Feeds

TSA seizes pre-flight terrorist screening

Good enough for government work

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will soon take control of screening airline passengers against the country's terrorist watch list in a much-delayed bid to net less infants, Senators, and other innocent travelers.

Department of Homeland Security officials today unveiled a revised program for pre-departure screening to begin early 2009.

Dubbed the Secure Flight Final Rule, the DHS will transfer screening responsibilities from individual airlines to in-house government work. Secure Flight will also require airlines to collect a passenger's full name, date of birth, and gender when making an airline reservation, as opposed to the previous policy of comparing only a passenger's name against the government's terrorist watch list.

"Secure Flight is a critical tool that will further improve aviation security and fix the major customer service issue of watch list misidentifications, a frustratingly common occurrence for travelers under the existing airline-based system," said DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Among the current system's more notable bungles is barring Senator Ted Kennedy, toddlers, and US Federal Air Marshals whose names resemble those on the watch list the airline was using. Airlines often don't keep their lists up-to-date, and the management of the government's list itself has also been under fire.

The government claims it will keep the information it collects private. But apparently the move will also keep civilian eyes away from the list itself too.

"Secure Flight will improve security by maintaining the confidentiality of the government's watch list information while fully protecting passengers' privacy and civil liberties," said TSA Administrator Kip Hawley. "Ensuring privacy has been a cornerstone of this program and TSA has developed a comprehensive privacy plan to incorporate privacy laws and practices into all areas of Secure Flight."

TSA said it will retrieve information on each passenger, scan against the list, then send the results back to airlines. Data retention for "the vast majority" of individuals will be kept no more than seven days.

The program will roll out in two phases. TSA will initially take control of watch list screening for domestic flights beginning early 2009. Towards the end of next year, the agency will assume control of watch list matching for international flights.

Full text for the Secure Flight Final Rule is available here by the TSA as a 195-page PDF. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.