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TSA Bans Flight If You Refuse To Show ID 734

mytrip notes a CNet blog entry on the recent TSA rule change banning flight to anyone who refuses to produce ID. It's OK if you claim to have lost or forgotten your ID — you undergo a pat-down and hand search of your carry-on bag and you're on your way. The new rule goes into effect June 21. "The change of rules seems to be a pretty obvious case of security theater. Real terrorists do not refuse to show ID. They claim to have lost their ID, or they use a fake. TSA's new rules only protect us from a non-existent breed of terrorists who are unable to lie."
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TSA Bans Flight If You Refuse To Show ID

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  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:40PM (#23718467) Homepage Journal
    "Trouble maker" and "terrorist" are synonymous now.

    Stand in line.

    Speak when spoken to.

    Have your papers ready.
  • by atarione ( 601740 ) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:03PM (#23718667)
    but jesus christ I hope I don't get stuck behind you "why do i have to show my id won't do any good anyways people" at security. look buddy just show the nice TSA people your id and move along cause I just want to get the hell home thanx. if you don't like the policy write your congress person or something ..just don't have a hissy fit at the checkpoint and slow me down.
  • Re:Wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:11PM (#23718741)
    Given the news I read about the UK's growing police state, it doesn't seem to me to be all that far off from "V For Vendetta"-style government. That's just from reading news on /. though, it may not be an accurate portrayal.
  • When is enough? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OMNIpotusCOM ( 1230884 ) * on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:25PM (#23718881) Homepage Journal
    I was listening on the radio to someone talking about how Americans don't protest anymore, and we're being taken advantage of because of it. This shit would not have flown 20 years ago. 20 years ago we would have gone to the streets and demanded the head of Bush, Cheney, or whomever we thought was responsible for the deterioration of our rights. I wonder, what's the last straw? When will everyone else stand up and say that this shit is too much?
  • Re:Wrong (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:26PM (#23718891)
    Well, you might want to learn another language. After all, the United Estados won't be an Ingles speaking country for much longer now...

    I moved my white ass to Brazil, and I am as happy as a perv in hell. See, cops don't bother you, they don't care about people with jobs, and white people. Their only job is to take poor people out of shopping malls, movie theaters and restaurants. So, you feel pretty much free.
    The country is becoming an economic super-power, and economy is booming (while ours, well, we all know how our economy is doing...). You can get a good technical specialist or engineering job, with a really good pay, even by OLD US standards, and very very great, if you take the actual salary standards for IT in the US.
    Also, they got ethanol and they extract enough oil to keep the gas prices low, without imports.
    And I am not talking about the women and the beaches, because no words can describe them.
    Well, they fairly speak and understand English, but to become a native you will have to learn Portuguese. That is what I am doing. I don't think I will ever get back to the USA.
  • Another sad part... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:27PM (#23718897) that at Logon International (in Boston), at least, it is far faster if you say you lost or forgot your ID, get patted down, and then go right through, than it is to wait in the regular security lines which have always seemed endless there. Of course now that everyone here knows this, well...maybe the lost id line will get "slashdotted" ;).

  • Well customs ya (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:36PM (#23718979)
    There they actually check your passport to some reasonable degree. If nothing else they scan it with their device which performs a number of checks for security features that aren't easy to fake.

    Problem with TSA checks is they aren't nearly so good. You show your driver license or passport to the guy, and they mark that you are ok on your ticket. Well they don't check real well, and as a practical matter it'd be hard to. Passports are somewhat standardised among nations, and there's only so many of them. Driver licenses there are tons of. In Arizona alone I can think of 6 different versions that you can currently find in circulation.

    Thus it really isn't anything more than a "Does this guy have ID at all," check, which is useless. Passport checks aren't a magic bullet, but at least they are somewhat useful. It isn't that easy to get a fake passport that'll get through border security, and most nations do a reasonable job checking to make sure passports are legitimately issued (some like Canada get kinda silly with the amount of checks they do). It provides a reasonable way for countries to control their borders and who passes through them.

