Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Peek At DHS's Files On You

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the fifteen-year-retention dept.

Government 241

kenblakely writes "We've known for a while that the Department of Homeland Security was collecting travel records on those who cross US borders, but now you can see it for yourself. A Freedom of Information Act request got this blogger a look at DHS's file on his travels. Pretty comprehensive — all the way down to the IP address of the host he used to make a reservation."

cancel ×

241 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Time to recycle a "meme". (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350667)

All your data are belong to us!

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (4, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350761)

DHS are the gestapo. They have been explicitly referred to as the Gestapo by two lawmakers [blogspot.com] , Luis V. Gutierrez(D-ill) and Sam Farr(D-CA).

They have been placed in charge of thoughtcrime [ice.gov] and IP [ice.gov] enforcement among others.

Are [thesop.org] these [cnn.com] the guys [checkpointusa.org] you want banging at your door at random for the inevitable(give it a few more years) state-sponsored "health and wellness" checks?

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350853)

A politician said it so it must be true.

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351005)

Only when corroborated by a /. post.

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351085)

You're right. I forgot about the inherent worth as evidence that a slashdot post has.

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (4, Funny)

andy_t_roo (912592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351855)

all evidence has some *finite* weight, besides 10,000 lemmings can't be wrong ....

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351337)

Read the article. That anyone can say, in the United States, with a straight face, that "words matter" when someone calls law enforcement "the Gestapo" is problem enough.

The basis for a defense against any such accusations should be to point to their actions. But no, the defense here was to say "words matter" and to try to silence the people making the claims. That's the action of a totalitarian mindset, which, coming from an official of ICE, adds credence to the claims of the politicians.

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (1)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352595)

Quoth the AC: "But no, the defense here was to say "words matter" and to try to silence the people making the claims."

You mean "try to illegally silence the people making the claims."

Article I, Section 6, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution reads, in relevant part:

"[Representatives and Senators] shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place."

Not that the Constitution really matters to the Gestapo, but I just thought I'd point that out... and probably make myself a criminal in the process. Who do you think you are, sexybomber, going and pointing out the unconstitutionality of governmental actions? You must be a TERRORIST!

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351699)

I notice both were Liberals....

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (2, Funny)

LinkX39 (1100879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352585)

Furthermore an ILLINOIS politician said it so it must be true. Here in Illinois we have such honest, civic-minded politicians after all.

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351031)

Wow, if Luis V. Gutierrez says they're Gestapo, then that must be the case. Who else but an Illinois Lawmaker of Hispanic descent would know what the secret police of Nazi Germany was like?

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26352333)

"Who else but an Illinois Lawmaker of Hispanic descent would know what the secret police of Nazi Germany was like?"

After all, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26352509)

You are aware that wasn't really funny, right?

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351119)

Read "IBM and the Holocaust." You'll be amazed at the capacity to make war optimal and oppression efficient, just by thorough tabulation of population data. The holocaust was carried out with primitive punch cards. There's no telling what kind of damage can be done with today's data mining.

People have good reasons to instinctively fear automatic, thorough, government-mandated census. Screw Godwin.

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (5, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351469)

Don't you fucking remember 9/11, when terrorists flew pirated mp3s and child pornography into the twin towers?

Never forget.

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (4, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351813)

Don't you fucking remember 9/11, when terrorists flew pirated mp3s and child pornography into the twin towers?

Never forget.

They might have. Since we didn't check their laptops we will never know.

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351879)

Please. If they were the Gestapo they'd have cool uniforms. If they were thought police they'd make you do situps like in 1984.

I'm no fan of DHS, but have some perspective. As repressive police state functionaries go, DHS doesn't even rate. I'd put them somewhere between a pre-Miranda rural US Sheriff's Office and the Canadian Mounties.

Gestapo? (2, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351935)

DHS are the gestapo.

If there is one reason I can't wait 'till January 21st, it is the reinstatement of the Godwin's Law [jargon.net] :

Godwin's Law /prov./ [Usenet] "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

With Bush in power the law got suspended and it got most fashionable to compare American Government with 3rd Reich — instead of losing the argument instantly, one gets a +5 moderation...

Not after the upcoming inauguration, one Hopes.

Does anyone have records of Gestapo mailing a German a copy of their file on them? Oh, never mind...

Re:Gestapo? (3, Insightful)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352379)

I'm all for reinstating Godwin's Law, but when our country is like Nazi Germany in all but name and lack of schnitzel, there are more important things to worry about!

