Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

JetBlue Gives Away Passenger Info To TSA?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the eye-in-the-sky dept.

Privacy 343

Old Ben Franklin writes "In September of 2002, JetBlue Airways secretly gave the Transportation Security Administration the full travel records of 5 million JetBlue customers. This sensitive travel data was then turned-over to a private security contractor for analysis, the results of which were presented at a security conference earlier this year and the analysis then posted on the Internet." This comes after Wired News's recent article on this matter, explaining that "...the proposed government system to prevent terrorism by color-coding airline passengers according to their risk level will be tested using old passenger itineraries from JetBlue", but quoting a TSA spokesman as saying that "currently only fake passenger data was being used."

cancel ×

343 comments

Good night, sweet faggots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992211)

Sleep well.

The Trans System Authority (-1, Offtopic)

xintegerx (557455) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992219)

First they nerf the guns, next the lerks need flight clearance? Ew...

Suspected terrorist (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992220)

Please throw me off the plane. I am a civial, understanding american who through no fault of his own got this label attached to me and can only travel by car.

Re:Suspected terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992234)

Better get used to Grayhound, bud.

Re:Suspected terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992287)

Better get used to Grayhound, bud.

Oh no, they put bombs on busses in Hollywood don't ya know. No one would ever expect a terrorist taking over a bus filled with nuns and smashing it into a building.

No one ever expects a bus filled with nuns!

Color Codes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992225)

Will the color coding match the current "threat level" coding? I hope so, because I don't know if I can memorize another color system.

Re:Color Codes (3, Interesting)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992242)

I'm quite red-green color blind. Why the fucking hell must we use color codes for such *important* classifications.

Any system beyond ROY G. BIV confuses the hell out of me, and I can't tell the diffrence between RO and G 1/2 the time making this a major issue making a judgement regarding threats, and BIV 100% of the time. Given that about 10% of all males are also red-green colorblind (according to my psych book anyway), it seems nuts to adopt yet more color codes.

Re:Color Codes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992257)

It's not 10%; it's much closer to 2-3%. That study was of a very small group, in a relatively isolated location.

THREAT LEVEL PINK ?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992356)

I wonder what that one's reserved for?

Re:THREAT LEVEL PINK ?!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992380)

Next year's homosexual agenda includes bombs, so we've gone ahead and had the government reserve that one for us.

Re:THREAT LEVEL PINK ?!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992382)

Gay french-canadian biker studs

color (4, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992233)

the proposed government system to prevent terrorism by color-coding airline passengers according to their risk level will be tested using old passenger itineraries from JetBlue

So is blue good or bad?

Re:color (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992256)

Blue will go better with your star of david armband.

Re:color (1)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992333)

Duh. They're going to use the same colors as the terror index: Red, Scarlet, Crimson, Cherry, and Yellow.

Re:color (1, Funny)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992339)

BTW I'm thinking about getting car painted "terror alert red". It just sounds sexy.

That's nice (5, Interesting)

PingXao (153057) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992236)

I flew them earlier this year. After already being on the plane 15 minutes at the gate a guy comes on board, calls my name, and escorts me off. Apparently they had marked me for the double-secret security scanning and failed to do it at the security checkpoint. No problems, really, and I was back on the plane about 10 minutes later in plenty of time for departure. Of course, my carry on bag was left in the overhead compartment the whole time I was off the plane.

It was the security folks who failed to do the extra scanning at the checkpoint, but it was Jet Blue's guy who got me off the plane. He didn't know and didn't care that I might have already snuck something onto the plane. If Jet Blue wants to help fight terror in the skies they'd better re-think their priorities. Paying lip-service to security is a long tradition in commercial aviation. Just think about this: if there was no law passed mandating crash-proof cockpit doors, most airlines wouldn't have put them in.

Re:That's nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992294)

If they can make the cockpit doors carsh-proof, they should make the rest of the plane out of the same stuff...

Re:That's nice (-1, Flamebait)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992310)

people who say this (usually about the 'indestructible' black box) and really, honestly, think they are being witty and making a valid, clever point are really fucking stupid. I hope you're not one of those people.

Re:That's nice (1)

intermodal (534361) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992352)

he did it AC, so I'm pretty sure he was poking fun at those people before they made an ass of themselves by doing it with their name.

Similar thing happened to me... (4, Interesting)

vor (142690) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992337)

Same thing happened to me at JFK. Ever since taking a one-way flight to Florida for a prolonged business trip, every flight I've been on I've been labeled "SSSS." I think it stands for Super Secret Squirrel Security.. I'm not sure. Anyway I get to cut the long lines at regular security so I don't care if they think I'm a terrorist.

The usual procedure is to stamp the ticket and punch a hole into the ticket to prove that the SSSS security check was made. After my very thorough SSSS check which involved unzipping my carry on and looking under one shirt, I got my ticket stamped but no hole. I'm about to board the plane when they say I can't get on because I only have the stamp.. not the hole.

Mind you, the hole IS A REGULAR CIRCULAR PUNCH HOLE CREATED BY A 1.99 STAPLES HOLE PUNCHER.

