Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Clear: What Gives?

First off, for those of you who aren’t familiar, Clear was one of the three Registered Traveler programs that allowed you to move to the front of the line after paying them a fee and providing some info for ID purposes. It was money that many road warriors will willing to spend to save some time.

Last week, Clear announced they were ceasing operations.

Clear was not a TSA program, but many are looking to TSA for answers. Here are some of the questions that keep popping up:

Can I still use my Clear card as ID at a TSA checkpoint?

Clear cards are no longer accepted as a primary form of ID.Are there any other Registered Traveler programs in operation right now?Yes. Two service providers remain in operation at this time. FLO Corporation and Vigilant Solutions.

What’s going to happen to the customer data that Clear collected? Is it secure?

Questions about how the data is managed should be directed to Clear.

Will there be another company that takes over the program in airports?

Good question. This is a market-driven, private sector venture offered in partnership with airports and airlines. Another vender could potentially enter the field.

Will Clear members be able to transfer memberships to other service providers?

That decision is between CLEAR, the other service provider, and the card holder.

After TSA’s pilot ended in July 2008, all RT service providers were obligated to follow data security standards to continue offering service. Service providers’ use of data, however, is regulated under its own privacy policy and by its relationship with its customers and sponsoring airport or airline. The information provided to TSA during the pilot will be destroyed as shown in the schedule on our web page.

***Update. This post was edited on 7/2/09 at 1300 to reflect additional information that was provided after it went live. ***

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Written by TSA:

Can I still use my Clear card as ID at a TSA checkpoint?

Clear cards are no longer accepted as a primary form of ID.



Yet another reason we should oppose demands for ID (i.e., "travel paprs") as a condition of travel.

A company goes out of business, and all of a sudden the ID someone may have been relying on to travel (perhaps they choose not to or cannot get a state DL) is invalid. And TSA just tells those people they are up a creek with no paddle.

What if the company that some state contracts its DLs out to goes out of business or is compromised? Will TSA arbitrarily decide that citizens of that state with no other ID no longer have the "privilege" :( of travel?

What about if an entire state's system is compromised? Or DHS/TSA just has a spat with a state, say because a state's governor stands up to unfunded and over-reaching mandates from the federal government?

Identity has nothing to do with security. TSA should stick to its statutory responsibility to screen passengers for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries instead of trying to compile blacklists and whitelists and dossiers on innocent US-citizen travelers.

BTW, any word on the Mark Sable case? Any decent justification for what business a TSO has *reading* the personal papers in one's possessions? How can ink on paper be construed to be a weapon, explosive, or incendiary in a country that supposedly respects free speech? This is the USA, not Iran. Think about it.

Andy said...

Bob,

1-What happens to the membership payment?
2-What happens to the bulky equipment sitting at airports?
3-What do you mean it is not a TSA program, I thought TSA ran the checkpoints not Clear?
4-Why did it take a week to post about Clear?
5-How do you contact Clear?

I hope that my questions do not go unanswered as typical

This appears to be a puppy post

Bob said...

Andy said…Bob,
1-What happens to the membership payment?
2-What happens to the bulky equipment sitting at airports?
3-What do you mean it is not a TSA program, I thought TSA ran the checkpoints not Clear?
4-Why did it take a week to post about Clear?
5-How do you contact Clear?
(Andy) 11:13 AM
-----------------------
1- See the Clear webpage.
2- I don’t know, but if I find out, I’ll post a comment.
3- Clear was set up in the public area of the checkpoint. They basically brought you to the front of the checkpoint line. Once your bags were placed on the x-ray belt, Clear’s service was over and TSA began the screening process. Not sure what you’re getting at…
4- I think Clear should talk about Clear since it’s not run by the TSA, but due to all of questions we were receiving, we decided to post.
5 – Clear has stated that their contact center and e-mail service have been closed and to continue visiting their webpage for news.

Bob

TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Your post could have essentially been written much more succinctly as "Don't ask us. Ask Clear". And I understand why that is, because they were a private entity that hooked into a TSA agreement. (BTW, are you _really_ denying Clear IDs with no notice because Clear stopped payments?)

However, as a PUBLIC law enforcement organization, you have a duty to ensure a smooth transition for users of your service, whether or not Clear is still around.

Please, give us just one _possible_ thing to latch on to that would show us that the TSA is more than a giant power-hungry government bureaucracy.

TSO Jacob said...