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (4, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352137)

I still cannot believe this gets modded insightful. Let's start with the basics:

First, you compare something with Nazism that doesn't even being to start to even pale in comparison. This either means you are truly incapable of understanding the difference (unlikely) or you are being dishonest but are trying to score rhetorical points (more likely). That goes for you and the Representatives that said the same thing.

If you want to try to define the various things that Operation Predator as "thoughtcrime", go right ahead but the vast majority of Americans think that individuals that take concrete steps to, say, have intercourse with a young child ought to be punished. IAAL and, in all instances that I'm aware of, no individual was convicted without having taken concrete steps towards committing a very serious crime. Please enlighten me if I am mistaken.

Finally, I have no idea where you got the idea that compulsory home-visits for anything are "inevitable" but I can tell you this: barring a dramatic shift in the way the fourth amendment is interpreted, that isn't going to happen. As it is now, you need not answer anyone at your door sans a warrant.

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (4, Funny)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350887)

Wait, too soon. [xkcd.com]

Re:Time to recycle a "meme". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26350957)

Oh hai -- I gives you cheezburger fur dat data?

I'm going to request mine (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350689)

I'd be interesting to see what it says since I've moved to the UK. I'll do it after my citizenship to see if that makes it on there.

Re:I'm going to request mine (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26350849)

Heh - you moved to a much more repressive country. The UK probably already has thousands of pictures of you. Good luck getting those or any other info from the government there.

Re:I'm going to request mine (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351257)

Well seeing how I didn't leave the US due to repression that's probably not my biggest worry.

Re:I'm going to request mine (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351525)

At the rate things are going, it soon will be.

Re:I'm going to request mine (1)

internewt (640704) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352553)

Heh - you moved to a much more repressive country. The UK probably already has thousands of pictures of you. Good luck getting those or any other info from the government there.

Oh, we have a freedom of information act too, but it has a rule that's a bit of a pain.... data holders are allowed to charge a fee to get copies of what they have on you. It's usually a tenner or so. With so many cameras and businesses/organisations/state depts. with data about you you'd be bankrupted to get copies of it all though!

Can any clarify if they say they want money for your record they are indirectly confirming they do have something about you? If so, can you tell them just to delete it and that you don't want a copy, hence dodging the cost?

Re:I'm going to request mine (3, Interesting)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350913)

well you might also find your FBI record [everything2.com] interesting as well.

What a great way... (2, Funny)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351231)

To get them to start a record on you. Begin record: "Subject requests non-existent record of self, begin monitoring immediately after non-record is given."

Re:I'm going to request mine (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352381)

After reading 'How to Get a Copy of Your FBI File', I liked how the site directed me to another titled 'Torturing your Sims'.

Seriously, where do you go from that?

Re:I'm going to request mine (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351419)

Don't! Like this blogger probably already discovered to his detriment, they could put you down for Customs Schedule 405 (mandatory cavity search) or the dreaded Schedule 209 (loud rock music, salad oil, night stick) just for making fun of them on the Internet.

Seriously, these guys need no excuse nor justification to make any traveler's life a living hell. I'm just wondering if they do that in certain cases, just because they can.

I noticed a dhs.org redirect once (0, Troll)

nebaz (453974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350755)

I once worked at a bank/wealth management type office. I noticed once that my google queries were accessing "dhs.gov" (Didn't even know what it stood for at the time.) I wonder if it was because it was a bank and all transactions are logged, or that maybe the previous google search for "Saturn V rocket plans", that I had done, based on a claim by a co-worker that NASA had lost this information, might have triggered this.

Re:I noticed a dhs.org redirect once (4, Insightful)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350909)

More likely your browser was pre-fetching search results [mozilla.org] and one of your search results was on a dhs.gov web page.

Re:I noticed a dhs.org redirect once (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351027)

shush before the mods read that, there can't be a logical explanation. Seriously, the idea of some crazy dhs.gov proxy server to track your web habits is the worst conspiracy theory I've heard this week on /. They track your internet usage in passive/undetectable ways.

Re:I noticed a dhs.org redirect once (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351851)

dhs.org is a dns redirector. I have an account with them.

LOL i actually got asked once if i worked for DHS when i provided someone with an email address using that redirector. I've had the account with them long before the DHS office ever existed.

