[LINK] Privacilla comments on TSA plan: "Every Traveler A TerrorSuspect"

Rick Welykochy rick@praxis.com.au
Sat, 22 Feb 2003 13:25:57 +1100

Methinks the 911 terrorists have admirably rached their goal.

Wait a minute, wasn't this kind of Big Brother Buggery the goal
of the Bush Administration all along? Hmmmm ....

P.S. When I last traveled to Canada via Hawaii, I personally became
part of this database: I saw it in action in customs in Hawaii. It took
15 minutes to 'clear' me while the customs officer created a new record
of me in their database.


From: "Jim Harper - Privacilla.org" <jim.harper@privacilla.org>
To: "'Declan McCullagh'" <declan@well.com>
Subject: FC: Commenting on DoT's airline passenger tracking system
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 01:41:27 -0500


Below, for possible Politech publication, are Privacilla materials on the 
TSA/DoT database plan.  Timely activism and comments by others are encouraged.

Jim Harper



-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Harper - Privacilla.org [mailto:jim.harper@privacilla.org]
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2003 1:13 AM
To: 'jim.harper@privacilla.org'
Subject: Privacilla.org on TSA Database: Every Traveler A Terror Suspect

The handsome Web version of this press release is at: 

Privacilla s letter to the DoT/TSA is at: 

The Privacy Act notice referred to is at: 
(long link may be broken you may have to fix it)

For Immediate Release

February 21, 2003

Contact: Jim Harper

(202) 546-3701


TSA: Every Traveler A Terror Suspect

Privacilla Comments Sharply Criticize Agency Plans for Database of All 
American Travelers

Washington, D.C. Privacilla.org filed comments with the Transportation 
Security Agency in the Department of Transportation today leveling sharp 
criticism against its plan to create a database of all American travelers. 
The agency plans to exempt the database from even the anemic protections of 
the Privacy Act.

Selected quotes from Privacilla's letter follow:

"The Department is proposing to maintain secret files about all American 
travelers. The files may contain all kinds of travel and transactional 
data. The files may be shared with nearly any type of government authority 
and many private organizations and individuals. The files will not be 
available for review or inspection by the data subjects. Indeed, Americans 
will not be entitled to know whether files about them are being maintained."

"The Department may not create a database of all air travelers in the 
United States, shield the database from public view using national defense 
and law enforcement exceptions to the Privacy Act, and simultaneously claim 
that it is not treating all travelers as suspects. This is a 'suspects' 

"Expansive government databases about the behavior of all Americans 
needlessly degrade the privacy of the law-abiding. They do not prevent 
terrorism or cost-effectively catch crime. They are a poor, but expensive 
substitute for good analysis of information about threats and suspects that 
is already available to law enforcement and national security agencies. 
They are not worth the incursion against Americans' privacy."

"The Department should withdraw this system of records and restructure the 
CAPPS II program consistent with the privacy of law-abiding American 

A copy of the full letter [.pdf format] is on the Privacilla Web site at 

Privacilla.org (http://www.privacilla.org) is an innovative Web site that 
captures "privacy" as a public policy issue. Privacilla has been described 
as a "privacy policy portal" and an "online think-tank."


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