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Old Jun 15, 11, 12:09 pm   #1
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Concern about increased airport security in Australia

This article, http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-...615-1g43d.html has me really concerned.

I really like flying within Australia and know that there have been other posts about how much better the system in Australia is than that in the U.S. I am really concerned that they may implement these reforms and ruin the flying experience within Australia.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 1:05 pm   #2
  
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Originally Posted by guflyer View Post
This article, http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-...615-1g43d.html has me really concerned.

I really like flying within Australia and know that there have been other posts about how much better the system in Australia is than that in the U.S. I am really concerned that they may implement these reforms and ruin the flying experience within Australia.
Hey, but at least Australia isn't hiding behind terrorism as an excuse for these draconian measures. They freely admit that the main focus is drug trafficking and crime prevention in general. Remember, the photo ID requirement in the US started well before 9/11. It was pushed by Clinton within days after TWA 800 blew up. Never let a good disaster go to waste.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 1:08 pm   #3
  
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Does government have no idea how to listen to the people?
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Old Jun 15, 11, 1:31 pm   #4
  
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Does government have no idea how to listen to the people?
They do, they just need reminders every now and again.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 2:04 pm   #5
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Does government have no idea how to listen to the people?
Sure it does.

Listen, then do the complete, costliest opposite.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 10:43 pm   #6
  
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Originally Posted by guflyer View Post
This article, http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-...615-1g43d.html has me really concerned.

I really like flying within Australia and know that there have been other posts about how much better the system in Australia is than that in the U.S. I am really concerned that they may implement these reforms and ruin the flying experience within Australia.
I'm not worried yet. To start with, there was a committee which was asked to report to the government. Of course they're going to propose changes; that's what such committees do. And overall the changes appear mostly harmless.

As I read it, the most significant change being recommended (and at this point it seems to be only a recommendation) is to show photo ID for domestic flights. So there's a long way to go before Australia descends to the US level!!

As VelvetJones said, the scope seems to be on drug trafficking and organized crime, so it's not more intrusive security (NoS, gropings, etc) but rather increased ID matching (increased from a base of zero, BTW).

I imagine it would be the airlines checking the ID at boarding, rather than security at the checkpoint, since currently non-passengers can go airside and they'd have to change that. Sure it's a nuisance (and I don't necessarily support it) but it's not the end of the world.

(The article mentions a few other possible changes - more sniffer dogs and some kind of "profiling." These sound pretty tentative and in particular I think it would be hard to get support for profiling.)
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Old Jun 15, 11, 10:59 pm   #7
  
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I agree mostly with RadioGirls comments above and would add that given the 'investment' QF have made in DIY self loading (check-in, bag check) and etickets, OLCI etc that both the major domestic carriers have, I see it having a difficult time being enacted.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 1:34 am   #8
  
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[Does government have no idea how to listen to the people?

Bolding mine.

Sure they do. Ask the Brits about April, 1775

Time to bring back pitchforks, tar and feathering, and public flogging.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 4:06 pm   #9
  
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What are Australia's laws and culture with regard to national-ID and papers-please-style ID checks? Are citizens required to carry ID at all times? Are police allowed to arbitrarily stop people on the street and ask for ID?

Requiring photo ID in a country with that kind of culture isn't surprising or that concerning to me, because IMO the personal liberty ship has already sailed from there.

But if it is like the US, where nobody is required to have an ID, you can actually live your life without ID (getting harder in the US), there is no national ID, and there is no requirement to present identity papers to police when not engaged in a licensed activity, it is a much bigger concern.

I also would urge any Australians on the fence about this issue to read up on the US (and Canadian) no-fly lists (NFLs) and how the NFL has resulted in repeated delays, detention, and harassment of tens of thousands of innocent citizens. You can search on "Robert Johnson" and "David Nelson" too. A "simple ID check" is never just that; it will eventually move to some sort of blacklist check, and blacklists are notorious for being erroneous and being hard to get off of.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 5:20 pm   #10
  
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Originally Posted by studentff View Post
What are Australia's laws and culture with regard to national-ID and papers-please-style ID checks? Are citizens required to carry ID at all times? Are police allowed to arbitrarily stop people on the street and ask for ID?

