Oppose the New Airline Passenger Profiling System "CAPPS II"
|If you believe you have been unfairly profiled or prevented from flying, please complete our No-fly/Watchlist Complaint Form.|
The Bush Administration is moving forward with a secretive new system for conducting background checks on all airline passengers that threatens to create a blacklist of Americans who cannot travel freely. This new government program, called Computer-Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System or CAPPS II -- would search secret intelligence and law enforcement databases and rate every airline passenger a red-, yellow- or green-level threat.
Using easily falsified information such as name, home address, home phone number and date of birth, this system would screen your name through credit databases and then run your information through secret government databases to make a judgment about your security risk. These secret databases would probably be compiled using intelligence and law enforcement records that could include personal information gleaned from commercial data such as purchase history and banking records.
Based on all of this information, you may be allowed to travel, be forced to undergo special security scrutiny, or be referred to law enforcement and possibly detained. If you are branded a "risk" due to false information, the process for correcting the error is unclear and could result in significant delays or detention for many innocent people.
The Bush Administration is pushing this program forward despite opposition by airlines, Members of Congress and privacy advocacy organizations.
Take Action! Act Now to Stop the CAPPS II Program!
Innocent people will inevitably be caught up in this system. Innocent people have already been stopped and banned from flying because their name appeared on government "no fly" lists -- and have been unable to clear their names in the federal bureaucracy. Since it is based on notoriously inaccurate government databases, this national system would only increase the delays and make it inevitable that innocent Americans -- regular people traveling for work or vacations - would be delayed, hassled and even prevented from flying.
The CAPPS II judgments of travelers will be rooted in secrecy.
The most intrusive and dangerous element of the program - the construction of an infrastructure for conducting background checks and maintaining dossiers on people who fly - would depend on shadowy intelligence/law enforcement databases. The use of these covert databases would remove meaningful public oversight and control over these un-American background checks.
CAPPS II will not make us any safer.
Security at our nation's airports is vitally important but this system is fundamentally flawed. Terrorists will easily circumvent the system by simply presenting a false driver's license or passport, thereby undercutting the system's entire mission. The constant false alarms might divert the attention of airport security officers from legitimate threats to security.