“Anonymous said…What if the company that some state contracts its DLs out to goes out of business or is compromised? Will TSA arbitrarily decide that citizens of that state with no other ID no longer have the "privilege" :( of travel? What about if an entire state's system is compromised? Or DHS/TSA just has a spat with a state, say because a state's governor stands up to unfunded and over-reaching mandates from the federal government?”

These kinds of hysterics do little to further the point you are attempting to make. We all have the ability to “what if” ourselves into a frenzy but that serves little purpose in furthering the discussion on very serious issue.

The point you were trying to make was identity has nothing to do with security. I agree. I am still waiting for HQ to tell me why we bother stopping known terrorists from getting on board an airplane. As we have seen from past attacks we aren’t going to know who is going to strike until they attack, that is why we screen everyone who wants to board an aircraft.

“Anonymous said… However, as a PUBLIC law enforcement organization, you have a duty to ensure a smooth transition for users of your service, whether or not Clear is still around.”

This was never a service provided by TSA. Clear is a private company that worked with the airport and establish themselves in a non-secured area. The services that they provided have ended. What do you think TSA should do about the failure of a private company?

Anonymous said...

TSO Jacob wrote:
These kinds of hysterics do little to further the point you are attempting to make.


Unfortunately the "hysterics" about which I wrote (citizens of a state being denied air travel by TSA because of a spat with the state government) are downright close to describing exactly where the Real ID situation was headed until DHS/TSA blinked last year.

Citizens of a number of states which refused to comply with Real ID (i.e, spat with DHS/TSA) who happened to lack passports or federal ID were last year a mere few weeks away from facing mandatory SSSSelectee SSSScreening and a month or two away from being denied travel outright by TSA's 6/08 "mandatory ID" policy (which still needs to be tested in court IMO).

Unfortunately hysterics are the only rational response to some of the absurdity propagated by TSA--secret blacklists with no means of redress, papers-please permission requests for domestic travel, virtual strip searches of many passengers and actual strip searches of a few (e.g., nipple-ring woman), theft of non-prohibited items (TSA confiscation of custom-made battery after clearing it, and then bragging about the confiscation), and banning an entire state of matter from carry-on for nearly 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Although Clear allowed some to pass checkpoints more quickly,
stupid idea behind Clear is that background check are based on the myth that we can somehow pick terrorists out of a crowd if we could identify everyone. Unfortunately, there isn’t any terrorist profile that prescreening can uncover. Timothy McVeigh could probably have gotten one of these cards. So could have Eric Rudolph, the pipe bomber at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. There isn’t even a good list of known terrorists to check people against; the government list used by the airlines has been the butt of jokes for years.

And have we forgotten how prevalent identity theft is these days? If you think having a criminal impersonating you to your bank is bad, wait until they start impersonating you to the Transportation Security Administration.

The truth is that whenever you create two paths through security -- a high-security path and a low-security path -- you have to assume that the bad guys will find a way to exploit the low-security path.

Thanks to: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/01/clear_registere.html

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the company that cleans bathrooms at airports won't go out of business. But then again, wouldn't they be replaced by another vendor? So why not replace Clear?

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "However, as a PUBLIC law enforcement organization, you have a duty to ensure a smooth transition for users of your service, whether or not Clear is still around."

1st, we should work with people that participated in the Clear program, we will assist them in any way we can, but the problem lies in the ID requirements. I understand the frustration when a company that provided a service of this nature goes under - not only is the card worth bubkes now, the front of the line trip is now non existent. We still have to follow the protocols we are given and we will still assist you at the checkpoint to the best of our abilities. 2nd, we are not law enforcement, we are security. HAH, beat you guys to it!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Andy said...
Bob,

1-What happens to the membership payment?
2-What happens to the bulky equipment sitting at airports?
3-What do you mean it is not a TSA program, I thought TSA ran the checkpoints not Clear?
4-Why did it take a week to post about Clear?
5-How do you contact Clear?

I hope that my questions do not go unanswered as typical

This appears to be a puppy post
___________________________________

Hey Andy,
Maybe you didn't notice in the post that Bob said that TSA has nothing to do with Clear. So you get on here asking all of these questions that have to do with something that TSA is not involved with and you have the nerve to write I hope these questions do not go unanswered. Now does that make sense Andy?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Bob,

Your post could have essentially been written much more succinctly as "Don't ask us. Ask Clear". And I understand why that is, because they were a private entity that hooked into a TSA agreement. (BTW, are you _really_ denying Clear IDs with no notice because Clear stopped payments?)