Requiring photo ID in a country with that kind of culture isn't surprising or that concerning to me, because IMO the personal liberty ship has already sailed from there.

But if it is like the US, where nobody is required to have an ID, you can actually live your life without ID (getting harder in the US), there is no national ID, and there is no requirement to present identity papers to police when not engaged in a licensed activity, it is a much bigger concern.

I also would urge any Australians on the fence about this issue to read up on the US (and Canadian) no-fly lists (NFLs) and how the NFL has resulted in repeated delays, detention, and harassment of tens of thousands of innocent citizens. You can search on "Robert Johnson" and "David Nelson" too. A "simple ID check" is never just that; it will eventually move to some sort of blacklist check, and blacklists are notorious for being erroneous and being hard to get off of.
I think you're over-reacting.

I'm amazed that Australia (so far) has not required photo ID for domestic flights.

New Zealand has required photo ID at check-in for several years now, with minimal problems.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 6:09 pm   #11
  
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The issue seems to be that the Senate Committee that prepared this report wants ID checks to be done at checkin which with OLCI, self-check in, etc, is basically impossible. it seems to me that the only way this works is with mandatory ID checking at boarding. I do hope that they do not instigate the check at security as I like the current policy of allowing non-travellers to enter the sterile area.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 6:39 pm   #12
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studentff View Post
What are Australia's laws and culture with regard to national-ID and papers-please-style ID checks? Are citizens required to carry ID at all times? Are police allowed to arbitrarily stop people on the street and ask for ID?

Requiring photo ID in a country with that kind of culture isn't surprising or that concerning to me, because IMO the personal liberty ship has already sailed from there.

But if it is like the US, where nobody is required to have an ID, you can actually live your life without ID (getting harder in the US), there is no national ID, and there is no requirement to present identity papers to police when not engaged in a licensed activity, it is a much bigger concern.

I also would urge any Australians on the fence about this issue to read up on the US (and Canadian) no-fly lists (NFLs) and how the NFL has resulted in repeated delays, detention, and harassment of tens of thousands of innocent citizens. You can search on "Robert Johnson" and "David Nelson" too. A "simple ID check" is never just that; it will eventually move to some sort of blacklist check, and blacklists are notorious for being erroneous and being hard to get off of.
There is no "national ID" in Australia, nor is there any requirement for people to carry an ID at all times. The only time I regularly have to show an ID is at the post office when I mail a package overseas, and even there the clerk only signs a form saying that they've seen my ID - they don't record the details. And I needed ID to open a bank account. But having lived in both countries, Australia is far LESS of an ID-obsessed culture than the USA.

For domestic travel, I OLCI, drop my checked bag at the self-serve system and show my BP to get on the flight, all without anyone verifying that I am the person named on the BP. At the hotel, I don't have to show an ID (just a credit card ), nor have I ever been asked for ID when paying by credit card (anywhere in Oz).

With that in mind, I don't believe that the recommendation to present photo ID for domestic flights is a prelude to a No Fly List in Australia. It appears to be an effort to fight organized crime and drug trafficking where people are traveling under false identities.

That said, I'm not sure it would be effective - for all the reasons that have been discussed elsewhere in this forum about the ineffectiveness of ID checks. And I'm not convinced that the benefit in law enforcement would be worth the inconvenience to the vast majority of innocent passengers. But I don't see a NFL conspiracy here.
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Originally Posted by *A Flyer View Post
The issue seems to be that the Senate Committee that prepared this report wants ID checks to be done at checkin which with OLCI, self-check in, etc, is basically impossible. it seems to me that the only way this works is with mandatory ID checking at boarding. I do hope that they do not instigate the check at security as I like the current policy of allowing non-travellers to enter the sterile area.
Agree completely.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 8:26 pm   #13
  
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Originally Posted by RadioGirl View Post
With that in mind, I don't believe that the recommendation to present photo ID for domestic flights is a prelude to a No Fly List in Australia. It appears to be an effort to fight organized crime and drug trafficking where people are traveling under false identities.

