The terrorist watch list isn't the million-name behemoth it’s been reported as, the Homeland Security chief says. Only 2,500 people are on the no-fly list, according to Michael Chertoff, and just 10% of them are US citizens. Less than 16,000 people are on another, lower-level threat list, which permits flying. A new program is aimed at cutting down name mix-ups, CNN reports.
Under the Secure Flight program, starting next year, the government will take over watch list screening from the airlines. Travelers will be required to provide their full name, date of birth, and gender when making reservations and Homeland Security will check the names against their database. The ACLU welcomed the new privacy protections but said the "bloated" list would still cause needless hassle for countless Americans.