New TSA rules have come into effect and they are a lot like the REAL-ID law that was rejected by nearly half of all US states. If you plan on traveling, there are some new requirements you need to know about.
The program is identified by the TSA as a “behind-the-scenes watch list matching program,” which requires airline passengers to give their date of birth, gender and full name, including middle name if it appears on your primary form of identification, when booking a flight.
The process could create delays at the ticket counter as ticket agents record the names, dates of birth and genders of travelers who have not previously provided the information.
The new law does not require identification for babies and children who fly on airplanes, but parents will have to provide children’s full names, dates of birth and gender when booking a flight.
Major portions of the Secure Flight Program will take place before a passenger even arrives at the airport. When a passenger books a ticket, the information will be compared to names included on the TSA’s No Fly List. If the passenger’s name is not on the No Fly List, the TSA will give the airline approval to issue a boarding pass.
“If you have your full middle name spelled out on your license… and you have an initial on your boarding pass, that shouldn’t make a difference,” Harmon said. “Going forward, we encourage passengers to make their reservation in their name as it appears on their government-issued ID.”
So, essentially, Secure Flight is making the rules that have been around for international flights a requirement on all flights regardless as to whether they are domestic or international.
This morning, I woke up to read an article on Ars Technica about the new pat downs that are coming to the nation’s airports. They intend to be extremely thorough. This, of course, is to embarrass people into sheepishly heading over to the full body scanners because they don’t want to be embarrassed. It is yet another piece of security theater designed to get you to step over to the backscatter line and do as you’re told. But just how creepy and thorough are they?
The States have jurisdiction over whole-body scanners and backscatter machines if they threaten the health of the People within the State and are proven to be harmful. Idaho State Representative Phil Hart has written legislation opposing the airport and security whole-body scanners, and is adding backscatter machines to the legislation.
Hart’s bill would require the Idaho State Director of Homeland Security to investigate the health effects of the x-ray machines before approval for use. If they are approved, then they would only be used as secondary screening devices.