Chertoff defends no-fly list

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The no-fly list has often been controversialDirector of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has challenged claims made by civil liberties groups about the number of people not allowed to fly on U.S. airlines.

Instead of the figure of 1 million which has been quoted by the American Civil Liberties Union, the actual number barred from flying totals only 2,500, with 90 percent of these non-U.S. citizens, he said.

In addition, there are around 16,000 people whose names are on a selectee list, which means they may be inspected but not prohibited from boarding a plane.

However, some have raised concerns about the incidents of mistaken identity, in which an innocent member of the public shares a name or other identification with someone on the list.

Some names may even be on the list as the result of an error. Earlier this year, a court of appeals in San Francisco ruled that passengers can bring cases regarding their status on the no-fly list to a judge and jury for consideration.

It made its decision after a Malaysian student at Stanford University was detained and handcuffed at an airport in 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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