Apparently, one may still travel by air without ID, if the TSA is convinced that the ID is lost, and you’re willing to undergo egregious privacy violations. Consumerist reports on one traveler’s experience:
After filling out the affidavit, Laurie called a service to verify my address. The service needed me to then correctly answer three questions about myself, which Laurie relayed to me. The first was my date of birth, the second was a previous address (which I only got right on my second try), and the third was “You are registered to vote. Which political party have you registered with?” I got all three right, and only then did Laurie clear me to go through security.
Of course, I still had to submit to secondary screening, including a full-body pat-down and total luggage search. Brenda and Laurie stayed with me to make sure the process went as quickly as possible, and were again incredibly helpful and nice. They kept explaining over and over how necessary it was to “verify” who I was, and how times have changed, and how these new regulations must have been as a result of someone trying to get away with something, because there’s always a reason for these thing but they don’t always know what those reasons are. They were so nice and considerate that I waited until the very end before I finally said that I do not agree with the new regulations, but that I was thankful that the two of them acted so professionally and considerately to me. Laurie actually seemed a little dejected when I said this, because I had been playing along the entire time out of fear that I would not appear cooperative otherwise.
I can only imagine what the reaction would be if one answered “Libertarian” or “Green” — especially in states where those parties aren’t “officially recognized.”
One also has to marvel at the amount of sophisticated data that the so-called “service” has collected about travelers. More than likely, the information is gleaned from credit records — a situation where one in four individuals has serious errors on “their” file.
This makes the cozy relationship between government and data collection companies a lot clearer. The next time you make a purchase, buy a car, apply for a loan, or go on vacation, your transaction will be reported — possibly inaccurately — into the government’s database. And if you seek to sue the big corporate credit bureaus for torts such as libel (inaccurately publishing damaging information), you’ll run head-long into federal laws protecting those bureaus from liability.
This cozy corporate-government privacy-busting superstate reminds me of a quote from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini: “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”
In the new American Security State, you are always under suspicion. Your innocence is never accepted, your guilt, if asserted, never need be proven. And both big government and big business are working together to ensure your liberties get traded in for their profit.