Is the no Fly list a good idea?


Beyond the human rights issues is a no-fly list as created and installed by the Goverment a good idea?

The regulations state;

3) If the name, date of birth and gender on the identification are the same as those of a person specified to the air carrier [on the No Fly list], the air carrier shall immediately so inform the Minister. [And a decision to let the person fly or not is made.]

http://canadagazette.gc.ca/partII/2007/20070516/html/sor82-e.html

Okay we all know how fast things get done in government so if the minister or a public service appointed person for the minister is immediately informed, do we expect an immediate response? That said, what about the possibility of errors?

To test the possibility of errors, I searched the MBD ( marriage births and death ) records for the UK. The UK censuses are the easiest to use, I would have used the Canadian census but it is so protected such a test would not be possible. I searched for the name Pandita Ramabai and there were two born on the same day in 1976. I chose this name as it was a less common name with non-Anglo roots that should be obscure enough. However, if one of the Panditas was to be on the no fly list then both would be screwed, because the only items checked would be name date of birth and Gender. And this was only the second non-Anglo name I tried. Mohamed Ali from the UK is safe from no fly list errors.

Worse yet I did a search for John Smiths born on the same day and the search engine could not process the number of them.

I suspect more than these criteria should be used initially. The follow-up delay to verify can easily make the person in question miss his or her flight and as far as I can see in the regulations there are no requirements to reimburse the passenger for the missed flight or any other inconvenience.

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