Federal Approval To Travel WITHIN The US Soon?
Daily Kos Friday September 21, 2007
Buried in the September 5 issue of the Federal Register, was a notice that this Thursday, September 20, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) will hold public hearings on their ¨Secure Flight Plan.¨
Come with me into a nightmare world where American citizens will have to obtain permission from the government before they can travel by air in the U.S.
Your government (meaning the Department of Homeland Security) is up to no good.
Beginning in February 2008, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will implement their ¨Advance Passenger Information System (APIS),¨ the gist of which is that you will need permission from the United States Government to travel on any air or sea vessel that goes to, from or through the U.S. The travel companies will not be able to issue a boarding pass until you are cleared by DHS. This applies to ALL passengers, US citizens and visitors alike. And how do you get said permission to travel? That´s for your government to know and you to never find out.
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Now TSA proposes to do for domestic travel what APIS will do for international routes. That´s what I said: the new TSA rule would require that you obtain PERMISSION to travel within the U.S.
Here is the summary of their proposed rules, which seem so reasonable, couched as they are in the blandness of governmenteez [emphasis added].
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assume from aircraft operators the function of conducting pre-flight comparisons of airline passenger information to Federal Government watch lists for international and domestic flights.
This rule proposes to allow TSA to ... receive passenger and certain non-traveler information, conduct watch list matching ... and transmit boarding pass printing instructions back to aircraft operators.
TSA would do so in a consistent and accurate manner while minimizing false matches and protecting privacy information.
Right. And I have a bridge in Brooklyn...
We propose that, when the Secure Flight rule becomes final, aircraft operators would submit passenger information to DHS through a single DHS portal for both the Secure Flight and APIS programs. This would [result] in one DHS system responsible for watch list matching for all aviation passengers.
Don´t you feel great knowing that your government will use economies of scale to protect you?
Edward Hasbrough states that these rules are more insidious than merely complying to demands for ¨Your papers please.¨ He states,
The proposal ... require[s] 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 [certain passengers] will be given to the airline in secret, ... travellers will have no way to verify whether ... demands for ID are actually based on government orders.
Think about that: you will not be allowed to verify if the person demanding your papers is actually authorized to do so. In addition, the airlines or their contractors (or sub or even sub sub contractors) have the right, under the proposed rules, to do anything they like with your personal information including:
keep copies of your passport ... as long as they like, use it, publish it, broadcast it, sell it, rent it, or pass it on to whomever they please.... [T]hey would have no obligation to get your permission for any of this.
Aside from the privacy issue, this is the DHS. Their past performance is an indication of future returns and we can look forward to true travel nightmares beginning February 19, 2008. Just think about the mess that occurred when CBP demanded that travelers to Canada and Mexico have a passport. Multiply that by orders of magnitude to imagine what travelers will be facing.
If you can, please attend the TSA hearings on Thursday (Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H Street, N.W. beginning at 8:00am). If you can´t attend in person, you have until October 22, 2007 to submit written comments through the Docket Management System. The docket number is TSA-2007-28572.
The Identity Project at Papers Please is working to prevent your government from robbing you of your right to privacy in your movements.
Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.Posts: 2963 | Registered: Aug 2005
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Collecting of Details on Travelers Documented U.S. Effort More Extensive Than Previously Known
By Ellen Nakashima Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, September 22, 2007; A01
The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.
The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as long as 15 years, as part of the Department of Homeland Security's effort to assess the security threat posed by all travelers entering the country. Officials say the records, which are analyzed by the department's Automated Targeting System, help border officials distinguish potential terrorists from innocent people entering the country.
But new details about the information being retained suggest that the government is monitoring the personal habits of travelers more closely than it has previously acknowledged. The details were learned when a group of activists requested copies of official records on their own travel. Those records included a description of a book on marijuana that one of them carried and small flashlights bearing the symbol of a marijuana leaf.
