Comment period open on Secure Flight

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Sunny Goth, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I'm not sure where this thread belongs, so I'll put it here for now. Mike, feel free to move it to some place more appropriate...

    I know I've put a lot of Ed's post in my post, but I think it's important. Please go to his site and read the rest. The comment period is open -- it would be great if as many of us as possible could write in comments on this. Numbers matter. The comments don't have to be long -- even a few paragraphs is sufficient.

    Comments are due by December 19th. The Federal Register notice is long, but very illuminating on the subject of Secure Flight (none of it good).

    My link in the title is 'live', but I only cut and pasted the rest, so I'm not sure that those links are live - they are in his post.

    (much more at link)
    TSA updates its 'notice' of Secure Flight records

    The TSA published a revised System of Records Notice in the Federal Register on November 19th, updating its disclosures of what information about our “travel histories” it collects, retains, and uses through its Secure Flight program for airline passenger surveillance and control.
    The new notice is both better and worse than it might appear at first glance. The new “Secure Flight” SORN describes some disturbing TSA practices that were not explicitly disclosed in the previous “Secure Flight” SORN published in 2008.
    In particular, the new SORN discloses that if you are turned down or predetermined to be ineligible for the TSA’s “Pre-Check” or other “Registered Traveler” (a/k/a “Possibly Slightly Less Mistrusted Traveler”) programs, you can be placed on a new watchlist, as a result of which logs of your air travel will be retained by the TSA for 99 years. That’s especially problematic because applicants for the Pre-Check program aren’t told that being turned down could leave them worse off than if they had never applied, and subject to lifetime TSA air travel monitoring and itinerary logging.
    Bad as this is, however, it isn’t really a change in what data TSA claims the right to collect, or how long it claims the right to retain and use it. These practices were already covered under “catch-all” clauses of the prior SORN, which are retained in the revised SORN, and that actually purport to authorize a much wider range of even worse practices.
    Specifically, the “Secure Flight” SORN already disclosed that “Secure Flight” records might contain:
    Records obtained from the TSC [Terrorist Screening Center] of known or suspected terrorists in the TSDB [Terrorist Screening Database] and records regarding individuals identified on classified and unclassified governmental watch lists…​
    There’s no definition or limitation on the sources or purposes of these additional “watch lists”. But it’s clear from the description quoted above that these are watch lists other than those of suspected terrorists: lists of people who are to be watched, and whose air travel itineraries are to be logged for life, for (secret, unrestricted) reasons other than that they are suspected of terrorism.
    In other words, the “Secure Flight” program is already being used as a general-purpose surveillance dragnet, under which anyone any government agency wants to “watch”, for any reason, can be placed on a (secret) “watch list” that amounts to a lifetime, warrantless, and possibly suspicionless (secret) surveillance order.
  2. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    This is a common DHS tactic -- publish a notice right around the holidays when people don't have a lot of time to write comments.
    KrazyKat likes this.
  3. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    To those responsible for my rescinded job offer, after my travel-check was run, a gigantic middle claw lifted upwards.
    Thanks for posting the link to the comments, Sunny.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Travel check?
  5. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Which I'm calling a 'check'--obstensibly just the info for advanced/reimbursable travel--because it did not clear.
    Too many ways to have made it onto the 'jumbo list', not least of which is a terrifying interest in the freedom to travel.

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