Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

The Politics of Travel in America with Ed Hasbrouck

Ed Hasbrouck, blogger for the Practical Nomad and advocate for the Identity Project will be educating the public about what they can manageably expect to be able to do on their behalf in light of TSA privacy trends. We will be discussing the public backlash against the use and installation of the Backscatter X-Ray machines as well as travel policy.

c/o Castle Diver

To TWIC or not to TWIC, that is the question? For those of you who are looking at this acronym twice and thinking it’s a chocolate bar, read on.

The Transportation Security Administration defines the TWIC card as “a common identification credential for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of Maritime Transportation Security Act-regulated facilities and vessels, and all mariners holding Coast Guard-issued credentials.”

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its report on challenges relating to the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. Issuance of TWICs to maritime workers was delayed, but is now largely completed.

A significant source of delay was the power failure at the government facility processing TWIC data. Full recovery from that incident pends and the cost is estimated at $26m. Development of the electronic card reader faces challenges
due to inadequate planning. GAO-10-43 (12/10/09).

Source: Bryants Maritime News

By Jill R. Aitoro 12/18/09 04:26 pm ET
c/o NextGov

After months of speculation, the Homeland Security Department officially moved back the compliance deadline for Real ID, which requires states to issue licenses that meet federal security standards.

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, Deputy Press Secretary Matt Chandler said, “In order to ensure that the millions of Americans traveling this holiday season are not disrupted,” DHS would extend the required Dec. 31 Real ID material compliance deadline, which required states to meet 18 interim benchmarks that support the regulation. The criteria include improvements in driver’s license and ID card physical security, authentication of source identity documents and protections of applicant’s biographical data.

The May 10, 2011, deadline for full compliance remains in effect, Chandler said, adding that “Congress must act to address systemic problems with the Real ID Act to advance our security interests over the long term.”

The extension comes after 46 of 56 states and territories informed DHS that they will not be able to meet the Dec. 31 deadline.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has made no secret of her objections to Real ID, supporting instead efforts to enact PASS ID, which would require states to issue driver’s licenses that are compliant with federal security standards by 2016 and create a $150 million grant program to help states digitize birth records. Last week, the department announced $48 million in grants for states “to help prevent terrorism, reduce fraud, and improve the reliability and accuracy of personal identification documents,” Chandler said.

The U.S. needs to re-examine all [Real ID] policies and evaluate them on their privacy-protection and gendering implications, and then scrap any one of them that prevents innocent people from moving around freely. This war on an abstract noun is no excuse for denying anyone their freedom of mobility.

How “counter-terrorism” denies trans people freedom of movement

By Quinn Albaugh for The McGill Daily
Published: Nov 3

It’s uncontroversial to argue that everyone should have freedom of mobility. However, at present, American trans people have their freedom of movement restricted compared to other Americans.

The recent focus on “counter-terrorism” in law enforcement and government agencies has severely limited trans people’s freedom. In the name of the War on Terror, the U.S. government has increased restrictions on identity documents, which are necessary for trans and cis people to drive, fly, cross borders, or engage in many kinds of movement. Following September 11, the Bush administration asked all states to tighten laws about changing one’s gender marker on driver’s licenses. Additionally, according to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, “in local jurisdictions, procedures for changing your name have been made more difficult.” Whether or not identity documents are as important for “national security” as the U.S. government has suggested, these policies unduly deny trans people access to various modes of transportation, since many trans people’s gender presentation will be in flux at one moment or another.

Perhaps the most terrifying new policy regarding identity documents has been the Real ID Act, which essentially creates a de facto national ID card out of state driver’s licenses. This act entails massive and particularly threatening violations of trans people’s privacy. For example, the National Center for Transgender Equality states that in 2008, the Real ID’s guidelines mandated that all state driver’s licenses contain a bar-code that would hold information on gender and name changes – information which would out trans people against their will. Thankfully, this provision was removed, and several states have passed laws stating that they will not comply with the Real ID Act. However, even under the more recent version – or under a proposed alternative bill called PASS ID – states would have to store birth certificates and other identification digitally, which could still out trans people at borders, airports, and even during routine traffic stops. The fact that this remains an issue under the Obama administration shows that we can’t just blame Bush for this policy – this requirement is part of a wider social perspective on what’s “necessary” or “acceptable” in counter-terrorism tactics.

Additionally, in 2003, the U.S. government advised airports to be suspicious of “men dressed in women’s clothing.” This directive limits the ability of many kinds of trans people to present themselves as they choose while travelling. They are forced to decide between their freedom of movement or their authentic gender presentation. As far as I can tell, a case involving a cross-dressing terrorist has yet to materialize; if it had, the news coverage of such a momentous occasion would have been inescapable. This argument parallels the right-wing strategy of countering trans non-discrimination laws by arguing that, if we pass such laws, we’ll see (male) sexual predators “invading” women’s bathrooms. In both cases, the justification for policies that allow discrimination against trans people is “protecting” people against an invented bogeyman. Unfortunately, these strategies have proven to be effective.