Of course I had to walk 900 feet back to the checkpoint, as this magical punchhole proved I was clean and not a terrorist. Kinda scary, no?

Also upon flying out of Burbank airport, flagged my usual terroristic SSSS, I asked which line is for SSSS security. To which the "guard" replied "Oh we don't do that here, just go through regular."

Now of course I know that I am no terrorist, but what about others who may be? When I told a close friend who is a pilot for United about that, he freaked out and said theyd be in huge trouble if the FAA ever found out.

Needless to say the whole airport security thing is a facade of false security, regulated by mystic punch holes, dimwitted workers, and innane flagged policies - He took a one-way flight!!! He's a terrorist lets do extra security on him for the next 30 flights!!" When of course anyone looking to cause trouble would just book round trip..

Re:Similar thing happened to me... (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992428)

You want to really mess with their heads?

Fly to Florida one way, hitch-hike back, then fly one way to Florida again.

Rinse and repeat.

Smoke will probably come out of their tiny little ears before they figure out how you can do that.

KFG

Re:Similar thing happened to me... (2, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992452)

He took a one-way flight!!! He's a terrorist lets do extra security on him for the next 30 flights!!

Oh great. I took a one-way fight out of the country. I'm going to be labeled a terrorist forever.

Oops and there's more.. (4, Interesting)

vor (142690) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992454)

This is the icing on the cake, it's kinda late so I guess that's my excuse for forgetting to type it..

While leaving Burbank my "friend" had purchased a kitchen utensil set. Upon packing the luggage my "friend" looked at the 8 inch chef knife and said.. "Damn I'm gonna have to ship this back or give it away cause there's no shot in hell this is getting let on the plane in my carry-on." His brother says Ah give it a shot, if its a no-go let security confiscate it.

Needless to say, my "friend's" bag went through the X-Ray machine, and the attendant didn't even give it a glance. Remember he is flagged for extra security.. regardless of the 8 inch knife on the X-Ray, the bag has to be checked by FAA policy!!! His bag was never opened and he boarded the plane and landed with the obvious contraband aboard. But I dare the 90 year old woman to try to board with a nail clipper.

So not only was he flagged as a security risk, but he sucessfully boarded the plane with an 8 inch chef knife without anyone giving him a second glance! Of course he had no mal-intents but the whole incident shocked my pilot friend and he was furious as it showed how really terrible airport security is, and how easy a terrorist can smuggle stuff in if a regular passenger (who was flagged a terrorist!!) can get by without trying to circumvent any security.

Re:Similar thing happened to me... (4, Insightful)

sigxcpu (456479) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992476)

The whole thing is a joke:

Problem: someone with a knife took over a plane and crashed it.

There were three places he could have been easily stopped :
1. The knife might have been discovered while he was boarding the plane.
2. An armed security guard could have stopped him while he attempted the takeover.
3. The cockpit door should have been locked.

I would have fixed 2&3.
(but that requires thinking)

This whole ssss business just shows that they are clueless, any perimeter defense can be circumvented or breached. If you want to protect something, focus on the inner layers of protection, investing in the outer ones is much less effective.

Re:Similar thing happened to me... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992575)

Haha! Yeah, recently I flew out of SeaTac. I walk up to the ticket counter and start chatting up the counter people. They tell me that I've been flagged for the secret squirrel line. Heavy sighs and eye rolling, etc. So I get my ticket and meander over to the Starbucks booth to get a $5 airport mocha. I've got plenty of time and I'll hit the super secret security line in a little bit.

Then it dawns on me... if I were a terrorist with a big ol' fruitcake bomb in my carryon or a plastic shiv down my sock, I'd just calmly walk out of there since they've told me that I'm slated to be searched. The only way they'll ever actually CATCH anyone with this stupid dual-line flagging approach is if they stop telling all those terrorists that they're going to search them ahead of time. Plus, once the CRAPPS II sticky status flag stuff is in place, all a terrorist has to do is fly once or twice without any boxcutters to get their status flag and know with high probability what they can expect on their next flight.

What a bunch of feebleminded doughnut-chomping rentacop government bureaucracy maroons we've got running this show. The only domestic terrorists I'm afraid of at this point are John Ashcroft and Tom Ridge.

One More instance (1, Funny)

spineboy (22918) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992596)

I easily passed thru security while wearing a slightly bulky jacket with a Beluga Whale tucked under my armpit. My friend got stopped for trying to bring on his 157mm howitzer though...

Color Coding (1)

ChozCunningham (698051) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992237)

Maybe they can use the color-coding system the astronomers are trying to do away with, since it creates the appropriate shock and awe to whip crowds into frenzies.

Nah they'll probably color-code them the ol' fashioned way. Pale=good, down to that nasty grimey brown we all know is the root of all evil.

And I thought I was bitter before Slashdot...

Re:Color Coding (2, Informative)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992297)

Actually, I think the color Green is the root of all evil. But you're probably right.

Re:Color Coding (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992390)

That's because green = Mr. Yuck!

Re:Color Coding (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992451)

Reminds me of a joke...

What did the leper say to the prostitute?
Keep the tip!