"passenger activity" and IP addys (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350811)

So, it is supposed to be tracking the travelers but S^HDHS
is getting IP address information when a flight is booked.

So, if the traveler cancels, what was the point of getting the IP?

And if the traveler had a travel agent book the flights, how
would having their IP help?

Re:"passenger activity" and IP addys (5, Interesting)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351197)

Let's say the traveler cancels at the last minute, and the plane blows up. They go check it out, because maybe he/she was tipped off by a friend not to get on the plane.

I knew a guy who was supposed to be on flight 800 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Flight_800) but that morning he fell down carrying his metal trash down the stairs and injured himself. He went to the hospital and was OK but he had missed the flight. The next day the FBI came over and wanted to know why he had not been on the plane. He had to convince them that he had gone to the hospital. They went and checked out his story.

Re:"passenger activity" and IP addys (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352101)

Let's say the traveler cancels at the last minute, and the plane blows up. They go check it out, because maybe he/she was tipped off by a friend not to get on the plane.

I knew a guy who was supposed to be on flight 800 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Flight_800) but that morning he fell down carrying his metal trash down the stairs and injured himself. He went to the hospital and was OK but he had missed the flight. The next day the FBI came over and wanted to know why he had not been on the plane. He had to convince them that he had gone to the hospital. They went and checked out his story.

yes but how would an IP address help?, an IP address barely corresponds to a nearby town, much less a person. I think their address/phone number would be alot more useful

Re:"passenger activity" and IP addys (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352611)

With a search warrant an IP/timestanp leads to a specific real world address +- WiFi real quick.

Re:"passenger activity" and IP addys (1)

internewt (640704) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352685)

yes but how would an IP address help?, an IP address barely corresponds to a nearby town, much less a person. I think their address/phone number would be alot more useful

I guess they note the IP just in case they get something like the httpd logs from forums.terroristsr.us [1], and they can just correlate posts about waging holy jihad on the infadels against recent travellers.

Of course, they don't need the httpd logs, they can just just cross reference it with the NSA's records of who surfed where and when.

[1] heh, terroristsr.us looks like it doesn't exist, wonder how good it'd look as my email address on my CV[2]? At least if I get a job with that email address I know the employer has a sense of humour.

[2] Resume in en-US.

Re:"passenger activity" and IP addys (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352093)

So, it is supposed to be tracking the travelers but S^HDHS is getting IP address information when a flight is booked.

Actually, what I want to know is why they are bothering to track the IP but not the time that the tickets were bought? If the time of purchase was tracked I don't see it on any of these papers. Isn't knowing the IP without knowing the time that the user was using that IP (remember dynamic IPs are the norm) kind of useless?

Re:"passenger activity" and IP addys (2, Funny)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352315)

Since the airlines stopped paying them, I don't think there are any more travel agents. At least I haven't heard of anyone using one in the last 6 years or so. I guess they might still exist, but you have to pay them for anything except cruise ships - I think they still get a commission on those.

Airfare? Last time was at least 2002, maybe before that.

I wish (5, Funny)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350843)

I wish they would also track credit card spending in the same file.

Perhaps I could then just forward the DHS records for my travel expense reports.

Re:I wish (5, Funny)

QuasiEvil (74356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351603)

Perhaps I could then just forward the DHS records for my travel expense reports.

That would rock and save me so much time.

DHS, are you listening? Oh wait, of course you are. If you could just forward this post to the "suggestions" bucket, I'd appreciate it.

Who can request that? (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350893)

It's a shame he didn't explain how much identification was required to request this information and how well that identification was checked. I imagine ex-spouses and employers would love a list of where you've traveled and who paid for the ticket.

Re:Who can request that? (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350935)

Don't forget information about "traveling companions"!

Re:Who can request that? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351091)

From what I gathered from TFA, all that's required is enough information to identify one single person, and for you to not be a private corporation or group. I.e., anyone who found your passport laying forgotten at an airport could find out where you had been in the last 15 years, and who knows how much more (and scarier) info.
 
CAPTCHA: answers

Re:Who can request that? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351839)

It's a shame that we don't live in a world that contains a worldwide network of information where answers to many questions can easily be found.

Re:Who can request that? (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352105)

It's a shame that we don't live in a world that contains a worldwide network of information where answers to many questions can easily be found.

Even if such a network existed I'd wager that people would just use it to find porn.

Nice... (5, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350903)

Officials use the information to prevent terrorism, acts of organized crime, and other illegal activity.

