query for you guys

Chris SCHROEDER SCHROEDER at LAW.DUKE.EDU
Fri Sep 28 15:37:36 PDT 2001


The idea was floated by Michael Levine, and it is basically as you state
it.

So long as the more intensive/intrusive at-the-airport search would be
constitutionaly permissible with no two-tier program in place, I do not
think there is a constitutional problem with Levine's scheme.  The more
time consuming and intrusive the search becomes, of course, the more it
takes on the flavor of coercion by interfering with schedules, making
you spend time in airports that could be used on business pursuits, and
the like.  But it would still look more like an opt-out system (elect
the *voluntary* prior background check and opt-out of the intrusive
airport search), not one that is burdening any privacy rights you might
have in the background information that was being gathered on you (this
assumes you have some).  In any event, I assume that the prior
background check would merely lower your odds of being subjected to the
more intensive airport search, as some *pre-cleared* people could still
raise suspicions at the airport.

>>> kalman at HISTORY.UCSB.EDU 09/28/01 01:21PM >>>
i didn't hear all of it, but on mcneil-lehrer last night, someone
associated with harvard law school was proposing that we go to a
two-track
system in airline travel.  every passenger would have his or her
choice:
either submit in advance to extensive background checks and receive a
card
saying you were "ok", or anticipate el al-type questioning at the
airport.
        the idea, i believe (again, i'm sorry i didn't hear all of
it),
was that some people would be willing to have their privacy
compromised
even more than usual through the background check, in exchange for
convenience at the airport, while others who were unwilling to have
their
privacy unusually compromised, would undergo even more inconvenience
than
usual at the airport.
        of course, that proposal would mean entrance into a world
where
instead of worrying about phony passports and drivers' licenses, we'd
be
worrying about phony "security cards."
        but quite apart from that, i'm curious as to what list members
make of it.
lk

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