However, as a PUBLIC law enforcement organization, you have a duty to ensure a smooth transition for users of your service, whether or not Clear is still around.

Please, give us just one _possible_ thing to latch on to that would show us that the TSA is more than a giant power-hungry government bureaucracy.
___________________________________

Really are you 5? Begging for something that you were already told that you can not have.

they were a private entity that hooked into a TSA agreement.
______________________

What part of TSA was not part of any agreement with Clear did you not understand? The airlines set this up, why does everything have to be repeated over and over?

as a PUBLIC law enforcement organization, you have a duty to ensure a smooth transition for users of your service
__________________________

First off TSA is not a Law Enforcement organization. And thats all I am going to say about this statement because the whole thing does not make sense.

BTW, are you _really_ denying Clear IDs with no notice because Clear stopped payments?
___________________________________

I would ask do you want me to spell this out for you, but it was spelled out for you. The clear card will no longer be accepted. There is your notice.

Please, give us just one _possible_ thing to latch on to that would show us that the TSA is more than a giant power-hungry government bureaucracy.
___________________________________

Funny how a company that had nothing to do with TSA but you want TSA to continue their practices. And if we don't that means that they are a giant power-hungry government bureaucracy. That is a real intelligent statement!

Anonymous said...

"2-What happens to the bulky equipment sitting at airports?"

OO! OO! I can answer this one! It has been removed by Clear and is no longer in front of our checkpoint, at least at IAD's Diamond Lane. The Diamond Lane is still open for "expert" travelers.

TOS-Joe working @ IAD for the summer.

Anonymous said...

However, as a PUBLIC law enforcement organization, you have a duty to ensure a smooth transition for users of your service, whether or not Clear is still around.
***********************************

TSA is not a law enforcement organization, it is a regulatory agency and it is not TSA's service. Clear is a private company and it was offering a service to customers willing to pay a fee and undergo a background check.

Andy said...

Anonymous

The reason that I looked to the TSA for answers it that TSA allowed a private company in unstable condition to administer a RT program

Andy said...

Anonymous

I was at the Atlanta airport 2 days ago and all of the clear equipment was shoved up to a wall with a paper saying ""Clear is no longer available"

Anonymous said...

The reason that I looked to the TSA for answers it that TSA allowed a private company in unstable condition to administer a RT program
___________________________________

What do you mean? TSA did not allow anything. THE AIRLINES ALLOWED IT. THE AIRLINES ALLOWED IT. THE AIRLINES ALLOWED IT.

Anonymous said...

Unadultered curiosity: why is a Clear card any less valid as ID today than it was three weeks ago? Either it's my name and puss on the card, or it isn't. Clear's status would seem to be irrelevant. Same thing with an expired driver's license. I can't use it to drive. So what? Is it suddenly not me on there any more? Did the hologram evaporate? Seems like just another gratuitous annoyance...

Anonymous said...

So, basically what I gather is that "Clear" never really did help anyone do anything other than possibly get in a shorter line, since the screening process and Clear were mutually exclusive. Then I ask, what was the purpose of the background investigations and information collection they did?

(not necessarily a question directed at TSA, but rather the traveling public who freely gave up their personal data and were never really streamlined through security)

Anonymous said...

Unadultered curiosity: why is a Clear card any less valid as ID today than it was three weeks ago? Either it's my name and puss on the card, or it isn't. Clear's status would seem to be irrelevant. Same thing with an expired driver's license. I can't use it to drive. So what? Is it suddenly not me on there any more? Did the hologram evaporate? Seems like just another gratuitous annoyance...

July 1, 2009 5:33 PM

Because the rules state the ID must be "Valid."

TSO Jacob said...

Anonymous said… “Unfortunately hysterics are the only rational response to some of the absurdity propagated by TSA.”

Hysterics and “what if” games are never rational. These types of self-indulgent attacks will not make your point any clearer; you will only be turning off the very people who need to hear your concerns.

Anonymous said...

This is great. It looks like the freakin' US Congress is also unsatisfied with how the TSA is dealing with this situation. See further:

http://epic.org/dhs-committee_tsa-ltr.pdf

It's like we could have written that letter based on comments in this blog.

So, Bob, the TSA can stonewall our questions and the implication that the TSA should help protect this private data, but have fun producing answers for congress.

Anonymous said...

For those against having to show ID's to travel, I ask, how do you feel about counties where you have to have ID on you at all times???
In Clark County, NV, if you are stopped by a pollice officer and asked for your ID and you are not carrying, they may receive a citation. I'm sure Clark County is not the only place.
So what's the problem with showing it at an airport?

