I love the foreign press.  They always have so much more to tell us, don’t you think?

The security information on the barcodes is only meant to be decoded by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers, so it was not thought to be a problem that PreCheck selected which users would get a less rigorous safety check in advance.

The fact that passengers can use their handsets to find out if they have been picked poses a problem, says Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The disclosure of this information means that bad guys are not going to be kept on their toes anymore,” he said.

The security issue was publicised by aviation blogger John Butler, but had been discussed in specialist online forums since last summer.

The problem is, the passenger and flight information encoded in barcode is not encrypted in any way,” wrote Mr Butler.

“Using a website I decoded my boarding pass for my upcoming trip.


“It’s all there PNR [passenger name record], seat assignment, flight number, name, etc. But what is interesting is the bolded three on the end. This is the TSA PreCheck information. The number means the number of beeps. 1 beep no PreCheck, 3 beeps yes PreCheck.”

via BBC News – Boarding pass barcodes ‘can be read by smartphones’.  And let’s not forget to throw this in.  If they can’t report on real news, what can they report on?