• Most EU countries have visa waiver agreements with the United States — but not 11 of the 12 states which joined the EU since 2004; the EU wants to negotiate a package deal for these countries, but the United States prefers bilateral deals so it can pick and choose among the new EU members; the EU says this violates the EU rules

  • TSA to undertake a sweeping review of airport security practices; private jets’ owners and passengers will have to provide personal information to be screened by border patrol

  • U.K. industry special

    The new, beautiful terminal — it also has an impressive view of the airport and its surroundings — will open on 14 March, and begin operations on 27 March; the mixing — and fingerprinting — of both international and domestic travelers; transfers to other airlines; and tight security checks pose problems

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police discover thousands of stolen and forged credit cards, licences, passports, personal records — and printing and embossing machines to manufacture IDs, passports, and print forged money; largest such ring in Canadian history

  • Since the program began in November 2006, the Coast Guard has collected biometric data from 1,526 migrants and prosecuted 118 of those migrants; program was tested in the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and judged successful, is now being expanded to the Florida Straits

  • The soap box

    DHS received the keys from Boeing — behind schedule, it should be noted — to Project 28, only to find out that it fell short of the promise the department made to Congress, and that Boeing made to the department; Boeing has now received a three-year extension; the Arizona Republic says the failure of Project 28 has deeper meaning for technology and policy

  • Project 28, built by Boeing along twenty-eight miles of the Arizona-Mexico border, was meant to showcase advanced border security technologies which DHS would use in the more ambitious $8 billion border surveillance system along the U.S.-Mexico border; DHS initially said that the project’s technology failed to deliver on its promise, and gave Boeing a three-year extension; DHS now defends its handling of the project

  • After Boeing delivers Project 28 — a system of cameras, sensors, towers, and software to secure a twenty-eight-mile stretch of the Arizona border — to DHS, department concludes that the project lacks the operational capabilities DHS and Congress expected it to have; first phase of project now extended by three years

  • Nearly half of the envisioned 670 miles of border fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border is complete; DHS says that the advanced technology component of the border monitoring system will be rolled out soon, and that other measures are making the border more secure

  • There are 300 million crossings per year at EU member states’ border crossings — 160 million crossings by EU citizens, 60 million by non-EU without visa, 80 million by non-EU with visa; EU wants to introduce biometric IDs to know who is coming in

  • DHS’s 2009 budget includes 19 percent increase in money for border security; administration to request $775 million to complete 670 miles of fencing this year and other infrastructure

  • Beginning Thursday, U.S. and Canadian citizens crossing the border between the two countries will have to show a passport, passport card, or enhanced driver’s license before allowing to cross; business leaders worry this will have a chilling effect on local economies along the border

  • TSA screeners at about 400 U.S. airports have began checking IDs with hand-held black lights; black lights help screeners inspect ID cards by illuminating holograms, typically of government seals, which are found in licenses and passports

  • This year, various forms of U.S. IDs will be equipped with vicinity RFID technology; DHS selects Unisys to install RFID readers at the 39 busiest U.S. land border ports of entry

  • DHS begins collecting ten fingerprints from international visitors at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Washington Dulles airport began doing so in late November; eight additional U.S. airports to implement ten-fingerprint requirement in 2008

  • The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will allow U.S. residents to travel by land and sea to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda using a passport card rather than a traditional passport (travel by air, and travel to other countries, would still require a passport); General Dynamics wins contract to produce the cards

  • Passport card will serve as an alternative to the traditional passport — and reduce the wait at land and sea border checkpoints by using an electronic device that can simultaneously read multiple cards’ radio frequency identification (RFID) signals from a distance, checking travelers against terrorist and criminal watchlists while they wait

  • What with CCTVs being installed by the thousands on street corners, along perimeter fences, and as part of border protection, there is a need to effectively and efficiently manage the avalanche of visual information coming in to the command center; this is where EVT’s new tool comes in

  • Arizona joins three other border states — Washington, Vermont, and New York — offering enhanced driver’s licenses to its citizens

  • Trend

    Continental passengers at Houston airport can now board planes by showing their cell phones or PDAs to security checkers; checkers scan rectangular bars on the cell phones’ or PDAs’ screens, which contain passengers personal and travel information