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U.S. to open files on air passengers

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
U.S. to open files on air passengers
Personal data, itinerary required
Clampdown called invasion of privacy


TIM HARPER
WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON—Canadians who board flights in the United States will be assigned a number and colour code based on their security risk under the next step in airline security which begins this summer.

The U.S. government is forging ahead with the controversial program over objections from airlines and civil libertarians, saying it is needed to track potential terrorists on domestic flights.

Under the new system, known as CAPPS2 (Computerized Assisted Passenger PreScreening Program), all passengers will be compelled to release their full names, home address, telephone number, date of birth and travel itinerary to airlines, who will then provide the data to American authorities.

Data will be compared with existing criminal and suspected terrorist databases and those who receive a "green" code will be allowed to board their flight. A "yellow" score will subject the passenger to further screening and a "red" alert will bar the traveller from boarding.

A spokesperson for Air Canada said the Canadian carrier is still awaiting clarification as to whether CAPPS2 includes foreign airlines.

But Mark Hatfield, a spokesperson for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, said the program would cover all passengers boarding flights in the United States, regardless of the airline's country of origin.

That means a Canadian vacationing in the United States would be subject to CAPPS2 on any flight taking off from a U.S. airport. That would include connecting flights.

Hatfield said the personal data would remain on file only for the duration of a visitor's stay in the country, then would be destroyed "almost instantaneously" upon departure.

U.S. authorities say the passenger's full name and date of birth are needed to avoid confusion involving those with similar or identical names on terrorist watch lists.

Privacy advocates are concerned the CAPPS2 system will access public records and commercial computer banks, such as shopping mailing lists, in a bid to verify that passengers are who they say they are, the Washington Post reported.

Airlines may be ordered to provide the information on their ticket holders. Frequent travellers who volunteer the information to government officials will receive speedy boarding priority under the plan.

When Washington sought to enlist airlines in a test of CAPPS2 last year, they balked. Delta Airlines, the first to co-operate, backed out when it was threatened with a passenger boycott.

Discount carrier JetBlue Airways was sued in several states by passengers after the airline admitted it had volunteered passenger information to the Pentagon as part of a military project to test aviation security.

Domestic U.S. airlines carried 612 million passengers in 2003, according to the Census Bureau. Hatfield said the current system sees about 15 per cent of them flagged as security risks. He says the new system will lower that number to 5 per cent.

Critics say the biggest failing in U.S. air security is the lack of a master list of suspected terrorists and the country is still using a plethora of lists held by various government departments.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge had pledged to have a list up and running by last May — now officials are giving no deadline for completion.

Privacy advocates are fighting the system.

"CAPPS 2 is nothing less than a Soviet-style system of internal border controls," said the U.S.-based privacy group dontspyon.us.com. "An incredible invasion of privacy, the system is un-American and unconstitutional, not that a pesky thing like the Bill of Rights has stopped the extremists down at Homeland Security."

Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union said the "incredibly invasive system" will collect information that will be used for purposes well beyond airline security.

CAPPS 2 comes on the heels of US-VISIT, a controversial program to track visitors who need visas to enter this country by fingerprinting and photographing them.

The Department of Homeland Security said 3,478 passengers were fingerprinted and photographed at Toronto's Pearson International Airport during the first week of US-VISIT.

They said only a small percentage of those travellers would have been Canadians carrying U.S. visas.

The Toronto numbers are small compared to major U.S. airports. Miami, for example, processed 47,065 visitors under the controversial plan in the first week since it began Jan. 5.

http://www.torontostar.com/NASApp/c...969&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154


Uh, I guess I won't be flying on any American airlines as of this summer.
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
Here's a breakdown of the colour coding system:

Code Green - Cleared to Fly
Code Amber - Background Check
Code Brown - Guantanamo
 

416

TRIBE Member
Man... what a time to be a programmer in the states. It seems that there's a new big huge cumbersome bloated system being pumped out by the government every month. The geeks down there must be hauling in the cash like it was pre Y2K scare days again.
 
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SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
Originally thought up by the CIA
Hatfield said the personal data would remain on file only for the duration of a visitor's stay in the country, then would be destroyed "almost instantaneously" upon departure.


Suuuuuurrrreee it will....
 

silver1

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: U.S. to open files on air passengers

Originally posted by SlipperyPete
Suuuuuurrrreee it will....
Ya. Just like young offenders records being whiped clean when they turn 18.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by man_slut
I get to go to the states next week. I'm so excited!:(
I was just there 3 or 4 months ago for a quick two day trip. The way back was pretty funny. They made me take my shoes and belt off... then they wanted me to walk around and put my hands up (to my side). It wouldn't have been a big deal, but I happen to wear pants that are too big for me... so I ended up walking around the little makeshift hallway thing like a cowboy, all bowlegged and shit, in an effort to keep my pants up. The security people even thought it was funny and finished my little ordeal up quickly so I could get my belt back.

Seriously though, it wasn't that bad at all. I actually found it to be less of a hassle then taking a charter type airline down to the carribean.
 

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by 416

Seriously though, it wasn't that bad at all. I actually found it to be less of a hassle then taking a charter type airline down to the carribean.
So if you consider taking your belt off and walking around all funny less of a hassle than going down to the carribean, what the hell do they do to you down there?
 
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416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vote Quimby
So if you consider taking your belt off and walking around all funny less of a hassle than going down to the carribean, what the hell do they do to you down there?
haha

I just mean that every time I fly on one of those junkassed airlines that go down there.... airtransat, canada 3000 (when it was still around) etc... there's always a problem with the plane.. so there's a delay... the fuckin lugage takes 3 hours to come out... they've gotta wait on the runway for an hour because they don't have a gate available... all that kinda shit.

Going to and from the states was easy peasy.... walk around like a cowboy... jump on the plane... land... get a cab.... home.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by 416
Man... what a time to be a programmer in the states. It seems that there's a new big huge cumbersome bloated system being pumped out by the government every month. The geeks down there must be hauling in the cash like it was pre Y2K scare days again.
*Waves at you from Texas*


...I got harassed at the border...because my last name is "Hassen", which is of Arabic descent. I was questioned for nearly half an hour.

...I refrained (oh god was it ever hard) from being snarky. :p
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
...I refrained (oh god was it ever hard) from being snarky. :p
See this is the part I'm worried about. I'm naturally snarky! It's in my jeans. Oh I know. I'll use that body language manual Boss Hog posted last week.:D
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
dude!

I'll make you an even trade for the coffee if you can pick me up one of these (or one with the same message).

 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
dude!

I'll make you an even trade for the coffee if you can pick me up one of these (or one with the same message).

I'll see what I can do. ;)
 

starr

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by gubydal
I hope this nips them in the but when people decide to take thier business and vacations elsewhere.
Me too.

I know I was planning to visit my Aunt in California this summer, but now I'm definitely not going. I don't feel like spending my tourist dollars in the States. It sucks because I have a lot of family there, but they love to come up here and visit us all the time - so it's not so bad.
 
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janiecakes

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Hal-9000
jainecakes has one those shirts.
i can't believe you can't spell my name properly, rian.

the shirt is fantastic except it's too big on me so i use it as a nightie for sleepovers.
 
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