[Politech] ACLU sues over Feds' "do not fly" list [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Apr 06 2004 - 15:32:31 PDT

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    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: ACLU Files First Nationwide Challenge to "No-Fly" List, Saying 
      Government List Violates Passengers' Rights
    Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2004 15:54:02 -0400
    From: BSteinhardt <BSteinhardt@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    Acting on behalf of  seven Americans, including a member of the 
    military, a retired Presbyterian minister and a college student the ACLU 
    has filed a nationwide, class-action challenge to the government's 
    "No-Fly" list.
    The legal papers and other materials about the case can be found at 
    The suit, which was filed today in Seattle, asks a Federal Court to 
    declare that the No-Fly list violates airline passengers' Constitutional 
    rights to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and to due 
    process of law under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. The ACLU is also 
    asking the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which 
    administers the highly flawed " No Fly" system, to develop satisfactory 
    procedures that will allow innocent people to fly without being treated 
    as potential terrorists and subjected to humiliation and delays.
    Our suit makes plain, that the individuals we represent "are innocent of 
    any wrongdoing and pose no threat to aviation security." Indeed, even 
    after several obtained letters from the TSA stating that they were not a 
    threat, they were still subject to delays and the stigma of enhanced 
    searches, interrogations and detentions.
    The No-Fly list has been the subject of intense media scrutiny. Yet the 
    TSA denied its existence until November 2002, shortly before the ACLU of 
    Northern California filed a Freedom of Information Act request on behalf 
    of two local anti-war activists who were told they were on such a list. 
    When the government failed to respond, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in April 
    2003 and obtained documents that reveal a shoddy process in which 
    government agents expressed uncertainty about how the lists should be 
    shared. The documents also failed to answer basic questions about the 
    No-Fly list, including how names are selected for the list. For more 
    information on the documents the ACLU obtained, readers can go to 
    Beyond the repeated errors in administering the No-Fly program and the 
    inability of air travellers to have those errors corrected, many 
    passengers on the No-Fly list have expressed concern that they may have 
    been singled out because of their ethnicity, religion or political 
    activity. Their concern is heightened by the fact that the lists appear 
    to have been shared widely among U.S. law enforcement agencies, 
    internationally and with the U.S. military.
    Barry Steinhardt
    Director Technology and Liberty Program
    ----- End forwarded message -----
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