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Secure Flight: Screening for Terrorists on Passenger Planes

Recorded on October 21, 2004

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

A test phase of the Transportation Security Administration's new Secure Flight screening procedure is set to begin next month. Under Secure Flight, the TSA would assume responsibility for checking airline passengers' names against terrorist watch lists - a function currently administered by each airline individually. This change is designed to help eliminate most of the false alerts caused by the current out-dated system and move passengers through airport screening more quickly by reducing the number of individuals selected for secondary screening - all while fully protecting passengers' privacy and civil liberties. Secure Flight differs from earlier proposed systems by focusing screening efforts on looking for known or suspected terrorists, rather than using it for other law enforcement purposes.

Director Oberman will provide an overview of this test phase of Secure Flight. He will also outline the details of the program addressing the goals and operational aspects of the testing, potential uses of commercial data, and steps being taken to protect individual privacy. TSA's Privacy Officer, Lisa S. Dean, will join Director Oberman in the question-and-answer session following his remarks.