Thursday, 13 September 2007

Public hearing in Washington on "Secure Flight"

An obscure notice buried in the Federal Register on 5 September 2007 announced a public meeting in Washington, DC, on Thursday, 20 September 2007, to hear comments on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Secure Flight” scheme for additional control and monitoring of domestic air travel within the USA.

The current Secure Flight proposal was published in the Federal Register 23 August 2007. If you can’t make it to Washington on Thursday, you can submit comments in writing on docket TSA-2007-28572 through until 22 October 2007. *[Update: The deadline for comments has been extended until 21 November 2007.]

[Important update: At the hearing in Washington, the TSA announced that they will be migrating from one online docket system to another, in the middle of the comment period on this proposal, with several days during the transition when comments won’t be accepted electonically through either system. According to the announcement at the meeting, comments will be accepted through until 27 September. From 28-31 September, no comments will be accepted electronically. After 22 October, comments will be accepted through . The docket number in both systems will be the same, TSA-2007-28572. There have been either bugs in the system or an error in how this docket was entered: Even though this is a proposed rule open for comments, it didin’t show up if you search for it under “Proposed Rules” and “Dcouments Open For Comments”. Instead, you have to choose “All Document Types” and “All Documents (open and closed for comments) from the menus. If you have trouble submitting your comments, the docket doesn’t appear when you make the correct choices in the search menus, or comments you yhave submitted don’t appear in the docket within a few days, I encourage you to (1) resubmit your comments by postal mail or fax and (2) phone and/or write the TSA and tell them to fix the comment system and extend the comment period.]

The Secure Flight proposal would apply to domestic flights the same requirements for government-issued travel credentials and individualized, explicit, prior, per-flight permission to travel (“clearance”) as the DHS plans to apply to international flights under its “international Advanced Passenger Information System” (APIS) rules.

The international APIS rules (document USCBP-2005-0003-0059 in docket docket USCBP-2005-0003 at ) were published as “final”, effective 19 February 2008, with no further opportunity for public comment even on the changes from the original proposal. So the DHS can now evade debate on the similar elements of the Secure Flight proposal by claiming that it is needed to “harmonize” the domestic and international travel restrictions — as though travel within the country was tantamount to, and subject to the same government restrictions and controls as, crossing international borders.

The Secure Flight proposal also includes new and odious requirements that travellers display their government-issued credentials not to government agents but to airline personnel (staff or contractors), whenever the DHS orders the airline to demand them. But since the orders to demand ID of particular would-be travellers will be given to the airline, in secret, and not to the traveller, travellers will have no way to verify whether airline (or contractor) demands for ID are actually based on government orders. And since the TSA’s Privacy Officer refuses to say how travellers can verify the bona fides of people who demand ID in airports under purported government authority, or what redress they have when such demands are made under false pretenses — even by people falsely claiming to be TSA employees — the proposed Secure Flight rules would leave travellers hopelessly at the mercy of any identity thief who claims to be an airline contractor (subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, etc.) and demands, Your papers, please! anywhere in an airport. In addition, the proposed rules would leave the airlines “free” to keep all the information obtained from travellers under government coercion, even after they have passed it on to the government. They would be “free” to keep copies of your passport or travel ID as long as they like, use it, publish it, broadcast it, sell it, rent it, or pass it on to whomever they please, in the USA or anywhere else in the world. And they would have no obligation to get your permission for any of this, or even to tell you what they have done with the information the government has forced you to give them. Your personal data would continue to be considered, at least in the USA, solely their property, not yours.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it from Argentina . But if you can, come to Washington on Tuesday and let the Feds know what you think of this scheme to infringe your Constitutional and human right to travel around the country.

[Update: I’ll be there myself along with other staff of the Identity Project, and I hope to see you there . The hearing will be open to the public, and you can sign up with the TSA staff on site to speak, for up to 5 minutes per person, on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H Street, N.W., 2 blocks from Metro Center station.]

[Addendum: Trackbacks don’t seem to be working, due to trackback spam, so send me an e-mail message if you want me to add a trackback link manually. There’s a long discussion of this article at the Daily Kos and more from Stephen Cherry in the IEEE Spectrum Tech Talk blog .]

[Further addendum: One can only say so much in 5 minutes, but here’s my prepared testimony for the hearing, the more detailed written comments of the Identity Project, and reports on my testimony and the rest of the hearing from The Register , Business Travel News , and Management.Travel . The TSA has posted a complete audio archive and a transcript of the hearing; the public and travel industry testimony begins on page 28 of the transcript and my testimony as the first public witness begins 27 minutes into the audio archive.]

Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 13 September 2007, 18:08 ( 6:08 PM)

9-11 big brother invasion/madness needs to end right here,right now..if this latest post 9-11 insanity is enacted,how much longer will it be until we will have to submit to deadly big pharma vaccinations before we are allowed/given a national/real ID that we must have to buy or sell..etc,etc,etc,etc
" stop now sir!,pull your pants down & bend over & take it up the bazoo for the head nazi... Micheal cheertoff... or you will be tasered bro..

