Homeland Security Will Finally Admit To Banned Flyers That They're On The No Fly List

from the sued-into-acting-like-a-responsive-agency dept

Good news has arrived for fliers who'd like to know exactly what the hell is going on when they're forbidden to board an airplane.

The government will no longer refuse to confirm or deny that persons who are prevented from boarding commercial aircraft have been placed on the “No Fly List,” and such persons will have new opportunities to challenge the denial of boarding, the Department of Justice announced yesterday in a court filing.
Thanks to several lawsuits, the DHS is no longer able to Glomar its way out of responding to travelers who suspect they've been blacklisted from flying. This filing addresses Mohamed v. Holder, but builds on revised redress procedures promised in the wake previous lawsuits.
Under the previous redress procedures, individuals who had submitted inquiries to DHS TRIP generally received a letter responding to their inquiry that neither confirmed nor denied their No Fly status. Under the newly revised procedures, a U.S. person who purchases a ticket, is denied boarding at the airport, subsequently applies for redress through DHS TRIP about the denial of boarding, and is on the No Fly List after a redress review, will now receive a letter providing his or her status on the No Fly List and the option to receive and/or submit additional information.
It's a huge step forward from just being told less-than-nothing by the agency's misnamed "Traveler Redress Inquiry Program." The first step has the DHS performing its own "redress review" -- something that appears to have no time limit for responses. And that's the beginning of the process. Members of the public will finally receive better and more detailed responses, but they will asked to perform several rounds of hoop-jumping, with the first couple of steps seemingly redundant.
If such an individual opts to receive and/or submit further information after receiving this initial response, DHS TRIP will provide a second, more detailed response. This second letter will identify the specific criterion under which the individual has been placed on the No Fly List and will include an unclassified summary of information supporting the individual’s No Fly List status, to the extent feasible, consistent with the national security and law enforcement interests at stake.
Other than "because we're a bureaucracy," there doesn't seem to be any reason full details could not be provided in a single letter. But that's the government for you: if it's not killing trees and utilizing its underused postal service, it's not being productive. Why do in one step what can be done in several (also: in triplicate, if possible), etc.

Even with these redress improvements, some travelers will still receive answers containing little to no information or guidance.
The amount and type of information provided will vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on the facts and circumstances. In some circumstances, an unclassified summary may not be able to be provided when the national security and law enforcement interests at stake are taken into account.
On the upside, the DHS will actually allow this to be a bit more adversarial. Travelers will be able to submit responses to the DHS's initial No Fly List determination and submit information that might prompt a reconsideration of their inclusion on this list. The final decision is still the government's but at least it's open to basing its decision on more than its own security-first worldview and limited, supposedly inculpatory data.

Filed Under: dhs, glomar, homeland security, no fly list, transparency


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Michael, 15 Apr 2015 @ 10:11am

    The amount and type of information provided will vary on a case-by-case basis

    That way better than now. Today, the type and amount of information provided is very consistent (none and none).

    Way to go moving forward!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 10:14am

    Barely a slap at all

    The DHS has to tell you either yes/no on the No Fly List, but they don't have to tell you in a timely manner, the reasons why you're on 'the list,' or even anything at all if you don't go through their needlessly and the quickly more complicated steps you know they are going to put in place. Even after doing all of that, they could still keep you on 'the list' for some new reason they thought up with any information you have given them to get off 'the list.'


    This is more like telling someone to move and they do so by bringing their arm up and giving the bird to you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 10:37am

    Unfortunately, it's hard to prove you're "not"
    Something that may have placed you on the list in the first place. Especially if given scarce details.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gwiz (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 10:41am

    Re: Monitor Your children

    Reported as spam.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jessie (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 10:45am

    Eh, probably just make another list with another name and use it instead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 12:53pm

    Draconian overwrought paper submission process for your no-fly-list status...

    ...to be rolled out in 3...2...1...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 1:51pm

    The "no-fly" list is not the only list that the US government uses to deny travel access.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 2:41pm

    Wonder how many of the people on said list are there for contempt of TSA

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2015 @ 6:13am

    Good. The US gov owes it's citizens enough information to protect their personal security at the very least. That is OUR national security aparatus.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    KristinaZike (profile), 7 Jul 2015 @ 2:07am

    Help

    Is there any one out there, any millionaire that can spare some money so I do not lose my home and my lights get shut off and my heat get shut off and I don't have a car I want to go back to school and get my bachelors degree.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.