It's terrible when information is handled this way (4, Insightful)

Ratface (21117) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992239)

Typical - the first step probably seemed perfectly reasonable to JetBlue - I mean what could be safer than a Security Administration huh?

But then the records get given to a private firm and like Chinese Whispers, the privacy implications are completely forgotten.

I notice the exact same effect at work. I explain the ethical implications of not spamming to my boss. He then exlpains to clients that it's fine for them to send information to existing client lists. They then come and ask us to send mail to a list they have bought in from a 3rd party supplier!

I guess that problems like this are going to crop up more and more as we give up more and more of our personal data to large companies.

It's a joke (-1, Troll)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992247)

Unless they seriously start doing some racial profiling, airport security is a joke. It isn't 80 year old grandmas and 12 year old boy scouts causing trouble, but that's exactly who I see getting searched every time I go to the airport.

Meanwhile Hamid and Abdullah are going through the gates untouched because the TSA is more afraid of suffering a racial discrimination charge than planes flying into buildings.

Re:It's a joke (3, Funny)

Angostura (703910) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992304)

Ah yes. Thank goodness those clean cut, caucasian all American lads never go gun crazy.

Re:It's a joke (-1, Troll)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992324)

they do it at their elementary schools, not on airplanes in the name of allah. Racial profiling is a form of efficiency. To be against it is to be against efficiency, which means by implication you are for inefficiency... and for what reason, because it sounds nice? Because some idiot might label efficiency the R word? When efficiency saves lives, you don't refuse it due to politically correct bullshit.

Re:It's a joke (2, Insightful)

GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992464)

Timothy McVeigh didnt park the truckload of explosives in front of a school, he blew up a government building, and if i recall his attack was just as horrible as the pentagon attack.

show me how racial profiling will stop that from happening again .. and before you answer think about the americans caught in Iraq recently who were helping Iraqi's fight against the american occupation.

Re:It's a joke (1)

tuba_dude (584287) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992589)

Bah, that's still not gonna help, unless you go all the way and just remove their rights.

I suggest someting reasonable, a "modest proposal" if you will. If you wish to make any purchases, travel plans, or just plain live, you should give everyone all the information they ask for, especially if they are doing it for a corporation. These corporate offices should then share their information and build detailed profiles of everyone. Susie Q PunkRocker is average,but likely to vandalize, while John P PaleGeek is highly likely to shoot up a school.
If you let the companies and the government work together, They'll not have to worry about racial profiling, because they'll have your personality flaws flagged when you do certain things! Take our examples. Susie Q can do almost anything except own spraypaint and has an earlier curfew. John P can do most things, he's even allowed to travel anywhere. The only thing that he can't do is buy guns or M-rated games! Now, let's say there's a new guy in town...Yousef J Mossud. Name sounds suspicious, and with racial profiling, he's definitely terrorist. Unfortunately, his personality profile shows him to be a kind, caring man that likes football and plays golf on the weekends. How is racial profiling fair?

This message brought to you by the creators of the SARCASM decector, proud sponsers of the HUMOUR initiative.

Re:It's a joke (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992314)

I'm sure the profile is very racially biased, but as a company, you don't want it to look that way. Grandmas and little kids get searched for that reason.

Re:It's a joke (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992319)

So based on the people who have committed most of the terrorism in the US we should deny access to airplanes for all white males?

See the problem with racial profiling is that it?s the majority of uninformed people deciding that a minority is at fault. It?s not really based on real information. Here?s an example, if you take a pole you?ll find that most people think that the majority of welfare recipients are black, yet that?s not the case.

Re:It's a joke (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992325)

If it were true that the latest spat of hijackings were performed by white people, I would fully expect that white people ought to be more closely scrutinized. As it stands today, the major problem in air security is not white guys, it is Arabic guys.

Re:It's a joke (1, Interesting)

intermodal (534361) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992332)

preach on, brother. i'm sick of people ignoring the most logical things just because it might be construed as racist. I don't think that I as a christian with a good italian name should be searched to even things out when the primary terrorists against the US at home and abroad have been Muslim extremists, or that a Jew named Goldberg or a Shintoist named Komatsu deserves to be treated to "equal" harassment at a security checkpoint as a muslim named Mohammed for baseless equality concerns. that's just ignorant and resource-wasting. You don't make us secure that way, you just piss us off. Plus I think it violates our constitutional rights, whether the courts believe that or not.

Re:It's a joke (3, Interesting)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992478)

You don't make us secure that way,...

You must be crazy to think that searching everyone doesn't "make us secure". Do you even know how much crap is confiscated from passengers during searches? My friend works for the TSA and they've confiscated, among other things, switch blades/knives, drugs (LOTS of it, and not just pot either), guns, etc... And almost all of the time these items are taken from white/american citizens.

Now imagine what would happen if that gun wasn't confiscated, got on the plane, and some nutcase decided to start firing at people for whatever reason.

Being "secure" means being certain that there are no holes in the screening process, even if it inconveniences you.

