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TSA Tests Automated ID Authentication 190

Posted by timothy
from the thanks-bruce dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Last year, a Nigerian man boarded a plane from N.Y. to L.A. using an invalid ID and a boarding pass issued to another person. A week later he was caught again with 10 expired boarding passes. In response to this and similar events, the Transportation Security Administration has begun testing a new system at Washington's Dulles International Airport that verifies an air traveler's identity by matching photo IDs to boarding passes and ensures that boarding passes are authentic. The test will soon be expanded to Houston and Puerto Rico."
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TSA Tests Automated ID Authentication

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  • Re:What a waste! (Score:5, Informative)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:01PM (#39766593)

    Lots of people do this without getting caught.

    http://www.dubfire.net/boarding_pass/ [dubfire.net]

    Glad they are closing this loophole, it is one of the very few things the TSA has done or is doing that makes sense.

  • WTF, TSA? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Peter Simpson (112887) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:34PM (#39766729)
    First, we all have to show picture ID and cryptically marked boarding passes
    Next, we have to partially disrobe and empty our pockets
    Then, we have to pass through a metal detector and a high-cost, dubiously useful (and even more dubiously safe) perv-scanner

    You mean to tell me that TSA hasn't figured out, in cooperation with the airlines, of course, how to put some kind of cryptologic authenticator on boarding passes?
    Perhaps they should have used some of the money they spent on perv-scanners to buy a computer, a bar code scanner and a crypto-hash generator for the boarding passes -- like they have at the gate when you board the airplane. They could scan the new high tech RealID[tm] licenses they forced on us, too, because you know they put an authenticator hash in them (right?)

    Bruce Schneier hit it on the nose (and now, former TSA head Kip Hawley seems to agree: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303815404577335783535660546.html [wsj.com]) -- TSA is broken.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2012 @09:10PM (#39766891)

    Without an organisation like the TSA the rest of the world is practicing that for decades. Your name is checked against an ID when checking in. Before entering the departure area your ID is checked again against the boarding pass and your face, takes split seconds only. When going international that happens again at immigration and finally when you try to board the boarding pass is checked against the loading list and your ID. Nothing causes any queues.
    Kind of strange that this practice seems to be new in the US.

  • Re:WTF, TSA? (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @09:44PM (#39767039) Journal

    Bruce Schneier hit it on the nose (and now, former TSA head Kip Hawley seems to agree: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303815404577335783535660546.html [wsj.com] [wsj.com]) -- TSA is broken.

    I kind of think that Mr Hawley learned some things when he debated Bruce [economist.com]. Because some of the arguments he makes in that article sound a lot like what Bruce Schneier has been saying for a while.

  • Re:ID is irrelevant (Score:5, Informative)

    by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @10:13PM (#39767141)

    Are you saying that you guys *don't* have to show your ID and boarding pass again at the departure gate immediately before boarding the plane?

    It's funny (and not widely known), but you actually didn't need a photo ID to fly domestically in the U.S. until maybe the past couple years. For quite a few years after 9/11, you could just say "Oh, I forgot it," and they'd stick you in an alternate line that usually got you through security faster (though often with an extra patdown).

    Technically, there was a legal principle that you had a right to travel freely within the U.S. without having to present "papers" (a la Nazi Germany). People who "forgot" their IDs were usually fine, but the TSA started harassing those who just refused to show ID.

    Around four years ago, it started to get harder -- they'd ask for any sort of ID even without a photo: credit card, whatever, and then they'd make mysterious phone calls and generally let you through.

    But then around the time of the nude scanner crap, the TSA finally decided it was just going to ignore people's right to free travel and just officially admit that we've descended into the likes of Nazi Germany if we want to travel any distance within the U.S.

    For all the harassment that has been shown to people by the TSA, most people are shocked that for about 8-9 years after 9/11, you still didn't even need ID to get on a domestic flight.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @11:36PM (#39767493)

    What does your ID say? Use that information.

    Well, let's see. My native ID says: _a_string_that_can't_be_rendered_by_slashdot_ which is my name.

    My driving license and my old passport say "Alexey". My new passport and my US visa say "Aleksei". Both are valid transliterations of my name (world doesn't use only English, you know) from the point of view of Russian laws (US consulate that issued my visa also agrees). Yet I've had a problem with a TSA officer and almost missed my flight.

    Oh, I also have a patronymic which was mistaken for my last name a couple of times.

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