Does the DHS have even one documented case of this information preventing said activity? Maybe I'm setting myself up in the wrong way here, but AFAIK, the DHS and TSA combined have never thwarted a terrorist attack or busted the mafia. Perhaps they've used to convict people of violating those administrative rules which no one is allowed to see, but I'm not aware of any evidence which suggests this information actually prevented terrorism or organized crime.

I mean sure, the FBI has busted criminals, but with regular gumshoe detective work.

With journalists like these, who needs a terrorist?

Re:Nice... (2, Interesting)

volkris (694) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351145)

Speculation.

Unfortunately we have no way of knowing. For all we know this information might have actually stopped another major attack or two, saving thousands of lives. Certainly some in the government would like us to believe that.

But the fact is we don't know and FIOA requests are unlikely to get us the answer.

Better oversight is definitely needed, but in the mean time we shouldn't assume this stuff has not prevented terrorism. Mainly we should just assume we don't know.

Re:Nice... (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351887)

Unfortunately we have no way of knowing.

Of course we do. You said it in your next sentence:

this information might have actually stopped another major attack or two, saving thousands of lives. Certainly some in the government would like us to believe that.

DINGDINGDINGDINGDING!

If any of this was used in any way to detect or prevent a terr'ist attack, Dick Fucking Cheney himself would be all over the news talking about how the evil terr'ists had been thwarted by the Republicans, and how they need to be given more powers to "protect" you.

The fact that *nobody* has said that this has been useful in stopping what they claim it stops means that it isn't.

Re:Nice... (4, Insightful)

volkris (694) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352601)

Well, now you're just factually wrong: officials HAVE come out and said that such information has thwarted attacks.

As I said, oversight is needed to determine whether those claims have merit.

Anyway, by your reply you seem far too into the "evil Bush" mindset to discuss this in any intellectually honest way, so I'm not going to bother.

Have a nice day.

Re:Nice... (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352621)

It is feasible that the increased security measures have scared off potential attacks/crimes while they're still undetectable thought.

I can't really think of any way to prove such things to have actually happened or not, but it does help gray up that black/white situation you've painted where these measures have done absolutely nothing beneficial.

Re:Nice... (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351191)

Does the DHS have even one documented case of this information preventing said activity?

I don't think this is a valid criticism of the work the DHS is doing (and there is a lot of valid criticism). If you think that the only prevents attacks by stopping them at the gate, you are missing the point. Effective security should stop attacks in the planning stages when the terrorists realize their plan cannot work, not at the last possible moment. You can't really collect statistics on all the potential attacks which never got off the ground because of methods like these.

I'm not defending the frighteningly Big Brotherish strategy of the DHS. And I think this is a bad idea for a whole bunch of other reasons. But its effectiveness isn't one of them.

Re:Nice... (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351589)

Effective security should stop attacks in the planning stages when the terrorists realize their plan cannot work, not at the last possible moment.

And how are secret measures that it takes a herculean effort even to reveal exist going to do that, especially when combined with the much more well publicized failures of DHS components (e.g., TSA) to do basic thinks like spot images of bombs on baggage screening scanners?

Heck, even if these measures were publicized, its hard to see how they would help: terrorists, particularly suicide terrorists, aren't going to be particularly concerned that after they blow up the plane they are on, DHS might figure out who they were and where they bought their ticket.

Re:Nice... (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351593)

You aren't wrong.

The difficulty is that we can't say either way if any of these programs have had any of the intended positive effects. But there are demonstrable negative effects.

So we are reduced to magical thinking. Essentially believing (or not) that the price is worth paying only because we wish it to be so.

This does not seem to me to be a reasonable way to run our government or our lives.

-Peter

Measure of Effectiveness (1)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351251)

It can be really difficult to deturmine exactly what any action "prohibits" unless you've got a lot of data where you can at least begin establish corelational data between TSA/DHS and airbore terrorist attacks. This is kind of difficult to do when you only have one, or a small handful of this sort of thing happening ever to compare against. Since the mandate is "Don't let terrorists blow up our planes" we won't know if it is working until we either catch a terrorist with a bomb on a plane or attempting to board a plane and stop him or we have enough data to deturmine there is a marked-drop in attempted attacks; which I see as being difficult to come up with because I don't think there are that many, and even if there is, so few have been successful you're going to get a lot of new arrests due to increased enforcement, but never have anyway of truly knowing what the individuals intent was for comparison to historical data. If terrorists were regularly blowing up 1 per 1000 flights and after the advent of the TSA the rate dropped to 1 per 1 000 000 or rose to 1 per 10 flights, you'd be able to say they that something is making terrorism easier/more difficult. Just like the bank... if it has only been robbed one time and that was in 1957, it is hard to say if the additional gaurd is the factor that has caused it to not be robbed in 2008.

