Sep 03 2010

Napolitano outlines US travel control agenda for ICAO

In a speech to the Air Line Pilots Association earlier this week, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano made explicit the US government’s intentions to, as we have repeatedly predicted, use the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as its primary international policy-laundering forum to bypass and override national laws restricting surveillance and control of travel.

ICAO isn’t mentioned in the DHS press release, and the DHS doesn’t seem to have posted the full text of Napolitano’s speech.  But according to reports in Homeland Security Today and elsewhere:

Napolitano will seek a formal resolution from the general assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Sept. 28-Oct. 8 in Montreal, Canada, to build upon five regional security declarations obtained by the United States….

Each of the five meetings resulted in a security declaration focusing on vulnerabilities in the international aviation system in four key areas: developing and deploying new security technology, strengthening aviation security measures and standards, enhancing information collection and sharing, and coordinating international technical assistance

ICAO assisted in coordinating the five agreements, which Napolitano hopes to use as a springboard to obtain a declaration covering the international organizations 190 member states in the fall.

“Enhancing information collection and sharing” is of course a euphemism for mandatory airline and national government participation in the compilation of lifetime logs of individuals’ movements, while “developing and deploying new security technology” refers mainly, as of now, to mandatory use on airline passengers of virtual strip-search machines.

With Members of the European Parliament asking new questions about DHS demands for European collaboration in US travel surveillance and control schemes,  DHS and the US government are turning increasingly to ICAO as a less transparent, less publicly accountable “plan B” for internationalization of its travel regime.

It’s unclear whether the resolutions to be proposed for adoption by ICAO at its upcoming general assembly will constitute ICAO “security standards”, or will merely be a step toward their adoption through he slow but inexorable multi-year ICAO decision-making process.  But the goal of the US government is clear: Whatever surveillnace and control measures can be incorporated into ICAO security standards can be backported into national and international laws through innocuous-seeming statutory and treaty mandates for compliance with ICAO security standards, and imposed on recalcitrant countries through denial of landing rights oin the US to flights from countries or on airlines that don’t comply with such surveillance and control standards.

3 thoughts on “Napolitano outlines US travel control agenda for ICAO

  1. Pingback: Papers, Please! » Blog Archive » DHS says they should get our PNR data, but we shouldn’t

  2. Pingback: ICAO mandates worldwide government surveillance of air travelers – Papers, Please!

  3. U.S. policymakers have made it clear that they want to see any and all monitoring and control mechanisms included in ICAO security requirements made mandatory at the national and international levels. legislation that compels the United States to bar flights from certain countries from landing in the country

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