The Automated Targeting System has been used to screen passengers since the mid-1990s, but the collection of data for it has been greatly expanded and automated since 2002, according to former DHS officials.
Officials yesterday defended the retention of highly personal data on travelers not involved in or linked to any violations of the law. But civil liberties advocates have alleged that the type of information preserved by the department raises alarms about the government's ability to intrude into the lives of ordinary people. The millions of travelers whose records are kept by the government are generally unaware of what their records say, and the government has not created an effective mechanism for reviewing the data and correcting any errors, activists said.
The activists alleged that the data collection effort, as carried out now, violates the Privacy Act, which bars the gathering of data related to Americans' exercise of their First Amendment rights, such as their choice of reading material or persons with whom to associate. They also expressed concern that such personal data could one day be used to impede their right to travel.
"The federal government is trying to build a surveillance society," said John Gilmore, a civil liberties activist in San Francisco whose records were requested by the Identity Project, an ad-hoc group of privacy advocates in California and Alaska. The government, he said, "may be doing it with the best or worst of intentions. . . . But the job of building a surveillance database and populating it with information about us is happening largely without our awareness and without our consent."
Gilmore's file, which he provided to The Washington Post, included a note from a Customs and Border Patrol officer that he carried the marijuana-related book "Drugs and Your Rights." "My first reaction was I kind of expected it," Gilmore said. "My second reaction was, that's illegal."
DHS officials said this week that the government is not interested in passengers' reading habits, that the program is transparent, and that it affords redress for travelers who are inappropriately stymied. "I flatly reject the premise that the department is interested in what travelers are reading," DHS spokesman Russ Knocke said. "We are completely uninterested in the latest Tom Clancy novel that the traveler may be reading."
But, Knocke said, "if there is some indication based upon the behavior or an item in the traveler's possession that leads the inspection officer to conclude there could be a possible violation of the law, it is the front-line officer's duty to further scrutinize the traveler." Once that happens, Knocke said, "it is not uncommon for the officer to document interactions with a traveler that merited additional scrutiny."
He said that he is not familiar with the file that mentions Gilmore's book about drug rights, but that generally "front-line officers have a duty to enforce all laws within our authority, for example, the counter-narcotics mission." Officers making a decision to admit someone at a port of entry have a duty to apply extra scrutiny if there is some indication of a violation of the law, he said.
The retention of information about Gilmore's book was first disclosed this week in Wired News. Details of how the ATS works were disclosed in a Federal Register notice last November. Although the screening has been in effect for more than a decade, data for the system in recent years have been collected by the government from more border points, and also provided by airlines -- under U.S. government mandates -- through direct electronic links that did not previously exist.
The DHS database generally includes "passenger name record" (PNR) information, as well as notes taken during secondary screenings of travelers. PNR data -- often provided to airlines and other companies when reservations are made -- routinely include names, addresses and credit-card information, as well as telephone and e-mail contact details, itineraries, hotel and rental car reservations, and even the type of bed requested in a hotel.
The records the Identity Project obtained confirmed that the government is receiving data directly from commercial reservation systems, such as Galileo and Sabre, but also showed that the data, in some cases, are more detailed than the information to which the airlines have access.
Ann Harrison, the communications director for a technology firm in Silicon Valley who was among those who obtained their personal files and provided them to The Post, said she was taken aback to see that her dossier contained data on her race and on a European flight that did not begin or end in the United States or connect to a U.S.-bound flight.
"It was surprising that they were gathering so much information without my knowledge on my travel activities, and it was distressing to me that this information was being gathered in violation of the law," she said.
James P. Harrison, director of the Identity Project and Ann Harrison's brother, obtained government records that contained another sister's phone number in Tokyo as an emergency contact. "So my sister's phone number ends up being in a government database," he said. "This is a lot more than just saying who you are, your date of birth."
