06 August 2008

Major security breach at the TSA

I promised I would post any more rants about the Transportation Security Administration, but this just can't be overlooked. Remember as you read this notice posted at Slashdot that the TSA is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is "responsible for security in all modes of transportation..."
"A laptop containing the unencrypted security data for 33,000 travelers using the Clear system was stolen at San Francisco International Airport on July 26, according to CBS5 Television. The Clear system allows travelers who register and pay a $100.00 annual fee to speed through airport security by using a smart card at special kiosks in some airports. TSA has suspended new registrations in the system, which is run by a private contractor, Verified Identity Pass, Inc., a subsidiary of GE. The laptop was apparently stolen from a locked office at SFO. The company has now decided that it might be a good idea to encrypt the data in their systems. They are in the process of notifying customers that all of their personal data, including name, address, SSi number, passport number, date of birth, etc. has been compromised."
Any raging and ranting I might offer has already been posted at the Slashdot thread, but let me quote this pertinent observation:

Yea, and this also brings some interesting light to the issue with "If you have nothing to hide, why don't you want to provide us with your [biometrics|passport|id|*]" argument.

Refusing to give away address, email, phones, SSID along with fingerprints is almost considered a crime in itself right now, since if you are not planning on terrorist activities, you don't have anything to hide, have you!?

But here, perfectly innocent people suddenly have all their personal information spread to criminal groups or whoever end up being the buyer of this information.

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