Re:It's a joke (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992528)

You Idiot, they don't check everyone to be politically correct, they do it because its smart. Exactly how hard do you think it would be for a worldwide terrorist organization with millions of dollars in backing to make some fake ID papers for some nut job suicider that claim he's a southern Italian named Vito Petrolli, just get him to wear a cross and carry a pocket Bible and in your model of security he just bypasses any rigerous search. People of Arabic decent don't have 100% genuine Arab stamped on their heads so don't assume you could automatically tell an Arab Muslem apart from a Mexcan, Italian, or Indian.

Re:It's a joke (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992346)

Fuck it's trolls like you that make me want to start logging in and maintaining a Foe's lise.

Because, you know, the IRA was made up of Hamid's and Abdullah's. And, you know, the dozens of daily flights to and from Aisa all have to be shot down just before they hit office towers.

Stupid fuckwit.

Re:It's a joke (1)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992348)

And how will racial profiling solve anything? Not all terrorists are of middle-east/Arab descent. Remember the Oklahoma City bomber [mugshots.org] ?

Besides, I would think that the terrorists are already aware that the TSA ARE employing racial profiling as a part of the screening processes. (I know someone who works for the TSA.)

Re:It's a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992393)

So you're saying that the government should also have a list of names of people who are known to be affiliated with anti-government groups. I agree.

Re:It's a joke (0, Troll)

inkedmn (462994) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992384)

My eyes never roll back as far as they do when I hear about somebody complaining about "racial profiling". Apparently, these people forgot that all 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were young, middle-eastern men, so that's who they should be looking at the closest (aaaand duh).

i'm almost more afraid of the PC fanatics than i am of the religious fanatics, since the former seems to be trying it's damndest to make sure the latter don't feel obstructed when carrying out their "missions".

Re:It's a joke (4, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992592)

My eyes never roll back as far as they do when I hear about somebody complaining about "racial profiling". Apparently, these people forgot that all 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were young, middle-eastern men, so that's who they should be looking at the closest (aaaand duh).

First of all, the Oklahoma City bombers were all white Americans. The Unabomber was a white American. Clearly, not all terrorists are "young, middle-eastern men". The sooner you get out of that mindset the better.

Using September 11th as an excuse to treat people with darker skin or of middle-eastern origin differently to everyone else is the slippery slope. What next, make them travel on seperate planes? (And, lest we forget, there was plenty of "get that Arab off the plane before you get us off the ground" hysteria amongst a lot of American passengers in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.)

Seperate planes first, seperate neighbourhoods next. Why not just round them all up and put them all in a ghetto now?

What you fail to realise, living with your head in the sand, is that by treating people differently just because of what they look like, where they come from or what faith they follow you rather are doing exactly what Osama bin Laden and other religous fundamentalists (Islamic and Christian) want you to do.

Al Qaeda's main objective on 9/11 wasn't to kill a few thousand people or to blow up some buildings, it's main objective was to promote conflict between Islamic cutures and western ones. The sooner you absorb that information the better.

Re:It's a joke (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992406)

Ah, but you see someone getting searched. That's the point really. It looks like they're doing something. The Boy Scouts even think it's kinda cool and don't sue or nothin'.

It's kinda like the "Blue Line," where the cops don't go into the bad neighborhoods because that's where all the crime and dangerous people are, but they make sure they're well seen cruising the ritzy neighborhoods so the residents there feel "safe."

Granny gets a little annoyed when they take away her crochet hooks and so she starts sneaking plastic ones in inside her Suphose, but hey, that just proves she really is terrorist scum, doesn't it?

In the meantime most real terrorists could work around the system if they really wanted to. They always have. They always will. That's the one grim reality no one really wants to look in the eye.

And what do you do about the terrorist on a bicycle? Even the Israelis haven't been able to crack that conundrum with half a century of trying.

You could try to put a cop in everyone's pocket, but the recursive nature of that is somewhat daunting. Not to mention the fact that it wouldn't even work.

The world isn't a safe place.

Bummer, huh?

KFG

Re:It's a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992411)

They should do intelligence profiling. People dumb enough to fly planes into buildings shouldn't be allowed on board. Which incidentally includes those dumb enough to believe the propaganda of terrorists, religious extremists, and US government officials. So basically, not too many people should be let on board. ;)

Re:It's a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992431)

Yes,

Perhaps the colour code system could be

white = safe
black = terrorist

or maybe we should not be racist. You cant pull someone aside because of their colour.

Re:It's a joke (1)

pinkocommie (696223) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992438)

Hmm, say you in your infinite wisdeom decide to search all the 'evil' middle eastern men while all the 'nice' white guys are let straight through having nice christian names n' all. A certain guy in Afghanistan meets up with another guy named Johnny Walker Lindh (sp?) since 'now' we all know that America screws middle eastern men at airline checkpoints, Mr Lindh volunteers to help out his buds :). The rest would pretty much be history.

And for the record I am a muslim and my name is Muhammed AND I believe america's tackling the problem the wrong way (not focusing on the reasons why people start to hate america :)), but then thats me :D

Re:It's a joke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992582)

You're an arabic communist? You're definitely getting screened, buddy,

tin foil hats still look cool at the airport (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992258)

http://cryptome.org/jetblue-spy.pdf (2.2MB)

I dunno... (5, Interesting)

morganjharvey (638479) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992268)

I don't know about this -- this seems a little specious to me.

