Monday, June 23, 2008

New ID Requirements: The First 48

UPDATE: We're aware of reports that someone was asked their political affiliation to verify their identity and it is being looked into. Here's a response given to us by Kip Hawley: "It's unequivocally not our policy to use political, religious, or other sensitive personal topics as identity validation. If it happened, it was wrong and will not be repeated."

We're 48 hours into the new procedure and things have been smooth so far. Approximately 650 people have shown up to security checkpoints without ID and a total of 20 people have not been allowed to fly. That is .0005 percent of the approximately four million people that flew this weekend.

Of the 650 people that showed up without ID, it's taking us an average of 10 minutes to verify their identity and get them on their way. We're able to do this so quickly because of the close coordination of our officers at airports and our 24/7 ops center.

Our critics say this has nothing to do with security and it only affects people that want to exercise their rights to anonymous air travel (which Gilmore v Gonzalez ruled on) and terrorists that aren't good liars.

What these folks aren't getting is that by requiring ID, you're closing that old loophole that allowed (up until Saturday) anyone, good or bad, to show up with any boarding pass (theirs or someone else's), say they lost their ID, get a pat-down and bag check and be on their way. Now, no self respecting terrorist is going to subject him or herself to all the additional attention the new procedures brings. This includes: the possibility of interviews with behavior detection officers, calls about them to our national counter-terrorism ops center, unpredictable physical and bag screening and the real possibility of a chat with a local or federal law enforcement officer. No, now we're funneling people with bad intentions towards our expert-trained document checkers and behavior experts. Could a bad person produce an excellent fake ID and get past document checkers... sure. We know that no single layer is invulnerable, but forcing terrorists into what we want as opposed to what they prefer is just good security.

We'll continue to update the stats here and continue to thank the 99.9995 percent of air travelers that work with us to quickly and easily establish their identity.

EoS Blog Team