Tuesday, 21 September 2004

TSA reveals some details of Secure Flight

The USA Transportation Security Administration today released drafts of its first official descriptions of the Secure Flight airline passenger surveillance, monitoring, and no-fly system According to today’s TSA press release , the TSA intends to publish all of these in the Federal Register tomorrow:

  • A Notice of Proposed Rule-Making from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) intended to require all airlines based in the USA to turn over all PNRs with information on reservations (specifially to include, for unexplained reasons, canceled reservations) for flights within the USA in June 2004 for Secure Flight tests.
  • A System Of Records Notice under the Privacy Act, which is supposed to describe how the government will use this information.
  • A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for the proposed Secure Flight tests.

The announcement was made at two closed-door, invitation-only briefings at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, one for reporters and one for airline representatives.

I’m in Washington, but I wasn’t invited to either briefing, and even when I asked, TSA spokespeople wouldn’t tell me where or when they were to be held. Yesterday, after 3 other TSA spokespeople wouldn’t return my calls, I eventually reached TSA spokesperson Darren Kayser. He told me he didn’t know what briefing I was talking about, but that he would let me know when one was scheduled. I was sitting in my hotel room in Washington, waiting for a call that never came, while the briefing (with Kayser in attendance, I later learned) was being held across the river in Arlington. Kayser didn’t return my later calls requesting comment on why I, and some of the other reporters and stakeholders with the greatest interest in the issue, weren’t allowed in.

The first question I would have asked, if I had gotten a chance, would have been the status of negotiations (if there have been any, which I suspect there may not have been) towards a new USA-European Union agreement to permit airlines and CRS’s to comply with the demand for data for Secure Flight tests without being subject to enforcement action under the EU Data Protection Directive and the EU Code of Conduct for CRS’s.

That’s only the first of my questions. I’ll be publishing an analysis of the proposals and details on how to submit comments , and I’ll be filing comments with the TSA and OMB. The proposals will be open for public comment for 30 days from the date of their publication in the Federal Register .

Link | Posted by Edward on Tuesday, 21 September 2004, 17:46 ( 5:46 PM)

With all that's been going on w.r.t. the TSA
et. al., I'm not surprised you haven't
commented on some airlines' plans to charge
a fee for reservations not made on their
web sites... but I hope you'll get to it in
the days ahead.

Posted by: Anon Y. Mouse, 22 September 2004, 02:11 ( 2:11 AM)
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