Sep 19 2017

Amtrak lied to travel agents who questioned ID requirements

The encouraging disclosure in the latest installment of documents released by Amtrak in response to one of our Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests is that some travel agents resisted Amtrak demands that they collaborate in surveillance, profiling, and control of train travelers by entering passport or ID numbers and details in each reservation for cross-border Amtrak travel. […]

Jun 07 2016

How hard was it for Amtrak to require names in reservations?

Since the start of the post-9/11 shift from case-by-case government access to travel reservations to dragnet surveillance of all reservations and pre-crime profiling of all travelers, the government has claimed repeatedly that the information to which it has demanded access was already “routinely” provided by travelers to airlines and other travel companies. We’ve recently received […]

Sep 23 2015

Does CBP have access to domestic Amtrak reservations?

Documents released to us by Amtrak suggest that since 2012, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has had direct access to Amtrak’s reservation system, possibly including access to reservations for Amtrak passengers traveling entirely within the USA. What do these documents show? And why would an immigration and border patrol agency want access to records […]

Jun 21 2015

More on Amtrak passenger data requirements

Amtrak has released a third batch of records (1st interim response, 2nd interim response) in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information about Amtrak’s collection and “sharing” with the US and Canadian governments of information about Amtrak travelers on international routes between the US and Canada: Amtrak-FOIA-29OCT2014-signed.pdf (note that this file […]

Apr 23 2015

Amtrak formats for passenger ID data dumps to governments

Eight pages of command-line formats for users of Amtrak’s ARROW computerized reservation system have been made public in the second of a series of interim responses to our Freedom of Information Act request for records of Amtrak’s collaboration with police and other government agencies in the US and Canada in “dataveillance” of Amtrak passengers. The […]

Mar 20 2015

Amtrak lies about police use of passenger data

The first “interim” release of documents responsive to our FOIA request for records of police and other government access to Amtrak reservation data show that Amtrak is not only giving police root access and a dedicated user interface to mine passenger data for general state and local law enforcement purposes, but also lying to passengers […]

Oct 30 2014

Amtrak admits passenger profiling but not DHS collaboration

Amtrak has admitted to profiling its passengers, while improperly withholding any mention of its transmission of railroad passenger reservation data to DHS for use in profiling and other activities. In response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request from the ACLU, Amtrak has disclosed profiling criteria that Amtrak staff are instructed to use as […]