Secure Flight, the program unveiled in August 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security that was designed to "check 2 million airline passengers a day" against a centralized terrorist watchlist run by the Terrorist Screening Center housed at the FBI, has been suspended "because of security concerns" as it "may not be immune from hackers," the Associated Press reported February 9, 2006.
Secure Flight was intended to supplant CAPPS II -- Computer Assisted Passenger PreScreening System II -- which was "riddled with problems" and "killed off" by the Transportation Security Administration in June 2004. 
In the report presented September 19, 2005, to the Transportation Security Administration, the oversight panel said that the "project has been hampered by poor planning and opposition from privacy advocates and might not even work," the Associated Press reported September 28, 2005.
TSA chief Kip Hawley, "though, said Secure Flight is essential to keeping terrorists off planes," the AP wrote. "Secure Flight has to go in some fashion," Hawley said.
"Both CAPPS II and Secure Flight were developed to replace the current system, CAPPS, which is administered by the airlines," Ryan Singel reported August 27, 2004, for Wired News.
How "Secure Flight" Would Work
Both Congress and 9/11 Commission wanted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) "to do the checking so the watch lists can be expanded without fear that terrorists might get a copy," Singel wrote. Testing of the old airline reservation data was to begin in November 2004, with the airlines forwarding the passenger lists to the government. "The TSA [would] then check the names against an interagency centralized terrorist watch list and decide whether passengers should be singled out for extra scrutiny or arrest."
"The new proposal," Singel wrote, "is less a complete rethinking of CAPPS II, than it is a scaled-back version."
- "Measures for Testing the Impact of Using Commercial Data for the Secure Flight Program," GAO Report to Congressional Committees, February 2005.
- "Secure Flight Development and Testing Under Way, but Risks Should Be Managed as System Is Further Developed," GAO Report to Congressional Committees, March 2005.
- "Homeland Security: Air Passenger Prescreening and Counterterrorism" Prepared by Bart Elias, Specialist in Aviation Safety, Security, and Technology Resources, Science, and Industry Division; William Krouse, Specialist in Domestic Security, Domestic Social Policy Division; and Ed Rappaport, Analyst in Social Legislation, Domestic Social Policy Division, for the Congressional Research Service, March 4, 2005.
- "Aviation Security: Transportation Security Administration Did Not Fully Disclose Uses of Personal Information during Secure Flight Program Testing in Initial Privacy Notices, but Has Recently Taken Steps to More Fully Inform the Public," GAO Report to Congressional Committees, July 22, 2005.
- Report of the Secure Flight Working Group, Presented to the Transportation Security Administration, September 19, 2005.
- "Secure Flight: How It Would Work And what's Wrong With It. The Four Biggest Problems With the 'Secure Flight' Airline Security Program," American Civil Liberties Union, March 24, 2005.
- "GAO Fails to Green-Light Controversial Secure Flight Program; ACLU Points to Recent Privacy Failures of Agency," ACLU, March 28, 2005.
- "ACLU Applauds Congress for Reigning in Secure Flight Program; Funding Measure Would Halt Launch, Bar Use of Commercial Databases," ACLU, September 30, 2005.
- CAPPS II abuses
- data mining
- homeland defense
- homeland security
- Passenger Name Record
- Patriot Act I
- Total Information Awareness
- Secure Flight Program, Transporation Security Administration website.
- "Secure Flight," Electronic Privacy Information Center.
- "Secure Flight passenger screening program," Global Security website.
- UnSecure Flight.com website.
Articles & Commentary
- Ryan Singel, "Life After Death for CAPPS II?" Wired News, July 16, 2004.
- Ryan Singel, "TSA To Test New Passenger Pre-Screening System. "Secure Flight" to be Tested Before Year's End," TSA, August 26, 2004.
- Ryan Singel, "Secure Flight Gets Wary Welcome," Wired News, August 27, 2004.
- Press Release: "TSA Readies Secure Flight for Testing," TSA, September 21, 2004.
- Matthew L. Wald, "U.S. Wants Air Traveler Files for Security Test," New York Times, September 22, 2004.
- Bill Scannell, "TSA cannot be trusted," USA Today, September 27, 2004.
- Jeff Milchen, "Flight Insecurity," Tom Paine, October 25, 2004.
- News Release: "TSA Issues Final Order to Air Carriers for Historical Reservation Data; Passenger Name Record Data to be Used in Secure Flight Test Program," US Newswire, November 12, 2004.
