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Abstract

This paper reviews the Transportation Security Administration’s forthcoming computerized profi ling system called “Secure Flight.” Secure Flight is the latest generation of so-called “computer assisted passenger pre-screening systems.” Such systems invite considerable privacy and civil liberty concerns, evoking references to an Orwellian society. This article confronts the central legal, political, and social tension borne of profi ling systems such as Secure Flight, namely the conflict between the ideal of a “right to be let alone” (Warren and Brandeis 1890) relative to the post-Sept. 11 ultimatum of former American Airlines Chairman and CEO Robert L. Crandall (2002): “You want to travel on the airline system? You give up your privacy. You don’t want to give up your privacy? Don’t fly. Your privacy isn’t equal to the safety of the rest of us.”

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