One DHS program (US Border & Customs) could more redily be tested for effectiveness in how it alters illegal immigration or the transfer of illegal and or dangerous materials into or out of the country (e.g. # attempting to enter, vs those stopped, percentage over time.)

Granted, I don't find the TSA extremely effective per-se, as they let a caught a relative with a pair of 4" scissors who accidentally left them in her sewing bag, but then let her on the plane with them anyway; but it is a stretch to say authoritatively what the real threat has ever been over time. Than also being said, it is more of a mater of personal philosophy if their level of interference, data collection, etc... has been worth the hastle and invasion of privacy that is worth the risk they may/may not have reduced if it could be numericly deturmined. Some would say that no amount of privacy violation is worth total loss of all aircraft and some would say the book is open if it has the potential to save one aircraft; and I'd say most folks are somewhere in the middle.

Re:Measure of Effectiveness (2, Interesting)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351675)

Granted, I don't find the TSA extremely effective per-se, as they let a caught a relative with a pair of 4" scissors who accidentally left them in her sewing bag, but then let her on the plane with them anyway

The TSA does more than check passengers for box cutters. This incident (besides being anecdotal) says nothing about the TSA, other than that one TSA agent is not a droid and used some common sense. As many have pointed out, the era of small melee weapons being effective hijacking tools is over. Seriously, what do you think would happen if someone pulled out a pair of scissors and said "this is a hijacking"? Remember Richard Reid, the "Shoe Bomber?" They had that fucker hogtied and sedated within minutes of smelling a burning match. The 9-11 attacks were only successful because the "aircraft suicide bomb" gambit had never been done before and people were conditioned to go along with hijackers and wait it out.

Re:Nice... (5, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351301)

Does the DHS have even one documented case of this information preventing said activity?

I doubt it. I drive through one of these [checkpointusa.org] about once a month and I always chuckle at the sign which reads "Terrorist threat level -- yellow".

I've ranted about them before so I'll just quickly say that they're there to catch low-hanging fruit like personal drug use and DUI to scare other citizens and fatten the county's coffers through citation. But I have a recent, true story to add:

A VERY law-abiding acquaintance(we'll call him "Jack") who is a retired State government worker was stopped at one of the checkpoints. They ran a dog around the car and the dog went apeshit. The CBP officers asked if they could search the car, even going so far as to say, "look, if you have something small like a joint, maybe we can make a deal". Of course, there were no drugs in "Jack"'s car so Jack told them to fuck off and get another dog. They did, and whaddya know, the other dog didn't smell shit and so they sent "Jack" on his merry way.

[tinfoil hat]They probably train a dog to scratch at every fifth car to instill fear among the others who have to watch and to see if they can generate an excuse to tear the car apart looking for bad stuff.[/tinfoil hat] And why not? It worked for FISA and all the retroactive "probable cause" bullshit associated with its gutting of our privacy.

Re:Nice... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351343)

[tinfoil hat]They probably train a dog to scratch at every fifth car to instill fear among the others who have to watch and to see if they can generate an excuse to tear the car apart looking for bad stuff.[/tinfoil hat] And why not? It worked for FISA and all the retroactive "probable cause" bullshit associated with its gutting of our privacy.

Dunno. Does Jack have a dog? Maybe the checkpoint dog smelled something innocent like dog piss.

Then that's not a well-trained dog (3, Informative)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352497)

Dunno. Does Jack have a dog? Maybe the checkpoint dog smelled something innocent like dog piss.

The entire point of bomb & drug dog training is to make them ignore the things that interest normal dogs (dogs of the opposite sex, food, dogs of the same sex, and people, generally in that order) and pay attention to the things that their trainers are interested in (high-nitrate compounds, processed coca leaves, or even DVDs [wikipedia.org] ).

If a detection dog is getting distracted by other scents while on duty, it calls into question whether or not they should be used as a cause for further investigation.

Re:Nice... (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351381)

let me guess your the kind of person who will be upset when they collect information to make informed raids on terrorist operations, but would also be upset if you were successful in taking away that information so they make uninformed raids?