- William Jackson, "Secure Flight program faces slow takeoff," Washington Technology, December 1, 2004.
- Bill Schneier, "Secure Flight Privacy/IT Working Group," Schneier on Security (Secondary Screening), January 13, 2005.
- Bill Schneier, "TSA's Secure Flight," Schneier on Security (Secondary Screening), January 31, 2005.
- Chris Strohm, "Administration restricts spending on passenger screening system," GovExec.com, February 11, 2005.
- John M. Doyle, "EagleForce Gets TSA Contract For Secure Flight Data Tests," EagleForce Associates (of McLean, VA), March 2, 2005. Note that this is the same firm which was "testing" CAPPS II.
- Jessica Kirshner, "TSA, 2 Airlines To Test Secure Flight," BTNMag.com, March 21, 2005.
- Michael Arnone, "GAO: Secure Flight concerns remain," FCW.com, March 28, 2005.
- Michael Arnone, "Secure Flight hits turbulence from feds," FCW.com, April 11, 2005.
- Leslie Miller, "U.S. agency's collection of airline passenger data raises concern," Associated Press (CBC (Canada) and Common Dreams, June 21, 2005.
- Angie C. Marek, "National Security Watch: The 'secure' in Secure Flight," US News & World Report, June 24, 2005.
- Ryan Singel, "TSA Lied, Could Face
TimeCriminal Fine," Secondary Screening, June 24, 2005: "After a week of rumors about TSA wrongdoing, an official government notice posted to the TSA's website on Monday revealed the agency had acquired CD-ROMs full of personal information about airline passengers obtained from commercial databases via its contractor, EagleForce Associates."
- "TSA Asks Congress for More Funds for Secure Flight - Rants and Raves," Guard My Credit File.org, July 1, 2005.
- Ryan Singel, "TSA Broke The Law, GAO Finds," Secondary Screening, July 22, 2005.
- Michael Arnone, "GAO: TSA fixing Secure Flight privacy violations," FCW.com, July 22, 2005.
- Bruce Schneier, "Secure Flight," Schneier on Security (Secondary Screening), July 24, 2005.
- Todd R. Weiss, "GAO: Secure Flight antiterror program violates privacy laws. The public wasn't given adequate notice on data use, the agency says," Computerworld, July 26, 2005.
- Anita Ramasastry, "Secure Flight Is Set to Take Off, But Will our Data Be Secure? : GAO Reports Correctly Highlight Weaknesses in The Proposed System," FindLaw's Writ, July 26, 2005.
- Michael Arnone, "Secure Flight increases privacy protections. TSA admits passenger screening program violated privacy regulations," FCW.com, August 1, 2005.
- Thomas Frank, "Chertoff: Privacy fears not justified," USA Today, August 10, 2005.
- Kim Zetter, "Data Dumped in Secure Flight Test," Wired News, August 15, 2005.
- David Shucosky, "Federal lawsuit challenges data collection under Secure Flight program," Jurist, August 18, 2005.
- Brendan Coyne, "Privacy Advocates Challenge 'Secure Flight' Program," New Standard News, August 11, 2005.
- Alice Lipowicz, "Secure Flight struggles with takeoff," Washington Technology, September 25, 2005.
- Patty Donmoyer, "DOJ Assails Secure Flight," BTMag.com, September 19, 2005: "Despite a recent U.S. Department of Justice report concluding Secure Flight is unfocused and unprepared to take effect, the Transportation Security Administration said it is moving forward this month with two airlines to partially launch the passenger prescreening program."
- Michael Arnone, "TSA dropping commercial data from Secure Flight," FCW.com, September 22, 2005.
- Ryan Singel, "Advisory Panel: Delay Secure Flight," Secondary Screening, September 23, 2005.
- Paul Rosenzweig, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., and Alane Kochems, "Secure Flight Takes Flight: It’s About Time," Heritage Foundation (WebMemo #574), September 27, 2005.
- "Test program for airport security 'fast lane' to lapse," (cache file), Associated Press (CNN), September 28, 2005.
- "More Turbulence for Secure Flight," Associated Press (Wired News), September 30, 2005.
- Tony Kontzer, "TSA Secure Flight Program Stalled At The Gate," Security Pipeline, October 3, 2005.
- "Congress Keeps Wary Eye on Secure Flight Screening Program," Privacy.org, October 4, 2005.
- "TSA’s Secure Flight program suspended. Investigator: Passengers’ information may not be immune from hackers," Associated Press (MSNBC), February 9, 2006.