guaranteed exploding drama uttered from the sweaty fat guy who routinely waterboards the facts in FM spittle and throws them into solitary confinement where no one can get to them, because it’s a “national defense” problem.  DON’T YOU BELIEVE IN DEFENDING, AMERICA?  DON’T YOU?!

So what really happened?

Federal grants from DHS to go along with federal benchmarks for the national identity program were way too tempting in a stuck economy to the airports and local governments. Real ID regulations became increasingly anchored through the tacit web of bureaucracy. Alas – here we are.

The short story: The activists didn’t report to work because there was no income to sustain them. The public got distracted with elections, flaming immigration and paralysis of analysis. The think tanks, the advocates, the lawyers and civil libertarians were talked into leaving Real ID for dead; while lunging against perils of biometric ID cards heaved on the tenuously employed and cybersecurity power grabs.

Where do we go from here?  Well – We The People, pledge the survival of Numero Uno.

It’s the weirdest logic ever when I look around at a sea of grass rooted in political upset, fiscal depression and insulted intellect to been told, there is no grassroots movement against national ID cards. That is exactly the kind of Jedi mind trick that is falling pancake flat on the campaign trail.

If I were presumptive government, regardless of party – I would still fear the base.   When you have people who don’t have anything left and are left with nothing to lose – get ready for revolution.  I mean the “I don’t fear your jails” kind of revolution.

I begin to wonder what a truly privatized American facist society would look like.  I think the next step in the tour of the absurd should include an infomercial sponsored by The New American Closed Society.

“And for 12 mandatory installments of $19.99 you get the benefits of safety and job security against Mexico’s terrorists by building America’s Largest Southern fence! But wait! That’s not all, if you lay down and express exactly no resistance to this tax expense plan you get, at no additonal costs:  a predator drone, a personal security contractor to check on you whether you need him to or not, and a splendid catalogue of high tech secured identity cards- just like the CIA and other top secret officials!  This goes for health, banking, shopping– and uh-oh! Yes, when you have to make a pit stop to visit any federal building in America.

One of our customer specialists will take your fingerprints, DNA, RNA from hair, urine, saliva, health records, to your driving records, bank records, shopping records and anything else you need to streamline the permission process for daily living in the safest, securest America yet!  And it’s all because of you!  Thanks, America.”


Don’t agree to go along with this.  Don’t agree to pay for it.  Find alternatives to enduring Americas emergent gestapo, the government entitled contractor class, by using alternate transport.  Boycott the airlines this Winter.   Leave the TSA with no one to defend or protect so they can pack up their X-Ray machines and sell them to China. Their people don’t mind as much.


The BostONEcard – c/o The Boston Globe

“City officials plan to launch a pilot program today to make it easier for some public school students to use city services by providing them with one card they can use to ride the MBTA, withdraw books from city libraries, play sports, attend after-school programs at community.

This program is starting at the Josiah Quincy Upper School in Chinatown, where all 530 students in grades 6 through 12 are being provided a card, which has multiple barcodes, a radio frequency device to use on the T, and their photos. ” 

GOOD NEWS: Aussie School kids “gummi” the biometric system 

c/o NBC Chicago

Get ready to get personal with your travel agent, or from whomever you buy you airline tickets.

A change, which is rolling out airline-by-airline but which officially begins to phase in this weekend on Aug. 15, will require that you hand over to the federal government more personal data than ever before in order to reserve a seat on a domestic flight. The overhauled Transportation Security Administration program is required by law, but many consumers haven’t heard much about it.

“It’s still kinda a surprise and they (customers) will say we haven’t heard much about this,” said Schaumburg travel agent Sharon Peterson. “We have to ask for birthdates and that has been a little delicate for most of us but we have to tell them the reasoning behind it.”

That reasoning is a new TSA program called “Secure Flight,” which transfers the responsibility of pre-screening passengers from the airlines to the TSA. Secure Flight requires that airlines get your birthdate and gender so you can be prescreened agasinst a government watch list.

“If consumers do not include this information, they may face delays at the airport, and our goal is to communicate and educate our customers across the board that this day is coming and they are going to have to add this additional information,” said Orbitz Vice-President of Governmental Affairs Brian Hoyt.

A major goal of the program is to prevent mismatches like that kind that happened to a Burr Ridge teen last year at the Miami International Airport.

Omar Jano and his mother Martha said that the TSA’s mistaken detention of Omar last year — because his name resembled one on the watch list — terrified their family. And Jano is not alone. Mistaken detentions have played out thousands of times; most famously perhaps with Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy. He has been detained six times because his name is close to a suspected terrorist’s alias.

Not everyone’s convinced that Secure Flight will improve the screening process.

“It may make life a little harder, but I suspect that the people who are on the no-fly list aren’t giving their real names when they fly anyway,” said Chicago attorney Geerald Jenkins. Jenkins works with the Cyber Privacy Project, which says that making travelers hand over their birthdates is a step too far toward government control of travel. The right to travel is a constitutionally protected freedom, the Cyber Privacy Project says, which should not be encroached upon by the feds.