Anonymous said...

>> Because the rules state the ID must be "Valid."

Thanks for the circular answer, but that's precisely the point: a driver's license that expired yesterday looks almost exactly like one that expires tomorrow, For the purpose of identifying yourself, what possible difference does it make that it's been no good to drive with since yesterday? ("Because we said so" is not a rational response.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the circular answer, but that's precisely the point: a driver's license that expired yesterday looks almost exactly like one that expires tomorrow, For the purpose of identifying yourself, what possible difference does it make that it's been no good to drive with since yesterday? ("Because we said so" is not a rational response.)

July 1, 2009 8:16 PM

I'm not saying I can provide a rational response. I'm just saying that the front-line employee only has certain rules and guidelines to go by in order to keep their jobs. The rules state that "valid" ID must be provided. If the ID is expired, it is no longer "valid" ID. If you want the law changed, write your congressman.

termin8or13 said...

Come on Anonymous! "nipple ring incident"? "Strip searches"? The two couldn't be less connected. If you knew anything about the incident you would see the absurdity of the comment.

RB said...

I'm not saying I can provide a rational response. I'm just saying that the front-line employee only has certain rules and guidelines to go by in order to keep their jobs. The rules state that "valid" ID must be provided. If the ID is expired, it is no longer "valid" ID. If you want the law changed, write your congressman.

July 2, 2009 1:52 AM

............................
Congress didn't write this law nor did the President sign it into law.

Some brain surgeon at DHS/TSA crafted this idiocy.

Another reason to disband this agency.

Dunstan said...

Anonymous said:
"I'm not saying I can provide a rational response. I'm just saying that the front-line employee only has certain rules and guidelines to go by in order to keep their jobs. The rules state that "valid" ID must be provided. If the ID is expired, it is no longer "valid" ID. If you want the law changed, write your congressman."

While an expired drivers license is a possible driving offense, it is still a photo ID. Rigid adherence to poorly thought out rules is no justification to throw out common sense. If the rest of the information matches, a mere digit in the date really shouldn't matter. It is just a renewal date, after all.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

For those against having to show ID's to travel, I ask, how do you feel about counties where you have to have ID on you at all times???
In Clark County, NV, if you are stopped by a pollice officer and asked for your ID and you are not carrying, they may receive a citation. I'm sure Clark County is not the only place.
So what's the problem with showing it at an airport?


Can you please cite the source of your misinformation? I just looked up the Clark County NV statutes on identification and there is NOTHING there to indicate what you say is true.

I did however find this vagrancy law.

12.32.020 Unlawful acts. It is unlawful for any person to engage in any of the following acts of vagrancy:

(h) Refuses to identify himself and to account for his presence when requested by any peace officer so to do, if the surrounding circumstances are such as to indicate to a reasonable man that the public safety demands such identification;

(Ord. 423 § 1, 1974: Ord. 408 § 1, 1973)


Please note it says you must identify yourself, it does NOT say you must carry ID papers.

Anonymous said...

>> Because the rules state the ID must be "Valid."

Thanks for the circular answer, but that's precisely the point: a driver's license that expired yesterday looks almost exactly like one that expires tomorrow, For the purpose of identifying yourself, what possible difference does it make that it's been no good to drive with since yesterday? ("Because we said so" is not a rational response.)
___________________________________

If its not valid, its not valid. It does not matter if it was good yesterday. ITS NOT VALID TODAY.
If you go to a food store and you want to use a coupon but it expired yesterday, its not valid right? If the cashier tells you that you can not use it are you going to act like you do on this blog and cry about it. Well the coupon is exactly the same as it was yesterday. I demand a manager. I will use my expired coupon.
Doesn't make sense does it! Just like you stated that you can not drive with an expired license, so what makes you think that you could do anything else with it.
Clear did a background check and verified that you are who the card says. Well Clear is no longer around for that verification. There for you can not use the card. Period.
Quit crying about it!

Anonymous said...

At the airport I work at it was only a matter of time before Clear went belly up. Very, few people used it. Clear kept cutting the hours of its staff, so the turn-over was very high. The cost of the service was about $125 per year and unless you used the service at very busy times (Thanksgiving week, Christmas etc.) there was no real benefit.Although having a Clear card the day before Thanksgiving would be a pretty handy thing to have. I'm sure at other airports there was more of a benefit- it would depend on the physical layout of the ticket checking area and the amount of passengers going through at any given time. As an airport employee my feeling was- wait your turn like everyone else, if you're late and you miss your plane, to bad you're late.
Sooo, do you really want me to tell you what to do with your Clear you get 2 guesses and the first one doesn't count.

