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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Meet Mikey, 8: U.S. Has Him on Watch List

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/nyregion/14watchlist.html?hp



Michael Hicks, 8, a Cub Scout in Clifton, N.J., has the same name as a suspicious person.

The very stupid: “Meet Mikey Hicks,” said Najlah Feanny Hicks, introducing her 8-year-old son, a New Jersey Cub Scout and frequent traveler who has seldom boarded a plane without a hassle because he shares the name of a suspicious person.


By now, the whole world should know that we maintain a list of the names of people who are too naughty to fly. That list includes some over half a million names at the moment.

That should make us something like half a Santa.

Do you suppose we have a John Smith on the list? If you go to the link above, you'll meet someone whose name is not all that common, but it's a name in the list.

Turns out the US has some over 1600 Michael Hicks in the phone books.

So what happens? Those Michael Hicks get special attention when they fly. Even at two years of age.

Let's cite this one as yet another example of why transportation security in the United States, if not the world, has all the sophistication of a schoolyard game of dodge ball, not to denegrate dodgeball and schoolyards.

A worldwide list of names with no methodology to differentiate among the good and the bad guys who share a name.

And what happens when we create documents using another name? Forged documents? I suppose those fellows can fly.


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