I'm not saying that I don't beleive that it's impossible that JetBlue gave/sold their passenger list, but the article doesn't give any corroborating evidence other than the old "they deny it, it must be true." The file they linked to as a copy of data put up on the web also seems to be empty, so I couldn't look at what this data was. Regardless, how did they figure out that this was JetBlue's data? I'm also wondering if JetBlue even has had 5 million customers -- perhaps they meant 5 million transaction records?

I'm all for privacy, free speech, blah blah blah, but this seems pretty alarmist and reeks of, what's the term... conspiracy theory. This just doesn't add up.

Just my two cents, go ahead and flame me.

Re:I dunno... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992488)

the word you are looking for is apartheid - where they discriminate against ppl by name, color, creed or religion. where discrimination can take any form that denies them of some basic human right.

like in israel - isreali citizens of arab origin.. whether muslims or christians are discriminated against. they cant marry anyone from the occupied territories. and if they had married (and had kids) and was waiting for their spouse's citizenship papers they are in limbo - never never land.

similarly, the occupied territories are closed off by fences and road blocks and to go from one village to another u need a pass. imagine if somone was going home to meet a dying old father and the pass was denied). this is to me is like a cattle pen. "who shall we kill now? - look theres a little girl crossing that field. shall we use the american built and supplied m16s or the heavy artillery?"

u guys have a limited view of the world - Project Censored [projectcensored.org] nor do u ppl seem to care that an american woman was "accidentally" bulldozed in gaza. she was wearing a scarf so i guess that makes her a terrorist, so thats all right.

Let's see... order of magnitude (1)

MickLinux (579158) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992548)

Okay, let's see. One airplane [jetblue.com] has 60 windows (meaning 60 rows), 6 seats per row for 300-400 seats, and we might guess that a typical flight is 2/3 full, so you might estimate 200 people per flight. I see [jetblue.com] about 25 routes, and we might guess that there are 2 flights per route per day, so that would be about 10000 people flying JetBlue per day.

Now, there are about 350 days in a year, so that makes 3 500 000 flights per year.

So yeah, order of magnitude, 5 million flights is probably 1 or 2 years' worth of data.

George Dubya working as airline security: (3, Insightful)

GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992278)

Actually the new coding system will have two labels:

1. Has No WMD's - safe passenger

2. Has No WMD's but with no evidence or any link whatsover to recent terrorism, we want you to think he has WMD's so lets haul him off the airplane for a near nuclear anal probing where we will find no WMD's and call in the UN to clean up after us when we can't handle the mess we made anymore. - safe Arab passenger

My father in law was branded as number 2 recently - with his tan from working in africa for months, they thought he was middle eastern, when he pulled his shirt open to expose his untanned white skin, the guards laughed at their 'mistake', stopped searching him and let him carry on.

Now if you Americans would stop pissing off people around the world, you wouldnt need all these colour schemes.

Re:George Dubya working as airline security: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992292)

But consider that Africa is major haven for Islamic fundamentalists and you'll realize that anyone who has spent time there may actually be a threat. I'm ashamed that they let him go because they are simply acting racially.

The clues in your FIL's case were that he had an abnormal tan for a white guy and no doubt his passport had African visa stamps. Those guards should have been fired for assuming that because he was a white guy and stopping too far short of full examination in the execution of their duties.

Re:George Dubya working as airline security: (1)

GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992360)

I'm afraid you're another victim of the media and george dubya's self-empowering scare tactics.

There are valid reasons for being in Africa and pretty much everywhere else in the world for months on end.

Personally I'm more worried about the christian fundamentalists right here at home. The extreme security must apply to everyone of any race, from any country or there is no point to it at all. There should be no racial profiling because anyone, EVEN YOU could be the next terrorist. Haven't you seen the news on all the US and British combatants in Iraq that have been captured after attacks on US troops?

Re:George Dubya working as airline security: (-1, Offtopic)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992402)


I'm more worried about the christian fundamentalists right here at home

Currently I'm tracerouting your IP address and sending it to the FBI for analysis. By insinuating there is no separation of church and state in the US, you sir are a terrorist.

Re:George Dubya working as airline security: (-1, Flamebait)

GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992427)

If there was any separation, the president wouldn't talk of praying to god to help get through tough times like after 9/11. Separation is supposed to keep god out of the whitehouse as well as the whitehouse out of god.

And of course if there was separation of church and state, thousands of US highschool students wouldn't be stuck getting useless diplomas right now from high schools that have allowed the church to suspend scientific process by teaching creationism in biology lectures and banning any mention of evolution.

Currently I'm tracerouting your IP address and sending it to the FBI for analysis. By insinuating that there IS separation of church and state in the US, you sir are a terrorist, or at least an idiot.

