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Verified Identity Pass Shuts Down "Clear" Operations

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the will-you-also-clear-the-database dept.

Privacy 171

torrentami writes that Verified Identity Pass, operator of the "Clear" program, which allowed pre-screened passengers faster access to US airport gates, "sent out emails to its subscribers today informing them that as of 11 p.m. PST they will cease operations. Clear was a pioneer in speeding customers through security at airports and had planned on expanding to large events. The service, where it was available, offered a first class security experience for travelers willing to fork over $200 a year and their biometrics. Customers are now left holding their Flyclear cards with encrypted biometrics. The question now becomes, what happens to all that information? This is not the first time Clear has been in the news. A laptop containing customer records was reportedly missing from the San Francisco International airport recently but then turned up shortly thereafter. Another casualty of the recession's downturn in business travel."

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What happens? (5, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437583)

The question now becomes, what happens to all that information?

Simple. It gets sold on eBay along with their servers.....

Re:What happens? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437629)

Dang it, I was going to say that...

Re:What happens? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438947)

What? Moo? [radiantempire.com]

Re:What happens? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438029)

Sad but (probably) true.

Re:What happens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28439989)

I'm truly concerned about my information on the Clear database. A four line EM telling me they're out of business is a joke. Tell me what the hell you're doing with our information.

Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (5, Interesting)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437599)

This is too bad for a few folks. One of the training companies used extensively by my employer is headquartered in Florida. All of their staff signed up for Clear and said it was either unavailable or pretty much worthless everywhere EXCEPT Orlando. There, seasoned travelers frequently found themselves in line behind hundreds of Disney-vacationing families with little kids, families unused to flying and doing everything wrong while still trying to herd the ankle-biters. It was supposedly a nightmare. For that airport and that airport alone, those guys thought Clear was a godsend.

Everywhere else? Their attitude was...meh.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (2, Interesting)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437739)

Doesn't Orlando have self-select back diamond [tsa.gov] lanes? Wouldn't that solve the problem of skipping past the many families that your company was solving using Clear?

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28437883)

Yes, Orlando has those lines, but you have to survive the first wave of Disney families/old people to get to them, and even then, clueless occasional flyers who don't know what they're doing barge in.

I have business in Orlando 4-5 times a year, and I'd have loved to have had a Clear card for that awful airport.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (3, Funny)

Ioldanach (88584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437929)

Could the TSA's own advances in screening have killed off the company's business model?

Clearly, the gubmint should step in and stop the TSA from getting efficient, frail business models need to be protected, right?

Operative words: "self-select" (1)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439467)

Unfortunately, many people probably follow the Winston Zeddemore philosophy of self-selection:

When someone asks you if you are a god, you say yes.

If you ask someone whether they're an expert or not, many of them will say yes. More importantly, most people will just follow the person in front of them blindly, or go to the shortest line.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (2, Funny)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437983)

Meh, you think it's bad at the airport? Just remember, a lot of those clueless families have been subjecting the locals to their driving habits, and the locals suck on the highways to begin with. Couple that with a local traffic management department that appears to be staffed by either chimpanzees or very small children, and that leads me to a sneaking suspicion that there aren't really that many accidents in the Orlando area - lots of people drive into concrete embankments on I-4 because they *want* to.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (1)

FutureDomain (1073116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439043)

Couple that with a local traffic management department that appears to be staffed by either chimpanzees or very small children

It's staffed by small children. The chimpanzees are running the DMV.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438065)

All of their staff signed up for Clear and said it was either unavailable or pretty much worthless everywhere EXCEPT Orlando. There, seasoned travelers frequently found themselves in line behind hundreds of Disney-vacationing families [...]

This is the reason I signed up for Clear: I had to stand in line for hours at Orlando.

I used it a few other places, but was never able to bypass huge lines like those at Orlando.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438503)

Fly through Tampa. Even on Memorial Day weekend, was less than 10 minute wait through security. And checking a rifle and revolver; 5 minutes. No forms to fill out, just a TSA guy who carries it over to an x-ray system and it's off to checked luggage.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438553)

Its the firearms that let you do that... see my other posts in this thread about it...

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (2, Funny)

matrim99 (123693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439601)

I'm glad they x-rayed your guns; who knows how many weapons you could have hidden in them!

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438969)

It's a good thing. Force the powerful to put up with all the annoyances of our security theater that the common man has to deal with, hopefully they'll get fed up with it and make the goverment implement something more sensible.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (1)

WBDinnigan (125242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439171)

Speaking of training, wouldn't it be helpful if someone put up an instructional video or a website with instructions on how to go through security and the airport in general? If so many people are having trouble, it seems to me that the average flyer (hey, that's me!) needs a bit of extra help. I don't see the current situation changing any time soon, so a bit of instruction would be helpful.

A pamphlet would be good, too- something to quickly check when waiting or before I arrive. I know that I use the bus schedules like that.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (4, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439233)

As a seasoned traveler, I could have told you that Clear wasn't going anywhere. Forget Orlando - New York on Monday mornings or O'Hare in winter make Orlando look like a walk in the park.

The problem with Clear is that they are not available at more than a couple of gates and terminals at any airport. So, you would end up going to that particular gate or terminal to get through Clear, as opposed to the one you are flying out of. Worse yet is that in some airports, they only have it available to passengers flying a certain airline (e.g. in Cincinnati, you can only go through Clear if you are flying Delta -- most American, US Air and United customers would have to go through good old TSA since the Delta terminal is not connected with any other terminal). Hell, they are not even available at all airports, which sort of defeats the complete purpose for a frequent flier.