    However this check is nothing more than "Security for show." There is no serious attempt made to see if the ID presented is accurate, and I've had times where they hardly glance at the picture, so long as it was the same hair colour and gender Id' probably get through. It is probably far less through than the check airlines do when you use an ID to get an e-ticket.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:11PM (#23719281) Journal
    Perhaps I'm confused, but what he said made perfect sense. There are NO terrorists. As described, when they get on a plane, they are simply passengers with the correct credentials to fly. They are merely tourists when they wander around the lake that is your water supply dropping little vials of poison.

    All of this airport security is misguided, confoundedly ineffectual, and does absolutely nothing (or very close to it, if not negative effects) to protect you from terrorists that want to harm you.

    You might as well be talking about the capabilities of magical elves since by definition, you will NOT know where a terrorist is going to strike. That is sort of the point. You can guess, you can try to predict based on historical events, but since the 9/11 event was a one-off (as far as I know) it is STUPID to believe that this is the new and improved international terrorist mode of operation. Did I say stupid? Sorry, I meant FUCKING STUPID!! with lots of exclamatory punctuation marks.

    For anyone that needs some schooling, terrorists, the originals, were the government. It has come to be used to describe those that would strike fear in an enemy with little use of resources, and attacks on the civilian population. Even the definitions used by government agencies is fubar. Check []
    One who utilizes the systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve political objectives, while disguised as a civilian non-combatant. The use of a civilian disguise while on operations exempts the perpetrator from protection under the Geneva Conventions, and consequently if captured they are liable for prosecution as common criminals.

    Where in that definition does it say specifically and limited to airplanes? It doesn't. Where in the laws enacted in the USA (or other countries) since 9/11 have they accounted for terrorist acts not committed via air transportation?

    Swap dunce cap for tinfoil hat. Why are they so hung up on air transport? If you control it, you can slow commerce and businesses to less than 1/10th of their current speed/capabilities, enabling extra taxation, control, and suppression.

    Tinfoil hat off: It makes them look like they are doing something good while conditioning you to hand over your papers to travel between states. This BTW is prohibited in the USA.

    Back to magical elves. What are their powers? Well, we also don't know the powers or intent of future possible terrorists. The really great part about that is that the US Government DID know what the intentions of the 9/11 attackers was. Did that help? No. Why?

    No, this is not conspiracy, look at CIA documents to find more. Google it, I won't guide you.

    Now, if they knew before 9/11, why do we need more air transportation laws and security?

    To assume that any possible future terrorist (as if they actually exist) would use air transportation as the weapon of choice is to also assume that you know why they would not use something else to create terror, political advantage, and media prominence. So... why is it that they would not use something else? Perhaps kill the electric grid during summer heatwave. Maybe poison water supplies. Maybe poison food stuffs imported from a foreign country. Perhaps mail some anthrax around the country. Perhaps, gasp, disrupt the fuel supply BEFORE it gets to this country? How about a bit of anthrax and a fscking weather balloon?

    Please please please tell me what these terrorists that your sure of are going to do, and why they are not going to do any of the other really easy acts of terrorism?

    Since you don't know, I don't know, and the government doesn't know, we MIGHT AS WELL BE TALKING ABOUT THE CAPABILITIES OF MAGICAL ELVES.

    I know I rambled a bit there, but you get the point. Just tell me what the terrorists are going to use as a weapon next time, why they will, and where these terrorists are and I will think about it, if it makes sense, I might concede that there ACTUALLY are some terrorists plotting to harm US Citizens.

    Sleep well America... good night
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:14PM (#23719309)
    Just try questioning anything at the airport:

    Here's [] a travel writer and book author's account of what happened when some airport contractors asked to see his ID and he dared to ask them who they were. (Do you show your ID to anyone who comes up to you?)

