According to a news story in the New York Times, an eight year old New Jersey boy is subject to extra scrutiny from TSA agents when he flies because his name appears on a “selectee” list.
Najlah Feanny Hicks said her son, Michael Hicks, a Cub Scout who travels often with his family, has had to go through extra security screening for most of his young life, receiving his first invasive pat-down at the age of two.
The “selectee” list contains around 13,500 names of people who are subjected to higher levels of security screening at airports, a larger group than the government’s official no-fly list.
Apparently the boy gets extra pat downs at airport security because he shares the same name as someone else who was already on the list.
This is just another example of the absolutely ridiculous approach to airport security that creates havoc for travelers. This blanket approach to restrictions — no liquids, take off your shoes, stay in your seat for the last hour before landing — may be making us safer, but I don’t know for sure. I haven’t seen any reports of how many possible terrorists have been caught since these restrictions went into place.
And what possible benefit to our safety was there in frisking a two-year-old boy just because his name was on a list? Not because there was something in his background, or his family’s background to raise alarms. He just has the wrong name.
I also wonder why the child’s name can’t be taken off the list? Is the list cast in stone?
What do you think? Is this a necessary precaution?