August 16th, 2007 06:13 EST
9/11 Commission recommendation - uniform watch list
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking significant steps toward implementing a key 9/11 Commission recommendation - uniform watch list matching by TSA - also known as Secure Flight. The program is designed to conduct uniform prescreening of passenger information against federal government watch lists for domestic and international flights. Currently, air carriers are responsible for checking passengers against government watch lists.
Under Secure Flight, TSA will receive information for each passenger. TSA will then determine any matches of information with government watch lists and transmit matching results back to aircraft operators. To this end, the TSA has issued the Secure Flight Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) (3.7Mb, pdf), which lays out the Department of Homeland Security's plans to assume watch list matching.
Secure Flight will match limited passenger information against government watch lists to identify known and suspected terrorists, prevent known and suspected terrorists from boarding an aircraft, facilitate legitimate passenger air travel, and protect individuals' privacy. Secure Flight will:
- Identify known and suspected terrorists;
- Prevent individuals on the No Fly List from boarding an aircraft;
- Identify individuals on the Selectee List for enhanced screening,
- Facilitate passenger air travel by providing fair, equitable and consistent matching process across all aircraft operators; and
- Protect individuals' privacy
The NPRM initiates a public comment period that will enable the traveling public to voice comments and concerns. Initial implementation of Secure Flight is expected to occur in late 2008.