October 27, 2006

TSA and Identification

by Sean Sirrine

PG notes in her post below that Chris Soghoian has created a fake boarding passs generator and she addresses the plausibility of actually getting through TSA security:

However, you'd still need to put your real name on the pass.

This is fundamentally untrue, although mostly unknown to most Americans.

Remember again, we are just talking about getting through the TSA security. As PG rightly notes you don't have to show any identification to get aboard the airplane. I'm going to quote myself from my other blog:


In January the 9th Circuit decided a case, (which is now on petition for cert. at the U.S. Supreme Court), Gilmore v. Gonzales. In this case the court said something very important about showing identification:

"As noted, we have reviewed in camera the materials submitted by the Government under seal, and we have determined that the TSA Security Directive is final within the meaning of § 46110(a). The Security Directive “imposes an obligation” by requiring airline passengers to present identification or be a “selectee,” and by requiring air- port security personnel to carry out the policy. The Security Directive also provides a “definitive statement” of TSA’s position by detailing the policy and the procedures by which it must be effectuated."

So, in fact you can easily get through the TSA security without any identification because the law says you can. You don't even need to create a fake boarding pass. (For those of you dubbious as to the veracity of this claim, I myself have gone through security without identification to test the law out without any problem whatsoever. Being a selectee means they blow air on you and swab your bag and in fact this line is always moving faster.)

So, in effect, the no-fly list is completely useless. Someone else can buy a ticket under their name and hand me their boarding pass. I can then get through security and board the plane without anyone ever checking my identification and violating no laws.

October 27, 2006 02:13 AM | TrackBack
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