Aviation Screening

Latest in Aviation Screening

Aviation Screening

Fearing Risk; Fearing Reality

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, I attended a conference in Bozeman, Mont. Bozeman is a delightful place in the southeast corner of the state. It's home to a university and close to Yellowstone National Park. In late summer (when I went) it's a magical area of the country. But it is also (forgive me for saying so) pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Flights go from Bozeman to Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Denver—maybe a few other places as well, but you get the idea. The jets that fly there are generally smaller, and they don't go too far away.

Homeland Security

No Laptop Ban ... For Now

Good news. Politico is reporting the breaking news that there will NOT be a ban on laptops on US-EU flights:

The U.S. today opted not to introduce a ban on bringing laptops into the cabins of flights to the U.S. from Europe, sources told POLITICO.

“No ban,” a Commission official said. “Both sides have agreed to intensify technical talks and try to find a common solution.”

Kudos to DHS for reaching the right decision.

Aviation Screening

Facilitation and Security in the Age of Air Travel

This summer has been dominated by headlines about long lines at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints at the nation’s airports. Surely, countless meetings are currently being held at DHS and TSA aimed at ensuring no one else spends a night on a cot in O’Hare Airport. But overlooked in the scrutiny is the ways in which the issue brings to light an important security development of last 5 years. Security and the facilitation of travelers are no longer at odds.

Secrecy: Press Behavior

The Moral Vacuity of The Intercept

In our new book, Whistleblowers, Leaks and the Media, my co-editors and I talk at some length about what we characterize as the "fundamental tension" that lies at the heart of news reporting today involving national security matters.  The tension -- between transparency and secrecy -- is fundamental for two distinct reasons:  First, because at bottom it involves two exceedingly important values -- government efficacy in protecting the body politic and citizen control of government as


An EU PNR System?

Passenger Name Records (or PNR) are the data collected by an airline at the time of a passenger's reservation.  The data in a PNR is often very detailed and robust.  It may, for example, include a cell phone number for text updates or an email address.  It will typically also include an address, a credit card number, the name of the traveler, seat selection and flight data, and a link to other travelers who are in the same group or made reservations at the same time.  Beyond these basics the PNR can also include a host of other miscellaneous data, like frequent flyer numbers and such.

As one

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