Re:Nice... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351423)

You can't very easily quantify crime prevention - which means it's very hard to say with any level of certainty what it's achieving.

Most governments seem to be full of empire builders, however, and what better way to build an empire than start out with a department where you can at least in theory fabricate every single piece of evidence regarding how effective you are and nobody can ever prove this?

Elephants! (5, Insightful)

kbahey (102895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352561)

This one is easy ...

Ever since the DHS has been setup, there are no terror attacks on the USA. So, obviously what the DHS is doing prevents terrorism.

Is is the same up here in Canada. We sprinkle black pepper on our lawns to prevent elephants from messing then up.

But there are no elephants in Canada you say? See, more proof that the black pepper works ...

He should check again in a few years. (1)

DinkyDogg (923424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350943)

I'm curious whether the amount of detail in the record is gonna skyrocket because he dared to check the records or if it will stay roughly the same. If the DHS were afraid of bad publicity it might decrease, but we know they're way beyond that.

Sent off for mine this morning.... (5, Interesting)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350959)

I was curious to see what was in my file, as I've had a devil of a time trying to come up with my travel via stamps in the passport. The airlines were not helpful past 2005. I sent in for mine, based on the notes in that article, like this...

U.S. Customs Service
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue
  NW., Washington, DC 20229
January 6, 2009

To: Freedom of Information Act Request
From: [helix]
Subject: INFORMATION RELATING TO ME IN THE AUTMATED TARGETING SYSTEM

I am requesting information relating to me in the Automated Targeting System. My request is made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552). I wish to have a copy of your records made and mailed to me without first inspecting them.

[helix]

Born [redacted] in [redacted].

Passport number: [redacted], issued [redacted], expired [redacted]
Passport number: [redacted], issued [redacted], expiring [redacted]

Please mail the information to my home address:

[redacted]

Sincerely,

[redacted]

and addressed to

Freedom of Information Act Request
U.S. Customs Service
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
Washington DC 20229

Re:Sent off for mine this morning.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351039)

[redacted]

Re:Sent off for mine this morning.... (3, Informative)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351205)

You might find the e2 node [everything2.com] about getting your FBI records useful, as was posted above.

Fun with FOIA... (3, Funny)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26350979)

I remember an episode of Law and Order: SVU from last year where Richard Belzer's character requests his own file under FOIA. He's telling them where they can park the trucks to deliver it, but he's sorely disappointed when he gets his file and it only contains a single sheet of paper. The writers of the show must be Douglas Adams fans, cause the paper said something fairly equivalent to "Mostly harmless." Belzer's character complained about this, along the lines of "But I was a violent revolutionary!"

Some reductions there (0, Flamebait)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351083)

I wonder if by chance they keep track of what meal you request. Well maybe not, since airlines do not offer a Muslim meal AFAIK. The day they start though, I bet you they will keep track of that request.

Re:Some reductions there (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351149)

airlines do not offer a Muslim meal

There is always a vegitarian option.

Re:Some reductions there (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351385)

Ahh, but would that not raise flags as well? After all, vegetarians and vegans might be members of ALF...

Re:Some reductions there (3, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351735)

Meh. Vegetarians are murderers and those populist vegans are a sell out. I'm a seventh-level vegan.

I don't eat anything that casts a shadow.

Re:Some reductions there (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351749)

So it's groundhogs on the menu for you this year?

Re:Some reductions there (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351819)

Well maybe not, since airlines do not offer a Muslim meal AFAIK
 
You don't know very far. The western nation airlines all offer not only Muslim but also Hindu and Kosher meals:
 
  United Airlines religious meal options [united.com]
  American Airlines special meal options [aa.com]
  British Airways special meals [britishairways.com]
 
The list goes on. Pretty much every major airline. Oh wait, just checked Emirates. There aren't Kosher or Hindu option there. For some reason their sample menu looks just like the other airlines' Muslim sample menus.

Is this busy work or an effective measure? (3, Insightful)

john.picard (1440397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351139)

I believe I read somewhere that there are, at any given moment, 60,000 people in the air over the United States alone. That's a tremendous amount of information and more accumulates every day, so much that I cannot imagine how anybody or any software could sift through all of it effectively.

Re:Is this busy work or an effective measure? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351211)

I believe I read somewhere that there are, at any given moment, 60,000 people in the air over the United States alone. That's a tremendous amount of information and more accumulates every day, so much that I cannot imagine how anybody or any software could sift through all of it effectively.

