Last updated: 10:14 AM ET, Thu April 16 2015

US to Increase Transparency with Citizens on No-Fly List

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | April 16, 2015

US to Increase Transparency with Citizens on No-Fly List

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The U.S. government will "provide additional transparency and process" for citizens on the no-fly list, according to a statement released by the Department of Homeland Security via's Marnie Hunter.

According to court documents recently filed by the Justice Department, those who have been banned from boarding commercial flights as a result of being placed on the FBI Terrorist Screening Center-managed no-fly list — which consists of roughly 47,000 people, about 800 of which are Americans — will be able to inquire and dispute their status.

Persons on the no-fly list are prohibited from boarding a U.S. carrier, a U.S.-bound flight or even entering U.S. airspace.

"The U.S. government is making enhancements to the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) to provide additional transparency and process for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been denied boarding on a commercial aircraft because they are on the No Fly List," said the DHS in a statement.

That means that citizens who are denied boarding will receive a letter regarding their status on the list. Those individuals will then have the opportunity to request additional information regarding their status or submit information disputing their status. 

The new policy comes nearly a year after a federal judge deemed the original process to be in violation of the Fifth Amendment, pertaining to the right to due process.

"After years of fighting in court for complete secrecy and losing, it's good that the government is finally now going to tell people of their status on the No Fly List," said American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project director Hina Shamsi in a statement via Hunter.

Despite the significant change in procedure, Shamsi and her colleagues are seeking additional reform.

"Unfortunately, we've found that the government's new redress process falls far short of constitutional requirements because it denies our clients meaningful notice, evidence, and a hearing," added Shamsi via Hunter. "The government had an opportunity to come up with a fair process but failed, so we're challenging it in court again."

It remains to be seen what will come of the ACLU's upcoming challenge, however their latest triumph opens the door for further clarity and justice.

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