“The government already has your name and they have the ability to search you. I’m not sure that adding birthdays and gender to that list of intrusions that the federal government already has creates any extra security,” Jenkins said.

The Secure Flight changes will take place at the time tickets are booked, so if you’ve already scheduled a trip and weren’t asked for the new info, don’t worry. The TSA says airlines are phasing in their programs on an airline-by-airline schedule, though though neither TSA nor the airlines would share specific dates.

Most major airlines will begin capturing the new data this fall.

Secure Flight rules will also demand precise matching information. What is on the boarding pass must match what is on your government-issued ID. That is the customary practice currently but will become law under the Secure Flight program. A TSA spokesperson said there will be plenty of flexibility, however, in the coming months for small discrepancies, so consumers have time to get their documents in sync.

The TSA has already spent about $240 million on Secure Flight. The airlines will spend at least $630 million on their programs.

For information from TSA:

For more on the Cyber Privacy Project and objections to Secure Flight:


Jim Babka from Downsize DC will be on the show to discuss his work to stop the Transportation Worker Identification Credential. Jim will be discussing these ideas with with longshoreman and activist Lowell Rogers, who has confronted consequences to his line of work for refusing to comply with TWIC standards.

Jim Babka is the co-founder and President of the Downsize DC Foundation and, Inc. He is also the host of The Downsize DC Conference Call on the Genesis Communication Network. He has guest-hosted other shows including the Harry Browne Show

Lowell Rogers has been an engineer on a brown-water tugboat for 23 years. He loves his work, and his employer likes the way Lowell does his job. But starting April 2009, thanks to the Maritime Safety Act, Lowell’s employer will have to assume he’s a potential terrorist, unless he has a Transportation Worker Identification Credential — a TWIC card.

Waking Up Orwell airs live in Austin, TX from 2:30 – 3:00 PM CST Thursdays on .


Facing TWIC criticism, TSA temporarily allows alternate ID at ports – 12/15

Truck drivers and other workers who have wrangled with aggressive enforcement at many ports for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential may get extra time to fully comply – at least for a few weeks.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that certain ports are allowing port access if workers present acceptable identification and proof that their TWIC card has been printed and is ready for activation.

The new temporary system will revert back to mandatory TWIC card possession for unescorted access through port-defined “secure areas,” with different deadlines for each of three groups of ports.

The first group will be allowed to use the temporary ID system until Dec. 22, including ports located in “Captain of the Port Zones: Boston, Northern New England, Southeastern New England, Cape Fear River, Corpus Christi, TX, North Carolina, Buffalo, NY; Detroit; Duluth, MN; Lake Michigan; Sault Ste. Marie, MI; Charleston, SC; Long Island Sound; Jacksonville, FL; and Savannah, GA.

The second group can use the temporary ID system until Feb. 1, 2009, including ports in Captain of the Port Zones of: Baltimore, Delaware Bay, DE; Mobile, AL; Lower Mississippi River, MS; Ohio Valley, Pittsburgh; and San Diego.

The last group may use the temporary ID system until Feb. 13, 2009. It includes ports in Captain of the Port Zones of Hampton Roads, VA; Morgan City, LA; New Orleans; Upper Mississippi River, MS; Miami; Key West, FL; and St. Petersburg, FL.

Acceptable proof of activation-ready TWIC cards includes:

  • Printing the e-mail sent by TSA during notification process that the TWIC is ready for pick-up.
  • Providing the facility security officer with the applicant’s TWIC application ID number, which can be checked on
  • Providing the facility security officer with the worker’s first and last name. That information can be checked by the officer, using the password-protected portion of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Web site.

“Captain of the Port’s should work closely with facility owners and operators to ensure that the above policy is implemented to provide equivalent security at Maritime Transportation Security Act-regulated facilities while minimizing impacts on maritime operations and commerce,” read a statement from TWIC’s policy advisory council.

For more information, visit
The TWIC program eventually will require more than 1.5 million port employees, longshoremen, mariners, truckers and others who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports to have background checks before being issued cards with their biometric data and residency documentation.

Nationally, TWIC cards will be required for truckers and other port workers who need unescorted access into secure areas by April 15, 2009, although most ports are implementing earlier mandatory TWIC enforcement.

OOIDA has been critical of several TSA processes during the TWIC rollout including the price of enrollment and the ability of foreign nationals to access ports without background checks required by TWIC applicants from the United States. One filing of the Association’s comments on TWIC can be found here.

Standard TWIC enrollment costs $132.50, although workers with “current, comparable” threat assessment background checks such as hazmat endorsements, Merchant Mariner Documents or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) cards may obtain a TWIC card for $105.25. The card is designed to last five years.

Replacement cards for those who lose or damage their TWIC card cost $60, according to the TWIC Web site at

According to TSA, as of Thursday, Dec. 11, 725,742 workers nationally had enrolled in TWIC. Of those, 637,262 cards have been printed and 488,713 had been activated. About 120,000 truck drivers have enrolled.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer

Civil liberties groups like the ACLU & The Electronic Frontier Foundation are lining up to present their priorities for the incoming Obama administration.  

