Documents released by Amtrak suggest that since 2012, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has had direct access to Amtrak’s reservation system, possibly including access to reservations for Amtrak passengers traveling entirely within the USA.
The Amtrak documents Papers Please received are the fourth in a continuing series of long-overdue interim responses (1st interim response, 2nd interim response, 3rd interim response) to a FOIA request they made in October 2014 for records related to Amtrak’s data-sharing and other collaboration with DHS and other US and foreign law enforcement agencies.
You read that right, foreign law enforcement agencies have access to EVERY Amtrak passengers personal information!
Back in March of this year I reported how DHS/Amtrak is spying on passengers and letting police access records without warrants:
The CBP/DHS knows you address, credit card numbers, telephone numbers and email address:
“CBP wanted access to additional data about cross-border passengers — such as telephone numbers, credit card numbers, or postal and email addresses — that’s included in ticketing and reservation records.”
Amtrak has given CBP staff members ‘carte blanche’ to spy on EVERY Amtrak passenger:
… “Only certain CBP staff members — we don’t know how many — were to be given user IDs for access to the Amtrak e-ticket system.” Amtrak/DHS has no restrictions on what the CBP can spy on.
Amtrak Police also have access to EVERY passengers reservation data through a special “Police GUI“.
“To Identify passengers of interest, [redacted name of Amtrak Police officer under investigation] uses the Arrow system, CISPROD, and the manifest to predetermine which passengers should be targeted for closer scrutiny. By determining the traveler’s method of payment when purchasing the ticket, how soon before departure the ticket was purchased, their city of origin, destination, length of stay, and whether or not the traveler recorded a telephone number, one can better target travelers of interest. This information couple with site indicators helps an experience officer develop probable cause for a detention and often times, arrest.”
Amtrak’s customer service employees have been issued guidelines that can allegedly identify a suspicious passenger:
- Unusual calmness or straight ahead stare
- Unusual nervousness of traveler
- Looking around while making telephone call(s)
- Position among passengers disembarking (ahead of, or lagging behind passengers)
- Carrying little or no luggage
- Purchase of tickets in cash
- Purchase tickets immediately prior to boarding
To make matters worse, EVERY American is given a ‘Risk Assessment” while traveling inside the country…
And now Amtrak has begun TSA style searches of EVERY passenger…