Yeah, I’m going to get political again.
Remember this post over a month ago? After the Faisal Shahzad incident I warned that the TSA would soon be taking over the passenger watchlist.
Now this from the TSA blog:
Secure Flight started rolling out in 2009 and I’m happy to announce that TSA is now performing 100% of the watchlist matching for domestic flights. (Airlines used to conduct all of the passenger watchlist matching)
What is watchlist matching? It’s when a passenger is prescreened using their name, date of birth and gender (that should match the information on their approved official government ID) against government watchlists for domestic and international flights. Actual names on the list are identified by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center as being people who may pose a known or suspected threat to aviation.
Secure Flight will help prevent the misidentification of passengers who have names similar to actual people on the government watchlists and will allow more than 99% of travelers to print their boarding passes from home or kiosks and avoid undergoing additional screening because of a mismatch. Passengers who feel they have been misidentified should visit the DHS TRIP program Webpage to file a complaint…
I could rant and rave about the constitutional concerns I have over this news, but I’ll spare you.
But what’s to stop me buying a ticket under a false name, checking in online, easily manipulating the boarding pass with Adobe, using the manipulated boarding pass at a TSA security checkpoint, then using the "real" boarding pass to get on the flight?
Even simpler, what about just putting in the wrong DOB to avoid my name being flagged? There is essentially an honor-system when it comes to the accuracy of the personal information you provide when you book your ticket.
Furthermore, any high-target "terrorist" suspects are not on the watchlist anyway, so as not to tip them off that the government is on to them.
Bottom line: secure watchlists are a joke. What shills we are for playing along.