Background Checks for Air Travelers

  1. WTF will they think of next??!!! Now the government wants to do background checks on everybody who buys an airplane ticket, and assign them a green, yellow, or red risk level according to the information. If you come up green, you're OK; yellow, they're gonna watch you to make sure you don't pull something, and red, you don't get off the ground.

    What I want to know is, what criteria are going to be used to determine what constitutes risk? If you're talking about criminal records it's one thing, but what if they decide to use credit reports, or hold something against you that happened 20 years ago? Hey, I'm probably on some list somewhere that names me as a subversive just because I've written to several Presidents disagreeing with their positions on some issue---does that mean I'm too dangerous to fly on an airplane? Sure, it sounds ridiculous, but then, this whole thing is so ripe for abuses that it can't help but be unconstitutional.

    So what do YOU think? Is this a good idea, or does it just sound like you woke up in old Russia this morning?
  2. Poll: How do you feel about background checks for air travelers?

    • It's a great idea!

      0% 0
    • It might be a good idea, but I don't know enough about it yet to decide.

      50.00% 5
    • I'm not crazy about it--too many ways to abuse the information.

      20.00% 2
    • What country IS this, Nazi Germany?!

      30.00% 3
    10 Votes
  3. 5 Comments

  4. by   Stargazer
    Do you have a link, mjlrn?

    Without having read anything about it, no, I am not crazy about the idea. I simply can't imagine how we'd man it or fund it, for one thing, other than tacking on another $20 or $30 per ticket.

    However, I can see the merits to a system like Israel's, whose airport security is arguably the best in the world:
    Israeli citizens and frequent international travelers at Ben Gurion now go through the airport's automatic inspection kiosks. During enrollment, the system captures biographic information and biometric hand-geometry data.

    Then during arrival or departure, travelers use a credit card for initial identification, and the system verifies their identity with the HandReader. The system then prints a receipt to allow travelers to proceed.

    Most of the people using the automatic inspection kiosks are known frequent flyers who are considered low risk. As a result, airport and border security authorities can focus on unknown travelers, which improves security and reduces waiting times. For example, the automated inspection process takes 20 seconds; passport control lines can take up to an hour.

    Ben Gurion's biometric identification system has reduced or in some cases eliminated waiting times for travelers. Nearly 80,000 Israeli citizens have enrolled in the system. In 2000, an airport expansion increased the number of kiosks, and the system completed more than 1 million inspections by the end of the year. The project initially targeted only frequent travelers, but it has been expanded to include all Israeli citizens. It is now processing about 50,000 passengers per month.
    Note that the Israeli system is voluntary, but folks who register can get through the airport a lot more quickly.
  5. by   RNonsense
    I saw this on the news last night..but I don't recall that credit reports, etc may be used. Anybody have a link?
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    I read it on the AOL News. Sorry, I haven't learned how to put a link in a post, or I would've done so. (BTW, how DO you do this?)
  7. by   Stargazer
    Originally posted by mjlrn97
    I read it on the AOL News. Sorry, I haven't learned how to put a link in a post, or I would've done so. (BTW, how DO you do this?)
    The easiest way is to copy and paste from the address window.
  8. by   Mkue

    I saw the article on AOL also the AP report said that the article could not be distributed, printed w/o permission..etc.