Feb 16 2018

Will “continuous vetting” include new demands for travel information?

Congress is currently considering multiple “immigration” bills containing provisions for “continuous screening” or “continuous vetting” of foreign residents, visitors, and would-be visitors to the US. As we have noted previuosly, “continuous screening” and “continuous vetting” are euphemisms for “continuous surveillance and control”.

These so-called “immigration” bills would not be limited to foreigners. Many of them would include US citizens exercising our right to leave our country, and to return, in pre-crime travel surveillance and control schemes.

One question that has been raised about some of these proposals is (1) whether they would require airlines to provide the DHS with additional informaiton about  air travelers, or require information about potential passengers to be provided further in advance of scheduled flights, and (2) if so, whether this would violate the US “agreement” with the European Union regarding US government use of PNR data obtained from airlines.

Here’s some background, and some analysis, of what “continuous vetting” might mean for US government use of data from airlines, and for the US agreement with the EU:

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Feb 06 2018

New “National Vetting Center” will target travelers

The White House today announced the creation by executive order of a new “National Vetting Center”, led by the DHS, to coordinate efforts to surveill, profile, and control movement by U.S. citizens, residents, immigrants, and visitors.

The “National Security Presidential Memorandum” was not made public, and the  press release announcing it gives few details. So far as we can tell, it appears that the intent  is to integrate the pre-crime functions of the DHS, particularly those of the National Targeting Center that currently issues extrajudicial yes-fly and no-fly orders or “recommendations” to airlines, with the travel and immigrant surveillance components of other departments, and to extend it from border crossings to continuous surveillance and control.

Since “pre-cogs” capable of making pre-crime predictions are a Hollywood sci-fi fantasy, not a reality, what would be the criteria for this “Extreme Vetting”?

A report commissioned last month by the head of US Customs and Border Protection and  made public by Foreign Policy gives an indication of the likely “vetting” criteria for action against individuals by the new National Vetting Center. Read More