Edward Hasbrouck, a civil liberties activist who was a travel agent for more than 15 years, said that his file contained coding that reflected his plan to fly with another individual. In fact, Hasbrouck wound up not flying with that person, but the record, which can be linked to the other passenger's name, remained in the system. "The Automated Targeting System," Hasbrouck alleged, "is the largest system of government dossiers of individual Americans' personal activities that the government has ever created."
He said that travel records are among the most potentially invasive of records because they can suggest links: They show who a traveler sat next to, where they stayed, when they left. "It's that lifetime log of everywhere you go that can be correlated with other people's movements that's most dangerous," he said. "If you sat next to someone once, that's a coincidence. If you sat next to them twice, that's a relationship."
Stewart Verdery, former first assistant secretary for policy and planning at DHS, said the data collected for ATS should be considered "an investigative tool, just the way we do with law enforcement, who take records of things for future purposes when they need to figure out where people came from, what they were carrying and who they are associated with. That type of information is extremely valuable when you're trying to thread together a plot or you're trying to clean up after an attack."
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in August 2006 said that "if we learned anything from Sept. 11, 2001, it is that we need to be better at connecting the dots of terrorist-related information. After Sept. 11, we used credit-card and telephone records to identify those linked with the hijackers. But wouldn't it be better to identify such connections before a hijacker boards a plane?" Chertoff said that comparing PNR data with intelligence on terrorists lets the government "identify unknown threats for additional screening" and helps avoid "inconvenient screening of low-risk travelers."
Knocke, the DHS spokesman, added that the program is not used to determine "guilt by association." He said the DHS has created a program called DHS Trip to provide redress for travelers who faced screening problems at ports of entry.
But DHS Trip does not allow a traveler to challenge an agency decision in court, said David Sobel, senior counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has sued the DHS over information concerning the policy underlying the ATS. Because the system is exempted from certain Privacy Act requirements, including the right to "contest the content of the record," a traveler has no ability to correct erroneous information, Sobel said.
Zakariya Reed, a Toledo firefighter, said in an interview that he has been detained at least seven times at the Michigan border since fall 2006. Twice, he said, he was questioned by border officials about "politically charged" opinion pieces he had published in his local newspaper. The essays were critical of U.S. policy in the Middle East, he said. Once, during a secondary interview, he said, "they had them printed out on the table in front of me."
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Just wait till the next "Terrorist" attack when a nuke is curried across state lines via automobile. Soon you won't be able to go to the corner store without excursion specific permission from a bogged down and nearly unresponsive federal agency. All to protect you. The legal system is all about precedent... and slight expansions. This bill is the first of many to come.
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You guys crack me up. Maybe you should chill just a weeeee bit. oh....by the way glassman....If you think Hillary Rotten Clinton will be President...LMFAO....I Have some swamp land in Arizona I will sell you.
Posts: 1178 | From: Mobile, AL | Registered: Aug 2005
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i don't want her to be, but it's gonna be hard to beat her the way Bush has alienated everybody in the GOP that isn't hard line right wing...
Bush: Hillary Clinton Will Be Democratic Nominee
Monday, September 24, 2007
President Bush is predicting that Hillary Clinton will win the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, according to a new book, 'Evangelical President,' set for release on Monday and written by FOX News contributor Bill Sammon.
"I believe our candidate can beat her but it's going to be a tough race," the president said.
Fred Thompson is doing a belly flop...
Rudy will have a hard time getting the Southern Baptists and Methodist to go to the polls....
On the Republican side, Bush has expressed surprise that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani remains the front-runner despite his liberal positions on social and cultural issue
IT is a chilling, dystopian account of what Britain will look like 10 years from now: a world in which Fortress Britain uses fleets of tiny spy-planes to watch its citizens, of Minority Report-style pre-emptive justice, of an underclass trapped in sink-estate ghettos under constant state surveillance, of worker drones forced to take on the lifestyle and values of the mega-corporation they work for, and of the super-rich hiding out in gated communities constantly monitored by cameras and private security guards.
