Ted Kennedy revealed that he was stopped five times while traveling through the nation’s airports when he turned up on the Transportation and Safety Administration’s no-fly list. The double-secret no-fly list, also known as CAPPS is an index of ‘suspected terrorists’ that can be refused plane tickets or put through extra security screenings. In this case there was a ‘T. Kennedy’ on the list that flagged a match to Senator Kennedy.
In April, the ACLU filed a class-action lawsuit to challenge the list since there’s no way to find out how you got on it – and there’s no documented procedure to have your name removed or cleared.
A spokesman said:
We have acknowledged in the past the system is an antiquated screening system, and we need a new system that will alleviate situations like this.
It took 3 weeks of calling Homeland Security to get Kennedy’s name cleared and he ended up getting an official apology from Head of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge.
Privacy advocates fear that the CAPPS database is just a template for further data-mining and tracking of private citizens. Homeland Security maintains it’s really no big deal.