Say My Name

No-fly list opened up


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has come under fire for the extremely opaque handling of its "no-fly list." Historically, DHS has refused to confirm whether a given person was even on the list. The agency has also declined to offer a clear set of rules for appealing one's status. People who are booted off planes simply submit information about themselves to the federal government in the hopes of being delisted.

Now, having lost a series of court challenges over how the list is managed, Homeland Security is finally being ordered to institute some actual due process and transparency for people fighting their inclusion. In April, the Department of Justice announced an early first step: The DHS will be required to confirm to people denied entry onto a plane that they are on the list.

The new policy was announced in a court filing explaining how the federal government plans to address the failures that led to these lawsuits. In addition to confirming whether an individual is on the no-fly list, the DHS will, if asked, provide a "more detailed response" identifying the criteria used to place the individual on the list—though some information "may not be provided when the national security and law enforcement interests are at stake."