This Orwellian vision of the future was compiled on the orders of the UK's information commissioner - the independent watchdog meant to guard against government and private companies invading the privacy of British citizens and exploiting the masses of information currently held on each and every one of us - by the Surveillance Studies Network, a group of academics.
On Friday, this study, entitled A Report on the Surveillance Society, was picked over by a select group of government mandarins, politicians, police officers and academics in Edinburgh. It is unequivocal in its findings, with its first sentence reading simply: "We live in a surveillance society." The information commissioner, Richard Thomas, endorses the report. He says: "Today, I fear that we are, in fact, waking up to a surveillance society that is already all around us."
The academics who compiled the study based their vision of the future not on wild hypotheses but on existing technology, statements made about the intentions of government and private companies and studies by other think tanks, regulators, professional bodies and academics.
The report authors say that they believe the key theme of the future will be "pervasive surveillance" aimed at tracking and controlling people and pre-empting behaviour. The authors also say that their glimpse of the future is "fairly conservative. The future spelled out in the report is nowhere near as dystopian and authoritarian as it could be."
Here's how 2017 might look...
BorderGuard The Jones family are returning to Britain from holiday in America. "It's hard to know the difference between the two countries by what the family experience at the border," say the Surveillance Report authors. Britain, America, all EU countries and all members of the G10 have outsourced their immigration and border control services to massive private companies. In this vignette, the futurologists give the company the name BorderGuard.
Thanks to the never-ending war on terror, these governments have developed "smart borders" using hidden surveillance technologies. Cameras and scanners at passport control monitor faces, irises and fingerprints checking them off against records of biometric passports, or the British ID card system. BorderGuard has access to state and transnational databases and can also data-mine information on individuals - such as consumer transactions - via a paid-for service provided by specialist companies trading in information held on every individual in the land.
For families like the Joneses, crossing borders is relatively swift and painless. The wealth of information held on them means they can be quickly identified and processed. But citizens of nations not signed up to the BorderGuard scheme face hostile and lengthy investigations while crossing frontiers.
Racial profiling is now the norm. Asian features inevitably mean being pulled to one side - whether or not you carry a biometric passport or ID card.
Brandscapes Retail chains and mega-malls now use huge shared databases - which began with data-mining reward card information - to create a "brandscape" for every shopper.
Smart tags buried in a shopper's clothing "talk" to scanners in shops. The system then connects to consumer databases, revealing where the clothing was bought and by whom and what other purchases the person has made. The system knows who you are, where you live, what you like and don't like. Intelligent billboards at eye level then immediately flash up adverts dove-tailed to the consumer profile of the individual.
The wealthiest consumer-citizen can even become a "cashless shopper". For £200, a chip can be implanted in the human body which is loaded with a person's bank and credit details. From then on, it's their arm that will be scanned in a shop, not their credit card. "Cashless shoppers" also get first-class service in mega-malls, with special lounges, spas and massage facilities reserved only for them. Urban myths, however, are springing up that muggers are targeting these elite consumers and cutting the chip from their arms. There are also concerns about hackers being able to upload viruses to the chip or empty the chipholder's account.
Tagged Kids Scandals about child abductions and murders during school hours mean teachers prefer tagging a child to facing legal liability for their injury in a court. Drug testing in schools has also become an accepted part of life following pressure by the government to identify problem children earlier and earlier in life. What children eat in schools is also monitored by parents, as boys and girls are required to swipe their school card every time they visit the canteen. The card contains information on school attendance, academic achievement, drug-test results, internet access and sporting activities. The card's records are used to assess whether the child has passed or failed their citizenship programme.
Shops are also monitoring children in order to tap into the lucrative youth market."Children," the report says, "are gradually becoming socialised into accepting body surveillance, location tracking and the remote monitoring of their dietary intake as normal."