Secondly, as a frequent flier, I simply go to the priority access lanes. If you've any kind of airline status, or if you're flying business/first, you get to go through a much shorter line, and do not have to stand behind muggles and grandma with her 500oz hair shampoo. These lines are shorter, and move much faster because seasoned and frequent fliers pack as little as they have to. For example, I can pretty much pack all that I need for a week in a laptop bag, including workout clothes and gym gear, books, emergency snacks etc. Throw in a garment bag and you've plenty of space for a vacation for a month. So, frequent flier lanes are also much faster because these people don't spend their time arguing with TSA to let them take their hair gel or water bottle through.

I must also say that I've seen a remarkable difference in TSA attitudes in the past couple of years. That helps, too.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28439539)

Yeah, I'd heard about Orlando, but there are other places where it was a godsend:
SJC terminal A, IAD, SFO. Most other places, it only helped if you hit at peak times.
I still support the idea of faster treatment for pre-screened frequent flyers.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28439551)

One of the training companies used extensively by my employer is headquartered in Florida. All of their staff signed up for Clear and said it was either unavailable or pretty much worthless everywhere

I only know of staff in downtown Clearwater that signed up for Clear and none of them say it's worthless, until they leave and get branded as lying defectors.

Re:Most people won't care, but at Orlando... (1)

clegrand (1082829) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439707)

... All of their staff signed up for Clear and said it was either unavailable or pretty much worthless everywhere EXCEPT Orlando...

I am disappointed at the news .. I fly out of San Francisco regularly and it was an incredible convenience. Of course, traveling with family who DIDN'T have the card meant I had to walk thru the normal line with them while I stared longingly at the Clear lane.. heh.

There goes my argument... (5, Informative)

T-Bucket (823202) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437637)

I was always amazed that they could put together a program like that for anyone who wanted to pay $200 but couldn't come up with a way to clear flight crews through without doing the whole "scan all your crap in front of the uneducated TSA goons who will then ask you 20 stupid questions about your approach chart holder" thing... (No kidding, one of them once asked me why I was carrying a "giant razor blade".)

Re:There goes my argument... (1, Interesting)

sprag (38460) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437831)

well, why were you carrying a giant razor blade?

Re:There goes my argument... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438517)

To evaluate his giant conspiracy theories, natch.

Re:There goes my argument... (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438743)

I think he's saying the "giant razor blade" was his approach chart holder [lanieraviation.com] .

Re:There goes my argument... (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437971)

Yeah, you'd think a concealed carry permit would work just as well... fed and state background checks, finger prints, photos, etc.

Re:There goes my argument... (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438179)

Not all states conduct a NICS check prior to issuing an LTCH. Not all require photographs.

But now that you mention it, I think I should be able to skip past security by showing a signed off Form 4. I imagine myself walking up to the checkpoint on my way to a shoot, I hold up a supressor and paperwork, they wave me on through.

Re:There goes my argument... (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438459)

Well, traveling with a firearm just about lets you do that... I have a buddy who does a lot of work travel. He says his best investment has been the action of a old single shot shotgun.

Puts it in a locking case (about the size of a shaving kit bag), which goes in his luggage, which then gets locked with a *real* lock. Checks in, declares the firearm (since the action is the gun per ATFE), re-locks his luggage, and gets a quick escort thru TSA screening.

The great part is the one time his baggage was "lost" was the look on the TSA guys face when he asked "You calling BATFE or should I?"

I believe your NFA goodies would work the same way (or at least, I hope they would)

Re:There goes my argument... (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438681)

A single-shot shotgun? Or a single-shot pistol? Based on the shaving kit bag, I'd think it was the latter.

I've heard of professional photographers doing something similar when traveling. They can't take their entire lens and camera collection on the plane with them, so they buy a starter pistol and include it (locked up, of course) with their gear. They don't do it to speed through, but just to be able to trace it, since airport security tracks bags and containers with firearms much more closely.

Re:There goes my argument... (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438705)

Sounds like he's traveling with just the receiver of a shotgun, sans barrel and stock. Yeah, would fit in a shaving kit.

Re:There goes my argument... (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439097)

OK, got it. That makes sense. I got locked into trying to figure out how to fit a shotgun into most luggage, and missed the part specifying the action.

Heathrow T5 (4, Insightful)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437655)

They still have something similar at the new BA Heathrow terminal. If you're a business or 1st class passenger you get your own special lane in the security checks where (presumably - I'm just an economy pleb) the line moves faster (fewer unwashed masses) and maybe the staff are less rude to you. I guess it's just another part of the "aspirational" nature of flying, where you wish you could afford to fly business because it might be a slightly less depressing and dehumanising experience.

The cynic in me says that this is a natural and welcome part of security theatre [theatlantic.com] . Like forcing everybody to rebuy their bottled water every time they fly, this practice seems to have a lot more to do with making companies associated with flight security a pile of money than it does making anybody safe.

Re:Heathrow T5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28437789)

Heathrow's FastLane is a godsend.
It's for OneWorld Emerald/BAEC Gold or Business Class passengers.

On a recent arrival to Heathrow, c.a. 5pm., security was swamped.
Lines were easily thirty minutes to get through security, yet I walked through FastLane in less than fifteen seconds.

Re:Heathrow T5 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28437803)

Not exactly a new thing on this side of the Atlantic, there have been First Class security lines in big US airports for most of this decade (if not longer).

Re:Heathrow T5 (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437859)

I fly through UK airports a lot - admittedly mainly Stansted rather than Heathrow - and I've never had staff be rude to me. They're not all friendly (although some are), but in my experience they are all professional.

Re:Security Theater (4, Informative)

Queltor (45517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438259)

All the people who complain about having to buy water make me laugh.

The prohibition is on the liquid, not the container. If you want to have a bottle of water on the plane then carry an empty bottle through security. I've carried reused plastic bottles, Nalgene hiking-type bottles, and even a metal Kleen Kanteen through security without any problems. Once you're through security, find a water fountain and fill up!

