344 From Larry E, Richton Park, IL, 25 October 2004, 08:34:22 AM PST
I wish to make these comments on the new "Secure Flight" program.
Firstly, it is not the right of the executive branch to stop any American from flying. Flying is not a crime, and this plan seeks to keep Americans from exercising their right to travel by decree.
Further, the 100,000 people whose names are on the no fly have no way to know why they are blacklisted, how they got blacklisted or to get themselves off the blacklist. This is completely unconstitutional in that it denies the accused due process, the right to confront their accuser and the right to hearing.
The TSA has a horrible record on privacy. During the past two years, the TSA secretly obtained millions of travel records from several airlines and airline-reservation systems and passed these records on to private contractors.
TSA already has millions of travel records and ran testing on these records. Why do they need more records? What were the results of the earlier testing?
No one within the TSA has been punished for the earlier, secret privacy invasions.
The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, still hasn't completed their investigation into all of TSA's previous privacy violations.
The terrorist watch lists are a mess. TSA will use lists that have been proven to be inaccurate in order to test a system that has no proven effectiveness.
The millions of tax dollars that will be spent on 'Secure Flight' would be better spent on things we know will work, such as cargo screening, better training for TSA employees, and point-to-point baggage matching.
This is America, not Communist China. Internal border controls are un-American.
343 From Kristi A, Iowa City, IA, 25 October 2004, 08:23:36 AM PST
A few weeks ago my children and I were stopped at the check-in gate of a flight in Omaha for more than half an hour because we were all listed on a No-Board List. My children are ages 2, 6, and 12. Each of their names came up on the No-Board list. Even my 2-year-old's name was listed! The agent told me that the reason we were listed as No-Board was because our last name is of Arabic origin. The agent also told me there was no way to get off the No-Board list. Fortunately, after a half hour, we were cleared and given boarding passes, but we were not taken off the No-Board list. It is very disturbing that our government is putting whole groups of people onto No-Board lists based on racial profiles, even 2-year-olds. Greater care must be given to how the lists are composed, and we must have due process to remove our names from the list.
342 From Phyllis B, Washington, DC, 25 October 2004, 07:47:47 AM PST
I have stood in endless TSA lines since September 11th. This time of year I'm on planes more often than not. I have endured officious, nasty, bored, bullying TSA line employees more often than I have employees who are polite and pleasant. I have been wanded, patted and pressed. I have had my luggage searched and X-rayed. I have had my ID checked and rechecked. I have taken off my shoes and walked barefoot across filthy floors. These things I have consented to do to be able to do my job and fly on airplanes.
But these inconveniences are all I am willing to give over. I am not willing to have you search my background, probe my credit card records, and examine my itineraries. That is an invasion of my privacy and, as far as I'm concerned, a violation of the protections that my Constitution grants me.
I am particularly not willing to allow you to set up a system that allows you to code me as some level of traveler without warning, and without a system in place that allows you to correct the errors that you make. It is not acceptable that you will accept without question adding people to a list that you will not allow people to be removed from, and that you are adding people based on some secret list of criteria.
"Secure Flight" adds nothing to this nation's security, and is yet another exercise in protecting America against the *last* threat. Don't waste our tax payer dollars on it, and don't trample our Constitution any further by implementing it.
341 From Tony A, Great Neck, NY, 25 October 2004, 07:30:50 AM PST
The proposed "Secure Flight" system seems to be a totalitarian nightmare waiting to happen. It does so many things wrong that it's hard to know where to start, but to me the big problems are
1. It's easy for a terrorist to defeat.
2. There is no effective redress for the innocent to correct errors.
Defeating the system is trivial for those with deep enough pockets to fake some identities, or steal other persons. Credit card and identity theft is already rampant. Stealing the identity of someone who is known to not be a security risk is a free ticket onto a flight.
On the flip side, names get misspelled and mismarked in databases all the time. Even worse, identities get scrambled together. My father and
I share a the same first names and middle initials - on numerous credit reports I have seen our records completely co-mingled. That has actually made creditors ask us questions ("Why to you have two Macy's cards?"). It gives the appearence that I'm maintaining two identities. But, I'm only a single person, with one Macy's card. A bunch of incorrect database entries lined up to provide the illusion of something else. Secure flight provides no means for a citizen to clarify and/or correct information about themselves.
