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TSA's identity obsession

US Homeland Security undersecretary Asa Hutchinson said the current practice of airlines giving the names of passengers to US officials 15 minutes after take-off did not make sense.

“If we have to have information 60 or 45 minutes before, you’ve got to close off the passengers that come in at the last second,” he told reporters. It’s a behavioral adjustment that has to be made.”

The behavioral adjustment that needs to be made is a recognition that names are not inherent properties of people. What we care about is “Does this person have means, motive and opportunity to commit a serious crime on this aircraft?” The name is not so important.

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

(From ABS-CBN News, via Webflyer; Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II. )

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