Papers, Please! has done yeoman service uncovering how DHS has been accessing Amtrak passenger data. See past coverage on this blog by searching for “Amtrak.”
Now they report:
Documents released to us 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.
What do these documents show? And why would an immigration and border patrol agency want access to records of travel by US citizens and other residents within the borders of the US?
The Amtrak documents we received this week 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 we made in October 2014 for records related to Amtrak’s data-sharing and other collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other US and foreign law enforcement agencies.
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Thanks to Joe Cadillic for reminding me that it’s not enough that I just read posts, but that I need to remember to actually share them on this site!