But I don't see a NFL conspiracy here.
Thanks for the info. How are they going to stop drug traffickers or people traveling under false identities without some sort of blacklist? Maybe not a no fly list but an equivalent to a US NCIC check (reports outstanding arrest warrants)

Checking ID without checking any sort of list, as the US started doing after TWA 800, is pure security theater that does nothing but prove passengers have a piece of laminated paper with a name and photo on it and condition passengers to showing it. It might catch a few people with bad fake IDs.

To gain any real security benefit there have to be blacklist checks.

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Originally Posted by celle View Post
I think you're over-reacting.
Really?

http://archives.californiaaviation.o.../msg26610.html
http://www.alternet.org/story/42646/
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/...n-no-fly-list/
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/ny...watchlist.html

One a country starts down that slippery slope, it's very difficult to go back. These innocent victims and many others have suffered substantial indignities and been offered no effective redress or compensation by the government.

The US went down this slippery slope over the course of almost a decade. In 1996 after TWA 800, they started checking IDs, which the airlines liked because it meant people couldn't sell non-refundable tickets to others. Sometime between then and 9/11, they started having the airlines secretly check a no-fly list that had about a dozen names on it. After 9/11, the infrastructure was already in place to massively expand the list. But for months, maybe years, after 9/11, the government denied the existence of any sort of blacklist and dismissed the experiences of the innocent victims. Even after acknowledging the list existed, they refused to provide actual information or effective redress to victims.

And it all started with asking for ID to get a boarding pass.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 9:11 pm   #14
  
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Originally Posted by RadioGirl
For domestic travel, I OLCI, drop my checked bag at the self-serve system and show my BP to get on the flight, all without anyone verifying that I am the person named on the BP. At the hotel, I don't have to show an ID (just a credit card ), nor have I ever been asked for ID when paying by credit card (anywhere in Oz).
Technically it's against the merchant agreement to ask for ID when paying by credit card in the US. They are supposed to verify the signature to the one on the receipt just as they consistently do in Australia.

The article didn't say whether or not the ID checks would be done at boarding time or at check-in. Keep in mind, as another poster indicated, ID checks started after TWA 800 in 1996. It wasn't new after 9/11. However, OLCI didn't exist back in 1996 nor self-serve bag check. When the requirement was made to have a boarding pass at the checkpoint (and establishing the TDC position), OLCI was available. This means that the TDC is the only one who sees your boarding pass if you don't check bags. I'll leave this to the reader as to why the no fly list and Secure Flight systems and thus ID check are all useless...

If I had to guess, I would say the airlines would do this check at check-in time for those who still use the counter. I remember handing my passport to the check-in agent when I flew domestically in Australia, but that was more so they could look up my ticket information without having to spell my name.

We might say that this is no big deal now, but I don't remember any problems people had with the ID check in July 1996.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 11:01 pm   #15
  
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Originally Posted by studentff View Post
Thanks for the info. How are they going to stop drug traffickers or people traveling under false identities without some sort of blacklist? Maybe not a no fly list but an equivalent to a US NCIC check (reports outstanding arrest warrants)

Checking ID without checking any sort of list, as the US started doing after TWA 800, is pure security theater that does nothing but prove passengers have a piece of laminated paper with a name and photo on it and condition passengers to showing it. It might catch a few people with bad fake IDs.

To gain any real security benefit there have to be blacklist checks.
As I said, I don't believe it will be effective, except, as you say, against stupid people with bad fake IDs. But it makes them feel like they're "doing something" about organized crime.