Elites and Proles Most cities are divided between gated private communities, patrolled by corporate security firms (which keep insurance costs to a minimum) and high-crime former council estates. On most estates, private companies are tasked to deal with social evils.
Offenders have the option of having a chip voluntarily implanted in their arm so they can be monitored at home using scanners and sensors. Estates can be subject to "area-wide curfews", following outbursts of antisocial behaviour, which ban anyone under 18 from entering or leaving the estate from dusk until dawn.
Community wardens armed with Tasers enforce the law. CCTV cameras can be viewed by residents at home on their television's security channel.
In gated communities, meanwhile, no-one can get in or out unless their car's number plate is authorised by the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) devices located on gates. There are now so many ANPR cameras across the land that it's almost impossible to drive the length of a street without details of your car being logged by the state.
The aesthetics of surveillance Security has been "aestheticised" - incorporated into the design of architecture and infrastructure - so that it is almost unnoticeable now. "It is ubiquitous but it has disappeared," the report authors say. Anti-suicide-bomber bollards outside embassies and government buildings are secreted in the ground, only being activated in an emergency when passers-by breach the range of security sensors.
Anti-government protesters are monitored by small remote-control spy-planes, which were introduced for the 2012 London Olympics but remained a permanent fixture.
CCTV is now embedded at eye level in lamp-posts to enable the use of facial recognition technology.
Protest and virtual surveillance Following protests, individual demonstrators can be monitored by camera until private security contractors for the local authority in which the demo took place get a chance to question them. Helmet-mounted cameras scan the biometrics of anyone being questioned. All guards and police are also now monitored by surveillance devices in their handheld computers. Ironically, this has triggered civil liberties concerns within the police union.
The report uses two "protesters", Ben and Aaron, as an example of how police might treat dissenters. When they are taken into custody by private security guards in Westminster, Ben undergoes the usual DNA swab, which is analysed instantaneously, and hands over his ID card for scanning. ID cards are still theoretically voluntary, but not having one makes life almost impossible. Aaron is a refusenik and doesn't own a card. That means he can't apply for a government job or claim benefits or student loans. He can't travel by plane or even train. To make matters worse, Aaron is a young black man - meaning he is deemed a "high category suspect" and is routinely stopped and brought in to the nearest police station for questioning.
Once Ben is released, police monitoring systems piggy-back on his hand-held device to track him as he travels across the city. He's also been put on a communications watchlist which means all his internet and e-mail traffic is saved by his ISP and passed to police. As most phone calls are online now, police also get access to these communications as well.
Call centre drones Call centres monitor everything that staff do and surveillance information is used to recruit staff. Potential employees are subjected to biometric and psychometric testing, as well as lifestyle surveys. "Their lives outside work," the authors say, "and their background, are the subject of scrutiny. It is felt to be increasingly important that the lifestyle profile of the employee match those of the customers to ensure better customer service." Recruitment consultants now frequently discard any CV which does not contain volunteered health information.
Once hired, staff are subjected to sporadic biometric testing which point to potential health and psychological problems. Thanks to iris-scanning at a gym connected to the company, employees can be pulled up at annual assessments for not maintaining their health. Periodic psychometric testing also reveals if staff attitudes have changed and become incompatible with company values.
Big Brother is looking after you Homes in the ever-growing number of retirement villages are fitted with the "telecare" system, with motion detectors in every room, baths with inbuilt heart monitors, toilets which measure blood sugar levels and all rooms fitted with devices to detect fire, flood and gas leaks. Panic buttons are also installed in every room. Fridges have RFID scanners which tell the neighbourhood grocery store that pensioners are running short on provisions. The goods are then delivered direct to the doorstep.
Huge databases in hospitals are able to compare tests on patients throughout the country. This allows doctors to red-flag risk factors earlier than ever before, meaning that a patient's statistical risk of suffering, for example, a heart attack, are predicted with much greater accuracy. The NHS will be locked in a battle with insurance companies who want access to health information for commercial purposes. The temptation for the NHS is the large amounts of money on offer. The authors point out that Iceland sold its national DNA database to private companies for research and profit in 2004.
