Feeds

US, Australia may share SmartGates

Information sharing experience leads to possible e-passport access for both nations

High performance access to file storage

Years of experience sharing intelligence data about airline passengers has given the USAand Australia confidence to put the data to work as a queue-buster, after the nations announced they would explore expedited access to immigration services in their respective airports.

The potential new arrangements emerged in a speech by the US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, in Canberra last week.

In her speech, Napolitano said through “ .. a data-sharing pilot that began in 2006 between Australia, the U.S. and three other countries, we have also enabled better decision-making about who can enter our countries and receive immigration benefits, in the process thwarting “asylum shoppers” and other bad actors seeking to fraudulently obtain refuge in our countries.” She also praised the Passenger Name Record (PNR) data program as having helped to prevent thousands of “individuals with potential ties to terrorism” from entering the US.

The PNR program makes it compulsory for visitors to the USA to notify the nation 72 hours before they board a craft to visit its shores. Napolitano's speech emphasised the care the USA applies to the resulting mountain of data. She went on to state that the data hygiene practices her department have adopted are so benign and open that the travelling public can feel very confident about their personal security even when, as happens with the USA's Global Entry program, travellers offer up considerable amounts of personal data to gain access to an expedited and automated immigration process. That process is welcomed by frequent visitors to the USA, given the the hour-plus queues that are now common at many US airports mean Australians landing on the West Coast now face at least three hour transfer times for onward flights. Before 9/11 two hour transfers were common.

Napolitano went on to say that the US is now so confident in its “give us more data and we'll be nicer to you” regime that “One of the agreements I will sign during my visit here allows us to explore participation by our citizens in each other's expedited traveler programs so that as we take steps to protect our shared transportation networks, we will continue to facilitate travel between our countries, for Americans and Australians alike.”

Australia's expedited traveller scheme sees incoming flyers offered the chance to use a “Smart Gate” automated passport reader, which uses only chipped passports and conducts face recognition. Global Entry offers similar facilities and the exploration will likely aim at ensuring interoperability between the two systems.

Co-incidentally, Australia's government today announced 20 more SmartGates will be installed over the next two years, starting at Sydney and Melbourne airports. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.