I keep having visions of Terry Gilliam's movie "Brazil". We end up in a distopian world where people blindly trust what comes out of a computer rather than the reality around them.
340 From Charles H, St Cloud, MN, 25 October 2004, 07:22:30 AM PST
The government should come back to reality, the rest of us are waiting for it.
339 From Hal H, Creve Coeur, MO, 25 October 2004, 06:37:09 AM PST
I do not think it is in the public interest for personal information that was provided in order to fly on commercial flights to be made available to a government agency without the permission of the passenger. One of our biggest domestic concerns is the misuse and appropriation of personal information, and there is no guarantee that such information, once provided, will not be misued nor promulgated further. The TSA has a very poor record (to the extent that government secrecy allows anyone to know, and do not deserve the trust of millions of travelers whose privacy they intend to invade.
338 From Jason B, Toledo, OH, 25 October 2004, 06:11:33 AM PST
I am deeply concerned by the direction being taken in this country in response to the terror attacks on 9/11. It seems as if all reason has been put aside in the relentless headlong pursuit of "the enemy". We are soon going to find out that the enemy is this very mindset.
Building watch lists with no oversight and no method of redress is irresponsible an un-American. Why are you spending so much time and money spying on Americans who are not suspect? And why farm it out to private companies, whom I trust even less than the government, since they have no public accountability? This money would be much better spent on things that we know will work, such as bullet-proof cockpit doors and cargo screening.
Also, why would a terrorist fly under his or her own name? They are well-funded and capable of passing through security checkpoints with valid identification and non-metallic weapons. The wholesale sellout of our freedoms and privacy for the pointless goal of somehow identifying hijackers before they board planes is completely wrong-headed. Why not just make planes unhijackable?
I am very scared for the future of our country under this mindset. Once all of our privacy and civil liberties are gone and the PATRIOT Acts have turned this bastion of freedom into a fascist prison, what will there be left to protect us from? If as President Bush claims, the terrorists hate our freedoms, then you are doing their work by slowly dismantling them.
337 From Stephen R, Louisville, KY, 25 October 2004, 05:03:23 AM PST
I am against the Secure Flight program. It clearly seems to be an invasion of privacy which focuses on identity for US citizens to travel by commercial airliner.
For starters, I have flown in June and I have not given anyone permission to turn my flight details over to the government. I am a law abiding citizen, but where and when I travel is not the government's business.
(2) On a daily basis I see articles in news papers about individuals getting stopped because their name was accidently put on a no fly list or matches one on the list. In the financial industry, I have seen 18 year old kids turned down for auto loans based on OFAC checks mandated by The Patriot Act.
(3) I do not trust the TSA with my personal information. Information leaks have occured without my knowledge over the past year until appearing in newspapers.
(5) The large amount of money spent on this could be put to better uses, including scanning of cargo on passenger aircraft and new technology at the passenger checkpoints.
(6) This is America, not a Communist state. I feel this program is unamerican and invades my privacy. The executive branch does not have the right to control who travels and where based on information which could easily be in accurate.
(7) In closing, 85% of US Consumers have errors on their credit files with the big three consumer reporting agencies. If the CRA's can't keep their files straigt, I can't see the TSA/DHS keeping accurate information.
335 From Tom H, Tucson, Arizona, 24 October 2004, 09:50:40 PM PST
It's time for the government to stop these continued violations of the Bill of Rights. The American mania for "security" must not become a carte-blanche license for a police-state. Uphold and defend the Constitution: fire Ashcroft!
334 From Edwin T, Bangkok, THAILAND, 24 October 2004, 09:20:51 PM PST
The idea that the government can restrict without "due cause" American citizens is repugnant to the ideals set forth in the Constitution.
The current practice of denying a speedy review of any proscribed individual or group of individuals is patently unlawful and equally repugnant.
The operation of the TSA is an unwarranted and unauthorized "power grab" pure and simple, a glaring example of bureaucracy run amok.
And while the concept is at best questionable, its application has had a "chilling effect" on air travel in general and the economics of the individual airlines.
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