Just remember to vent the bottle once on the plane. The pressure changes can leave you with a leaking bottle.

Re:Security Theater (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438561)

+1 to that. I take an empty nalgene, unscrew it and hold it upside-down as I pass through the metal detector.

Re:Security Theater (1)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438625)

I tried that once, they took my bottle anyway.

Re:Security Theater (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439265)

I carry an empty bottled water bottle through and do the same thing. It really ticked me off the last time I flew to NY to find that the new NWA terminal at Detroit Metro has no drinking fountains on the way to the gate. I am certain this is on purpose.

Re:Security Theater (1)

hemp (36945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439669)

Same thing with Kansas City.

Empty bottle verboten. No water fountain.

You could of course, buy a bottle of water on the flight.

Re:Security Theater (1)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439269)

Dude, there are no water fountains at UK airports. Yes, I know that sucks. Why do you think I'm bitching about it?

Re:Heathrow T5 (1)

Ponderu (83099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438741)

Heathrow T5 is for 1st, business and flexible economy tickets, so more people can use this than you might think. And don't believe for a minute it runs faster! Do a search on Google for T5 Fast Track to see the complaints of frequent travellers who are eligible for fast track, many of whom now give it a miss and join the line with the rest of the "economy pleb"s as you put it.

From my own experience, the normal lines primarily have holidaymakers and casual travellers with one piece of hand luggage, whereas "fast track" has buiness travellers with one case and a laptop bag and therefore have to take their laptops AND liquids out of their bags. Thanks to T5's special "everything must go in the trays" design (and these trays are smaller than the maximum permitted hand baggage size!) and the distinct lack of space to prepare this is a massive hold up.

Re:Heathrow T5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438919)

But I PREFER drinking my explosive water, rather than throwing it in the trash with all the other explosive water. DAMMIT!

Re:Heathrow T5 (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439861)

Well, in just about all airports in the US, passengers flying First, Business or with Frequent Flier Status have separate lanes that are much faster.

Secondly, no one asks you to buy a bottle of water. Carry a water bottle and refill it at a fountain once you are done checking in. It's really not rocket science. Hell, some times it is cheaper to buy a water bottle at an airport store and refill it than buying a new bottle of water.

AYBAB2U (2, Funny)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437727)

All Your Biometrics are Belong to Us!

Who are we kidding? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28437749)

This is a business. A business exists to make money. If it's legally possible, the information will be sold to the highest bidder.

Sorry, but it's the American way.

Re:Who are we kidding? (2, Insightful)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437821)

"If it's legally possible"

What do they care about legalities, they're going out of business, there'll be no one left to sue.

Re:Who are we kidding? (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438217)

Exactly, so the only concern would be criminal charges.

--
Toro

Re:Who are we kidding? (1)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438535)

I thought corporations were separate entities so board members/employees couldn't be charged with the corporations' actions.

Re:Who are we kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438687)

Really? You thought you could do any crimes as long as it was for the company?

Re:Who are we kidding? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438997)

Duh. He is an investment banker, after all.

Re:Who are we kidding? (2, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438875)

Common misconception on Slashdot (and a lot of other places). Board members and employees can still be held liable -- criminally and/or civilly -- for gross negligence. It's a necessarily high bar, though. The business largely takes the liability for the employees' simple mistakes, and for decisions made by the board members, they need some level of insulation against civil claims. Running a business involves risk, and they can legitimately make the wrong decision about a path to follow. If that happens because of a simple oversight or just a wrong bet (figuratively speaking), they shouldn't be held liable for it.

Had they been completely insulated, we'd never have seen Bernie Ebbers charged, convicted, and sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.

A lot of business travel is unnecessary (2, Insightful)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437783)

Another casualty of the recession's downturn in business travel

When this economy turns around, I hope some sanity remains regarding what business travel is necessary vs. wasteful. So much of the time these business meetings could have been conducted by phone or over the internet.

Re:A lot of business travel is unnecessary (5, Insightful)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438273)

Unfortunately, "when this economy turns around" is precisely when what is wasteful vs. not will CEASE to be recognized.

Re:A lot of business travel is unnecessary (2, Interesting)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439083)

Hear hear! Would mod you insightful but I'd rather comment this time. It's sad but true, that the 'recovery' we're looking for basically depends on the people who still have lots of money convincing the masses to go ahead and resume wasting theirs on things they really don't need at all. I'd almost rather see the recession continue indefinitely if it continues improving the saving rate of Americans or stops them from believing they need all the made-in-China crap that the marketing folks want them to buy.

Never signed up (3, Insightful)

ToAllPointsWest (801684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437829)

Right now I'm so glad I never signed on for that BS.

Color me unsurprised (2, Insightful)

tacokill (531275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28437911)

I looked at the Clear Pass program. It's a waste of money as far as I can tell. Basically, as I understand it, you get to pay $200/yr for....wait for it.....a special line where you can go through the exact same security procedures as the other non clear pass lines.

It begs the question: why bother? Which is why I am sure they are having trouble attracting customers.

I travel enough that an expedited security procedure would be helpful. However I can't see *any* value in this program. Apparently, I am not alone.

Re:Color me unsurprised (1)

Dekaner (72280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438035)

I use the Clear program and was very disappointed when it was shut down. You're basically paying an annual fee to not wait in line with everyone else. The clear line is a seperate queue that moves very quickly and then they walk you to the front of the normal security screening line. This regularly saved me the time and frustration of traveling with people who are not experienced with the security procedures.

Re:Color me unsurprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438127)

This regularly saved me the time and frustration of traveling with people who are not experienced with the security procedures.