Bob said...

***Update. This post was edited on 7/2/09 at 1300 to reflect additional information that was provided after it went live. ***

Thanks,

Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Bob, how come you could update this post, but haven't had time to address TSA's failure to make available brochures regarding your strip search machines?

Dunstan said...

Anonymous said:
"If its not valid, its not valid. It does not matter if it was good yesterday. ITS NOT VALID TODAY.
If you go to a food store and you want to use a coupon but it expired yesterday, its not valid right? If the cashier tells you that you can not use it are you going to act like you do on this blog and cry about it. Well the coupon is exactly the same as it was yesterday. I demand a manager. I will use my expired coupon.
Doesn't make sense does it! Just like you stated that you can not drive with an expired license, so what makes you think that you could do anything else with it."

A coupon does not have a renewal option, so your analogy is absurd.
If I were in this situation with a TSO, I would calmly call for a supervisor, explain that my new license was undergoing renewal, AND file a complaint. There are probably situations where a passenger has sent in a renewal form for a new license, gone on a trip, and the license expired while he is traveling. His new license is waiting in his mailbox. He has a valid license, it just isn't in his wallet. If this is indeed a real rule, and not a rigid personal interpretation of a rule, or something you are just trolling with, it is really, really stupid. Just, however, what the traveling public has learned to expect from TSA.

Anonymous said...

There are probably situations where a passenger has sent in a renewal form for a new license, gone on a trip, and the license expired while he is traveling. His new license is waiting in his mailbox. He has a valid license, it just isn't in his wallet.

Then have a second form of photo ID available, such as a passport or state ID card.

Anonymous said...

I don’t see why people find the hard to understand; you need a Government issued photo ID (DL, ID card, Passport, and all the other listed on TSA’s webpage). Clear was a private company that had made an agreement with TSA and the airlines to validate its cards and passengers. Since Clear can no longer do this the card is just a piece of plastic with no value as a primary ID since it was issued by a PRIVATE company not the Government.

Anonymous said...

Dunstan said...

"Anonymous said:
"If its not valid, its not valid. It does not matter if it was good yesterday. ITS NOT VALID TODAY.
If you go to a food store and you want to use a coupon but it expired yesterday, its not valid right? If the cashier tells you that you can not use it are you going to act like you do on this blog and cry about it. Well the coupon is exactly the same as it was yesterday. I demand a manager. I will use my expired coupon.
Doesn't make sense does it! Just like you stated that you can not drive with an expired license, so what makes you think that you could do anything else with it."

A coupon does not have a renewal option, so your analogy is absurd.
If I were in this situation with a TSO, I would calmly call for a supervisor, explain that my new license was undergoing renewal, AND file a complaint. There are probably situations where a passenger has sent in a renewal form for a new license, gone on a trip, and the license expired while he is traveling. His new license is waiting in his mailbox. He has a valid license, it just isn't in his wallet. If this is indeed a real rule, and not a rigid personal interpretation of a rule, or something you are just trolling with, it is really, really stupid. Just, however, what the traveling public has learned to expect from TSA."

--------------

What about the fact that TSA will allow you to use your government issued ID even if it is expired for up to 1 year without making you a selectee. And you can use your government issued ID even if it is expired more than a year, and be screened as a selectee.

Just have your expired ID with you when you travel, and no problems.

Anonymous said...

I found the registered traveler program very beneficial. I fly out of Orlando and Dulles on business on practically a weekly basis. Regularly a complete zoo. The RT program, although not perfect, is a solid attempt at trying to improve the screening processes. Knowing I had an RT line I could pass thru allowed me to arrive at the airport at least 1 hour later then I would otherwise.

I was willing to pay, share personal information and biometric data for that ability.

I am tired of discussions that:
1) state the current screening process is "OK" and I should just learn to deal with it.
2) everyone should be treated as an equal potential threat
3) If there is going to be a physical screening process (and right or wrong there is) that an xray of my bag and body pass for metal is the best screening that can be done.

TSA should be proactively partnering with industry to improve all aspects of the screening process. They should be setting annual benchmark improvement goals for all aspects of the screening process to include cost per screening. These benchmarks would spur innovation and creative solutions. If the benchmarks are not met, fire those in charge and get some fresh blood.

