RealNews

Report: Terror System Flags David Nelsons

David Nelson is not an easy name to have these days. Across the country men with this name say they have been pulled off airplanes, questioned by FBI agents and harassed when traveling by air. The nationwide dragnet for terrorists has caused the name to raise red flags on airline screening software, but some federal officials say the problem is essentially a computer glitch, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Sunday. David Nelsons in at least four states, including California, Oregon, Alaska and South Dakota, have reported getting stopped. A so-called “no-fly” list was introduced after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and is meant to prevent potential terrorists from boarding planes. The TSA gets names from law enforcement officials and hands the list over to airlines to screen passengers. In April, Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez said those on the no-fly list pose, or are suspected of posing, a threat to civil aviation and national security. Melendez told the Daily News that the “David Nelson” problem is due to a name-matching technology used by many airlines. He said it’s not the name but letters in the name that are randomly flagged by the software. But David Kennedy, director of research services for TruSecure Corp., a Virginia-based firm that specializes in intelligence security, said he thinks it’s more likely the name is on the no-fly list. In response, TSA has established a hot line for those who feel they were wrongly selected. Full Story

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