PLEASE MOD PARENT UP - NOT FLAMEBAIT (-1, Offtopic)

Suchetha (609968) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992497)

modreators please mod the parent up, he's making a valid point

JetBlue Passenger (4, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992283)

As one of JetBlue's first passengers, when the seats were still new and the TV's weren't working yet, I'm upset by this. I flew them in the first weeks they were flying, and then frequently afterwards, because the planes were nice, the service was good, and the rates were cheap. Now I'm even more screwed than normal, I'm deep in the belly of the CAPPS II system. Bastards.

It was very nice of them to include the SS#, address, and date of birth. I recognize some of the addresses on pg 20 of the PDF, it would be almost trivial to find out the names to go with those, and use them in identity theft.

I wouldn't do it, but I might anonymously mail a printout of the pdf to them.

US is forcing this with international flights (5, Insightful)

dmon (133360) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992286)

"The United States has long pressured European airlines to submit passenger information in order to prevent the arrival of terrorists in the country."

"This information will include names, travel routes, credit card numbers, and possible special meals."

full article [helsinki-hs.net]

Re:US is forcing this with international flights (1)

thracky (601756) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992570)

So if you order say, a vegetarian or kosher meal, does that make you a terrorist? I'm sure they could save even just a little bit of money if they eliminated the completely *useless* "possible special meals" part. I mean really, who the hell cares what Osama eats?

Re:US is forcing this with international flights (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992594)

"This information will include names, travel routes, credit card numbers, and possible special meals."

From now on, if you order a vegitarian meal on your flight you're that much more likely to be labelled a terrorist.

Makes me glad that I'm a carnivore.

just a question (4, Interesting)

jlemmerer (242376) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992301)

if you color code the passanger's in the traffic light way (green for "too stupid to be a terrorist"; yellow for "suspect" and red for "oh my god, he has a beard and even more, he wears a turban") and there is a suspected terrorist threat in a location of the u.s. will you deny the "red" passengers transportation? And how do you classyfy the color system? Would be interessting what happens when sombody say's there will be an attack on the white house and 5 planes with "red" passengers are on it's way to Washington DC. will they be rerouted to a save location (Nevada for instance, or maybe even Guantanamo)

Re:just a question (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992316)

Red passengers would more likely be x-rayed prior to boarding. Baggage would of course be x-rayed and hand searched if it is found necessary.

And turbans are actually not on the list of warning signs. Beards of a certain type are including the Uday short and Osama long styles. Sihks aren't the ones the TSA is after.

Re:just a question (2, Interesting)

sasha328 (203458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992340)

I hope you don't get mod down for this post. I am soo to go to a trip to Canada, and I would like to go to the US for a couple of days to visit a relative in Boston. My mum is trying to convince me not to go because I'm of middle eastern background and she worries I might be hassled when I get there. I try to convince her that that is not the case. People don't go around racial profiling any one. I certainly look middle eastern, and I have never been hassled (or singled out) because of the way I look. Certainly not at home in Australia. But hearing stories like these where people are classified according to a set criteria (which will most certainly include "looks") I begin to get second thoughts.
The way things are going in regards to profiling, locking up people and general fear factor primarily in the US, but also in Australia and other places as well, shows that the terrorists have succeeded in their plots: to terrorise people.
However, I look forward to a better day when wise world leaders especially in the US will work to fix the cause not the symptoms.

Where's the Data on Passenger Risk? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992303)

If the idea is to test whether CAPPS II can accurately determine the risk level of a potential flyer, I don't see how they can accomplish this with data from old passengers. Don't they also need data on how much each of those passengers ended up BEING a RISK?

I don't know how you'd even begin to come up with such data. But if you can't figure out how much of a risk each passenger actually was, how can you see whether this correlates with the risk score CAPPS spits out? As far as I can see, this massive breach of passenger confidentiality will do nothing to test the efficacy of CAPPS.

(As far as I know, no terrorist acts have been committed on JetBlue, so all passengers who have flown on JetBlue should have been given the "Green" CAPPS rating. Hence once they feed this passenger data through CAPPS, it better spit out low risk for everybody. Otherwise, this profiling obviously isn't working.)

Re:Where's the Data on Passenger Risk? (1)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992353)

Well, just filter the list for the words "mohammad" and "mohammed" and "abdul" and "bin" and flag the male (sorry to sound sexist, but that's the way it goes) passengers whose names contain those "words of terror" and assign a higher risk to said passengers, and that's all that's really necessary. Anyone signing up for a "muslim meal" should also be flagged as high-risk. It's really simple, even though it seems politically incorrect at the same time. There should also be information about beard (boolean flag, yes or no) and skin melanin content (median darkness = highest risk).

The goal is to determine potential risk, not actual risk (that would be impossible, because 'risk' is about predicting future events).

Re:Where's the Data on Passenger Risk? (5, Insightful)

rpjs (126615) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992474)

Don't they also need data on how much each of those passengers ended up BEING a RISK?

Seems to me that the dataset they should be testing this against is UA and AA's passengers for September 11th, 2001. If the system doesn't spot the hijackers, it isn't working properly.

Always a downside (4, Insightful)

panurge (573432) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992308)

Identity theft.

All schemes like this increase the chance that evil people will target low risk travelers for identity theft.