Why not? grep for name, grep for ip address, etc.

Re:Is this busy work or an effective measure? (1)

slugtastic (1437569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351615)

Most (all?) of the procedures are done over a computer, and are (probably) instantly redirected to the DHS HQ. And I dont think they cant get a computer powerful enough to handle 60,000 connections...

-1, Fark ripoff (0, Offtopic)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351341)

old news.

Does merely requesting it red flag you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351365)

The obvious question is: does requesting your own info raise a red flag? Common sense says that it shouldn't, given that people who want to cause trouble would rather not raise their profile. That doesn't mean that's the actual policy.

If requesting your records does raise a red flag, there's a simple, yet perhaps difficult to coordinate workaround: have enough people request theirs that the mere act of requesting it does not signal anything. This has the unfortunate side effect of, as TFA states, simply costing taxpayers more in the end. Perhaps a better solution is to write your lawmaker to support legislation which limits the data retention times and provides funding for proper security of the data.

Re:Does merely requesting it red flag you? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351659)

The obvious question is: does requesting your own info raise a red flag?
I guess you'd have to order it again to find out.

$50! (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351443)

"While there was no charge to me when I requested my records, you might charged a fee of up to $50 if there is difficulty in obtaining your records."

.

Obviously, the $50 is payment that is passed onto the p0rn companies as the agents 'need' to fully and completely check out your weblinks.

Should have used the Privacy Act, not FOIA (5, Informative)

karl.auerbach (157250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351455)

The person made his request under FOIA. That was not the best vehicle for this.

A much better law to use to get information about yourself is the Privacy Act.

The two laws have confusingly similar numbers: 5 USC 552 for FOIA and 5 USC 552a for the Privacy Act.

The Privacy Act is a much bigger hammer for getting information about yourself. Agencies have many fewer excuses and the deadlines are far shorter. And agencies generally can't make you pay for you to get their information about you.

Yes, the Privacy Act has many loopholes, but they are much fewer than those in FOIA.

So, if people are going to do this they should make sure that they make their request under the Privacy Act. They can still use FOIA, but they should do so under a separate cover because the agencies will intentionally conflate the two laws so that they can avoid fully complying with either.

See: http://www.cavebear.com/archive/nsf-dns/laws.htm

Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351507)

This info is available to any airlines ticket agent at the check-in counter.

Nothing to see here folks move along.

Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.

do we object when the gov't knows, but not bidnis? (1)

aGuyNamedJoe (317081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351551)

Interesting to see what's there.

A few years ago, though, I started to wonder -- why do we seem to be concerned when the government has detailed information about us, but not when business does?

Your bank probably says they'll only share your information with related companies... but they carefully don't say what counts as "related"...

Was there anything in those records, I wonder, that the airline didn't know, or the credit card company?

Will this be on the TV show tonight (1)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351599)

I love the timing. The Series Premiere for the new ABC reality show "Homeland Security USA" is tonight. I don't think I'll be watching it, but I have to laugh everytime I see the commercials for it. Maybe its just because when I think of Homeland security I think of the TSA people harassing me at at the airport or the "We have randomly searched your bag for your own protection" letters I find in my luggage occasionally when I fly.

Re:Will this be on the TV show tonight (1)

I_want_information (1413105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352321)

True security theater!

This just seems ripe for Identity theft. (1)

John Sokol (109591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351647)

  I mean, you don't know who is seeing your files.
  Do you trust every gov employee who has access to your data not to pass a few important bits of information to some unscrupulous people?

  It looks like some Credit card number is grayed out.

  You'd never be able to trace it back to it's source.

  Also is it possible to use the freedom of Information act to see other people files?
  I can imagine what a violation of my privacy that would be.

  It's interesting the IP address doesn't have a time/data stamp. So for Dynamic IP's it's not going to be that useful in tracing down to an exact street address where you were at the time.
 

Re:This just seems ripe for Identity theft. (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351793)

The guy specifically states that his credit card info isn't there, fortunately. The IP doesn't have a timestamp, and I didn't look, but isn't there a time stamp on the ticket purchase? because it would be pretty much the same thing at that point...

hey dirty linux faggots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26351691)

you all suck a dick. cum guzzling faggot linux faggot bitches. take it up the ass again, homosexual. hopefully you'll get the aids and die.