    Basically, they didn't like someone questioning their authority, falsely claimed to be federal TSA agents, then got the real TSA involved, who turned him over to police.

    The travel writer later used FOIA requests to get the TSA's and police accounts of what happened. It's interesting to see what was in the reports and the way his behavior was described.
  • by aeoo ( 568706 ) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:29PM (#23719431) Journal

    because i have to pay the mortgage.
    Well, that excuse is starting to wear thin. Is survival and even just maintenance of a domicile that critical in your value system? Think about it. Because if something like that is critical, that means you're going to sacrifice a lot of freedom, and you'd be OK with torturing your neighbors, and all kinds of things like that, just so you could keep persisting in your lifestyle.

    People of this generation have no notion of freedom and of sacrifice. They cling to their lives and to their families not realizing that clinging to your own life and clinging to the lives of your loved ones is precisely what endangers those lives. It's that clinging that allows others to grab you by your balls and tell you to do as told.

    I like that we are a peaceful people. I think that's wonderful! But peaceful people should still have warrior qualities such as the ability to sacrifice one's own life and a degree of non-attachment to life's pleasures and assurances. (Gandhi comes to mind...)

    People have died to give us this freedom, but we are losing our freedom because we have to pay mortgage. It's kind of strange that to gain freedom, we have to die, but to lose it, all we need to do is to put our mortgage first on the list of priorities.

    I am not calling for any extreme and/or thoughtless actions. I just hope this can be food for thought.
  • Easy solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by andyring ( 100627 ) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:31PM (#23719465) Homepage
    My solution is easy, well, sort of easy. OK, so it's still just showing an ID. But I've found out a real good way to make the TSA people squirm a lot. I have licenses to carry a concealed firearm in multiple states (I am an ordinary citizen, not a retired police officer or anything like that). And of course those licenses reside in my wallet.

    The requirement for IDs don't stipulate specifics, just that it be a "government issued photo ID." Well, the concealed carry permits are, technically, a "government issued photo ID" as they are issued by a state government. The TSA folk don't have a choice but to accept them as identification. But it sure does make them squirm!
  • by Architect_sasyr ( 938685 ) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:38PM (#23719549)
    QG I get what your saying man, but think the rest of the people have missed it. Feel free to correct me if I get it wrong but here's my take:

    There are no terrorists, there is only the illusion of terrorism. I walk through airport security and get bomb checked all the time to no avail. I've walked through with a substantial amount of dinitrotoluene in my pockets before and never been stopped. Much like the illusion of terrorism, bomb checking is just one more avenue to provide us with the illusion of safety.

    I'm not about to dispute the bali bombings or the 9/11 attacks, ignoring something like that is a measure of insanity my mind hasn't yet stepped down to, but what I will dispute is that they could have been stopped with better measures of security.

    So they took guns and knives onto the plane, so what? What's to stop me from taking a stake and a slingshot? What's to stop a ninja (hilarity not intended) from breaking someone's arm and threatening to do it again, or even breaking into the cock pit and doing the same? Nothing. The illusion of safety is what people want and that is what they get. I'd be surprised if many people outside the geek community (let's face it we tend to see the larger ramifications of things) will actually complain about more than the inconvenience of this when they're going through the airport. Sheeple were named for a reason - when one of them is afraid they all are.

    *puts on tinfoil hat*
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:42PM (#23719603) Journal
    I did, several times.

    The following excuses work fine:

    1. I lost my license.
    2. I was in a hurry and left my wallet at home, including my ID.
    3. My DL was suspended and the State confiscated it.
    4. I live in the middle of a big city (Chicago, NY, LA, etc.), have never owned a car and never had need for a license or ID. I use public transportation or walk. (Follow up to "Why are you flying?" is "I'm attending a funeral.")

