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TSA Announces Pilot of Trusted Traveler Program 388

Bob the Super Hamste writes "CNN reports that the TSA has announced the pilot of their trusted traveler program. This is the program where an individual gives up additional information to the government and then gets expedited security. The pilot program will only be available to certain frequent fliers on Delta passengers flying out of Atlanta and Detroit, and to American Airlines passengers flying out of Miami and Dallas. Plans are in the work to expand this to other airports and other airlines as well."
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TSA Announces Pilot of Trusted Traveler Program

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  • Implying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 15, 2011 @12:54PM (#36776796)

    All other travelers presumed guilty.

  • Lovely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @12:54PM (#36776800) Homepage Journal

    This is a perfect solution that balances the public wish for appearance of freedom, with the government and corporate wish for the appearance of security.

  • Bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DanTheStone ( 1212500 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @12:55PM (#36776820)
    We all know how this will go. Fewer lines will be allocated to normal lines, pushing people to give up tons of personal information in order to return to the speeds they previously had (as everyone will want the faster lines), instead of the skyrocketing time of the normal lines. It's the carrot approach to getting people to give up all their rights and personal information.
  • by lordDallan ( 685707 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @12:56PM (#36776824)
    Until I am PROVEN GUILTY of not being one. I don't have to "opt in" for what should be my no-questions-asked constitutional rights.
  • by ThinkWeak ( 958195 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @12:57PM (#36776848)
    Step 1: Create new "elite program" requesting additional privacy invasion
    Step 2: Initially limit ability into "elite program" to create artificial demand
    Step 3: Make it more painful for those not in "elite program" to travel
    Step 4: Create new "platinum elite program" requesting even more privacy information
    Step n: All your base are belong to us

    In all seriousness, this is the slippery slope everyone talks about.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 15, 2011 @12:57PM (#36776854)

    Swallow first one poison in the name of security.
    Now we're offered more poison in the name of a cure from the effects of the first.

  • Re:Bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lust ( 14189 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @12:59PM (#36776874) Homepage

    And there is no guarantee the system will not be revoked in future - personal information cannot suddenly become private again.

  • Re:Lovely (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 15, 2011 @12:59PM (#36776876)

    And raises lots of money for the government too!

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:03PM (#36776916) Homepage

    Any terrorist with half a brain trying to plan an attack on an airplane now knows exactly how to do it: Forge an identity or recruit a new terrorist that can meet the Trusted Traveler requirements. Then use the Trusted Traveler identity to bypass the security that might catch your terrorist plot. Bruce Schneier writes a great deal about this: If you create an easier-than-standard path through security constraints, the bad guys, just like the good guys, will take the easier route, every single time.

  • Re:Lovely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gearsmithy ( 1869466 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:03PM (#36776928)
    Now that's what I call freedumb!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:05PM (#36776958)

    Except that there is no constitutional right to fly in an airplane. If you don't like their rules, don't fly.

    Argument over.

  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:08PM (#36777012) Homepage

    It's like watching all of the scariest bits of 1984 and Brave New World all coming together.

    A world in which citizens have no liberties, and think that's how it should be. The state controls everything and tells you what to think. McCarthyism meets the Keystone Kops.

    If the Americans are voluntarily giving up all of their liberties for this farce of security ... then the rest of the world us screwed. Because governments which have slightly less compunction about running roughshod over their citizens will be quite willing to do this as well ... in fact, they'll be required to in order to allow a flight into the US. Give it time, and the US will require these like the other heightened security measures.

    So, the great bastion of personal liberties is essentially leading the charge to stripping them away from themselves and dragging everybody else along with them. All in the name of protecting those very liberties they're giving up.

    I grieve for what America used to stand for. I also grieve for how it bodes for the rest of us.

  • by NevarMore ( 248971 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:09PM (#36777028) Homepage Journal

    I still think the TSA should be abolished and that no one should be subject to screening before any form of travel by the government.

    Will this system be separate or does it allow for equivalences? I have friends in security with actual government clearances and deep background checks. I have a concealed carry permit which subjects me to a mild background check and regular automated checks for arrests, convictions, restraining orders, and other such naughty behaviours.

    Of course lets not forget that I shouldn't have to dork around with any of this anyway. If I buy a ticket I should be allowed on the damn plane without a metal detector and without a screening unless that is part of the terms of the sale.

  • Re:Implying (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:17PM (#36777152) Homepage Journal
    Have you flown anytime in the previous decade? That assumption has been there for a long time already.
  • Re:Lovely (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Macrat ( 638047 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:20PM (#36777220)

    This is a perfect solution that balances the public wish for appearance of freedom

    Only for the rich.

  • Re:Lovely (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:22PM (#36777266)

    Nay, for the rich, or for those willing to give up every piece of privacy they have.

