Submitted Comments

51. From Matthew B, Chicago, IL, 18 October 2004, 11:11:12 AM PST

"A false sense of security is worse than being unsure."
Given the already poor performance of the No-Fly list, we as citizens are being asked to accept an expansion of the same policies and procedures that have proven ineffective in the past. Given that Senator Kennedy has been stopped numerous times, yet previously-flagged travelers who alter their name with an initial have avoided the checks, the indication is that the fundamental process is flawed.
Proactive steps to eliminate terrorism are far more important than the unnecessary and invasive procedures advanced by the TSA. The lack of oversight and paths to redress errors further suggests that the system will lead to the harassment of many innocent citizens as well as erosion of their rights to privacy.

There are many ways to fight terrorism; Secure Flight, however, is not one of them.

50. From Adrienne B, Greenacres, FL, 18 October 2004, 11:09:00 AM PST

I flew in June 2004 between Florida and Washington, DC. I did not give permission for my records to be shared with anyone, nor did I receive a privacy statement. I consider this action by the TSA to be an extreme invasion of my privacy and civil rights. I also find it counter-productive to spend so much money on screening passengers when the cargo carried on many commercial flights is not screened at all. The very idea of this program is a direct attack on the freedom of all Americans.

49. 18 October 2004, 11:07:56 AM PST

This is not what the United States of America is about. I'm not willing to sacrifice my freedom to travel for a system that hasn't been proven effective in any way, and shame on anyone for trying to suppress the values that made this country a beacon of liberty for the world.

48. From Mark M, Oregon, 18 October 2004, 11:00:47 AM PST

It has already been shown that the approach being taken by prior CAPPS and other "security" programs does not work. There are too many false positives generated, and no amount of computer programming is going to resolve the problem of false positives. These make us less secure, not more. They waste enforement dollars better spent in other areas, and a centralized database poses a huge security risk.

47. From Dwight B, Cartersville, VA, 18 October 2004, 10:58:40 AM PST

Due to the similarities in names and relatively large number of errors in passenger databases, any attempt at a passenger screening database is likely to do more harm than good. Airline security can be maintained at an acceptable level by screening passengers and cargo for explosives and ensuring trusted, armed individuals (such as pilots, law enforcement officers, or licensed civilians) are on each flight. Explosives screenings can be done quickly and non-invasively, and allowing trusted individuals to be armed makes screening for small weapons unnecessary.

Screening databases for potential terrorists is doomed to failure unless both the terrorists and all Americans are entered with biometric identifiers. Such information will never be available for terrorists, and it is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy to demand it from US citizens.

46. From Bill M, Sugar Hill, GA, 18 October 2004, 10:56:23 AM PST

I oppose Secure Flight along with all the other draconian tactics of the Gestapo, oops, Department of Homeland Security.

45. From Mike S, Alexandria, VA, 18 October 2004, 10:53:42 AM PST

Dear TSA:

Since when did the Executive Branch have the right to stop Americans from traveling? Or to keep lifetime travel dossiers about every man, woman, and child flying within the United States?

No one who flew in June of 2004 gave their permission for that information to be turned-over to the government. This appears to be an illegal data dump as no Privacy Act notice was given. Besides, no one within the TSA has been punished for the earlier, secret privacy invasions.

If their ever was a scheme to breath life into the concept of the Ninth Amendment right of privacy, Secure Flight would be it. The Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution provides that: �The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.� Secure Flight attacks Americans� core liberty interests in interstate travel and privacy in violation of the Ninth Amendment.

Any alleged TSA claim of increased aviation security by way of scrutinizing Americans� confidential identity data is swallowed by the scary reality of the TSA�s plan to widely disseminate such data to foreign government agencies, including those in Russia. The eventual result will be that terrorists will be able to better impersonate Americans when traveling in the United States.

I urge the TSA and Congress to halt Secure Flight because it is patently offensive to the American way of life. Judge Gerald Tjoflat said best when writing for the unanimous panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on 15 October 2004 in striking down metal detector style searches of Americans in public places: "We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War on Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over�Sept. 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country."

Mike Stollenwerk
Fairfax County Privacy Council

44. From Chris, Anaheim, CA, 18 October 2004, 10:51:45 AM PST

Simply put, this is a bad idea. Similar list checking prior to boarding has proven to be very ineffective. It actually underlies the idea of security, yet we persist in doing it. Money used for this type of operation would be illegitimate and a disservice to America. Our president talks about freedom while more and more we are treated like those in "old mother Russia". Please look at real ways of security and not invasions of privacy that have nothing to do with protection.

43. From Micki K, 18 October 2004, 10:47:29 AM PST

The entire concept behind this program is fatally flawed. It will protect no one, and in fact will violate the privacy of millions of Americans. This is wrong, and I implore the TSA to stop this un-American program.

42. From Patrick W, Pittsburgh, PA, 18 October 2004, 10:39:34 AM PST

I am confused about why the government needs my personal data to check this system. Last time I checked, it was my data, about me, and the government didn't have a right to go snooping around collecting it. If this was information that I had willingly given to the government, that would be one thing, but my flights in June were strictly domestic and contracted through independent air carriers. This is not North Korea or East Germany where the government tracks citizens, this is a America. What law gives the government the right collect this information? What incident told the government that it was okay to take away our rights? Why hasn't the government been forthcoming with this data? Where are public hearings on this project? What happens if I end up on the watch list? There are hundreds more questions that need to be asked, but the government does not seem to be listening. If the right of privacy can be used to give a woman the right to an abortion, it certainly can be used to allow me to fly and travel wherever I want without the government tracking this information.

Furthermore, this is not the only set of data that the TSA has. I'm displeased to say they already have my information from another flight I took in which my privacy was previously eviscerated. Yet despite these aggregious offenses, no one has been held accountable. Without accountability we are doomed, and until there is accountability in the project, it must be stopped.

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