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Terror watch list to be culled: TSA official

[JURIST] The "no-fly" terrorist watch list now used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [official website] is being redrafted and will likely be cut in half, according to testimony [prepared statement, written testimony, PDF] given by TSA Administrator Kip Hawley during a Wednesday Senate Commerce Committee [official website] hearing. Hawley said that "To assure the accuracy of the No-Fly list itself, we will shortly conclude a case by case review of every name on the No-Fly list" and that the TSA Secure Flight Program [TSA backgrounder], scheduled to come into effect in 2008, will replace current watch list efforts. The Secure Flight Program will transfer the responsibility of checking passenger information against the watch list from the aircraft operator to the TSA itself. Hawley also testified that a 100 percent requirement for physically inspecting all air cargo, as recommended by the 9/11 Commission and passed by the House of Representatives last week, may not be as effective as other security measures.

In October, the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) reported that erroneous terrorism watch lists slow travel [JURIST report], and a July study [PDF text] by the Department of Homeland Security [official website] suggested that the watch list system was inefficient [JURIST report]. The US Department of Justice reported [JURIST report] last year that the list was missing some names, was based on incomplete and inaccurate information, and mischaracterized the danger posed by nearly 32,000 suspects who are not designated as targets of significant security action. AP has more.

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