The data shadow Those rich enough can sign up to "personal information management services" (Pims) which monitor all the information that exists about an individual - a person's so-called "data shadow". The Pims system corrects incorrect information held by government or private companies.
Those who can't afford Pims have to live with the impact that incorrect data can have on their lives, such as faulty credit ratings. "Some are condemned to a purgatory of surveillance and an inability to access information," the report authors say.
But for other people total surveillance has become an accepted way of life. Some voluntarily carry out surveillance on their whole lives - so-called "life-logging" where an individual uploads online details in realtime about everything they do.
If you're not on the list, you're not getting on By Wendy M. Grossman → More by this author Published Friday 12th October 2007 13:18 GMT
Under new rules proposed by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) (pdf), all airline passengers would need advance permission before flying into, through, or over the United States regardless of citizenship or the airline's national origin.
Currently, the Advanced Passenger Information System, operated by the Customs and Border Patrol, requires airlines to forward a list of passenger information no later than 15 minutes before flights from the US take off (international flights bound for the US have until 15 minutes after take-off). Planes are diverted if a passenger on board is on the no-fly list.
The new rules mean this information must be submitted 72 hours before departure. Only those given clearance will get a boarding pass. The TSA estimates that 90 to 93 per cent of all travel reservations are final by then.
The proposed rules require the following information for each passenger: full name, sex, date of birth, and redress number (assigned to passengers who use the Travel Redress Inquiry Program because they have been mistakenly placed on the no-fly list), and known traveller number (once there is a programme in place for registering known travellers whose backgrounds have been checked). Non-travellers entering secure areas, such as parents escorting children, will also need clearance.
The TSA held a public hearing in Washington DC on 20 September, which heard comments from both privacy advocates and airline industry representatives from Qantas, the Regional Airline Association, IATA, and the American Society of Travel Agents. The privacy advocates came from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Identity Project. All were negative.
The proposals should be withdrawn entirely, argued Edward Hasbrouck, author of The Practical Nomad and the leading expert on travel data privacy. "Obscured by the euphemistic language of 'screening' is the fact that travellers would be required to get permission before they can travel."
Hasbrouck submitted that requiring clearance in order to travel violates the US First Amendment right of assembly, the central claim in John Gilmore's case against the US government over the requirement to show photo ID for domestic travel.
In addition, the TSA is required to study the impact of the proposals on small economic entities (such as sole traders). Finally, the TSA provides no way for individuals to tell whether their government-issued ID is actually required by law, opening the way for rampant identity theft.
ACLU's Barry Steinhardt quoted press reports of 500,000 to 750,000 people on the watch list (of which the no-fly list is a subset). "If there are that many terrorists in the US, we'd all be dead."
TSA representative Kip Hawley noted that the list has been carefully investigated and halved over the last year. "Half of grossly bloated is still bloated," Steinhardt replied.
The airline industry representatives' objections were largely logistical. They argued that the 60-day timeframe the TSA proposes to allow for implementation from the publication date of the final rules is much too short. They want a year to revamp many IT systems, especially, as the Qantas representative said, as no one will start until they're sure there will be no further changes.
In addition, many were concerned about the impact on new, convenient and cash-saving technologies, such as checking in at home, or storing a boarding pass in a PDA.
One additional point, also raised by Hasbrouck: the data the TSA requires will be collected by the airlines who presumably will keep it for their own purposes – a "government-coerced informational windfall", he called it.
The third parties who actually do much of the airline industry's data processing, the Global Distribution Systems and Computer Reservations Systems, were missing from the hearing. ®
Yep Pretty soon we'll need work visas. Updated and scheduled weekly. Family get togethers will be scheduled years in advance, and subject to rejection without notice at the discrimination of designated government security officials. We are only at the beginning.
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