US airport fake ID study 'was found in al-Qaida cave'

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at
Fri May 21 08:00:00 PDT 2004


This begs the question: Can we start issuing Cypherpunks LEO IDs?


>From: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah at>
>To: cypherpunks at, cypherpunks at
>Subject: US airport fake ID study 'was found in al-Qaida cave'
>Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 08:30:51 -0400
>The Register
>  Original URL: 
>US airport fake ID study 'was found in al-Qaida cave'
>By John Lettice (john.lettice at
>Published Thursday 20th May 2004 21:47 GMT
>The US House Aviation Subcommittee yesterday heard how congressional
>investigators used false IDs to gain access to a series of federal
>buildings and two commercial airports, and how a copy of the report
>detailing their success was later found in an al-Qaida cave in Afghanistan.
>The investigators were 100 per cent successful in getting past security,
>but apparently less so in the case of their own report's security.
>Subcommittee Chairman John Mica told a hearing
>on biometric ID in aviation that the deployment of more secure ID needed to
>be accelerated, given that terrorists are interested in gaining access to
>restricted airport areas. The congressional investigators had made their
>fake IDs using software downloaded from the Internet, and apparently this
>passed muster.
>Documentation presented to the hearing however included even more
>comforting information about the security of the US aviation industry. If
>you look down near the bottom of this document,
>in the section covering the Registered Traveler program you will find a
>subsection dealing with Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Credentials. As you
>see, it says: "Currently, Federal LEO's can fly armed at any time, simply
>by presenting their agency's credential. In addition, LEO's from 18,000
>separate State and local law enforcement agencies may fly armed if they
>present their agency's credential and a letter on their agency's letterhead
>stating that they have an official, work-related reason to fly armed. The
>use of so many different types of law enforcement credentials increases the
>risk that an unauthorized person could use a forged credential to carry a
>gun on-board."
>Under the Registered Traveler Pilot program LEOs wishing to fly armed will
>have biometric ID issued by the Transportation Security Administration
>saying so, but it's not clear to us whether this will mean LEOs from the
>18,000 non-Federal agencies will have to have this if they want to fly
>armed, or whether the letterhead will still be enough. The pilot program
>starts at five airports next month, and one would hope that the authorities
>elsewhere will be taking extra special care in scrutinising LEO credentials
>pending a wider rollout. .
>R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
>The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
>44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
>"Several times a week, to enter a TV studio say, or to board a plane, I
>have to produce a tiny picture of my face."  -- Christopher Hitchens

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