    Be careful with #3 and #4. With #3, it should probably be true as a pissy TSA officer can probably verify that. With #4, you need to be able to think quick. For example... "My bank account? I've lived in the same city for 30 years. I was born there and everyone knows me. The bank manager just signed off on my identification, since he went to high school with my dad and has known me since I was born." ["Personally known" *is* an option for verifying identity on opening a bank account or having something notarized.]
  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:42PM (#23719609) Homepage Journal
    Pulling you over to see if you have your *operating permit* (not your ID, which is another matter even tho they've become functionally identical) -- yeah, they can. But as someone else corrected me, this is like requiring ID *before* you can be a PASSENGER in a vehicle, regardless of whether the pilot/driver has am operator's license or not (as distinguished from an ID).

    Sucks regardless. What's next, Komrade -- ID papers required just to set foot on the public sidewalk? Because after all, you COULD be carrying a bomb!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:48PM (#23719687)
    So posting anon for this one.

    So after I finally get cause to fire a Creepy Bastard -- homeschooled, no surprise -- it comes to pass that I find out we weren't the first place he'd gone looking for a job.

    Y'see, he'd applied for a job as a prison guard, and when the interviewer asked if he'd ever had sexual contact with a minor, he... said yes, and then tried to laugh it off.

    I'm given to understand that he was a Scoutmaster. A young one, but a Scoutmaster, and the boy he'd slept with was... well. It took them all the time he was working for us for them to work out that he wasn't joking, investigate, and indict him. His mom got him out on bail, and that was the last I ever heard of the story.

    To be fair, the scout was -- if I recall -- 17. So as far as I'm concerned, if the guy wasn't so creepy I wouldn't actually be squicked about it. But it was all because the guy answered one of those boilerplate questions affirmatively.

    I'll bet he wishes he hadn't done that.
  • Re:When is enough? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by freedom_india ( 780002 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2008 @12:39AM (#23720193) Homepage Journal
    We won't, because we are too busy fearing for our jobs, gas prices, and other basic necessities.
    Maslow's hierarchy (is the name correct?) states that people go for self-actualization only if their basic needs of safety, acceptance, income, are met.
    We are pushed to the bottom of the pyramid: fear of losing our jobs, worry about Gas, income and inflation, etc., So we have been crudely pushed down the hierarchy so that self-actualization never comes to us.
    20 years ago we were almost self-actualized. Call me a conspiracy-nut, but i think the corporates realizing the danger in losing their power forced us down, and now a complicit government led by an idiot with a single-digit IQ has made it complete.
  • doesn't the constitution grant free passage between states? I think this is pushing a bit far. We all know the TSA is nothing more than those same minimum wage flunkies as before, now with a shirt and four times the power.
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Tuesday June 10, 2008 @01:00AM (#23720339) Homepage Journal
    And that, my friend, is why I say there are no terrorists. I feel justified in classifying terrorists as 'guys who want to get onto planes with weapons to hijack them and crash them into buildings' because that's what the TSA and most of America classifies them as.

    But hey, if ya wanna talk about terrorists trying to make nuclear bombs and smuggle them into NYC in a backpack, I'll happily state my opinion that there's none of them either.

  • by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2008 @02:05AM (#23720771)

    If I were to march into a crowded lobby tomorrow morning and spontaneously open fire on random civilians, I'd be a terrorist.
    You believe that don't you?

    This is why the US is fucked up.
    I don't think spree killers are terrorists since they don't have any identifiable political aims. But the difference between Islamist terrorists and apolitical spree killers is much less than between say the IRA and spree killers.

    The guys that attacked Glasgow airport didn't do much more preparation than typical spree killers. They didn't make any political demands, have any identifiable target or expect to survive the attack. They were medical doctors too, so you'd expect them to a bit smarter than this. []

    Someone said "maybe we've entered an era where people on fire drive cars also on fire into crowded buidings and we all just accept that as normal".

