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Privacy Security Transportation United States Your Rights Online

TSA Tests Automated ID Authentication 190

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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  • What a waste! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skipkent ( 1510 ) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:49PM (#39766523)

    One person did this, and it seems he was caught both times. Wouldn't that mean that the original practices were working? I guess any way to strip our rights and waste money is a good one. Did all of you know there is a clause allowing airports to opt out and use private security firms?? San Francisco, crazy isn't it, is one of the few airports that has used the option; and guess what, the passengers applaud the effort and can't believe how friendly and quick they are.

  • loopholes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. X ( 17716 ) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:52PM (#39766549)
    So it's taken the TSA over 10 years after 9/11 to attempt to close this loophole? Good work guys!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2012 @07:57PM (#39766563)

    There have been stories of people being denied ability to fly because their ticket didn't EXACTLY match their ID. I'm sure this will result in more of the same.
    (note to Westerners: in many many parts of the world, people have names with no exact relationship to how it is put on official documents... some people also have two birthdays (one is based on the moon, one is based on the calendar))

    Strict unbending rules are the bane of society.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:07PM (#39766615)

    You know, they could just *enforce the existing rules* instead of implementing new ones. Note the boarding was with an "invalid ID".

    And boxcutters were not allowed in carryon luggage planes on September 10th, 2001, either.


  • Waitaminute... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enry ( 630 ) <> on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:14PM (#39766641) Journal

    Weren't those called eyeballs on the first TSA person you run into? They wave the magic UV wand over your ID to make sure it's valid, then study the boarding pass, then the ID again, then look at you, scribble something on it, and then tell you to have a nice day.

  • NICE! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:14PM (#39766643) Homepage

    Apparently you can and will get groped or cavity-searched for no reason, or denied clearance because your baby is on the no-fly list, but they do let you fly with a fake ID and invalid boarding pass. That's very sensible.

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

    by zoloto ( 586738 ) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:22PM (#39766695)
    The TSA aren't needed at all. This is just a case of making sure those who get on the plane have paid.
  • ID is irrelevant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by island_earth ( 468577 ) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:37PM (#39766743)

    There doesn't seem to be any valid security reason to show ID at all before flying, much less proving that your ID and boarding pass match, any more than there is when you take a bus, ferry, subway, or train.

    If TSA (or whoever would be there if we abolished this waste of an organization) is doing its job, explosives should be stopped using existing technology (x-rays, random chemical swabs, not to mention, you know, looking for nervous behavior or the wrong answers to a few basic security questions which has always worked for El-Al), and any other weapons are limited in their usefulness now that cockpit doors are secured and passengers know that "shut up and behave" no longer results in a safe landing in Cuba.

    ID, matching or otherwise, doesn't matter. Most (all?) of the 9/11 hijackers had valid ID. The No-Fly list is a bloated joke. The only thing ID does is ensure that the airlines control the tickets more carefully.

    Made-up crisis averted by more expensive technology that lines the pockets of some lobbyist. Woot!

  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:42PM (#39766765) Journal
    Why stop at rape-gate? If they can confirm your name, address, and when you'll be back, they can visit your house and rape you again. Maybe steal some shit out of your house, not just your luggage.
  • Re:a first (Score:2, Insightful)

    by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:43PM (#39766777) Homepage Journal

    They'll never use automation, no sport in it.

    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
    Those who deny individual rights cannot
    claim to be defenders of minorities."
    - Ayn Rand

    First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  • Resources misspent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @08:52PM (#39766799)
    They waste a fortune on scanners that can't see a gun if you strap it to your side then they screw up on the basics. It's like laws, they insist they need new laws when they don't enforce the existing ones. They need to actually enforce the existing rules before they add more bureaucracy that simply adds more holes to exploit.
  • Re:What a waste! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2012 @10:29PM (#39767219)

    That being the case, you probably also remember this: the whole photo ID and only passengers allowed at the gate stuff started in (over) reaction to the TWA 800 terrorist incident.

