Editorial: terror act by passport
27.09.12 12:34 By Gazeta.ru editorial
According to a new Transportation Ministry order, starting July 1, 2013 data about every passenger who enters or exits any region in Russia will be added to a new FSB/Interior Ministry database.
"Tickets for public transport will only be sold with a passport," a source in Russia's transport ministry said to Gazeta.ru.
In other words,
transportation companies will be required to have the name, surname, passport number, DOB, and proof of registration for every passenger on board. In addition, the company must show the route taken for each passenger, and the date and location where every ticket was purchased.
The Transportation ministry explains new rules with the need to ensure security in Russia. The idea of selling tickets only with passports was born after the deputies recalled how young residents of the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan arrived to Moscow by a inter-city bus and blew themselves up in the Moscow Metro in March 2010, killing 40 people.
Strengthening security in the transportation sphere as a measure to combat terrorism is a global trend. After the 9/11 terror act, the USA strengthened security rules and there has not been a single major terror act there. In Russia, however, there are regions where acts of terror are committed almost every day.
After the explosion in the Moscow airport Domodedovo, authorities decided to put metal detectors in every airport and railway station in the city. If we compare how people are searched and checked in Moscow and, say, in Jerusalem, it would become clear who really combats terrorism. In Moscow anyone could enter the airport without being checked.
It is unlikely that a terrorist would travel from Dagestan by buses on their real passport. And if they decide to travel by car it would be impossible to check everyone.
The problem in Russia is that those security measures which are invented by the authorities, either are inexecutable, or are not anyhow connected with the thing they are aimed at.
After the terror act in Beslan in 2004 straight governors' elections were cancelled for security reasons, but they were returned 7 years later after street protests broke out in Moscow. It seems that the terror act n Beslan had nothing to do with straight governors' election and it is unclear why they had to be cancelled.
The idea require passports to buy a ticket for public transport is pointless. And the passport data will unlikely help with combating terrorism.
Firstly, it is totally unclear what could stop a potential suicide bomber from buying a bus ticket without his or her real passport.
Secondly, even if the passport is fake, it is hard to imagine that by 2013, all Russian buses will be equipped with modern anti-counterfeit passport systems.
Not to mention situations when a person, having forgotten his passport, would try to settle the issue with a driver, financially. It is well-known that two bombs set off in airplanes in Domodedovo airport in August 2004 were possible only after the terrorists gave a $30 bribe to airport staff so that they could skip document checking.
It is, of course, possible to sell tickets to public transport only with passports. But it has nothing to do with security.
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