Monday, July 14, 2008
A U.S. watch list of terrorism suspects has passed 1 million records, corresponding to about 400,000 people, and a leading civil rights group said on Monday the number was far too high to be effective.
The Bush administration disagreed and called the list one of the most effective tools implemented after the September 11 hijacked plane attacks — when a federal “no-fly” list contained just 16 people considered threats to aviation.
The American Civil Liberties Union publicized the 1 million milestone with a news conference and release.
It said the watch list was an impediment to millions of travelers and called for changes, including tightening criteria for adding names, giving travelers a right to challenge their inclusion and improving procedures for taking wrongly included names off the list.
“America’s new million-record watch list is a perfect symbol for what’s wrong with this administration’s approach to security: it’s unfair, out-of-control, a waste of resources (and) treats the rights of the innocent as an afterthought,” ACLU technology director Barry Steinhardt said in a release.