I still fail to see the benefits, especially the time savings. Won't you still have to wait until the rest of the slow people have passed through their line, before the plane can take off? You exchange waiting in front of the checkpoint with waiting behind it. What for?

Re:Color me unsurprised (4, Funny)

Pahroza (24427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438209)

How about not having to get to the airport -- what is it now, 36 hours? -- before your flight?

Sitting down at the gate and waiting is quite a bit different than waiting in line with all the cows that have never been to the airport.

Re:Color me unsurprised (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438271)

Won't you still have to wait until the rest of the slow people have passed through their line, before the plane can take off? You exchange waiting in front of the checkpoint with waiting behind it. What for?

Since when do planes wait for all the passengers, you already bought a ticket and they have your money. I am pretty sure they just leave to keep the airport on schedule.

Re:Color me unsurprised (2, Informative)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438391)

If the passengers have checked luggage, then the plane will sometimes wait for them. The luggage would have to be located and removed, which takes a while. Waiting 10 minutes for the passenger can be more sensible than waiting 20 minutes to get their bags off. Except for the moral hazard [wikipedia.org] issue, I suppose.

Re:Color me unsurprised (2, Interesting)

AlecC (512609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438479)

Once you have checked your baggage, they more-or-less have to wait for you. The are not allowed to fly baggage without passenger, because that would be an easy way to get a bomb on board without risking yourself. So if a passenger disappears, they have to unload all the baggage and scan through to find the bags of the disappeared passenger by scanning the tags. Extremely laborious - probably take over an hour for a large plane, unless they are lucky. Which is why they get so energetic paging missing passengers over the PA, and have staff looking for drunks passed out in the toilets.

Re:Color me unsurprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438691)

The are not allowed to fly baggage without passenger

They say this all the time, but yet I often don't fly on the same flight with my bags.

Re:Color me unsurprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438865)

Once you have checked your baggage, they more-or-less have to wait for you. The are not allowed to fly baggage without passenger, because that would be an easy way to get a bomb on board without risking yourself. So if a passenger disappears, they have to unload all the baggage and scan through to find the bags of the disappeared passenger by scanning the tags. Extremely laborious - probably take over an hour for a large plane, unless they are lucky. Which is why they get so energetic paging missing passengers over the PA, and have staff looking for drunks passed out in the toilets.

This is utterly False, hands down completely and utterly false.

I've missed many connecting flights, which means my baggage has been checked in, and spent the night at the airport or hotel sans baggage only to find my bag sitting calmly for me at my destination. I've even missed the gate closing for a flight and had my bags still make that flight and me wondering if I should have just checked myself into my luggage. There is nothing that stops them, no regulation, no rule, from putting your baggage on the plane onces you've checked in and giving your seat to someone else. On late connections I've asked for them to call ahead to the connecting gate and tell them I'm on the way only to be told they don't hold the plane for anyone unless it's for medical reasons or for other reasons such as being in a wheelchair.

As for using that methodology for getting a bob on, that's a pretty hollow argument. All bags are passed through a security X-ray machine and those that come up as questionable get searched, on top of random searches of bags. I've had mine searched a few times with a nice little note saying, "Yes we searched your bag, we're sorry if something is missing, we try."

Re:Color me unsurprised (1)

ID000001 (753578) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439423)

I have so far missed two flights this year and both time, they sent my baggage without me.

Re:Color me unsurprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28440005)

This is true on international flights only.

Re:Color me unsurprised (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439701)

"Since when do planes wait for all the passengers, you already bought a ticket and they have your money. I am pretty sure they just leave to keep the airport on schedule."

They want to fill every seat on the plane. Each flight costs about the same whether there are empty seats or not, but empty seats don't pay fares.

I don't know the intricacies of how they compromise the between the conflicting requirements of filling the plane, leaving on time, and keeping passengers happy, but they're not going to push back if there are empty seats on the plane and farepaying bodies to put in them. I suppose they'd prefer to fill them with a sure-thing body on standby in the gate area than a hypothetical body going through security, but they probably have a good idea how many out-of-breath latecomers are likely to sprinting up to the gate at departure-time-plus-120 seconds, and it probably factors into the gate agent's judgement.

Re:Color me unsurprised (1)

Jahf (21968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438143)

It actually wasn't the exact same procedures, at least not in Denver. It was about twice the amount of time to "clear" the Clear line because of extra measures. Clear users in Denver were put through the "you look suspicious, let's sniff you" line. Yeah, they got to cut to the head of that line (which made it REAL fun to go through as a normal Joe) but it still slowed them down significantly.

Re:Color me unsurprised (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438355)

It begs the question: why bother? Which is why I am sure they are having trouble attracting customers.

I travel enough that an expedited security procedure would be helpful. However I can't see *any* value in this program. Apparently, I am not alone.

To me the bigger question is the public good provided in exchange for the line jump.

The biometric data, the retinal scanning, and the background checks or whatever they did over there seemed to be just a way to say "Hey, look at us -- we're helping prevent terrorism by collecting this data and making sure folks getting on the plane are who they say they are." In essence, it was a sham as they just went through the same security check anyway and as long as one is a first-time terrorist that knows what he's doing, it's no problem for you to make it through CLEAR.

eg. some of the September 11 hijackers managed to make it through freaking flight school in the US without a problem -- are they suggesting they couldn't make it through CLEAR? I find that hard to believe.

The CLEAR program was a way for publicly funded airports to give the opportunity to skip in front of the line in exchange for a fee paid to a third party.

Re:Color me unsurprised (2, Insightful)

massysett (910130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438367)

I looked at the Clear Pass program. It's a waste of money as far as I can tell. Basically, as I understand it, you get to pay $200/yr for....wait for it.....a special line where you can go through the exact same security procedures as the other non clear pass lines.