TSA should be proactively supporting a more streamlined screening process for citizens who are willing to provide personal data, biometric information and are willing to allow a virtual strip search.

Why can I not:
- Print my boarding pass at home
- Walk into security, have the checkpoint read my personal data from an RFID chip
- Confirm that I am who I say I am via biometric data
- pass thru a physical screening with my shoes on my feet, my backpack or briefcase in my hand and my rolling bag behind me WITHOUT STOPPING!!!

Why....small minds + management by committee + the airlines. Don't even try and tell me it is money. Look at the headcount at a checkpoint. There is plenty of money.

The TSA has a very hard job. But they are making it harder by not embracing programs that improve the screening process and rewarding citizens who are willing to abide by stricter requirements.

I am really going to miss Clear and I hope the government does what it can to encourage another company to take their place.

Anonymous said...

After reading this blog I thought I'd post my experiences. I travel frequently. Last 2 months brought me through Denver, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Oakland, Atlanta, Burbank and Portland Oregon.
In general I commend the TSA for doing a consistent job and always treating me with respect and professionalism.
I have only had one notable encounter and that was at Burbank Airport. A TSA employee saw a shampoo bottle unmarked. He noticed the number 4 in the recycle logo and said it was 4 ounces so he had to confiscate it. I tried to explain iot was a recycle logo and the 4 meant LDPE Low-density Polyethylene and the container was only 3 ounces. Obviously the conversation was over his head so rather than make a scene I said keep it and moved on.
Other than that, I think you all do a pretty good job!

Anonymous said...

The real problem is this fiction that TSA sometimes pretends that it doesn't control the lines before screening machine but happily provides different service to citizens on the basis of how much money they give private companies.

Anonymous said...

RB said

"Congress didn't write this law nor did the President sign it into law.

Some brain surgeon at DHS/TSA crafted this idiocy.

Another reason to disband this agency".



RB what do you think should be done for security at airports? What would make you feel more safe?

Anonymous said...

If I were in this situation with a TSO, I would calmly call for a supervisor, explain that my new license was undergoing renewal, AND file a complaint. There are probably situations where a passenger has sent in a renewal form for a new license, gone on a trip, and the license expired while he is traveling. His new license is waiting in his mailbox. He has a valid license, it just isn't in his wallet. If this is indeed a real rule, and not a rigid personal interpretation of a rule, or something you are just trolling with, it is really, really stupid. Just, however, what the traveling public has learned to expect from TSA.
___________________________________

Well I don't know how other people feel about this, but I got my renewal forms from the DMV 2 months before my birthday. I sent them in and have had my license renewed now like a month and a half before my birthday. Responsible, I know thanks.
Everyone should be so resposible.
Anyways a license is allowed to be up to a year expired when you come through a checkpoint anyways. So I am not sure what your arguement is about. If TSA will not take your ID because it is no longer valid (definition of no longer valid: It is not acceptable, no good, not of any validity) shall I go on, so anyways if you want to ask for a supervisor everytime that you come in and complain complain complain, you do that. Come see me I will get the supervisor ready before you even get there. Now thats service.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

edited...

"Why can I not:
- Print my boarding pass at home
- Walk into security, have the checkpoint read my personal data from an RFID chip
- Confirm that I am who I say I am via biometric data
- pass thru a physical screening with my shoes on my feet, my backpack or briefcase in my hand and my rolling bag behind me WITHOUT STOPPING!!!"

-------------------------------

Many many people can print their boarding pass at home. Maybe half of the boarding passes I check at TDC are those printed at home.

A RFID chip? Really? Do you have ANY idea how many privacy groups are against these kinds of devices? I can't imagine the storm that would ensue if TSA began to allow people to use these devices. Look throughout this blog to see peoples concerns about privacy issues.

Biometric data seems like a great idea, but again it heats up the privacy debate. Your basically talking about a national database of genetic/biological information.

If you passed through physical screening with all the conditions you said, what would be the point of physical screening?

You also wrote that you are "tired of discussions that ... everyone should be treated as an equal potential threat".

hmmmm.... didn't the NYPD just pay out $25,000 because the person they screened over and over again claimed they were singled out, or profiled? Yet it seems its what you want...

Your ideas don't seem possible to me.

Rick in MCO said...

I have to chime in on a few of the points made in the previous comments.

