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New Airline Passenger Screening System Almost Complete

August 25, 2004

New Airline Passenger Screening System Almost Complete
August 25, 2004 – According to CQ.com, the Department of Homeland Security reports that they are now prepared to release an interim replacement for the airline passenger prescreening program, which was put on hold last month due to privacy concerns.

The new program will likely reflect recommendations from the Sept. 11 commission report. The commission said that until DHS develops a better system for screening passengers, the government should take over these duties from airlines and check passengers’ names against a "larger set" of terrorist watch lists.

"The most conclusive thing I can tell you," said an unnamed DHS official "is that I think that what you will next see is something that’s very responsive to that call in the 9/11 commission recommendations to, everything else notwithstanding, get out there and come up with a more robust government-operated system of bouncing passenger names off of our broadest set of watch lists that are available."

"At a minimum, . . . we’ll be looking at some options and testing" ways to ensure passengers are who they say they are and that those with names matching people on watch lists aren’t unfairly penalized, the official said.

Although an announcement is close, the DHS official stressed that most details of the new program still are on the table.

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