Especially when most of the people who would be interested in Clear and who would pony up $200 for it are already flying first class, business class, or have some sort of "elite" frequent flyer status...meaning that they can already go to the special lane that jumps them to the front of the security line. When I first heard of Clear, I thought it would qualify you for a reduced amount of screening (maybe keep your shoes on?) When I heard that you get the same screening as everybody else, I knew there was no way it would last long because it's completely pointless.

Re:Color me unsurprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438955)

I thought the same as you, but I started travelling DEN/SFO every other week. The lines at DEN are somewhat efficient and I never had an issue. But at SFO, when I returned home Friday morning, we got hit with the international fliers where the lines literally wrapped around corners and out the doors. The Clear lines were... well... clear. So I decided to get a card and I never looked back. I was able to check in on line and show up at the airport 45 minutes before the flight took off. The best was right before a holiday, I had to go to SFO. The DEN lines were over an hour that day wrapping and wrapping. I waltzed right through the line and bypassed everyone. That right there made it all worth it (I know... but I really hate lines a lot). That really reduced the stress of the airport experience. I for one, will be sad to see it go as it really did make my travel experience a bit less stressful.

Re:Color me unsurprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28439073)

I found it a waste of time, after going through a month of screening and paperwork, they still asked for my passport, clear card, secondary ID and ticket EVERY time I flew, and THEN I had the privileged of being submitted to my biocheck (which btw, even though they had my iris scan, I was only ever "allowed" to use my fingerprint). When the renewal came up I told them it was useless and wasn't interested, looks like one of the best decisions I made this year - I should start investing in the stock market.

Re:Color me unsurprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28439447)

If you travel "enough" from Orlando and/or Atlanta - its value in time was more than worth the cost.

Good riddance (2, Insightful)

surmak (1238244) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438067)

I am very glad to see this go. I have always thought that the "trusted" traveler program is unfair and dangerous to everyone's civil liberties. Those who travel frequently should have the go through the same hassle as everyone else, and so will be more likely to complain and get the system fixed for all of us. If frequent traveler are segregated into their own first class lane, they have less incentive to work to change the system, and the rest of the traveling public do not fly enough to care. This is the same reason that racial profiling of any sort is wrong. If society decides that law enforcement needs to inconvenience people, then all people, especially those with the power to effect the decision should have to pay the price, and not just a relatively powerless minority.

Airport security, as a whole, is pretty much worthless, and seems only to serve the purpose of getting people used to law enforcement checkpoints ("papers, please") The one post 9/11/01 change that did matter was the reinforcing of the cockpit doors. Everything else the TSA (or private screeners, before the establishment of the TSA) did, from the banning of drinking water, to the confiscation of Leatherman tools has not done anything to make anyones flights any safer.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438351)

You're kidding, right? First of all, what does this have to do with civil liberties? You are still getting to fly just like most everyone else in the world. There are just a few people who were willing to pay more not to stand in line. For $200, you can join them. Second, what's this "get the system fixed for all of us" about? Sounds to me like bandwagon bitching to me.

Don't get me wrong, I think there are plenty of things wrong with the system; it's mostly theatrics. We all know this, and it's been this way for a while. I'm not a business traveler. I'm wasn't a Clear member. I do fly 4 or 5 times a year though, and I have problems with it. My biggest problem is that someone with my name is on the no-fly list; so, it takes me an extra 5-30 minutes to clear the ticket counter. I can't even begin to think about using the kiosks. I've asked and complained about it over the past 4 years, but I'm told there is nothing I can do to change it.

As for the rest of what you've said, I don't ever remember being able to fly with a knife (or Leatherman); so, good luck on complaining about that. A Clear membership wasn't going to suddenly allow you to carry on banned items. Your one legitimate gripe seems to be the banning of drinking water. It sucks. But, it's their plane and their rules. If you don't like it, take a train or drive. Going across the Big Pond? They still make boats. My point being, if you don't like it, don't reinforce their behavior. Myself, I'll be hanging out at the ticket counter waiting for someone to approve me to fly.

Re:Good riddance (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438433)

Prior to the current security theatrics, you could carry blades less than 3" on-board. Back then they were mostly concerned with things that could caused rapid explosions, aerosols, batteries, etc. They didn't care if you could stab your seat-mate.

Oh, and in the good old days you could kiss your girlfriend goodbye at the gate, instead of dropping them curbside, and you wouldn't get hassled by state troopers if you parked outside arrival for 10 minutes while your friends go their bags. Now I have to "orbit the airport" because Logan doesn't provide any short-term parking outside the terminals.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438659)

Oh, and in the good old days you could kiss your girlfriend goodbye at the gate,

I remember those days. When I was very young, my parents and I would occasionally go to BWI (new at the time) and watch the planes taking off and landing.

Now I have to "orbit the airport" because Logan doesn't provide any short-term parking outside the terminals.

That sucks. Some airports I've been to have a "cell phone waiting area" - you park in this lot for free, then your party calls you when they get their bags, and you swoop in and pick them up. Seems like a great idea.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439033)

Being hassled by airport police varies by airport. At LAX, even in the old days they didn't let you stop for an extended period, even when there was plenty of space around you (like when picking up friends from a 2am arrival). At DFW, though, at least along some of the terminals, there's space to stop off and park, and I've seen people parked and reading a magazine or newspaper for a half-hour and no one hassles them.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28439667)

The problem with security screening is NOT the TSA - it is the inexperienced traveller. They do not read the numerous signs leading up to the security checkpoint. They leave their laptop in their bag as it goes through the screener, the seem generally surprised that the bottle of water in their hands can't be taken through. I travel alot and I can have myself "screener ready" in less than a minute: All wallets, watches, keys, change in my bag not in my pockets. Shoes off - laptop out - bag on conveyer belt. DONE!. To stand behind somehow who has no idea what they are doing is maddening. We frequent travellers have tried to fix the system - by giving ourselves "express lanes" it frees up the other lanes for those who need a bit more assistance.