First, I find it laughable that TSA is trying to wave their hand and do their best Obi-Wan imitation when they say they had nothing to do with Clear. I've been a clear member for years (based at MCO) and would be happy to share my Clear membership forms which very clearly itemize the TSA vetting fee. So TSA got a fee for doing what?? Now you want to pretend Clear was wholly a private venture that just set up shop on the other side of the checkpoint from you, and there was no TSA involvement? What about the shoe screeners that were used in MCO for several months, and had to be removed because TSA didnt like the fail rates? No partnership there, right?? (Now, I wonder if I can recoup the TSA vetting fee for the unused years of my membership, since TSA now refuses to even acknowledge the ID card.)

Secondly, the fact that TSA will no longer accept the Clear plastic as ID is also absurd. The card was accepted at ALL checkpoints even those without Clear lanes, at least where the TSO had enough training and aptitude to recognize it. Yet, the Jedi mind trick continues by saying the ID is no longer valid because the issuer went out of biz?? You cant have it both ways, it was a private company that issued the card, or it was a TSA partner that issued the card. If the former, why was it accepted at all?? I could use it in Baltimore, where there were no biometrics to back it up - so TSA must have had some faith in the cards integrity, right??

You know what the biggest advantage to Clear was, aside from the front of line perk?? It was the helpful, courteous, and professional people that checked ID and ran the kiosks. That was in stark contrast to the TSA folks, who more often than not fall on the other side of the scale.

I think TSA saw the entire RT industry as a threat to its own self-indulgent power, which it often enforces arbitrarily, and is happy to stand quietly and hope it disappears.

In closing, let me leave you with this - Does the American public feel safer by forcing a person who has undergone a TSA VETTED background check to do the shoe dance and remove their flip-flop sandals and walk through barefoot, while the $8/hour janitor walks through the checkpoint with hi-top sneakers 3 sizes too large, a half liter of mytery juice in a cup, and then tosses a dust pan full of garbage on the conveyor?? I watched this happen just last week, and that is how much of a farce the whole TSA process is.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
RB said

"Congress didn't write this law nor did the President sign it into law.

Some brain surgeon at DHS/TSA crafted this idiocy.

Another reason to disband this agency".



RB what do you think should be done for security at airports? What would make you feel more safe?

July 6, 2009 11:42 AM

.......................
In general terms I think keeping WEI and other prohibited items off of airplanes is a good thing.

All people should be screened for these items, all people! No exceptions. You want to enter the secure area you get screened.

Anyone entering the secure area should have the same screening as any other person. No exceptions.

Checked baggage should be maintained in a secure manner from the time the traveler hands it over to the airline/TSA until reclaimed.

Anyone with access to property not theirs should be screened when departing the secure area of an airport. No exceptions.

All cargo loaded onto airplanes should be cleared for WEI.

The TSO function should be handled by contract employees monitored by the government.

All of the other junk TSA is doing should be ended.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the government having all my personal information / biometrics, but what the heck they already have all this stuff because to basically do anything these days like get a safety-sensitive job or even get a driver's license, you're going to be giving up your finger prints.

Anonymous said...

In closing, let me leave you with this - Does the American public feel safer by forcing a person who has undergone a TSA VETTED background check to do the shoe dance and remove their flip-flop sandals and walk through barefoot, while the $8/hour janitor walks through the checkpoint with hi-top sneakers 3 sizes too large, a half liter of mytery juice in a cup, and then tosses a dust pan full of garbage on the conveyor?? I watched this happen just last week, and that is how much of a farce the whole TSA process is.

Let me ask you this. What is the true value of a "TSA VETTED background check." These background checks do little more than check for felony convictions and search a database of "known terrorists". There area a few problems with this. First of all, probably over 90% of bad guys/suicide bombers who are actually a threat to us aren't already "known terrorists", because they haven't yet done anything to get put on that list (nor do they have 'ordinary' felony confictions). New, unknown terrorists are being trained all the time, and the other major problem is that it's still too easy for them to obtain legitimate 'valid' identification credentials based on fraudulent documentation.

So I ask again. What do the background checks really prove?

Rick in MCO said...

Quote:

"Let me ask you this. What is the true value of a "TSA VETTED background check." These background checks do little more than check for felony convictions and search a database of "known terrorists". There area a few problems with this. First of all, probably over 90% of bad guys/suicide bombers who are actually a threat to us aren't already "known terrorists", because they haven't yet done anything to get put on that list (nor do they have 'ordinary' felony confictions). New, unknown terrorists are being trained all the time, and the other major problem is that it's still too easy for them to obtain legitimate 'valid' identification credentials based on fraudulent documentation.

So I ask again. What do the background checks really prove?


