Thursday, 28 September 2006

Traveller registration redux

Depite a lack of enthusiasm by anyone except the vendors who hope to profit from operating a privatized traveller registration scheme, and total costs estimated at anywhere between US$100 and US$200 per person per year, the USA Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has published yet another round of draft plans and sepcifications for a “registered traveler” program. Comments on these plans can be submitted to the TSA through 4 October 2006, although there is no guarantee they won’t be ignored.

Travel writer Christopher Elliott, who freelances for numerous publications and undoubtedly has a good feel for travellers’ opinions, accurately sums up the public feedback to date on any “trused traveler” plan:

Kill it. Kill it now. That’s the consensus of readers when asked what the government should do with its nascent registered traveler program.

Travel pundits had given the plan up for dead last week after authorities revealed it would cost $200 per person to be a “trusted traveler.” But the feds backed off and now it looks as if the program may yet survive.

Or will it? Not if air travelers have something to say about it….

Another passenger pointed out that the government already has a “registered traveler” program, and it doesn’t work. It’s called the “no-fly” list….

I still think the federal government, like any government, has a DNA-level desire to track every citizen. It can say what it wants, posture in front of the cameras and send confusing signals to the press and the public. But at the end of the day, I think it needs the “track every traveler” prog … uh, I mean, “trusted traveler” program.

Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 28 September 2006, 19:05 ( 7:05 PM)
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