|Christian Science Monitor|
|from the October 21, 2003 edition
Passenger tracking at airports on holdCarriers say system will violate privacy, without increasing safety significantly.
By Alexandra Marks | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
The complete article is currently (4/5/04) available
on the Monitor's website at-- http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/1021/p02s01-ussc.html [found through a Google search by article title on
the date above]
... The CAPPS II system ... will take four pieces of passenger information
- name, address, telephone number, and itinerary - and run them through government and private computer systems, to track
things like driver's licenses, credit, and other types of information stored in cyberspace. CAPPS II will then assign
each flyer a color - Green to go, Yellow for extra scrutiny, and Red for stop - you don't even get to buy a ticket.
Initially, the TSA said this information would be used only to track terrorists.
Later, it decided that it could also be used to ferret out any lawbreaker. That caused an uproar and TSA backed down. It's
now saying CAPPS II will track only terrorists and violent criminals with outstanding arrest warrants. ...
"The cruel irony here is that the people whom we're looking for, the
actual terrorists, will easily be able to evade the system by identity theft," [the ACLU's Barry Steinhardt] says.
"The four pieces of information required are easily obtained on the Internet on virtually every American for $35. Another
six or seven hundred dollars will get you a legitimate appearing ID on the black market." That's less than a thousand dollars,
not a lot of money for someone bent on blowing up a multi-million dollar airline, he notes....
www.csmonitor.com | Copyright © 2003
Friday, March 26, 2004, 12:00 A.M. Pacific
Travel Wise / Carol Pucci
It pays to
stay grounded when traveling by air
The complete article is currently (4/5/04)
available on the Seattle Times website at-- http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2001887739_pucci28.html
Color-coded by risk [CAPPS II]
... Testing of CAPPS II, the latest version of the Computer-Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System, won't
start this spring as planned, and it's doubtful the system will be in place by year's end.
A group of congressional members, the American Civil Liberties Union and others called for a halt to CAPPS II after an
investigation by the Government Accounting Office concluded that TSA has so far failed to come up with a plan that is technically
reliable and protects travelers' rights. ...
The GAO report found that the TSA had not satisfied seven of eight concerns raised by Congress about CAPPS II,
including how to ensure the accuracy of data, fix mistakes, prevent computer hacking or create an appeals process. ...
Congress has set aside $5 million for a TSA test of a "trusted-traveler" program that would allow business travelers and
other frequent fliers to move through security faster in exchange for volunteering personal information to the government.
A pilot program could begin in June and would likely last three months. TSA is not saying what information it might want.
One possibility is the use of biometric identification systems for fingerprints, facial and iris-recognition or some combination.
"The biggest misconception is that people won't have to go through the checkpoints," Marty said. "That's untrue."
Just how the program might save time is yet to be determined. Privacy advocates argue that it would create two classes of
travelers and would have no security benefits. ...