From Cory Doctorow - Why is American Airlines gathering written dossiers on fliers’ friends?

Since we apparently have a (secret?) regulation that requires a visitor to write down the names of friends, why not go the extra step? The Soviets used to require papers granting permission to travel. Would we be more secure (in the same sense) if we to required travel papers that could be inspected on demand by any official?

[ For the humor-impaired or anyone who might take the above literally – this might be called “dark humor” ].