Get your information off the Watch List
The Transportation Security Administration's so-called "Terrorist Watch List" is a well-known boondoggle of faulty information and a great example of paying lip service to improving security without accomplishing anything meaningful.
Over at "On The Record," Ann Harrison has an extensive write-up about the TSA list, which is a test-run for a program called "Secure Flight." Privacy activists are deeply concerned about this secret database of personal information, which Harrison says "essentially creates a system of internal border controls compromising not only privacy rights, but the Constitutional right to freedom of travel and assembly."
The government hasn't revealed what information it is collecting on American citizens without their permission, but based on the information in airlines' Passenger Name Records (PNR), which the watch list uses, the list likely includes "your full name, address, and phone number. These records will also include information on your travel plans such as your credit card number, frequent flier number and itinerary."
The TSA has said that only three people have written to request details of the information collected on them, but as of Monday, that list is up to seven.
Four Alaskans just sued the TSA to release the information collected on them, and Ann Harrison has also posted at On the Record a sample Privacy Act request to get your data from the TSA.
Even though I fly several times a year and am a part of the Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy, I've yet to be hassled by the government or airport cops. Readers -- do you have stories of run-ins with the Watch List?