Your Papers, Please (Part 2)

Via Bruce Schneier’s blog – the TSA has a new photo ID requirement:

Beginning Saturday, June 21, 2008 passengers that willfully refuse to provide identification at security checkpoint will be denied access to the secure area of airports. This change will apply exclusively to individuals that simply refuse to provide any identification or assist transportation security officers in ascertaining their identity.

This new procedure will not affect passengers that may have misplaced, lost or otherwise do not have ID but are cooperative with officers. Cooperative passengers without ID may be subjected to additional screening protocols, including enhanced physical screening, enhanced carry-on and/or checked baggage screening, interviews with behavior detection or law enforcement officers and other measures.

You used to be able to travel without showing ID – your “papers” – it was a hassle, but you could do it. Now you can forget about it – ID is required. Unless you say you forgot it, in which case you’re OK. Because someone trying to hijack a plane or blow one up would never lie about not having ID…

Repeat after me: Identification does not equal security. Say it again: Identification does NOT equal security.

We’ll keep this up until someone gets the hint. In the meantime, get out your papers, comrade… or else!

UPDATE: In case you forgot about it, here’s part one of “Papers, Please,” and a really good quote from the Slashdot article that started me on this rant:

“I remember in the 80s we used to make jokes about Soviet citizens being asked “show me your papers” and needing internal passports to travel in their own country. Now we need internal passports to travel in our country. How did this happen? The requirement to show ID for flying on commercial passenger flights started in 1996, in response to the crash of TWA Flight 800. This crash was very likely caused by a mechanical failure. How showing ID to board a plane prevents mechanical failures is left as an exercise to the reader. How mandatory ID even prevents terrorist attacks is also not clear to me; all the 9/11 hijackers had valid government-issued ID. I hope the courts don’t wimp out on this fight.”

It seems like maybe the courts have wimped out on this fight, which is not only sad, but terribly distressing.

By Keith Survell

Geek, professional programmer, amateur photographer, crazy rabbit guy, only slightly obsessed with cute things.