From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
 

Congressional Leaders Ask President Bush: How Will You Protect Passenger Privacy?

February 11, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- In a letter sent today, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Representatives John Tierney (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and 23 other Democratic Members of Congress voiced their concern to President Bush about how his Administration plans to protect passenger privacy during implementation of the Computer-Assisted Passenger Screening Program (CAPPS II).

“We look forward to working with the Bush Administration is striking the appropriate balance that ensures the protection of our national security and the protection of our civil liberties,” the Members of Congress wrote.

The following is the full text of the letter:

February 10, 2004

The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Many of our constituents have contacted our Congressional offices concerned that their privacy rights have been violated by airlines turning over personal consumer information to the federal government without their knowledge or consent.

We certainly understand, that after the horrible attacks of September 11, 2001, heightened security is necessary to ensure safe air travel. However, even with the necessary exchange of liberty for security, consumers have the right to know how their private, personal information will be used.

Before the Computer-Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening Program (CAPPS II) is implemented, we urge the adoption of a specific policy that makes clear the role of airlines in sharing consumer information with the federal government. Such a policy should articulate what information can be shared by airlines and how such information is to be shared. First, we would anticipate a clear explanation as to the boundaries of any information-sharing between airlines and the federal government. Second, consumers must be clearly informed at the time they purchase their airline tickets as to how their personal information will be used.

We look forward to working with you in striking the appropriate balance that ensures the protection of our national security and the protection of our civil liberties, and thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

Respectfully,

John F. Tierney
Member of Congress

Janice D. Schakowsky
Member of Congress

Nancy Pelosi
House Democratic Leader

Sherrod Brown
Member of Congress

William D. Delahunt
Member of Congress

Jay Inslee
Member of Congress

Tammy Baldwin
Member of Congress

Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress

Karen McCarthy
Member of Congress

Edward J. Markey
Member of Congress

Michael M. Honda
Member of Congress

Jim McDermott
Member of Congress

Jose E. Serrano
Member of Congress

Michael E. Capuano
Member of Congress

Sam Farr
Member of Congress

Sheila Jackson Lee
Member of Congress

John Conyers Jr.
Member of Congress

Jerrold Nadler
Member of Congress

Betty McCollum
Member of Congress

Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Member of Congress

Jim Turner
Member of Congress

James P. Moran
Member of Congress

Melvin L. Watt
Member of Congress

Gene Green
Member of Congress

Pete Stark
Member of Congress

Martin T. Meehan
Member of Congress



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