Clear SUCKED (2, Interesting)

Jahf (21968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438117)

I am so glad I decided not to enroll. I am a very regular traveler through the Denver airport and Clear had a very visible presence at the security gates. I was tempted at first but decided against it for 2 reasons:

1) Privacy: When I emailed Clear they stated that they did not share data with the government but they couldn't guarantee they -wouldn't- share data in the future. Clear takes -both- fingerprints and retinal prints. I asked if I could just give the retinal and they said no. While I haven't done anything that would have gotten me in hot water if the government got my finger prints ... well ... I reserve the right to keep them to myself, thank you very much.

2) Speed: Clear was supposed to be a "breeze through security" service. And yet all the stuff they do in the line (scan you for identity, put you through a "puff & sniff" detector) seemed to make people go through Clear -slower- than the normal lines over half of the time. The only time Clear was faster when I watched was during very high holiday traffic times ... and then only when there weren't many people in the Clear line.

Thanks but no thanks. Instead of getting us to pay to make a few people go through faster why not improve the TSA processes in the "real" security lines so that we don't have to suffer through things like:

* Idiots who STILL don't know how to remove their jewelry/shoes/laptops (easily accomplished by a -free- registration card that you can apply for after having passed through security at least once and using that completely wasted "1st class" security line for us business travelers)

* TSA jerks who literally go on break while being the baggage scanner. 25% of the time or -more- I am in a line where the scanner just stops. NO they aren't being diligent by double-checking a bag they are just sitting there. The last time a supervisor came over and started chatting up the bag scanner ... positioning themself between the growing line of travelers and the scanner so they couldn't see us ... even looking back, seeing the line growing, and continuing to chat the with the bag scanner attendant. Based on the amount of laughter and hand motions it was all just fun ... for them. Meanwhile there were other people standing nearby who could have helped.

And Clear wouldn't have helped in that situation. Why? Because it was late in the evening on a Sunday and Clear had closed up.

Clear was an attempt to make money off the fact that the TSA has no damned concept of speed nor efficiency. That's the wrong way to do it.

Good riddance!

Private companies selling public space (3, Insightful)

EsJay (879629) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438123)

Priority lines at the airport bug me. First class passengers are not paying me or the airport, the airline is collecting the cash. So why should they get special treatment and make the wait worse for the rest of us? Maybe I should set up a toll booth on my street. Or go to the DMV and set up velvet ropes to one station, and sell the "right" to that quicker line for $50/head.

Re:Private companies selling public space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438461)

Because the airlines are paying the airports rent. If the landlord says "Hey, for an extra 25%, we'll give you this priority lane" and the airline can justify the cost, why not?

Re:Private companies selling public space (1)

EsJay (879629) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439187)

Are they paying the TSA for exclusive use of equipment and personnel?

Re:Private companies selling public space (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438653)

Priority lines at the airport bug me. First class passengers are not paying me or the airport, the airline is collecting the cash. So why should they get special treatment and make the wait worse for the rest of us? Maybe I should set up a toll booth on my street. Or go to the DMV and set up velvet ropes to one station, and sell the "right" to that quicker line for $50/head.

From this article [findarticles.com] on Oakland's introduction of CLEAR:

"[The] airport began receiving a lot of requests for it, especially from large companies whose employees did a lot of traveling, she said. 'We are responding to customer input, customers saying, 'please, please bring this.'"

In essence, this represents a gift to the business community that the airport authority (themselves generally part of the "business leadership" community at some point in the past or future) cherishes. The theory goes that if you make things easier on businesses, the benefits show up for everyone!

Obviously different folks will have different opinions about this, but this is the theory. The LA Times article linked in the article has a comment's section that has a pretty hefty pro-CLEAR tone, so you can read that view espoused 50 times if you want.

Something like the "Buy n Large" disclaimer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438139)

"The question now becomes, what happens to all that information?"

It depends what the terms were [buynlarge.com] . Here's hoping they read the fine print before signing up.

Purpose was never, well, clear (2, Informative)

bzzfzz (1542813) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438177)

The problem with Clear's model is that there was never any evidence to speak of that the TSA cared about traveler's identities, at least not enough to allow them to bypass any meaningful amount of screening that they would otherwise perform. All the "Clear" screening bypassed, as far as I was ever able to determine, was the no-fly list check. As such the only advantage (unless you had a name that tended to cause false positives on the no-fly list) was that you got to cut the queue. Then you put up with the same removal of shoes, millimeter wave scan, and other indignities and fourth amendment violations as everyone else.

Re:Purpose was never, well, clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438327)

Yes, you put up with the same security procedures as everyone else (I'd be concerned if it were any other way), and in fact more since you've given up your biometric info as part of the background check. The main thing Clear gave me (a regular and happy user until today :( ) was predictability on how much time I needed to get through security, i.e. no more than 5 minutes ever.

Headline Misspelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28438375)

The headline should, I believe, read 'Verified IdentiTy Pass', not 'Verified IdentiFy Pass'.

That is all.

The USSR of A (1)

XB-70 (812342) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438419)

This is a classic case where a corporate entity is trying to facilitate exemptions to rules by collecting, providing and verifying information for the state. Control is being sold by the state in the form of workarounds to various rules and regulations. Now, with a corporate failure, for which no planning was done, liability for this information is vague at best and very troubling indeed.

That said, I am in no way in favour of the state having biometric information on its citizens - much to the contrary. Abuses of information are becoming more and more prevalent.

