back to article Homeland Security takes pity on terror list Ted Kennedys

The Department of Homeland Security has finally taken pity on all those people who share a name with someone on the FBI's "terror watch list." Today, as reported by the watch list-obsessed USA Today, the DHS told US airlines they can go a little easier on people who suffer from the so-called "Ted Kennedy problem." Senator …

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Alien

Good but still

Good start but.. Long ago I got involved in an insurance case - same name, same birthday and living in apartments cross each other! Guess which one our collectors hit - the wrong one! And a manager in one of our largest customer on top of that. Took a while to cool it down. So, maybe they are not out of the loop yet?

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Alas

Alas , did not a certain British Foreign Secretary at one time threaten to stuff a certain item up the then male US Secretary of State's posterior all because of an over the top stuff up in regard to a former top of the pop charts singer who sang Peace Train when he was granted his Nobel Prize or use similar words to that effect at that fateful meeting !

As for the other problem the no fly list is a total and absolute joke and ACLU has this web site showing why http://www.aclu.org/privacy/spying/watchlistcounter.html

Oh how we are always stuck in the same rut and travel in the same circle , as for the other problem , guess which party controls the spending power of this self wanking bunch of short sighted idiotic wowsers now and not when they had the chance to correct the obvious mistakes at the time !

Ah how much it must hurt now , when you are forced to swallow your own bile to grovel before cap in hand and face the man you said up yours to back in the halcyon days of yore when you had unlimited power of a demi god bestowed upon you by the moronic power crazed chimp of DC and now the same person has a steely death grip hand on your purse budget strings !

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Flame

The real question is...

why didn't the TSA simply model their system after something like the OFAC's SDN list* to begin with? Did they really think this type of thing had never been done before?

*The US Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control's Specially Designated Nationals list is a list of entities which US banks must check before opening a banking relationship or transferring funds. It's got names, addresses, aliases, birth dates, etc. specifically for the purpose of checking if you're e.g, Osama Bin Laden the terrorist or Osama Bin Laden the greengrocer.

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Happy

Now if the terrorists were intelligent...

...They'd use the alias John Smith.

Even with the birthdate, it will still piss off a lot of people...

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What screening?

"TSA readies its Secure Flight program, a new passenger screening system for all airlines."

LOL

I fly regularly in the 1st world. I have flown without ID on most occasions. Screening be damned. There is no screening.

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Anonymous Coward

In this new era, get yourself as many names as possible

It would seem to make sense to give your still unborn children as many christian names as possible, and then as culturally diverse as possible, like one christian name from each of X different languages/countries.

"Sir, are you Ted Kennedy?"

"Not exactly, my full legal name is Theodore Bjorn Johann Francois Luigi Pedro Anatoli Vaclav Yoshiaki Kim Song Wei Jiang Yunus Kennedy. See it says so in my passport and on my drivers license, here."

"Oh, I see. Have a nice trip"

PS: You may want to find out the maximum number of chars in the government's data base for first names before going about naming your child though.

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Paris Hilton

land of the free

oh say can you see

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Anonymous Coward

@heystoopid

amanfrommars, is that you?

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time for the old trick...

rename yourself Mr. Drop Database;

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Anonymous Coward

With homeland defence this intelligent ...

... America is doomed.

(Anonymous, because I like to fly in the US sometimes.)

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Anonymous Coward

Days of a dying empire

There's 1 million on the watch list, wanna bet most of those are on there for expressing anti-Bush sentiment? So it's no longer 30 million soundalikes, even so it's still an insane number of people.

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Joke

@land of the free

"oh say can you see"

Not after they shoved this bag over my head and handcuffed me.

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Indeed

"PS: You may want to find out the maximum number of chars in the government's data base for first names before going about naming your child though."

And then make sure to name your child with buffer overflow code. Or maybe just 'sploit the DB - XKCD has explored this theme in http://xkcd.com/327/ - a devilish hack. :-)

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I'm clearly smarter than the terrorists

So if they also block anyone who shares an "Alias" with a know terrorist all said terrorist has to do is change his name several times a day until he covers most possable American and European names et voila! most of the western infidels are instantly grounded, the western economy starts to grind to a halt and victory is our...er...theirs...oh dammit *Runs*

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Happy

But he IS a terrorist

Didn't he give moral support and raise money for the IRA in the 70/80's ? Isn't that a terrorist offence ? Justice at last ?

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More simple math

16,000 people complained that the list disrupted their travel plans. 97% were from people not on the list. So 480 complainants were actually on the terror watch list.

That's 480 people, supposedly too dangerous to be allowed to use a means of transport, who *willingly* went to a government organisation and drew attention to themselves by complaining about being able to fly. "Dear Homeland Security, recently I was prevented from boarding a flight by your terror watch list, thus ruining my plans to fly the plane into the White House and kill all the infidels on board while ascending to Paradise in a glorious divine explosion. I sincerely hope this does not happen again. Peace be upon you, Iqbal Hussein Al-Steryotib."

Or possibly those 480 are completely innocent of any actual crime and the government just likes annoying people to make themselves feel powerful, like schoolgirls making lists of people they aren't going to talk to anymore.

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IT Angle

97 per cent

"According to the TSA, 97 per cent of those who complained weren't actually on the list"

The article doesn't actuall say what happened to the other 3% but I presume the FBI went around and got a little clumsy?

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Black Helicopters

Re: The real question is...

"why didn't the TSA simply model their system after something like the OFAC's SDN list* to begin with? Did they really think this type of thing had never been done before?"

Doesn't matter. US federal government organizations REALLY HATE sharing with or borrowing from each other, unless they're forced to. Your basic "not invented here" mentality.

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Paris Hilton

@Spleen

"Or possibly those 480 are completely innocent of any actual crime and the government just likes annoying people to make themselves feel powerful, like schoolgirls making lists of people they aren't going to talk to anymore."

I think that schoolgirls are much more selective when making their lists, and have *reasons* for putting the names on the lists.

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