Monday, August 08, 2005

Pre-Approved for Terrorism, No Waiting!

Bruce Schneier articulates so much better than I have why these 'pre-approved' programs are a bad idea.

Orlando Airport's CLEAR Program

...the only purpose of [this verified identity] card is to divide people into two lines -- a fast line and a slow line, a "search less" line and a "search more" line, or whatever....
The reality is that the existence of the card creates a third, and very dangerous, category: bad guys with the card. Timothy McVeigh would have been able to get one of these cards. The DC sniper and the Unabomber would have been able to get this card. Any terrorist mole who hasn't done anything yet and is being saved for something big would be able to get this card. Some of the 9/11 terrorists would have been able to get this card. These are people who are deemed trustworthy by the system even though they are not. [Emphasis added.]
And even worse, the system lets terrorists test the system beforehand. Imagine you're in a terrorist cell. Twelve of you apply for the card, but only four of you get it. Those four not only have a card that lets them go through the easy line at security checkpoints; they also know that they're not on any terrorist watch lists. Which four do you think will be going on the mission? By "pre-approving" trust, you're building a system that is easier to exploit.

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