When billions are spent to 'secure' borders but nothing is done about people coming into the country carrying fatal diseases which kill far more than terrorists, where are the priorities?

The security of biometric information should be something that is completely in control of the citizen who then releases the information at his or her discretion predicated on the legal situation that they are confronted with. i.e., I use a crypto key to release verification information to a border guard. I determine what information to release and I record the information given to me by the security personnel so that I, too, have a record of whom I was dealing with, where and when.

A friend of mine who is a lawyer was asked at the border to produce the password to her laptop. She refused on the grounds that she had client-solicitor privileged information that the border guard was not legally allowed to see. The response was that she would not be allowed to enter the country unless the password was produced. Further to that, the laptop could be confiscated. This is a very serious and egregious erosion of our most basic rights and freedoms.

This past month, I was driving along in upstate NY parallel to the border on the St Lawrence River. In the opposite direction, a slew of border patrol guards were amassed. They had a roadblock set up and were verifying information of people driving westbound along the road. This was in upstate NY! This is what they communists did in the U.S.S.R.!!! Wake up, folks!! This is getting very, very serious.

We have to get away from all this knee-jerk reaction and fight hard to return true freedoms to the individual. Write your law maker. Write the press. Start political action. Motivate your friends and neighbours. You are losing freedom at a prodigious rate. Our grandfathers fought for this against Hitler. Make sure that their fight was not in vain.

Whats the point? (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438491)

What did 'Clear' really accomplish other than making another specialty line for others to stand in? Even so, all Clear really confirms for me is that if you happen to have a name that easily gets associated with a terrorist on "The Watch List", then this is all that it will circumvent. Other things like making sure you booked your flight with the same name as what is on your drivers license, making sure you have all your electronic devices pulled out of their cas(es), have no liquids over 2-3oz with you and plenty of other and anything else is pretty general as far as flying and airport rules are concerned. I'd say piss poor planning or TTR-VIP (Think They Are a Very Important Person) syndrome has a lot to do with people's woes at the airport.

Why should biometric be private? (1)

Fastfwd (44389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438731)

You would think that the secure part would be the scanner where only REAL biometrics can be input(fingerprint from a finger, not a printed paper) and matches to "public key" biometrics on file.

Re:Why should biometric be private? (1)

joedoc (441972) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439513)

Hers's how it works.

The Clear or PT customer provides a bunch of information for a TSA background check, along with verifiable identification. A birth certificate or passport are the only primary IDs they accept, along with some official photo ID.

After you sign up on line, you print out a form and go to the enrollment counter at the airport that has the service. They scan your irises and all fingertips. The data is then sent to Clear and burned to a chip on a smart card. The chip has the biometrics data and the necessary keys. The second issue of cards had a photo on them as well (the originals didn't).

When you arrive at the Clear/PT gate, you show your boarding pass and inset your card into the reader. (The PT folks a Jacksonville would usually take the card and insert it after checking the photo. The Clear folks at Reagan always asked the customer to insert the card). When prompted, you placed a finger on the reader, the system scanned it, read the chip, verified you and you were on the way. If the finger scanner couldn't get a good read, they'd scan the iris instead.

Once you're done, you proceed through the line.

I've read some comments here about the service at some airports, but my experiences have always been very positive. The Clear employees at Reagan couldn't have been more polite and helpful, and the early morning lady at the PT line in Jacksonville got to know me on a first-name basis.

As for the advantages of the service, yes, you do have to do the shoes/metal/laptop bit and step through whatever scanner they use. You have to do the same things as everyone else in the other lines. But you don't have the wait as you make the turtle crawl through those lines with the families and their obnoxious kids or the irregular travelers who haven't figured out the rules yet (despite the presence of shouting TSA agents telling them what to do).

Call me an elitist, but I travel a lot, usually when I'm pretty tired, and considering the lack of fun in getting on and off planes, the faster I wade through that shit, the happier I'll be.

I have travel routine. I do certain things *prior* to arriving at the gate (even the airport) that I know will get me to where I'm going faster. I really don't wish to put the brakes on that because of rambunctious children, strollers, and elderly people who decide to save the baggage check fees by carrying *everything* on the plane.

It's bad enough waiting after boarding (or simply trying to get down the aisle while boarding) because some idiot filled up his rollaway suitcase so it's just a little to big to fit in the overhead without forcing it in with a crowbar, while the rest of the boarding passengers line up, waiting for you to clear the aisle.

My big issue is traveling on Monday mornings. I live 45 minutes from the airport, and my departure times are usually between 6:30 and 7:30 AM, depending on the airline. Knowing that my wife and I can stay in bed an extra 30 minutes makes that service worthwhile.

There's also a lot of whining here by the so-called "privacy concerned" regarding what's going to happen to the data, or why the "government" has to use the data, or why the TSA sucks, or whatever.

First of all, as far as the TSA and their work is concerned, it is what it is. I wish it was better, or unnecessary, but there they are, and I need to get through them to get on a plane. So I deal with it. This service helps. I've personally never had an issue with them, my bags, or anything since I started using this service.

Second, the information you provide clear is no more intrusive than the information anyone can retrieve on you for the cost of a background check fee. They ask you name, address, phone number, a few other background details, they ask to see a birth certificate or passport and some kind of official photo ID. I don't recall having to provide any information to them that I would consider particularly intrusive. Hell, I had to give up a LOT more information about myself to get my current security clearance from the DOD.

Third, the information is given voluntarily by me. If someone, like you privacy whiners, doesn't want anyone having this information, don't sign up for service like this. If I'm willing to do this and pay for the privilege of skipping the cattle drive through the security lines, it's my money, right?