    The IRA had a military command structure and essentially professional soldiers who expected to survive. The IRA also negotiated with the UK government and could order its soldiers to stop fighting. And they would obey. Islamists have no centralised command structure or negotiating position as far as I can tell. In any case, if your enemies don't have a command structure it's pointless to negotiate with them. You can see a hint of this with Israel and the Palestinians. You can talk all you want, make concessions all you like. But since the Palestinian politicians aren't in control of the terrorists it doesn't matter, because the terrorists won't stop attacking you regardless of how much you give the politicians.

    With Islamist terrorists it seems like a decentralised defense system composed of John Smeaton types is the best way to respond. []

    "If you see the law going down then you have to step up to the plate. I mean, at the end of the day, when the law falls, we fall."
  • by profplump ( 309017 ) <> on Tuesday June 10, 2008 @03:48AM (#23721379)
    Frankly I don't understand why they can demand credentials even *with* cause. I mean, it's expedient, but I don't see how the justice system falls apart if you can't immediately ascertain someone's name and birthdate. In the modern era adults regularly carry government-issued credentials with them. But that wasn't always the case, and things seemed to work out okay.

    Moreover I think it's absurd that your driver's license contains anything other than a number that can be used to tie your original test results to some sort of authentication system (we currently use a picture, there are better and more anonymous alternatives) and to tie driving-related court records to a specific licensee. In a traffic stop the cop needs to know that the person driving has been authorized to do so, and that the authorization has not been withdrawn. He does not need to know my name, birthdate, or any other identifying information.

    And after the traffic stop, even if I am citied, the government does not have a legitimate need to track any additional information in relation to my traffic violation. You should not be able to determine where I live, when I was born, what personal or real property I own, or lookup other non-traffic convictions simply by knowing my driver's license number. We've allowed this to happen because it's convenient for law enforcement, but that's a pretty weak defense against the potential (and demonstrable) abuse.

    It's not just drivers licensing either. if you're arrested for any reason, even if you are never charged and are released within minutes of being booked, the police will keep your fingerprints, DNA, and anything else they can get their hands on. They'll tie that information to your real and personal property registrations, your address, name, birthdate, drivers license, social security, and phone numbers. In some jurisdictions you can request that these records be destroyed, but it doesn't happen automatically. And in most jurisdictions you have no way to remove all this tracking information from law enforcement databases. There is simply no need for the government to keep those records; they are collected and stored simply as a convenience to law enforcement, to make prosecution more efficient. Not more just mind you -- I could tolerate some of the tracking if I believed it improved justice -- just more efficient.
  • by mpe ( 36238 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2008 @05:02AM (#23721895)
    And that, my friend, is why I say there are no terrorists. I feel justified in classifying terrorists as 'guys who want to get onto planes with weapons to hijack them and crash them into buildings' because that's what the TSA and most of America classifies them as.

    But you might be able to find people prepared to bomb abortion and shoot doctors. But there appears to be a great reluctance to call anti-abortionists (and "animal-rights" people) "terrorists". Even when that's what their behaviour says.
  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2008 @01:07PM (#23729377)
    Conservatives, for the most part, do not want the government to enter our lives.

    Then kick the religious right out of the "conservative" grouping they like to claim. They want the government to enter our lives. They want to prevent unions between some people (blacks and whites in the old days, then they gave up and moved to gays). They want to prevent consumption of alcohol (it was the religious that got sale of alcohol banned on Sundays in many places, laws still on the books today). They want to prevent reproductive choice. They want to legislate their morality in all sorts of ways, and they claim to be conservative. So start calling all the Religious Right liars from the rooftops, or you'll end up with a "conservative" group that does want the government to enter our lives.
  • by VJ42 ( 860241 ) * on Tuesday June 10, 2008 @01:57PM (#23730521)

    Only if anyone is claiming to have found the physical passports then you are correct.
    They were []:

    less than a week came another find, two blocks away from the twin towers, in the shape of Atta's passport. We had all seen the blizzard of paper rain down from the towers, but the idea that Atta's passport had escaped from that inferno unsinged would have tested the credulity of the staunchest supporter of the FBI's crackdown on terrorism.

Loose bits sink chips.