Scenario: terrorists identify suitable target in fairly remote location. Break in, force target to purchase tickets over the internet, disclose PIN numbers to credit cards etc., kill target and catch plane. It takes a bit more organisation and time, but these people seem to have plenty of that. You can't even rely on those sneaky people to be darker shades of brown: the white English-speaking world has shown an ability to produce home-grown bombers, in the US, Northern Ireland and the UK.

If this is going to be a substitute for airport security (and I suspect it will be) all I can say is, fortunately I rarely need to travel by plane nowadays.

Re:Always a downside (1)

Sivaram_Velauthapill (693619) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992413)

Terrorists won't use planes for their next attack so none of this will matter... The problem with terrorism is that it is totally unpredictable...

Sivaram Velauthapillai

That's the problem (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992529)

We seem to assume that they're predictable. One lousy guy has some explosives attached to his shoe, and now suddenly every airline passenger has to take off their shoes at lease once each time they fly.

Good point about indentity theft (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992525)

This database used by some fools at the Dept. of Homeland Security to fight terrorism could end up aiding terrorists, since it could lead to identity theft. It appears that some of the 9/11 hijackers had stolen other people's identities [cooperativeresearch.net] . That website has a very good 9/11 timeline.

Best quote from the document (5, Interesting)

Raindeer (104129) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992309)

Known Airline Terrorists Appear Readily Distinguishable from the Normal jetBlue Passenger Patterns

Can anyone tell me why they let known Airline Terrorists fly at all??

There is some interesting data-mining being done in the document. Correlating several databases together gives you a good profile of the people on the plane, but it doesn't give you an idea if someone is a terrorist. Like the presentation sais, Find a needle in a haystack, without knowing what the needle looks like If you don't know what it looks like you won't find it. What you do find is anamolous behaviour that points to interesting people to check.

Finding these people largely depends on how much they differ from the ordinary profile. Ordinary here is middle income suburbanite. So low income ghetto dwellers get singled out time and time again. Yes they might be out of the ordinary, but it doesn't mean that they will blow up the plane.

FIRST YO MAMA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992326)

yo mama is so ugly she walked into a haunted house and came out with a pay check

I'm Confused... (1)

RootObject (624838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992336)

Seeing as how JetBlie hasn't AFAIK had any "terrorist" incidents then isn't this a bad demonstration of the guvmint's new fangled technologies? If Torch Technologies used the customer data given to them from JetBlue to run through CAPPS-II what are they going to find? That they needlessly made 1 million people take their shoes off, wasted atleast 200 rubber gloves doing strip searches and shot some old ganny named Irma on sight?

But in all seriousness - isn't this a bad sample? Wouldn't we want to run the information from say United through the thing to see if it works.

Oh yeah, and to stay on topic, privacy good. Guvmint bad.

How To Fly Without ID (5, Interesting)

Enigma Deadsouls (700792) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992342)

How To Fly Without ID. [permanenttourist.com] I wonder if this will still work... and if so for how much longer.

Big Brother is watching you... more than ever (1)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992379)


Ah yes... the Big Brother mega watch list in full swing...

The Bush administration's plan to merge a dozen anti-terrorist "watch lists" into a single database overseen by the FBI is being called long overdue by Congress.

But some critics see the potential for a giant blacklist.

"Having a single watch list is counterterrorism 101," said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a frequent FBI critic. "Now it's up to the FBI to demonstrate the technical savvy needed to maintain" and share the list.

Under the plan unveiled Tuesday, police officers on the beat, airport security personnel and officials who issue U.S. travel visas would have access to a database containing more than 100,000 names. It would be housed in the new Terrorist Screening Center, a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation under the FBI's lead.

The center will consolidate a patchwork of a dozen existing lists currently maintained by nine different federal agencies, but not always accessible to the officials who need them.

rest of article [politrix.org]

-1; Flamebait (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992392)

I know this is Slashdot, and on Slashdot everything the government does is Bad, and there's this sacred notion of "privacy" which apparently has to do with not being accountable to anybody for anything. However, there's something the Americans in the Slashdot Privacy Crew should consider:

THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO WANT TO KILL YOU.

Yes, they want to kill you. They have for many years and they will for many years to come. They are very creative. And that's why new measures like these are necessary.

I'd venture to guess that the same folks who denounce a passenger-profiling program are the first ones who will criticize and point fingers for "not seeing the 9/11 clues". You simply cannot have it both ways.

Re:-1; Flamebait (1)

GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992450)

The key is to treat everyone the way the 'profiled' ones are treated. ANYONE can be a terrorist, the americans captured in Iraq recently who were helping attack american troops are a good example. Racial profiling won't stop that anymore than it would have stopped Mr. white, blonde, blue-eyed, apple pie eating Timothy McVeigh.

The other key is to stop doing all those things around the world that make all those people want to kill you.

Re:-1; Flamebait (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992501)

THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO WANT TO KILL YOU.

Yep, there sure are. We americans we need to work on our PR. A new slogan might help, "America, now with 5% less asshats".

Yes, they want to kill you. They have for many years and they will for many years to come. They are very creative. And that's why new measures like these are necessary.