I'm a Clear customer, but not out in the cold yet. (4, Informative)

joedoc (441972) | more than 5 years ago | (#28438813)

I signed up for Clear last year. I live in northeast Florida but work in DC, so I fly to and from Jacksonville to Reagan in DC or BWI up in Baltimore. Reagan and Dulles had Clear lines, BWI does not.

In Jacksonville, the service was there prior to Clear. Called Preferred Traveler, it's operated by a company called Vigilant Solutions [jax-vip.com] . They always accepted my Clear credential. I contacted their office this morning via email and was informed that they are still operating and will continue to accept Clear's card at their gates. If you look at the list of their participating airports on their site, you'll see a long list. I don't know if these are their exclusive locations or ones that include Clear's lines, since I know Clear accepted their credentials as well.

The Clear shutdown news was a shock...I thought the email I received last night was a joke or spam, until I verified the news at their website.

Fortunately for me, I can still use my card where I need to most frequently: flying out of Jacksonville on Monday mornings. The regular security lines there can be brutally long, and using the Preferred Traveler line saves me more than 30 minutes of waiting. I can sleep later, the wife can sleep later, and I'm getting to my gate with no pressure. Worth every penny.

My hope is that some enterprising company steps in and take over Clear's operations. The service is really great.

Re:I'm a Clear customer, but not out in the cold y (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439629)

Yeah, I just flew out of JAX last wednsday, around 3 in the afternoon or so. Security there was terrible, and slow. Maybe 50 people or so combined in 2 lines, still took close to 20-30 minutes. The TSA guy was taking everything out of the bins, and wasnt telling people not to put what he was taking out in the bins(of course, since most people lose all common sense once setting foot on airport grounds, they were all too stupid to see what he was doing and so continued to put things in the bins that shouldnt.) I work at ATL, and the security lines there actually move really fast. Especially considering it is the busiest airport in the world.

New TSA rules are likely what killed CLEAR... (2, Interesting)

ECCN (1137677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439123)

There are two significant changes rolled out by TSA that are likely the cause of CLEAR to finally give up. (They have been struggling financially since inception, and had a very narrow adoption rate)... Here in Tampa, FL the TSA rolled out a new method of security line queues for travelers that segments travelers into three different classifications: * The first being an "Expert Traveler", highly familiar with TSA procedures and traveling light - they use a lane marked with a black diamond, ideally moving through security much quicker than the 'masses'; * The second being a "Casual Traveler", familiar with TSA procedures and has multiple carry-ons - they use a lane marked with a blue square; * The third category is "Family/Medical Liquids", travelers with small children, strollers, wheelchairs, medical liquids in excess of 3oz, large groups, anyone needing assitance and new flyers - they use a lane marked with green circle. Having flown out of Tampa several times sinces these have been implemented, I can say first hand they work pretty well as intended. The new "Black Diamond" lane is every bit as quick and effective as a CLEARPass lane. I have inquired and been informed that TSA is in the process of rolling this new security line queing process to most airports in the US. The second major change implemented by TSA that was likely the death knell for CLEAR is the new identification rule that went into effect on June 15th, and will beginincreased phase-in over the next 6 months. TSA now requires all tickets to be reserved/purchased in the EXACT full name that is on your government issued ID. For example, if your full legal name on your DL/Passport is Jonathan Quincy Public, but you are known by and go by Jon Public & in the past you bought your ticket for 'Jon Public', that is no longer acceptable, your ticket will now need to be issued to 'Jonathan Quincy Public'. In addition to your full legal name, when reserving/purchasing tickets you are also required to provide your date of birth and gender, two things that have never before been required. The change regarding names, gender & age are being 'rolled out' over the next 6 months. Meaning they are not required ATM, but requested & after the 6 month window they will be REQUIRED to purchase a ticket and travel through a TSA checkpoint. That last change is due to TSA taking over the process of name screening against the NO-FLY LIST during the ticket purchase/reservation stage. They are no longer allowing the airlines to be in charge of that process. That was the only real advantage CLEAR offered.... prescreened against the NO-FLY List. They had very limited effective benefits for the mass market because they were not able to get their screening locations across a wide enough array of airports and still required the same basic TSA level creening.

Just Bribe them. (1)

AndyTheCoderMan (1557467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439281)

No more than I fly, I find it much cheaper to just to slip one of the "courtesy" TSA agents $20 and tell them I'm in a hurry and they will speed you right though.

Makes sense to me (1)

shock1970 (1216162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439733)

If you fly frequently and participate in your preferred airlines frequent flier program, once you earn a certain number of mileage credits, you usually get a preferred status which allows you to go through (often-times) shorter lines with first-class and other preferred members. No need to shell out an extra $200. Also now that the majority of the population is aware of what needs to be done when going through airport security, I've found that even the regular lines move along somewhat quickly.
--
Sh!t happens. Then you wipe yourself.

A funny security theater story (OT) (5, Interesting)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28439779)

[Bruce] Schneier took from his bag a 12-ounce container labeled "saline solution."

"It's allowed," he said. Medical supplies, such as saline solution for contact-lens cleaning, don't fall under the TSA's three-ounce rule.

"What's allowed?" I asked. "Saline solution, or bottles labeled saline solution?"

"Bottles labeled saline solution. They won't check what's in it, trust me."

They did not check. As we gathered our belongings, Schneier held up the bottle and said to the nearest security officer, "This is okay, right?" "Yep," the officer said. "Just have to put it in the tray."

"Maybe if you lit it on fire, he'd pay attention," I said, risking arrest for making a joke at airport security. (Later, Schneier would carry two bottles labeled saline solution--24 ounces in total--through security. An officer asked him why he needed two bottles. "Two eyes," he said. He was allowed to keep the bottles.)

Well, I thought it was funny.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/airport-security/2 [theatlantic.com]

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