House again passes traveler redress bill

The House has passed a bill that would require the Homeland Security Department to improve the redress process for travelers who believe they were misidentified as being on a terrorist watch list or database. The House passed an identical bill in the 2008 session.

Under the legislation, DHS would establish an Office of Appeals and Redress, which would maintain a comprehensive list of people cleared from having connections to terrorism and share that information with other organizations that use versions of the terrorist watch list for screening. The department also would have to provide information on the redress process to passengers at all airports where DHS operates.

Problems with the name-based watch list have been scrutinized in congressional hearings and received extensive press coverage. However, DHS officials have said the Secure Flight Program will reduce mismatches. Under the program, the Transportation Security Administration will take over pre-departure watch-list matching responsibilities from the airlines.

DHS currently runs another redress program, the Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, which officials say will be put into Secure Flight. The House measure would require the new redress processes also be incorporated into Secure Flight.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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