US federal law enforcements officers have closed down a controversial boarding card generator website and taken its creator into investigation for breaching rules on aiding fraud.

Last week Christopher Soghoian released his freeware software program allowing anyone to print an e-ticket boarding card for any Northwest Airlines flight (an example is pictured below).

Wastnagej boarding card NWA

A self-styled security consultant, Indiana University at Bloomington PhD student Soghoian says he created the program to expose loopholes in the US aviation security processes. He called the Transportation Security Agency's measures a "security theatre."

The site allowed anyone create a facsimile of a NWA boarding pass, in whatever name they choose and then print out on a home printer. Unlike Europe, airport security workers in the USA do not routinely check the name on the photographic identification against that on the boarding card. Although the computer-generated bar code will not match against a passenger name record once at the gate, the boarding card will thus enable passengers without tickets to gain access to airside.

It could be a way for passengers on the US no-fly list of suspected terrorists to circumnavigate the check-in security checks and potentially still fly, using their real (unchecked) ticket once at the gate, Soghoian alleges.

This was enough to get Soghoian's home raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and calls for his arrest by Republican Congressmen.

As a result, Soghoian has pulled the boarding pass generator from his website, pending legal clarification. However, at time of writing, an anonymous mirror host has republished the generator website, with the addition of some minor code changes.