Stupid, expensive, and ineffective. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351789)

The billions of dollars spent on the security theater we put up with at airports would buy a hell of a lot of good old-fashioned counterintelligence work, infiltrating organizations that mean to do us harm. The idea that a perp won't go through with an attack if you just suck down a couple more terabytes of data and feel up every woman in the security line is nothing but fantasy.

-jcr

Re:Stupid, expensive, and ineffective. (0, Troll)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351981)

Two problems with that idea. The first is the people that could infiltrate are generally well indoctinated against "the Great Satan" already so the pool of potential infiltrators is rather small.

Secondly, in a country that dispises their intelligence services, why would the government (or the people) put up with potentially innocent groups being infiltrated? After all, until they actually do something they are completely innocent. So what "right" do the intelligence services have to interfere with them?

That is the argument that we are going to be hearing moer and more I think. We are going to have a manager-type in charge of the CIA without any real policy or position - so he will do what he is told. And the President seemed to think a while ago that negotiation was the way to deal with fanatics. No, I don't see any interest in infiltration anytime soon.

We probably need to think very clearly about what there is that can be done and what cannot be done. Right now, I'd say the balance comes down squarely on the side of what cannot be done with very little that we can do or will be allowed to do.

No longer do I need to keep my own records (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26351991)

There is a saying, that a married man need not remember his mistakes — his wife will always remind him.

Similarly, there is, it seems, hardly a need to maintain one's own travel records (such as for tax purposes) as the Government will always be ready to mail a neat envelope with 20 copies...

The only offensive part here is that although — according to TFA: "Since 2002, the government has mandated that the commercial airlines deliver this information routinely and electronically " (emphasis mine), the records aren't delivered to the citizens neither routinely (only upon request), nor electronically (20 copies by mail?). Oh, and the request, apparently, needs to be filed on bad old paper.

Time for FOIA-2.0...

I suppose it was necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26352003)

what with 9-11 and all. But the Administration got all of this in place so fast it almost appears they already had plans to make America a prison colony. Sorta like Australia. 9-11 just gave them an excuse to push up the timetable.

America always seems to pull back from the brink, but in order to do that they always have to go there. I'd like to see a graph of the number of police shootings of unarmed civilians plotted against elapsed time since 9-11.

No fluke (1)

WeeBit (961530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352205)

"In two cases, the basic identifying information about my traveling companion (whose ticket was part of the same purchase as mine) was included in the file. Perhaps that information was included by mistake."

I don't think it is a fluke/mistake They want to know whom you travel with also... Is it someone of interest to the DHS?

Not to nitpick, but: (1)

Craptastic Weasel (770572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352481)

From the Fine Article:

"An I.P. address is assigned to every computer on the Internet. Each time that computer sends an e-mailâ"or is used to make a purchase via a Web browserâ"it has to reveal its I.P. address, which tells its geographic location.

two things.

1.) Not every computer gets a public IP address. Most normal PCs just sit on a RFC1918 network, and usually the router gets the "public" IP. This can be one computer, or fifty.

2.) IP may equal the geographic location of your network, or it can be the location of a proxy, which can be anywhere.

This is the kind of thinking that leads to IP = smoking gun. And FWIW obtaining the IP of anyone is trivial if you really wanted to. This guy makes it sound like it's some secret "Where's Waldo's Network" game.

ip address seems wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26352565)

Those ip addresses seem like they would be from the web site not the end user.

Most online agencies would not be sending a user's ip address to the airline it's booking on or to anyone else.

This is a standard CO PNR (2, Informative)

hemp (36945) | more than 5 years ago | (#26352649)

Before everyone gets all tinfoily, this is merely a PNR (Passenger Name Record) from Continental Airlines reservation system (System One) made through their online website. Most employees at Continental would have access to this.

Its relatively easy to decode:

1 CO 40H 20JUN FR EWRFCO HK1 525P 745A 27B

1 -1st leg
40H -Flight number + ?
CO -Continental Airlines
20Jun -Departs June 20
EWRFCO -Flight is Newark to Rome
525P -Departs 5:25 pm
745A -Arrives 7:45 am
27B -Seat number

2 ARNK -ARrival uNKnown, means legs are not continuous

3 CO 103V 06JUL SU AMSEWR HK1 920A 1150A 27b

AMSEWR -Return flight is Amsterdam to Newark

IP Address stuck in case of credit card fraud.

Most airlines have something very similar that is created every time you make a reservation.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>