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:24PM (#36777286)
    The slippery slope was a looooong ways back. Like maybe RICO or the "war" on drugs. After 9/11, Bush and Ashcroft cheerfully pushed us off the cliff into this ever-expanding police state.
  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:27PM (#36777346)
    The Founding Fathers would be horrified by that logic. They would agree that regulations on the airlines fall under the power of Congress, but they would object to the government extending those regulations to the passengers. There are a lot of things that have been justified under the Commerce Clause that those who wrote the clause said were outside of the authority granted to the federal government.
  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:28PM (#36777360) Homepage
    No, any terrorist with half a brain knows to bypass the passenger cabin completely. You know all of those people that service the plane? That have access to all manner of hidden spaces in the plane and the airport? Those people who are given a cursory background check and even more cursory supervision.

    The next terrorist attack will not the the same as the last terrorist attack.
  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:28PM (#36777372) Homepage

    Except that there is no constitutional right to fly in an airplane. If you don't like their rules, don't fly.

    Argument over.

    So...anything not in the constution is fair game for Goverment to trample all over?

    You know why "amendments" were added to the constution? Because the government tried stuff like this before. The difference is that the people back then had balls and stood up to the government. Today the country is full of sheeple like you.

  • Divide and conquer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:30PM (#36777390) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, it's a little bit of "divide and conquer" in the works here. 10, 15, perhaps 20% of air travelers get this "trusted" status. The rest of the herd has to tolerate the indignities, and obviously they deserve it. If they were "trustworthy", after all, they would be like "us", cutting in at the head of the line.

    So, with a special class of elites to show off, the TSA will get away with yet greater indignities imposed on the unwashed masses.

    Didn't Orwell work this same thing into his story?

  • by limaxray ( 1292094 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:31PM (#36777402)
    So we should all just walk then? That doesn't seem very conducive to our right to freely travel.

    This logic doesn't fly (pardon the pun) with other rights; how is it at all acceptable that we should be expected to waive one set of rights to reasonably realize another?

    Oh, and I take it you don't understand that rights don't come from the US Constitution - you are born with them and the US Constitution is designed to put limits on the government to prevent it from violating those rights. It is not an exclusive list of rights. At least, it wasn't supposed to be before we started pissing on it in the name of safety.
  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:45PM (#36777634)
    You are absolutely correct. This is simply more government blackmail in disguise.

    This system would establish a new class of people who are allowed to travel without question while most of the people are left to undergo "screening".

    The system, even as ideally envisioned, is a breeding ground for abuse, because people who give even decently manufactured information to the TSA will get privileged access. Just like RFID passports, it gives the illusion of more security while actually reducing real security, because intelligent criminals will then be trusted without question.

    The TSA needs to be abolished, not allowed to create discriminatory, security-harming policies.
  • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:46PM (#36777644)

    There are enough people gathered in a tight wad at airport security lines these days to present a far tastier target for terrorist attack than the planes themselves. Imagine a wheelie-suitcase full of explosive (with whatever precautions would be necessary to evade the bomb-sniffing dogs outside the airport -- I'm sure with an appropriate program of multiple layers of airtight seals and thorough chemical washing this could be done) and shrapnel set off in the middle of a security line; you'd probably kill at least a hundred people and close down the airport for a long time, causing millions of dollars in economic damage. Set it off close to the front and you stand a good chance of ruining a lot of expensive x-ray equipment in addition.

    Why go after the hard target when there are much easier fish to catch?

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:58PM (#36777840) Homepage Journal


    You realise that, from a purely statistical perspective, airline terrorism is non-existent.

    If risk mitigation were an aim, why create the giant, soft-target of a couple thousands - bottled up in airport queuing areas?when they can

    Governments feel secure completely control behaviour. Corporations feel secure, when they have governments captive.

    All of them advance their agenda, without the slightest real concern for your individual or collective "safety".

  • by slick7 ( 1703596 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @01:58PM (#36777842)

    Didn't Orwell work this same thing into his story?

    Trust in a government that doesn't trust its own people? Trust in a government that has so many secrets that it can't trust its own people to keep them. Trust in a government that gives more money to its enemies than it does to its own people. Hmmmm....Let me get back to you on that.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @02:08PM (#36778002)
    The theory is that they can convince people to stop exercising their rights by groping them or hitting them with a backscatter machine if they choose to exercise their rights. That was the purpose of the security theater all along: to wear people down and make them weary of trying to defend their rights against the government onslaught.
  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @02:33PM (#36778322) Homepage

    I'm guessing the only reason they don't is....there aren't any terrorists.

    (Also the reason they aren't blowing up airport scanner queues, shopping malls, trains, buses, sports stadiums, museums, Hooters bars, etc., etc., etc)

  • by gangien ( 151940 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @02:51PM (#36778620) Homepage

    Funny, but this is not capitalism.

  • Re:Implying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BagOBones ( 574735 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @02:52PM (#36778638)

    None of the current tech really addressed the inability of the TSA preventing people from taking box cutters on plains as illustrated by things like this http://www.blackmediascoop.com/2011/06/17/chef-gets-by-tsa-onto-a-plane-with-4-knives-in-bag/ [blackmediascoop.com] .

    Since 2001 the door to the cockpit has been improved and the procedures for the pilots... Nothing on the ground has really fixed the issue.

  • by jeko ( 179919 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @04:45PM (#36779908)

    TSA/DHS annual budget: 43.1 billion.

    NASA annual budget: 17.3 Billion.

    We'd rather molest the children than secure their future.

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