Ballooning Terror Database Spawns Errors

The poorly maintained list is easy to get on, and hard to get off
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2007 9:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – The US list of suspected terrorists has ballooned to 435,000 names, and upkeep is so poor that once you're on it, it's virtually impossible to get off. The size alone  threatens to overwhelm those responsible for its upkeep, reports Karen DeYoung creating  concerns about secrecy, errors and privacy.

Airport mix-ups are common, and since the information is classified, those barred erroneously from traveling are not told why. In 2006, the poorly updated list still included many of the September 11th hijackers, and Senator Ted Stevens was miffed when his wife Catherine was repeatedly held up at the airport while airline workers struggled to determine whether she was the "Cat Stevens" listed in the database.