My favorite read when it comes to security topics is Bruce Schneier’s blog. He writes for Wired and runs the security firm Counterpane.
He points out that the folks at papersplease are looking for volunteers to test the TSA’s claim that you can easily fly in this country without ID, just by submitting to an extra search.
I’d like to try it out, maybe on a flight to rochester or somesuch.
Why? Because security isn’t knowing who’s on the flight, security is knowing no one on the flight has explosives or a weapon. The reason for ID in travel is twofold.
1. From papersplease:
The custom of showing ID at airports came about in July of 1996, in the wake of the TWA flight 800 disaster. Faulty fuel tank insulation caused TWA 800 to explode over Long Island Sound. Before we knew that, there was concern that terrorists had blown up the plane. According to former terrorism czar Richard Clarke’s book, the ID requirement was instituted as a temporary measure so that then-President Clinton had something to announce to the families of the victims when he met with them.
2. Scalpers. Airlines do not want your ticket to be resellable, like a bus ticket is.
Anyway, I’ve flown multiple times with no photo ID post 9-11-2001. My secret was the replacement driver’s license.
I’m a bit absentminded, and I’ve lost my DL a few times. When you go to the DMV, they give you a little printed slip of paper with your info on it and then you get to use that till your real card gets mailed to you. I’ve flown using it. There’s no picture on it, just a name and a dl number.
This is something you could easily print out on your home computer printer.
These are things that bad guys already know, you just have to be inconvenienced by the ineffective procedures because you don’t know.