Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) wants the federal government to arrest security researcher Christopher Soghoian for creating the Northwest Airline Boarding Pass Generator, a site which lets anyone create a facsimile of a Northwest Airlines boarding pass. Soghoian hoped to spur Congress to look closely at the nation’s aviation security policies, which he calls “security theater.”
Instead, Markey, a member of the House Homeland Security committee, wants the site shut down and Soghoian arrested.
“The Bush Administration must immediately act to investigate, apprehend those responsible, shut down the website, and warn airlines and aviation security officials to be on the look-out for fraudsters or terrorists trying to use fake boarding passes in an attempt to cheat their way through security and onto a plane,” Markey said in a statement.
… While Soghoian’s hack drew widespread attention on the internet Thursday, the security hole it exposes has long been known. Boarding passes that are printable online can be edited simply by manipulating the html code, and Slate magazine, among others, publicized a method for those on government watch lists to avoid extra-screening or being banned from travel.
Reader comment: “This is totally something out of the X files, where people in the government are arresting people who are just trying to expose them. ” – blog.wired
Sure, shut down the site. It has served its purpose: to alert people to the problem. But Soghoian is the messenger. He should be thanked, not attacked. See this info from 2005.