Canadian Changes His Name to Circumvent No-Fly List
The famous TSA No-Fly List- rife with duplicates, data entry errors, and plain ol' mistakes- has become a bane for many law-abiding travelers and would-be visitors to the USA. Those on the list do not get an explanation for why they're on it. One can challenge one's inclusion in court, but I wouldn't expect a speedy process.
One Canadian, though , found a decidedly low-tech way to get around his inclusion on the no-fly list... he changed his name.
"I was pulled aside in a room ... and you have to wait your turn to finally be released," Labbé said. "An hour, an hour and a half, two hours, whatever it is after. Once I was caught in Miami like that for six hours.
"It's always the same questions, about if I've lost my passport, if I've been to Japan — I don't know why Japan, but in their file it was something to do with Japan."
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wrote a letter to Labbé in 2004, saying he had been placed on their watch list after falling victim to identity theft. At the time, the department said there was no way for his name to be removed.
Although Labbé wrote letters to the U.S. department, his efforts were in vain, prompting him to legally change his name.
"So now, my official name is François Mario Labbé," he said.
More than a million people are now on the lists, according to Roch Tassé of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, and another 25,000 are added each month.
He said there is no way of knowing how many Canadians have been flagged.
Liberal Senator Colin Kenny says his son, a lawyer, has the same problem and that Transport Canada is powerless to help.
Officials at the agency said "'it's not my problem, go and talk to the Americans,'" Kenny told CBC News.
(found via boingboing)