News and Opinion for Democrats Against Bush -- Part II
GAO Gives CAPPS II a Failing Grade
PT. II - HOME PAGE
PT. II - CONTENTS
BUSH and the MEDIA
CIVIL RIGHTS
-- Gay Rights
THE ECONOMY
-- The Real Deficit
---- Deficit Lies
-- International Debt
---- Children Will Pay
-- Tax Cut Con Game
---- Tax-Cut Lies
------ to Small Business
---- Phony Benefits
---- Hurting States
---- Why Accepted?
---- Cuts Will Backfire
-- Low-Tax Mania
-- Move toward Flat Tax
-- Corp. Tax Dodgers
-- Corporate Welfare
---- Halliburton
-- The SUV Boondoggle
-- Unemploym't Worse
------ Comp. Denied
---- Jobs Not Created
-- Widespread Poverty
-- False Recovery
-- Stock Market
EDUCATION
-- Texas Sch. Scandals
-- Broken Promises
-- Abandoned Youth
-- College Aid Cut
-- Aid to Rich Colleges
-- Textbooks Censored
-- Acad. Freedom Denied
ELECTRONIC VOTING -- --- A Crucial Issue
ENERGY
-- Monstrous Bill
---- Allows Blackouts
---- Bi-Part. Oppos'n
-- New Energy Bill
ENVIRONMENT
-- Bush's "Eco-Speak"
---- How to Tell Lies
-- Crimes v. Nature
---- Air Pollution
---- Global Warming
---- Ozone Depletion
---- Chemical Hazards
---- Loss of Wildlife
-- States Combat Bush
---- Power Plant Suits
-- Pension Funds, Too
LABOR ISSUES
-- Worker Safety
-- Real Jobless Stats
-- Overtime in Danger
--"Productivity"
PUBLIC HEALTH
-- Poor Ranking
-- Privatized Socialism
-- Health Insurance
---- The Uninsured
------ Middle Class
-- Cost of Drugs
-- Medicare
---- A Cynical Bill
---- Favoring HMOs
---- $$ to Drug Co.s
---- Bait and Switch
---- AARP Sells Out
---- Bullying to Win
---- Australian Critique
---- Some Good News
-- Chill on Research
TRANSPORTATION
-- Amtrak
-- Mars vs. Amtrak
WAR OF IDEAS
-- Use of Language
WAR on TERROR
--'Enemy Combatants'
-- Ultra-Secret Trials
-- Homeland Insecurity
---- Funds Miss Needs
WAR on CIVIL RIGHTS
-- FBI Prying Grows
---- Targeting Protests
------ & Anti-Bush Talk
-- Computer Privacy
-- Patriot Act
---- Excesses
------ Cure - SAFE Act
---- Dangers
---- Author's Fear
---- Librarians' Warning
--"Patriot Act II"
---- Death for Protest?
---- Sneak Enactments
-- CAPPS II
---- GAO Criticisms
---- EFF Concerns
-- Guantanamo
---- Conditions
---- Legal Status
---- UK Judge's Blast
-- Torture Condoned
---- Canadian's Ordeal
-- Yousef Yee
WAR on SCIENCE
-- Scientists Accuse
---- Admin. Can't Deny
WAR on WOMEN
-- Abortion Truths
-- Notorious Photo
WAR on WORKING FAMILIES

" TSA is at an increased risk of CAPPS II not providing the promised functionality, of its deployment being delayed, and of incurring increased costs throughout the system痴 development.
" TSA also has not completely addressed seven of the eight issues identified by the Congress as key areas of interest related to the development, operation, and public acceptance of CAPPS II. "        --General Accounting Office  
  
 
For the complete report (in .pdf form) click here-- 

United States General Accounting Office

February 2004:

Aviation Security:

Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System Faces Significant Implementation Challenges

Highlights of GAO-04-385, a report to congressional committees

Why GAO Did This Study:

The security of U.S. commercial aviation is a long-standing concern, and substantial efforts have been undertaken to strengthen it. One of these efforts is the development of a new Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II) to identify passengers requiring additional security attention. The development of CAPPS II has raised a number of issues, including whether individuals may be inappropriately targeted for additional screening, and whether data accessed by the system may compromise passengers・privacy. GAO was asked to determine --
 
(1) the development status and plans for CAPPS II;

(2) the status of CAPPS II in addressing key developmental, operational, and public acceptance issues; and
 
(3) other challenges that could impede the successful implementation of the system.

What GAO Found:

Key activities in the development of CAPPS II have been delayed, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has not yet completed important system planning activities. TSA is currently behind schedule in testing and developing initial increments of CAPPS II, due in large part to delays in obtaining needed passenger data for testing from air carriers because of privacy concerns. TSA also has not established a complete plan identifying specific system functionality that will be delivered, the schedule for delivery, and estimated costs. The establishment of such plans is critical to maintaining project focus and achieving intended results within budget. Without such plans, TSA is at an increased risk of CAPPS II not providing the promised functionality, of its deployment being delayed, and of incurring increased costs throughout the system痴 development.

TSA also has not completely addressed seven of the eight issues identified by the Congress as key areas of interest related to the development, operation, and public acceptance of CAPPS II. Although TSA is in various stages of progress on addressing each of these eight issues, as of January 1, 2004, only one葉he establishment of an internal oversight board to review the development of CAPPS II揺as been fully addressed. However, concerns exist regarding the timeliness of the board痴 future reviews. Other issues, including ensuring the accuracy of data used by CAPPS II, stress testing, preventing unauthorized access to the system, and resolving privacy concerns have not been completely addressed, due in part to the early stage of the system痴 development. The following table is a summary of TSA痴status in addressing the eight key issues.

[See PDF for image]

[End of table]

GAO identified three additional challenges TSA faces that may impede the success of CAPPS II. These challenges are developing the international cooperation needed to obtain passenger data, managing the possible expansion of the program痴 mission beyond its original purpose, and ensuring that identity theft擁n which an individual poses as and uses information of another individual幼annot be used to negate the security benefits of the system. GAO believes that these issues, if not resolved, pose major risks to the successful deployment and implementation of CAPPS II.

What GAO Recommends:

GAO is making recommendations to the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to develop project plans, including schedules and estimated costs, to guide CAPPS II development; establish a plan for completing critical security activities; create a risk mitigation strategy for system testing; establish policies governing program oversight; and develop a process by which passengers can get erroneous information corrected. DHS generally concurred with the report and its recommendations.

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-385.

__________________________________________________

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Key areas of concern not addressed--
 
[excerpted from full report]
 
 
As of January 1, 2004, TSA has not fully addressed seven of the eight CAPPS II issues identified by the Congress as key areas of interest, due in part to the early stage of the system's development. These issues relate to (1)the effective management and monitoring of the system's development and operation and (2) the public's acceptance of the system through the protection of passengers' privacy and enabling passengers to seek redress when errors occur.
 
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has addressed one of the eight issues by establishing an internal oversight board to review the development of major DHS systems, including CAPPS II.
 
DHS and TSA are taking steps to address the remaining seven issues, however, they have not yet:

* determined and verified the accuracy of the databases to be used by CAPPS II,
 
* stress tested and demonstrated the accuracy and effectiveness of all search tools to be used by CAPPS II,

* completed a security plan to reduce opportunities for abuse and protect the system from unauthorized access,

* adopted policies to establish effective oversight of the use and operation of the system,

* identified and addressed all privacy concerns, and:

* developed and documented a process under which passengers impacted by CAPPS II can appeal decisions and correct erroneous information.

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