Florida cracks down on human trafficking with new ID scanning policies.

Florida legislators have successfully passed House Bill 989 which should help put an end to human trafficking in Florida’s popular adult entertainment industries.  The bill calls for the immediate implementation of age verification systems in all Florida gentleman’s clubs, the prohibition of minors from working in adult theaters, and the enhancement of punitive laws against those who receive financial gain from the practice of human trafficking.

COAST or Club Owners Against Sex Trafficking has been working extensively with lawmakers and Homeland Security agents over the past few years,  and these new guidelines and policies are the result of collaboration.

If you’d like to read a more in depth summary of the bill, click the link below.

http://www.flsenate.gov/Committees/billsummaries/2014/html/630

REAL ID phase 3 to be implemented. Are you compliant?

In 2004, the 9/11 Commission report found that “For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.”  In response to these findings the REAL ID Act was ratified in 2005 to make driver’s licenses more difficult to forge, in an attempt to secure our boarders.  Met with bipartisan support, the act was ratified quickly.

However, a small group of states including Oklahoma, Arizona, Maine, and Louisiana opposed the bill, considering it “unnecessary federal oversight” and a waste of funds.

Soon residents in non-compliant states will face further ramifications from the REAL ID act as phase 3 restrictions are about to take effect.  Starting in January 2015, cardholders from the aforementioned states will be required to provide secondary forms of photo ID at federal buildings such as courthouses and city council chambers.

Travelers with said IDs may need a second form of Identification to board commercial airlines starting in 2016, unless more secure IDs are created and deployed.

To read more about the REAL ID Act and whether or not it affects you, see the provided link below.

http://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief

3M Releases Passport Reader for Largest Hajj to Date

From October 2nd to 7th an estimated 1.98 million Muslim pilgrims observed Hajj by traveling to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage is required of any Muslim both financially and physically capable of making the journey and is considered a showing of solidarity within the Muslim community, as well as an expression of one’s submission to God.  The first recorded log of those making the pilgrimage was conducted in 1920, with 58,584 pilgrims attending.  In 2013, approximately 2.061,600 observed Hajj.  In this way, the pilgrimage reflects the leveling of the economic playing field for developing nations and the expansion of the religious community outside of the realm of city, state, and nation.  Even accounting for Islam’s natural growth, this increase in participation is significant and is the result of both expanding access to affordable and convenient travel, and Saudi Arabia’s successful dissemination of relevant information to ready pilgrimage-able Muslims for the upcoming journey.  The Hajj Permit introduced by Saudi Arabia this year limited the attending audience to one pilgrimage per five years in hopes to free up space and services for the attending guests.  This paired with streamlined border security shortened the time pilgrims spend in line, and allowed easier but more secure access to religious sites and events.

At IDScan.net we saw a marked increase in passport reader sales from the period of July to September.  Additionally, we worked with the Saudi Arabian embassy on deploying the 3M CR100 and Wizzforms software to further simplify and expedite the migration of pilgrims into Saudi Arabia.  The solution integrated into the embassy’s platform, effectively pulling information from the passports’ MRZ code and populating in-house forms with the data.  This process eliminated human error and simplified the data entry process to the swiping of a passport.

As Hajj attendance grows,  Islamic nations’ travel agencies and border agents must implement more effective and secure solutions to process pilgrims quickly and safely.  Travel documents have become more sophisticated and secure and a more sophisticated scanning solution is needed.  The release of the 3M AT9000 MK2 is just that.  The AT9000 scanner expands reading capability to newly-released biometric travel documents containing integrated chips such as EIDS and ePassports.  The scanner also creates true color images of all processed documents allowing the user to create logs of every passport scanned.   Through the addition of anti-glare technology which removes reflections from laminate during the scanning process, the AT9000 document reader improves upon its predecessors capabilities through increased reliability.  With the inclusion of UV and IR imaging, the AT9000 also detects virtually all fraudulent IDs and passports.  This paired with increasingly streamlined and efficient border control systems increased the pilgrims’ security while minimizing potential pitfalls on this year’s journey.