Among EFF’s Declarations :

“Scale back the use of National Security Letters to gag and acquire data from online service providers. The REAL ID Act, with its requirement that Americans carry a national ID card, has been rejected by many U.S. states and should be federally repealed. Large-scale government data collection and data-mining projects like Automated Targeting System (ATS) should be reduced or eliminated. Invasive border-searches of electronic devices should be stopped.”

President Bush, produced an environment so damaging to civil liberties, you would have to be comatose not to notice the before-&-after levels of public monitoring and movement infringements.  Although, we did achieve a victory in the restoration of habeas corpus.

The DHS are seeking additional staffing ramping up to a new deadline for Secure Flight in January.   {January?   Isn’t that when our new hero is sworn in?}   The tax-cash for this moved forward without oversight from the GAO- Government Accountability Office.  
As part of my blogging editorial responsibilities here at BeatTheChip,  I bear the burden of truth.   Here is my interpretation of the US government implementing public surveillance. 
They are watching us. OK- so why are they REALLY watching us
Not necessarily because we are doing anything wrong, but due to their collective paranoia over blowback from those they have wronged- which now includes the American people.  After witnessing the RNC mass arrest of non-violent protestors, including 42 accredited journalists, they might be a lot edgy over their lack of popularity.  Vicious cycle – the more excessive force they use, they know there will be retaliation.  They are aware of how they would react if they were on the receiving end of their treatment.  So why drive the repression of rights for the common man with illegal, immoral and universally inhuman practices detrimental to peace and prosperity?   They are losing their grip on their own place in the human race.  
All soldiers develop a level of dehumanizing logic that makes absolutely no sense, so they can execute adroit orders to maim, kill, posion and do bad things to otherwise innocent people. That is how they make their living.
My thought here to rise above this, is recognition of American Heritage.  As a nation, we reap what we sow.  We have been blithely aware, so much more swept up in the toilet of distractions laid in front of us, to ignore our bad behavior in less fortunate nations we have victimized.  I think of Grenada – a nation who refused us bananas or sugar and paid with blood.  
How dumb are we if didn’t think the persistent lack of conscience would eventually become a continental U.S. problem?  Since when are we too good to reign in our own government?  
The executive “dream team” who renamed  The Department of Domestic Security to Homeland Security, according to a Nazi playbook needs to know who opposes the excesses of spying, invasion of privacy and pilfering of boundaries.  They need to know who to shut up.   
One of these days we are going to interview an average telecomm investigator as an employee, just to find our where their head is at. They’re still Americans – maybe just stuck for a paycheck, two kids and alimony,  a mortgage.  Who are these people?  America’s gestapo reprobates or just suckered into a “secure” lifestyle where surveillance just a way to pay the bills.
A STORY FROM MY PERSONAL HISTORY: Your tax dollars at work
My father worked for a special warfare test division on a base in the Republic of Panama during the Noriega regime.  We lived in “the Green Zone”.  A zone occupied by military personnell living and working peacibly in Panama.    What I now know about the CIA, Noriega, the Iran Contra scandal and Panama’s role in the whole scenario has made me both sadder and wiser.
Nonetheless, as a dependent child I was in a good place to observe and learn what the day-to-day looks like when you are in an aggrivated state of police monitoring.    I rode a skateboard.  I was a kid and kids have to go outside and play – threat or no threat.
I walked outside of my home one day to find a fully munitioned humvee with a singular military policeman on-duty parked next to our driveway.  He was toting a rifle.  No big deal.  I had seen servicemen with guns frequently enough it really wasn’t intimidating.   However, they never were camped outside of my house with no notice.  It seemed a little out of place.
I resumed  skateboard practice.  It was quiet, nothing going on, except  that were in an escalated Personnell Movement Limitation (PML)  Charlie – excessive rioting and unrest among Panamanians and where U.S. defense personnell were more active.   The trouble was, we had been in PML Charlie for 6 weeks and nothing was really going on in the streets.   We went to school with Panamanians and other kids whose parents were international diplomats. Honestly, everyone was a little weary of what we call today “fear mongering”- with nothing actually going on.  It was restrictive and excessive.  That tends to bug bored kids, whose job really is to find their way around overarching administrators.
As I started in skateboarding,  the  MP stationed outside of my house began to tell me not to skateboard in front of my house.   His reason?   I was crossing over the “green zone into the orange zone”.   I looked at him and explained that nothing was going on.   I looked around me illustrating there were no cars on the street – literally, NOTHING was happening.    I kept skateboarding and he looked the other way, because it was as rediculous as I had indicated – and he knew it.   I persisted with this action for 10 -12 minutes then I got bored and went back in the house looking for something else to do.
We all have better things to do with our lifetime, but when you live on a base or in a military civilization you are swimming in an irrational amount of protocols, rules, and orders.  There’s not a whole lot you can do “right”, otherwise someone loses their usefulness. 
There is a limit to the useful purpose of military personnel.   To this day, I wonder how much taxpayer money was spent to have that humvee, armed to the teeth,  stationed outside our house complete with one MP staff seargant with not much to do.