Earlier this month, newly confirmed Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a Congressional committee that one of the possible forms of “extreme vetting” for visitors to the U.S. could include requiring them to hand over their login information for websites they visit. Today, a coalition made up of human rights organizations, consumer advocates, and the tech industry penned an open letter to Kelly, calling on DHS to not go down this path. [More]
Birds pose a danger to commercial aircraft, but unauthorized drones are also a threat. Fortunately for everyone, we don’t yet know what would happen if a solid unmanned aerial vehicle collided with a jet or flew into its engine. The Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t want to find out, which is one of the reasons why they tested an FBI drone-detection system to prevent crashes. [More]
At some point in the next year, millions of Americans may need to start carrying a second form of ID with them when they go to the airport, as driver’s licenses from four states and one U.S. territory are not currently compliant with federal security standards. [More]
Oscar-Winning Director Of Snowden Documentary Trying To Find Out Why She’s Been Detained At Airports So Much
Laura Poitras recently won the Academy Award for CITIZENFOUR, her documentary on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, but the director claims that she’s long been hassled by U.S. federal authorities for years, resulting in multiple unmerited airport detentions. Now she’s suing the government to find out exactly why. [More]
In news that is both disturbing and not at all surprising, the Department of Homeland Security is currently asking private contractors to bid on a system that would create a National License Plate Recognition database that could allow various forms of law enforcement to track the movements of drivers, whether they are suspected of a crime or just going to buy a Big Gulp at 7-Eleven. [More]
No one likes being made fun of or humiliated (okay, some people do, but that’s part of a much larger discussion), but you can’t throw your authority as a big, scary federal agency around to stop people from mocking you, even if they’re making some money doing so. [More]
Perhaps the Dept. of Homeland Security is actually listening to all the people who aren’t exactly thrilled with the possibility of being touched by TSA airport screeners. The department is hoping someone out there can come up with a hand-held device that would take the place of the controversial pat-downs.
In the next few months, the TSA will implement new security procedures for fliers under 12, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate. They can still get patted down, although it will be by a different method, and they no longer have to remove their shoes. Even if they have velcro straps and are super easy to take on and off anyway.
Almost anyone who has been stuck in the airport security screening line has at least mumbled to themselves about the process, but a new report from CNN says that such behavior could lead to travelers being singled out for further screening.
The TSA’s rollout of full-body backscatter scanners at airports hasn’t pleased too many people (other than the manufacturers of said scanners). Now a handful of newly uncovered documents show that the Dept. of Homeland Security has been considering bringing that invasive technology out of the airport and out to the public realm.
In a move that makes virtually no sense whatsoever, the Department of Homeland Security has announced a partnership with Walmart “to help the American public play an active role in ensuring the safety and security of our nation.”
Like it or not, advanced imaging technology (AIT)–capable of producing highly detailed pics of your naked body–is expanding rapidly throughout U.S. airports. Last month, there were at least 142 AIT units deployed in eleven airports, but by the end of the year that will jump to more than 450 nationwide, spread across at least forty airports (see full list below). The TSA has tried to downplay privacy issues by saying that the units won’t save images, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t. In fact, the U.S. Marshals Service in Florida says they’ve got over 35,000 AIT scans of people saved. They also say that an AIT unit tested in the Washington, D.C. federal courthouse was sent back to the manufacturer with images still stored on it.
The Transportation Security Administration has discovered a major new threat, and is targeting it with all methods at its disposal. No, not terrorists. The agency is going after two bloggers, Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott, for exposing its whopper of a policy document, issued Christmas Day in the wake of that day’s failed terrorist attack.
The Orwellian Department of Homeland Security claims that it can indefinitely confiscate laptops and iPods from law abiding citizens without any provocation or justification. The Department “clarified” their policies after several business travelers started asking the press why Homeland Security was fiddling with their laptops and PDAs for months on end.