DHS proposes to require both ID papers and passes for all air travel

In a series of recent publications in the Federal Register, the Department of Homeland Security is proposing a comprehensive new system of surveillance and, perhaps more important, control of both domestic and international travelers.

The proposed new rules, which are currently open for public comments, would require that:

  1. All would-be international travellers to or from the USA (even US citizens crossing the U.S.-Canada border on foot) would have to have government-issued ID credentials
  2. All would-be passengers on international or domestic flights to, from, over, via, or within the U.S. would have to have both government-issued ID credentials and explicit case-by-case prior permission from the DHS to the airline to allow each passenger to board a plane.

The proposed rules would enforce the requirements for papers and permits through default provisions that would:

  1. Require all air travellers to show their papers (“government-issued photo ID”) to airline staff on request of the DHS, under penalty of denial of transportation.
  2. Forbid any airline from issuing a boarding pass to anyone, or allowing them to baord a plane, unless and until the airline received individual permission (a “cleared message”) authorizing that airline to allow that specific person on that specific flight.

The “Notices of Proposed Rulemaking” (NPRM) and Privacy (invasion) Act “System of Records Notices (SORNs) dismiss the right ot travel out of hand, and ignore provisions of international law, the Bill of Rights, and Federal law recognizing a right to free domestic and international movement and a “public right of transit” by air, requiring airlines to operate as “common carriers” and transport all passengers paying the fare in their published tariff, and requiring the DHS itself to condider these rights in its rulemaking.

If you haven’t gotten the proper papers, you won’t be allowed even to leave the country, much less to return home. If the government doesn’t choose to give the airline permission for any particular trip you want to take, you won’t be allowed to get on a plane. And any time any airline employee or agent says, “Papers, please!”, you’ll have to produce them for their private inspection, copying, and use for whatever purposes they want.
Among other problems, this amounts to a general order subjecting travelers to private searches, and allowing the private searchers to use any information obtained from those searches for their own commercial or other purposes. Since it is impossible to tell who is, and who is not, actually authorized to act on behalf of the government or to whom an airline has delegated its work, the proposed rules would effectively subject travelers to compulsory search by anyone in any airport claiming (unverifiably) to be an agent of an airline.

16 Responses to “DHS proposes to require both ID papers and passes for all air travel”

  1. Terry Says:

    In the very near future, Americans for the first time in history will no longer be free to work when and where they wish or travel freely about their own country. Instead, they will be required to seek federal permission to engage in activities that have long been their birthright – longer even than the federal government has existed.

    The only real question that remains is what are Americans going to do about it? Will they put an end to these ridiculous incursions into constitutionally recognized individual rights by an overzealous & out-of-control central government or will they continue to act like sheep, hoping they wont be the next one to be fleeced?

  2. Arizona National Says:

    Citizens of the United States sit by and wonder why this is happening because they have been brainwashed their entire life. US citizen – wake up!!! In the eyes of the United States (singular) you are an enemy of the State. You are in fact a criminal participating in a rebellion against the original constitutional government by voting for the insurgents in power. This, unbeknownst to you, has been going on since the so-called Civil War. Check out the web sites http://www.deprogram.us and http://www.pacinlaw.org, and you may begin to understand what needs to be done to correct this situation.

    An Arizona national has spoken.

  3. VAt Says:

    Nothing seems to stop our government. How do we stop them when the public is not even properly informed? When they are properly informed on issues then the public appears to be easily manipulated to believe that these measures protect them. It is as if they beg to be fleeced.
    Indeed, how and when will Americans put an end to government dominance over their privacy?

  4. Simplify Says:

    What are Americans going to do about it, indeed.

    How do I enter a “public comment?”

  5. Terry Says:

    I think one of the links above is incorrect. The link associated with the text:

    “both government-issued ID credentials and explicit case-by-case prior permission from the DHS”

    should be:


    instead of:


  6. Papers, Please! « Craig Burton Blog Says:

    […] cb DHS proposes to require both ID papers and passes for all air travel […]

  7. Fred Says:

    As a citizen of another country, I have already been fingerprinted by the DHS under the guise of terrorism prevention. I was trapped while waiting in the third world conditions of the international transit “lounge” at LAX, waiting to get back onto the same plane that got me there. So I have already decided that I am NEVER going to revisit the US while that regime persists.

    Interestingly, the uniform for the border guards includes a black shirt! No, I didn’t ask about their final solution.

  8. Melissa Says:

    I am against being forced to show ID to travel. You have a nice site here, and it looks very professional. The thing is this, please correct the spelling errors in your text. It makes you look like a jackass, and I would hate for you to lose credibility.

  9. Papers, Please! » Blog Archive » Tell the Feds what you think of their plans Says:

    […] The Transportation Security Administration will hold a public hearing in Washington, DC, this Thursday morning, September 20, 2007 on the TSA’s so-called Secure Flight scheme to require government-issued travel credentials and individualized, explicit, prior permission for all domestic airline travelers within the U.S., and to subject us to government-compelled search and interrogation by private commercial third parties whenever we fly. […]

  10. What I Learned Today 07.09.19 Says:

    […] After January 2008, I will no longer be an airline customer. Not until the TSA’s Secure Flight program is repealed or abandoned. Essentially, the program requires all passengers, including U.S. citizens, to receive the permission and approval of the executive branch of the federal government before they can be issued a boarding pass. […]

  11. Flying in the US may become even less pleasant - Fires of Heaven Guild Message Board Says:

    […] Flying in the US may become even less pleasant That is if the DHS gets its way: Papers, Please! ? Blog Archive ? DHS proposes to require both ID papers and passes for all air travel Quote: […]

  12. I can has Blogswarm? « Theclubabove’s Weblog Says:

    […] http://papersplease.org/wp/2007/08/12/dhs-proposes-to-require-both-id-papers-and-passes-for-all-air-travel/ […]

  13. Papers, Please! » Craig Burton Says:

    […] DHS proposes to require both ID papers and passes for all air travel […]

  14. Family Cruises Says:

    It certainly seems that restricting our ability to move around is top priority of the current administration. Even worse is the lack of anything being discussed in the media about these restrictions, it certainly seems left or right, all parts of the government seem to have the same goal.

  15. Cragin Burton » Blog Archive » Show me ze papers! Says:

    […] DHS proposes to require both ID papers and passes for all air travel […]

  16. Work & Travel – Casualties in the U.S. War of Terror | Roadblock Revelations Says:

    […] the permission of the federal government. Similarly, Americans won’t be able to legally travel by means of an airline common carrier without government issued identification AND explicit […]

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