Monday, May 13, 2013

TWIC hasn't been popular with transportation workers...

...but I get the sense that the transportation workers don't oppose the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) on principle, rather, implementation just hasn't worked out. The U.S. General Accounting Office seems to share workers' assessment.

Scrap TWIC? GAO report slams port credential program (Land Line Magazine)
Truck drivers and others who work at U.S. ports have grumbled for years about the expenses and hassles of obtaining a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, or TWIC.

TWIC – a biometric security card capable of storing fingerprints, residency documents and other information – was designed to make ports and major warehouse areas less vulnerable to potential terrorists.

A federal investigative report released this week says the TWIC program’s efforts to implement a remote card reader system haven’t worked, and said Congress should consider scrapping the 10-year-old billion-dollar program altogether and starting over with a new credential.
As we have discussed in other TWIC-related posts, the interoperability issues involved in having one card that works at every port, warehouse, transshipment hub, border, etc. haven't been overcome and the administrative load on those required to carry the card have been heavy.

See also:
TSA Defends TWIC Reader Program (Homeland Security Today)
"TWIC readers determine whether a card is authentic, valid and issued by TSA," Sadler testified. "The readers also check that the card has not expired and, by accessing the cancelled card list, can determine if the card has been revoked or reported lost or stolen. When used in the biometric mode, readers confirm through a biometric fingerprint match that the person using the card is the rightful owner of the card. The TWIC card and reader system can perform these checks virtually anywhere with portable or fixed readers because connectivity to an external database is not required. [ed. emphasis mine]"
How does the italicized part work? Without at least intermittent connectivity to an external database how are lost cards to be rejected?