Last week I wrote about TSA’s new Known Crewmember Program, which will enable crew members to bypass the current airport security screening process (see Who will watch the watchmen?) As I explained, a similar program called CrewPASS has been in limbo for years because no one ever agreed to fund it. One might wonder: why start a new program when they were never able to get the first one up and running? If the money wasn’t there for the former system, is anyone going to be willing to pay for the new one? Maybe the new one will cost less – yeah, that must be it.
Then again, state bureaucracies tend to shy away from things that cost less. Something about having unlimited access to the fruits of everyone else’s labor has that effect on the non-productive class.
And if you toss in some gee-whiz new products from the security and surveillance industry that’ll tastefully facilitate maximum control over the masses (and ensure an even tighter grip on the fruits of their labor), then you’ve got yourself a program worth throwing somebody else’s money at all day long.
Don’t get hung up on the details; economic stimulation is very complex and nobody really expects any of us to keep up with it all. The important thing to know is that it’s working like a charm.
Last week I shared my concerns that the Known Crewmember Program would probably use biometric technology to track the movements of crew members and control our access to the air transportation system and, thus, our means of earning a living. I haven’t had much luck finding specific and reliable details about the “different technical resources” that will distinguish the new program from CrewPASS. But today, here’s what Hugo Martin of the Los Angeles Times had to report:
Details of the proposed system have yet to be worked out, but TSA officials say they plan to hook into airline employee databases and confirm the identities of pilots and flight attendants using biometric measures such as retina scans and fingerprint matching.
That’s the first reliable confirmation I’ve seen using the B word in association with the new program. I fully expect to see a lot more of this as they roll out new screening procedures for the rest of the traveling public over time (especially if/when we win our lawsuit to end the current invasive, illegal, and ineffective security practices).
Tempted as I am to rant for a few thousand words more about why biometric technology is not the solution to the state’s crimes against travelers in the U.S., I trust I don’t need to. If capturing images of our naked bodies and/or physically pawing at us is unreasonable search and seizure (hint: it is), how will the increased control afforded by biometrics in the hands of the tyrants turn us back toward a system that honors our personal dignity, lawful rights, and civil liberty? Are we not driving ourselves further into the totalitarian darkness?
See Martin’s original story in the Los Angeles Times here.