Wednesday, 14 July 2004

TSA admits CAPPS-II "back to the drawing board"

Responding to questions at a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing yesterday on his nomination as administrator of the USA Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Navy Admiral David M. Stone reportedly said the TSA is considering changing or eliminating major components of the CAPPS-II airline passenger profiling and monitoring proposal.

There’s no mention of CAPPS-II in Stone’s prepared statement to the Senate commitee — itself a sign of continued TSA effort to avoid Congressional oversight of CAPPS-II — but the questioning is described by the Associated Press (via CNN), Wired News , and Reuters .

This is the second full Senate committeee to hold public hearings on Stone’s nomination: He already went before the Government Affairs commitee last month with responses to their questions that confirmed many earlier reports (including some previously denied by the TSA), and some additional details, on use of airline reservations by the TSA and other government agencies for testing of CAPPS-II and other, similar, passenger profiling schemes.

What remains to be seen is whether the TSA is merely renaming the more controversial portions of CAPPS-II, or moving them into other programs (such as the pseudo-voluntary traveller registration program already being tested by the TSA and airlines), or whether they have really backed off from their desire to require every traveller to be positively identified so that their reservations can be indexed into a lifetime travel history, accessible to the government on request or demand even if maintained by a computerized reservation system (CRS) or other private company.

Link | Posted by Edward on Wednesday, 14 July 2004, 12:32 (12:32 PM)
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