Point taken, and I agree. There should be NO requirement to show ANY sort of ID when traveling. TSA is responsible for ensuring that certain dangerous items are not allowed into the sterile area, regardless of who may be carrying it. In addition to fraudulent IDs being readily available, some states see no problem in allowing people in the country illegally to have a drivers license.


I was making my previous observation in response to the claims that Clear/RT was not a TSA sponsored program.

To your point of background checks and watchlists being unreliable, I also agree. Which is why i find it laughable that only the ticketed passengers are made to divest of shoes, computers, liquids, etc, while any employee - background screened or otherwise - is allowed carte blanch through the checkpoint, with shoes on their feet and huge BigGulp in their hand. This seems to contradict TSA's own position with regard to their own background screening (via RT program). TSA has widely publicized the position that RT members, even though screened, were capable of becoming a bad-guy on any given day despite the background checks, and therefore should be screened each time through the checkpoint. If this is the case, then why on Earth are the employees from all levels allowed to meander through the checkpoint wearing boots/shoes, carrying liquids, dustpans,inventory, etc without a second look?? TSA feels like only the paying passengers - the ones who fund the program with ticket surcharges - should be inconvenienced.

Do they not recall the fiasco in Puerto Rico not long ago where drugs and weapons were being smuggled to/from the mainland by airport employees??

Here is a link to a news article about MCO baggage handlers smuggling guns to San Juan:

http://www.news4jax.com/news/11243674/detail.html

The best line in the article is where officials say they will screen employees "FOR A FEW DAYS" after this discovery! Man, I sure feel safe now.

Anonymous said...

RB said...

"The TSO function should be handled by contract employees monitored by the government."


And we all know how that turns out?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/08/AR2009070803777.html

How exactly does this make security better? It doesn't seem to work...

yangj08 said...

@anonymous-
"Many many people can print their boarding pass at home. Maybe half of the boarding passes I check at TDC are those printed at home.

A RFID chip? Really? Do you have ANY idea how many privacy groups are against these kinds of devices? I can't imagine the storm that would ensue if TSA began to allow people to use these devices. Look throughout this blog to see peoples concerns about privacy issues.

Biometric data seems like a great idea, but again it heats up the privacy debate. Your basically talking about a national database of genetic/biological information.

If you passed through physical screening with all the conditions you said, what would be the point of physical screening?

You also wrote that you are "tired of discussions that ... everyone should be treated as an equal potential threat".

hmmmm.... didn't the NYPD just pay out $25,000 because the person they screened over and over again claimed they were singled out, or profiled? Yet it seems its what you want..."
1. This can be tied into No. 2, as seen in Japan. RFID chipped phones/frequent flyer cards are tied into the reservations system so that you don't need paper boarding passes anymore (but the check-in desk is still there because this isn't allowed on international flights or if you have luggage or if you're paranoid like some people here). It's printed at the security checkpoint by the machine that checks your RFID chip. You COULD have a paper ticket, but it's also verified against the machine (a barcode is printed on it for scanning). If there's no reservation or the RFID chip is messed with somehow (not likely; the encryption used in FeliCa, the Japanese RFID technology, has never been successfully broken as far as I know, so less trouble for the privacy nuts) the machine won't print anything and then you have a red flag. So it should be either an old-style boarding pass or it's to be printed at the checkpoint.
3. I see no need for this.
4. Even Japan isn't capable of this. I think that bar is a tad too high; no removal of garments is a better target.

Anonymous said...

When is TSA going to officially change the regulations removing the Clear Card as a valid primary ID? When are the airports going to get the final word?

Andy said...

Bob,

The clear equipment is still sitting in the ATL airport blocking a walkway to the TSA main checkpoint

Anonymous said...

I just got an email from a company www.flyclear.com that claims to be taking over the Clear project and honoring the time left on the contracts but I don't see anything about this new company on TSA's web page. Is this real or simply another version of SPAM.

Anonymous said...

I am curious about recent TSA postings to public blogs: TSA personnel masquerading as private citizens and posting comments either supportive of TSA actions, or critical of TSA detractors.

Doesn't this TSA propaganda activity qualify as low-level terrorism under current DHS guidelines?

Cate said...

If my U.S. Passport expired a month ago, can I still pass through the security checkpoint? Do I need any other form of ID? I was going to get a state ID card, but they issue you a paper version and you have to wait for the actual card, and my flight is in a week.

Thanks!

couponworldmidwest blog said...

Can I still use my Clear card as ID at a TSA checkpoint?