24 April 2010

Probably Just a Coincidence ...

Blogging on the security of massive transportation systems like the Moscow metro or US air transportation system, I quoted from Jeffery Goldberg's Atlantic article.  The quote was:
To slip through the only check against the no-fly list, the terrorist uses a stolen credit card to buy a ticket under a fake name. “Then you print a fake boarding pass with your real name on it and go to the airport. You give your real ID, and the fake boarding pass with your real name on it, to security. They’re checking the documents against each other. They’re not checking your name against the no-fly list—that was done on the airline’s computers. Once you’re through security, you rip up the fake boarding pass, and use the real boarding pass that has the name from the stolen credit card. Then you board the plane, because they’re not checking your name against your ID at boarding.”
As I traveled through Washington Dulles to Moscow on Wednesday, a peculiar thing happened.  United Airlines announced that the TSA would instate a random security check at the gate.  True to United's word, I was "randomly" checked.  The procedure was to verify my face against my passport photo and verify my name in the passport against the name on my boarding pass.  Basically, the TSA closed the security hole described above.

This event is probably just a coincidence, but an interesting coincidence nevertheless.

The other breaking news is that the Moscow metro system is now safe - or one would have to conclude as the Russian militia are nowhere to be found.

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