Yep, that's the middle east for ya.... Even if there are no humans left in that area, if war kills everyone and millions of years the only thing living are microbes.... they would fight too.

I'd venture to guess that the same folks who denounce a passenger-profiling program are the first ones who will criticize and point fingers for "not seeing the 9/11 clues". You simply cannot have it both ways.

Sure you can, if you understood the fact that the vast majority of middle eastern folk who left home wanted to leave to escape the bullshit, and the terrorists are just a stupid bunch of assholes who want to use fear to affect our daily lives but not actually give a reason on what sorta reforms they are fighting for. And the thing is, we have people in every country of every race who are stupid. And yes, we can always get a bomb on a plane by any old stupid person, and you think we should ignore this fact and just be critical of middle eastern folk? I'm just as afraid of Neo-Nazi groups as I am of Middle East terrorist groups. Just because you are white doesn't mean you are not a jarhead.

On on theJetBlue airlines... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992414)

DirecTv watches you!!

in soviet russia... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992434)

terrorrists color-code you!

Don't worry... (2, Interesting)

hazman (642790) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992420)

Anybody can have your [microsoft.com] passenger info if they really want it.

Nothing new... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992422)

Foreign airlines flying to US destinations have had to turn over their passenger manifests, incl. credit-card details and special food requirements ("No pork means....") to US authorities for months now. If they don't do so they lose their landing-right, can get fined etc.

This isn't just for "scary/suspicious countries", but for all countries. Even those allied with the US.

Re:Nothing new... (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992578)

"Foreign airlines flying to US destinations have had to turn over their passenger manifests, incl. credit-card details and special food requirements ("No pork means....") to US authorities for months now."

Not entirely true. Some airlines are complying, but some are refusing and so far landing permission has yet to be denied. The EU is currently kicking up a stink about this violating EU law on data protection.

I'm quite amused that they think that a suicidal terrorist might want a halal meal on the plane. Don't you feel they might be preoccupied?

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992468)

What I don't get is how they think labeling passengers as "safe" or "unsafe" is going to make the actual TRIP any safer. After all, how hard is it to trick someone in the "safe" category-- grandmothers, kids-- y'know the people who everyone is mocking the security for searching... what's to stop a terrorist for targetting THEM as a weapon or bomb-vehicle?

I remember hearing something about El-Al years ago having discovered a bomb in the luggage of an Israeli girl...who unknowingly was dating a terrorist. If they can find one stupid low-risk passenger to carry on an unusually heavy stuffed animal or whatever, it could be bad news...

Re:But... (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992580)

"If they can find one stupid low-risk passenger to carry on an unusually heavy stuffed animal or whatever, it could be bad news..."

You know, when they ask you if you packed your bag yourself, it isn't to critique your style.

Thank God Airport security is always recruited from the cream of the intellectual crop, eh?

Top secret fact! CAPPS is actually only based on (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992479)

Top secret fact! CAPPS is actually only based on whether you have any medical history of any kind.

The data includes your SSN and dates of service for medical conditions and general location. Thats it.

All this fluff that is being studied by the document the contractor did is not what the FBI uses.

Basically... you need to create a fake limited medical history in the major databases sold by blue cross and others for favors to the gov.

If you have a valid passport and credit card adn back acct but absolutely no medical history tied to your SSN then you are flagged for SSSS sec line treatment.

Its that goddamned simple.

MEDICAL HISTORY this limited 5 million record jetblue database is nothing but the tip of the iceberg.

The us thought of everything but the only thing that works best is medical histories. Any history at all is "clean" and no history is suspect.

BTW : the 19 saudi nationals had no us insurance based medical histories... but then again they had other signifying traits that were indicative of being a foreigner.

I wonder why no one gets the mediacl history angle.

its 90% of the weight of CAPS II profle.

Bad data.. or good? (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992520)

the proposed government system to prevent terrorism by color-coding airline passengers according to their risk level will be tested using old passenger itineraries from JetBlue

Ok, so no JetBlue planes were hijacked in recent memory (ever?) so, by extrapolating the data from that, the people who should be colored GREEN (no threat) are.... everyone.

sounds like a good test... (1)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992522)

as terrorists are likely to be using fake data themselves!

Color Code (0, Funny)

shirai (42309) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992538)

The JetBlue Security Rating System

1. Make the dot Dot the same approximate color as the skin of the passenger

2. Correspond the dor colors to reflect the following threat assessments...

White: Safe

Female White: Very Safe

Yellow: Pretty Safe

Black: Mostly harmless but hide your wallet

Beige: DANGER! HIGH THREAT ASSESMENT LEVEL

JetBlew (-1)

H8X55 (650339) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992552)

"currently only fake passenger data was being used."
sure.

The illusion of security ~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992573)

..all its problems without any of its benefits.

color coding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6992579)

is this a 'black thing' ?

Saving our freedom!!? (1)

benpeter (699832) | more than 10 years ago | (#6992587)

Keep pushing people to jump through more and more hoops, literally terrorize your own population. Can you smell the *cough* freedom. Somehow I don't feel like these kind of actions make us the winners... Definitely moving to a guilty until proven innocent paradigm, great job.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...