Posted by: Randy Newland, 21 September 2007, 12:39 (12:39 PM)

Send in comments NOW!
Via the webpage AND by mail!

The COMMENTS page was conveniently moved, but here it is anyway!!!;

Posted by: Fred, 10 October 2007, 22:08 (10:08 PM)

This is immoral to our nation's founding. If the founding fathers could see this today, they would be absolutely ashamed that we are completely disregarding all of their efforts towards making the United States of America a free country with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What has happened to our country? The answer is simple - people want power. If the high standing government associations can track us in everything we do, they have power over us, which is similar to the Holocaust in Germany against the Jews. But this time, it's against a FREE nation by it's government that was set up for freedom. Refer to the Second Continental Congress and those delegates. We abolished slavery as well, but isn't this just another form of slavery? Another form of the power that is so needed by our "leaders". State constitutions were set up to be superior to state law, "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed" I believe is how it went. As my mother and I read about this subject and fear living in what once was "The New World", we wonder what we should think of this new legislation. But then again, it seems to us that our opinion does not matter any more. It seems as if what we think no longer matters. "Give me liberty, or give me death!"

Posted by: Ant, 17 October 2007, 18:15 ( 6:15 PM)

These requirements would destroy the travel industry and the airline industry! When are we going to start up holding our rights as Americans.
We need a stronger economy not one that is being torn down by our government.

Posted by: Anonymous, 26 October 2007, 15:19 ( 3:19 PM)

I left the US 7 years ago for romantic reasons (my fiancee, now wife, lived in Canada and was unable to move to the States, so I moved north).
We're now planning on visiting family in the states.
My wife obtained her passport within a week. I'm still waiting for mine a month later. Our teenaged daughter is absolutely terrified of traveling to the US. She's afraid that we'll be detained indefinitely and labelled as terrorists.
Over-reaction? No more so than the labyrinthine and draconian processes by which the TSA has attained power.
I came of age during the Reagan administration. I knew even then that the federal government was not to be fully trusted. It's broken my heart to see just how bad things have become over the past 7 years. When I first moved to Canada, all you needed was a drivers license. Same story with re-entry into the US. Now, it seems you need a DNA printout, an affidavit from your congressperson affirming that you're not a threat, and even then, if the individual ICE agent decides that they don't like your haircut, you're out of luck.
What happened to "We, the people..." and that whole consent of the governed thing?
Americans are no longer allowed to peaceably assemble if they happen to disagree with the current regime's... pardon me, administrations' policies.
(If you think I'm exaggerating, try wearing an anti-Bush or anti-war shirt to a demonstration)
America is, quite frankly, deeply, deeply screwed.
The president and his cabinet feel free to ignore, flout or completely disregard nearly any law they see fit with little to no consequence.
And it's only going to get worse.
I have decided that, upon my return (provided I'm even "allowed" to travel freely) that I will be renouncing my US citizenship. I'm done with this crap. From health care to "Well, what IS torture exactly?" to the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq to the still-at-large Osama Bin Laden to substandard body armor for troops to the moribund cleanup effort in New Orleans, the Bush administration has felt perfectly free to wipe its ass with the concepts of personal liberty, decency, the Constitution and Bill of Rights all in the name of "security" and fear-mongering. During the worst of the IRA bombings in the UK not once did they implement Orwellian schemes even remotely like the crap the US has. Spain has certainly upgraded its security but has yet to become a near-police state despite being bombed themselves.
America, you need to wake the hell up before it's too late.

Posted by: Anonymous, 13 November 2007, 15:18 ( 3:18 PM)

blah,blah,blah. all this whining and fretting about that which we have been warned about for DECADES now is getting a bit stale. get over it and go back to history. what is happening in this country is a classic case of "what goes around, comes around" Oh, you don't have a clue what I'm talking about? our government has financed the communists in russia and with the help of the vatican, we bankrolled the nazi regime too! the skull and bones society that both shrubs belong to are modeled on the thule society which produced nazi germany. our government was a big factor in helping the bolshiviks assume communist power in russia. our government, so very "dedicated" to "helping" them furiners to get a close look at democracy, and when incompatible with the native culture, start a war with them! and...what? you actually think that these things happen in a vacuum, with no consequences? you actually paid thousands of dollars to go to college just so you could end up wondering whether or not your finger will get burned if you pass it over the flame....well, gee, I dunno...lets see... YOU CAN NEVER ESCAPE THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS, unless of course you belong to a "noble family line", then you just arrange for someone else to pay the consequences. Stop the whining, its getting old. What? You don't "like" the fact that mr police now has the right to demand your papers because you might be a threat. well, then why did you help perpetuate the enslavement of others just as valuable as you and i. and then expect the universe to look the other way because you. are. an. american. well, guess what, wilbur? thems not the way to plant tubers. what goes around comes around. now its our turn to feel the boot that we have put on the foot. please dont ask what i mean, it will just be embarassing, if you dont know what i mean and have to ask, its already too late.

Posted by: Luath, 5 July 2009, 02:05 ( 2:05 AM)
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