What is the No Fly List?

Th list contained 1,877,133 names in 2016.
Th list contained 1,877,133 names in 2016.

The No Fly List is a creation of the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), which is a list of people who have been banned from traveling by aircraft within, into or out of the United States. The number of people on the list has fluctuated over the years depending on available threats and provision of intelligence. The list was created and first used by the George W. Bush government and has continued to be useful throughout the governments of presidents Barrack Obama and Donald Trump.

Creation of the No Fly List

The No Fly List was created in December of 2009 as a reaction to the attacks of September 11th, 2001. The list comprised of 594 individuals who were to be denied transport by air. During the first two and a half years this list was in affect, the FBI denied its existence.

It was said that antiwar activists and enemies of the Bush government found their names on the list. Senator Edward Kennedy and activists like Rebecca Gordan and Jan Adams have fallen victim to the inhibition. The No Fly List had 47,000 names by 2013 according to a leak.

The list is different from The Terrorist Watch List which is longer and is made up of individuals suspected to have been involved in terrorist activities. This list keeps growing from 10,000 names in 2011 to 1,877,133 individuals in 2016.

What Is the No Fly No Buy Policy?

Several attempts have been made to prohibit people on The No Fly List from buying guns and explosives. Senators like Frank Lautenberg, Dianne Feinstein, and the Senates Majority Whip John Cornyn have introduced legislations and motions to block or monitor individuals on the list from owning firearms without success. The freedom of ownership has been backed up by the American Civil Liberties Union which states that the constitution does not have a bar for regulation of firearms ownership.

False Positives

A major vulnerability to the list is the ‘false positive,’ a situation that occurs when a traveler has the same name as a person on The No Fly List. Such individuals are barred from traveling unless they can differentiate themselves from the person on the list.

Critics and Controversies Surrounding the No Fly List

The American Civil Liberties Union was on the forefront in condemning this list. The ACLU stated that innocent citizens had discovered their names on the list, with no notification whatsoever from the government. Furthermore, there is no lawful procedure of telling why one has been included on the list and how one can petition for their names to be removed from the list.

Maintaining The No Fly List is considered a very expensive and not worth the benefits. Marcus Holmes arrived at an estimated conservative cost of $536 million since the attack of September 11th, with an estimated range of up to $1 billion.

Other Countries With a No Fly List

Canada’s government has a Fly List which was created from data collected from The United States No Fly List and other International sources of Intelligence. The Canadian No Fly List consists up to 2,000 names.


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