    Oh, wait: later, the government decided it wasn't a terrorist incident. So if it wasn't a terrorist incident then what was the reactiion for and why wasn't it done away with?

    Well, of course it doesn't do crap to enhance security. It pacifies the infantile minds who equate violations of liberty with actually being safe, of course, but the real effect was to kill the secondary market for airline tickets and enhance corporate profits.

    Almost like somebody was waiting for an excuse to do that or something...kind of like the impossibly large Patriot Act which was allegedly written after 9/11 instead of sitting around waiting for a different excuse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2012 @10:49PM (#39767297)

    Welcome to the modern world. It might be popular in your village to sing a little song of grandure for a name, but it turns out that's not recognized as a name in international situations. And you know what? Get it sorted out with your own government -- the whole purpose of a passport is to make you internationally recognizable.

    If you're finding my post to "insensitive" to your cultural standpoint, please keep in mind that myself and billions of others come from ancestors with naming schemes that are unworkable today. We adapted to the Present. It's your turn.

  • by Nkwe ( 604125 ) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @10:49PM (#39767301)
    I don't get why it matters who I am. As long as I am not carrying anything that is dangerous to the plane and its passengers, what difference does it make?
  • Re:a first (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @11:45PM (#39767527) Journal

    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
    Those who deny individual rights cannot
    claim to be defenders of minorities."
    - Ayn Rand

    I believe this statement ignores the possibility that the individual may be discriminated against for traits they share with other individuals who, collectively, do not make up a plurality or simple majority of the population.

    That or it's a logically necessary starting point for Randian philosphy to work.
    I'm inclined to suspect it's the latter, since Randian philosophy is full of assumptions that don't quite match the reality of human behavior.

    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

    Didn't Rand hate unions and think Communists were evil?

  • by isilrion ( 814117 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @12:32AM (#39767701)

    That's an eye opening statement. Really. It is your opinion that all people from, let's say, Spain [] and Latin America should change their names to please you, because you are incapable of printing a document that reads [first name] [paternal last name] [maternal last name]. And that we all are from a "village to sing a little song of grandure for a name". That's beyond arrogant. And pretty stupid, too: it can be solved by just /not/ using a "lastname char(10)" field in the database (which is an amazingly dumb design).

    But the ridiculous suggestion of "changing my name" doesn't even address my point: that the GP stated that it was just as easy as writing the name as it appears in your ID. If all Latin Americans and Spaniards need to change their name, then you are conceding the point that it is not that simple (imho, it should be: the only reason why you can type something in your 'lastname' field, and get something else printed out in your boarding pass, is incompetence). Mind you, most Americans and Canadians I know, have a middle name. Given that the aforementioned airlines have gotten my first+middle name wrong (FIRSTNAMEMIDDLENAME or FIRSTNAMIDDL instead of "FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME"), I suspect that your suggestion of changing our names should probably apply to you as well.

    (Did I just fed a troll?)

  • Re:a first (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @12:35AM (#39767715) Homepage

    Don't forget: The system only costs 5 million dollars per gateway, per year.

    If we only put this much effort into curing heart disease, we'd probably save a life or two.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Monday April 23, 2012 @01:17AM (#39767877) Journal

    Terrorists don't have to bother getting on a plane anymore, and in fact they never did. The biggest, easiest target for mayhem is the crowd of people wrapped up in serpentine lines waiting to get to the obedience ritual machines.

    The money spend on the entire TSA is a total waste. Put a tenth of that into bribing informants the way that Hoover did to the KKK, and what's left of Al-Queda will disintegrate.


  • Re:a first (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @03:04AM (#39768187) Homepage

    sign of sensibility from TSA... the world will end in 2012

    Not really. There's no sign that he was a threat to the safety of the aircraft, he's just an asshole doing illegal stuff.

    The 'S' part of the TSA stands for 'safety'. They're not there to enforce laws.

  • Re:a first (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @03:14AM (#39768219) Homepage

    Ummm ... I always assumed a suicide bomber would have a valid ID and matching boarding pass. It's not difficult.

    This grand announcement is just another huge pile of TSA theater.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.