Only The Gummint Could Think This Up ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Friday, September 5, 2008

Only The Gummint Could Think This Up

Federal law now requires many people working in the transportation sector to get a national Transportation Worker Identity Card (TWIC). As CP is a merchant marine officer, I am required to obtain one as well. But it aint easy. They give you the option to go online and pre-enroll before you actually go to the center, which asks for lots of ID and then issues you the card...if you are kosher. To pre-enroll, you need to log in, which requires a password, but it aint easy. They must think those terrorists are too dumb to figure it out..well it took me about half an hour. So, to spare you the long post, here is the executive summary--You go online to pre-enroll after figuring out an incredibly complex password. Then you attempt to figure out how to make an appointment and get to Dundalk. You can either bring two various forms of government I.D., but a valid passport is sufficient. Remember that--the passport is sufficient!

So you pay $132 (checks to Lockheed-Martin!) and if they approve you, you come back in a few weeks to get the card. Whew. But here is the insanity and the irony. They make it incredibly difficult to get the darn card, but they will accept your passport as the sole form of I.D....but it is so much easier and less complicated to get a passport--you can mail in the form, get a photo taken just about anywhere and they even mail them to you, but the TWIC card you have to go to Baltimore TWICE to get!!! But which is more important to our safety--a passport or an additional card for people already screened to fly planes, operate ships etc.etc?

AGGGHHHHH...and this has been promulgated under a Republican administration committed to reducing government? Where is Al Gore--we need you! It is a big deal, because
there are a lot of these TWICS coming:

Total # Pre-Enrolled:
Total # Enrolled:
Total # Cards Issued:

And now, to demonstrate the ease and simplicity of creating a password:

1. Minimum password length is eight characters.
2. Passwords must contain at least one of each of the following: one alphabetic uppercase, one alphabetic lowercase, one numeric, and one special character.
3. Passwords shall not contain any two identical consecutive characters (example: 22apples, 14588904).
4. Passwords may contain no more than two identical consecutive characters in any position from the previous password.
5. Passwords shall not contain any dictionary word.
6. Passwords shall not contain any proper noun or the name of any person, pet, child, or fictional character.
7. Passwords shall not contain any employee serial number, Social Security number, birth date, phone number, or any information that could be readily guessed about the creator of the password.
8. Passwords shall not contain any simple pattern of letters or numbers, such as “qwerty” or “xyz123”.
9. Passwords shall not be any word, noun, or name spelled backwards or appended with a single digit or with a two-digit “year” string, such as 98xyz123.
10. Pass phrases, if used in addition to or instead of passwords, should follow these same guidelines.
11. Passwords shall not be the same as the User ID.
12. Password length will be selected to provide a level of protection commensurate to the value or sensitivity of the resources or data it protects, but not less than eight characters.

And then they want you to schedule an appointment for Dundalk--but that aint easy. They only display the upcoming five day workweek on screen. But what if you want to schedule it in a few weeks?

If you think that's bad, you should see the pages and pages of instructions simply to schedule the appointment. It takes longer to read the instructions than the appointment takes.

The worst parts of all is that one has to go all the way up to Dundalk yet again to actually get the TWIC and you have to spend $132 and the check is made out to.....Lockheed Martin! Let's hear it for the military industrial complex--and boy is it complex....once again proving that the defense establishment is the biggest porked-up welfare program in our budget. There now. Does this make us any safer? Perhaps if we tried diplomacy, peace, development, you know--like real security?

It gets worse...just check out their "Frequently Asked Questions" page:

Can somebody help??? Please God make it stop!!!!!

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