Archive for the 'Transit' Category

‘”Until the first blow fell, no one was convinced that Penn Station really would be demolished, or that New York would permit this monumental act of vandalism against one of the largest and finest landmarks of its age of Roman elegance.” (New York TImes) ‘”Its destruction left a deep and lasting wound in the architectural […]

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UPDATE: The Metropolitan Detention Center has confirmed that Mr. Mocek was arrested and is currently being held for $1000 bail. He is being charged with “concealing identity, disorderly conduct, refusing to obey an officer, and criminal trespass.” (1:40PM, 11/16) Today a traveler going through the Albuquerque airport was arrested after politely refusing to show his […]

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Here’s a real copy of an American citizen’s DHS Travel Record retrieved from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s Automated Targeting System (ATS). This was obtained through a FOIA/Privacy Act request and sent in by an anonymous reader (thanks!) The document reveals that the DHS is storing the reader’s: Credit card number and expiration (really) […]

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Here’s where you can download my “scary” DEFCON presentation: Reverse of the United States Great SealNovus Ordo Seclorum“A New Order of the Ages” “Death of Anonymous Travel”DEFCON 2009 – PDF MD5sum: c772681c37c9ad5d210c19c12eb43095 Thanks to everyone who sent in comments, suggestions, and encouragement. (Special thanks to the EFF lawyers for reviewing this beforehand– you guys rock!) […]

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Bobby Dominguez wrote in to report on how the DHS is automatically collecting full travel itineraries, including hotel reservations, from electronic booking systems. He writes: “I recently requested my “file” from the Dept of Homeland Security – Customs. It was interesting to see that they not only knew every flight I took, but also all […]

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TSA in Japan

TSA works to create “international harmonization of security” (I did not make that up). Snapped this photo last week in Japan’s Kansai International Airport.

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7/15 – Updated with more details, and a shiny new photo. The Bush Turnpike in Texas no longer accepts cash as of July 1, 2009. Based on the federal Coinage Act of 1965, I believe this is illegal. The Coinage Act (31 U.S.C. 5103) states: “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and […]

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Credit Cards == ID

Saw this sign in the Baltimore airport last week: “Self-Service Check-In: You Will Need a Major Credit Card” and then in small print: “For Identification Only” Yes, apparently American Airlines will only give boarding passes to individuals who have been thoroughly vetted according to the strict standards of American Express, Mastercard, or VISA (and perhaps […]

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On May 15, the first phase of TSA’s Secure Flight program took effect after years of development. By the end of the year, when you book a flight, the airline will send your name (as specified on your government-issued ID), birthdate, gender, and itinerary to TSA’s centralized Secure Flight system, where you will be checked […]

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I love the Minneapolis airport. For an information security geek, it never fails to provide some interesting gem. Wandering through the airport this week I ran across a Delta “Helpline” kiosk (formerly Northwest’s Rebook Service Center). Every time I walk through the airport I see these gray kiosks closed up and pushed aside in some […]

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Last week marked the original official deadline for the Digital Television Transition, after which analog television broadcasts would be terminated. (The official deadline was recently extended to June 12, 2009.) To ease the transition, the US government launched the TV Converter Box Coupon Program, which “allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each […]

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Gasoline Glitch

Driving across the country, we took a quick detour into Michigan off of I-90. We stopped at a gas station to fill up. As we pulled up to the pump, Jonathan noticed that the handle was topped with a plastic bag. “Looks like this one’s closed.” Oddly enough, all the pump handles were covered with […]

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GPS Spoofing

Our global society relies on the civilian GPS for our communications networks, transportation of goods, power distribution, financial transactions and emergency response, using precise location information and time synchronization. Unfortunately, the GPS system was not designed for this purpose. The civilian GPS has dangerous security vulnerabilities which now leave our global society at risk of […]

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Anonymous Travel is Dead

Anonymous travel is dead. Even for subway riders who still use tokens and people who bicycle around town, the proliferation of cameras, facial recognition technology, biometrics and RFID tagging will render anonymity obsolete within a generation. I believe the public’s next battleground is to gain control over what happens to our data, and how it’s […]

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Yesterday, USA Today published an article about fliers without ID, saying: “The Transportation Security Administration has collected records on thousands of passengers who went to airport checkpoints without identification, adding them to a database of people who violated security laws or were questioned for suspicious behavior… The database has 16,500 records of such people and […]

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Flying Without a Wallet

There’s been a lot of speculation among security professionals regarding TSA’s policies, since so much of it is shrouded in secret. Last month, TSA announced a change of policy: passengers who “willfully refuse to provide identification at security checkpoint will be denied access… This new procedure will not affect passengers that may have misplaced, lost […]

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