Hit & Run

Profiling the CAPPS-II Killer


Wired.com profiles Bill Scannell, former National Security Agency worker and hero of the anti-CAPPS-II revolution, founder of the Web site boycottdelta.org, dedicated to raising public alarms about threats to our privacy in airline security measures. Scannell appears in my Reason cover feature from last August about John Gilmore's (scuttled for now) lawsuit challenging airline i.d. requirements. How much was Scannell's citizen activism responsible for CAPPS-II's apparent death?

Scannell himself isn't entirely sure. At one moment he calls himself "the man who killed CAPPS II." At others, he's more demure. "In drunken moments of euphoria, I think maybe I helped the process along just a millisecond. Or maybe I'm just smoking crack."

Scannell is currently spearheading publicity efforts for a lawsuit on the part of some Alaskan citizens over some of the Transportation Security Administration's attempts to launch CAPPS-II.