Fake boarding passes stir U.S. security

Nov. 1, 2006 at 10:57 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- A U.S. congressman reversed himself and is now praising an Indiana University student who published an Internet tool to create fake airline boarding passes.

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., last week said Christopher Soghoian, 24, should be arrested for posting the tool that created a Northwest Airlines boarding pass, but now says Soghoian performed a public service.

On Friday, the FBI executed a search warrant on Soghoian's home and confiscated his computer equipment. Wendy Osborne, a special agent with the FBI's Indianapolis field office told the Washington Post she could not discuss the case as the warrant had been sealed, and that the FBI would investigate jointly with the Transportation Security Administration and decide whether charges would be filed.

Markey, meanwhile, said Soghoian had caught the TSA off guard and exposed a security vulnerability.

"He picked a lousy way of doing it, but he should not go to jail for his bad judgment," Markey said. "Better yet, the Department of Homeland Security should put him to work showing public officials how easily our security can be compromised."

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