The “no-fly” lists that U.S. government agencies have developed are the most recent attempt to reduce freedom of mobility for trans people. In August, the Transportation Security Agency enacted new policies requiring airlines to check whether people are on these “no-fly” lists. The new policies also require all passengers to provide their gender and date of birth to whomever is booking their ticket. These restrictions come on the heels of regulations put in place in May that require passengers to use their legal name exactly as it appears on their ID. There is no oversight of how these private individuals use information about a passenger’s gender; it’s entirely possible that airlines and travel agencies may store this information in a database, which could make it difficult for trans people to determine on their own if they want to out themselves while travelling – someone else will have power over that information.

The U.S. needs to re-examine all of these policies and evaluate them on their privacy-protection and gendering implications, and then scrap any one of them that prevents innocent people from moving around freely. This war on an abstract noun is no excuse for denying anyone their freedom of mobility.

Quinn Albaugh writes for The McGill Daily every week. Tell ’em about your cross-dressing terrorist sightings at:

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:

  • In the other chamber of Congress, the PASS ID Act (S. 1261) introduced in the Senate on June 15th contains a provision in Section 242 (a) (1) (B) that “no person shall be denied boarding a commercial aircraft solely on the basis of failure to present a driver’s license or identification card issued pursuant to this subtitle.”  This is part of a terrible bill, which we strongly oppose. We agree completely with Jim Harper’s take that this is merely a “lite” version of a national ID law, and that there is no good reason to “replace” the REAL ID Act rather than simply repeal it.  The PASS ID Act would still leave loopholes for the TSA to deny “permisison” to travel on other grounds, such as failure to “cooperate with screening”. But we welcome the initiative — again, the first such in the Senate since the creation of the TSA — to anticipate and preclude a TSA assertion of new authority. (The PASS ID Act would also make it a “unlawful for any person, knowingly and without lawful authority– (1) to scan the information contained in the machine readable component of a driver’s license or identification card; or (2)(A) to resell, share or trade that information with any other third parties; (B) track the use of a driver’s license or identification card; or (C) store the information collected.”  This provision is apparently intended to include a prohibition on reading of the data on RFID chips in Enhanced Drivers Licenses.)

In the absence of any explicit rules or any judicial, legislative, or executive oversight, the TSA has felt no need to seek authority for its ever-expanding assertions of authority through legislation or rulemaking. Nor has the TSA recognized any duty of self-restraint or self-policing to ensure its actions conform to the law. Instead, the TSA has simply wielded its power to do whatever it wished, on the disgraceful assumption that, “If we’re doing something wrong, the courts will tell us — if and when someone can afford to sue us, and they win a court judgement against us.” In the meantime, the TSA will do, and claim the right to do, anything that hasn’t already specifically been ruled illegal. Kind of like the thief who assumes that they can steal whatever they want, and that if something turns out not be theirs, they’ll give it back if and when someone sues and wins a court judgement ordering its return.

Time and again we’ve pointed out this failure to subject the TSA to the rule of law. See, for example, our most recent prior post on this topic, our agenda on the right to travel submitted to the Obama Administration and Congress after the 2008 elections, and our comments earlier this month at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference session with Obama Administration representatives and others at 1:45:53 of this video. Until recently, however, neither the Courts, the Congress, nor the Executive branch have wanted to confront the question of what rules govern the TSA.

We’re please to report that this is finally beginning to change, in small ways but on numerous fronts. ::: MORE HERE:::

“Breaker, breaker 1-9..this TWIC card is giving me the cannonball runs…” – A dramatization of Trucker identity dissent.

Identify that muther-Trucker with Transport Worker Identity Credential by wireless remote control?

PIVCheck Mobile enables compliance officers to verify cardholder identities and check revocation status using a wireless verification unit. PIVCheck Passage then gives the compliance officer the option to wirelessly open a door or gate using the cardholders’ Wiegand access card ID.

The card ID is transmitted to the access control panel where it is validated and logged as an access event just as if the card had been presented to a directly attached reader. PIVCheck Passage supports most legacy Wiegand formats such as HID’s Corporate
1000 as well as the 48-, 64-, and 75-bit FASC-N based formats.

This combination of a mobile PIV/TWIC authentication appliance with wireless PACS link provides agencies with the ability to converge PIV/TWIC validation requirements with legacy access systems over dispersed operating areas.