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US bars ID refuseniks from planes - but not ID losers

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The US Transportation Security Administration is to deny passengers who refuse to present identification access to airplanes - but will still permit entry to those who say their ID has been lost or misplaced.

The change represents a stark policy reversal and goes into effect on June 21. Until now, US citizens who objected to ID requirements were still permitted to board planes after submitting to additional screening. The TSA says the new policy is designed to increase safety.

In reality, the change seems to be aimed at quashing dissent. People like John Gilmore, Electronic Frontier Foundation founder and noted civil liberties gadfly, will be forced to submit to the will of US bureaucrats. Terrorists who want to board aircrafts, meanwhile, will remain unthwarted, so long as they remain docile and say they're unable to find their driver's license.

The change, which was reported earlier on the Slight Paranoia blog, is a good example of security theater. It is one of many absurdist policies enforced by the US Department of Homeland Security that does little to protect the country against terrorist threats. The US no-fly list has also been widely criticized for including hundreds of thousands of names of people too dangerous to fly but too innocuous to be charged with a crime. ®

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