Or maybe they will check ticket purchases against a police database of people with ties to organized crime or drug trafficking. I'm not hugely in favor of that*, but at the same time, I'm not worried about it becoming a US-style NFL fiasco. Australia doesn't have a "Department of Homeland Security" and it isn't gripped by the "OMG there's a terrorist under every rock!!!!" hysteria. Airport security is still (for now) done by private contractors. It's simply not the same environment that led to the (horrific, despicable, un-American - I agree completely!) US No Fly List scenario.

* I would prefer that they just go arrest the people with ties to organized crime or drug trafficking and put them on trial. But that's just me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by studentff View Post
Really?

http://archives.californiaaviation.o.../msg26610.html
http://www.alternet.org/story/42646/
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/...n-no-fly-list/
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/ny...watchlist.html

One a country starts down that slippery slope, it's very difficult to go back. These innocent victims and many others have suffered substantial indignities and been offered no effective redress or compensation by the government.

The US went down this slippery slope over the course of almost a decade. In 1996 after TWA 800, they started checking IDs, which the airlines liked because it meant people couldn't sell non-refundable tickets to others. Sometime between then and 9/11, they started having the airlines secretly check a no-fly list that had about a dozen names on it. After 9/11, the infrastructure was already in place to massively expand the list. But for months, maybe years, after 9/11, the government denied the existence of any sort of blacklist and dismissed the experiences of the innocent victims. Even after acknowledging the list existed, they refused to provide actual information or effective redress to victims.

And it all started with asking for ID to get a boarding pass.
My understanding is that it was the airlines who initiated the ID checks, to prevent people trading tickets, and the gov't took over (well after 9/11) under the guise of national security, rather than the other way around.

I agree that innocent people have suffered, and continued to suffer, because of the US NFL. Refusing to tell people whether (or why) they're on the list is wrong. Triggering on just names, where you can get 1000s of innocent people with the same name as one "Bad Guy" is wrong. Making it hard for people to get off the list is wrong. Treating six-year-olds like terrorists because their name matches is wrong. But I would attribute all these horribly wrong components to the post-9/11 idiocy in the US gov't, none of which I see in Australia.
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
Technically it's against the merchant agreement to ask for ID when paying by credit card in the US. They are supposed to verify the signature to the one on the receipt just as they consistently do in Australia.
I know. But I've read many times here of US merchants asking anyway, while I've never been asked in Australia.
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
The article didn't say whether or not the ID checks would be done at boarding time or at check-in. Keep in mind, as another poster indicated, ID checks started after TWA 800 in 1996. It wasn't new after 9/11. However, OLCI didn't exist back in 1996 nor self-serve bag check. When the requirement was made to have a boarding pass at the checkpoint (and establishing the TDC position), OLCI was available. This means that the TDC is the only one who sees your boarding pass if you don't check bags. I'll leave this to the reader as to why the no fly list and Secure Flight systems and thus ID check are all useless...
I don't think they've gotten that far. A committee was asked to make recommendations. They recommended checking IDs on domestic flights. That's all so far. We don't know whether the gov't will accept the recommendation, or how they would implement it... (By way of comparison, two years ago a gov't committee recommended that nude-o-scopes be installed in (at least) int'l airports, and the gov't accepted the recommendation. Yet Oz airports remain NoS-free, and it's all gone very quiet.)
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
If I had to guess, I would say the airlines would do this check at check-in time for those who still use the counter. I remember handing my passport to the check-in agent when I flew domestically in Australia, but that was more so they could look up my ticket information without having to spell my name.
...except we do know it won't be THIS. At the major domestic terminals in Australia, there are no check-in counters. It's all OLCI or self-serve kiosk. Self-serve bag drop. Maybe one roving airline employee to answer the odd question if you can find them. Which is why *A flyer said it would most likely be done on boarding.
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
We might say that this is no big deal now, but I don't remember any problems people had with the ID check in July 1996.
And it wasn't a big deal until the US completely lost the plot in 2001.
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