Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 8, 2005

Terror watch list: 80,000 and counting

Filed under: Aviation Security,Intelligence and Info-Sharing — by Christian Beckner on December 8, 2005

According to this story on Yahoo, Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet is reporting that the air travel watch list has grown to 80,000 names. Also today, the Washington Times reported that TSA has received 30,000 requests for removal from the watch list…all but 60 of which were successfully approved. Does the “80,000” figure include the 30,000 removed names? Probably, since according to TSA they aren’t actually removing any names:

Please understand that the TSA clearance process will not remove a name from the Watch Lists. Instead this process distinguishes passengers from persons who are in fact on the Watch Lists by placing their names and identifying information in a cleared portion of the Lists.

The decision to start requiring approved travel IDs to include dates-of-birth should improve this problem in the short-run, but I think the longer term solution is ultimately going to have to involve biometric identifiers.

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