More news on the airport insecurity front. Bruce Schneier was on the working group that reviewed the plans for the TSA database to match passengers with names on the Watch List and the No-Fly List. As usual Bruce asks questions they can’t answer without confirming they don’t have a clue about security. The basic questions are in the report and are repeated on his blog. Here is a taste:
The SFWG found that TSA has failed to answer certain key questions about Secure Flight: First and foremost, TSA has not articulated what the specific goals of Secure Flight are. Based on the limited test results presented to us, we cannot assess whether even the general goal of evaluating passengers for the risk they represent to aviation security is a realistic or feasible one or how TSA proposes to achieve it. We do not know how much or what kind of personal information the system will collect or how data from various sources will flow through the system.
Again, “TSA has not articulated what the specific goals of Secure Flight are.” That’s absurd. How many billions have we spent on airplane security since 9/11? However much it has been it was all wasted if they can’t answer that simple question. It’s time to reevaluate airplane security methods.
Bruce winds up with the story of a commercial pilot that was put on the no fly list–which means he can’t work and he can’t find out why. He summarizes with:
Remember what the no-fly list is. It’s a list of people who are so dangerous that they can’t be allowed to board an airplane under any circumstances, yet so innocent that they can’t be arrested — even under the provisions of the PATRIOT Act.